Disney College Program: To Extend or Not to Extend? That is the question.

This last week Disney College Program extensions became available. For 5 days, the system allowed the Fall and Fall Advantage participants to apply for an extension. This could include an extension for your current role, or a possible transfer to another role. And you have to pay another program fee of $240. (This money goes towards the transportation and events provided while you’re in your program.)

Let’s discuss the reasons you might want to extend:
#1- You are still working on your college degree but want to take another semester off to continue to work at Disney.
#2- You are enjoying your time at Disney, but you aren’t sure if a permanent move is right for you.
#3- You want to move here permanently, but you’re not sure if you’ll be able to get on Part Time or Full Time.

Let’s discuss the reasons extending might not be for you:
#1- You want to make a permanent move to Disney and you’re tired of earning $10/hour.
#2- You want to stay at Disney and you want to be able to start earning your seniority and other perks of statused employment at the company.
#3- You hope to get a performer contract at Disney
#4- You want to go home or somewhere else.

For us, we won’t be extending. We want to stay here long term. We want to be able to audition for parts in shows and not have our program get in the way. We want to be able to apply for jobs and not have our program get in the way. Instead, we will be using Transfer Genie in November to request a transfer to full or part time roles (assuming we don’t get other offers we’re waiting to hear about).

Please make sure you talk to your leaders and discuss your future options! Cultivate relationships with your colleagues and build a network of people who can cheer you on and advise you as you start your Disney career journey!

Disney College Program Series: How to Save Money on the DCP

Let’s just say it now, being an adult is ROUGH! You work and you work and you work and you get a tiny paycheck and you just want to have a little fun, but fun requires money and you’ve got bills to pay! The Disney College Program is great because it’s a paid internship opportunity, however, it’s not going to pay you loads and there are so many fun things to do in Orlando that cost money. So what are you going to do?

This blog post is going to tell you some of our tips for saving money and being generally thrifty while on you Disney College Program. Honestly, we use most of these tips all of the time, but we went especially hardcore with these techniques when we started our Disney College Program.

BEFORE YOU START SAVING- Figure out your budget. Play around with a spreadsheet and figure out how much you’ll make each week. Don’t forget to also keep track of all of the expenses too. Have a list of your rent, car payment, insurance, etc. To a certain extent, you can control what you make. Pick up extra shifts if you need extra money. Over Time is your best friend! And sometimes you have to work more now so you can play later!

On to the savings tips…

FIRST TIP- We decided we wouldn’t eat out and would grocery shop and cook at home. Fortunately, I am a pretty good cook. But you don’t have to be. Have you heard of Pinterest? Follow me on Pinterest to find some easy recipes that are great for meal planning on a budget! And you know what, we eat A LOT of peanut butter sandwiches. This way, we take our lunches and don’t spend money at the cafeterias at work. Sure a meal might only cost $5, but $5 spent everyday, 5 days a week adds up to $25 per week and $100 over the course of a month! Do you know what you could do with $100?!? We saved for a couple of months and bought Universal Studios passes. And that was just from saving money on that one meal.

SECOND TIP- Find extra little ways to make money. Once you know you’re determined to grocery shop, there are a couple of apps that will actually make you a little extra money when you use them while shopping! When we had to get set up in the apartment, we earned over $25 using just app #1!!!

#1- Ibotta app– if you haven’t tried this app, you need to! You’re already going to be buying groceries, so why not make a little extra? You get “cash back” for certain purchases (verified with a receipt you scan into the app) as as for completing certain challenges within the app. Then you can redeem your cash back via Venmo (this is my new favorite method because it’s actually cash right into my bank account) or various gift cards. You can also get bonus cash back by inviting your friends to join in the savings fun. I’ve earned almost $300 by using this app!

***Join by following this link https://ibotta.com/r/hskqwnc or download the app and put in my referral code hskqwnc. The app is available for android and iOS users. By following my referral link or using my code, you’ll get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first offer!***
#2- Shopkick app- I don’t find this one to be as lucrative as Ibotta, but it’s good for an extra $25-50. And that could cover a meal or souvenir at Disney! Shopkick is still evolving and you can use it similarly to Ibotta or you can use your phone and scan items in the store to earn “kicks”. The nice thing about Shopkick is that you can redeem your kicks for a Disney Gift Card! You’ll get an email with a digital code that you can use to pay for your trip or to pay for things on your vacation. Invite Friends and you each earn 250 kicks!
***Try Shopkick and we’ll both get points toward a free gift card! 😀 Use code GIFT503676 or download http://getsk.co/gift503676

THIRD TIP- Challenge yourself to a NO SPEND WEEK. My friend and I were really ambitious one year and challenged ourselves to a No Spend Month. A month is a long time and sometimes you’re going to have to spend money. However, a Week is MUCH more doable! We have rules for our No Spend Weeks-

  • No spending on luxury want items- i.e. shoes, dresses, make up, candy
  • We can spend money on Gas
  • We can spend money on necessary items. For us this includes: milk, cheese, bread and eggs.
  • Stay off of Amazon. Online shopping will get you every time. It’s so convenient and amazon has such good prices… Just avoid it.
We’ve discovered that having a sweeping “Don’t spend any money” declaration just doesn’t work. But giving yourself lee-way for the necessities makes it a little easier. Just make sure you stick to it.
FOURTH TIP- Don’t use credit cards. It might be tempting, but if you don’t have the cash to pay for it, don’t buy it! Yes you should have fun on the Disney College Program, but don’t go into debt to do that! 
FIFTH TIP- Part A- Enjoy the FREE things! While on your DCP, you have a lot of free perks offered to you by Disney. You can go to any of the Disney parks for free. Ride the rides. Walk around the shops (Don’t buy anything if it’s a NO SPEND WEEK) even treat yourself to a snack. Which brings me to my last tip…
FIFTH TIP- Part B- Know about the discounts Disney Cast Members Enjoy! Keep track of where you can eat for the best deal. Know what merchandise locations give discounts. Remember that certain times of year Disney Cast Members get even BETTER discounts! Save and plan for those times. 
If you follow our tips, you’ll find you have the money you need for fun, and you’ll be able to save a little too, if you want. We’ve been able to pay all of our bills and save for fun as well! It’s totally doable!!! 

Sun Survival Tips for Work or for Play

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With my new job, I spend a lot of time outside. Like A LOT. Especially since right now I’m only trained to work in the daytime. And while I come from the desert climate of Utah and am well adjusted to heat, Orlando heat and humidity for a 6 or 8 hour shift can be rough.

As an added “bonus” I discovered I have some weird skin conditions that rear their grotesque heads after intense exposure to the sun and heat. When I’ve traveled to Disney or other theme parks, I spend time outside, but I also go inside frequently for attractions, shows and eating. My job has me outside all the time for now. So I didn’t realize until the last couple of weeks how intense these issues were.

But, because of that, I’ve got some really useful tips and product suggestions for surviving work or fun in the sun!


Whether you are going to be outside playing in the sun or working in the sun, the first thing you want to make sure you have is Sunscreen. SPF 30+ is recommended. Personally, I try to find SPF 50+. And I make sure I have some on me so I can reapply throughout the day. Honestly, the reapplication part is my biggest struggle. I’m going to give you a couple of suggestions for SPF and you can choose what works best for you.
Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 70 Spray Sunscreen- $8.97 on Amazon
The spray-on option is nice because it makes application pretty easy. Although, you should rub in the sunscreen after you spray it on. For the most part, I really like how this goes on. My only problem is that I developed a weird allergy and needed to switch sunscreens. Which leads me to recommendation #2…
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 60+- $9.97 on Amazon
If you have skin that is sensitive or prone to eczema, this is a great option! It’s a cream sunscreen. But it helps to lock in the moisture and it’s specially formulated to not cause break outs or rashes. This is my new best friend. I simultaneously discovered that I have a weird stress-triggered eczema AND I am very sensitive to prolonged heat/sun exposure. This product solved my issues. Now I can prevent sunburn and keep my skin sensitivities at bay.


This is another vital step! When I work, I keep a water bottle clipped to my belt and we are encouraged to drink a bottle of water per hour. Because I am often busy helping guests, I don’t usually get a bottle per hour, but when I go on my breaks I try to make up for it. Also, remember to pre-hydrate before you get to you sunny activities. If you start out as a grape, it will take longer to get to the raisin point. If you’re already mostly raisin, you’re gonna have problems. Drink water on your way to work/fun time. Here are a couple of products that I really like and help me with my hydration needs.
This is my beverage of choice for my lunch break. It tastes great, has only 5 calories per serving and contains natural caffeine for a little extra boost. On my long shifts, it really helps to have the caffeine boost. But I don’t like soda. And frankly, you need to be careful about soda and coffee anyway. They will dehydrate you more quickly. Water is always a first choice, but sometimes you need to switch it up.
nuun electrolyte tablets- $18.04 for 40 tablets on Amazon
My friend introduced these to me and I’m excited to give them a try! They plop right into your water bottle and dissolve to give you subtle flavor and as well as electrolytes. Try them out on your next vacation or even when you’re doing your workouts!


Your face can definitely take a roasting in the sunshine. And you can’t just use any regular sunscreen on it because they could cause breakouts. So here are some options for your face protection-
Neutrogena UltraSheer Face and Body Stick SPF 70- $8.16 on Amazon
I’ve tried this one and I really like it. It’s like a stick of deodorant that you rub on your face. SPF 70 is fantastic protection too! It glides on easily over or under your make up (or use without make up). 
ELF Beauty Shield SPF 50- $12 at Target
This has kept my face completely protected. I can tell it’s working because if I miss a spot or don’t get close enough to my hairline, I get a little spot of sunburn. It goes on smoothly and SPF 50 on my face without break outs!!!! It’s the dream!
Neutrogena Revitalizing lip Balm SPF 20- $6.29 on Amazon
Don’t forget to protect your lips! Blisters and cold sores on your lips are not fun! This lip balm has several great color options and is so moisturizing AND has SPF 20! I love it. I have one that I keep at home and one that I carry with me while I work so I can reapply! 


Hats are in! Just ask the Queen of England! But really, if you’re going to spend a lot of time outside, do yourself and favor and get a hat. For work, I’m provided with a wide-brimmed hat. I wear it…sometimes. Honestly, sometimes it kind of feels like it gets in the way. But it does keep my ears from getting sunburned and protects my face and neck as well. I also have a baseball cap that I wear when I know I’m going to spend a day in the sun. And of course, if you’re super sensitive to the sun, consider wearing long sleeved Sun Protection Shirts.
UV/Sun Protection Shirts- $21.99 at Amazon
I am not currently using one of these because I’m afraid I’ll sweat even more and end up dehydrated, but I’ve definitely considered it and if you’re SUPER sun sensitive, please consider it.


Even if you do everything right, you still need to take care of yourself AFTER you’ve spent significant time in the sun. This is something I’ve been spending some time honing these last few weeks. Just like pre-hydration, I need to come home and post-hydrate as well. I usually come home and down a Powerade. My skin also needs some extra TLC after.
BananaBoat After Sun Gel- $13.99 for 2 pack on Amazon
Find a good after sun gel. This isn’t the one I use. I actually use the MaryKay after-sun replenishing gel. It’s a limited edition item and not always available, so I gave you link to a similar product available on Amazon. Even if you only get a little sun, use the gel! If you get sunburned, DEFINITELY use the gel! It keeps things cool and moisturizes your sunburn. It’s saved my life. I’ve definitely been getting sun, but because I’ve been using my after sun gel, I haven’t been peeling!
OZNaturals Vitamin C Mask- $13.49 on Amazon
Vitamin C is vital to sun exposure recovery. This mask has all of the important ingredients to help you skin recover. It’s also mild enough that it can be used daily. It helps my skin rebound after a day in the sun. I definitely see and feel the difference.
Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb sheet mask- $14.19 for a 6 pack on Amazon
It’s all about the hydration after sun exposure. Moisturizing sheet masks are great to add a little extra moisture to your face. My face definitely feels softer and happier after I use a moisturizing sheet mask.

Disney College Program Series: How to Cope with DCP Rejection

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As I write this, I imagine you reading this and thinking “How do you know how to deal with DCP rejection?” While I did get accepted to the DCP (and on my first try), I know plenty about coping with rejection. Being a performer, I have definitely been on the receiving end of rejection. I have my own methods for coping, honed over years of failed auditions and other opportunities missed.

I’m not telling you this is the only way to cope with rejection, but these are some of the tools I find helpful. Feel free to try some, all or none of them. And of course, if you have your own coping tools, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Coping with REJECTION

Sometimes we just want to shove things down and try to move on quickly. But it’s really a lot healthier and more helpful to actually feel things. It’s ok to be disappointed. It’s even okay to be angry. My sub suggestion on this is to 
#1a- Have a Venting Buddy
Your Venting Buddy should be someone you’re close to. Find someone who will let you word vomit your feelings for about 20 minutes (tops) and then talk you down off the ledge. Your Venting Buddy will help you feel your frustrations and then help you move on.
It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. I mean, if you’re auditioning or job searching etc, you might be going through this cycle fairly regularly. So your treat could be a cupcake from your favorite place. Or you could get those shoes you’ve had your eye on (Dorothy Oka-B is what I’ve got my eye on). Buy yourself some new pens or face mask or running leggings.

#3- Find a New Project
Now that you’ve felt things, and treated yourself to things, you are ready to find a new project to put your energy into. Sometimes this could be moving on to the next audition, job application, interview, project, whatever. Maybe it means getting a new hobby. Maybe you should start planning a vacation for the future. Vacation planning gives you something to look forward to. And it’s something that is more in your control. Also, who doesn’t love to spend hours working on vacation spreadsheets? Oh, just me? Awkward…
#4- Learn and Grow
Sometimes we have to get a little distance from an experience before we can truly learn and grow. It’s frustrating to have to examine the experiences that make us feel the most vulnerable. But we can learn valuable things from each rejection. Maybe your resume could use some sprucing. Maybe your interviewing or audition skills need some refining. Look at things and see if you clan improve. Sometimes, it just isn’t meant to be. You can do everything right that you possibly can, and the stars just don’t align. That’s okay too. You have to learn which experiences to learn from and which ones you just move past. Which brings me to my last tip…
#5- Put the Past Behind you
Don’t carry the rejection with you. That’s not going to be helpful for anyone. It’s not going to make your next attempt any more successful if you keep carrying the baggage of your last failure. Let you past make you stronger, not weigh you down. Let it go, as the song says. 
Like I said, these are just some coping mechanisms that I use when dealing with rejection. Everyone is different and something else might work better for you. I want to hear your suggestions about coping with rejection! Leave a comment below.

Disney College Program Series: The First Week

We’ve made it through our first week of the Disney College Program. I know a lot of people are wondering what we’ve been doing in that week and others might be wondering what they can expect in their own program. So I’ve got a break down of our first week.

Day 1

On Day 1, we arrived at our assigned apartment complex. Our assigned time was 9:15 am. You check in with security and then follow the check-in signs to the building where they do your check in. You get your picture taken and receive your Housing ID, your Program Guide and the key to your apartment. 
We headed to our apartment building and found out we were on the top floor. (ugh) There are 3 floors and we are on floor #3. It was A LOT of stair climbing to unload our 2 cars. Fortunately we had totes and baskets to help minimize the number of trips, but still. It was rough. And it was TOASTY out that day too. We got everything unloaded from our cars and started putting some things away.
That afternoon, Adam had to go to Casting to get his background check done and have his picture taken for his employee ID (although you do not get your Employee ID immediately…more to come on that).
Outside Casting building
How cute are these statues inside Casting?
We finished off Day 1 with a Walmart and Target trip. We had to stock up on, well, everything. Eating is important. And we plan on doing a lot of cooking at home so we can actually put some money in our savings while we work. 

Day 2

I wish I could tell you that we were 100% moved in on the first day, but the truth is, we were not. We were probably 75% though. Sometimes you just need to spend some time in the space before you can figure out where everything goes. So Day 2 was us settling in some more and doing a Costco run (because our Costco is about a 25 minute drive from us and there were things on coupon that we needed). 
Also, Day 2 was when I went to Casting to do my stuff. Everything is scheduled out at very specific times, so it’s not like I could have just gone with Adam because that’s not what my schedule said.

Day 3

Neither of us had any events scheduled on Day 3. We are Disney World Annual Passholders, so we decided to go into the parks for a little bit. Most CP’s don’t get to do this until after they receive their employee ID because that’s what gets you into the park for free. 
So we spent the afternoon in the Magic Kingdom exploring the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo. You can find our video of that here

Day 4

We started Day 4 with a Housing Welcome Session. This took place in The Commons Clubroom. It was about and hour long and just kind of explained some of the rules and amenities in our housing complexes.
That was it for that day. Disney really likes to spread things out. I guess it’s nice because you have time to get settled in and adjusted to the area. But I was anxious to get to training and working. 

Day 5 and 6

Adam got to go to his Traditions class on Day 5 and I went on Day 6! Traditions is basically your Disney orientation. You get to hear a lot about the company and the history, which is so great and emotional if you’ve been dreaming of working for Disney your whole life (I may have teared up…which is a rare occurrence for me). 
Traditions is held at Disney University!
This is also where you get your name tag and Employee ID. There are some other really exciting moments and you can find videos of those if you want. But they were so magical, I don’t want to be the one to spoil them. I will tell you to make sure you wear shoes you’re comfortable walking in!

 No joke, looking at this makes me tear up. I’ve wanted one of these so badly! 

 Day 7

We got to go to our first day of training on our 7th day. This training was also at Disney University. For me, it was just 5 hours, including an hour to go get my costume. For Adam, he was there for an extra hour and a half and he didn’t get his costume that day. This was more HR type stuff. Lift with your legs, not your back. Don’t be mean to guests. How to use a Fire Extinguisher. It was done in a very Disney way, but it wasn’t focused role-related training.
We are so excited to join the Walt Disney World family and start creating magical memories at the parks! Our next few days of training should be more focused on our actual roles and responsibilities and we can’t wait!

The Road to DCP: The Whole Video Diary

We left for our DCP road trip on May 30th and arrived in Orlando on June 3rd. In between, we drove through 8 states and changed time zones twice. We spent the night in 3 hotels and with my brother in Alabama for 2 nights. We bought a lot of gas to keep the cars going and we ate more snacks than is probably healthy, but you gotta do what you gotta do. 
These videos are all on our YouTube Channel but I thought I’d put them all here in a single blog post for easy access. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel because the videos are going to be rolling out a lot more now and they’ll be full of fun tips and tricks for visiting Disney World and the surrounding area.
Enjoy a brief look into the madness that was our cross-country drive to the DCP!
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six

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