The Disney College Program is a wonderful life experience that I can not plug enough for my fellow 20-somethings. Though after your program ends... you truly realize that there are things that only other cast members would understand and I'm here to remind you that you are not alone. Here are some of the weird things CPS encounter after their program
1. People become super confused why you are so polite...about everything.
"Thank you sir/ma'am." Something that a cast member says multiple times as the minutes of their shift tick on. This little piece of Disney magic seems like something so minuscule that you could not imagine that people will find it odd but sometimes they really do. I walked into the grocery store once and it was not until I saw the look on this stranger's face that I realized that people are not expecting random strangers to approach them with a gigantic smile and a formal greeting.....not to mention if you accidentally tell them to "have a magical day."
2. Acronyms Galore
"Hey let's get a bunch of CPs together and go to DAK then we'll take the monorail over to MK to watch FOF." Believe it or not, this is not a typical sentence in everyday life....unless you are a cast member or die-hard Disney fan of course. I have had so many friends stare at me in confusion as I rattle off the shortened forms of different Disney locations and attractions before I finally realized and explained myself. Disney cast members have essentially built their own language that we should have had a dictionary for years ago.
3. You realize that you can't go to Disney parks on your days off!
While on your College Program it becomes casual to head over to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, etc when you have a day off from work or maybe even after or before a shift. When you move back home... it takes a good week before reality sets in and you realize that these parks are not at your grasp anymore. *cries forever"
4. Your friends become miles and miles away.
You spend months making all of these new friends and the suddenly like a puff of smoke, they disappear. Of course Facebook and Skype exist and they have planes and trains and cars but let's be real for a second. We are all college students and as much as we would like to travel the world to see our friends in Italy and then Hong Kong and the Australia but my wallet is literally crying at the idea of looking at the cost of plane tickets. This problem makes the reunions all the better though, whether you are right next to each other or a country away always remember that your Disney family is always your Disney family.
5. You refresh the Disney Careers page until a new internship/job becomes available.
As much as we want to deny it, many Disney cast members are destined to go back. We may complain about the Florida heat, bad days at work or a less than ideal location but at the end of the day we would not trade it for the world. That means that many of us can not wait for those new CP applications to come out or wait by the phone for our professional internship interview. We crave the people, the environment and the magic every single day we're away.
So my fellow CPs that are dealing with Post-DCP depression... remember that I hear you, I get you and though many of your friends may not thoroughly understand it... you have the most wonderful magic inside of you.
"It's a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away."