Monday, January 18, 2016

The Beginning

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." -Walt Disney. I have this quote on a plaque in my room and have owned it for a few years now. I have been in Disney for about a week now and have been through a lot of training. This quote has made an appearance quite often throughout all of my training. I am not naive, Walt Disney World is a business; And businesses are here to make money. However, Disney really puts it's emphasis on making positive guest interactions. If a guest spills their popcorn, they can get a new one. No questions asked, no worries about revenue loss. Disney trains its cast members very well before they ever even go "on stage". Having worked four days and not being "on stage" proves this.

My location is Main Street USA, in Magic Kingdom. Working in the entrance to the worlds most famous theme park is almost kind of an honor. As a custodian my job label can be viewed as simply a "janitor". But this is Disney World, nothing is ordinary here. Spending time actually meeting and talking to guests means more to me than just cleaning. 

The best word to describe the Disney College Program is "spontaneous". Meeting so many people is an amazing experience. The way in which i have met people is very spontaneous, and i love that. Waking up everyday and not really knowing what is going to happen that day is a lot of fun and something everyone should be able to experience.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Officially begin

Here I am, sitting at the airport. My Disney college program has officially started. I board for my flight in about 30 minutes but right now I am just sitting here watching football. Seahawks/Vikings to be exact. I have a nonstop flight to Orlando and will be there at 5 today. No delays as of yet and everything seems to be going. Here is to the start.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Welcome. As some of you may or may not know I will be doing the Disney College Program this upcoming semester (January-May). The Disney College Program is something I have wanted to do since I was in seventh grade; so it has been eight years now. The exact place and time that I learned about the Disney College Program was when my family and I were on vacation at Disney World and we met a cast member at the big pin trader place in Epcot. She attended Brockport University which is only about two hours away from where I live/grew up. Ever since that conversation about the Disney College Program, it has been one of the few things that I have ever REALLY wanted to do.

This was my second time around applying for the Disney College Program, and it was one of those things if I got in great, if I didn’t that is okay. So I applied back in August because why not and within that day, I received my web based interview and had my phone interview in two days. The phone interview went good and then I waited. After going through the application process once I decided not to worry so much about it and just focus on other things. One day when I was helping my dad put a pool liner in I ran inside real quick to check my phone and from some reason I felt like I just had to check my email. And the second I opened it there it was… “Congratulations!” an email from Disney saying that I have been accepted into the Disney College Program. Now, most people would probably get really excited and jump around, yelling, crying, and just showing all around excitement. Not me though. Don’t know why but that just wasn’t the case. I went outside and told my dad that I got accepted and that was just about it. Based on my excitement you would probably have thought that I was rejected. Something that I have wanted for so long and so badly, you would have to bet that I would have been ecstatic about being accepted. But no.

I have been accepted for custodial which I am really excited about. It was one of my top roles and after my interview I knew that if I was going to get accepted, it was going to be in custodial. Custodial is one of those roles, that when people here it they just give you a sympathetic “oh”. Custodial is actually said to be one of the best roles on the program. I will be the judge of that after a few months but I think it will be a good job. Custodial gets so much guest interaction that many other “roles” can’t match. While other jobs might talk to more people throughout the day, it is more of a quantity because of how many people you have to talk to in during the day. This results in like five second conversations. As with custodial you are roaming around and have more time to talk depending on what your responsibilities are for the day. Oh, and I am not working in food. That is a major plus.

Now that I have been accepted a few months I have found the Facebook group pages which are defiantly good and bad. Good, because you can meet so many people before your program. It is important to know a few people beforehand, I wouldn’t want to move away and not know anyone where I am going. From previous experiences, knowing people before you move somewhere can have such a positive impact on the move. I have met a roommate or two. This is also a very important aspect of the Facebook pages. Matt, who seems like a cool guy and has a good sense of humor which is very important for anyone who has to deal with me. I also met Carrie who goes to Buffalo State, and we have actually met in person. She is a really friendly person and is perfect for Disney. But, one of my favorite stories of how I met someone on the Facebook page was a girl named Nikki. Now, one morning I see a post from this girl and her hometown is Buffalo, NY and she goes to ECC (where I currently go). So I just comment something along the lines of “Hey, I also go to ECC” and she says “Which campus…. Wait are you in Public Speaking on Wednesday afternoons?” We are actually in the same class and sit near each other and had no clue that either of us were doing the college program until that moment.

Now to fast-forward because I don’t want this to be an overly long post I will fast-forward to where I am now. Just a little over a month until I arrive at Disney and I am very excited. I do think about the program every day but the manner in which I think about the program is a bit unorthodox. I don’t necessarily think about what is going to happen on the program. No matter what you imagine about anything really, it just isn’t going to happen like that. So, why waste my time worrying or even creating unrealistic expectations that just will not be met? The best way to describe it is I can just be sitting there and all of the sudden I will be like “oh my god, I am actually moving to Disney World!” That is the best way to describe it. I am just looking at it as a whole and am going to have no crazy ideas/expectations on what will happen.

One last thing… Disney never sent me the highly coveted purple envelope containing the famous Congratulations card. So I created my own. This masterpiece of art got somewhere around 500 likes in the Facebook page (which I try to avoid posting in) but when a brilliant idea like this is sitting right there you just have to share it with the world.