The Disney College Program Process

We invite you to browse this general information, intended to help understand the various phases of the program.

If you seek a more interactive experience, please join our active conversation forum on Facebook.


disneycollegeprogramYour child is interested in or has applied for the Disney College Program.  Now what?

As of this writing, the current timeline is as follows:

After submitting their application, your child will receive a thank you email from Disney.  At this point, they are usually noted as “In Submission” or “In Progress” on their Dashboard on the program site.  Both mean you wait to hear further.  We have found that In Submission often waits longer to hear back, while In Progress may result in an invitation to complete a Web Based Interview (WBI) within a shorter time frame.

If invited to take the WBI, this must be completed within three days of the invite.  It’s a simple personality determination test, the type many employers use.  There are no right or wrong answers; Disney is merely trying to see if your child’s personality is a good fit for its organization.

If your child meets Disney’s criteria, they may be invited to schedule a Phone Interview (PI).  Not everyone who successfully completes the WBI is invited to do so.  If they are not successful candidates, their Dashboard status will reflect NLIC (No Longer In Consideration).  This result is fairly immediate.

If at any point the Progress bar shows NLIC, your child will not be offered a role but may apply again in six months.  Your child should not be discouraged nor give up.  There are approximately ten times as many applicants as there are roles.  Additionally, there are always Disney Professional Internships for which they may apply at any time.

If your child is interested in an Entertainment role, they must attend an audition.  Character performer auditions are held in approximately eight cities around the nation during the application period.

Those participating in the College Program (CPs) are ineligible to perform in Equity shows such as Festival of the Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc.  Those who are offered a role other than Entertainment prior to the audition may still audition and, if chosen, have the role changed.  Be aware that those NOT selected for Entertainment will retain the role they originally accepted.

In general, CPs are excluded from auditioning during their program.  While some auditions do allow current CPs, most do not.  It is not a good idea to accept an alternate role and think you will be able to audition and have your role changed upon arrival.  Auditions may be held for current CPs wishing to extend their program beyond their scheduled end date.  For example, CPs scheduled to leave in early January may have the opportunity to attend an audition at the end of September to be considered for an Entertainment role running January through mid-May.  Offers for those roles take approximately 3 weeks.
Applicants with a status of NLIC prior to the audition are ineligible to attend a CP audition for the current recruiting season.

Throughout the process, your child may receive emails and notations on their Dashboard; there are multiple versions of emails at different stages.  The best thing to do is check email and check Dashboard daily.  Disney offers an extremely helpful blog that covers the various scenarios of this stage here.

If your child receives an invitation to schedule a phone interview, they have 72 hours from receipt of the invitation to do so.  Prior to the phone interview the applicant may access the appointment through their Dashboard to reschedule if necessary.  Failing to schedule or missing the phone interview will cause NLIC status.

Following the telephone interview the Dashboard will be updated to indicate the phone interview is complete.  Status will show NLIC or In Progress.

Certain applicants may receive an email informing them of a Pending status, meaning more time is needed to review the application.  This is a common occurrence for program alumni because they may have a Restricted Rehire due to missing costume pieces, etc.  The restriction can be removed by paying for the missing pieces and the applicant will then continue to move forward in the application process.

Acceptances may start within two weeks of applications going live and will continue up through the very end of the recruitment period.  We’ve heard of applicants being offered roles anywhere from three days after their phone interview to as late as a week before a program starts.  Be prepared to be flexible.

As long as the applicant’s status is not NLIC, they are still in consideration.  Unless you have a unique, urgent situation that must be addressed, it is not necessary to call or email Recruiting.  They have not been forgotten and will receive an update by the end of the recruiting season.

Congratulations!  If your child has received an offer of employment, they have earned a place in a very coveted internship program.  Having the Disney College Program on your resume opens many doors.

Now’s the time to gather information and prepare for their journey to either Walt Disney World in Orlando or Disneyland in California.

You’ll find lots of helpful information, as well as camaraderie with other parents in the same position as yourself, at our Facebook page.


Check-in day is often fraught with nerves for participants and tears from parents.  With usual Disney style, check-in is streamlined and easy.  Your child will be given a check-in time.  Do not arrive early as there is limited parking.  Trust Disney, as they are the experts at crowd control.

Be sure your participant keeps up to date with information arriving from the Disney College Program to know what materials they need to bring.  Many forms may be filled out in advance and submitted online, saving time on check-in day.

Disney does provide a tented area in which accompanying parents may wait while their child completes check-in, is assigned their apartment and goes to Casting to learn their role.  Expect to while away about two to three hours.  Refreshments are available and, many times, tours of a typical apartment are offered.  This time is a great opportunity to chat with other parents, some of whom may have children who have participated in the program before.

While everyone’s situation is different, our Facebook group can really help you prepare for arrival.  Be sure to join us and catch up on what others have done and, once clued in, feel free to ask questions!

alumniDisney has made great strides in recent years to celebrate program Alumni.

After leaving the program, participants are invited to join the Alumni Association and receive special information and items.  If your child has not received this invitation, they may sign up here.  They are also invited to apply for Alumni-Only Disney Professional Internships and other roles within the organization.

Recently, Disney has started hosting Alumni Homecomings at Walt Disney World in Florida.  They’ll be able to learn all about these through the Alumni Association.