Trip Report -- A Disney College Program Story and Saying Goodbye

In June of 2006 we took our first family trip to Disney with our almost six year old daughter Abby.

That trip sparked our love for Disney and many trips followed. As the years went by Abby began to dream about one day working at Disney through the Disney College Program (DCP).

She is currently a sophomore and elementary education major at Illinois State University. It took some careful planning and extra classes over summer and winter breaks to ensure that she could do the program and not mess up the rest of her college plan but she had done it. Last August, she applied for the DCP on the day the application went live. Almost immediately she was moved on to the online interview and then the phone interview. Then the waiting began. It felt like forever but the congratulations letter finally arrived On September 24. She had been accepted into the DCP with a role in attractions!

On January 13 she moved into Disney housing and went to Disney Casting to start her on the path to becoming an official Disney Cast Member! (Casting is really cool!!!)

After completing Traditions, she was an official Disney Cast Member!

Her dream come true had begun!!

Up next in part 2 – roommates who quickly became friends!


Aww, I love all the pictures!


Love all of our photos. So glad you are writing this report.


I love your DD’s Disney-Dream-Come-True story!!! Thank you for sharing this and we’ll be waiting for the next chapters!


Great start, love the photos!


Oh what a happy start. Looking forward to reading more, but already heartbroken for you both that it doesn’t have the ending you would hope for :cry:


Oh! Such great pictures!


I’m already crying.


Thank you @scrapper1617, @Dreamer, @DumboRunner, @missoverexcited, @ScaffyWitch, and @PrincipalTinker.

I cry a lot too @qwerty6!

Thanks for reading everyone! It helps to tell the story to people who I know love Disney as much as we do :heart:


Love this! I am sorry it ended the way it did, but glad she got to go for a few months.


Looking forward to, and also dreading, more. :cry: thank you for sharing. I LOVE the pictures! Old and new


So nice of you to share. Great pictures!


Oh! Just what I needed to read tonight!! Thank you!! Your pictures are beautiful…and clearly Abby was destined to be part of the DCP! Such a lovely girl…and there will be a happy ending!!!


Fabulous pictures!
So glad you decided to share :+1:


I am sad Abby had to come home because of the virus. She still has experience.


As I’ve said in chat, my DD did the DCP and it was life changing. I know that sounds so dramatic but it’s true.
She matured away at college and learned to do many things on her own, but this was different. She left NJ for Florida & shared a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 other women - all who dealt with lots of crap from some not so magical guests while keeping that Disney smile going the entire time. They pulled together closing the parks and being in lock-down for Hurricane Irma.
She also had some amazing times during the 6 months in her program & has made life-long friends because of it. Disney can truly be a magical place and I’m so sorry her program was cut short. I hope Disney finds a way to do something special for them. I know for those like my DD who did it after graduation there may not be a way to go back and try again. My heart hurts for all of them. ((hugs))


@Wahoohokie, I’m glad that she had the time she did. There were some there who had arrived on March 8. They hadn’t even started and then it was over.

@Broph1988, thank you. I had fun looking at the old pictures. Such good memories.

@lady1955, thank you :heart:

@Hi-Ho, thank you. The ending won’t be as planned, but yes, happy I hope.

@AllmadhereUK, thank you :blush:

@gabmom, that stupid virus sure has caused a lot of trouble!

@Barbelle, thank you. I’m glad your DD had such a good experience. I know it is not for everyone but it is really special to many. Yes, my DD had some not so magical moments too. It goes with the territory. My DD is just a sophomore but this is really the only time the program fit into her schedule.


Yes, I know. I think the whole nation should have had a couple of days notice then stayed home for two or three weeks to contain the spread. Think of all the mindless college kids that are at beaches on spring break. I don’t feel bad at work because we are in cubicles and are discouraged from talking to each other while working. We usually chat before we start the day.


Part 2 – DCP Housing and the Roommates!

Abby was nervous about where she would live and her roommates. Her dorm and roommate experience her freshman year in college was tough so she had some added baggage. Disney allows the kids to “link” with one person. Although it is not promised, it is likely that they can share part of an apartment with that person. Unfortunately a week before move in, the person she was linked with had to withdraw from the program. She was now really worried that she would move into an apartment where everyone else “had someone” and she did not.

Move in times are assigned. We had a 9:10 check in and until you check in, you have no information on what type of apartment you are going to have or how many people will be in the apartment. Abby ended up in a two bedroom, 6 person apartment. She was also the first person in the apartment which, just like college, means first pick of the bed! She choose one of the single beds, avoiding the bunk beds. Of course, then she felt guilty the rest of the day for having taken the single bed :roll_eyes: It didn’t matter though. When the other two arrived in her room, they were gracious and kind, so happy to be there and didn’t mind that they had the bunk beds. They were off to a great start! She immediately bonded with the two girls she was sharing a room with.
In the end, there ended up being 5 girls in the apartment and they became the best of friends!

Abby’s room all set up

The girls she shared her room with

Apartment Decorations – one of the mom’s sent decorations for each holiday!

They put Ears everywhere

A work schedule so they could keep track of when everyone was working

When they weren’t working, they were having fun!

No one has tickets until they complete Traditions which can be almost a week after arrival but they do have housing events at the apartment complexes.

Once they had tickets, they were off to the parks!

Gaston became a favorite! Abby’s roommate may have had a bit of a crush :joy:

Goofy pretending to drive the Barnstormer!

One of her roommates was a seater at Cinderella’s Royal Table so they were able to sneak in for a special meet with Cinderella!

They managed a few resort visits too.

Breakfast at the Grand for one of her roommate’s 21st birthday!

They almost made it through the kitchen sink at Beaches and Cream.

I’m glad that they seized every opportunity to have fun. Their experience at Disney bonded them and even after such a short time together, I do believe they will be friends forever :heart:


So beautiful. The experiences, as well as your daughter! I don’t know her, but her eyes say that she is intelligent, compassionate, and kind. She was a gift to Walt Disney World even for the short time they had her.