Walt Disney College Program & University of Knowledge


The Disney College Program and Disney University are the two main training and education programs at the Walt Disney Corporation and serve two distinct yet similar purposes, to provide hands-on training and academic education to current and future Disney staff members, also known as Cast Members.

Regardless of their primary objective they are both intended to educate, train, and support the many thousands of the Walt Disney corporate employees throughout the world. Especially the ones working at Disneyland and Disney World Resorts.

This is a complementary program to the Disney Hub where employees access the Disney Enterprise portal online for their corporate benefits, training courses, and other important features.

Many top corporation have these types of extensive, multi-level, education programs as part of their company DNA. A few examples of these corporate university training programs can be seen with Subway.

The University – A World of Knowledge

The Disney University was birthed out of a plain necessity to organize the training program of the hugely successful and growing Disneyland attraction back in 1955.

disney university

Where the magic happens.

Originally created by Van France as a basic orientation program for first time employees, and modeled after Army teachings, it grew into an extensive curriculum program for all Disney Cast Members as a means to keep a unified culture and to provide proper education for new members and career advancement skills for current cast members. There is even a Disney Culinary Program for the Chef in you.

Having the best employees was paramount for Disney for many reasons, but specifically for the fact that when one attends Disneyland a certain level of expectation is expected from the employees working there. Put simply the happiest place on earth should also have the happiest employees on earth.

With the creation of this University, the Walt Disney corporation became the envy of the corporate world, since because of it, their employees were one of the most loyal and customer focused employees.

The College Program – A World of  Internships

disney college program

Yes they have one.

The Disney College was created in 1981 to specifically address the need of an organized program for all the internship requests the corporation received on a daily basis (This is a similar beginning to how McDonald’s started their University and later their online LMS site). This program provides a path for any student attending college to apply for an internship position at Walt Disney and even later continue their education into a profession internship program that will complement their major.

As part of the internship program there are a few courses students will have to take during their participation. these course are free of charge but students will have to pay for textbooks and other course study material.

One major benefit of these courses are their eligibility as college credit. A benefit that is reserved for top corporate university programs of which Jiffy Lube is among them. The courses are worth anywhere from 3 to 9 units depending on the school you are attending.

I know what you are thinking… when do I start! Well, before you do there are still a few more thing you should know to make sure this is the career path you want to take.

Many people are not familiar with the American Council on Education. You should be, it is the authority on non-traditional education programs that they assign a college credit value so when you transfer to a real college you will already have a head start.

One of the more interesting courses in the below list is the Disney Experiential Learning course. Its objective is to educate students on the importance of corporate universities and the role of education in the corporate world. Including the main principles of adult education theory and the value of human capital. It is definitely worth taking if you are a business major.

American Council on Education

This is an organization worth following.

To give you an idea of what type of courses to expect, here is a the course list provided by ACE with their corresponding college credits:

  • Disney Advanced Studies in Hospitality Course (3 Units)
  • Disney College & International Program Internship (9 Units)
  • Disney Communications Course (3 Units)
  • Disney Corporate Analysis Course (3 Units)
  • Disney Corporate Communication Course (3 Units)
  • Disney Creativity and Innovation Course (3 Units)
  • Disney Experiential Learning (3 Units)
  • Disney Hospitality Management Course (Through a partnership with Marriott’s MGS) (3 Units)
  • Disney Human Resource Management Course (3 Units)
  • Disney Interactive Learning Program (3 Units)
  • Disney Leadership Speaker’s Series (1 Unit)
  • Disney Marketing U Course (3 Units)
  • Disney Organizational Leadership Course (3 Units)

Calling All Disney Cast Members – Its Show Time

Being part of the Magic Kingdom is definitely worth it. The Walt Disney corporation puts a lot of effort in keeping the magic from the beginning to the end, and regardless if you are a customer watching the show or an employee working the stage, there is room for everyone.

That’s the secret of Disneyland. Its a show all of its own, which is why the crew members are called cast members since they are part of the greatest and largest live show on the planet… Disneyland.

So if you are interest in becoming part of this Magical Kingdom take advantage of the Disney College Program and take part in the Disney University, and be part of the Magic!

Do you want to see a video on the inner working of this program, check it out here: