Prospective Disney Cast Members Should Be Aware of This Hiring Change

disney world magic cast member
Credit: Disney

If you’re interested in becoming a Disney Cast Member at the Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll want to know about these changes just made to one of the Walt Disney Company’s most popular hiring programs.

Walt Disney World employs approximately 77,000 Cast Members across all four theme parks. And whether you work at the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll likely notice a specific subset of Cast Members known as “CPs.”

Cast Member

Credit: Disney

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“Cps,” short for College Program, is a term used to denote Disney World Cast Members who are students participating in the Disney College Program, a national and international-based internship offered by Disney Parks and Resorts. As stated on the DisneyCareers website:

As a Disney College Program participant at the Walt Disney World® Resort, you will become part of the magic that is known worldwide, gain experience working in a front-line role at our parks and resorts, and have the opportunity to participate in uniquely Disney experiences and activities created just for Disney Programs participants… The program is also a great way to discover what you’re passionate about and learn about opportunities to further your education through continued employment at Walt Disney World Resort. Upon successful completion of your program, you may be eligible for full-time and part-time opportunities at the Walt Disney World Resort. Part-time and full-time cast members may receive additional benefits such as Disney Aspire, an educational investment program that covers 100% of tuition for skilled trades, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees.

Moreover, college program participants get to experience networking opportunities with Disney professionals, Learning and Career Development sessions, and grow their skills in “problem-solving, teamwork, Guest service, and effective communication” over the course of the four to seven-month internship. In addition, CPs now have the option to live within the newly constructed Flamingo Crossings Village, a student community exclusive to program participants with amenities such as full-sized washer and dryer, bedroom and living room furniture, flat screen TV, 12,500 sq. ft. fitness center, quiet study spaces, resort-style pools, and bus transportation.

Credit: Disney

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Originally, the Disney College Program had rigorous application standards, requiring participants to pass an initial experience screening, a web-based interview (a questionnaire known as the WBI that determined the participant’s personality compatibility with the Company’s goals and practices), and a physical interview with a Disney recruiter, either via video call or over the phone. However, after reinstating the program following a brief hiatus due to Covid-19, participants discovered Disney no longer required the phone interview to determine their eligibility.

Now, a statement in the application description for 2023 candidates on the DisneyCareers website notifies applicants that all “selected candidates” will have the opportunity to attend “a 30-minute phone interview with a recruiter.” Of course, this implies that the full interview process for the DCP is back, with initial applications leading to the two-step qualification rounds of both the WBI and phone interviews before final acceptance.

Walt Disney World Resort Sign

Credit: Inside The Magic

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However, as the listing does not mention the web-based interview, it’s possible Disney has done away with this requirement in favor of prioritizing interview sessions with a real company employee who will be better able to vet candidates as the program becomes more competitive while Covid-19 restrictions and staffing issues improve. In the past, some returning candidates have even been able to skip the WBI altogether if they previously passed the questionnaire within a specific time frame, though it’s not known if this remains a possibility.

The Disney College Program is currently recruiting college applicants for arrival dates between May 2023 and October 2023, with departures no earlier than January 2024. Click here to learn more and apply!

About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.