When most people complete their Disney College Program and return home, reality starts to set in. They no longer have the ability to explore the theme parks and immerse themselves in the Disney magic every day, and they miss the incredible friends they made throughout their journey.
Many of our alumni tell us that they had no idea how much they’d miss the program and The Walt Disney Company until their internship was over.
Meet Amy, a Disney College Program participant at the Disneyland Resort in California and a Business Administration major at California State Fullerton. Amy knows firsthand what it’s like to live out a lifelong dream as a Disney cast member one day, and then be back home having Disney withdrawals the next.
“I’m currently on my third program,” she said. “I keep applying because of all the fantastic opportunities and amazing people here. Originally, I applied purely for the reputable brand of Disney, and of course, I wanted some Disney magic in my life. I quickly learned learned that the Disney College Program is truly so much more!”
Amy is a custodial cast member at Disney California Adventure Park and is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the park. Keeping the park neat and tidy is a huge job, but she’s definitely up for the challenge.
“I have grown quite fond of sweeping, especially fallen popcorn,” she said. “You would think this tedious task would get boring, but I look at most of my tasks as a game. For every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun, and snap! The job’s a game.”
When most people think of the custodial role, the first thing that probably comes to mind is sweeping up trash and cleaning restrooms, but Amy knows that there’s so much more to the role than that.
“Water art is by FAR my favorite thing to do as a custodian,” said Amy. “When we have some free time between maintaining areas, custodians who are trained in water art can draw approved Disney characters on pavement using nothing but a broom as a paintbrush and water from our dustpans. I’ve been signed off to draw Mickey, Minnie and Baymax (my favorite). I also provide fun facts about the park and I take a ton of family photos for guests.”
If you get the opportunity to participate in the Disney College Program one day, then Amy has some great advice and words of encouragement for you.
“Stop, breathe and remember to stop and smell the magic. Your program is going to fly by, and you should try to embrace every single day with an open mind. You honestly have the power to make every day better than the last, as long as you remember to make the most of every day. But the most important thing is to have fun!”
When our participants complete the Disney College Program, many of them are amazed at how much they have changed throughout their adventure. A lot of alumni tell us that the program helped them come out of their shell, gain confidence and really improved their communication skills. All of these are things that will eventually help them in their professional careers someday.
“I could write a book about how much I’ve learned about myself throughout my Disney College Program experiences,” said Amy. “My time here has helped me find my voice, my optimism and my confidence. I feel like every day I am learning, and moving forward.”
Some of the most common questions participants want to know when they start their internship is how their role relates to their major and how will this program enhance their resume.
“I have really ambitious goals for my future and I feel that everything I have done here is 100 percent relevant. There isn’t a role here that I couldn’t walk away with something to apply to my future. The opportunities are at every corner! And of course, the people you meet along the way are amazing!”