What I Did This Summer: Otterbein Junior Entertains at Walt Disney World

Posted Sep 08, 2021

By Alyssa Ranney ‘23 
Public Relations major 

This summer was the start of my Disney College Program internship with The Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida. To work for such a highly respected company is such an honor, and a great way to get my foot in the door with the company that I have dreamed of working for since I was a little girl. 

Last year, I was accepted into the program before COVID-19 put us all into a shutdown. I was slated to work my absolute dream job, performing as a park character and parade walker. Since this didn’t happen due to the pandemic, Disney invited me back to the program this year.  

Alyssa Ranney '22
Alyssa Ranney ’22

They are still slowly getting back to normal, so I was not able to work in park entertainment. Hopefully auditions will start again soon so I can get back to acting. I am so grateful that they offered me a second opportunity to be part of the College Program. 

My first day was July 19, where I served food and beverages in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. My main area of focus was with outdoor vending, which means I had a lot of guest interaction. I learned something new every day. I trained to work as a cook, a filler, and a cashier, but we also took classes on internal communication within the company and maintaining the reputation of The Walt Disney Company.  

I’ve learned many valuable lessons from the Disney College Program. I have a better understanding of how a company as large as The Walt Disney Company maintains their public image. All the business and communications experiences I’ve had are definitely a great way to further my Otterbein education.  

It’s been such a joy to communicate with so many different people and to make “magical moments” for guests every day. That’s what being an entertainer is all about, even if I’m not in costume… yet!