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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

dcp spring advantage 2020 application experience

I can't believe I'm back with my third ever Disney College Program application journey post.  Click "read more" for the most up-to-date DCP application experience and a little bit of self-reflection.

This is a post that I have made for every DCP application season that I have participated in.  I find that these posts are particularly helpful for those who want to apply for the program, but are confused and overwhelmed at the process.  I read so many blog posts before I applied, I knew that I would share my own DCP application story if I got accepted.  You can read about my successful fall 2016 application experience here, and my not-quite-a-success, not-quite-a-failure summer 2019 application experience here.

Because this process is always changing, my application journeys have changed as well.  This season looked so much more different than the other two, I knew that I had to make this post a priority.  As you all know by now, I am extremely overjoyed with how things worked out this year, so let's just jump into it.

Application Submitted

I had been going back and forth debating on whether I wanted to apply for Spring Advantage 2020 or Fall Advantage 2020.  Fall Advatange 2020 seemed better at first, but I had been getting some extreme FOMO watching everyone apply for Spring 2020 and the prospect of having a job immediately after I finished school in December was enticing.  After deliberating with my parents, I figured it wouldn't hurt to send in an initial application for Spring 2020.  I sent in my application, which hasn't been touched since I applied earlier in the year for Summer 2020, around 8:00 in the evening.

Here are the roles I put interest in for this program:

Walt Disney World

  • Character Attendant (High Interest) - Top Role
  • Costuming (High Interest)
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique/Pirate's League (Moderate Interest)
  • Children's Activities (Low Interest)
  • Vacation Planner (Low Interest)
  • Bus Greeter (Low Interest)
  • Seater (Low Interest)
  • Custodial (Low interest)
My top choice for program dates was Spring Advantage at WDW.  This was important for me to note as my first choice, since Character Attendant is a role that they mostly offer during the Spring Advantage program because of how long training takes.  This season, I have seen quite a few Character Attendants accepted for the Spring program, so it's not impossible, but Spring Advantage would have been my first choice anyway since I thought I never had enough "time" doing just the Fall program.

A lot of people have been getting stuck in this first stage this season.

Web-Based Interview

I didn't wait more than 30 minutes before I got two emails at the same time.  I got an email that thanked me for applying and told me that my application had been processed, and an email that invited me to take the WBI.  I'll be honest, I don't exactly know what I put in my initial applications that the computer scans for and immediately pushes me through to the first interview, but it has worked for me every single time since 2016.  I think it boils down to the fact that I've lived independently before, put interest in enough roles, and have always had at least some form of work experience.  98% of people I've spoken to that weren't given the WBI right away/were NLIC before making it to the WBI said "no" when the application asked if they had lived independently before.

Looking back, I wasn't sure if I was going to get the WBI right away this season.  I put interest in very few roles

Anyway, the WBI is exactly the same as it was when I first applied for the program.  The approximately 30-minute long quiz included:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Several different "scales."
The scale questionnaire is divided into a few different sections.  Most of them are about your work ethic where they will tell you things like, "I like to be on time," "I like working for a reputable company," "I like to work as a team," and you have to select between strongly disagree/disagree/neutral/agree/strongly agree or sounds like me/neutral/doesn't sound like me.  I have always heard that the trick to passing this WBI was to try to answer most questions with "strongly agree" or "strongly disagree," so that's what I've always done, and it's always worked for me.

I was asked to schedule my Phone Interview immediately afterwards, and the first available date for me was that upcoming Sunday, 9/8.

Phone Interview

My Phone Interview time was slotted for 1:15 in the afternoon.  You're told to block an hour out of your time for the PI, since your interviewer can call you up to 15 minutes before or 15 minutes after your scheduled time.  My past two interviews have come in pretty true to my scheduled time, but I got that heart-attack-inducing "No Caller ID" alert at 1:08 PM this time around.  Absolutely not a problem at all, I was sitting down at my desk and prepared.

My interviewer this year was Beth, and I honestly could not have asked for a better CM to speak to.  She was so friendly and easy to talk to, and as a former CP, it was easy for me to relate to.  She was extremely willing to talk to me about her professional journey with the company, and she told me she could "feel" how excited I was and how passionate I was about starting my own career path with the Walt Disney Company.

The interview itself went extremely well.  The best interview I've ever had with the company.  She asked me about my past experience with the company, why I was reapplying for the program, what my previous job experience with Disney was like, and of course, the standards: if I'm still within Disney look guidelines, if I'm willing to accept all the roles I put interest in, confirming my program dates, etc.

She asked me one question each about the following roles: Character Attendant, Costuming, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique/Pirate's League, Custodial, and Vacation Planning.  

The interview lasted 13 minutes and 34 seconds, so it was one of the shorter PIs I've done with the company, but I still left feeling extremely confident and satisfied with the way it turned out.  Beth was truly amazing.  A few hours later, I ended up going to the Programs Support website to send her a thank you note.

And so the waiting game began again for me, but this time, it didn't last very long.


I had been in a funk for the two days following my PI.  I didn't feel great, I was already busy with coursework, and I was just having a hard time adjusting to being back in school for the semester.  Can you say "Senioritis?"

So Tuesday, 9/10 saw the first wave of acceptances since my Phone Interview.  Christy tweeted about it first, then it started early in the morning while I was in class, and I tried not to check my email/dashboard religiously.  I knew that the likelihood of me getting accepted less than 48 hours after my PI was not good.  If you remember, I was the girl who waited 86 days to get accepted to her first program, and the girl who waited so long she had to withdraw her application from the Summer Alumni program.  I think I was actually banking on my timeline being similar this time around, since it would give me more time to save up for program dues and figure out my life.

I went to class, got lunch, went back to my dorm, and started doing some more classwork.  A little after 2:00 PM, I decided I was going to check GMail again.

The latest email in my inbox was:  "donotreply -- Disney College Program: Congratulations! -- 4 minutes ago"

My heart stopped, and I used some non-Disney language as my body naturally responded to the shock.

Before I called anyone, I went to my dashboard to open my offer letter, which would show me which role I was offered and whether I had been placed in Spring or Spring Advantage.  I'm pretty sure I hyperventilated as my letter loaded.  I swear I almost fainted when I saw I had gotten my top role and my top program, Character Attendant -- Spring Advantage!

I called my parents, cried a lot, treated myself to Blueberry Pie ice cream from Van Leeuwen.  I did wait until my appointment with my advisor the next day before I accepted my offer.  I did have to wait just a few more days until I could pay my Program Acceptance fees and choose my dates, but I eventually was able to successfully complete the steps necessary to accept my program offer and I'm thrilled to continue my journey with Disney this upcoming February!

Post-Application Process Reflections

I think that there is a lot to be said about how dramatically different this application experience looked from my first experience back in 2016.  First of all, from what I have personally seen, the Disney College Program recruiting team and the official casting/offer process has evolved exponentially since then.  It has never been unheard of for strong applicants to get through this process "in a week" if they apply mid-season, but it's becoming more and more commonplace for people to get their yes/no answer in just a few days, so I have to commend Disney Talent Acquisition in their commitment to making this overwhelming hiring process as smooth, efficient, and fast as possible for everyone.  The effort that this team puts into making dreams come true has certainly been reflected in these past few seasons.

Just like this Program has changed, I have also changed since 2016, and that's where I find myself the happiest with how everything went down this season.  When I was a freshman, I was so nervous and unsure of myself, and I had so little self-confidence.  I was not a top candidate for Fall 2016 by any means, and that is reflected in the fact that I had to wait so long to get an offer in a high-need role that I didn't put a lot of interest.  But this year, I breezed through everything and got exactly what I asked for, almost immediately after I asked for it.  In the past three years, I have seen myself change so much as a result of my first program and the life choices I've made since I've come home from school.  I have grown so much as a student, a leader, and as a person since I first applied to this program, and all of this positive self-growth has become extremely visible to me as part of my DCP Spring Advantage 2020 application process.


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