The Pros and Cons of Extending your Walt Disney World College Program
Leaving the Disney College Program can be one of the saddest moments of your life. Luckily Disney offers extensions on their college programs for eligible students. If you love your position at Disney World I would recommend that you extend your program. Most of the people I knew who did the Disney College Program loved their positions. Whether it be Custodial, PhotoPass, Attractions or other, they loved being a part of the Disney College Program. If you find yourself in the position of loving what you do at Disney then extend your program to enjoy it for another semester. Chances are good you will never have as much fun at work as you do while being on the Disney College Program so go ahead and push back college one more semester, you wont regret it.
You do have the option to do a second Disney College Program altogether however. I did my first Disney College Program in the spring of the 2002 which was after my first semester of college. After that I spent a long time finishing up my college degree because I could not pick a major or school so I did not graduate until 2010. I always wanted to go back to Disney World to another program so before I graduated from college I signed up for a second program. I was finishing my degree online so it worked out where I started my second Disney College Program in August and finished my classes in September. There was a little bit of overlap but the workload was not too bad. This worked out perfectly for me. I graduated while on the Disney College Program. This gave me some time to transition from college to a career job. I worked on the Disney College Program while I looked for a job in my career field of Web Design. When the end of the fall semester was closing in I still did not have a job to return home to so I decided to extend my Disney College Program.
I was able to extend my program no problem because I had no points against me on my record card and I had a lot of points in my favor from Guest Assistance Cards that were awarded to me. I was so happy that I had another 5 months to live and work at Walt Disney World, my most favorite place in the world.
Here are some things to be aware of when you extend your Disney College Program:
- The same place will feel like a totally different place. The first day back to work after all my friends from the Fall 2010 internship went back home felt like a whole new world. I went to work and it was just me and the full time / part time Cast Members, which was fine I had a great relationship with them but I missed my CP friends dearly. We were in it together from the start and now they were gone. It was bitter sweet for sure. The upside though is that some of your friends will extend their program too so you will have few friends still around. Also since I worked in Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom I had made friends with the International Disney College Program Students and they are on their internship for full year. That made things a bit nicer because I could still hang out with my friends from Africa after work and I still got to see them at work.
- You will make new friends. After your friends from the first half of your Disney College Program go home you will feel like you will never make friends as wonderful as the people who just left. In a sense that is true because you started your Disney College Program with those people so they will always hold a very special place in your heart. They were there through training with you. They learned how to become a pro at their jobs with you. They grew into your family and you all grew up as CP’s together. When the new group comes in you will already be a pro in your area. In this sense it is great to watch the new people learn and think about how it felt when you were learning. You will feel great that you do not have to relive training again because while it is exciting it is exhausting. Before very long at all the new group of people will become your new family. You will make new and wonderful memories with them like you did the first group. It will never be the same as the first group because it is all different people and people are what make the Disney College Program truly magical but it will still be magical just in a slightly different way.
- Fight to stay in your apartment. When I extended they wanted me to move out of my apartment and move upstairs in the same building to the third floor. I kindly disagreed that this was necessary. They told me that there was no way I could stay in my apartment because there was no second person in there with me at the time. I told them to put another person in with me. What would be the difference because if they made me move I would have had a new roommate so just put that person in my apartment with me. Anyways after talking with them for a good fifteen minutes I got them to let me stay in my apartment thankfully! I would not have been happy having to move all my stuff up three floors for no good reason. If you speak to them kindly yet firmly you might be able to sway them to see it your way. Probably not always because the housing people can be really stingy about giving in to students demands but it can be done.
- You will have plenty of food. When all your friends from the first program start cleaning out their apartments they are going to have lots of extra food that they are either going to give away or throw out. My neighbors and all my friends loaded me up with food before they busted out. My fridge and cabinets were jam packed with food. Lucky for me I did not get a new roommate for few weeks after the fall program ended so I had some time to eat some of the food to make room for my new roommate to put his food. I should mention I was in a one bedroom apartment which I highly recommend. I did a two bedroom apartment on my first program which was fine too. I would steer clear of the three and four bedroom apartments.
- You can ask to be moved to a new area. When you fill out the extension form there is a section that asks you if you would like to stay in your current position or possibly be moved to a new area in which you can pick a specific area to move to. My friend worked at the Wildlife Express Train with me and she put down to be moved to the Kilamanjaro Safaris and she got it. I wanted to stay at the train and I got it. If your record card is good you have better chances of getting the extension as well as moving to an area of your choice. This is a special instance because whether your signing up for the Disney College Program or signing up to work for Disney full or part time you really do not get to choose where you are going to work. So if there is a dream job out there that you would love to move to now is your chance to put it down and hope to get it. Another way you can increase your chances is go over to that area and talk to the managers and see if they can pull you over.
There are some things to consider when extending your Disney College Program. Keep these main things in mind and you will have a successful extension of your Disney College Program. Remember the same place you have been living and working for the past four to five months will feel like a totally different place, but do not worry, it will feel magical again and you will make new friends. Do not let them kick you out of your apartment unless you want to move or you have absolutely no choice. Do not go on a big shopping spree at the end of the first part of your Disney College Program just before you extend because you are going to get lots of food from your friends who are leaving. Finally if you really want to you can ask to be moved to a new position when you extend your program. If you have a dream job at Disney World now is the time put that location down because you will have the greatest chance to pick your own destiny at Disney World at this point.
In conclusion make sure you milk the Disney College Program for all it is worth. I can tell you first hand that you most likely will never find a more fun and exciting job with such wonderful people from all around the world. Extend your program if you can and if not try and work it so you can do a second Disney College Program right after you graduate from college. You do not have to be a college student when you are on the Disney College Program you only have to be enrolled in college when you sign up for the program. Also there is no age cap to do the Disney College Program. You do have to be at least 18 years old but it does not matter how old you are you can do the program. I did my first program at age 18 and my second program at age 26. While I was on my second program I met a lot of people who were over 30 even. I met a girl who was almost 40 so do not be discouraged if you feel like you are too old because you are not. If you want to do the Disney College Program then make that dream come true. You can sign up for a 1 credit hour class at a community college and be eligible for the Disney College Program. I even know a girl who was not in college at all and got accepted to the Disney College Program. She even got a letter from the school she put down on her application congratulating her. I was pretty shocked to hear that but it worked for her so I just wanted to share how possible the program can be. If you dream to be on the Disney College Program it is never too late to make that dream come true.