What I Learned On My Disney College Program
Hello again! Since I'm celebrating my DCP-anniversary, I wanted to offer the perspective of a dear friend of mine: Becca. She's a dear soul with an eye for beauty in every single thing she does. If you don't know her, take some time and follow the links at the bottom of this post -- you'll love her just as much as I do! You can also head straight for her blog here and her Instagram here! This is our first collaboration, and I'm so excited for you to read the lessons that she's learned during her program. This friendship is proof that the Disney College Program can create a similarity and a bond between people-- even if the programs were separate seasons!! Let's get started!
I can’t believe it’s been a whole two years since my Disney College Program. Part of me feels like my time with the Disney Company never even happened and that those 9 months I spent in Orlando were just a dream. Since then I’ve received a lot of questions and comments asking me about the program, what it is, and my experience with it. I’m also extremely excited to be writing this post with Jayce, as I’ve been following her DCP experience since my CP. So - let’s get started!
Everyone’s experience on the DCP is completely different. I believe that it is entirely what you make of it. One of my biggest regrets while on my CP was not taking advantage of some of the amazing things Disney has to offer. I never went to Housing events. I never ate at the Boardwalk or Stayed at one of the fancy resorts. But I did experience other things like living on my own for the first time and flying by myself for the first time to go see my boyfriend (twice). To me, having those experiences were so much more valuable. So while I might regret never getting to try different things at Disney, I got to experience much bigger life goals - and I couldn’t have don’t it without that CP.
For my role on the program I did Merchandise in AdLib (Adventureland/Liberty Square) and I loved it! My leaders and coordinators were some of the nicest, sweetest people and my cast members were all incredible. If it weren’t for them I think I honestly would have lost my mind the last month and a half of my program. For the first three months I was the quintessential cast member. I was always happy, I was always willing to help, and I always made magic where I could. I would go to the parks of my off days even when I was exhausted from working the night before which I wouldn’t always recommend. I still believe the greatest thing I took away from the CP were the friends I made along the way. My roommates were some of the sweetest people that I still see and talk to today! The friendships you make on your CP will totally change your life - I promise.
About four months in I started getting really homesick which wasn’t too horrible since my parents would come visit from time to time. But suddenly the shifts would get later and later and I’d get more and more tired, my roommates would leave messes in the apartment that I’d have to clean up, I didn’t take as much care of myself mentally as I should have, etc. Don’t even get me started on the rudely wild things guests would do. What they don’t tell you about the DCP is that it is exhausting. I remember working 11+ hour shifts - sometimes all day out in the sun. I’m not above saying that I seriously considered quitting. But I am not a quitter. So I tried to find the best in every day and told myself I was given an opportunity that so many other kids wanted. I wasn’t about to waste it.
Summing It Up
I grew up a mere hour and a half away from Walt Disney World and had family that worked there so my mom and I would go every so often to Magic Kingdom throughout the years. It’s weird - when I was little I don’t think I ever really understood the magnitude of that park but working there gave me this whole other appreciation for it. I enjoyed it much more as an adult than I ever did as a kid. There’s something about helping make memories for kids that just melts my heart and made every bad day good again.
I will forever cherish sitting outside Ye Old Christmas Shoppe (my favorite place to work) and watch Festival of Fantasy or sing along to Wishes every night. While I definitely have my beef with some things about the program, some things make it so magical that I still recommend all of my younger friends to apply. It really is a life-changing experience. You can't ever really explain the impact something has on you be it a person or a place. In my case it was both. Thank you, DCP, for giving me lifelong friends, memories, and a chapter of my life that will forever hold a special place in my heart.