Thursday, May 17, 2012

We have to go back. Way back, like many million years ago!

Well, not quite millions of years ago, but a few years ago at least.  Like I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to become a DCP participant as soon as I learned about the program.  I started doing some intense (like camping!) research about the program in my sophomore year – reading the DISboards forums, watching the presentation video on the DCP website, reading blogs, watching vlogs, etc.  I also attended the DCP campus presentation at my college in September 2010 and immediately fell in love with this fantastic opportunity to be a Disney Cast Member.  I began talking to registration services and my Department Head to see if the program would count as credit towards my major.  Unfortunately, I hit a roadblock on both accounts and was told I would have to take a leave of absence for the duration of the program and return the next semester to resume classes.  I looked into doing this, but found that I would have to give up my housing contract and lose the best roommate in the universe.  It would also mess up my plans for graduation in May 2012.  After discovering all of this, I decided to put my DCP journey on hold.  From my research I had learned that students can only apply for the program while they are still enrolled in classes, which means that students can apply the last semester of their senior year and do the program after they graduate.  This became my new plan of action.

Fast forward to January 2012.  On January 23rd applications for the Disney College Program were released for the Fall Advantage and Fall seasons.  The Fall Advantage season lasts from late May/early June through early January, while the Fall season lasts from August through early January.  This year check-in dates for Fall Advantage are May 16th, May 21st, June 4th, June 11th, and July 10th (this was added to the list on March 23rd).  Now that this was my last chance to participate in the DCP, I applied on January 25th.    

In the general application, you will have to fill out all the obligatory information:  name, address, phone number, email, past work experience, etc.  You also have to list all the roles you are interested in.  There is a little dropdown box next to each role with choices like “not at all interested,” “moderately interested,” “very interested,” and so on.  Make sure you list ONLY the roles you are interested in – you wouldn’t want to get stuck with a role you would absolutely hate.  Once you have completed this, you wait patiently to receive an email about the Web-Based Interview. 

Web-Based Interview:  This is the initial interview for the DCP.  There are two sections that consist of multiple-choice questions and rating questions (Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, and Strongly Agree).  This interview is timed, so make sure you set aside 40 minutes to complete this process (You can pause the interview midway, but I would highly recommend completing it in one sitting).  My advice:  be honest, consistent, and try to answer “Strongly” whenever possible.  Make sure you are in a quiet room that is free of distractions.  Even though it is timed, don’t rush – you should have plenty of time to answer each question.  Also keep in mind that the Walt Disney Company wants to hire people that are kind, passionate, timely, and team players.  Take a deep breath and relax!  You’ve got this!     

Once you pass the Web-Based Interview, you will receive another email about the Telephone Interview, which you schedule through the Dashboard.  I’m not going to lie – I totally freaked out when I found out I passed the first interview.  One step closer to my dream!  Since school was partially taking over my life that week I scheduled my Interview for the following week on February 3, 2012 at 9:15 am.  This interview will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes and may begin up to 15 minutes after your scheduled time.  If you would like more information about the Telephone Interview check out my next post.  You will then receive the “Thank You for Interviewing” email, which is kind enough to inform you that you will “receive an update on your status within the next two weeks.” 

Let the waiting begin!  Or not… I was fully prepared to wait 4 weeks to hear back, so imagine my surprise when I open my email on February 8th to find this


You have been selected to participate in the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World® Resort! This is a valuable résumé-enhancing experience for all students, and we are proud to offer this opportunity to you.

AHHHHHHHHH!  Begin freakout mode!  I was literally jumping up and down when I read this.  But then, I followed a lovely little link telling me what role I would be doing:  ATTRACTIONS!  My first choice – I was completely ecstatic!  Yup.  February 8th.  Best Day Ever.

So after all that waiting, I had finally applied to the DCP and been accepted.  Now came the harder part – paying the $304.50 Program Assessment Fee, Housing and Administration Fee, and Processing Fee. 

Tangent Time!  You see my friends; I had reached a crossroads in my life.  Although I truly wanted to do the DCP, I also wanted to use my degree.  So, I decided to apply for a few Disney Professional Internships, along with various “real life jobs” and use the DCP as backup.  I figured I could always transfer the program fees over to the DPI if I was chosen for that.  I’m assuming you can determine the outcome, but that’s another post.  Nevertheless, I am still completely overjoyed at this opportunity!  Ok, back to your regularly scheduled blog post.    

So I gritted my teeth and paid the fees on February 11th.  Next step:  Select your dates.  Since my family decided to take me to WDW for my graduation gift, I didn’t want to choose any date in May.  That narrowed it down to June 4th or 11th.  I decided to go with an arrival date of the 11th, so I would have some time to spend with my family before I left.   

On the 13th of February I got my “Request for Additional Information” email.  I honestly don’t remember what this entailed, but I know there wasn’t very much to fill out.  Over the next few months I received a welcome email, as well as emails about the Disney Look, educational opportunities, and roommate selection.  I also received an email regarding the Hire Documentation.  In the past, you would download all this paperwork, fill it out, and bring it with you.  This year, they transitioned to a new system, so we can fill everything out online.  The only thing we need to bring with us this year is our I-9 Form and proper identification (driver’s license and social security card).  The only thing left to do now before check-in is to pack… which I should probably start doing very soon.

So, that’s it then.  All the steps you need to become a participant in the DCP.  Like I said earlier, I will add a separate post about the Telephone Interview process.  And bonus points to whoever knows what attraction the title of this post is based off of.  Have a magical evening! 

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