Disney College Program Offers Students Internships, Experiences And More

Move of, Mickey! Make way, Minnie! Students across the country are hoping to gain hands-on experience as interns at the “Happiest Place On Earth” through the Disney College Program.

Each year upwards of 50,000 students apply and eagerly wait for a phone call or email notifying them of their acceptance to the program. Only about 12,000 applicants are actually accepted to the highly competitive program, though.

The Disney College program offers college students the unique opportunity to spend time at one of the theme parks and submerse themselves in the culture that has been so carefully created by the Walt Disney Company.

“This internship is like no other,” Disney Vice President Kristi Breen said. “It truly offers students this living learning earning, comprehensive program.”

Each person in the program is offered an hourly wage to interact with guests, work in the various retail shops/restaurants, in hotels and much more. Some internships even offer full time hours, which provides students with even more time to learn and grow.

“Disney is well known for their training and development programs, so I think students are very attracted to that. By working there, you are able to see the success for a very large company and they deal with processes and organization,” said assistant professor, Eric D. Olson.

Students are able to take the various courses offered by Disney at no charge from the company. However, there may be fees incurred for credits from colleges/universities and for any supplies needed for the courses.

Housing is offered to program attendees to make the experience more accessible to those not residing near the parks. Students can call fully furnished apartments “home” and make use of the supplied transportation for a weekly fee ranging from $87 to $118 a week. The housing payment is deducted from participants pay each week during the program.

Students seemingly love the program and the valuable experience it offers.

Kristen, Park Operations student, said “The legacy of Disney is my favorite part of working for Disney. I have watched Disney since I was a kid and remember things from the movies and love them. You get captivated in this world and so to come down here and actually be part of that storyline and getting to create that storyline for the famous Disney characters is an unbelievable experience; I love it.”

“What I love most about working for The Walt Disney Company is all the networking opportunities. I got the opportunity to talk with the athletic trainers at ESPN Wide World of Sports to figure out how their program works. Every day is a new day, it has new experiences, new people – it’s always something different,” said Disney Collage Program attendee, Logan.

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