Disney College Program at Christmas?
What’s it like being on the Disney College Program at Christmas?
Being on the Disney College Program at Christmas time is a whirlwind of emotions. You are away from home during the biggest holiday of the year, working at Disney World during Christmas is the busiest time of the year and for most Disney College Program Students you program is coming to an end in a couple weeks.
Being away from home at Christmas time can be tough but if you have to be away from home at Christmas, Disney World is the best place to be. Getting into the Christmas spirit is easy being at Disney World. The decorating they do is unlike anywhere else in the world. The entire Disney World property gets transformed for the holiday season.
By this point you have been away from home for 4 or 5 months now and since your program ends in a couple weeks you know you will be seeing your family and friends soon anyways. I would say the hardest part about being a CP at this time of year is knowing that your program is going to end soon and you will have to say goodbye to all your friends and your job you have come to love.
Working at Disney World during Christmas is crazy busy. It is the busiest time of the year and for a CP that means working long hours six days a week. Some days you can work around 13 or more hours in one day. The good news is you will end up having the biggest pay check you will see as a Disney College Program Student.
It can be tough because you are working so many hours and since your program is ending soon you want to spend time playing in the parks with all your friends. The good news is that the parks are open later during this time of year so depending on your work area you can usually work out some time to go play. If you work at the Magic Kingdom you most likely will be working very late which can make it more tricky to juggle time to go park hopping. I was lucky enough to work at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on an attraction that involved animals which meant the latest I ever had to work was 7p.m. Since the Magic Kingdom was open some nights till 4a.m. I was able to have lots of time to go play with my friends.
What’s it like working on the Disney College Program at Christmas?
So what is it really like working on the Disney College Program at Christmas time? I will put it like this, imagine being surrounded by thousands of preschoolers and you are one of a few teachers. You will constantly be telling them where the bathroom is, you will have multiple people asking you a question at once, they have no idea where they are or how to get where they want to go and any crazy situation you can think of can and will happen at this time of year. There were times I would have 5 people asking me questions at the same time. Literally all talking to me at the same time. You have to keep your focus on whoever asked you first and go one at a time down the line of guests answering their questions as fairly as possible.
The guests will ask you questions that make your brain hurt. I had a guests situation during Christmas that made me wonder how this guest was able to get his family to Disney World because he could not follow the simplest directions with help from a Cast Member, me, and showing him on a map he was “The Guest That Broke My Brain”
You will be surrounded by guests in an almost clostraphobic sense. The parks will hit maximum capacity. If you work an attraction you will see your line longer than it has ever been. When I worked the Wildlife Express Train the longest the line ever got before Christmas was 20-25 minutes. During the Christmas season the line was 45-50 minutes. That’s a crazy long line for the train but short in comparison to other lines. Consider that the train held 220 to 240 people and they left the station on average every 6 minutes; that’s around 2300 people an hour on average.
It also is a magical time to work at Disney World. You get to be part of people’s Christmas vacation to Disney World. It is a pretty cool thing. My favorite part is at the end of the night when the park is closing and the craziness dies down. You walk through the park which is magically lit for the holidays, reflecting on what you experienced that day and how even though it was so crazy you made it through it like a pro.
Be prepared for the craziest time you will ever have working on the Disney College Program at Christmas. After experiencing that you will feel like you can handle anything.