Disney College Program: Taking the good with the bad.

I am beyond ecstatic about my acceptance to the Disney College Program. This is a life-long dream come true. I can remember being at Walt Disney World when I was young and telling my mom that I wanted to work there someday. And look at that — come February, I will be doing so.

I need to put it out there that, even though I haven’t done the program before, I have a fairly good idea of what I’m getting myself into. I’ve talked to friends who have done the program. I have talked to people who have worked in the role in which I’ll be working. I’ve read countless books and cast member blogs about working for Disney. I’ve heard and read stories about the best and worst moments.

I am 100% aware that it’s not going to be all magic and pixie dust. The magic and pixie dust is for the guests, not the CPs. But I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I’m not going to Disney to make money. I’m not going to play in the parks all the time (though, I admit, most of my down time will be spent in the parks). I’m going to be a part of a company that has always been important within my life. I’m going to work in a position where I will get to interact with and create magical moments for guests. You know those people who make your vacation so magical? That will be me. I will be a part of that. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

Yes, my hours will probably be not so great. And yes, I will have guests who make me miserable. But I’m going into the program knowing that. And for every bad moment, there will be a good one to remind me why I want this so badly.

I’ve listened to the cynics, to those who say “Oh, you’re just cheap labor,” or “This won’t help you in your future.” I’m getting tired of people trying to bring me down for this decision. Nothing that you tell me about the program will change my mind — come February, I will be driving down to Walt Disney World to start my seven month program in Main Entrance Operations. I will be taking two classes: Exploring Disney Heritage and Exploring Guest Services. I will be learning about Disney while in Disney. And, once again, I am so excited.

So before you give me your (unsolicited) opinion on the Disney company or the college program (unless you have done the program before — I will always take alumni opinions into consideration), take a step back and think for a moment about what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re probably not telling me anything I don’t already know. You’re not going to change my mind or make me dislike Disney. Let me go do my program and live it for myself.

Oh, and also, before you ask… no, I cannot get you into Disney World for free.

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2 thoughts on “Disney College Program: Taking the good with the bad.

  1. Dusty says:

    Caitlin, you’ve already heard my stories, both good and bad about the program. Despite the bad parts, and I’m sure you can agree, they were pretty horrible, I’d actually ALWAYS encourage people to do the program. I’ve made lifelong friends across the world and it was a one in a million experience that I’d never trade for anything! Best of luck with it all!

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