In light of the fact that I’m leaving for the US in 7 (!!) days, I thought I’d motivate myself to be a more consistent blogger by doing a blog post every day for the next week, leading up to my departure.
Today I thought I’d give a quick run down on the Disney Cultural Exchange in Orlando, FL for anyone who thinks it might be something they’d like to do, or even if you just want to know more about it.
1. Live in New Zealand or Australia:
Unfortunately the Cultural Exchange Program is only open to people who live in NZ or Aus. HOWEVER, there are also programs under different titles and with slightly different setups for people from other countries outside of NZ and Aus, as well as probably most famous program, the Disney College Program for domestic students.
2. Be a tertiary student:
Another requirement for the program is that you have to currently be studying at a tertiary provider (for example; university, polytech or TAFEs). You must have completed at least one full year of tertiary education or have graduated within 12 months of starting the program.
3. It’s by no means cheap:
As cool as the experience is, it’s definitely not on the cheap side. There is a program fee of just over $500NZD plus your flights, compulsory medical insurance (approx. $900NZD), visa and SEVIS fees, plus extra spending money. The plus is of course that you are going to be having a once in a lifetime experience working for Disney and because you’re working, you will be paid!
4. Look out for Disney CEP Facebook pages:
Something that really helped me make up my mind and convinced me that I wanted to go to Disney was joining a couple of the Facebook groups dedicated to current and future Disney cast members. I joined both a current and future FB group. The current one allowed me to see what all the current people in the program thought of Disney, while the future one helped me get to know the people I could be doing the program with. It’s also how I found the majority of my potential room mates and helped me make friends before even leaving the country!
5. There’s this thing called “The Disney Look”:
Something else you should know, and should probably have already guessed (I mean, it is Disney) is that there is a specific way Disney want you to look. Natural hair colours, only one lobe piercing per ear, no visible tattoos, no stubble (–unless you’ve grown a full beard, Disney wants you clean shaven) and no long hair for the male cast members are just some of the things Disneh requires if you are going to work for them. This honestly made me feel slightly intimidated, but in the end I pretty much only need to take my cartilage and other lobe piercings out and I should be fine. A lot of people in my intake have tattoos, some even sleeves, so they will either need to find a costume that covers them, or cover it with make up.
6. There are two different times of the year you can do it:
I’m part of the January intake, but there is also a second intake in August. Within the January intake for this year there are two check in dates, one is the 11th of January, and the other is the 25th of Jan, which is mine. I’m not too sure how the August one works, but the dates change every year, while the month seem to stay pretty consistent.
And that’s pretty much it! There is obviously a lot of other information, but if those quick facts seem alright with you, you could be well on your way towards a job with Disney!
I’m still slightly unsure about whether I will go into more detail about the application and interview process or not. I’m more than happy to answer specific questions though and have a couple of friends who have written really wonderfully detailed posts about the whole process which I could link in a future blog post.
So, what do you think? Does the Disney Cultural Exchange Program sound like you? Let me know below!
*Find out more about the Disney Cultural Exchange Program HERE*