Skip to main content

Fontbonne Students Attend Disney Leadership Institute in Orlando, Florida

HomeNews StoriesHomepage NewsFontbonne Students Attend Disney Leadership Institute in Orlando, Florida

In December 2019, 13 Fontbonne University students traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for one week to attend the College Edition of the Disney Leadership Institute, an accredited leadership development program hosted by professionals and business leaders associated with the Walt Disney Corporation.

The training-intensive experience highlights leadership strategies, teamwork, creativity, hospitality and organizational culture. Hannah Winson, a senior studying early childhood education, participated in the program her sophomore year and served as the student program coordinator her senior year.

“This experience has been the highlight of my college career,” Winson said. “I’ve learned so many useful teamwork and communication skills as well as how to cope with stress and feeling overwhelmed.”

Students participating in the Fontbonne University Disney Leadership Experience take a photo after a hospitality class at the Polynesian Resort.

In addition to taking classes during their visit, the group also enjoyed all four Disney World theme parks. They attended the exclusive Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event in Magic Kingdom and experienced Hollywood Studio’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area. At Epcot, the group learned a lesson in cultural competence by immersing themselves in the park’s 11 pavilions representing countries from around the world.

 Joel Hermann, Fontbonne’s Director of Orientation and Student Engagement, and seniors Hannah Winson and Jordan Sampson take a photo at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom.

“I spent a lot of time in the Norway area at Epcot, which is where Frozen is set,” Winson said. “All of the cast members there were from Norway, so it was really interesting talking to them about their experience coming to and working in America.”

Program participants pose with Frozen cast members at Epcot.

Fontbonne’s Disney Leadership Experience is comprised of three phases: On-Campus, On-Site and Post-Site. During the On-Campus phase, participating students engaged in coursework focusing on team development, defining and comprehending individual strengths, and problem solving. They also organized an on-campus car wash and Disney-themed trivia night to raise money for their trip to Florida.

“The On-Campus part of the experience is important because it helps us get to know one another,” Winson said. “Everyone has a different personality, so we spend this time learning how to bring our strengths together and work as a team. For example, we had everyone bring a Disney song to one of our meetings so they could give a presentation about how that song applies to leadership and their individual leadership styles.”

While the On-Site component occurs at Disney World, the Post-Site experience happens on campus when participating students return for the spring semester. The group is expected to apply program lessons to leadership opportunities at Fontbonne and beyond. Winson plans to bring the skills she learned to her spring internship at HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum in St. Louis.

“I’m graduating in May, so I interpreted the program differently than the sophomores and juniors who still have another year or two of classes,” Winson said. “In addition to being team players, all the Disney employees I met love their jobs. They’ve inspired me to have a great attitude at work and make my experience as positive and enriching as possible. They’ve taught me how to make the most of every day.”

Program participants receive diplomas on their last day of coursework.

Students interested in applying for the Fontbonne University Disney Leadership Experience should look for information sessions and application information in spring 2020, but can learn more about the program at

We are using cookies to give you the best experience. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in privacy settings.
AcceptPrivacy Settings


  • GDPR Privacy Policy
  • Google Analytics

GDPR Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Overall Policy

Thank you for visiting our website. We’re pleased to share our policy regarding the use of information received here. Privacy is a matter of concern to us. We are committed to protecting your privacy and the security of the information that you may provide to us.

Personal Information

We do not track individual users. Your email address or other personal information is not collected unless you provide it on a form, survey or application. We will not sell or otherwise make available any personally identifiable information to any organization not directly affiliated with us. We will comply with legitimate government or legal requests as necessary to protect our organization or to comply with laws.

Traffic Analysis

We analyze traffic to this site. We collect statistical data on an aggregated basis through Google Analytics. For example, we collect information about the domain names of servers that bring visitors to our site. We count the number of visitors and keep track of where they go on our site. Such information allows us to find out what areas users visit most frequently and what services they access the most, which enables us to create a better overall user experience. To gather such data, we use cookie technology, which collects data in aggregate form, not by individual user.


As referenced above, we use cookie technology for traffic analysis. Cookies are small pieces of information stored by your browser on your computer’s hard drive. The cookies placed by our server do not gather personal information about you, do not provide any way for us to contact you and do not gather information about your computer. The cookies simply allow us to enhance our site by letting us know what sections are visited most often. The use of cookies is common on the Internet, and our use of them is similar to that of other reputable online organizations.

Links To Other Sites

Our site contains links to other sites and Internet resources. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of these third-party websites and Internet resources.

Updates To Privacy Policy

We may update the privacy policy periodically, and we encourage visitors to review them on a regular basis.

Last revised: June 2015

Google Analytics