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337 Days.

3 Aug

Today, August 3rd, is the day that I officially ‘leave’ the Disney College Program. After flying down to Florida on August 30, 2011 – I’ve spent this entire time living in Florida; making new friends and creating a ‘family’, learning more about myself, and working for the largest single site employer in the United States.

While working for the Mouse has its ups and downs, I can honestly say that I have been changed for the better. I know that I can survive on a tiny budget, I know that I can work incredibly crazy hours [work until 12:45 am – be back at 9:30 am? Sure, no problem!], I know that I have the power to influence someone’s entire day, and most of all, I know that there’s always some magic to be found on even the worst of days – all of these things I’ve learned over the course of these past 11 months or so.

As I said goodbye to Main Street USA during my last shift, all of these memories and important milestones of my DCP experience came back to me. Everything from watching parades to my silly moments with coworkers to becoming a trainer to my favorite guest interactions and maybe a few hundred other memories thrown in between… all of which felt like they had just happened yesterday. Each memory returned to me as I flipped through the notebook I started during my Fall program, received messages and texts from some of the best people I’ve met over these past few months, got hugs from coworkers, and joked around with my favorite managers. I don’t think  I can ever express just how much Main Street means to me now that I’ve ‘lived in the turn of the century’ and ‘played baseball on the corner’ – I don’t even think I can express how emotional this connection is because every way to describe it just sounds incredibly lame. Heck, I know I sound lame right now trying to describe how important this “land” and my locations are to my story as a Cast Member and to my life.

I guess what I’m trying to say most of all is that every chapter in life has a beginning and an end but the things that matter the most within those chapters are the things you experience, the things you learn, the memories, and the relationships you form or end. With that being said, I’m ending my DCP chapter of my life and I’m moving on to my first chapter of my ‘adult’ life. The beginning of that chapter starts with my decision to remain a Cast Member and sign a lease moving into a house for a year.

While I don’t know everything that is going to happen during this new chapter of my life, I do know one thing…. it’s going to be a wonderful adventure.

I guess for now it’s off to Neverland! :]


Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Welcome to the Magic Kingdom…Where Dreams Come True!

15 Jul

There are only about 20 days left of my College Program… 20 days roughly equates to 480 hours…. 28800 minutes and I don’t even want to worry about figuring out how many seconds that would be. Now, you may be wondering why this somewhat depressing post has Dream Along With Mickey as the video leading up to the post but it’ll all make sense eventually.

“Did someone say Adventure? Well then, Adventure it is. So, hoist the anchor, raise the sails, and fall in line you swabs. It’s time to set sail for Adventure!” – Peter Pan (Starting at around 8:25 in the video above…)

While Dream Along With Mickey seems to happen fairly often in the bubble of the Magic Kingdom, I don’t think that many guests are aware of just how important Entertainment becomes to the life of a Cast Member. Particularly one on Main Street USA. This show has helped me determine what the time was when I wasn’t near a clock, it’s the soundtrack to a few of my breaks, and it’s been the root of some of the best memories that I have from this program. I mean, how else can you forget watching Dream Along With Mickey when your roommate always wishes to be a Princess and that same roommate does half of the choreography? 🙂 Moving on, the quote above is exactly what this program has been and what it will continue to be – an Adventure. While my Adventures may not begin or end with Pirates, I think that Peter Pan was definitely on to something.

Please don’t think I’m crazy for writing this but I think that every stage of this journey can be illustrated through each of these tiny phrases. The beginning where Peter asks “Did someone say Adventure?” relates to the start of applying for this program.  Basically at the start of this journey I was excited about what adventures I may embark on. Would I be selected to represent my college on the College Program? Would I be chosen to undertake this adventure?

The second part where Peter says, “Well then, Adventure it is.” goes along with how I felt about accepting my role and deciding to move down here to complete my first program. Then the part where Peter is ‘ordering about his pirate crew’ relates to working here, experiencing what it means to be a Cast Member at the Walt Disney World Resort. Last but not least, “It’s time to set sail for Adventure!”  is exactly what I’ll be doing come August 3rd. I’ll be starting a whole new adventure in Walt Disney World! While I may know what some of my adventures will be, I’m excited to see what the future will hold.

Honestly, even with all of the excitement, I’ll miss so many things from my CP experience: the people, the atmosphere, etc. Just like I had to say goodbye to others before me it’ll be weird saying goodbye. I know that when my last night on Main Street comes along I’ll be one big emotional mess because how can I say goodbye to my co-workers who have become like a family? How can I say goodbye to  some of the people I’ve seen almost every day for almost a year? The answer is I can’t and I won’t because there is no such thing as goodbye – In the words of Mickey Mouse, “See Ya Real Soon!”


24 May

I’m so sorry that I haven’t updated this since February. Life happened. I know I’ve used that excuse before but seriously, when you work at one of the most visited destinations in the United States, wouldn’t you rather go out and have fun rather than spend all of your time in front of a computer? I think not. :]

Once again, my departure date has come and gone and I’m still working on Main Street USA. I decided to extend my program once again for the final time so that I can work on saving up money over the Summer so that I can follow my dreams and hopefully join the company part or full-time come August. Now if you are a CP hopeful or a CP reading this, yes, you can extend more than once. You just can’t extend so that you reach a full year. So, since my CP journey began on August 31st and the extension date was through August 3rd, I was eligible to reapply to extend.

This second program, January 6th through May 11th was incredibly different from my first program. Unlike my first program, there weren’t any huge holidays or celebrations, there were new people, and last but not least, Main Street experienced some changes. Cone Shop reopened with more “improvements” than I thought I’d ever see. My apartment went through 3 different roommates while 3 of us remained the same in our two bedroom apartment. I made new friends and I lost some friends from my first program. I also gained a little bit more responsibility towards the end of this second program that is helping to make my third program on Main Street a little bit more interesting. And while I gained responsibility, I lost some weight which I deem to be a huge accomplishment.

While I know my lists of memories is predictable, It is one of the easiest ways to share so many things in a.) a short amount of time and b.) it is incredibly easy to compose at 3 am.

So without further adieu – My memories…

  • Meeting Captain Hook and Mr. Smee
  • Eating at the California Grill with my family during their last visit and showing them Wishes from the top of the Contemporary
  • Staying in the Princess rooms at Port Orleans Riverside
  • Going to Dave and Busters with Mike A., Steven, and Eric
  • Updating to the Medium level of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
  • Watching Wishes from behind the Castle with Mike A.
  • Experiencing Disney 24 on Leap Day
  • Staying Club Level at the Wilderness Lodge when Mike visited in February/March
  • Playing all of the Mini Golf courses on Disney property
  • Trying Tonga Toast for the first time
  • Meeting Captain Jack with Mike
  • Discovering the Cars Monorail Vinylmations
  • Seeing the Lion King: The Musical in Downtown Orlando
  • Taking on the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream with Mike A., Steven, and Eric
  • Meeting a little Prince Charming who insisted that I was a Princess and that he wouldn’t leave until I agreed with him
  • Meeting a little Buzz Lightyear who told me all about his adventures to “the land of the castle” and how much he loved Rapunzel and how she kissed him on the cheek
  • Taking pictures of all the beautiful flowers at the Flower and Garden festival
  • Remembering little things about my first visit to Disney relating to my work locations
  • Watching Chris’ last few Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it performances
  • Eating breakfast with Tommy and Rachel at Whispering Canyon
  • Hanging out with Tommy, Rachel, Ashleigh, and Jackie
  • Riding Dumbo and the Barnstormer with Stephanie
  • Checking out the Cast Exclusive “Open Mouse” of the Art of Animation Resort [IT IS GORGEOUS AND WONDERFUL AND I LOVE IT] – yes, caps lock was needed for that statement
  • Finally beating Mike A. at air hockey
  • Walking right on to all of the rides in Animal Kingdom
  • Eating at 50’s Prime Time with Ashley
  • Walking right on to Toy Story three times in a row with Ashley
  • Learning how to draw Pluto (again) with my family
  • Posing like Sully [me because I was in blue], Mike [Colleen because she was in a Mike Wazowski shirt], and Boo [Sorcerer Mickey] with Sorcerer Mickey at Hollywood Studios
  • Watching Jake tease Captain Hook and Mr. Smee
  • Meeting Meeko
  • Eating in Norway with my family to celebrate Colleen’s birthday
  • Dad getting a “large” drink at Whispering Canyon ;]
  • Eating around Walt Disney World with Mike A.
  • Riding Everest in the front row and back row in the same day
  • Taking a silly picture on Splash Mountain with Colleen [MAPS UP!]
  • Posing like Pirates with Jake
  • Meeting Pinocchio
  • Seeing the Hunger Games with Ali at the Downtown Disney Dine-In Theatre
  • Visiting Mike A. at work
  • Going to a Guest Relations class to learn more about the role
  • Taking Mom and Dad on Star Tours for their first time after the refurbishment
  • Dancing with Phineas and Ferb with Colleen
  • Becoming a MSN Trainer [Jiminy Cricket pin and all]
  • Experiencing the Haunted Mansion with my family as if we were the only ones on the ride
  • Moving into my new apartment and meeting my new roommates
  • Catching up on Once Upon A Time
  • Taking silly pictures with Mike A. on Spaceship Earth
  • Visiting the Vision House in Innoventions
  • Checking out the Barnstormer the day it reopened
  • Testing the new Fastpass system
  • Receiving my second diploma and graduation ears
  • Meeting Handy Manny
  • Seeing seasonal Cast Members on Main Street again
  • Shopping with my family at the Outlets
  • Hanging out with Jackie
  • Meeting Mary Poppins with Mike during his visit
  • Seeing the Castle hidden in the fog at the morning of Disney 24

I’m sure I could add so many more things but now, I think it’s time for bed! :]

La la la, Whatever, La la la, It doesn’t matter…

21 Feb

That song has pretty much described my past few nights working. Whether Michael is singing it, or dancing while singing it, or I just need to let things roll right off my shoulder, it’s there.

Things are starting to pick up again since we’re headed into yet another peak season soon but I know I’m ready for it since I learned so much during Christmas time. Since my last post, I’ve gotten to know some of the new CPs better and I’m so excited that I get to share some of my random knowledge with them.

But enough about that, I wanted to share one of my most favorite magical moments from this program so far. The other night while I was working, I came across a little Princess who was not only polite to her parents and completely adorable but she was also bubbly and social. So after she went through the line with her family, I caught up with her at the end of the bakery line and told her that I had something for her from Mickey Mouse. I told her my story that I add to our Magical Moment [We all have our own distinct stories that we tell, and you know what, I like it that way because that way it’s never the same and it truly makes the Magical Moment even more special] and she was so excited. While her family left the line, I went back to work helping other guests and such. A little while later after our mini rush had died down, her mother came over to the line and asked if I could come out from behind the glass. No sooner did I come out, the little girl came running up to me and gave me a hug. After our hug, we had a little conversation about Alice and her adventures in Wonderland before she had to leave and I needed to go back to work but it’s the moments like these that make me love what I do. It makes up for answering the same question repeatedly, it makes up for those stressful and late nights, and most of all, it restores the Magic of the Magic Kingdom for me.

So, if any guests are reading, you never know how much you all have the power to affect the Cast Members that you come into contact with during your vacations. I promise you that one simple smile or thank you can have the biggest effect on how our days are going, even if you think it won’t matter, it does. So on that note, “La la la, Whatever, La la la, It doesn’t matter…” to all the negative things and keep moving forward because there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow.




From Traditions to Transitions

15 Feb

While new CPs have been arriving for some time now, it’s been hard to find time to actually sit down and write a blog post about the changes that all of us have been experiencing. Mostly because I’ve been out putting my holiday discounts to good use and hanging out with my other friends who extended on my days off but more about that later.

When the first wave of new CPs got here, it made me think about my first few days as a CP – the excitement, the nerves, and most of all, the fun. Let me tell you, it’s so weird standing in the park and watching a Traditions group walk past you when you know that you were in their shoes only months before but in that moment, it feels like it was yesterday. Watching all of the new CPs come into your work location and start training makes you wonder what the other Cast Members in your location thought of you when you came in. Did they like you? Did they find you annoying?

To be honest, I love a bunch of the new CPs in my location and then there are a few that I’m apprehensive about but who knows, they might end up surprising me. Some of the new CPs would fit right in with my lovely Fall MSN family which makes this transition difficult because I know the old CPs are home. I keep hoping that I’ll see one of them in the utilidors or out park hopping but unfortunately, I know I won’t. This transition has made the few of us who extended a little bit closer because we can reminisce about our family and share stories without getting weird looks.

With the transition between programs I was sent back over to the Corner (Casey’s Corner) for a few shifts before I started getting Shops shifts again. The nice thing about extending my program is the fact that I’m getting better hours and less closing shifts because I’ve gained more seniority over the new CPs. While those things are changing for the better, it still feels like time is flying by and I’m one step closer to having to figure out what I want to do with my life after the program. There are so many options that I hope that I can pick the best one.

While I haven’t posted in a while, I hope you all know that the less I post, the more I’m taking advantage of all of the amazing things that Disney has to offer for example:

  • Mini Golf [Fantasia Gardens is a lot of fun]
  • Fabulous restaurants [Boma, The Plaza, Captain Cook’s, Olivia’s, etc]
  • Relaxing resorts [Hello Hammocks at the Polynesian]
  • A lot of shopping
  • Fantastic fireworks displays [Wishes from the Polynesian Beach and the top of the Contemporary are amazing!]

Hopefully I’ll find time to update you soon about specific adventures – Specifically, Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom among other things but until then, I hope you have a magical day! :]

No matter what happens, I’ll always be with you. Forever.

10 Jan

Things have changed quite a bit in the past few weeks. I’m so sorry that I haven’t been keeping everyone up to date with my adventures but that’s because things have been busy, busy, busy.

Busy having adventures, busy working, and most of all busy saying goodbye and see ya real soon. Let me elaborate a little bit more about all of that, specifically work. For two weeks in December I was deployed to Tomorrowland Terrace which was definitely not Main Street USA and I had a 41 hour work week turn into a 67 hour work week from Christmas Day to New Years.  How I managed that, I really don’t know but I’m proud of myself for making it through.

I’m also sad that I made it through that week because it meant that all of my wonderful new friends were one step closer to going home. In fact, as I write this, only about 9 of my lovely MSN family members are still here while the rest of them went back to school, home, or started a new chapter in their lives. I wish them all the best but at the same time I honestly miss working with them, I miss the jokes, I miss the encouragement, and most of all, I think I just miss hanging out with each and every single one of them while we created magic. However, I know that some of my MSN family has become just that, family, and even though they’ve left Disney, it’s not goodbye – just a see ya later.

Anyway since so much has happened, I think I need to do a list again of my adventures, I know that can get a little bit boring to read so I’ll try to keep it as entertaining as possible! :]

  • Mom, Dad, and Colleen came to visit for my birthday/Christmas
  • We celebrated my birthday at Ohana, where our Cousin gave me a birthday cupcake!
  • We also stayed in All Star Sports for the first time and got a wonderful room
  • Henry came to hang out with my family for an entire day and it was hilarious
  • Colleen, Henry, and I rode in the first car of Everest and took a silly ride picture with a map
  • My family got to meet Cat Cora because she was doing meet and greets at her restaurant, Kouzzina
  • We all got to experience one of the last Christmas parties together
  • Having Chris leave Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it to hug my family and me
  • Visiting with Wendy Darling and Peter Pan
  • Meeting Russell and Dug
  • Colleen painted me a wonderful picture of the castle with fireworks and gave it to me for my birthday
  • Jess and her family visited me at work
  • I spent a day off running around the parks with Jess and her family
  • Celebrating my “graduation” with Rachel, Kim, Kaitlyn, Leyka, Nikki and Sha
  • MSN Family photo shoots at graduation
  • Appearing on HTM with my MSN family during their coverage of graduation
  • Taking my picture with my “diploma” with Mickey and Minnie in their lovely caps and gowns
  • Getting my “graduation” ears embroidered with my name
  • Meeting a little boy who was dressed as the Beast and having him take pictures with us and sign my autograph book
  • Having the Princesses write me Happy Birthday messages in my autograph book
  • Going to Applebees with MSN
  • I added to my Park Starz Vinylmation collection [So far I have: the Horizons Butler, the “It’s a Small World…” New Guinea boy and goat, Constance from the Haunted Mansion, Figment, and a Pirate]
  • Learning some Portuguese from some of my wonderful Brazilian coworkers
  • Meeting Igor and Joao at Terrace
  • Joking about the “Peoplemover” with Taylor
  • Having a Chinese lunch date with LaTanya and Dusty
  • Celebrating Christmas with my lovely MSN family by doing Secret Santa, I got a Lotso bear from Trey because I hug everyone
  • Accomplishing a 67 hour work week
  • Resort hopping with Lisa – We visited Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht and Beach Club, the Polynesian, the Contemporary and watched Holiday Wishes before visiting the Magic Kingdom
  • Visiting Shayne, Henry, Leo, Shirley, Sha and Tracey at work in their new locations
  • Going to “Brinner” with my Main Street family
  • Writing my MSN Family notes
  • Talking with Kirsten about life
  • Watching movies with Dusty
  • Eating Fish and Chips with Rachel and saying hello to Alice
  • Grabbing Ice Cream on Main Street before the it closed for refurbishment
  • Hanging out with Dusty and Tony in the Magic Kingdom
  • Celebrating Christmas with my roommates – Kaylee and Amanda surprised me with wonderful presents! I now have the book about the windows on Main Street and the Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom
  • Ringing in the New Year on Main Street with my MSN family
  • Watching the Fantasy in the Sky New Years Eve fireworks
  • Singing along to Disney songs with Tony, Dusty, Daniel and some of their other friends
  • Watching Wishes one last time with Amanda and Briana
  • Helping Amanda move out
  • Saying goodbye to Amanda and Kaylee before moving out
  • Saying goodbye to Dusty and Robyn in the Utilidors
  • Packing my things and moving from Patterson to Chatham
  • Moving in with Rachel and Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Lady GaGa, and Disney Princesses
  • Having an international adventure with Jackie
  • Eating at Boma for the first time
  • Having a fun meet and greet with Stitch and Daisy Duck in Epcot
  • Playing with Night Vision goggles at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Saving China, France, and Germany with Jackie
  • Hanging out with Chris, Mary, Jackie, and Ali one last time
  • Saving Norway with Jackie, Rachel, and Chris
  • Watching Illuminations with Mary, Casey, and Chris before they left
  • Packing up the Cone shop and preparing it for refurbishment
  • Having a sleep over with Rachel and Jackie in our new apartment
  • Going to movie nights at Leyka, Kaitlyn, and Kim’s apartment
  • Reading messages from my wonderful MSN family in my book
  • Hanging out with Hannah and Jackie
  • Visiting Bob at Pizza Planet
  • Eating at Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside before getting beignets at Port Orleans French Quarter
  • Meeting Frozone
  • Meeting the Evil Queen and chatting about Snow White
  • Riding Rock N Rollercoaster for the first time ever
  • Asking Guest Relations to help us choose a restaurant for dinner and getting celebration buttons and princess stickers before leaving
  • Seeing Lighting McQueen in Lights, Motors, Action

Once again, I’m sure I’m leaving out an adventure or two but, I think it’s safe to say that there are just too many adventures and such little time. :]

The Adventures will continue!

7 Dec

I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted anything in a while, life got in the way and by life, I mean work and adventures.

I guess the first order of business it to wish Walt Disney a belated 110th birthday. Without Walt’s imagination, passions, and talent I wouldn’t be where I am today creating magic for guests everyday while having my own magical experiences. I also can’t think of anyone better to share my birthday with.

The next thing to say is that I was not selected for a professional internship with Disney. I found out the other day, while I’ll admit that I’m a little bummed, I’m glad that I will be staying with the company as a CP through May at least.

Since I haven’t blogged in so long, I’m back to listing my adventures as bullet points because honestly there are so many adventures and such little time.

  • Working on Thanksgiving and having Kaylee bring me dinner
  • Getting my 4th Basics card from Michael [I finally got Hades!]
  • Getting a GSF card from Brittany for moving my line at Casey’s when we were busy
  • Working a 12 hour shift and a 13 hour shift right after one another
  • Working during the Christmas Day parade taping
  • Going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with Cortne
  • Meeting Tiana and Naveen for the first time and talking with Tiana about Baltimore Crabs and how if I bring her some she’ll make us a gumbo for a princess lunch
  • Watching the Holiday version of The Magic, The Memories, and You
  • Seeing Holiday Wishes for the first time
  • Going to DAK with Cortne
  • Riding in the front row of Everest [OMG! The track FLIPS before you go out of the mountain and down the drop]
  • Meeting Timon and telling him he wouldn’t get grubs if he didn’t give me my autograph book back
  • Having Pocahontas lecture me about my use of the phrase “Character Hunting”
  • Taking pictures of the adventures of VH
  • Having Pluto and Goofy fight over me where Goofy unhooked the chains around the area and pretended to chain Pluto up so he could spend more time with me
  • Having Terk show me ballet moves
  • Spending time with King Louie and Baloo
  • Going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with Kaitlyn, Rachel, Jackie, and Sha in PJs
  • Meeting Flynn and Rapunzel for the first time
  • Seeing the Smolder in person
  • Having several photo shoots in our PJs
  • Getting Belle and the Beast’s autograph
  • Meeting the Beast for the first time
  • Having Tiana and Naveen remember me
  • Going to the dance party at the Diamond Horseshoe
  • Doing the Cupid Shuffle with Woody and Jessie
  • Meeting Prince Phillip for the first time
  • Creating a new handshake with Jackie
  • Meeting Terrance and Tinkerbell
  • Getting Pixie Dusted at Castle Couture with Jackie and Rachel
  • Going to McDonald’s after the Christmas party in our PJs
  • Visiting work in our PJs and having Shawn shake his head at us
  • Snacking on free Snickerdoodle cookies and hot chocolate
  • Having a Scavenger Hunt in Hollywood Studios with my Heritage class
  • A late night adventure to the Waffle House with LaTanya and Dusty
  • Having lunch breaks with Rafael
  • Talking with Henry in the Emporium while in my Casey’s costume
  • Celebrating my birthday at the Birthday Ball Disney held just for me [lol just kidding it was the CP formal and it just happened to be on my birthday]
  • Kaylee doing my hair for me for Formal
  • Taking a bunch of pictures with my coworkers at the Formal
  • Meeting Mowgli and Baloo
  • Meeting Tarzan and Jane with the MSN girls
  • Dancing with my MSN coworkers
  • Going out to the Bar with Laura and Mats
  • Playing cards with Casey and Mary
  • Getting flowers from my family and from Mike
  • Going to ESPN with my coworkers for lunch
  • Having several photo shoots during our lunch
  • Having Kaylee and Amanda surprise me with a giant birthday cookie and presents on my birthday
  • Laura buying me a drink on my birthday
  • Exploring Hollywood Studios with Rachel, Jackie, and Chelsea
  • Saying hi to Liza while she was at work
  • Watching Fantasmic! with Rachel, Jackie, and Chelsea

I know this list is long, but I’m sure that I’m missing an adventure or two on here. Even if that’s the case, I hope you all understand why I haven’t updated lately. :]