My Disney Experience

My DCP Experience

In mid-October of 2014, I started on a journey that has impacted my life in the best of ways. So many things have happened to me since then that has allowed me to grow into the person that I am today. This was the start of my first Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida.

My Disney World Experience

I didn't move to Florida in October, but merely applied. Right after I applied my best friend, Nicole, applied as well, so we both were pretty excited about this opportunity. There's a lot of competition for the positions Disney offered, so I didn't imagine I would get in on my first try of applying. There are about seven-thousand spots available for college students and everyone around the world (attending college) is competing for one of those spots. I was anxious for weeks, especially since another friend of mine had applied and found out in less than two weeks that she had received a spot in the program. However, not only myself, but Nicole both found out that we had received a spot in the program if we chose to accept our roles working in Quick Service Food and Beverage positions. It wasn't the job I had hoped of getting, but it was the job that allowed me to participate in the best internship I had ever done.

My Disney World Experience

Of course we both accepted our positions within the same week and we bought our plane ticket down to Orlando. Right around that time we started looking for potential roommates. Fortunately, Disney allowed Nicole and I to request to room together, and within two weeks we found four other girls who we felt would be great roommates! We met Stephanie first before the others, but eventually Destiny, Holly, and Faith became our other roommates. We never dreamed that two of these girls would become some of our closest friends to this day. Destiny was the first of four girls that became my forever best friends (besides of course Nicole who was my best friend before the program).

My Disney World Experience

Fast forward to January 31st, 2015 I had only just begun my packing which was very irresponsible of me but procrastination is indeed my kryptonite. I was so excited that I ended up over-packing and my older sister had to repack my bag so that all of my clothes would actually fit into the two bags I was bringing. Of course keep in mind, I had to pack pillows, blankets, clothes, minimal hygienic products that would last me till I could make it to Walmart, and any other items I felt I would need while I was in Florida for four months. After I finished packing I sat down to relax, only to have to get back up so my parents and I could head for the airport. A huge snowstorm ended up developing earlier than we thought it would so we knew if I didn't go ahead and leave for the airport, I would have missed my flight. Several hours later, we made it to the hotel for the night and I slept my last night in the Midwest for a long time. The next morning my parents and I met Nicole and her family at the airport to wait for our flight to come in. There we said our temporary goodbyes and Nicole and I flew to our temporary home.

The day we moved in and met our awesome roommates I found out my specific location, Pecos Bill's Cafe in Magic Kingdom! Magic Kingdom is by far my favorite park, so I was stoked to be able to work there five out of seven days a week. It also meant I would have extra late hours and surprise work hour extentions, which I didn't know until my very first shift when my eight hour training shift turned into a nine hour training shift. This wasn't very fun for us, but luckily it wasn't that bad since we were just training. This was also one of the shorter shifts that I would be working. At this point I should bring up my training group. Besides my roommates, my only friends were the others in my training group. Maria, Clara, Nick, and I became pretty close because we were all in the same situation, however, Clara was the one that became another of my forever best friends.

My Disney World Experience

The first day off training I was incredibly nervous. Throughout the shift I was on the verge of tears, and not only that, but I was stuck closing down the area with the most cleaning. I still had yet to remember all of the closing instructions so I felt like I was slowing my group down. Luckily, a girl named Amanda had been closing down that area the entire week (she had arrived a week before I did) so she was pretty familiar with what we had to do. Although we didn't start talking regularly right away, she became my second best friend in this program.

My Disney World Experience

Eventually I settled into my new job and was fairly good friends with everyone. There were around seventy CP's (college program workers) working at Pecos, which was to be expected because it's the second busiest restaurant in all of the parks. Everyone knew each other to some extent and we all, for the most part, got along. That's pretty incredible given we were such a large group, but that made it an even more unique experience for me. In fact, I ended up having such a great time that I applied to extend my program until the end of July instead of the end of May (I did get accepted). Several weeks went by and I had already gotten really close to Amanda. Eventually, she introduced me to a girl named Amy. I knew who Amy was but I didn't talk to her a whole lot, but after that day the three of us got close pretty fast. Amy became the third forever best friend of mine.

My Disney World Experience

Around mid-April, I found myself becoming frustrated and missing home a lot. This was of the hardest times I had during the program. I felt so homesick and overwhelmed with how extensive my job was that I had considered self-terming (quitting your job was called self-termination). One of the people I went to about this, other than my roommates, was Clara. Clara and I were pretty good friends and I felt that I could really trust her and receive good advice from her. She proved me right, because I chose to stick around a while longer. After this Clara and I gradually became closer until she finally became the fourth forever best friend of mine.

My Disney World Experience

By May, I was getting ready to switch to my new role. I ended up working at a ride called Living With the Land and show called The Circle of Life, both of which are located at Epcot. Epcot was my least favorite park, so I wasn't very excited about working there. I really hoped to stay at Magic Kingdom. Working there ended up making me appreciate Epcot so much more, and I had so much fun while I was there! It took me a little bit longer to fit in with this group since everyone already knew each other and I was the first new person out of the extended group. Fortunately, I ended up connecting with everyone there. It wasn't the same as Pecos, but it was a close second!

My Disney World Experience

Shortly after I transferred to my new role, all of my roommates (except Stephanie) ended their program and went home. This was EXTREMELY hard on me since they were one of my biggest support systems down there. It also forced me to find new roommates. However, I found some pretty great ones that was an equally great support system. Amy and her roommate, as well as two other girls, joined Stephanie and I until we finished our program.

A little over two weeks before my program officially ended, I had my twentieth birthday! That has to be the best birthday celebration that I've ever had. We ate at my favorite restaurant in the Beast's (from Beauty and the Beast) castle and rode rides all day long. We all dressed up as some of our favorite Disney characters as well, called Disney Bounding. Adults aren't allowed to dress up as characters in the parks, and this was our way around it. We ended that day watching a firework show called Wishes, which is my favorite to this day.

The end of my program came faster than I would have liked, but it was nice to finally go home after not having seen my family for six months. Amanda took me to the airport, which allowed me to say goodbye to my roommates and my forever best friends. We didn't know when we would see each other next (ended up meeting up again in December), so there were a lot of tears. I miss being in the program every single day, and I plan to apply for another program after my graduation next year. The program was such a large impact on me, and I'm a more confident and sociable person because of it.

My Disney World Experience