A Magical Experience
For MNU senior, Lindsay Crabtree, the Disney experience is more than just a dream, it’s a reality. Lindsay has always loved all things Disney, so she found out about the Disney College program through contacts she had before coming to MNU. “They knew how much I loved Disney, especially after I did a radio show featuring fun facts about Disney. They told me they knew some people who had done the program before and thought that I would be the perfect fit for Disney.”
The Disney College program allows participants to network with leaders, take part in career development classes, and build many skills including teamwork, effective communication, and guest service. As a participant in the program, the participants will have the opportunity to advance their strengths and interests, as well as to meet guests and cast members from around the country. The Disney College program is truly a magical experience.
Lindsay said that first she had to apply online by submitting her resume and answering a few generic questions. After that step, she had to wait a couple days until Disney let her move on to the next step, an online interview/quiz. The online quiz consisted of two parts. The first part was mainly discussing her past experience and general information about Lindsay. The second part was a timed section where she had to answer 75 questions about how she would handle certain situations. After completing the online quiz, she was told it could be up to two weeks before hearing anything. “I ended up hearing back the next day and they set up a phone interview to complete the final stage of interviews,” said Lindsay.
Lindsay stated that her interview was scheduled for 3 days later. The phone interview was 20 minutes long and they discussed the various roles she was interested in for the internship, as well as her background and experience. They then gave her a chance to discuss any questions she had. They ended the interview by discussing the Disney look and if she would be able to abide by their guidelines. “The Disney look is very important to them. Some of those guidelines are no visible tattoos, only one traditional earring per ear, natural hair color that matches your eyebrows and other various traits,” explained Lindsay. The next day she received an email telling her that she was accepted.
Lindsay works in merchandising in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. She works in all the various stores, booths, and behind the scenes aspects of merchandise, retail, and guest services. Lindsay has absolutely loved being part of the Disney Experience and has created so many memories this semester. One of the most memorable was the first day that she arrived. She lives in the Disney internship housing apartment complexes, so when she pulled into the complex the security guard checked her ID. After looking at her ID, he looked at Lindsay, smiled, and said, “Welcome home Lindsay!” Lindsay said that it truly made her feel welcome and “was such a cliché yet perfectly magical Disney moment.”
Another memory that Lindsay shared was when she was selling a glowing wand to a little princess that came into her store. She said the little girl’s eyes lit up when she handed the wand to her and that the little girl got the biggest smile on her face. “Then she took a sticker out of her little book of stickers she had and gave me one! Then waved and smiled at me as she left waving her new wand around!”
When Lindsay graduates from MNU, her dream is to become a fairytale wedding planner for Disney or a voice actress, so this is the perfect opportunity to meet and network with all the people involved in the corporate side of Disney. She hopes to get a professional wedding planning internship with Disney after she graduates, which almost guarantees a full-time position with Disney. Her first step to that internship is completing the Disney College program.
At MNU, Lindsay participates in the choir. She loves to sing and it has helped her voice to grow so much. Lindsay said that being in choir will help her when she gets the opportunity to audition for a character voice performer at Disney. She has also gained experience in planning fundraising events for organizations such as Kids TLC through the public relations class. That experience should be helpful in landing the wedding planning internship.
Lindsay says that MNU has helped to prepare her for her internship. “Many of my management, public relations, and intercultural communication classes have been very helpful. I have met thousands of people from all over the world and knowing how to interact with them has been of great importance.”
While her internship is ongoing, Lindsay says she has gained so much knowledge in learning how to deal with guests from all backgrounds and all cultures. “It’s important to be able to adapt to the situations depending on who you are dealing with in order to ensure that the guest continues to have as magical of a Disney experience as possible.”
Although currently a senior, Lindsay plans to graduate in May 2015 due to changing her major and taking time off school work for the Disney internship. Lindsay is now a Corporate Communications major, where she gains a dynamic understanding of the connections between communication, business and culture in our changing organizational world.