The Daily Life of a College Program CP

Written by Kevin. Posted in Disney Parks, Features, Walt Disney World

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Published on November 25, 2012 at 5:02 am with 14 Comments

Ahoy me hearties!!  I’ve got a treasure trove of goodies about the Disney College Program to share with you today. If you’ve been following this column, I’m a recent College Program cast member and have been letting you tag along on my adventure of a lifetime. This time we’ll talk about the normal day-to-day of a CP (College Program) cast member.  If you’re thinking of joining the college program this is what you will be doing once you’re in the swing of things.

Let’s start with the first thing you’ll do every day – getting to work.  At the college program, only three of the four apartment complexes have bus stops: Vista Way, Chatham Square, and the Commons.  Patterson folk have to cross the street to get to the Chatham bus stop. I personally much prefer having the bus stop right outside and find it to make catching transportation a lot less stressful. Recently, they changed bus contractors. When I started my program, American Coach ran the CP buses. Now it’s Transtar and there have been a few growing pains. Sometimes the buses will be late but the managers and coordinators will work with the CPs,  There are also a lot of people who bring cars so they don’t have to deal with the buses.  The problem with that is you end up spending your small paycheck on gas.

When you finally get to work, it’s a whole different story.  As I have been told by many people, “CP” does not stand for College Program, but for Close Park.  Yes, CPs are usually given the closing shifts.  For example, I’ve only had 2 morning shifts my whole time here—but don’t let that discourage you.  Since a lot of CPs close the park you will have a lot of time to bond with the other CPs in your area.  One thing a lot of people believe is that the full time or part time cast members do not treat the CPs with respect.  I can personally tell you I have NEVER seen this problem occur at my location.  Our managers, coordinators, and our fellow cast members treat the pirates CPs as any other cast member in the area.

Another great part about being a CP is the amazing classes and seminars that are offered by the college program.  I’m taking the Exploring Leadership seminar and the Creativity and Innovation class.  Keep in mind that classes are a graded affair with homework, projects and tests, while a seminar is a weekly basis meeting where you have activities and lectures.  Both are great in their own ways, like, for example, I had my Exploring Leadership seminar held in the middle of the Magic Kingdom one day.  Where else could you go to a class in the middle of a theme park?  The classes are a little more rigid.  They will include midterms, finals, homework and group projects.  They are not easy, but depending on which class you’re taking, it can be very fun and interesting.  I would definitely take a few classes or seminars while here.  They are very helpful.

The Disney Exploration Series offers students the unique opportunity to learn more about how the Walt Disney World Resort operates in key areas. Each class is highly interactive and encourages each participant to fully experience all aspects of the 47 square-miles of the Walt Disney World Resort as a learning laboratory. There are several Disney Exploration Series topics to choose from and each two-hour series meets once a week, for eight weeks. These offerings are only available during the Spring (Feb-May) and Fall (Sep-Dec) of each year.

The Exploration Series and Seminar Series are very similar to the ones offered at the Disney institute that businesses and organizations pay a lot of money to attend. If you have the opportunity, to take one you should!

Now for a little bit of fun…

For my reader Sergio, I feel I needed to give you proof that I did dance with Princess Tiana.

Yep, one of the perks of being a CP is dancing with princesses.

Next, is something that sometimes you might see and sometimes you don’t.  For my friends George and Jeff at Communicore Weekly, I found a CP exclusive Five-Legged Goat.

So, as I’m walking from a friend’s apartment in Patterson Court, I looked down and noticed something in the pavement.  Well, it’s obvious that Goofy’s son, Max, also did the college program – because, when they were repaving the sidewalk, Goofy must’ve been walking along and couldn’t resist leaving this. Obviously, this was when Goofy’s son Max was part of the College Program.

Thank you Goofy for leaving a little bit of magic outside my door.

Well, that’s it for today.  Thanks for reading everyone, and wish me luck with the last stretch of the program.  And if you want, visit me in the park sometime.  It looks really nice now that Christmas has come to town.

For my previous columns about Walt Disney World’s College Program, click on the Kevin in Wonderland link HERE.

More soon. . . Now off with ya, mates!

About Kevin

Kevin is a member of Disney's College Program. In this series, he'll share his journey in wonderland with us.

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  • r1hert2

    Great update of how you are doing and what. Guess I am too old for this as I am 55 but would be a lot of fun and hard work. Love the black and white photo above.

    • Kevin

      Thanks. You can still do the program even if you are older. Some businesses have their employees go into the program as an extra to business school.

  • sergiocaCador

    Hi Kevin!

    I missed your column! thought you were working a lot. But I guess now you’ve been having a lot of fun as well.

    I was very surprised (and thrilled) to see that you remembered our conversation about Princess Tiana. You do look like a prince by the way. Good to sse.

    I’ll try to pay you back by linking my photo with Tiana on Facebook. Hope you get to see it.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3643310396115&set=pb.1074992999.-2207520000.1353864875&type=3&theater

    That brings me back to Tiana being my favourite. “The only way to get what you want, is through nhard work.”

    The past 2 months i’ve been completely taken by my final project at school, Don’t how it works in there, but in Brazil, in orther to graduate you have to make a final project all by yourself, and be judged by a jury.

    I gave my hart and soul to it, worked day and night, and just like Tiana, i found “blue skies and sunshine” by getting a 10, or an A+. (It’s a restaurant themed on 20.000 leagues under the sea, you can also see on my facebook, and as you like myself want to be an imagineer, I’d love to hear your thoughts).

    So, I think you like Tiana for the same reason, you are giving your best. There is a saying I love. “Dream big,Work hard, Keep focus”.

    Don’t take so long on your next article. Even being busy I missed reading about your adventures.

    Big hug to you, Kingdom Keeper!

    Sergio

    • Kevin

      Thanks buddy. Glad to hear about your project. In my architecture program we do something similar but our presentation is at the end of every year. I have lets wanted to expand on the style of Jules Vern and his story. I’m glad to see that someone else appreciates that enough to make something completely new based on it. It sounds like you’re almost there. Keep up the good work buddy. Maybe I’ll see you at Imagineering some day.

      • sergiocaCador

        Yeah, we have it at the end of every semester too, but to graduate, it’s a bigger project another level.

        I love Jules Vern, a man ahead of his time, just like Walt. The Steam Punk concept is something I really love.

        About Imagineering, who knows??

        ;)

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    Yesssss! A CP Five Legged Goat!

    Thanks, buddy!!

    Great column this week, too!

    • Kevin

      Yeah, I’m glad that I caught that one. They ended up repaving that area like last week so I don’t think that it’s there anymore. It really brings new meaning to “sometimes you might see it, sometimes you don’t”.

  • OriginalMousekteer

    Here in California, I and many other cast members really like our College Program associates. I know of one Lead who started in the Program.

    The downside is that College Program participants are given three years of seniority for scheduling purposes. The reality in Anaheim is that if you are a new non-college Cast Member in attractions (this is where I know the most people) after your initial training you may only get one or two shifts per week on your attraction, even on the most safety-critical rides. The rest are doing things like Guest Control for Fantasmic, World of Color, Parades or Special Events (including the living hell that is Treat Trails at Mickey’s Halloween Parties).

    But the College Program kids jump ahead of a big chunk of the population. I don’t know anyone who disses our college co-workers–I know two pretty well who are among my favorites and I’ll be geniunely sorry to see them go. But our opinion of the Program is another matter.

    Sadly, this is yet another corporate reality. I don’t resent my CP co-workers. But I do resent doing another four- or five-hour Guest Control shift while looking over and seeing one of them working an eight-hour shift on our mutual attraction. And I blame the company for that.

    • Kevin

      I didn’t know that about Anaheim, but out here it seems that the CPs are usually given the treats and PAC shifts just as much as our other cast members. I believe the same rules of seniority for specific shifts do apply to out cast members here. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the helpful input.

  • KingEric

    I loved my CP, and it really helped me launch my career. Keep having fun Kevin!

    • Kevin

      It’s pretty easy to keep having fun out here. Thanks for the support.

  • JackandSallyLover

    Hey, my names Kiersten and I am also currently doing the DCP at WDW…I’m from CA also. Just wanted to say I love reading your articles. :)

    • Kevin

      No way! Thanks for reading. Where do you work?

  • JackandSallyLover

    I love Mice Chat….I’ve been reading it for years. I work at Downtown Disney at Once Upon a Toy.