Having Adventures in the Great Wide, Somewhere…

Two posts in two days?! I am spoiling you guys 😉

But I did promise to share some of my fun adventures that I’ve had so far on my program, and I always keep my promises.

So, without further ado, it’s time for DCP Adventures with The Theme Park Princess ❤

1) My coworkers are some of the most amazing women I have ever met, and I LOVE spending time with them. About a month ago, six of us (plus a few other people) went to breakfast at Trails End, located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge and Campground. Trails End is a country themed restaurant that offers an all you can eat breakfast buffet (so delicious and SO worth it!). This breakfast was the first time we all really got to know each other, and we bonded over good food, funny stories and our ever present awkwardness. To say we’ve been inseparable ever since would be an understatement; not only do I see them all the time at work, but we also have a ton of ‘WOD Squad’ dates and sleepovers. I can’t get enough of these girls! That was the day I realized I had made friends for life, and I will be so sad to see the majority of them leave in May 😦

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2) You would think that because I am beyond obsessed with Disney, an annual pass holder AND a cast member that I would have gone to every Disney park in Orlando. Oddly enough…you would be wrong! Up until a few weeks ago, I had NEVER been to a Disney water park! Luckily, my roommate and I changed that and we went to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon! I’ve only ever been to one other water park, and it’s a very small one right by my house in Naples, Fla., so it really doesn’t compare. But I loved every minute of being at Typhoon! I loved the wave pool (even though I got knocked down every time), I loved all of the water coasters and the lazy river was SO relaxing! The great thing about the water park is that you can get a lot done in a short amount of time and still have the rest of the day to do other things, like visit Downtown Disney 😉 If you’ve never visited a Disney water park, I highly suggest making that part of your next trip! Now I just have to conquer Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach!

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3) Aside from my obvious love for theme parks, I also love baseball! I grew up going to Yankees games and when I moved down here to Florida, I obviously stopped going as frequently. Last week, I went to my first baseball game in about two years, and seeing my team play in the most magical place on earth was a wonderful experience! The next day I went to yet another baseball game, this time it was the Braves against the Marlins, and while I’m not a fan of either team, I just love watching the sport and being with my friends. We also went to Hollywood Studios that night (after a much needed nap), and I got to experience my friend riding all the major attractions for the first time. I love watching someone’s face the first time you drop on Tower of Terror, or when you get launched on Rockin’ Roller Coaster. Baseball and Disney are two of my favorite things, so the fact that I got to combine both over the course of two days was truly magical. (Plus, I got to see my roommate hard at work since she works at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!)

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These are just a few of my favorite adventures so far, so I promise to have another post in the near future! But none of these amazing experiences would’ve been possible without the wonderful group of people featured in this post, so a huge thank you to Katherine, Katie, Erin, Denning, Abby, Deanna, Tyler, Ryan and Jake for making my program as fun as it has been. You guys are the best.

Here’s to many more memories to be made at the most magical place on earth! ❤

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Curiousity Keeps Leading Us Down New Paths…

It is a beautiful Friday afternoon here in Orlando, Fla., which means now is as good a time as any to update my blog!

I have now been on my college program at Disney for over two months. Isn’t that crazy? Time sure does fly when you’re having fun (and working hard).

I can’t believe that I only have about a month and a half left here…

Except that I don’t 😉

*MAJOR UPDATE ALERT*

A few weeks ago, I applied to extend my program until July 30 instead of leaving May 15. I applied for three new roles in addition to applying to be transferred to a new location within my current role (merchandise) and to remain in my current location (World of Disney).

When I first applied, I wasn’t sure if I would take the extension if it was offered to me. I knew that this would be my final ‘summer’ before graduating from college next spring and that my family would probably want me home because they miss me. But I didn’t want to miss out on a good opportunity, so I threw caution into the wind and applied.

After a week or so, my application was pended. While I knew that being rejected altogether was worse, I was still upset that so many of my friends had been accepted and I still had to wait. I began to feel as if I wasn’t meant to be here and that my time with Disney was truly going to come to a close come May, and that’s when I realized how badly I did want the extension.

Tuesday evening I had a lovely meeting with someone I know who works in the communications department at Epcot. Even though I haven’t known her very long, she is one of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to my future career with Disney. She is ready to help me make connections and she told me how proud she was of me and all of my achievements thus far and that I would make an excellent cast member (permanently).

Low and behold, the next day I received my congratulations email telling me that I had been accepted to extend my program in the same role but a brand new location! Even though I had hoped for a new role, I was so excited that I got to work somewhere else for a little while because that means new experiences and new connections to be made.

I am so unbelievably happy that I get to continue this journey with one of the best companies in the world and that I have the full support of my family and friends.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and if I wasn’t meant to be here…then I wouldn’t be here. My time with Disney is nowhere near being close to done.

In fact, I’m just getting started ❤

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l Am On My Way; I Can Go The Distance

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way–implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney.

To piggyback off of Walt, I would like to begin by saying that believing in yourself, first and foremost, is one of the most important things you will ever do in life. Believing in yourself opens up so many doors that will lead you down new and exciting paths, and those paths will help shape who you become.

Truthfully, I have always struggled with my self esteem. Some days I feel on top of the world, and other days I feel like there’s the ground, 50 feet of dirt, and then me.

However, and this may sound silly, finding my dream has helped me feel better about myself. Having a dream gives me a sense of purpose, and having a sense of purpose makes me feel…important.

I’ve mentioned my dream briefly a few times, but to refresh your memory, I would ultimately love to work in social media/communications department for Walt Disney World. I very much enjoy interacting with people on social media platforms and figuring out how to use the platforms to my advantage.

With this in mind, I decided to apply to the Disney College Program. Yes, I am aware that I won’t gain experience in social media this way, but I am also aware of the fact that many cast members started their career with Disney by doing the program.

And, honestly, the magic starts in the parks. So why wouldn’t I want to begin my journey there?

After a web-based interview, a phone interview, and a month and three days of waiting, I finally got the email I had been waiting and wishing for:

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On Sept 29, I was accepted into the Disney College Program for the Spring 2015 semester. My role is Merchandise, and I am so beyond excited!

I, of course, accepted my offer, and will be participating in the program from Jan. 19 until May 15. I am ready to earn my ears, network, make new friends and learn about the history of my favorite place on this earth.

I will probably post on here periodically to document my journey, so I hope you will all follow along!

*If anyone would like a separate post on the application process from applying to accepted/not accepted, please let me know and I can do that!*

I am FINALLY on my way, and I am going the distance! I can’t wait for this new chapter in my life to begin!

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Why Disney Reigns Supreme

It’s no secret that I love Walt Disney World. It’s the Most Magical Place On Earth and my favorite place to be. I have dreams about it, talk about it constantly and I am always planning my next trip because I can’t get enough.

But that isn’t why Disney reigns supreme. This is:

Last year, Magic Kingdom saw an estimated 18,588,000 people walk through its gates. Yes, you read that correctly. Over 18 million people visited Magic Kingdom last year, which happened to be the highest theme park attendance rate for 2013.

Isn’t that crazy? Magic Kingdom beat out every other Disney park, including its predecessor, Disneyland, which has many of the same attractions. But have no fear–every Disney park made it onto the Top 20 list of Theme/Amusement Parks in North America. In fact, Disney filled up the first six spots on the list with Magic Kingdom coming in 1st, Disneyland in 2nd, Epcot at Walt Disney World in 3rd, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 4th, Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 5th, and Disney’s California Adventure in 6th. When you add up the numbers, an estimated 74,841,000 people visited Disney parks last year. 74,841,000.

And that doesn’t even include Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Parks, which ranked 1st and 2nd on the Top 20 List of Water Parks in North America. Typhoon Lagoon had 2,142,000 visitors and Blizzard Beach had 1,968,000.

You may not like Disney. It may not be your favorite theme park to visit, but the numbers don’t lie. People visit Disney parks more than they visit any other amusement park in the country.

But the real question is–why?

I could probably write an extensive essay on why Disney continues to come out on top despite Universal having the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Busch Gardens having thrilling rides and roller coasters. But the answer can be summed up in one sentence:

Disney appeals to and has something for everyone.

Disney is marketed as a theme park for all ages. It’s a place where families can come and enjoy time together–together being the operative word. Many theme/amusement parks cater to an older crowd with thrilling roller coasters and less rides for the entire family to enjoy. This is where Disney comes in to save the day. Disney has several parks that house a variety of shows, rides, and other entertainment that will keep everyone entertained. Even those die-hard Disney haters (yes, some do exist) will find SOMETHING they like.

And, if you thought Disney’s theme park success started and ended here in the United States, you were wrong. Disney reigns supreme throughout the world.

Tokyo Disneyland had 17,213,000 visitors last year, which is more than Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., Tokyo Disney Sea had 14,084,100, Disneyland Park in Paris had 10,430,000 and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris had 4,470,000.

In fact, Disneyland Paris is said to be the most visited attraction in Paris, beating out the very famous Eiffel Tower. That. Is. Crazy.

And if you’re STILL not convinced that Disney reigns supreme, allow me to list just some of the things that The Walt Disney Company owns:

Lucasfilm (aka STAR WARS)

Pixar Animation Studios (Responsible for many movie favorites, such as Up, Wall-E, and Toy Story)

Disney-ABC Television Group

ABC Family (How many of you love Pretty Little Liars?)

A&E

ESPN (Hello, sports fans.)

Marvel Entertainment (Hello, Avengers fans.)

Disney Interactive Media Group

I could keep going, but the entire list is long and in depth. Plus, I think you see where I’m going with this.

I love Disney because the magic in the parks translates to EVERYTHING they do outside of them. Even if Disney isn’t your favorite place to visit, I guarantee at least one of your favorite things has a little bit of pixie dust sprinkled on it.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the short version (yes, this could be longer!) of why Disney reigns supreme ❤

 

*The theme park attendance figures mentioned in this post can be found here, and a list of Disney’s assets can be found here.*

 

Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments!