You’ve gotten accepted. You’ve packed your stuff. You’ve said your goodbyes. It’s time! Your Disney College Program is beginning. With that comes tons of fun, craziness, tiredness, confusion and more.
1. The move
Whether it’s across the state or across the country, moving away from home can be a challenge. Even though I live away from my family at school, it’s weird realizing that I won’t be home for a few months. Also, living in a different state opens your world to so many new things. New people, unfamiliar roads and even different brands at the grocery store are all things you have to get used to.
2. The classes and training
The first two weeks of the DCP are a set of extremes. The days are either amazing and fun, or boring and tiring. To become a cast member, you must learn tons about the company, what its goals are and what policies you will be accountable for. It’s all interesting to an extent and Disney makes sure it feels like you’re having a good time, but it can be pretty dry. On the bright side, you start training! Finally, you’re there. You have your role and location. You’re ready.
3. The roommates
They’re either everything you’ve wished for or they’re the exact opposite of what you wanted. Thankfully, I found that my roommates and I get along super well and I can already tell we are going to be really great friends. It’s weird living with new people. It always is. But, if you’ve found the right ones, it can be the best thing ever. In the first two weeks, you get to know them so well and your days consist of park visits, too much shopping, crazy Walmart adventures, Disney movie nights and, of course, you watch Wishes for the first time together.
3. The lack of sleep
Early days and late nights are the name of the game in the life of a CP. In my first week training, I had a shift that started at 5:45AM. Between playing in the parks and training/working, sleep is hard to come by. It’s so much fun and yet, I’ve never had less sleep in my life.
4. The magic
Disney is truly a magical place. Even though you’re now a cast member and get to see a little behind the magic, it’s never lost. The joy in guests’ faces when they’re riding their favorite ride, the happiness found in a Mickey-shaped anything and especially the look kids get when they finally spot their favorite character all make the long hours and sore feet worth it.
So far, the Disney College Program is harder than expected. Lots of changes in a short amount of time and a crazy work schedule make for an interesting two weeks. However, it is also the best thing ever. There are so many opportunities that open to you and sometimes, I take a step back and reflect on how grateful and amazed I feel that I’m here. We, as cast members, get to the make the magic. We get to be there when those memories are being made. And honestly, there’s nothing else quite like it.