Fangirls, I’ve been thinking a lot about my time in the Disney College Program recently. I’ve been thinking about both times, and the different experiences I had at both. Part of the reason I’ve been thinking about Disney so much is my Ohana is planning a reunion trip down to Florida to Walt Disney World because it’s been about 2 years since we’ve been together as a group. Thinking about Disney usually makes me pretty sad, but recently I realized that I’m so grateful that things didn’t go as planned on my second program.
On my first DCP, I had the most amazing time. I met some of my very best friends in the world, and got to finally visit the most magical place on earth. I also got to experience something a lot of people don’t; making magic. It was my job to hang out with Mickey and his friends, to help guests get the most out of their vacation, and have fun doing it. A great thing about working for the Disney corporation: they want you to go into the parks to play. The more you know about the parks, the better you can assist guests in their plans. So I played a lot. I hung out with the characters, ate at the restaurants, went on the rides, and even danced in the parades (the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party will forever be my favorite thing about WDW). I learned the parks so well that I can still tell you exactly where characters meet and the best time to ride Expedition Everest (it’s first thing in the morning, by the way).
The second time, as I’ve mentioned was not so charming. I had panic attacks and heat stroke, and ended up self terminating because I was physically ill performing my role. My roommates were supportive and friendly, and I did get to enjoy a couple events, but I still left after just over a month of working. But a month after I left, I went to ConnectiCon for the first time. There I met the amazing people behind Super Art Fight, and a ton of talented artists. After that I found out about the most fantastic comic shop (Earthworld) and haven’t gone to another comic shop since.
This year, I’ve been lucky enough to return to ConnectiCon, along with going to Boston Comic Con, Small Press Expo, and Special Edition: NYC. Next week I’m going to New York Comic Con again. If things had gone as planned with my second DCP, I would still be down there; living, working, and breathing Disney. I would have met Elsa and Anna, gone to the Villains Event last month, and I definitely would have drank around the world at least once. But instead I’ve gone to a bunch of conventions, made friends with beautiful people, and am working on finishing my degree.
As much as I get sad about leaving Disney (which I do, quite often), I’m so happy that I left. I don’t think I would have had the opportunities I have now if I stayed down there. I think it is very important to realize that if something isn’t working for you, don’t push yourself to keep doing it, because much better things may be waiting for you if you go back to what you’re comfortable with.
All of that being said, I still think the Disney College Program is an exceptional experience. I am insanely grateful for the time I had in Florida with Mickey and his friends. I think if you’re considering the DCP, try it. Choose the shorter program, and see how it goes. I know plenty of people who extended their programs and are still loving it.
I guess what I’m trying to say, Fangirls, is that it’s important to try new things, but sometimes they don’t work out. And when things don’t work out, it’s okay. Nothing is going to be perfect, but trying new things will definitely improve your life.
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