Are you still trying to decide whether or not to bring your vehicle to California for your Program? If so, maybe I can help. Here are a few things to think over before you make your final decision about driving or flying to the Disneyland Resort.
Will you need your vehicle? No, you won’t need it during your program, but it’s really nice to have and we recommend it. Every week, we host exclusive special events for our participants and not all of them are located at the Disneyland Resort. Every season, we give our participants a private tour of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, a tour of Hollywood or the El Capitan Theatre and much more. Transportation to these offsite events is usually not provided, so having your own car can be very helpful.
There’s so much to see and do in Southern California and having a car allows you the opportunity to experience everything this area has to offer, including numerous beaches, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Disney’s Corporate Headquarters in Burbank, the arts and culture in Los Angeles and incredible sporting events, just to name a few. We have gated parking garages for our participants to park their vehicles, so you won’t have to worry about finding a place on the street to park every day.
If you don’t (or can’t) bring your own vehicle, that’s okay! During the interview process, I have a lot of people tell me that their current car isn’t reliable and if they’re selected for the program, they’re going to buy a new one or rent one in California for the duration of their internship. Please don’t feel obligated to do that. It’s not necessary (or mandatory) and it’s definitely not cheap! If you don’t have a vehicle during your program, we do have other transportation options available.
Most of our participants (including those with cars) take advantage of Disney’s Commuter Assistance Program, which rewards our cast members for carpooling, walking, biking or taking the public bus to and from work. By participating in this program, our participants get a complimentary bus pass from the Orange County Transit Authority and can earn points each day to redeem for prizes and gift cards.
That’s right; every day that our California-based participants take the bus, ride their bike, walk or carpool, they’ll earn a one or two dollar credit on their commuter assistance card (the amount of the credit depends on which method of transportation they choose). At the end of the program, they can cash that in for money, cool prizes or gift cards! This program is so easy to use that participants can even redeem their accumulated credit online at any time during their internship.
Another perk Disney’s Commuter Assistance Program provides our participants is the after-hours program. Since the public bus system ceases operation from 1-4 a.m. and our housing complex (Carnegie Plaza) is about two miles from the Disneyland Resort, Yellow Cab will give our participants a ride home at no charge if they get off work at 1 a.m. or later. This service is exclusive to our Disney College Program housing participants and is only available if they’re completing a shift.
As you can see, whether or not you choose to bring your car to the Disneyland Resort is really up to you. Either way, make sure you utilize Disney’s Commuter Assistance Program during your internship. It not only allows you to be more environmentally-friendly, it can also help you save money during your program!