When you apply for the Disney College Program, it could be for a variety of reasons. You may be more focused on making as much money as you can, or you may be all about that free park admission. One benefit of the DCP that often gets overlooked in favor of the more flashy aspects is the classes available to you.
I can understand why you wouldn’t be interested in taking classes when you’re on a semester off of school—plus, you’ve got Disney and Orlando at your fingertips!—but there are several benefits to taking the classes offered to CPs. Here are four reasons why you should absolutely enroll in Disney College Program classes!
Well, the majority of the classes are, anyway. There are a few college-level courses that have a fee and give homework like a “real” college class, but the rest of them are totally free of charge. They don’t take much time out of your week, either—most classes are 1-2 hours 1-2 days a week, usually for 4-8 weeks of your CP.
It is time well spent, especially if you hope to work for Disney or in the professional world after your CP, as you will learn a lot about the Walt Disney Company, as well as the hospitality industry and working professionally as a whole.
Speaking of the professional world, DCP classes are a great way to meet other professionals within the company. Many classes will bring in Cast Members whose roles relate to the topics you are covering to talk about their experiences and answer questions. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about specific areas you may be interested in, as well as introduce you to roles you may have not known about before.
It’s fascinating to hear Cast Members who have been with the company awhile discuss their Disney journey and how they got to where they are today. They may even provide a way to contact them if you have further questions or want to know more about what they do every day. Networking and getting to know as many Cast Members from various areas as you can is super important if you’re looking to stay with Disney long-term, because you will find it really is a small world in The Walt Disney Company.
Experiencing Disney Differently
Another reason I think it’s important to consider taking a DCP class is that you have the opportunity to learn about Disney from a whole new perspective. Many of the classes have “out-of-the-classroom” days, where you have the chance to explore the areas of the Walt Disney World Resort you’re learning about.
When I took the Disney Heritage class, we got to do a scavenger hunt around Hollywood Studios, which was a fun way to take a more in-depth look at the park. In the Entertainment Show Production class, we took a backstage tour of Fantasmic! to put into practice the different elements of show production we were being taught. Taking these classes allows you to experience the parks and company we as CPs already hold so dear, and view them in a new light.
Even on days you’re stuck in a classroom rather than out exploring the parks and resorts, the Disney educators still try to keep things fresh and interesting. I really enjoyed some of the hands-on projects we got to do in class to demonstrate what we were learning about.
In the Disney Heritage class, we had to work in teams to build a structure that was both in Walt’s vision and Roy’s budget. In the Hospitality and Guest Services class, the chefs leading the session gave us various ingredients, and we had to create a snack and then decide on a price for the item, with the goal of making a profit based on how much each ingredient cost. These activities were so much more engaging than just having the information spouted at us, and made it easier to understand some of the topics that were more difficult (at least for my brain).
So there you have it: all of the wonderful reasons I think you should consider fitting a class into your College Program. I promise you’ll be glad you used some of your precious time in Orlando this way, and you’ll come out of it with a cool certificate and some insight and knowledge about the company you’re working for that you otherwise might not have known!