LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Every year, more than 7,000 college students from across the United States pack their bags and head to Walt Disney World Resort for the quintessential learning-while-working experience with the Walt Disney World College Program.
Selected by recruiters at colleges and universities nationwide, the students work and learn at Walt Disney World Resort during a five- or seven-month internship. They return to campus with an insider’s look and real-world experience at a Fortune 100 company, friends from across the country and plenty of fond memories of making vacation “magic” for Disney guests from around the world.
The Walt Disney World College Program operates throughout most of the year. Disney seeks students of all majors who are outgoing, talented, friendly and goal-oriented. Recruiters target more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities, including international students enrolled there.
“Along with a variety of workplace skills, such as problem solving, team communications and world-class customer service skills, we also offer seven college-level courses recommended for credit by the American Council on Education,” said Lisa Downs, manager of the Walt Disney World College Program.
Tens of thousands of students have been welcomed by Disney since the program began in 1981. College permission is required, and students must be in good academic standing and able to speak English.
First-time College Program participants work entry-level hourly positions around the Vacation Kingdom — everything from attractions to merchandise, food and beverage to transportation. Work locations include Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney water parks and resort hotels.
Professional internships allow students to return a second time and work in a position related to their specific majors such as hospitality, culinary, finance, marketing, human resources and others. Some limited professional internships in biology, horticulture and animal programs are offered to qualified first-time College Program participants.
Students live in low-cost, company-sponsored apartment complexes that also house international students recruited from around the world. They may participate in classes led by Disney leaders relating to business philosophies, leadership and other topics. They even receive free admission to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Students often learn about the internships when recruiters visit college campuses across the country to present information and interview interested students.
For more information about the Walt Disney World College Program and recruitment tour schedules, students can call 800/722-2930 or visit wdwcollegeprogram.com.