This Disney College Program role interview features Kate Forehand, who worked as a Character Attendant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the Spring 2015 program. While on her program, Kate was studying at University of Delaware, where she majored in English and Theatre.
Q: What made you want to do the Disney College Program?
A: I have always loved Disney and the magic it brings to people’s lives. It has always been a goal of mine to be a part of the magic and help bring it to life, so the Disney College Program was the amazing opportunity that allowed me to follow that dream.
Q: What was your role and location?
A: I was a Character Attendant at Hollywood Studios, but as an Attendant you have the ability to work in any park, anytime you want.
Q: Was it your first choice? If not, what was?
A: It was my first choice!
Q: What was your training like?
A: We had a four-day training period where we went to every park and looked at their different character locations, how to get to each base, how to get to each location, and what different locations need and don’t need. Then we had two days that we spent in EPCOT where we did pop up sets with training performers and we went out into the park for about 15-20 minutes and met guests. Our trainers evaluated us while this was happening. While doing this we had to interact with our character, creating storylines and making sure guests knew what the character wanted or was saying to them. We took pictures if needed, and we closed our lines when the characters had to go away, and made a storyline for why the character is leaving. We did this for two days and our trainers assessed us and how we did. We then took a test to ensure that we had learned everything we needed to be a great character attendant.
Q: What did you like most about your role?
A: Gosh, is everything an answer? Just truly being a part of making the characters come to life and seeing the guests’ reactions to the characters. Being a part of the storylines of your favorite characters was great. Seeing how happy each guest is when the get to hug the character they have grown up watching is truly an amazing experience.
Q: What did you like least?
A: Well, you get yelled at a lot by guests. It’s hard to tell someone that their favorite character is leaving for the day and they don’t get to meet them. Guests don’t tend to be too happy when you tell them this. But, you give them the information you can about how they can meet them another day and smile through it.
Q: Would you recommend this role to a friend?
A: Without a doubt!
Q: What advice would you have for new CPs in this role?
A: Don’t let the guests yelling at you get you down. You are doing your job and there is nothing you can do. Remember that you are a part of making the magic and a part of making the guests smile, and while you may not be getting the hugs you are a part of the reason that they can get hugs. Remember that storylines are important, you don’t have to be creative but talk to the guest about what the character is doing and interact with both of them. The performer will appreciate it and the guest will have a memorable interaction.
Q: What have you been up to since your program ended?
A: I participated in the Disney Alumni Program last summer and I finished my degree in English and Theatre. I am currently working at a theater in Richmond as their Company Manager.
Q: Any plans to return to Disney as a Cast Member?
A: It is always in the back of my mind. I would love to return one day to making magic, so who knows!