How to Write a Disney College Program Blog

If you’ve ever been (or are hoping to be, or even wished you could be) a Disney College Program participant, you’ve probably got a lot to say about it. Writing a blog can be a win-win situation if you want to reflect on the Program as you go through it and teach others about the process.

Part 1 As You Plan

1. Choose a blogging platform that appeals to you. Look for blogging programmes or websites that allow you to use images or pictures, as well as some formatting changes for bold, italic, and/or underlining. You should begin several weeks before applying to the Program.

Look for ways to personalise your text, such as adding images and videos, or even link previews, or ways to spruce up your blog with minimal effort.

Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, and WordPress are a few of the more popular options.

Make sure you get as much exposure as possible by allowing readers to comment on your blogs. Allow readers to share any additional information they have about how you can improve your blog or programme to make it better/easier for you. There are blogs that don’t allow readers to leave comments, or that do but allow you to turn it off.

2. Devote a few minutes every day or two to blogging about your college programme. The deeper you get into the programme, the more consistent you’ll need to be, and you should try to blog once a day to get things out. Try to be consistent so that your reader does not lose interest while waiting for your new posts. Even if you have other obligations, try to make blogging a regular part of your routine.

Part 2 As You Apply

1. Start at the beginning (a day or so before you even sign up). What were you doing when you heard about it, and how did it come up in conversation? Did you conduct an Internet search for the College Program, or was it something else that prompted you to look for it? Describe how you learned about the College Program. Try to be as descriptive as possible when expressing your thoughts and feelings.

2. Discuss your application-filling experiences. Was there a question you couldn’t figure out how to answer, or was there something unusual that piqued your interest? Without disclosing any confidential information, share your thoughts on the application.

3. Tell us about your web-based interview experience. The authors of the Earning Their Ears series of books (from Disney Press) tend to go on and on about their web-based interview. If you want to write your own biography after finishing, this blog post can help you point out some specifics to include in your memoir. Give your readers a behind-the-scenes look at some of your responses; just be careful not to reveal any confidential or sensitive information.

4. Make a point of mentioning your phone interview. What were you doing when it happened? What were you doing when you got the phone call? What were some of the questions, and how did you respond? Describe how you felt when responding to your College Program recruiter.

Did you have a good rapport with the person who interviewed you? Did they have a programme that you’d like to use for your own? Discuss it in as much detail as possible.

5. Describe how you plan to save money for your college programme. You should save some money because you’ll need a lot of it to get into the College Program. It may take some time for the Disney College Program to decide whether or not to hire you, so raise a bundle while you wait. Make sure you have enough money saved to cover your first rent payment. Rent is due a few days before you arrive in the area. The average rent payment can exceed $900. (since there are two other fees; some of this may be refundable once you vacate the premises if you leave it in good condition).

6. Investigate and blog about the type of housing you’d like to live in. In Florida, there are three apartment building areas from which to choose. Discuss why you chose the apartment you did and why you did not choose the other three. However, while California College Program staff have only one real housing area/unit, Florida College Program staff have some options. You may need to conduct extensive online research (not just on the Disney College Program recruitment website) to see what each building offers and what the cons to these benefits include in order to determine what you can live with.

Most books on the College Program focus on the three possible options in Florida while ignoring the details of the College Program in California, which provides no options. In Florida, you can choose between Vista Way, Chatham Square, Patterson Court, and The Commons, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. Those enrolled in the College Program in California will live in Carnegie Plaza in Anaheim, CA.

If you don’t want to live in an area where some people may use alcohol or drugs, look into wellness housing. If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, College Program recruiters will require you to live in wellness housing.

7. Discuss your path to finding new roommates. Your rent will be reduced if you share a room with more than one person. Discuss how you found your roommates and whether you had to persuade them to share a room with you. Discuss some of the places you looked for roommates for your Disney internship programme. As long as they haven’t told you these details in confidence, you can use small talk to discuss their perspectives on the application and programme.

Readers may be surprised to learn that your arrival and departure dates, as well as the arrival and departure dates of your roommates, must coincide. Minor changes may occur if your roommates were termed (terminated) or asked to leave permanently by the staff, or if your roommate is one of the International Cast Members who cannot work for more than their allotted time (which may be shorter than if they were a US citizen). However, it’s best not to mention if these roommates were later termed; instead, simply remove their names from the blog posts you’ve mentioned them in and move on.

The Disney College Program will only pair you up with roommates who are of the same gender. They do not allow mixed-gender roommates at the moment, with no exceptions.

8. Discuss any special packing plans (aside from the standard items you’ll need to bring, such as money, food and drinks, electronics, and so on). As you write, try to answer the following question: Are you bringing anything special to you, or is this an item with sentimental value? Discuss your motivation for bringing these items with you. If you choose to bring other items that aren’t commonplace, consider writing about them in your blog.

Although ehowto has some suggestions for what to pack, you may have your own. According to Disney College Program recruiters, valuable items should be left at home.

Part 3 As You Transition to the Program

1. Discuss your visit to the area. If you drove, talk about some of the layover or pit-stop locations. If you travelled by plane, share any interesting stories about your layovers, delays, or other problems. Discuss your interactions with people you met along the way.

Take care with your readers’ (and other people you’ve met’s) personal information. If you want to share something personal about someone you meet, let them know you’re writing a blog about it. You could even give them your website’s URL so they can follow you!

2. Discuss the bus ride from the airport to your housing (if you took one). Was it difficult to locate the bus? Did the bus have to make any other stops before arriving at your location? Did you arrive very late or very early? If you did not take the bus, you can skip this step and proceed with the remaining steps listed here. Talk about it with the other cast members on the bus.

Post any pictures you have of the bus or conversations you’ve had with other College Program participants in the blog post. To help ensure that these details aren’t a problem for you, use an image editing or markup programme to blur out the licence plate.

Most College Program students are aware that some students start blogs devoted to the College Program itself, but if they inquire, you can always explain. After hearing your explanation, some people may want to meet up with you to become friends rather than just fellow cast members!

Part 4 As You Arrive

1. Post about your housing/DORMS orientation without including any personal information. After watching a video welcoming you to the College Program, you’ll be given your housing authority passes, room assignments, and other necessities. Check your acceptance letter for the time and location where you must arrive to fill out the information for a badge, key, and other necessary items, as you will need to complete the new hire screening on a computer to provide all of the information about you that the College Program requires.

When you arrive in your room, there should be a book on the table or desk that describes the ins and outs of that specific building. While you can mention things from this book, few readers will be interested in knowing the majority of what’s in it. However, read the rules and regulations pages to ensure you follow them and to understand what to expect from housing staff during your stay.

2. Discuss your first meeting with your roommates. Although you may have connected with people in an online location to find out room assignments, everyone has different opinions of different people when they meet these other people offline. What did they seem like when you first met them? Is this their first time going through the programme? Share what they told you about their previous experiences on the programme if you spoke with them about it.

3. Discuss how you’re adjusting to your temporary new surroundings over the next few months. Do you need to make any last-minute trips to the store to pick up items you’ve forgotten? Make sure you have enough of everything to get through the first two weeks of the College Program. Discuss what resources you found useful in the area so that future College Program participants can find the same stores. You can also share anything you didn’t expect to need so that readers can learn from your mistakes.

There is a Walmart Supercenter near housing in Florida, as well as a Super Target and Publix on Vineland Ave in Orlando. A Publix is also located on Vineland Rd in Kissimmee, just a short distance from the apartment complex.

There are also supermarkets nearby for those on the California Program, ranging from a Vons less than a block away to a local supermarket about five minutes by car, to a Walmart several blocks down S Harbor Blvd.

However, many tourists shop there as well, so plan on some interesting visits!

If you’ve brought a car to the programme, get some gas. Avoid getting gas near Vista Way in Florida because it is the most expensive station in the area. There are Wawa and Racetrack convenience stores nearby that are less expensive. Gas is available across the street at the Arco or Alliance gas stations for those on the California programme. If you don’t mind making a little more of a detour due to high gas prices, try the 76 gas station on S Harbor Blvd, which is about five to ten minutes away.

Part 5 As You Complete the Program

1. If you used the Disney College Program bus system, talk about your experience. Was it difficult to locate your bus? Did the bus have to make any other stops before arriving at your location? Did you arrive very late or very early?

If you brought a car, talk about the journey you took to get there. Was there anything about your trip that you’d like to share your thoughts on (for example, did you rideshare with other participants to get there)? Even early on, you might find a storey or two to tell.

Talk about it with the other cast members on the bus. Post any pictures you have of the bus or conversations you’ve had with other College Program participants in the blog post. Most College Program participants are aware that some students start blogs devoted to their programmes, but be prepared to explain why if they ask.

2. Report on the activities of the first day. The Traditions course is relatively simple, but you must sign a non-disclosure agreement stating that you will not discuss insider (internal and confidential-only) information about the company (including park attendance, trade secrets, and non-public policies, as well as how an attraction is run and the like). If you post these types of details on your blog, you may be termed (terminated/fired) from your Program and forced to remove these details from the blog. Protect the company’s assets while preserving the magic for guests to enjoy when they visit the area.

You can, however, safely explain some of the safer details in your blog, such as who you sat with in meeting rooms and talked to in hallways, or mentioning some of the special guests, including some of the Disney character names (but without revealing who’s behind the mask), or who attended the class, or who the trainer was. Course specifics, on the other hand, are off-limits to the general public.

3. Talk about your work assignment. As soon as you complete the Traditions course, you will be given your work assignment. Disney has many opportunities for College Program Cast Members, including positions in Operations, Entertainment, Lodging, Food & Beverage, Retail/Sales, and Recreation. However, depending on your major, preferences, and a few other factors, you may be asked to assist with other jobs in each of these areas.

Try to describe where you’ll be working as best you can. Which park’s building will you be working in? What kind of role will you play? Describe your position. Is it retail or something as simple as keeping an eye on a parking lot or assisting with moving people between positions in a line? You can quote this title directly from the paper with the job title on it, including the assignment’s suffix numbers. Although your first programme assignment will most likely not be acting as a character, you can discuss this in your blog if and when you decide to audition for a character role.

4. Discuss how long it took you to find your costume in the Costume Shop. Although it is against policy to take pictures inside the Costume Shop or to mention the exact aisle/row location where your costume was found, if you want to include a picture of yourself in it, you may be able to do so at your apartment complex.

If no costume was available that day, remember to grab your exemption paper coupon, which will exempt you from scrutiny until the costume arrives, which could be a day or so and must be handed to your area manager on your next workday – and wait out the time period on your blog until you receive your costume.

If you are not permitted to take photographs and are unable to return your costume to your apartment complex, write and publish the text of the post, then photograph yourself while inside the parks wearing the costume. Once you’ve returned to your complex and are no longer in the parks, post it to your blog. Take no photographs inside the Utilidor tunnel system beneath the Magic Kingdom. It’s legal in any other area of any other Disney Park, including Epcot, Disney Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disneyland, and Disney’s California Adventure.

5. Discuss your training days in great detail. Bring updates to your blog every day, as these posts can often play an important role in the early stages of your blog. You can talk about who your trainer is and what you do on the job in general, but be careful about what details you reveal. These posts are essential for anyone who decides to later send in their storey for their Earning their Ears Book to the Disney Press, or for the reader who wants to learn more about the insides of your internship but can’t get a job with Disney.

As previously discussed, you will be in the Traditions class at Disney University on Day 1. The Traditions course will typically last less than eight hours, and you will receive your training schedule, name pin, and cast ID card by the end of the day.

Day 2 will consist of a half-day of in-class training as well as a half-day tour of the area where you will be working. You’ll become acquainted with some areas that you’ll need to be familiar with when guests enter the park. You won’t be able to ride any rides during the tour, but you will be able to do so when you aren’t on Disney’s time.

Day 3 is usually your area training day. You’ll be walking and taking an eLearning class (for some business lines).

On Day 4, you’ll meet with your location’s management team and receive information about what you’ll be expected to do on the job, as well as a safety briefing. These specifics, however, will vary depending on your line of business.

During your College Program stay with Disney, you will be trained in a variety of areas and cross-trained as needed. Even those who walk around with glow items will receive training, including “Glow and Apron Cash Handling.”

You can explain some of the guest interactions you’ll be having on Day 5 and subsequent days, as well as get your “Earning My Ears” sticker on your name tag. This sticker has been placed on the name tag of every single cast member who has ever worked at the Parks.

6. More guest interactions will be detailed as you progress from your training schedule to your daily work schedule. Take mental notes on what occurred before blogging about it later that evening. If you interacted with a VIP, be somewhat discreet; don’t go into detail about what happened (You can mention “I met up with (x person today)” but let your readers know that you can’t elaborate due to confidentiality issues. Your readers must abide by your wishes). Write about the “magical moments” you have with guests during one-on-one time. Please share any amusing stories about your interactions. If you’re ever called to pick up a Guest Satisfaction card in the park from a guest you’ve assisted, this evaluation is a great thing to post on your blog – even if it means posting a scanned image of the card for all your blog readers to see. These kinds of postings are great morale boosters when you’re feeling down or starting to miss home.

Try to blog at least once a day about something you said or did to assist a visitor. Regular blogging will help keep your readers engaged, but if possible, keep an eye on your statistics page/chart. Some readers will abandon a blog if you post too frequently, provide too many details, or do not post frequently enough.

7. Discuss any other details about the Disney College Program (for example, selecting the courses that some schools require for class/college credit). Although some colleges require additional classes to be taught in order to receive college credits for this programme, not all colleges do. Were there any additional classes you had to take, or was there anything unusual about how the Disney system works with the College Program? Not all bloggers go into these details, but your experiences may help other potential Disney College Program attendees, and discussing your choices and why you didn’t choose the others as you were given the sheet may help other attendees of the alternate classes make better choices.

Although it is not required by all colleges to do actual bookwork in order to receive college credit for the College Program, some do. These additional classes demonstrate that you are learning about the company and applying it to your field of study.

Part 6 As The Program Wraps Up

1. Discuss in detail what you witnessed and felt at the Graduation Ceremony. The majority of bloggers choose to publish a photo of themselves wearing their College Program ear hats and holding their certificates of completion. What did you put on? When and where did this happen? When were you able to attend (if you were unable to attend the entire event)? What was the atmosphere like at the party? Was it difficult for you to take the time off, or was your boss understanding? Did you meet any new people or make any new contacts? How did you feel about the graduation (were you sad, angry, or just wanted to get out of the Program already)?

Keep an eye out for the Graduation Ceremony’s date, time, location, and dress code. It’s an emotional and enjoyable event for most College Program students, but it does take place outside of class. Communicate with your management team to let them know you’d like the time off, and most locations will ask you to attend when you are off the clock for that day or to work around your schedule – having to stop by before or shortly after your shift – all to accommodate your schedule.

2. Slow down again as you near the end of the College Program and plan your departure. Discuss how you felt and how it felt to pack up and say goodbye to your roommates. At this point, you probably don’t need to go into as much detail about the move-out as you did about the move-in, but there may be some experiences you’d like to share. How did you feel differently this time?

3. Discuss the bus ride from the housing to the airport (if you took one). Was it difficult to locate the bus? Did the bus have to make any other stops before arriving at your location? Did you arrive at the airport late or early? If you did not take the bus, you can skip this step and proceed with the remaining steps listed here. Consider conversing with other former cast members on the bus.

Post any pictures you have of the bus or conversations you’ve had with other College Program participants in the blog post. If you choose to photograph the back or front of the bus, you can use image-editing software to conceal the licence plate.

Most College Program students are aware that some students start blogs devoted to the College Program itself, but if they inquire, you can always explain. After hearing your explanation, some people may want to meet up with you to become friends rather than just fellow cast members!

4. Discuss your trip out of the area. If you drove, talk about some of the layover or pit-stop locations. If you travelled by plane, share any interesting stories about your layovers, delays, or other problems. Discuss your interactions with people you met along the way.

Personal information should be handled with caution. If you want to share something personal about someone you meet, let them know you’re writing a blog about it. You could even give them your website’s URL so they can follow you!

Part 7 The Significance and Beyond the College Program Internship

1. If you still find the College Program having an impact on your life after your return, blog some more at home. Perhaps you met someone on the way home who wanted to hear all about your College Program internship, or perhaps you had difficulty readjusting to your regular schedule at home. Maybe you tried giving your neighbours a Disney guest greeting or used the special DisneyPoint methods of pointing to something when regular pointing or descriptions of the objects would have sufficed (any Disney College Program participant will tell you that this is usually the last to leave your body after it’s learned)! Tell your readers how your College Program influenced you in the long run (even in funny and silly ways). It’s a worthwhile experience to ponder.

2. On the Disney College Program panel, discuss whether you plan to apply for any other internships in the near future. While some Disney College Program participants say, “Yeah, I’ll take the plunge and take on another semester,” discuss the transition and see if you’ve decided to take on an additional semester (if it is allowed by your college when you are still in college). Even if you tell your college that you want to do the opposite seasonal programme (spring/summer semester versus fall/winter semester or vice versa), you can still talk about being a Cast Member if you want to.

You may need to go over information for those who participated in the Disneyland programme to ensure you have what it takes for this programme.

Before applying for the opposite programme, make sure to update your resume. Remember to include the courses you took as well as a brief description of the tasks you completed while on your original programme.

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