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!