I am so excited to announce that I’ve been accepted to the Disney College Program (DCP) at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. During my DCP, I’ll be working and living in the happiest place on Earth for four months. I applied back in March, and on September 5th, I’ll be moving into Disney housing. This is the farthest I’ll have ever lived from home, but I’m excited for the opportunity.
I was assigned the role of Merchandise (location TBD), which was my top choice. I won’t know what my exact job will be until I arrive (Merchandise can cover everything from stroller rental to stand-alone concessions to souvenir shops), but I’ll be working alongside my fellow cast members to make each guest’s experience magical.
I’ve been to Walt Disney World twice. The first time was when I was seven years old and Disney was having its big millennial celebration. I only have fond memories of my first trip. I tried to collect every character’s signature. I remember coaxing Bashful out from behind a tree, being too afraid to approach Shan Yu alone, and Pluto trying to steal my meatballs off my plate during dinner. I remember the long-armed characters on stilts reaching out to me during the parade, and riding the It’s A Small World ride over and over again simply so the song could get stuck in my mom’s head.
I returned in 2011 with my high school marching band. It seemed that everyone was transported back in time to our childhoods. Suddenly, all petty high school drama faded away and we were all kids in a candy store. Or more accurately, kids in the happiest place on Earth. That was when I first started looking at the character attendants, though, and wondering how this great big magic machine worked. I got home and scoured Pinterest for any and all information about Disney: park secrets, interesting facts, etc.
I don’t remember how I first found out about the Disney College Program, but getting a behind the scenes look at this 25,000 acre stage was too tempting an opportunity to pass up. I talked to a couple of friends who had participated in the program before, asking for advice for the application process, stories of their experiences, anything. It took me a while to even build up the courage to apply, but I’m already so glad that I did. I can’t wait to meet the five other ladies I’ll be living with, to get my costume, and start helping others make magical memories like I did.