Right after receiving the initial acceptance letter from the WDW College Program, I realized (courtesy of my parents) that I did not really know much about what the program living conditions were: Was it safe? How private were these apartments? Was there security?Admittedly, as a naive 18 year old I made a lot of assumptions that Disney, being a giant family corporation, would make sure things were fine and tried to put my parent’s minds at ease. They won out, though, and I was forced to do some research. Back then there really were only 2 resources available – the College Program website and speaking with your school representative. Both assured my parents that there was plenty of security everywhere, and they weren’t kidding.
This post was published 1 year 6 months 16 days ago which may make its information invalid. Countdown to D23 is not responsible for any misunderstanding.
The first thing I noticed on arrival was the fencing around the apartment complex. From the front, there are large (and I mean large) brick walls that are near impossible to climb. Also, at the entrance/exit (only one way in and out, folks) there is a security booth with several guards. It is their job (and trust me, they do it well) to check the id of every single person entering the complex whether they’re driving or walking- If you happen to lose your apartment id, or forget it at home, they will send someone to your apartment to verify your identity. The back of the complex does not have the brick walls, but instead barb wire fencing to keep intruders from trying to climb in. My own apartment (located at Chatham #23203) was located at the very end of the property, and had that fence as it’s lovely backyard view, I hated it then but understand and appreciate it’s use now.
One of the other things that Disney does for it’s interns, is make each person sign a contract that shows the rules they will abide by for their 6 month term. In that contract, we each had to agree to security making random checks for drugs, any form of paraphernalia, overnight guests, and alcohol (for those under 21). Disney is very serious in not allowing underage drinking and even has separate housing up front for those of legal age. That’s not to say that minors don’t sneak in and drink, it’s impossible from stopping every occurrence, but those guards do their best. And, as mentioned before, the exit is located next to the entrance with guards making sure no drunk drivers leave the complex.
The apartment complexes also require all non Disney guests sign in at the front gate, and provide ID (they actually photocopy the ID and keep it on file), and make each guest aware of the hours they are allowed to be there (between 1-7am anyone who is not an intern has to leave the property, no overnight guests allowed for any circumstance), and monitor the logs constantly for sign out times. If it appears that your guest did not sign out before 1 am, they usually send someone to check the apartment and escort that person out.
Another thing thing Disney makes sure of is that all of their apartment complexes are well lit during the evening hours, as are all areas for bus pick ups and drop offs, and every cast member parking lot. And their on the job security is incredible. For example, I worked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and usually had to be there between 4-5 am daily to prep costumes for the day. Anyone who has been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom knows that the park is huge, well backstage is even bigger. The walk from the front gate to the costuming warehouse was 1/2 mile, and usually it had to be done in the dark. Disney made sure that there were lights scattered along the walk way, and bike and buses were also available for quicker, safer transport.
All in All, Disney does the best that they can to provide safety to the thousands of interns they have every year, and every parent should be reassured in knowing that this company will spend what it has to, to keep each person free from harm. It would be irresponsible for me to say that rules were never broken, and accidents didn’t happen, but Disney does do its best
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