When Can We Do This Again?

 

Some of my absolute favorite moments from my 10 months spent at the Disney College Program. I fell in love with Disneyland, I got to close down Main Street every night, I finally got Galactic Hero, I met amazing characters, and so much more. But most of all, I meet the most amazing people that I now consider my family. You can follow the rest of my DCP journey on my Instagram @merelymelissa

Graduation | Onto My New Dream

And just like that another chapter of my life has come to an end. I honestly can’t believe that I can utter these words, but I am now a college graduate… I walked across the stage and received my diploma this past Wednesday. I now have a Bachelor of Science in Communications/ Public Relations, as well as certification in Wedding and Event Design. I am relieved that I never have to attend an 8am class again, or listen to a lecture that has absolutely nothing to do with my major. At the same time though, I am saddened that college is over. My university was like a comfort blanket, I was good at school and tests and speeches and learning. Now I have to find something else to be good at.

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These past 4 years have flown by, and throughout the years one extremely memorable moment holds true: my first Disney College Program experience. I am absolutely overjoyed that in just two short weeks I will start my new adventure in a place that I call home. Alongside the excitement comes a bit of fear, nervousness, and self-doubt; will I actually find a career in the place where everyone else’s dreams come true? I’d like to hope so.

My wish is to continue blogging, hopefully often, about my second Disney College Program experience. I truly want to hold myself accountable, because I look at my blog as a diary that I can look back on. That being said, I am unsure of a few things, for starters my work schedule once I arrive in Orlando; another being my internet connection. I will however try my best to post as often as possible!

Side note- I’ve been racking my brain as to whether or not I should start a vlog channel on YouTube, that would of course document my DCP journey. Any comments or thoughts on this would be awesome and appreciated!

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If I Could Go Back In Time

There are a few things that I wish I could tell my 16-year-old self. Here’s a few that made it to the top of the list. (Complete with super embarrassing photos of my high school years, yikes!)


1. Having one best friend is a world better than a large group of friends. 

I have had the same best friend since my freshman year of high school. I was the new girl in town. We awkwardly sat next to each other at lunch, and had Algebra together. Here’s the kicker though, our dad’s had worked for the same company for roughly 15 years. We were both originally from Ohio, and we really hit it off. We are rolling up on our 7 year friend anniversary (yes, we do count those)! Let me just be completely and totally honest here: out of my huge friend group, she is the only person I still talk to on a regular basis from my high school.

2. There is nothing wrong with being a good girl. 

I never got in trouble, I never got grounded, and I never even had thoughts about doing anything that was considered “bad”. I was a goody-goody, and if I’m being completely honest, I still am. The only difference between then and now though, I really don’t care. I am completely and 100% confident in who I am.

3. A boy will not complete you, or make you life worth living. 

This is the one that majorly hits home. There were plenty of times when my biggest concern was getting a boyfriend, going on a date, or merely just trying to impress them. Not having a boyfriend bothered me so much, whereas now I am more concerned with landing my dream job (the way it should be)! I had crushes that nearly broke my heart.  Not okay, not ever okay, and definitely not worth it.

4. Your best is okay, but it could be much better. 

I just slid by high school, without really putting in the effort. I was in the top of my class, but I could have studied harder. I could have cared more about my grades. I could have cared more about my dancing career, yes I did dance for about 14 years of my life. I also could have put more effort into my relationships. It definitely would have better prepared me for the real-world.

5. Don’t dwell on the past or future, instead live in the moment.

This is a concept I’m still trying to adapt to. I haven’t quite grasped this way of living yet, but I’m hoping I will soon get the hang of it. My entire high school experience, I just wanted to graduate. Now, while I would never relive high school, I wish I would have savored the easy-going lifestyle of my teenage years. I would also play past situations over-and-over again in my head, my memory constantly on replay, instead of moving on from the situation. I realize that lifestyle is extremely unhealthy mentally. Live life and proceed with living.

6. Love yourself, completely and unconditionally. 

You cannot rely on others for your happiness. You are the only one that can make yourself happy in this world. You know what your dreams are, so go after them. You know what you love, so go after it. You know what makes you happy, so make it a reality.


As I look over this list, I realize that it’s never to late to receive or give advice. Love yourself, don’t give up, and make your dreams a reality.

“When you’re young everything feels like the end of the world. But it’s not, it’s just the beginning.” -17 Again

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Were You A Princess?

This is the question I get every time I mention working for Disney. Yes, I did intern for Walt Disney World. No, I was not a princess, character, or a dancing lollipop in the 3 o’clock parade.

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!

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Home Sweet Disney?

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To some, Walt Disney World is an over-priced tourist trap, others call it their favorite vacation spot, and some call it the most magical place on earth. Personally, I refer to Walt Disney World as my home. In my mind, home is not necessarily where you reside. Home is where you feel at ease, where you are comfortable, where you love to spend your time. Your home should make you happy and carefree, and that is exactly what Disney World is for me.

I have been a guest many times at Disney, but I have also been a cast member. And let me tell you this: both are equally as magical. As a guest, you experience the magic. As a cast member, you create it. My college program was the best journey I’ve experienced thus far. I’m not going to say that my entire 7 months were filled with giggles and smiles, because let’s be honest, they weren’t. Yes, there were times I wanted to quit, I wanted to see my family, I didn’t want to work until 5:00am.

But let me tell you this: the good moments completely outweigh the bad ones. Adventuring in the parks whenever you pleases, being excited to work because you loved your co-workers, seeing a firework show nearly every night for 7 months, and the list can truly go on forever. I also met my best friends on my College Program whom I consider family. Although they live across the country (and some across the world), I know that they are only a phone call away, and that they are always there for me no matter the circumstances. They are literally the best people I have ever met in my entire life. After all I said, I know people will still argue: Disney is just there to make money.

To those of you who think this is the only this Walt Disney World stands for, I say this: until you have seen a child walk through the gates of Magic Kingdom for the first time (yes, their faces do light up), until you have sung Wishes at the top of your lungs with your best friends that are also your co-workers (yes, this did occur every night), until you have created magical moments for every guest possible. Well, you can’t really judge those of us who love Disney with all our heart. That is why Walt Disney World is my home. 

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