If you plan on applying for the Disney College Program in California, you’ll notice that our Disneyland program offers both a housing and local option. It may sound self-explanatory, but once you interview and are offered one of these options, there’s no turning back. So, what’s the difference?
Let’s start with our local program. The good news is this program is almost completely the same as the housing program – but notice that I said almost. The biggest difference is the local program requires you to provide your own housing for the duration of your internship.
This is a great option for students who currently live in Southern California and near Disneyland® Resort. You’ll not only get to participate in the Disney College Program and work at Disneyland Resort, but you’ll also get to live at home and commute to work each day.
If you currently live out of state or outside of Southern California, then the resident program would work best for you. Our housing participants spend the duration of their program living in our apartment complex with other Disney College Program cast members. The complex is called Carnegie Plaza, and it’s located less than two miles from Disneyland Resort in the heart of downtown Anaheim.
Housing participants share an apartment with up to seven other roommates and they have access to some incredible onsite amenities such as the beautiful second floor courtyard and common area, a fitness room, and the ability to check out games, movies and beach equipment for no cost.
Parking spots are provided for our housing residents, so you can bring your car if you’d like. Although it’s not required, it’s highly recommended. There are also nearby restaurants and a bus stop where our residents can take public transportation to and from Disneyland Resort. We even have a commuter assistance program set up for our cast members where every day, if you take public transportation to and from work, you can earn extra money on your paycheck.
Many of our participants also bring their bikes and store them in our on-site bike lockers. Once you arrive at Disneyland each day, you can also store your bike in a locker while you’re working.
Local and resident participants must have full availability during the season, which means you can expect to be scheduled to work any day of the week, including days, nights, holidays and weekends. Everyone will work an average of 28-32 hours per week, depending on the season and your role.
All of our participants (both local and housing) are welcome to take part in our exclusive special events that take place each week. This month, we’re going behind-the-screen at Soarin’ for a private tour, going on the big stage at the Hyperion Theater for an exclusive backstage tour, catching an Angels baseball game and much more!
My biggest piece of advice for those of you applying for the Disneyland program is this: at the time of your interview, if you absolutely already have housing arrangements in the Anaheim area for the duration of the internship, then the local program could be an excellent option. If not, then you’ll want to apply for the resident program because finding housing in Southern California is very difficult (and expensive), especially if you’re not familiar with the area. Keep in mind, 15-20 miles away could end up being a 90 minute drive because of traffic!
As you can see, the local and resident programs at Disneyland Resort are very similar experiences, other than the living component. If you plan on interviewing this fall, make sure you know ahead of time which program option would be the best fit for you. Your Interview Partner will ask during the interview and lock in your final answer.