As many of you know, I’ve taken a semester off of college and am currently participating in the Disney College Program. But I’ve gotten several tweets and e-mails asking for a bit of a life update and some more details on what exactly it is that I’m doing while I’m down here. So, I took that into consideration and am sharing this post with you all today and I also have a Q&A post coming up

Fantasyland Merchandise

In case you didn’t know, I work in Fantasyland Merchandise. I don’t think that my princess loving heart could have gotten a better role! Since I’m in Fantasyland it means that I do rotate between the shops within the land, so you can find me in Sir Mickey’s, Castle Couture, Hundred Acre Goods, Fantasy Faire, Bonjour, and Enchanted Grove. I get to wear a beautiful purple dress that Rapunzel herself designed and we get special pixie dust from Tinkerbell to give our guests magical moments.

I had never worked merchandise before getting cast in this role, so it was overwhelming for the first two weeks to say the least. It took me that time to realize that the majority of our guests that visit the land are there for the magical moments, so even if the transaction takes a little longer, as long as they walk away with a smile on their face, I feel accomplished. Plus, who can resist striking up a conversation about the new Beauty and the Beast movie when you are wrapping up a Chip mug.

Magical Moments

When I was on the phone the other day with a friend she made the comment that it sounded like I was getting more magic out of the moment than the guest. While I definitely put my all into making magical moments for the guests, I do have to admit that most of the time the moments are just as or even more magical for me. Watching a 4-year-old girl’s eyes light up when I tell her about my special pixie dust from Tinkerbell then excitedly close her eyes and make a wish melts my heart each and every time. I love when the elderly couples tell me their stories about how long Disney has been woven into their life stories, that they were there babies when the Disneyland grand opening was aired on TV, their families excitedly went to the grand opening of Disney World, that they brought their kids to Disney, and now they are passing the magic down to their children. I cry happy tears when a little girl excitedly runs up to me in awe because I look like Rapunzel and am in utter disbelief when guests ask for a picture together because I made a magical moment for them.

Playing in the Parks

What has truly made this program magical is the ability to get into the parks to play for free. I’ve learned that Expedition Everest is still one of my favorite rides nearly ten years later and that Splash Mountain will never get old. I’m more than willing to brave the line for the Frozen ride because it tugs at all of my heart strings and I still jump up and down when I get the privilege of meeting a princess or Mickey and the gang. I’ve done four parks in one day with my roommates and may or may not visit the Poly at least once a week for a Dole Whip twist.

I Never Want to Grow Up

Overall, this program has taught me that you really always are a child at heart. I never want to out grow the excitement of meeting a princess or wearing bows in your hair. I don’t ever want to see Disney Bounding as silly and see myself as too old or too sophisticated to do such a thing. I want to run down the streets of Main Street with the same joy I did when I was 8 and spotted Alice and the Mad Hatter. Whether I make the decision to pursue a professional career with Disney or not, I’ve made the decision that no matter where I work an element or two of Disney will be on my desk to remind to never grow up and to never take myself too seriously. It’s the little things.

Two More Magical Months

My program was originally supposed to end on May 25th, but I found out this week I was accepted into my extension and will now be here until July 27th! I’m so excited to see what the next four months hold and am honored that I was chosen to extend my program because I know it was very competitive. Plus, let’s be honest, now I get to be here for the opening of Pandora and get to see the new fireworks show in Magic Kingdom even more.

Want more magical updates? If you liked this post, please let me know! I’d love to keep updating you all on how my program is going!

The DCP has some fairly strict rules to follow while living on property. While it is manageable, there are some that are stricter than your average dorm that you should be aware of, including inspections. In this post I hope to answer all of your questions about how things work in on property housing. Everything from curfews to hanging things on the wall to even having guests over.

Housing Rules

These are the general rules of the housing complex. Please remember that you should always abide by the rules given to you by Disney. This post just serves to give you an idea of some of the rules.

-3M Hooks are (currently) the only things you should be using to hang things on your wall

-You cannot leave doors or windows open or propped open

-Alcohol is only permitted inside non-wellness apartments and not permitted in wellness apartments

-Quiet hours are from 2am-7am

-Participants can stay at other housing complexes until 2am

-Guests can visit (after being checked-in) until 1am

-No more than 16 people can be in one apartment at once

-No smoking inside apartment

-Illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia are prohibited in all apartments

-In the apartments you cannot store weapons, firearms, explosives, paintball guns, BB guns, pocket knives, Tasers, toy weapons, darts/dartboards, martial art equipment, grills, space heaters, candles, and incense. These cannot be stored in the apartments or in cars parked in the complex.

-Bicycles cannot be used or stored in the apartment or cars on property

-Unless you have a medical accommodation form, pets are not allowed on property

-You can store skateboards and rollerblades on property, but they cannot be used on property

Housing Inspections

On my current program, we have monthly inspections. Typically, you are given a one to two week window of time when people could come into your apartment for the inspection. It can happen at any time so always be ready during that time frame. And by any time, I mean I’ve been napping and they’ve come, so be prepared. Thankfully, the people who do inspections are very nice though!

-Beds are made

-Floors are mopped and vacuumed

-Tub, shower, sinks, and toilets are wiped down and clean

-Mirrors are cleaned and free of finger prints, water marks, make-up, etc.

-Countertops, dressers, and nightstands are neat and tidy

-Things such as clothes, books, personal possessions, etc. aren’t piled or covering the floors and instead are neat and orderly.

-Microwave/oven/countertops/stovetops/sink are clean and free of clutter

-Furniture and dining room table are not cluttering with food/trash/dishes etc.

-Apartment is organized, neat, and free of clutter

-Air conditioner vents are clean

The housing guide also specifically states things that typically bring up issues such as:

-Dirty laundry or items piled on the floor.

-Trash not taken out on a daily basis. They take off points for each full trashcan

-Expired perishables left in pantry or on countertops

-Dirty dishes out too long

-Mildew in the bathroom

-Food debris in the oven or on the stovetop

-Burns on the countertops

-Prohibited items such as candles out

If you’ve participated in the program, what would you add to this list? If you are new to the program, what tips on this list are new to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Back in January I shared with you several of my favorite online Disney-related stores. Since I’ve been in Disney World the past few months I’ve found even more Disney related shops that I had to share with you. Just remember, these shops are in no way affiliated with Disney, they are simply fellow Disney lovers and Disney nerds hoping to spread their own bit of magic. I hope you enjoy this follow up post and check out all of these lovely shop owners.

Ears By Lauren

In case you haven’t noticed by now, I am in love with homemade mouse ears. I simply can’t get enough of them. And when I came across Lauren’s ears I was way too excited for words. I think that Lauren definitely puts her own spin on what is considered a “classic” look for mouse ears because hers just seem so peppy and full of life. I can never get over her gorgeous designs and basically am constantly checking her Instagram page for the latest updates on her store. Her shop isn’t always open, so you have to be sure that you check out her Etsy page to know when the next opening will be. I may or may not track her openings in my planner and set a phone notification, but that’s just me.

Fett and Co

I love having fun Disney clothes to wear in the parks and Fett and Co offers just that. I love their ‘Take Me to Disney and Tell Me I’m Pretty’ t-shirt and I can’t get over their ‘Books, Beauty, Adventure, and a Rose’ t-shirt to name a few. I also love their Instagram feed. Not only do they show their appreciation for customers who wear their gear, but they also share the love for other shops too. And who can’t appreciate that with a business?

Walt’s Wardrobe

From ‘Citizen of Netherland’ t-shirts and sweatshirts to ‘Dapper Dans’ tees, this shop has all kinds of fun and unique merchandise. I love that their shirts don’t completely scream Disney with a ton of mouse ears everywhere, but any Disney fan would know you are spreading the love for the most magical place on earth. And if you want to throw in some subtle Mickey Ears, check out their ‘Disney Vibes Only’ t-shirt. It’s one of my personal favorites along with their Paradise Falls tee and ‘Red Hot Churro Sticks’ shirt.

Anthology Candles

Before leaving for the college program I had no idea that there were Disney themed candles. As someone who always seems to relate scents to different times of my life, I definitely hope to order several of these candles to be waiting on my door step when I arrive home in Missouri. Personally I’ve been eyeing ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, ‘Churros’, ‘Main Street Bakery’, ‘Pineapple Whip’, and the ‘Confectionary’. Personally, I absolutely love their Instagram because they take the candles to the parks and take pictures of the candles in front of a backdrop that makes sense with the candle scent. Definitely be sure to check it out.

The Bucket List Narratives

This shop is where I got my ‘Forget this, I’m Moving to Disney World’ v-neck that I wore before heading out for my program. This shop offers all kinds of unique tees to sport in the parks. I love their ‘I Heart Mickey Icrecream’ sweatshirt, their ‘The World’ sweatshirt, and the ‘It’s Kinda Fun to Do the Impossible’ crew neck. If you check out the shop, also be sure to check out their awesome blog. They have tips for the best cheap eats, the best tips for first time trips to WDW, and even the top five attractions at WDW. Have I said you absolutely have to check them out yet?

She Makes Glamour

When I found She Makes Glamour, I couldn’t get over her attention to detail and all of the things she incorporates in what seems to be a tiny bow. Personally I love her rag doll, ultimate wizard boy, and every bow in the monsters and fish bows set. And how in the world did I forget the snow booger bow. Literally, if I could only buy one bow from her it would be the snow booger one, it’s just too cute. You have to check her out! I promise it’s worth it.

Have you ever shopped from any of these shops? What are some of your favorites of theirs? Are there any shops you would add to this list of favorite Disney related shops? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Whether you are driving or flying to get to Disney for your program, you have a lot of stuff to fit into a small space. I’ve only ever moved three hours away from home for college, never across the country. To say the least, it was a bit intimidating to narrow my stud down for what I needed to have. So once I got settled in I started writing this list. I included what I packed, what I wish I had packed, and what I wish the other blogs would have included. Remember, this list is what it personalized to me. Feel free to print this off and make your own edits to it as needed.

Clothing

-Tank tops (typically people learn more towards sleeveless top rather than spaghetti straps, but it’s up to you)

-T-shirts

-Shorts

-Jeans

-Athletic shorts

-Bras

-Underwear

-Undershirts

-Socks

-Dress for graduation

-Sun dresses for nice dinners

-PJs

-Comfy clothes (sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc.)

-Rain jacket

-Rain boots

-Professional, business casual outfits for Traditions and Casting (think dress pants, blazer, blouse, button-up, nice shoes, and accessories)

-Swimsuit

-Cover up

-Flip flops

-Athletic shoes

-Sandals

Bedroom

-Alarm clock (this is first on the list because I almost forgot mine and I don’t wake up with a phone alarm)

-Mattress protector

-Sheet set

-Pillow

-Pillow case

-Comforter/duvet/quilt

-Extra blankets (if you are like me and always cold this is a must!)

-Stuffed animals/pillow pet/lovie

-Laundry hamper

-Fan (a must if you need white noise to sleep)

-Hanging closet organizers

-Plastic 3 drawer organizers

-Under the bed storage containers

-Decorations for walls/bulletin board

-3M Command Hooks (currently what is allowed to hang things in housing)

Personal Items

-Razor and shaving cream

-Extra razor heads

-Shampoo and conditioner

-Body wash

-Face wash

-Body lotion

-Moisturizer/eye cream/toner/make-up remover

-Tooth brush/toothpaste/floss/mouth wash

-Hair brush/hair ties/headbands/bobby pins

-Make-up bag

-Band-Aids

-Ibuprofen/cold medicine/cough drops

-Any prescribed medicine/inhalers/etc.

Bathroom

-Hand towels/washcloths/ bath towels/beach towels

-Hand soap

-Shower caddy

-Plunger

-Toilet brush

-Bathroom cleaners

Living Room

-Extra blankets (yes, this has been on this list twice, but it’s important)

-Throw pillows

-HDMI Cable

-Comcast

-Cable and Wi-Fi hook-ups

-Cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes, Windex, Pledge, cleaning cloths, etc.)

-DVD player with DVD’s

Kitchen

-Dishwashing detergent

-Laundry detergent and stain remover

-Coffee maker/coffee mugs/travel mugs

-Water bottles

-Pizza cutter

-Ice cream scoop

-Can opener

-Toaster

-Blender

-Blender bottle

-Baking sheet/baking pans/muffin tray

-Mixing spoons

-Basic knife set

Other

-Phone charger

-Backpack

-Headphones

-Computer with charger

-iPad with charger

-Point-and-shoot camera/DSLR camera with chargers and memory cards

What do you think are essentials for the college program? Did I miss any essentials for the list? I’d love to hear your comments below!

In Fall of 2015 I stumbled upon a Facebook post that detailed a former sorority sister’s story about her Disney College Program. She gushed about how amazing it was for her, despite occasional challenges, and how she would do just about anything to go back. After reading I thought to myself that I just wasn’t enough of a Disney nerd to be able to do something like that. Sure, I’m a marketing major and geek out about the Disney brand, but I didn’t actively follow the movies or know all of the character’s names. A few weeks later I was working in my apartment’s main office. A girl walked in excited to get her package because it was a Disney Dooney and Bourke purse that she had wanted to get her hands on for a while. She then explained to me and my co-worker her love for Disney and how she was an alum of the DCP. She gushed that it was an experience everyone needed to have during their time in college. My mind immediately went back to when I had read that post on Facebook and I googled how tall you had to be to attend character auditions. At 5’10”, let’s just say I walked away from that search a bit disappointed. Then I did more research only this time on YouTube. I found vlogs all about other people’s Disney College Programs and how amazing the program was for them. That’s when I decided that I absolutely had to pursue this opportunity.

Researching the Program

That Spring I used the majority of my free time to watch any vlog or video about Disney, it didn’t even have to be about the college program. I think I watched nearly every Disney haul video on YouTube at the time. Then I brought it up to my parents. I expressed my crazy idea to take a semester off of school and move to Disney World to pursue an opportunity of a lifetime. I am a marketing major after all and who can say no to working for the most authentic brand in the world? That’s when my mom joined me in doing research. What was this program? Was it really worth taking a semester off of school? Where would we live? Where there benefits to doing the program? Over the summer though, I knew I was going to pursue the program. I was looking something up daily and constantly talking about it. I pity my parents, brother, and friends for having to hear about it every day.

Applications

Apps dropped August 15, 2016 for the Spring 2017 Disney College Program. Almost on cue as the announcement e-mail came into my inbox my mom called me asking if I’d applied yet. From my research over the summer (yes, I’m calling it research) I had heard horror stories about people’s apps getting lost after applying day one, so I decided to apply two days later. August 17th, 2016 I finally sat down and applied to the college program. Let me just say, I’ve never been more nervous to fill out a job application in my life. I checked for spelling errors, I made sure it emphasized every strength possible, and I reread over and over checking to make sure I couldn’t use any better wording. At the end, I ended up without a sign-out button and panicked. Where in the world was the button that the page told me I needed to have? I freaked out, called my dad, e-mailed tech support, and had a minor panic attack. And yes, over a sign out button. Turns out, not everyone gets a sign out button. Lesson learned.

WBI

Fifteen minutes after submitting my application I got an e-mail to progress onto the WBI. To say the least, this made me even more nervous than doing the application. I knew that as soon as I completed the WBI I would know if I was progressing to the phone interview or not. I kid you not when I say I called my mom and literally made her stay on the line until the end of my WBI so that she would be there for the end result, whether good or bad. I missed a question on the WBI because I ran out of time and immediately I was freaking out. This was Disney. And since it was Disney, surely one little mistake could completely end my chances of ever getting on with the company. Well, thankfully that mistake didn’t end anything for me, I ended up progressing to the PI. Immediately after seeing that I was progressing on after the WBI, my e-mail tinged with a new message and I was able to schedule my phone interview. I immediately scheduled it for Tuesday, August, 30th. And yes, waiting almost two weeks was hard.

PI

The night before my phone interview I sat down and wrote out 5 sticky-notes full of information. I wrote down my top 5 preferences for roles, my park preferences, had a sticky note to write down my interviewer’s name, wrote out my questions for the end, and even had one sticky note for why I felt I was a good match for the company. Then the day of the interview came. I was a nervous wreck. My interview was at 3pm and I was dressed in professional clothes sitting at my desk at 2:30. I reviewed my sticky notes over and over and made sure my pen worked. Then I said my “God help me prayer”. Right after I said “amen” my phone rang at 2:45pm. In all honesty, the interview was a blur. I got off the phone in exactly 20 minutes and called my mom. I had just completed my Disney interview.

The Wait

The Disney College Program application process is full of lots of waiting. Whether 15 minutes or 15 days, each and every wait is painful because the majority of us want answers as soon as possible. I couldn’t help but check my e-mail nearly every chance I got. I was bound and determined that I would get my reaction to my (hopefully) acceptance on tape, so I recorded each time I checked my e-mail and dashboard. I can’t count the number of clips I recorded in one day each day in anticipation of finally hearing something back. In fact, the day before my acceptance came I have an emotional clip where I start to go on about thinking I’m not good enough for the company and won’t get a job offer.

Congratulations, You’ve Been Selected

On Friday, September 23rd, 2016 I sat down at my computer after my university’s career fair. I had attended in pursuit of an internship for summer 2017 because internships are required to graduate from the business program. I hadn’t heard anything back from Disney so I knew I had to start applying for internships. I opened my computer, turned on my camera, and pulled up my e-mail. And I saw the e-mail, right as it came in. “Congratulations, you have been accepted to the Disney College Program.” So many people thought that my reaction was staged, fake, or rehearsed, but it wasn’t. I literally went from almost tears because I thought I hadn’t made it to complete and utter joy because I was moving to Disney in the snap of your fingers because I guess that’s how I react to exciting news. Plus, I’m not typically one to cry, so the fact that I even have something close to tears on camera means it’s not staged for me. What wasn’t filmed was jumping around my apartment for over an hour in utter disbelief. This was real. I was moving to Disney World. And little did I know, my program would be starting in exactly four short months.