Universal Park Launching Its Own Take on the Disney College Program

in Universal Studios Japan

Crowds at the entrance of Universal Studios Japan

Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

One Universal Studios theme park is launching its own program similar to the Disney College Program.

For decades, the Disney College Program (DCP) has offered both college students and international university students (as well as recent graduates) the opportunity to work at “the Most Magical Place on Earth.” Walt Disney World Resort is widely populated with DCP participants stationed in various roles such as Character Attendant, Merchandise, Attractions, and Custodial throughout the resort’s four theme parks, two water parks, and many hotels.

Disney World Cast Members hold pin boards
Credit: Disney

While the program remains highly competitive over 40 years since its inception, it’s also received its fair share of criticism. This primarily focuses on the low wages and long hours handed to participants. However, those who’ve participated in the program have also hailed it as a way to “get your foot in the door” at The Walt Disney Company, as well as offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to eat, live, and breathe Walt Disney World for residents of international countries who would otherwise struggle to secure the right to work at the resort.

One Universal resort offers similar opportunities to international residents. UK citizens, for example, are able to take part in international programs at Universal Orlando Resort through Yummy Jobs.

Cast Member wears a mask and holds a Mickey mask in front of their face outside Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Soon, another Universal theme park will start offering something similar – except it’s one a little further afield than Orlando or Hollywood.

Universal Studios Japan has just revealed plans to hire 200 people from countries including South Korea and Taiwan. According to Kyodo News, workers will spend a year on a working holiday program. Universal has described the decision as being motivated by a desire to raise the satisfaction levels of overseas guests, with these temporary workers able to communicate with visitors in their native language.

Crowds at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal

Related: Universal Park Permanently Closes ‘Harry Potter’ Experience

This follows lengthy staffing issues at the Osaka theme park. In 2023, a shortage of workers forced the introduction of self-service in several of its restaurants, including Snoopy Backlot Cafe, which now utilizes interactive tablets for Guests to place their orders. The resort later held hiring drives in prefectures beyond Osaka, such as Ehime Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture, and Okayama City – for the first time in its history, according to USJ1.

Like other attractions in Japan – such as Tokyo Disney Resort – Universal Studios Japan is experiencing a high level of demand right now. As the Japanese yen reaches a 34-year low against the U.S. dollar, tourism is surging nationwide, with Tripadvisor ranking Tokyo as the most in-demand destination for 2024.

Do you plan on visiting Universal Studios Japan any time soon? Let us know in the comments!

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