Photos: Alyssa Ibarra, left and Tabitha Barr pose with Disney plushies after their acceptance into the Disney College Program. (Courtesy photo Alexis Cruz, Photo by Kenneth Ryan)

By Laci Sutton / Staff Writer

The Walt Disney Company has established its parks as the “Happiest Place on Earth.” While college isn’t exactly up to that standard amongst students, it is possible to have the best of both worlds.

Through the Disney College Program, students can become part of the world-renowned magic that is Disney while developing valuable skills to help in your future.

Participants of the DCP will live in housing provided by Disney and work at the parks in California or Florida.

Two of the lucky participants for the upcoming fall program include Hutchinson Community College’s Alyssa Ibarra and Tabitha Barr.

Ibarra is a HutchCC student majoring in media production. She was accepted to begin DCP’s fall advantage program this May and going through January.

“I found out about the program a couple years ago, but hadn’t really given it much thought, but it was something I just kind of did on a whim. I was like OK why not?” Ibarra said.

Ibarra and Barr have both been selected to work in Quick Service Food and Beverage in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

There are a few different steps to the application process. First, applicants fill out a general online application. If you’re accepted past the first stage, then you’ll fill out a multiple-choice questionnaire about your personality.

The final step of the application process is a phone interview.

Barr is a HutchCC sophomore media communications and production major. She is also The Collegian’s Editor In Chief. Her program will be from August through January.

“To be working and living at Disney is literally my dream,” Barr said. “I can’t believe it’s becoming a reality. I’m also super excited to be there during Halloween and Christmas.”

Part of the application involves expressing your interest and disinterest in certain job options so they can place you with a job that you’d enjoy.

“I wanted to be placed in the Bippity Boppity Boutique,” Ibarra said. “You basically get to play dress-up with little kids all day.”

“I really wanted to be a photo pass taker or a character attendant,” Barr said.

Character attendants work alongside the characters and help the guests with their interactions as well as helping the characters bring the magic to life.

“I’m excited for the warm weather,” Ibarra said, “I’m so tired of the cold.”

“Being away from my family and friends for five months straight is going to be hard,” Barr said, “but I’m so excited. An amateur Disney princess finally gets to visit her castle.”

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