Thursday, January 17, 2013

Professional Internships are Coming!!

So the time is almost here to apply for Professional Internships! I am very excited but also very nervous as this is my first time applying. I have been trying to read up on the process and other people's experiences, but I still feel really unprepared.

My plan is to carefully look at all the internships when they are released and then begin narrowing them down. Right now other then Alumni Only internships I have career interests in Graphic Design, Advertising, Marketing, Communications and PR. I have been told that you shouldn't apply for more than 3 or 4 internships as it makes you look like you are just trying to get something. I don't really agree with that as I feel that there might be many that I am a good fit and qualified for.

I can't wait to see what opportunities are available! Leave me a comment if you are applying for any PI's and what you are interested in!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

School Assignment

While I don't normally talk about non Disney related things on this blog. I needed a place to post these PSA type posters I made for a class. The class was Cultural Aspects of Mass Media and we talked a lot about how the Media plays a role in shaping how we think, act and believe. These were for a project on Reality TV. Hope they make you think!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Getting excited to apply!

So since I am obsessing over applying for the Fall Advantage CP and Fall PI, I have decided to add some more informational posts to this blog. I have a lot on here chronicling my personal experiences but I want to add some more specific posts related to applying, housing, working, living with roommates, etc. I'll still be updating on my personal journey with The Walt Disney Company and my process of applying, but hopefully I can help others who are just starting out and have questions about the experience.

So does anyone have any requests?  I already have a few posts on the sidebar that I thought were more informational. So check those out and let me know, what you want to know?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

CP Housing and DORMS

Coming soon!

College Program Application Process

This post chronicles my experience applying for the Fall 2013 Program. Things may be different in future seasons. There are several steps involved in applying.
1. Application
2. Web Based Interview
3. Phone interview
4. Waiting
5. Receive/ Accept Offer
6. Pay fees and Choose Arrival dates

Applications went live on February 8th 2013. The application is similar other online job applications, asking for your previous work history, can you work in the US, do you have any criminal history etc. You also select what roles you are interested in. You get to rank each one as either High, Moderate, Low, or No Interest. BE HONEST! Don't mark everything as High thinking you will have a better chance of being accepted. I think a lot of people who were pending (this is explained a little further down) or not accepted simply picked too many roles. If you absolutely do not want to do a role, put it as No Interest. Every season there are people who complain because they got a role they really did not want.

These are the roles I applied for and the ranking I gave them:
High: Concierge, Hospitality, Vacation Planner, BBB
Moderate: Attractions, Merchandise, Full Service Food and Beverage, Recreation
Low: none
No Interest: Housekeeping, Quick Service, Lifeguard, Transportation, Bell Services, Main Entrance Ops, Custodial

I think you should pick 3-4 as High, 3-4 as Moderate, 1-2 as Low. Again if you absolutely do not want to do a specific role put it as "No Interest" as you can see I had a lot I was not interested in.

 Once I completed the application I received this email:

About 1-2 hours later I received an email prompting me to take the Web Based Interview. Lots of people freak out about this. It is one of those tests where they ask you questions like "I am never late" and you need to agree or disagree. The key to this is to be consistent in you answers, as they will ask you the same one different ways, for example they might say "I am never late" and then later "I am always on time" you want to make sure your answers match for this. The other thing is you need to think of it in the context of working for Disney, and what Disney wants. So maybe you are sometimes late in your personal life, but Disney wants people who are not going to be late for work! Many people also think it helps to choose "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree" instead of picking a lot of "neutrals"

If you pass the Web Based Interview you will be asked to schedule a phone interview

You can then log onto your Dashboard and schedule a time that works best for you! Check out my tips for the phone interview HERE and possible interview questions HERE After your phone interview you will get an email thanking you for interviewing and stating that you should hear something within 2-3 weeks.

Now the hard part comes. You wait. I waited 18 days without hearing anything, others were getting accepted 3-4 days after their interview. You can log onto your Dashboard during this time and check your status. You want to see 'In Progress". If you see 'No Longer In Consideration" it means you have not been selected for this season. Try not to obsessively check your email and dashboard.

Sometimes people will receive an email telling them their application is pending a final decision and they will hear back by a certain date. This season the date was April 19th. This means you are "Pending". Now this does not always mean it is a bad thing. Sometimes Disney has trouble trying to decide where you fit, or maybe they are unsure if you are a strong enough candidate. People who are pending do get accepted, but they also get rejected.

Finally I recieved my offer! You will get it by email (Check your spam folder! It sometimes goes there) You will then need to log in and see what your role is. There are several instructions after that on how to accept your role, pay your fees and select your arrival date. You only have 10 days to accept your offer!

So that's the application process! My timeline went like this

Feb 8th - Applications Opened/ Submitted Application
Feb 8th - Invited to take Web Based Interview (about 45 minutes after submission)
Feb 8th - Invited to schedule Phone Interview (about 1 hour after Web Based)
Feb 11th - Had Phone interview (You can read about it HERE)
March 1st - Received Offer for Concierge! My #1 role

** I accepted this offer, but later was offered a Professional Internship, which I decided to take instead. I had applied to the CP as back up plan. My program fees were refunded to me when I switched to the PI

Potential CP Phone Interview Questions

This is by no means an exhaustive list, I also did not create this list but found it elsewhere.
  • Why do you want to work for Disney? **Almost always asked
  • How do you deal with repetitive work days?**Frequently asked
  • Do you have any experience speaking in front of large groups of people?
  • How do you feel about having roommates and living away from home?
  • Do you think any of your past jobs will help in any of your top 3 choices?
  • Why do you think you are qualified for your top role?
  • Are you comfortable handling money?
  • Do you have any tattoos or body modifications?*Always asked DO NOT LIE
  • Are you familiar with the Disney parks and resorts?
  • What does Disney mean to you?
  • How will the CP help you professionally?
  • What are you most looking forward to in the DCP?
  • What makes you a good candidate for the DCP?
  • What can you offer to the Disney company?
  • What are 3 positive qualities about yourself?
  • Describe a situation where you have had to work with a difficult person, boss, or teacher. **Frequently asked
  • What Disney character are you most like?
  • What is your favorite memory of Disney?
  • Do you mind working outside in the Florida heat and in the rain? **Frequently asked
  • Would you rather work alone or in a group setting?
  • How would you help a guest who speaks little or no English?
  • Tell me about some jobs you have previously held.
  • Tell me about a time you made a guest or customer happy at a previous job. **Frequently asked
  • How would you handle a roommate disagreement?
  • How would a previous manager describe you?
  • Do you mind working mornings, evenings, overnight, weekends, and holidays? **Frequently asked
  • Do you prefer a fast paced or slow paced work environment?**Frequently asked
  • What are 3 negative qualities about yourself?
  • What is your favorite Disney (movie, ride, park, character), and why?
  • What are your top 3 roles? *Always asked
  • How would you handle an emergency?
  • Are you open to the QSFB or Custodial roles? **Frequently asked
  • Why are these your top 3 roles?



  • Do you have any salon experience?
  • Do you have any childcare experience?
  • How would you react if a little girl was shy or scared?

  • Are you comfortable operating an advanced costume checkout computer?
  • Are you willing and able to carry heavy (up to 50lbs+) costumes to different locations?
  • Would you be comfortable working independently?
  • How do you feel about working “backstage” with minimal guest contact?
  • Are you willing to operate basic laundry equipment?

  • Are you comfortable working with cleaning chemicals?
  • How do you feel about working in a guest’s room while they are not there?
  • Are you able to work independently with little to no guest contact?

  • Are you comfortable working for long periods of time in the Florida heat?
  • Are you willing to work in another role during off-peak seasons?
  • Are you comfortable with spending long periods of time standing in water?
  • What would you do in the event of a guest injury or illness?
  • Do you believe you are able to pass the swim test?

  • Are you comfortable with emptying trashcans (which may include shooing bees or flies) and lifting heavy garbage bags?
  • Are you willing to bus tables in restaurants and outdoors?
  • Are you comfortable working for long periods of time outside in the heat, rain, or cold?

Main Entrance
  • Are you comfortable delivering long speeches on a microphone?
  • How would you make a guest feel special as they enter a park?**Frequently asked
  • Are you willing to drive a large parking tram?
  • Are you willing to help with crowd control during parades and park openings?

  • Are you comfortable with handling cash? **Frequently asked
  • What would you do if a guest was looking for a specific item, but you are out or don’t sell this item? **Frequently asked
  • Are you comfortable suggesting items to guests based on first impressions?
  • Are you willing to work independently outdoors at a cart?

  • Are you comfortable with operating digital cameras?
  • How do you feel about achieving monthly sales goals and suggesting products?
  • Are you comfortable working in several different parks, potentially all in the same week?
  • How do you feel about a guest refusing a picture?

  • Are you comfortable preparing simple food items, which may include using a fryer, grill, or other cooking equipment?
  • Would you be willing to wash dishes or bus tables?
  • Are you comfortable selling alcohol?
  • Are you able to multitask?
  • Are you comfortable handling cash and using a cash register?
  • How do you feel about working independently at a food cart?

  • Are you comfortable handling cash and using a register?
  • Are you willing to spend long periods of time rolling silverware, and folding napkins?
  • Have you ever managed a seating chart, or are you willing to learn?
  • What would you tell a guest if they wanted to eat at a restaurant, but there are no tables available for several hours?

  • Are you willing to train with watercraft, arcades, and other recreational facilities?
  • Do you believe you will be able to pass the swim test?
  • Are you willing to work in another role during the off-seasons?
  • How do you feel about working for long periods of time outdoors and around water?

  • Do you have a valid driver’s license?
  • Are you comfortable memorizing and delivering long speeches?
  • Are you comfortable talking to other CM via radio?
  • Are you willing to help with crowd control during parades?
  • How do you feel about driving large vehicles (such as a monorail or bus) filled with guests?

Vacation Planner

  • What do you think the duties of a vacation planner are?**Frequently asked
  • Are you comfortable handling large amounts of money and achieving monthly sales goals?**Frequently asked
  • How do you feel about working in multiple parks, potentially all four in a week?
  • Are you willing to help with crowd control during parades?
  • Are you comfortable working with a computerized ticket system offering over 128 different ticket combinations?
  • How do you work while under pressure?

Character attendant

  • How would you react if a child was being violent with a character?
  • What does character integrity mean to you?**Frequently asked
  • What would you tell guests if you had to turn them away because a line is closing for the day?
  • What would you do if a child was afraid of a character?
  • What would you say if someone asked why the fur character doesn’t talk?**Frequently asked
  • How would you say “(mickey, Cinderella, ariel, Donald, beast) has to leave?”

  • What would you do if a child wants to ride space mountain, but is too short?**Frequently asked
  • What would you do if a guest wanted to get on an attraction but it was out of service?
  • How would you feel about operating a ride?
  • Would you be willing to help with crowd control during a parade?
  • Are you comfortable talking in front of large groups of people?
  • Can you memorize and remember long speeches?**Frequently asked
  • What would you do if you messed up your spiel?

Bell Services

  • Are you willing and able to carry heavy (up to 50lbs) luggage (including overhead)?
  • Are you comfortable talking to guests on the phone?
  • Are you comfortable being the first CM that a guest interacts with on their vacation?

  • What would you do if a guest wanted a specific type of room and there were none available?
  • How do you feel about being trained on a computer system?
  • How would you make a guest feel special as they are beginning their vacation?
  • Are you comfortable talking to guests on the phone?
  • Are you comfortable handling large amounts of cash?

  • What do you think the duties of a concierge are?**Frequently asked
  • Do you have any experience handling cash, including foreign currency, and travelers checks?
  • How do you feel about being trained on a computer system?
  • What do you expect when you stay at a Disney Resort?**Frequently asked

CP Phone Interview Tips

Part of the application process for the Disney College Program and the Professional Internship Program is a required phone interview. Some Professional Internships require as many as 3 separate phone interviews depending on the role!

Lot’s of people get really nervous about this, so I’d like to offer some tips to make it go as smoothly as possible!

1. Schedule it during a time that works best for you! If you aren’t a morning person don’t schedule it before your 9 am class! I think it is best to find a time where you will have at least an hour before hand to relax and unwind, you don’t want to have to sprint back from class to your room to do the phone interview. They may call from a “Blocked” number so be prepared for that. Also don’t panic if they call late, each time mine was 15 mins late.

2. Find a quiet location. Tell your roommates/suitemates you are doing a phone interview ahead of time and cannot be bothered, maybe ask that they let you have the room to yourself so you wont feel self conscious. My first phone interview I did sitting in my car because I wanted no distractions. My other I did alone in my room. If you can’t find a space to be alone, check out career services at your campus, they may have a conference room you can reserve to use.

3. Practice some of the potential interview questions! Try to think of answers that elaborate a little bit, don’t be tempted to just give answers like “Yeah that is fine” or “No I never had to do that”. You need to give examples and elaborate your answers. I have a list of potential interview questions for the CP located HERE. Questions for PI or MI are a little different.

4. Relax and SMILE! Your interviewer will usually be very friendly and upbeat because they want to put you at ease! They know you are nervous, but when you smile they can really hear it in your voice.

5. Don’t panic if the interviewer is very quiet. They have to type everything you say, don’t worry about the awkward silence when you finish your answer, you don’t need to keep talking to fill the silence.

6. If you find yourself stumbling over your words or forget the question, just take a deep breath, maybe say something like “I’m sorry I’ve said all this in hopes of answering your question, which I have now forgotten!” and try to laugh it off. The interviewer knows that you are nervous and will repeat the question for you!

7. Most important is to be honest and be yourself! This is your chance to really sell yourself and let your personality shine through!

8. At the end they will ask you if there is anything else you would like to add or have any questions. This is the time to make location requests, if you are unsure of how to phrase this you can say “While I would gladly work anywhere, If I got attractions I would really love to work at Tower or Terror”. They will make a note of it in your file. I also think for any interview you should have at least one question at the end! If you really don’t have any you can say something like “I don’t think I have any questions because I have done a lot of research on the program and talked with former participants”

Disney College Program FAQs

General Questions

Question: What are the program seasons?
Answer: There are several programs available.
Spring - Jan- May
Spring Advantage - Jan- Aug
Spring Advantage Quarter (only for those on a Trimester system) - April - Aug
Fall Advantage - May- Jan
Fall- Aug-Jan
**There is no summer-only option, with the exception of a Summer Alumni Program which may or may not be offered***

Question: When do applications open?
Answer: Applications for Fall/Fall Advantage will be available in early February until March.  Applications for Spring/Spring Advantage will be available September to November.

Question:  What are the application requirements?
Answer: To apply, students must be enrolled currently in a college or university and taking classes. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and meet his or her school's requirements for participation. Participation in this program requires unrestricted work authorization.

Question:  What are the fees associated with the program?
Answer: For the FL program the fees are $300 which must be paid at the time your accept your offer. This includes a $100 program fee and $200 housing deposit to cover your first week's rent.

For the CA program the fee is $860 which must be paid at the time you accept your offer. This includes the $100 program fee, $200 security deposit and $460 for housing, which covers the first several weeks of rent.

Question:  Do I need a car?
Answer: At WDW you are not required to have a car, but many find it is a huge advantage to bring one. Transportation is provided to the parks and resorts as well as Walmart and the Florida Mall. Bus schedules may or may not work well with your work schedule, so you may spend a lot of time waiting for a bus before or after work. Many strongly suggest you bring a car if you have one.

At DLR the company does not provide transportation so you must use public transportation, so it's high suggested that you bring a car. However, a complimentary bus pass is provided.

Application Process

Question:  Is Disney College Program participation limited to certain majors?
 Answer: All majors are welcome to apply.

Question:  If students are not accepted the first time they interview, can they try again?
Answer: A student may reapply in the following semester if six months have passed from the last interview.

Question:  If a student needs to decline an offer will this hurt his/her chances of getting into the program in the future?
Answer: Not at all. Although we are sorry it won't work for them at this time, they are free to apply again during the next recruiting season. These students will have to re-apply, and interview again.

Question:  When will students receive an answer regarding their interviews?
Answer: Students hear from College Recruiting generally within two weeks following their interviews. Everyone who interviews will receive notification.

If the time frame after your interview has exceeded two weeks, please send an e-mail to College Recruiting at or with your full name, the email address used on your application, and the date of your interview. Please include "Notification Response" in the subject line.


Question:  Where will I work?
Answer: Participants work a various locations across the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resort property. Students will find out their exact work location as part of the on-boarding process.

Question:  If I do not like my accepted role, can I change it once I arrive?
Answer: Once you accept the role that has been reserved for you, you make a commitment to that position for the duration of your program. If you have questions about the role you have been offered or your program dates, please contact the Disney College Recruiting Office at 1-800-722-2930.

Question:  What will my work schedule be like and when will I have days off?
Answer: Your work schedule and days off will vary from week to week and will also vary depending on the time of year and your specific work location. Your days off will typically be on weekdays and may or may not be consecutive. Plan to work at least 40 hours a week, sometimes more during busy season.

Question: When Will I be paid?
Answer: Paychecks will be received via a temporary debit card given to you at your arrival every Thursday. You can also have the option to set up direct deposit.


Question:  Where do participants Live?
Answer: For WDW, students live in 4 private complexes, Vista Way, Chatham Square, Patterson Court, and The Commons. Apartments range from 1 to 4 bedroom apartments with two students in each room. Complexes have a swimming pool, workout facility, and other recreational areas.

Question:  Can I choose my roommates?
Answer: Some arrival dates will have a "roommate matching" service available, others will not. You can try to find roommates on facebook. You can Utilize the DORMS system to setup roommates and housing preferences. The DORMS system log in will be provided to you 1-2 before check in.

Question: Is one complex better than the others?
Answer: Each complex has its own advantages and disadvantages but are roughly about the same.

Question:  Are the apartments furnished?
Answer: Yes, each apartment is furnished including dishes and cookware. Students can bring other small appliances such as toasters as well as bedding and towels.

Question:  Where do I do laundry?
Answer: There are laundry facilities at each complex. . There is a fee to use them, with the exception of The Commons which has washers and dryers in the units.

Disney Professional Internship FAQs

**NOTE: This is a work in progress!

What is a Professional Internship (PI)?

What areas are they offered in?
PIs are offered in almost all segments of the company, from corporate positions to park operations to design and creative positions. Check out the PI website for the different areas in which PIs are offered HERE

Who can apply for a PI?

What is the application process like?
Check out this post HERE for my experiences.

Do I have to have completed a College Program to do a PI?

How many can I apply for?

What is the interview process like?
The interview process does vary depending on the position. For most PI's there is a general screening interview which will cover all internships that you apply for. In most cases for Alumni Only this will be your ONLY interview. Some Alumni Roles do have second interviews. These interviews are almost always conducted over the phone similar to the CP interview.

Management Internships will have a phone interview as the first interview. The second interview is a panel interview with 2-3 leaders from that line of business. This interview can often be done in person if you are in the FL area, or can be done via skype or phone.

My Alumni Only interview experience is posted HERE
My Management Internship experience is posted HERE

How long will it take to hear back?
It takes a very long time to hear back. The application process for Professional Internships runs on a different timeline than the College Program. For an example this was my timeline for when I applied for Fall 2013 PIs.
 Feb 2nd -  Applied for several internships
Feb 8th - Screening Interview
March 8th - Applications Close
March 28th- Received a new drop down menu for GR
April 10th - Moved to "Post Interview Stage"
April 11th - Received request for background check info
April 15th - Phone call offering me Guest Relations

As you can see, I did not hear anything for a very long time. This is completely normal as the process takes for what seems like an eternity!

I want to apply for the College Program as a backup? Will accepting a position on the CP take me out of the running for a PI?
 Not at all! I actually think this is a very good idea if you are graduating because this will give you another shot at applying the following season if you are not offered a PI. The reason being that to be eligible you need to either be on a current CP/PI or enrolled in school. The CP process moves very quickly, so you will hear back before you hear anything about PIs. You absolutely can accept a CP offer without hurting your chances of getting a PI. If you are offered a PI, they will refund your housing and program deposit and switch you over to your PI role. I was accepted for Fall 2013 CP in early March, and received my PI offer in mid April. At that time I just informed the recruiter that I had accepted the CP and she set the ball rolling to get me my refund.

I received a new "drop down" for a specific role on my dashboard. What does this mean?
See this post HERE.