Unlocking the Magic, DCP Alumni Provide the Keys to an Amazing Program

 It may seem like forever between now and the time Disney College Program participants leave for the Spring 2018 program, but it is right around the corner!

Some awesome alumni took the time to leave some advice for people headed off, and I am so excited to share it with all of you (huge thank YOU to those who responded to my survey)!

Many of them have left their usernames for Instagram or Twitter, so go give them a follow:




        I don’t know about you, but my countdown is still in the 90s, and I’ve already started packing my suitcases!

I asked alumni what the one thing they forgot or didn’t think to pack was. One alumna recommended bringing several different business casual outfits for Traditions, park tours, and orientations. 

Also, be sure to pack for various temperatures and weather! @LaurenGrayotntravel said the temperature on the day of her Traditions was only 25 degrees outside, and another alumna highly suggested to bring a rain jacket that is light for those humid and wet days., says not to worry, she didn’t forget anything “that couldn’t be bought later”; however, she highly suggested getting a water filter.

I have seen a couple of people mention investing in a water filter on the Facebook pages, but that can always be something you can buy once you get down there.

Also, make sure you bring plenty of family pictures for when you need a little dose of home!

        There are some very important things you should know going into the Disney College Program.

One responder said to treasure every minute and experience because there are so many “last time” moments.

The program will fly by so fast that you may not have time to do things multiple times! Live life to the fullest.

On the same note, a responder talked about how much she currently regrets not taking more pictures or videos during her program. Just like taking family pictures with you to have a dose of home, you’ll want to relive your program when you come home.

However, do not expect it to be all play. You could work 60 hours in a single week for multiple weeks in a row. One alumna said that she could not have survived the program without her coworkers who constantly supported her.

At the end of the day, an alumna promised that you are not going to want to leave, but I’m done talking about leaving because we haven’t even started yet!

        When you do have time to play, make sure you take advantage of the free admission and being so close to the parks! Go into the parks just to have dinner, snap a few pictures with friends, or just for some night-time entertainment.

There are some great CM tour and backstage opportunities that you can find on The Hub that are not offered to guests so don’t miss out on those! There is also a lot to do in the Orlando area so get outside your comfort box and explore!

While you’re at it, switch up your routine and pick up shifts in other locations— you never know what you’re missing out on until you give it a try.


The  DCP alumni gave some great answers when asked, “If there is one piece of advice you could give to those heading off in January, what would it be?” Here’s what they said:

“Make friends with your coworkers, coordinators, and leaders. I never dreaded going to work!”

“Have fun!! You don’t make a lot of money as a CP and you work ridiculously long shifts and weird hours, but the experience is amazing. Go to the parks every day! Eat at all the restaurants. Take a billion photos. The people I met during my CP are still in my life today and some of my closest friends. Even if you don’t like your job, stick it out. It’s worth it.” @LaurenGrayOTNTravel

“Try new things, go out of your comfort zone, make connections and enjoy every moment of it. It truly goes by in the blink of an eye.” @smv29000

“You might be stressed, you might be exhausted, you might hate your program… DO NOT SELF TERM. I thought about it two months into my program and by April I didn’t even wanna think about going home. I’m beyond happy I stayed until the end.” @sjosefowitch

“Go to the parks, even if you’re tired. Pack well, be ready to work hard, and DO NOT FORGET TO TURN IN YOUR COSTUMES WHEN YOU LEAVE!”

“Give it time. I was miserable all throughout my training because there was so much to learn and my schedule was all over the map. I hadn’t made friends in my area yet and everything was stressful-even taking a break in the break room where I didn’t know anyone. I cried in the shower for days! Two years after my program, I still say it was the best decision I ever made. Day by day, I learned my role and got to loosen up and actually enjoy my job. I made friends, I tried new things, and most of all I got to be a part of creating the magic I grew up loving – which is truly the best feeling in the world.”

        Not many people can say they get to create magic everyday. Whenever I listen to Happily Ever After, I can’t help but think of the amazing adventure filled with opportunities right around the corner! See you real soon!

“Each of us have a dream, a heart’s desire— it calls to us. When we’re brave enough to listen and bold enough to pursue, that dream will lead us on a journey to discover who we’re meant to be. All we have to do, is look inside our hearts and unlock the magic within.”

Have a Magical Day!


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Lauren Gerhard
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Lauren Gerhard

Lauren recently accepted a position in the Disney College Program for Spring 2018. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, @_disney_gal .
Lauren Gerhard
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