It’s a Disney Dream Come True: A Follow-Up Story

Student poses with Disneyland Resort shirt and Mickey Mouse ears on

When you’re a kid, living in a place like Disneyland sounds like the ultimate dream. Now you’re in college and living in Disneyland probably sounds just as cool – ­or maybe even cooler?

When we last spoke with GCU honors students Amy Ortiz and Kendra Ornoski, they had just found out about their acceptance to attend the Disney College program where they would not only have the chance to work at Disneyland, but to also eat, sleep, live and breathe the Disneyland culture that they so loved. Both of these students came back to share with the Honors College their incredible experiences and why you should be a part of this immersive experience too. 

Ortiz, who is a junior majoring in communications and marketing, shared that her experience working as a quick-service food and beverage cast member at Village Haus in Fantasyland benefited her customer service skills and challenged her to be creative in the way she communicated with the guests at the park.

“Disney definitely does business in a fun and different way and it was amazing to be a part of,” Ortiz stated.

Ornoski’s experiences in her Marketing You class expanded her professionalism skills in interviewing, personal branding, resume building and communication, all of which will benefit her dual major in primary and special education and her future dreams of becoming a teacher.

The biggest takeaway from this experience for Ortiz was the friendships with so many diverse and fun people. Also, the memories she made and how her heart was touched by interacting with park guests. For Ornoski, she expressed how much this program solidified her desire to teach and to make a difference in the world.

“Disney does so much for so many people and I just hope to one day make an ounce of the difference that Disney does day in and day out,” stated Ornoski.

For those who may interested in participating in this program, both Ortiz and Ornoski provided some valuable advice.

“Be yourself! The program is going to challenge you in different ways than you expect and will really make you evaluate yourself and the goals that you have set before you,” Ortiz stated.

“Pray, pray and pray some more! This program was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most fulfilling. It will change your life in the best way possible! Oh, and don’t forget to smile in your phone interview (they can tell),” said Ornoski.

We are so proud of our honors students for having the courage to pursue new opportunities and make their dreams a reality. The Disney College program exists around the globe and provides numerous opportunities for college students to gain college credit and professional skills while working towards their goals and dreams.

If you are a GCU student interested in applying for this program or other incredible experiences, contact the Office of Internships. To learn more about becoming a GCU honors student, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.