Guide to Disney College Program and Animation Apprenticeships- Work for the Mouse!

Updated 7/20/18. There are many apprenticeships in every division of the Walt Disney Company, including the Disney College Program and Animation Internships. Either option can be a great starting point for many college students and graduates looking to advance their career skills and sense of adventure. Read on to get a full sense of what the Disney College Program and Animation Internships are like.

Disney College Program

The college program is located at both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort.

While interning with the Disney College Program you will work in operations, lodging, food, beverage, retail sales, recreation, or entertainment.

When you first have your interview you are asked what position you would like to work- the most popular and fun is operations.  I suggest requesting this if you want to work on your favorite attractions.

Disney has described the program saying

participants have the incredible opportunity to advance their strengths and interests, meet guests and cast members from around the country and take part in educational opportunities students can’t get anywhere else.

When you are a member of the program, you will live in dorms with other members of the program, and have access to unique courses, and magical experiences provided by Disney.

When you aren’t in classes or working you can sign up for special tours of the resort only available to Disney College Program students. Some examples of those tours are going inside attractions at night, such as the Great Movie Ride or the Haunted Mansion.

To see what a typical day can look like for someone in the Disney College Program, check out this Youtuber’s video below:

If you are accepted into the program you will be housed on property in Disney World, or if you are being an apprentice in Disneyland you will be housed right off property.

Applicant Requirements

  • Students must be currently enrolled and taking classes at an accredited program or institution and have completed at least one semester OR have graduated within the past six months.
  • Meet any school requirements, if applicable.
    • In some cases, students may also need to meet additional criteria their school requires for participation in the Disney College Program (GPA, grade level, etc.).
  • Be at least 18 years of age by the time the program begins
  • Possess unrestricted work authorization

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Disney College Program, apply on Disney’s official site.

Animation Apprenticeships & Internships

Image of the outside of the animation building

Animation internships are an awesome opportunity for students to take advantage of in the summer months. These paid internships are only offered during the summer for about 8-12 weeks. These internships are meant for students that are returning in the fall- not graduating students.

If approved as an intern, you will be assigned a Disney mentor to work with during your time at the Walt Disney Animation Studio. This internship exposes students to all aspects of art, storytelling, and filmmaking.

The internship also includes opportunities to collaborate with other groups of students from around the world and work as apart of team on individual and group projects.

Apprenticeships offers graduates the chance to work under the guidance of a Disney Animation mentor. Participants have the chance to hone their skills, strengthen key areas, and apply them in a real word animation environment. The apprenticeships are based in their Burbank, California office.

To qualify for an apprenticeship, participants must be recent college graduates within three years of graduation.

The apprenticeships are offered in 3, 6, or 12 month paid positions in Fall and Spring.

The Walt Disney Studio lists the different opportunities interns and apprentices could be a part of which includes:

Creating Great Stories

  • Story Artist
  • Layout Artist
  • Editorial
  • Development

Developing Appealing Characters

  • Visual Development Artist
  • Modeler
  • Look Development Artist
  • Animator
  • Character Technical Director

Crafting Believable Worlds

  • Effects Animation Artist
  • Lighter
  • Stereo Artist


  • General Technical Director

Partnering in Creativity

  • Production Management

If you are interested in becoming an intern or apprentice at Walt Disney Animation Studios, check out their official website here. They also offer 12 week paid technology internships for IT students.

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1 comment add your comment

  1. I am a big fan of Disney, watched all disney films ever created, and I would very much like to join the disney college program so that i can work as part of the disney team, i like to draw and to paint and i also like to do animation as i tend to draw the manga animeation. I have done my GCSE Art in sixth form in a class of yr 10 and i walked out with a Grade B and this year i have just finished doing my A level Art and got a Grade C. I also have done paintings of disney characters for family and friends.

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