I worked in merchandise which is definitely less intriguing than “being friends with Minnie Mouse”. I saw hundreds of people each day through my work location, which was all of Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. I watched Wishes every night, stocked the stores, helped guests find their ride photos, and even got to ride Space Mountain.. in my costume.. with the lights on.
While working at Disney might not be everyones dream, it was one of mine, for as long as I can remember. I participated in a little thing known as the Disney College Program, or DCP for short. Yes, that means that you are constantly surrounded by thousands of other college kids whilst living, working, learning and breathing Disney. It’s actually one of the best and coolest feelings ever. And I would recommend the experience to anyone.
So here’s a few things I learned from working at Disney:
1. It’s not about the job, but instead your coworkers.
There were days that I dreaded going into work. But everyday when I walked down the tunnels and saw my T-land family, I instantly felt better about life. My friends were always there for me. Whether that was to share laughs, tears, sing to Wishes, experience guests, or life outside of Disney. They became my backbone for 7 months, and I can still count on them 2 years later.
2. You can’t go anywhere without comparing it to Disney.
I literally walk into stores and complain when I don’t get the “Disney guest service”. Jobs? Yeah you’ll hate all of them, and wish you were back at Disney. Don’t even get me started on vacations.
3. When it comes to Disney, everyone is equal.
I’m not kidding, you will meet people from around the world. So all those preconceived notions you have about people from other geographical locations will be thrown out the window. One of my best friends lives in England, the other in France, the other in Texas. So yes, people will shock you, but we are all way more similar than you think.
4. The Disney College Program is the most interactive internship around.
No coffee runs or 8am meetings. It’s all about the work experience. You will work 30-40 hours a week, in any of the “basic” roles available at the resort. Merchandise, custodial, attractions, front desk, food and beverage. You will sweat, cry, and laugh all while wearing a smile and saying “Have a magical day!”
5. Make the most of your time, because it goes by in the blink of an eye.
One minute it’s June 4, and the next it’s December 31. I experienced a ton during my program, but I always wish I would have done more. And not have complained or sweat the small stuff. Go to all the parks, take as many pictures as possible, sing Wishes at the top of your lungs. Make a second family who will be there by your side for the rest of your life. Make it the best experience of your life, and one that you will cherish forever.
Want to know more about my Disney experience, more pictures, more advice? Let me know!