Walt Disney J1 Cultural Exchange Program – Interview


We started off our day arriving at the office between 9:00AM and 9:25AM to sign in and gather in a seminar room. There was three recruiters that did a presentation about the program, the budget, roles and visa/SEVIS information which I will list below for your future references.

Presentation information for 2015:

  • The pay is $9.00 USD, for lifeguards (guarding at 2m deep) is $9.43 USD.
  • Canadians don’t need to do visas, UK and other applicants do. However, we still need to do the SEVIS fees.
  • Medical insurance from Disney (HTH) is a must, even if you have your own medical insurance. It’s about $60-80 a month.
  • There is a program assessment fee of $150 and a $4.50 credit card fee.
  • You will also need to pay $200 for your first two weeks of housing and after that housing will be deducted from your pay.
  • There are two arrival dates: May 12th or May 19th and everyone will be departing on August 7th.

After the presentation, a group of us went down to the food court and waited it out by talking and eating. We cannot stay upstairs near the office until five minute prior to our interview. I left about fifteen minutes before and got there right on time. It always nice to expect some elevator traffic or maybe you’re in five inch heels. Once I got up there for my interview, I waited in a meeting room with about 10 people before the recuiter called half of us into another waiting room to be called in separately.


I feel like everyone always claims that the interview was super easy going, but I always found it generic. If you prepared and thought up some answers prior to the interview, it is definitely easier. This was one of my most well thought out interviews and I answered a lot better than all my interviews before. I’ll list some of the questions below.

  • Why do you want to be on the program?
  • What are you doing in school right now?
  • Do I live in dorms or at home?
  • How I would do in a dorm setting? In a different country and environment?
  • Why I chose the roles I wanted and if I wanted to do quick service food?
  • Work experience.
  • Volunteer experience.
  • Any questions or comments from me?

Overall, I think the questions were straightforward and pretty simple to answer. One thing I would change is probably mention that I really wanted to work in Magic Kingdom. I didn’t really have any questions because I did a lot of research and found blogs and vlogs documenting their experiences.


I think I left on a good note, however, I am having second thoughts about the program. I recently made an impulsive decision to get a puppy and I don’t think I could part with her for three months when she’s not even a year old. I am also interested in restarting my YouTube channel after abandoning it for almost two-three years. My program is very broad and let’s face it, being in a fine arts program is going to be harder to find a job compared to someone in nursing. I want to create a name for myself, improve on my work before I graduate and be thrown into the real world. If I can actually stay committed to YouTube, I would assume I am going to be more comfortable vlogging and I would love to document my adventure at Disney. I’m not completely abandoning the program but I might just delay it since I still have two years to apply.

I will update this blog post when I get a response from Disney but this may be the end of my Disney CEP blogposts.

Status: Waiting for response.  Accepted! 

Walt Disney J1 Cultural Exchange Program – The Waiting Game…

So it’s been two months since I have written my last blog post about the program and that’s because there’s nothing to talk about. It’s been two months of waiting, which I had anticipated so I wasn’t too nervous or anxious. A few people have been concerned as DOC emails were going out and were losing hope but I’ve been through the Disney Careers process enough times to rest assure when my application is in the ‘In Progress’ stage. As long as you’re not in the ‘No longer in consideration’ stage, you are good!

There are a couple of things that I would like to share my experience on, just in case anyone was wondering.

The DOC email. DOC stands for Disney Onboarding Central, it’s where you will find documents to upload such as your proof of student status, role checklist etc. This year, a couple of applicants who applied very early on had gotten these emails as well as the documents to upload. However, Disney had changed the application process so that you do not have to worry about the documents until you get your interview dates. For me, the system glitched and gave me my DOC email but no documents. I was later sent the documents and an invitation for the interview all within the same hour.

The role checklist was a tricky one, I thought I knew what I wanted to do but turns out I was still quite indecisive, but this part really depends on the person. I really wanted to work on operations and attractions because I’m working for a theme park, of course I want to work on the attractions. But I have Disney merchandise experience so I would probably be able to pick up merchandise pretty quickly. Lifeguarding for Disney does not require a license, which is somewhat worrying but lucky for me! The requirements to be a lifeguard at Disney World is, you must be able to swim 200 yards of freestyle or breaststroke, retrieve a 10lb brick from the deepest part of the pool (8 feet) and tread water with hands out of the water for two minutes. Housekeeping sounds fun too just because I’m weird and I like cleaning and straightening up a room but I want a role where I can have a good amount of guest interaction and finally full service food and beverage because I’ve always wanted to work as a waitress, it’s just one of those jobs that every teenager should experience, except I technically won’t be a teenager by then, but I’m sure I’ll be able to witness many magical moments in a dinner setting. As for everything else, I was honest and put low or no interest. I’ve heard that the interviewers will ask why you have put no interest and I am prepared to answer it; I want to work in an environment where I can create magical moments by interacting with the guests.

Next thing I did, was scheduling my interview appointment. Once you get your invitation, I highly recommend you not to go back to sleep like I did and book your interview times!! The Toronto interviews had their presentations at 9:30AM and then interviews starts at 12:00PM. I knew I wanted to do an early interview because I didn’t want to sit there and get nervous for the rest of the day. It’s also nicer to get it over with and have the rest of the day to myself. But of course, I decided to stay in bed and drift back to sleep, so my interview time is now on January 29th, 2015 at 3:00PM -4:00PM.

So until then, I’m going to plan my interview outfit and start on my interview cheat sheet. By interview cheat sheet, I mean looking up general and Disney interview questions and answering them. I’m the type of person where if you ask me a pretty sudden question, I would have literally no idea what to say, everything just seems to blank out. So by writing out some of my answers, I would be more prepared for the interview questions.

My next blog post will definitely be my interview blog post! I’m also going to put in a little timeline of things that go through my head during that day so stay tuned!