Disney College Program – Friends for Life

I first moved to Florida in 1997 from Michigan.  I drove down with a guy I barely knew, heading to a job I had no idea about, to live with five other girls, all strangers.

My Disney College Program acceptance letter

My Disney College Program acceptance letter.

Flash forward almost 17 years (wait – is that math correct?! DAMN!!!)  and it’s amazing the friendships and bonds made during the Disney College Program Experience.

For those of you unfamiliar with the College Program, let me explain.  Disney basically goes recruiting at colleges across the country and hires kids to come down for a semester to work in the park.  For me, it was a dream come true.  I was selected to work in a “merchandise location” on property and ended up driving down with a guy, also from Michigan State.

He happened to be dating this girl whose brother I worked with.  Following along? So we barely knew each other, but Jeff seemed nice so we did the drive down I-75 and have been friends ever-since.  One of his roommates, Andy, quickly joined our crew and we were pretty inseparable.

To this day, I cannot imagine sharing a space with other girls, much less five different ones.  This was “back in the day” of one phone on the wall and I was the only one with a computer (uh…nerd…cough, cough…).  There were no cell phones and only two bathrooms.  We somehow didn’t kill each other, although we thought about it, I’m sure.  Out of my six roommates, there were two that were questionable.  The rest were pretty awesome, so we got lucky.

My Disney College Program roommates.

My Disney College Program roommates.

One of my roommates was my “soul-mate sister.”  Eileen and I were always on the same page.  I vividly remember sitting on the couch with her watching Princess Diana’s funeral and crying our eyes out.  Although we live in different states, we always stay in touch on social media and I can always count on her to weigh in on celebrity weddings, breakups and join me in all my award show critiquing.

Columbia Harbour House

Eileen hard at work at Columbia Harbour House.

A Disney College Program Christmas.

A Disney College Program Christmas.

Disney College Program

“How much for the big Woody’s?”

TomorrowLand Mickey

Jeff & Jen with Tomorrowland Mikey!

Andy, Jen & Jeff.

Andy, Jen & Jeff.

As life does, people move around and drift apart, but it’s so great that when we do get a chance to catch up, it feels like no time has passed.

Eileen, Jeff & Jen in 1997.

Eileen, Jeff & Jen in 1997.


Jeff, Eileen, Jen – 2014 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club.

I came down again to do a second college program internship with Media Relations.  And that’s when I met Blythe.  She worked at Animal Kingdom and the two of us always had the best stories.  Her’s about strange animal behavior; Me about random celebrity encounters.  It was such a fun time.  She’s still one of my favorite people to catch up with.


Blythe and Jen – 2014 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

I love finding people that originally came down to Florida on Disney’s College Program.  Did you do WDWCP? Where did you work?

2 thoughts on “Disney College Program – Friends for Life

  1. College program was how I originally ended up in Orlando too. I was here in fall of 2001 and still friends with so many people from my program. It was one of the best things I did in college.

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