by Brittany DiCologero and Danny Piroli
This Disney College Program role interview features Danny Piroli, a watercraft cast member who worked on the Friendship Boats during the Spring 2016 program:
Q: What made you want to do the Disney College Program?
A: I am a long time Disney vacationer, annual passholder and DVC member. When I saw that I could work for Disney and gain college credit, it was like a dream come true.
Q: What was your role and location? Was it your first choice? If not, what was?
A: My role was transportation. My location was the Friendship Boats in Epcot and also from Epcot to the resort area and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Transportation was not my top choice. I put character attendant and attractions as my first choices.
Q: What was your training like?
A: Training was 8 days. The first 4 days was by yourself with the trainer driving the boats, then the next 4 days they added guests on board. You have to learn how to operate the watercraft and also speak on the PA system. Every Captain must get their boating safety certificate in the state of Florida. You take the online course in backstage or Epcot to gain the certification. There is also a booklet that you have to read and take a quiz on the information about the day to day operation.
Q: What did you like most about your role?
A: I enjoyed talking to the guests and interacting with them on the PA system. After telling them the safety announcements it was fun to add in some jokes or interact with the guests. Also, driving a boat all day was pretty fun.
Q: What did you like least?
A: Since not many college students get accepted into this role, there are many older cast members who are not as enthusiastic about their job. It makes for a less enjoyable work day.
Q: Would you recommend this role to a friend?
A: There were problems in the department, mainly with the managers and fellow cast members. That may cause me to hesitate to recommend this role to my friends. However, the role itself was fun.
Q: What advice would you have for new CPs in this role?
A: Learning to drive a 70 foot boat, especially if you’ve never driven a boat before, can be intimidating. My advice would be to take it one day at a time. You will make mistakes, and you will have bad days (wind, rain, etc.) But do not give up. Stick with it and it will become second nature.
Q: What have you been up to since your program ended?
A: I still go to Walt Disney World quite frequently on vacation. My plan is to apply for a management internship or full time position in the near future.
You can follow Danny on Instagram: captainpiroli