Disney College Program Celebrating 40 Years … and Counting

by | Mar 8, 2022 | WDW Blog, WDW News

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Last year marked 40 years of the Disney College Program (DCP), the national internship program chock full of Disney magic. Over four decades, DCP has enriched the lives of thousands—including many who are still key players at Disney Parks.

What Is the Disney College Program?

The Disney College Program kicked off in 1981, offering students and recent graduates the chance to spend a summer living and working at Walt Disney World Resort.

DCP enrollees get to learn the ropes of being a Disney Cast Member and make new friends in the process. They’ll also build important job and life skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

If you want to apply for the Disney College Program, you’ll need to meet a few key requirements.

  • At least 18 years of age at time of application
  • Must either
    • Be currently enrolled in and taking classes at an accredited college or university
    • Have just graduated from an accredited college or university within 24 months of application posting
  • Have completed at least one semester of college
  • Authorized to work in the United States without restrictions
  • Meet applicable GPA or grade requirements

The most recent posting went up on Jan. 23. Successful applicants should expect to start their five- to seven-month program sometime between May and October of this year.

Where Are Some Disney College Program Grads Today?

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The Legacy Wall at the Disney Programs Office. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

With 40 years of history behind it, the Disney College Program has seen a lot of promising faces pass through. The inaugural class of 1981 was about 300 students deep. Today, it includes thousands of Cast Members every year.

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The Legacy Wall includes photos and documents. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

The Disney Programs office at Flamingo Crossings Village is home to a Legacy Wall. This huge collage shows some of the program’s 40-year legacy.

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DCP alumni Jarel Settles now works for Disney Programs. Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

The Disney College Program’s impact lives on today in people like Jarel Settles. Jarel went through the DCP in 2013 and is now a program experience manager at Disney Programs.

“The network of alumni who did the program over the past 40 years is vast,” says Jarel. “It’s amazing to have that shared experience with Cast Members at all levels of the company.”

If you think you or someone you know would be perfect for the Disney College Program, you can apply today at DisneyCareers.com


Do you know anyone who’s gone through DCP? Visit the WDW Magazine Facebook page and tell us what you know or have heard about the program.


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Written by Kyle Johnson

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Kyle Johnson is a writer, enthusiast of all things weird, and has an unnatural obsession with Halloween. We’re talking animatronics staying up all year round and watching The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad on a whim in April. He has a cool wiener dog, Rumours, and an even cooler wife, Trinity.
Kyle Johnson

Written by Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson is a writer, enthusiast of all things weird, and has an unnatural obsession with Halloween. We’re talking animatronics staying up all year round and watching The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad on a whim in April. He has a cool wiener dog, Rumours, and an even cooler wife, Trinity.
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