What Is the Disney College Program? The Internship + How to Get In

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In March of 2020, the Disney College Program was suspended, but now it’s back! For those that missed the opportunity the first time around, you may have another chance at getting in on the magic. You’re probably asking, “What is the Disney College Program?” Or, “How much do you get paid for Disney College Program?” And maybe the most popular question of all: “How do you get into the Disney College Program?” Here’s everything you need to know about the DCP Internship.

What Is the Disney College Program: The Internship + How to Get In

[Please note that this article is primarily about the Disney College Program. Details about the Disney International Program, Disney Culinary Program, and Disney Professional Internships may vary significantly from one program to the next.]

The Disney College Program: A Quick Update

Here at D Is For Disney, I’ve written about the DCP before, way back in March of 2020 (READ THE WHOLE THING HERE).

In that blog post, it was actually some pretty sad news…

The Walt Disney Company was indefinitely suspending the Disney College Program due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thankfully, as Covid-19 is hopefully on its way out, Disney has decided to reinstate the DCP internship program!

If you ask me, that is some VERY good news for college students all over the map.

That being said, if you’re reading this right now, you probably have questions — a LOT of questions.

And I’m here to answer all of them!

Read on for everything you need to know about the Disney College Program (or DCP).

What Is the Disney College Program (DCP) Internship?

Let’s start with some basics…

Hopefully, these Frequently Asked Questions will help you get a good understanding of the Disney College Program and how it works.

What is the Disney College Program? The Disney College Program is a paid internship opportunity for university students in the United States to get incredible work experience at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, while they’re still in school, or within 24 months of graduating.

How long does the Disney College Program last? The DCP program lasts 5-7 months, with the ability to extend up to a full year for some opportunities.

Is Disney currently accepting applications? Yes, as of 2022, Disney is currently accepting applications for the Disney College Program group.

Do you get paid for the Disney College Program? Yes! The starting base rate pay for the Disney College Program is $14 USD, according to the official DCP website.

What are the Disney College Program fees? Upon acceptance, students are required to pay a one-time, in-full payment of $415-435 administration fee via credit or debit card to reserve their spot. Thankfully, some portion of this actually does go to cover housing costs.

Do you have to pay for parking during the Disney College Program? Yes, there is an additional parking fee for any DCP participants who choose to live in the Disney housing and want to bring along a vehicle. If a student extends their program length, then their car decal will have to be renewed at an extra cost. Disney notes that parking permits are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis only, so they may not be available for all interns.

Do you have to be a US citizen to be accepted to the Disney College Program? No, you do NOT need to be a United States citizen to be accepted, BUT you do need to have US work authorization for the full duration of the internship, because Disney does not sponsor work visas for interns accepted into the program.

Benefits and Perks of the Disney College Program [Source: Disney Programs]
Benefits and Perks of the Disney College Program [Source: Disney Programs]

How Do You Get Into the Disney College Program?

Another super important question has to do with getting into the Disney College Program.

In other words…

What are the qualifications for the Disney College Program? The Walt Disney Company has posted a number of requirements and qualifications for applying to the Disney College Program. Here is the full list, quoted directly from the DCP website:

  • Currently enrolled and taking classes at an accredited US* college, university, or higher education program OR have graduated from an accredited US* college, university, or higher education program within 24 months of the application posting date
  • Must have completed at least one semester at an accredited US* college, university, or higher education program by time of program arrival
  • Meet any individual school requirements (GPA, grade level, etc.), if applicable
  • Be at least 18 years of age at time of application
  • Be receptive to Disney Look appearance guidelines
  • Possess unrestricted US work authorization for the duration of the program (Disney does not sponsor visas for the Disney College Program.)
  • Be receptive to a starting rate of $14 per hour
  • Be fully available to work Sunday through Saturday, including days and nights, holidays, and overtime
  • Be receptive to exposure to outside elements including heat and/or humidity, cold temperatures, wet conditions, and prolonged standing/walking
  • Be willing to follow all cleaning and disinfecting procedures in the work area including handling cleaning chemicals and supplies
  • Additional personal protective equipment (face shields, goggles, refillable hand sanitizers, etc.) may be required.
  • Former Disney College Program participants must wait four (4) months after their last departure before applying.
    • *US includes all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and all other US territories.

What GPA do you need to get into the Disney College Program? The program itself does not have a minimum GPA requirement, but it does state that you need to meet your school’s minimum requirements for both GPA and grade level, if applicable. Additionally, you do need to have completed at least one semester of college to be eligible to apply.

If you fit the criteria they have posted, then you may be able to get accepted into the Disney College Program internship!

Of course, to be considered at all, you will need to fulfill all the qualifications listed above, including US work authorization, as Disney does not sponsor visas for any of the program interns.

What Is the Disney College Program Acceptance Rate?

Now, with most of the basics out of the way…

Let’s take a look at another important question.

This one has to do with the likelihood of being accepted into the Disney College Program for any given applicant.

Put another way…

What is the Disney College Program acceptance rate? While there is no posted official acceptance rate for the Disney College Program, the actual rate will vary, based on which park and program year. That being said, of the approximately 12,000 students that apply every year to the program, only about 20% get accepted as interns into the Disney College Program.

To break that down a little bit…

This means that roughly 2,400 applicants will be accepted out of 12,000.

While that may not sound encouraging, it’s far higher than some elite universities, and much higher than the acceptance rate at some other companies, like Apple where only about 2% of all applicants are hired!

Even so, during the application process, you will be able to specify your availability for the DCP itself.

On the Disney Programs website, they clarify:

During the application process, you will have the opportunity to indicate your earliest and latest possible arrival/departure date range.  Check your calendar to see what timeframe works best for you!  You will be assigned an arrival/departure date within the range you provide on your application. Disney Internships and Programs require full availability for the entire length of the program. We understand that you may have life commitments, so consider those priorities when deciding if it is the right time for you to participate in an internship or program.

Keep in mind that we are unable to grant requests for time off prior to the start of your program. Requests for time off are not guaranteed and are subject to staffing and business needs. These requests should be submitted via the HUB (cast intranet) and your work location once you begin your location-specific training  (Details will be given of this process during your on-the-job training).

Disney Programs

If you want to apply right now, you can click here to begin your application!

DCP Wrap Up

Well, we’ve covered a LOT of ground here…

I hope that this page covers all your burning questions right now.

If you have a question that I didn’t answer, feel free to comment below, reach out on social media, or email me. I don’t work for Disney, but I’m happy to do a little digging to find out the right answer for my Disney fam!

Have a magical day and best of luck on your application!

What’s Happening with the Disney College Program? (2020 Version)

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