Where did you do your college program?
I worked at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort as a custodial cast member.
What was your favorite part of your program?
One of the coolest things I got to experience while working at the Polynesian was the premiere of Moana. They had three showings of the movie on the beach at the Polynesian a week before it was released in theaters, and I got to work at it. I saw the movie twice before it was in theaters, and that was pretty special.
What is the worst part of the DCP?
There are two things I really hated about the DCP…the first is the mattresses they provide in housing. It always felt like I was sleeping on a rock (so bring a GOOD mattress topper). The second thing I hated was the hours I got when we were understaffed. DCP participants are cheap labor, and there were some days when I was schedule two 16 hours shifts two days in a row. This only allowed me to get 4-5 hours of sleep at night. There were many weeks that I worked 6 days and I felt like I never had time to do anything. It was exhausting, but that’s why you have to take advantage of your situation and do things when you can!
Did you like your coordinators/leaders?
My two night coordinators that I worked with almost every day were incredible. They were so relaxed and would always be willing to help you. I became good friends with each of them. My morning coordinators were not my favorite, but that is mainly just because I didn’t work with them often. I had some leaders that were better than others. One of my leaders I would always try to avoid at all costs because she was just not a nice person, but the rest of them were always very approachable and easy to find.
The Polynesian has a very relaxed vibe and it carries through to the employees as well. Workers from other resorts loved picking up shifts at the Polynesian because we were so “chill”. With that being said, there were also times when it was stressful, because if you needed something changed or fixed it would take a long time. The whole place just has a very carefree attitude which is both a blessing and a curse.
What did you like more about working in a resort?
I found that the resort you work at is like a family. The Polynesian is truly one big Ohana. You see the same people almost every day and it is fun getting to know people in all different roles. I also found that the resorts were often times more calm. On Christmas Day, the resort was dead-Magic Kingdom on the other hand? Not so much. I enjoyed being able to see the same guests multiple times a week. I also got tips from guests and it was a great feeling to have a guest come up and say “thank you” or come up to continue a conversation from a previous day.
Did you get homesick?
The only time I ever got homesick during the program was on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not a huge holiday in our family, but we always get together and then spend that weekend shopping and getting our Christmas tree. Christmas is my favorite so it was hard to be away from home for that. My dog also had to be put to sleep on Black Friday, so it was just a really tough week for me. Other than that, I never missed home too much. Many people came and visited me and I made sure to keep in contact with everyone while I was in Florida.
Would you do a second DCP?
I personally did not have a desire to do a second DCP for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I was 22 when I did my first DCP so I would have basically been doing programs back to back. The other reason is that the pay is not great, and after graduating I had a stronger desire to find a professional internship or full-time job.
Which role is the best?
It honestly depends on what you like and don’t like. But if you are asking my opinion, I would say that custodial is the best role. I absolutely loved it. It is also a role that is needed, so if you express interest in it, you are more likely to get what you want. Other roles that I think I would have really enjoyed are vacation planning, children’s activities, and front desk/concierge.