Five Things to Know When Applying for the Disney College Program in California

The spring recruiting season is underway and I love all of the enthusiasm I’m hearing during the interviews! Based on some of the reoccurring questions that I’m getting over the phone, I’ve put together a list of five things you can do to help yourself prepare for your interview for the Disney College Program at the Disneyland Resort in California:


1). Local or Housing

This season, we are hiring for the Fall (Aug. to Jan.) and the Fall Advantage (May to Jan.) programs, but the arrival date isn’t the only difference between the two. The biggest difference is the Fall program includes our housing component and you’ll live in Carnegie Plaza with other Disney College Program participants. The weekly housing payment is $140 per week, per person, and it includes your utilities. Each apartment will have 2-5 participants.

Our Fall Advantage program is designed for participants who live in the Anaheim area and will provide their own housing for their program. Keep in mind that if you live out of state or outside of the Anaheim area, it can be very challenging (and expensive) trying to find your own apartment, so the housing component (Fall program) may be the best option for you. When you’re doing your interview, make sure you let your recruiter know which program you are applying for and works the best for you…they will ask!


2). Transportation

Should you bring your car? Although we do recommend that you bring your own vehicle, it’s not mandatory. There’s so much to see and do in Southern California, so a car is nice to have and it allows you the opportunity to experience everything this area has to offer (Hollywood, Burbank, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, just to name a few). We also have gated parking garages for our participants to park their vehicles. Some of the roles that we have available may require a participant to have their own car for transportation, so be prepared to let your recruiter know if you plan on bringing yours.

If you don’t bring your own vehicle, other transportation options are available. Most of our participants take advantage of Disney’s Commuter Assistance Program, which rewards 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 and can earn points each day to redeem for prizes and gift cards.

Disneyland Participants with Commuter Cards

3). Work History and Roles

The majority of your interview will be about you. What skills and experience will you bring to the program to enhance the overall guest experience? One thing I’d recommend is to have your résumé or a listing of your work history in front of you and be prepared to talk about it. The recruiters have a copy of your application so they know where you’ve worked, but be prepared to discuss some of your responsibilities within each job you’ve held.

Know all of the roles that you’re applying for. You can mark an interest in all of them, but if you indicate that you’re interested in a role, you could be placed in it. Have a good understanding of the responsibilities for each role and how you would be a good fit. This is a great way to show your recruiter that you are well prepared.

Example of role selection

4). Learning Component

Here at the Disneyland Resort, the classes are mandatory. If you’re interested in receiving college credit for the program or the classes, visit your academic advisor and speak with them about the possibility of receiving credit. Keep in mind that all schools have different policies and procedures. Your recruiter will be happy to answer questions about the classes, but they won’t be able to answer specific questions about receiving college credit; your college or university determines that.


5). Relax, Smile and Be Yourself

I know this sounds simple, but it’s so important. Your recruiter knows that you may be a little nervous, and that’s expected. I mean, who doesn’t get a little nervous for interviews? Especially a phone interview! Do your best to control your nerves and to relax.

Some people have told me that before doing their interview; they watch their favorite Disney movie or listen to their favorite song. Others have told me that they dress in business clothes because it makes them feel more professional. Although your recruiter can’t see you, they know when you’re relaxed and smiling. They can hear it in your voice. So, take a deep breath, smile, relax and try to have some fun. After all, your recruiter is going to talk about Disney and ask questions about you…two things you probably know a lot about!

Good luck!

Brandon, Disney College Program, Disneyland Resort