Tag Archive | "recreation"

College Program Tip #2 What Role Should I Pick?

What role is best for the college program?

A common question future CPs want to know is what role they should designate as their choice for the college program. While I can’t tell you what role might be the perfect fit for you, lets go over some of the good and bad points for the most common.

Attractions – When most people think about working in the theme parks this role is one of the first that comes to mind. It can also be a great job while you’re in Orlando. Most of the attraction roles are in the air conditioning, which you will appreciate in our 90 degree humid weather. Also in some roles you can really help bring the magic to life. Think about the great movie ride at Hollywood Studios, or the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom. Both of these are attraction roles where the cast member is a key aspect of the entire ride. On the other hand It’s A Small World might get old after the hundredth time hearing the song, or you’ll be lip syncing along to the dialog of the Carousel of Progress (our personal favorite ride). Also, you’re usually just going to be trained on one ride which has it’s advantages. Unlike some other roles (entertainment) you’ll get to know the people you work with really well along with the management. Keep in mind the friendships and connections you make on the college program are priceless.

Entertainment – Oh the holy grail of college program roles. Everyone wants to be a prince or princess, or bring to life his or her favorite mouse. With that said entertainment is low on my list of first picks for the college program. Yes it is awesome to say you are “friends with” a character, but there are a lot of complaints I hear from entertainment cast members that should be addressed. First those suits are HOT even in the coldest of Orlando weather, let alone the middle of summer. Also entertainment cast members (looking at you princesses) have a reputation and not a good one at that. Needless to say some girls can be down right catty! Don’t get me wrong there are some great people in entertainment, but there are also the divas who think they’re Broadway stars. A benefit of entertainment is the breaks. Face characters (Cinderella, Aurora, Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, etc) will work one hour on, one hour off. Meaning that 8 hour day will only consist of about 4 hours of actual work, really less than that considering they get an hour to get dressed and made up. Also, character performers tend to be held on a pedestal. Numerous face characters have commented on how much special treatment they get backstage from various cast members when they are in costume. Character performers tend to work all over the place so the people you work with will most likely be different every day.

Food and Beverage – If you have experience in this area of work than this might be a great job for you. The location that you are placed at will make all the difference as to how this role turns out to be. Quick service locations inside the parks will be extremely fast paced. You’ll also have to remember that these people are hot and hungry so you need to have a thick skin, because guest can be a bit cranky. You’ll also need patience in order to deal with the large number of foreign guests. Effective communication skills are really needed for this role and remember they’re in a foreign country where they can’t speak the language….have a little sympathy.

Merchandise – This too can be a great role with numerous placement opportunities. You could work in a park, at a hotel, or at Downtown Disney. Merchandise roles tend to work indoors, which is a plus is our book. Like food and beverage you’ll need to be effective at communicating with people of all different backgrounds. Merchandise doesn’t tend to be as crazy as quick service food and beverage, but it really depends on where you are located.

Recreation – This role tends to have the most varied opinions, in part because there are a wide variety of roles in this department. Recreation includes lifeguards at the water parks and pools, but also the boat rental staff, and wilderness recreation staff. A big complaint is how boring these roles can be so if you’re the fast moving type we wouldn’t recommend this role. Boat and fishing rentals tend to have the most complaints as being boring, but if you’re looking for a more laid back atmosphere then this is for you. Keep in mind you if you pictured yourself working on Main Street or on Hollywood Blvd this isn’t your first choice. These roles tend to be outside of the parks.

Just remember that regardless of the role, the Disney College Program is an awesome experience, where you will walk away will so many memories and new friends. Heck, you may just stay in Orlando once it’s finished!

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