What could be better than visiting the happiest place on earth? Working, living and taking classes at Disney World for four months. Sophomore Hannah Brown will be in Florida for the 2018 spring semester doing just that.
The Disney College Program, or DCP, is open to sophomores in college through college graduates. The semester-long programs are offered in fall and spring, and participants can choose to apply to stay longer.
Brown will move into her apartment on Disney property with five other DCP participants on Jan. 16, where she will stay until May 17.
Brown first applied for the program back in August then had a phone interview four days later. On Oct. 5, she got the acceptance email.
“I’m the most impatient person ever,” said Brown. “So waiting over a month was aggravating, but worth the wait.”
Her official job title is Photo Pass Photographer. She will not know her exact placement until she arrives in January, but she could be placed anywhere on the grounds. She could be on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, outside a resort in Epcot or waist-deep in a water park, taking pictures of families, just to name a few possibilities.
Wherever she is assigned, Brown will be responsible for taking pictures of families and scanning their bands for the photo packages. She will remain in one spot for the entirety of her stay, although she may occasionally be taking pictures at character meet and greets or at booths where the photos are sold.
Brown will work anywhere from 30 to 40 hours a week while also taking her classes at Disney University, which is also located on Disney property.
Brown is looking forward to meeting all sorts of new people, and hopes to make even more lifelong friendships. She is also excited about being able to explore all of Disney, especially the behind the scenes that not everyone gets to see. This isn’t just any job, and she won’t be just a visitor, she’ll get to see the employee side. Brown is eager to visit Universal Studios and the Orlando area overall.
A few of Brown’s perks of working at the park include free admission with her ID and discounts throughout the park.
A few days before she starts work, Brown will be allowed to move into her apartment. She and her grandma will make the 18-hour drive to Florida. Arriving a few days early will give her time to orient herself and explore from the hotel before finding her home for the following months, she said.
During college, her aunt participated in the in the program as a character performer. This connection was a major factor in what sparked Brown’s interest.
Brown went to character auditions in Michigan a few weeks ago. There, she learned and performed a dance and animation for the judges. Character performer positions are cut throat—2,000 students audition and only 130 will be cast.
Brown didn’t get cast as a character performer, but she is thrilled to be accepted into the Disney College Program and to be spending the spring of 2018 in the happiest place on earth.
“I grew up on Disney. Disney everything,” Brown said. “This opportunity is a dream come true.”