HOW I LEARNED ABOUT THE DCP
While on a family trip to Walt Disney World Sophomore year of high school I learned about the Disney College Program and from that point on I knew I wanted to make the DCP part of my college experience. My freshman year of college I applied and did not get in.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED
The summer of 2017 I had a dream that I was sitting on a bench in Magic Kingdom for my 20th birthday with my Gram who had passed 10 years prior to my 20th birthday. I then woke up the next day and applied my application process was typical. I got accepted October 11, 2017 and was to move in January 29,2018.
Finding out my role was a dream come true I have always had a special place in my heart for Magic Kingdom and getting to work merchandise in Adventureland and Liberty Square was going to bring my dream to reality.
TIME TO GO TO DISNEY!
When it came time to take the 22 hour drive with my dad down to my Disney home I was filled with a mixed of emotions, I had never lived away from home. I was attending community college and the semester that I would be attending in Disney would be the semester all of my friends graduate and move on, but I knew this was my opportunity to have the adventure of a lifetime and I couldn’t wait.
Move in day finally arrived and I was super excited to meet my roommates and see my apartment at Chatham Square. I had gone random when it came to selecting roommates and that definitely hurt me in the beginning I did not get along with any of the five at first. But even with the different lifestyles that came together eventually everything smoothed out and we were able to cohabitate together or at least I thought.
Casting was definitely overrated but I was beyond excited to see the building in person.
Traditions however, was magical sure its long and in my case I knew no one but When Mickey comes in to deliver the name tags I couldn’t help but tear up. At that moment I knew my dream was now a reality. While at traditions I met one person who would lead me to meeting the best group of friends I ever could have imagined. Termed Troop as we called ourselves had no intentions of anyone getting termed and it was something I wanted to avoid at all costs.
IT’S OFF TO WORK I GO
It was now onto my first day of training where I learned I had 6 costumes yes you heard that right 6 costumes because I had 5 work locations and a stock costume. As an Ad/Lib cast member I worked at Momento Mori, Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, Agrabah Bazaar, Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar and the Glow operations for Magic Kingdom.
For the first month of my program I was only working at the 4 shops in Ad/Lib with the typical 5 day week averaging between 50 and 60 hour weeks but once I was glow trained I only got glow or squeeze breeze shifts. Most weeks consisted of 4 or more doubles which meant i had to be at work at 9 AM and worked until midnight or later and then I would have to single shifts of either squeeze breeze of glow with at least 70 hours a week it took a toll on my body however I never called out and I was all a model cast member.
My coordinators were always complimenting me on my job performance. There were multiple weeks (spring break month) where I worked 6 doubles in a row and because of extra magic hours many of these days that meant I was working 16 to 18 hours a day with only one day off a week. Yet I never complained my friends, roommates and family were amazed that I never complained of being tired.
20TH BIRTHDAY AT MK
On my days off and free time I spent every waking moment in the parks I wanted to enjoy everything Disney had to offer to me. The one thing I had on my bucket list was to celebrate my 20th birthday in Magic Kingdom which I was lucky enough to do however I did have to work a glow shift that night. While many of my coworkers were not the biggest fan of mine my coordinators did make sure it was a memorable birthday. I was given a zone with a perfect view of Cinderella’s Castle.
Four short days later I was working yet another glow double and the morning was normal it was not until the second half of the glow shift where my Disney career changed. I was in zone 13 which is in front of Pirates of the Caribbean and a family came up to my cart two different times they had multiple VIP tour guides with them but I never thought anything of it because it was a fairly normal thing. However when the family was leaving the second time I recognized the mother it was P!nk. I treated her just like any other guest I knew I couldn’t tell her that I recognized her.
When I went back down to the glow cage I took a picture of her receipt and would later post it Facebook never considering the fact that it could get me terminated. The next morning I went into work like any other day except on this Monday morning I was sent to the leader’s office to find out I was being put on probation and was told to pack my apartment because the likelihood of getting a second chance was slim to none even though I had a perfect record card and coordinators who loved me.
TERMED IN 30 HOURS
30 hours later I would told to return to MK just to be given the news that I was being terminated from the Walt Disney World and I would have to vacate my apartment by 11AM the next morning. I had never cried so hard I could not believe that my epic Disney Journey was coming to a tragic end.
Thank goodness my wonderful friends made my last two days the most magical of my entire journey. Going home was really hard no one tells you that the readjustment period after coming home is the hardest part. No one understood what I was going through. I was blaming everyone but myself for my termination. It took me several weeks just to get out of bed. When I finally did admit that it was my fault I was able to begin to heal and that’s when I was able to look back and appreciate all that the DCP taught me.