While attending school at MiraCosta College in San Diego, CA and working at the Disney Store, Film Production student Abby heard about the Disney College Program from one of her fellow cast members. She not only found out about the Program, but she also learned about all of the opportunities that our participants have during their internship.
Her dream has always been to make films, preferably for the Walt Disney Studios, so Abby thought that the Disney College Program could be a great stepping-stone on the way to her future career as a filmmaker.
When most participants get selected for the Disney College Program, they think about working at a theme park or one of the Disneyland Resort hotels, and they picture themselves interacting with hundreds of guests every day. But did you know that the Disney College Program in California places participants in over 15 different roles throughout the Disneyland Resort? And some of them are even backstage.
A backstage role is very important to the everyday operation at the Disneyland Resort…just ask Abby! She works in Cast Costuming and her primary responsibility is to create Disney magic for the cast members.
“I mainly interact with cast members and our goal is to be able to make magic for those who have to go out and interact with the guests,” she said. “It’s my goal to try and make each cast member’s day a little better, whether it’s by finding their costume as quickly as possible so they aren’t late or simply chatting about their day. I’m there to make their day better and their job easier.”
The Cast Costuming role is very important because these cast members set the tone for the day for others. If a cast member working throughout the Disneyland Resort has a costume malfunction and can’t go onstage, it can have a big impact on the guest experience. This is why Abby takes such great pride in her role and the responsibilities that come with it.
“My job is to find a solution to the problems cast members have about their costume,” she said. “These could be things such as not finding the proper size or being out of stock on something. This allows me to have a lot of interaction with cast members from other roles. I get to learn about what they do and then I can figure out how I can make their day better by fixing whatever problems they encounter with their costumes.”
When you participate in the Disney College Program, you’ll not only learn a lot about yourself, but you’ll also learn about teamwork and guest service. Here at the Disneyland Resort, we always try to go above and beyond to provide exceptional guest service for those around us, no matter which role we’re in. We often call it, creating a little Disney magic for others.
“One way I create magic in my role is through deliveries to cast members that have a costume malfunction,” said Abby. “One time, I delivered a shirt to a cast member who snagged hers and had a few buttons fly off. She couldn’t walk onstage with that shirt, so my team decided to bring one to her so she could continue working and not violate any Disney Look policies.”
If you want to participate in the Disney College Program one day, Abby has some great advice for you.
“Definitely don’t get overwhelmed,” she said. “The most important thing to remember is to smile every day because you never know whose day you’re going to brighten. A smile could be just the thing to change someone’s mood and it shows them that you care.”
When Abby was asked about how the program has changed her, it was clear that her experience made a positive impact on her.
“The Disney College Program has really taught me a lot about myself,” she said. “It’s really inspired and motivated me to pursue my dream of filmmaking. Being surrounded in an environment like Disneyland has stirred up motivation in me to reach new heights in my filmmaking.”