Unless you were born under a rock, most of us grew up on Disney.

Mount St. Joseph University student with disney mouse hat on campus

We watched the movies, the tv shows, and owned all sorts of merchandise. Disney is a staple in most of our lives, so what would it be like to actually work for them?

Young adults have this opportunity through the many programs Disney offers such as culinary, international, and the college program. One of the most commonly known is the college program which allows students to move to Florida and work for Disney while still earning their degree. The applications for fall and spring programs starts in July and gives participants until October to finish their application for the upcoming year.

You may be wondering what this all entails. Well, before getting in, there is the online based application process which includes different sections like a personal test. After finishing the application process, you receive an email about the steps to follow as well as an announcement of the day you will receive your final statues on acceptance. When it comes down to it, there is only about a 20% acceptance rate into the program.

student at disney
Photo: Savannah Gordon at Disneyland.

After years of applying with my sister, I was finally selected to join the Disney team. I selected my dates, paid the upfront fee, and was on my way to the most magical job.

Well, not really. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of benefits for working for Disney including free admission and a discount on merchandise, but it’s not easy work.

We work six days a week, with no say on our hours, no say on our positions, and rent is taken out of our paychecks. A regular week could be working until 11 p.m. or even 3 a.m. depending on where you work. You can work anywhere from 36 hours a week to 60 depending on what your role is.

There is also a point system for if you are sick, call out, or are late to work. Calling out turns into a point and being late is half a point. What is the harm in the points you may ask? Well, get too many points and you will receive a reprimand. After four reprimands you are terminated from your position.

The point of all of these things is to make sure they Disney is hiring dedicated and hardworking people. Disney allows for you to work for them while branching out within the company and getting your foot in the door if you choose.

It is easy to wonder why some people decide to do the program if it isn’t all the fun it sounds like it is. The reason is to forward their future careers. In two months, I have met the entire social media and communications team for Disney; I have also scheduled a meeting with the head of the photography department to discuss my joining their team.

Working with Disney opens many doors in every career field and launches a career forward. Plus, who doesn’t want to spend a random Wednesday at Magic Kingdom for free.