March 16, 2020, Disney had to abruptly end the current Disney College Program offering at Walt Disney World due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This instantly put thousands of young college-aged students and recent graduates out of work. While this sudden end to the program was justified for the program attendants health, it was heart-breaking anyway.
I have previously completed a Disney College Program, with a full year of service at Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom in 2017. It kick-started my career with Disney. And, I wanted to make sure these students were represented. Many had waited months and years to get into this program and were only able enjoy it for weeks.
I contacted hundreds of these students and asked for their perspective, their hardships and their story. I compiled these in a memoriam of sorts for students to see their work represented.
These stories piled up, with Disney College Program Cast Members talking about what they went through to join the program. Some had applied for years. Others used this program to do self-discovery. Some had dropped everything to move to Florida. All were surprised by the situation.
After reading over 300 submissions, I chose a strong selection that we could feasibly highlight on the Attractions Magazine website. This article has been visited time and time again for students to look back at their work. I also saw the effects online as many long-time fans of Disney Parks began to learn about these "CPs".
I hope this article lets these students have a place to come together in celebration of their time at Disney. I also hope it goes to showcase the hard work that these theme park employees do.
You can read the full article here: Disney College Program students tell their ‘Disney’ story