A little over a year ago, I began the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World Resort. While spending 9 months working and exploring the most magical place on Earth, I did my best to document my experience through every medium I could think of: social media, journaling, blogging, and more. My goal was to share what I was doing with my friends and family back home, but I hadn’t realized how much documenting my experience would mean to me until one year later, when I received a Facebook memory notification.
Staring down at the screen, I scrolled through the post, looking at pictures of myself taken 1 year ago to the day, celebrating the completion of my 1st month on the Disney College Program by eating ice cream and watching the Festival of Fantasy parade.
That memory notification felt like a special treat to myself, even though my program was over. Through Facebook memories, I now had the opportunity to re-live those priceless moments.
It was then that I realized how glad I was to have spent a little time each day documenting my adventures, as well as how important it is for other students to do the same. But with so many different options, which one should you choose? Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of 10 fun ways to document your Disney College Program, along with some ideas and suggestions for each.
1. Start a Blog
I’m obviously a bit biased on this one, but a blog truly is a great way to document your Disney College Program! You can write either for yourself, for your friends/family, for the world, or all of the above. You never know, you may just inspire someone to do the Disney College Program, too!
Or maybe you’re trying to earn college credit for the Disney College Program? Discuss the option of writing a blog about your Disney College Program experience with your academic advisor. This doesn’t only help with college credit, it’s a great motivator to keep up with writing your blog!
Here are some ideas for blog posts:
- Why You Wanted to Do the Disney College Program
- What the Application Process was Like
- How You Got Your Acceptance
- Your Disney College Program Bucket List
(Another reason? A blog is also a great portfolio that you can list on your resume when talking about your Disney College Program experience.)
2. Utilize Social Media
This is perhaps the most common way that students document their Disney College Program experience, but it’s also the easiest. However, you can use each platform a little differently to make them unique. Here are some ideas:
I’ll admit that I didn’t use Facebook much before doing the Disney College Program and that posting my photos and videos on there (almost) every day was my mom’s idea. However, I am so glad I did because Facebook’s memory notifications give me a chance to re-live those stories and share them with my friends, some of which I hadn’t met until a few months into my Disney College program; it can do the same for you, too!
You can approach doing these types a few different ways, such as narratives, lists, only pictures, etc. I choose to do mine as 2-3 sentences followed by a few bullet points detailing some of the smaller details.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- What You Ate
- I’m not going to lie, you’ll probably make your friends and family jealous as you post pictures of Mickey pretzels, ice cream bars, and churros, but who can blame them? Disney treats are absolutely magical and you’ll want to keep a record of each one you try.
- What You Wore to the Parks
- Your college program is a great opportunity to “Disney Bound” while at the parks or just dress up in general! I loved posting all of my fun outfits on Facebook for friends and family to see.
- Special Moments/Memories
- There are so many magical moments that happened during my college program that I hold close to heart and Facebook memories are a great way to record them. For example, one of my favorite moments included Goofy dancing up to me during a parade and kissing my hand. (A moment we actually caught on video!)
- What Characters You Met
- It’s fun to post photos of every character you meet and what you talked about.
- Rides/Shows of the Day
- It’ll be nostalgic to look back on the posts and think, “One year ago today I was riding Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean!” or “One year ago I saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Show Spectacular for the first time!”
There are a lot of fun things you can do with Twitter, such as a short snippet of each day or one picture every day. You could even start a Twitter thread about a certain topic and just comment (tweet? sub-tweet?) each time you do something related to that topic.
For example, you might have a thread about Disney treats you try on your college program. Every time you try a new treat, just respond to the thread with what it is and a picture of it.
Instagram is another great option for documenting your Disney College Program, whether on your personal account or a separate account just for your Disney adventure. You could also consider it as a “mini blog” if you don’t want to create and upkeep an actual website.
Instagram is also a great option for connecting with other students doing the college program. If you’re in the DCP Facebook groups, you’ll often find threads where people will share their Instagram handle so you can follow and connect with others doing the same program as you!
3. Write in a Journal
I have to admit that I’m the absolute worst at journaling because either (1) I don’t have time to keep up with it, (2) I’m unsure of what to write, or (3) I don’t know how to organize my thoughts and ideas. I even tried journaling while on my Disney College Program but never made it past 2 or 3 entries. (#whoops)
However, if you’re more dedicated than me at journaling (haha, isn’t everyone?) and/or want to document your Disney College Program with longer/more personal entries, then this is a great option! It’s also one of the best options if you want to make sure those memories are kept through the decades, as we never know when a social media platform might disappear.
In addition to regular journaling, you could also try a bullet journal or a 5 sentences a day journal. I even started a section in my Disney College Program Pinterest Board dedicated to Disney-themed bullet journals, so be sure to go check it out if this sounds like something you’d be interested in!
4. Film Some Videos
Another popular option for documenting the Disney College Program is vlogging (a.k.a. a video blog). There are tons of these on YouTube and they’re so fun to watch and make. They’re especially good for remembering all the small details that you might not have otherwise remembered or had time to write down while on your program!
The only downside? It takes a long time to put the clips together and upload them to YouTube (should you choose to), but you don’t have to worry about doing that right away. As long as you keep the video files organized, you can create the full-length videos after your program!
In fact, I tried my hand at creating a few vlogs while at Disney. I have one video up (not so much a vlog as random pieces of memories throughout my program) and I’m sorting through the rest of my videos to figure out whether I have enough content to post. Until then, subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay updated and watch my other videos!
If you don’t want to spend the time putting together long vlogs, but still want to capture your program on video, try the 1 Second Everyday app!
If you’ve never heard of the app, it basically puts together a 1-second clip of every day into a long video. To be honest, I’m jealous that I had never heard of this app before my program, especially because of how cool it would be to watch a quick video “summary” of my time at Disney.
5. Send Postcards to Yourself
Sending and receiving postcards is a ton of fun and a great way to document some of your favorite memories while on a trip. So why not send postcards to yourself?
For this one, you’ll want to write a postcard to yourself once a week and talk about some of your favorite memories of the week: what you did, any magical moments you had, etc.
After writing the postcards, send them to yourself at home. Then once you arrive home from your college program, you’ll be greeted with the postcards you sent yourself throughout your program, reminding yourself of the amazing experiences you had. Although a bit sad and nostalgic, it can lift up your spirits as you read through them and remember how amazing it was that you had the opportunity to work for Disney.
6. Start a Scrapbook
Are you dying to bring out your creative side while on the Disney College Program? Or maybe you enjoy recording moments in a more visual way? Then documenting your Disney College Program memories in a scrapbook is the option for you!
I recommend pre-purchasing some supplies so that you can document everything the same day that it happens, including the weeks leading up to your program. In your scrapbook, you can include everything from park maps to receipts to pictures. The best part about the scrapbook is that you can organize these items so that they’ll be with their corresponding events, rather than getting them scrambled up or accidentally damaged if left about.
7. Create a Memory Box
A memory box is a fun way to collect mementos throughout your college program, ranging everywhere from park maps to Photopass cards. What makes memory boxes even more special (or at least to me) is that while most people might not get the meaning behind a certain item, for you there’s an entire story behind it.
So where can you find a memory box? You can find souvenir boxes at Disney or at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. You could even buy a plain one and then decorate it yourself.
Some ideas for mementos to collect:
- A receipt from the first purchase you made at Disney
- Park maps
- Wristbands from the Halloween and Christmas parties
- Photopass cards (be sure to write the date on them!)
- Name tag
- Ears from Traditions
8. Keep an Envelope System
Love the idea of the Facebook memory posts, but want a physical copy of them? Or maybe you don’t want to risk your postcards getting lost in the mail? Or you want to pair those posts with the small items you’ll collect? Then the envelope system is what you need.
What you’ll need is an envelope for every day of your Disney College Program and write the date on the front of each envelope. Then each day, write a small note to yourself detailing what you did, how you felt, etc. Include small mementos that you collected that day, as well as any photos that you took. (Including photos are easiest if you have a Polaroid camera, but if not there is a Walgreens near Disney Housing that has a photo center.)
Once you’ve put everything in the envelope, seal it and tuck it away in a box.
One year later, you can open one of those letters each day, corresponding to the same date as you wrote it, and re-live all of your magical Disney memories.
9. Keep an Autograph Book
An autograph book is another great way to document your Disney College Program. While on my program, I used the book “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Disney Little Golden Book” and would have characters sign it. At the end of my program, I also had some of my fellow Cast Members sign it and write notes in it, which I go back and read when I feel nostalgic for Disney.
Although an autograph book is harder to document the day-to-day memories, it’s a great option for documenting your time in the parks! You could also print out the photos from meeting those characters and then paste them in the autograph book next to their signatures.
10. Take Some Iconic Disney College Program Photos
While on your Disney College Program, be sure to get those iconic Disney College Program photos. These include everything from a photo in front of the Cast Member door, in front of Disney University after Traditions, with your roommates while exploring the parks, and wearing your costume at your work location.
These are the photos you’ll remember your program by and will cherish for the rest of your life, so take a moment to capture them on film!
Final Thoughts on How to Document Your Disney College Program
The Disney College Program is an absolutely amazing experience that you’ll want to document and share with friends, family, and (most importantly) to remind yourself of the magical time you had. Whether you’re vlogging your program, journaling for yourself, or doing any combination of the items above (I’m not going to judge…I did 7 of them!), you now know 10 fun ways to document and share your Disney College Program experience.
For those of you doing or about to do the Disney College Program, how will you be documenting your experience?