This week is my first actual glance into what I have gotten myself into. Do I regret it yet? No, but my eyes have been opened to why some people have had grumblings about doing this program.
The first week is easy. You do your couple classes and get settled in. That’s the no brainer part of the program. But then, once you get into training, it’s where the reality of it all sets in. Some people I don’t think are truly aware of the work they have asked to become a part of. No matter where in the park or what line of work you are doing, you have long hours and it’s going to be exhausting. That much should be a given. On top of it all, you are most likely going to be placed in a role with an unflattering costume and you’re going to wonder why in the world you decided to do this.
I work at the World of Disney in the formally known Downtown Disney, but is now being renovated into Disney Springs. World of Disney is an amazing place to shop. Pretty much everything you could ever want is in this store. Notice, however, I did say an amazing place to shop.
Now I do want to say that I hold nothing negative against this store. There are amazing people and amazing items that occupate it and I just so happen to be one of them. It is just a huge area with lots of merchandise to overlook. For our guests, that’s pretty much the best thing to hear. For some cast members like myself, I want that one-on-one interaction for the opportunity to make Magical Moments. WOD doesn’t exactly give you that option. Unless you make it.
That is the number one thing that I have learned thus far. This program is what you make it. It can be absolute hell if you let it. Or, it could be the best thing. There are a lot of participants that will sit on the buses and complain about work or hours or costumes, but that isn’t what makes this program what it is. What makes it is going to work knowing that in some way, maybe not even the biggest ones, but in some way you are giving a family a memory that is going to help them for years to come.
The hours are going to be long. The costumes aren’t all flattering and the chances of you getting your dream workplace is pretty slim. But if you go into it with your head high and your mind on the happiness and magic, then that’s what you will get out of it.
You give what you get, and that’s really the biggest part of this whole thing, and I’ve only been here a week. It’s all about retraining your brain to see all the best parts of something that could be easy to be negative about. Complaining is easy, but it doesn’t help anything, fix anything, or change anything. It’s harder to be positive, but you end up reaping up so many benefits to just turning a grey sky into “At least we won’t get fried in the sun”.
Then there is missing family.
You have to train your brain to be okay with the fact that you WILL miss them. And some days are going to be harder than others. Like when you miss your Grandpa’s birthday, or you look at pictures and videos of your cat. Those days are rough, and all you want is to board a plane and get the hell back home. There will also be days where you are going to try and convince yourself that you don’t miss them, or that it’s stupid that you are being sad in the happiest place in the world. Here’s the real thing. JUST LET YOURSELF MISS THEM. If you try and be like Elsa and conceal it, then you are just going to let yourself be just immersed in congealed negativity. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.
Especially on a CP schedule.
So when it comes to being homesick, just let it happen.
Call your family and cry
But also be okay with having fun. Just because your boo ain’t here with you doesn’t mean you can’t go and have the time of your life with your knew CP friends or your roommates. Don’t coop yourself up in your room and never leave outside of work. You won’t have a good program and your magic will be sparse. And Mickey doesn’t want that. Just believe in the power of courage and kindness. I know it’s completely cliche for me to say because of my love for Ella, but she’s right. You have to have courage to do this program and to meet people you never planned on thinking you could meet. And you have to be kind to yourself. Let yourself be sad, but also let yourself be happy. If you get lucky like me, then your roommates become your new family and will be there for you even when you don’t think you need them. They wife material.
If I have said it once, I’ll say it a million times this program.
This Disney Experience is only what you make it.
So make it a good one.