Tag Archive | disney college program

a chapter ends: packing the magic and moving to Ohio

17 hours. Just shy of 20 hours is what it took for me and my boyfriend to make the drive from Orlando to Ohio. Through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, I felt like I forgot a small piece of my heart in Florida.

As I look back on my Disney College Experience I can’t begin to count the memories of happiness, laughter, finding new friends who became my family and personal strength I never knew. I learned how to handle difficult guest situations – and I learned that this Disney Princess is a little tougher than she looks.

  • 80 hour work week? check
  • Angry parents and screaming children? check
  • Multi-tasking to the extreme while handling 5,000 guests and their issues with a smile? Check
  • Parking 300 strollers? Check

my goodbye dinner - great looking Disney family

So the time came for me to return to Ohio for another incredible job opportunity (stay tuned about that!) and I packed my clothes and pretty much all my worldly possessions in the my trusty civic, cried while saying goodbyes and began the journey up 75 North.

I can’t really say I look different – perhaps a little tanner and toned due running, but pretty much the same. I can’t say I act different – still singing country tunes in the car (sorry boyfriend) and stopping at Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up.

But I  feel different. Not to sound Disney “corny”, but I feel like some of the magic buzzing around Disney World made the trip to Ohio with me.

Go ahead and laugh. Just laugh and get it over with. Tell me that magic doesn’t exists and I am waaayy to old to be pretending that a mouse and a castle have anything to do with magic. Ok…finished?

But … I feel the magic with me. Not the magic the includes pulling bunnies out of hats – but the type of magic the includes families and memories. The magic I experienced in Disney allowed me to see that families come in all different shapes and sizes…and happy people create more happiness. Respect goes a long way and fireworks are a great way to end your day. You can find friends while waiting in line and people love to tell stories about their own journeys. THAT magic.

And now I am in Ohio: ready to move back to Columbus and begin my next adventure. I’m nervous about my this change but can’t wait to share what I learn and see how I grow. It was time for me to close my Disney chapter of my life and look towards the future. One part ended – but another path is right in front of me.

Watch out Columbus – I’m back. I’m ready to rock it out at my new job and put my roots down in good ol’ Buckeye Nation. But want to know something even better? I have a little Disney magic with me.

Magic is everywhere if you know where to look . . .

I think the title of this post says it all – magic is everywhere. And at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the magic is tangible. You see it when families see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time, hug Mickey Mouse, scream on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or buy their own Minnie Mouse at Mouse Gear in EPCOT.

Want to know something even better? Magic happens for Guests, as well as Cast Members. When you are surrounded by so much happiness and smilies – how cannot you not believe and feel a bit of Tinker Bell’s pixie dust of your own?

Ok, an example of my own Magical Moment! This is such a hard example to give because I have so many to choose from! While this moment may seem small to others, this little girl touched my heart and will always be remembered.

We all know the heat of Florida. Like it or not, it’s there and it likes to make it’s presence known. However, in my opinion, the more water you drink the more smiles you give, the quicker the heat disappears. While I was greeting Guests and preparing to begin seating for a show, I noticed a family of four waiting in line. The little boy had a Lightening McQueen shirt and the older sister couldn’t have looked cuter in her princess gear She had Jasmine on her shirt and was even carrying around a small tiger around.

I went over to talk to this family and learned they were from the midwest like me. They had experienced some rain a few days earlier and were finally back in the park after talking their son to the doctor due to an ear infection. What a start to a vacation – rain and sickness! However, after seeing their positive attitudes and listening to the children’s tales of seeing characters and riding all the “grown-up rides”, I knew I wanted to do anything I could to add some extra pixie dust to this family.

After some quick conversations with other Cast Members around me, I knew the perfect plan. I told the family to look for me once they entered the grandstand and waited excitedly for their arrival. When I saw my family heading my way after we started escorting Guests to their seats, I lead my family (all five of us with huge smilies) to our four seats in front, and center, of the stage. While all of our seats are fantastic, these seats are in their own compartment and have a slightly different style.

The family LOVED the show!! They even stopped by afterwards to thank me for making their day so memorable and magical! How could I not feel the magic in the air? This family kept their own magic, and I couldn’t help but feed off of them.

So remember, come rain or shine, the magic lives on.

Faith, trust & pixie dust…and some networking

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney.

Exactly one week ago I was unpacking boxes and moving into my new apartment (resort) at Patterson Court in Orlando, Florida. Within one week I have learned what Disney stands for and their foundation, toured Hollywood Studios and started my on-the-job training at Lights, Motor, Action!

Walt, I certainly agree, dreams can come true.

But now that I am down in Orlando and driving onto Disney property every day – I feel that I have no time to lose.

THIS is the time to network, THIS is the time to shine, THIS is the time to make my mark and start my career.

Just when the stress of graduating college subsided, the stress of making my mark at work begins.

I want to stress the importance of networking at introducing yourself to managers/coordinators at your work site. However, in my opinion, there is a correct way to start a professional career at the company of your dreams.

Managers should know who you are and your future plans…but they also need to know your work ethic and personal magic. Simply introducing yourself to your superiors and expecting them to lay out your future doesn’t.work.

You need to ask for guidance, but also show that you are ready to forge your own path.

So here I am Disney! In a few days I will complete my training and hopefully “earn my ears”.

My next post will focus on living with my suite-mates from across the country and working at Lights, Motor, Action! as a true Disney Cast Member.