It has been a dream of mine to do the Disney College Program since one of my friends told me about it in sixth grade. All throughout college it was in the back of my mind, but the right time never came. I had given up on it ever happening until I decided to apply on a whim last minute. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of preparation and excitement. I applied the beginning of March, I interviewed in the middle of March and was accepted two weeks later. Here is a look back at my Disney College Program experience.
Once I was accepted, I had to get my program approved for my internship, find roommates and get packed and ready to go. Immediately after I was accepted I decided I was going, even if it meant pushing my graduation back a semester. Thankfully though, even though my teacher advised against it, he accepted my proposal and allowed the program to count as my senior internship.
The Facebook roommate finder was my saving grace when it came to my living situation. I was able to find three other people to live with. We wanted to live in a two room, four person place, but ended up with three rooms and six people. It worked out well because all of us got along well, but it was not what we were expecting.
Living and Working
I was very happy with my work location. The people I worked with were all kind, amazing people and the location was fantastic! I think Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside are now some of my favorite resorts and that’s not just because I worked there. The theming is detailed and unique. It worked well because while it was preeminent, the theming was also subtle because of what it was.
My housing location was Vista Way. This is the oldest and least popular of the housing complexes. It’s also the least expensive though. It worked out for me because while the living situation was less than ideal, I wouldn’t have wanted to pay anything more. In my opinion, I way overpaid for what I was receiving and the amount of space I was given.
The Overall Experience
I think I would have had a better experience with my program if I had done it earlier on in college. So much of my time was spent applying for jobs and graduation that I wasn’t able to enjoy my time as much as I would have liked. Several of my days off were spent driving to Gainesville or back home to interview for jobs. I felt burnt out and tired. By the end, I was so ready for everything to be over and to just go home.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m so happy I did the Disney College Program. It was such a neat experience being able to visit Disney World as often as I wanted to. I was able to gain invaluable work experience that will hopefully help me in my job search and I made friends that I foresee myself having for a long time.
I made a couple of really good friends while I was there, especially my roommates Shelby and Emily. It was nice to have people I was such close friends with living so close to me. We would go to the Disney parks together, go shopping together and hang out after long days (or nights) at work.
As far as living in Orlando goes, I thought I would love it. The first half of my program I was actively applying to jobs in Orlando and looking for an apartment to live in come January. I ended up not liking it as much as I thought I would though. I’ve really grown to love living in places with more local things to do and see. Both my hometown and Gainesville are full of local places to eat and things to do. The traffic was another major deterrent for me. It seemed like it took so long to get anywhere, even if it was just a short distance away.
The whole experience went by so quickly I really felt as though I had just moved in when it was time to move back out. It was a whirlwind of work, play and exhaustion.
Overall, I am so thankful I did the Disney College Program and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested! I made amazing friends and amazing memories and I will always have these memories to look back on. If you would like to take a look back at my weekly happenings you can look no further than here.