How To Guides

How to make your application pop

There are thousands of other Disney lovers sending in their applications to the same program you want a spot in. To keep your application from getting forgotten you’ll need to make yourself stand out.

Work Experience

When it comes to work experience, do not panic if you don’t have a lot of it. Quality is more important than quantity. Just make sure any experience you list is going to make you seem like someone Disney wants to hire.

Know what Disney is looking for. You can start by knowing the Four Keys: Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency. If there is any way to show that you have experience in these areas on your application you should absolutely include that.

Here’s an example from my personal application:

Key word: SAFETY!

If you have a specific role that you want, try to include work experience that makes you qualified for that particular role. I really wanted to get placed somewhere where I could work with children. Therefore, I was sure to include my experience working at a children’s center.

In particular, I wanted to be hired as a character attendant. I specifically talked about my conflict resolution experience in my application because I knew character attendants have to be skilled in this.

Here’s an example of how I did that:

Key words: CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGIES!

If you don’t have a specific role that you want, you can try to include general characteristics that Disney cast members should have.

This can include:

  • Leadership experience
  • CPR training (lifeguards specifically)
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Experience providing excellent customer service
  • Experience working independently (with little to no supervision)
  • Experience providing high volume and fast paced service

Another tip is to include tangible data. By this I mean, it’s better to say “I supervised a team of 10 employees,” than to say, “I was a supervisor.” Numbers stand out and can make it seem more impressive.

Here is an example of how I did this on my application:

Look at all those numbers.

This next tip is something I could have improved on in my own application.

When filling out your application, make it as clear and concise as possible. To quote Disney directly, “Keep each statement simple, strong, powerful and specific. Typically no more than 10-15 words.”

One way to help with this is to try and start your sentences with action words. If you look at my application excerpt above (from the UWM Registars Office), you can see examples of how to do this.

  • “I administered”
  • “I maintained”

You can also see examples of where I could have improved.

  • “I was responsible for supervision of…”

It would have been better if I had simply stated “I supervised”.

LESS IS MORE. Using too many words can over complicate things and waste the reader’s time. Don’t dilute your application with unnecessary filler words that can distract from the point you are trying to make.

Things to Avoid:

Although you may have done some really cool stuff at your previous jobs, only talk about the stuff that Disney is specifically looking for.

For example, I had an internship at a speech and language clinic where I gained a lot of really valuable experience related my future career. When I was applying to graduate schools, I made sure to use a lot of technical jargon such as pediatric dysphagia and childhood apraxia. However, on my Disney application I left all of that out.

Instead, I listed my experience regulating children’s activities, relaying important information to family members, and working with diverse populations. This is the stuff that matters to Disney recruiters.

Another thing you want to avoid is switching back and forth between writing styles. I chose to go with first-person writing. Therefore I made sure everything I wrote started with, “I administered…” or “I helped….”.

Some choose to use different writing styles (such as present tense vs past tense; first person vs third person). It’s up to you when choosing how you want to write. Just make sure you remain consistent throughout your entire application.

This next one might seem obvious, but in case it’s not…

DO NOT LEAVE MISSPELLED WORDS OR GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN YOUR APPLICATION.

This is going to make you seem sloppy and unprofessional. These are two qualities Disney does not want associated with their company.

Program Interest

You can mark on your application if you would like to be considered for the program at Disney World in Orlando, Disneyland in Anaheim, or both.

This is NOT something that will make or break your application. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that Disneyland has less spots available (but if you genuinely do not want to go to WDW then do not feel pressured to mark that you want to be placed there).

You also get to rank your preference for Fall/Fall Advantage or Spring/Spring Advantage (fall advantage you get there a few months early, spring advantage you leave a few months late). This is another one of those things that doesn’t really affect your chances of getting into the program.

Next things start to get more fun.

For each location (WDW or Disneyland) you get to indicate your level of interest in all the available roles.

If you are someone who only wants to do the DCP if you get one of your dream roles, then put little or no interest in all the roles you do not want.

It might be tempting to put “no interest” in everything except your dream roles (like photopass and bibbidi bobbidi boutique). Just know that if you put “no interest” for all the positions they have available, you’re less likely to be accepted into the program.

If you are someone who really wants to do the DCP irregardless of what role you get, then put high interest in most/all of the options. This can increase your chances of getting accepted because the likelihood that they have an opening for one of the roles you want is pretty high.

IMPORTANT: if you put anything other than “no interest” for a role, there is a possibility that you will get placed there.

Here is my recommendation:

  • Put your dream roles as high interest
  • Put roles you would hate doing as no interest
  • Put roles you don’t love but don’t hate somewhere in the middle
  • If you genuinely just want to get into the program put a large number of high interest roles (when you have your phone interview they will typically ask you to name your top three roles)

Personally, I put high interest for literally every role except for costuming operations and parking.

Key takeaways:

  • cater your work experience to fit what Disney wants
  • quality matters more than quantity
  • keep things simple, powerful, and specific
  • use numbers
  • proof read your application
  • indicate your interest in roles strategically

Unfortunately, when it comes to the DCP nothing is guaranteed. You could have stellar work experience, list “high interest” for every role, and still not get to move onto the Web Based Interview.

Don’t get discouraged if you look at your dashboard after submitting your application and see “NLIC.” I personally have been in that position. The best thing you can do is stay positive and keep trying. Everything happens for a reason.

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