I’m gonna take a break from my normal rambling about travelling the world and talk about my Disney College Program.
A long time ago, I too was a cast member at Walt Disney World. I did the Fall Advantage Program in 2014, which lasted a total of 8 months. It was a rollercoaster journey from May to early January of 2015, and it changed my life in every sense of the phrase.
Nothing can describe my excitement as I hopped off the plane in Orlando. I was beaming–all alone mind you–but still beaming, anxious to see where my journey would take me. Would I meet lifelong friends? Would we have unforgettable experiences? Would I make magic for guests?
The answer, as I found out later, was a resounding yes.
The truth is I found much more than I ever could’ve imagined during these 8 months. I found out that Disney is truly an incredible company to work for, but it’s also pretty strict (as it should be). I learned that not all guests are happy, even though it is the happiest place on earth. I learned the feeling of pure joy when I met people from different cultures at work.
The benefits of working at Disney for people that already love Disney are obvious–you get to be a part of the very thing you cherish in your heart–but what about those that could care less about Disney?
For starters, screw the whole resume-building experience bit. You’ve heard that a bunch of times, and it’s pretty darn obvious, so I’m not gonna go there. Besides, if you’re doing the program just to build up your resume you shouldn’t do it.
If you look at Disney in a pessimistic way–thinking it’s just one big money-grab of a place, you should still do the program.
The main reason I say this is because you meet people. And there’s no shortage of variety. There’s brazilians, mexicans, canadians, new zealanders, french people, germans, chinese people, blah blah blah. One of my roommates was an older guy, and he was really freaking cool.
Not everybody on the program is a Disney fanatic, and chances are pretty high you’ll meet some people you’ll end up staying in contact with.
Second, because you’re forced to live in a totally new environment, you end up changing, big time. When you decide to move away from mommy and daddy for a long, long time, you learn things. You learn how to take care of yourself and pay rent and dust yourself off after a long day of work to do it all again the next day.
You learn what it takes to live in the real world.
Lastly, because I don’t want to take up too much of your time, your world becomes infinitely bigger. Yes, you make friends from around the world, but you realize that there’s a life outside of the small town you grew up in. You realize there’s so many cultures that act and think differently than you do.
You gain a whole new perspective on everything.
You don’t have to love Disney to do a college program, and I recommend it to any college student that wants to drastically broaden their horizons and change.