The Application Process Begins

Art of Animation, The Little Mermaid

The Disney College Program is something I have been looking forward to applying to for a long time. To me, Walt Disney World is truly a place filled with magic and to have the chance to be a part of the cast who makes the magic sounds wonderful to me. Initially I had planned to apply for a Professional Internship after graduation at the Walt Disney Company, but after reading the requirements and preferred requirements, I discovered that participation in the Disney College Program increases your chances of getting an internship. I was heartbroken. I thought that I had missed my chance to be able to do the Disney College Program since I was graduating. But to my surprise, nope! The Disney College Program is open for those who just graduated! (You can apply up to six months after you graduate college to be exact.) Yay!

At that point I new I was applying. I have had months and months to research all about the Disney College Program. In addition, two girls who graduated from the same high school I did were doing DCP at that time and then I had two friends who just got accepted to do the program as well. Seeing them react to being accepted to the program fueled my desire to participate in the program even more. When I first made the decision that I was going to definitely apply, it seemed as though the day applications would open was forever away. The exact day that applications are made live, is never disclosed. It is always random but has been known to sometimes align with the first move in day for the preceding program. This reigned true again.

Today I woke to multiple messages from my mom saying she heard that the application was open! (How? You may be wondering, remember how I said I had friends who had gotten accepted, one of there moms told my mom.) I don’t think I have ever gotten up so quickly. My heart was racing and there was a little anxiety and excitement and nerves and an overwhelming array of emotions. So now, here I sit, after filling out what will hopefully be the first of three rounds of the application process. The application consists of three rounds. The general application, the web based interview (WBI) and the phone interview (PI).

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When I was reading about applications and doing my research trying to prep myself as much as possible, I didn’t find much about the first part of the application. Here’s a little about what to have ready to enter so your application can go as smoothly as possible:

  • Obviously your name, address, phone number, email address, gender and race (optional)
  • Work Experience with detailed tasks
  • Education- Where you go, what your studying and GPA
  • You tell whether you want Walt Disney World or/and Disneyland
  • Then you answer questions about your ability to work in the US and if you have work restrictions
  • Then you get to choose your top job choices and rank them in accordance to your preferences. (In this section, I did read a lot about being totally honest with yourself. If you know you would not be happy in a Quick Service Food and Beverage role, then don’t say you have interest in it! Just because you say that you have no interest in a certain role, Disney won’t automatically decline you! Im proof of that. Keep reading to see what I mean. Also, do your research beforehand. Read through the roles that are available on the Disney website and have an idea of which ones you want. This will help you save time and its something to do while you wait for applications to go live! Blogs and Vlogs, much like what I hope this becomes serve as good resources to gain insight into the roles.)

For me it took about 15-20 minutes, but understand that I read through my responses multiple times and even though I had read through the job descriptions many times before, I read them again just to be sure. (Plus, a few days ago Disney added and changed existing roles so I had to read everything again. P.S. there’s some neat new options!) I also already had a flushed out resume with most of the work experience details ironed out, so that helped a lot.

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My Application Details: I am applying for Fall advantage (May-January) but said I was also interested in Fall (August-January) as a second choice. I am only interested in Walt Disney World location. My top job choices were as follows:

  • High Interest: Attractions and Character Attendant
  • Moderate Interest: Bibbity Bobbity Boutique/ Pirates League, Convention Guide, Merchandise
  • Low Interest: Vacation Planner (I didn’t choose this one, but it was already set as an option. After thinking about this, I am glad it was set as an option. The sales aspect of this role would be a good fit with my advertising major.)

Right after I sent my application, I checked my dashboard. Yes, I have something that’s MINE associated with Disney employment. So exciting!

But nothing was there. I then checked my email, but no email about anything. I wish that Disney would send something out like a confirmation email saying we got your application or something but that’s not the case.

About 15 minutes later I checked my dashboard again and now it says: IN PROGRESS!!! Yay! Showing some status is progress from showing nothing, so that’s good news. Small steps people small steps.

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Now the waiting begins. Fingers crossed I get to the next round (Web Based Interview) of applications!

Thirty minutes later I checked my dashboard again. This time there was nothing in the status area, but an email in the communication area. This said it was sent to the email I provided, yet I didn’t get the email in my inbox. This email thanked me for applying and stated that “due to the high volume of applications and limited number of opportunities available, not all applicants will move forward in the interviewing process. You will receive an update regarding the status of your application no later than April 15, 2016.”

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This is frightening. People I know received an email saying they made it to the next step within an hour of filling out the first part of the application. Knowing that I might not get anything until April 15 which would probably not be a good response is nerve-wracking. At this point I predict that the entire process up until I have been told whether I am accepted or declined is going to be one heck of a roller coaster ride full of ups and down! Let the ride begin!

WEB BASED INTERVIEW

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Around three hours after I applied I received the notification on my Dashboard that I made it through to the WBI. YAY! This told that the WBI would last up to 40 minutes and had timed questions. Of course I was beyond excited but had to leave for work in ten minutes so the WBI had to wait.

Later that night I sat down with my computer, kicked everyone off the wifi and began the WBI. It consisted of four sections, the first section gave you 50 seconds to answer the multiple choice questions and the final three sections were questions you answered based on how much they related to you. You had 20 seconds to respond. Once you hit next the answers were locked in. this was intimidating. There’s no going back, no second guessing yourself, and not much time at all to think about your answers. I guess this is a good thing though because if I had more time I would have over thought all my answers. Whether you make it on to the phone interview after the web based interview section is up to a computer system analyzing your answers to the WBI. (At least that is what everyone’s best guess is to how it all works, but who knows.)

Immediately after completing the WBI, I received the “Next steps: Phone Interview” page with the Congratulations that I made it to the phone interview. Within 24 hours after completing the WBI it was stated that I will receive an email or notification on my Disney Dashboard where I will be able to schedule my phone interview. At this point I was jumping up and down excited; but once again the waiting began. Like I said before, applying to the happiest place on earth is once heck of a rollercoaster ride. It’s a good thing I like roller coasters.

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Prior to completing the WBI, I read up on many other DCP blogs for tips and tricks to passing. A few pointers I would like to pass on would be to answer honestly. Disney knows the type of people they are looking for and if you were to move forward in the application process because you lied about who you are then you might not be a good fit working for Disney or might not be happy when you get there. Second, answer the questions with strong answers. That means with strongly agree or strongly disagree. I answered with one neutral, two agree and one disagree option and proceeded in the process so you don’t have to answer with all strong responses but I do think the more you have the better. Third, make sure you can focus on the WBI when you start it. IF your anything like my self, the potential to work for the Walt Disney Company at Walt Disney World is a chance in a lifetime that I don’t want to screw up. This is important, this is something I want more than anything. Be true to you and do your best. Now to scour through countless blogs and vlogs for tips and tricks on the Phone Interview and to await the scheduling of it! (This was added much later in the sequence of writing these blogs but this is a comprehensive list of questions people were asked in their phone interviews about almost all the jobs that would have been very beneficial at this point in the application process. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G-1JrBvee1pQiVItkod9TklSurNmCOZ5CO4wu8r1lkU/edit )

PHONE INTERVIEW

Less than an hour after getting the go ahead to phone interview stage of applications, I was able to schedule my Phone Interview on my dashboard. There were numerous times and days to choose from. My choice: January 19 at 8:15 am. The phone interviewer can call up to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time and up to 15 minutes after the scheduled time; DCP suggests blocking off an hour for the interview beginning with 15 minutes prior to your time. Now the countdown begins. I see many practice questions and mental practices within the next week! It is crazy how yesterday applying to the Disney College Program was just a plan. Now it is very much a reality. Two rounds of the application process under my belt and the final one scheduled. Its so close I can feel the Disney magic.

As I learned later on, the earlier you apply, the more choices you have in scheduling your phone interview. As soon as you get the option to schedule it, schedule it! Don’t wait because spots fill up super fast! I read about people having to wait three weeks or more to do their phone interviews.

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