About a year ago I was sitting in my apartment’s office working my desk job with Alice in Wonderland playing in the background. A resident walked in and giggled at my choice of movie and asked if I’d ever applied to or done the Disney College Program. The Disney College Program? What in the world was that? I told the girl I’d never heard of it and that’s when she began telling me all about the six months she’d spent working in the most magical place in the world. She said that sadly applications for the upcoming fall program had just closed but in about two months the applications for the spring program should be coming out. Little did I know, that conversation would be the start of a whole new, magical chapter in my life.

I spent hours pouring over YouTube videos and blog posts about the college program. I read everything from what to pack to how you should spend your day in the parks. Then I presented my crazy idea to my parents. I’m super grateful for parents that push me to do the things that I think I’ll never even be considered for or that I’m not ‘good enough’ for. When I told my mom the first thing she said was, “When do you apply?”. And when I told my dad the first thing he said was as long as I wasn’t friends with Tinkerbell when she flew over the Magic Kingdom he was okay with me doing it.

Then applications dropped. I nervously submitted my resume and prior experience and waited. Then about twenty minutes later I got an e-mail that I’d been selected to do the web based interview. That same day, I completed my web based interview and was approved to move onto the phone interview. After several weeks of waiting I had my phone interview the day after my 21st birthday and continued to wait. I nervously watched as people on the Disney College Program page I was a part of got their acceptances and I was still waiting. That’s when Friday September 23rd came along. I was accepted to the Spring program in Walt Disney World.

After that day the rest of my semester was a whirl-wind. I somehow found someone to sublease my apartment to, made it through finals, still concentrated on school, and was busy with my organizations. But all of my free time was dedicated to Disney. I spent hours reading posts on the Facebook pages and watching more YouTube videos. What I could never put my finger on was why people were talking about never wanting to leave and how much of an impact this program had on their life. Yes, it was working for Disney and yes, for most of us it meant relocating to a new state, but it was a minimum wage job. What could I possibly gain from that? Oh sweet innocent, Megan. How little you knew then.

I found seven other girls excitedly anticipating their college program on the Facebook pages and spent way too much time texting with them giddy with excitement each day. When housing applications finally dropped I was working an 8 hour shift at the grocery store and Katie was passed out asleep in bed from long shifts at Express. It turns out that the max number of people you could pair with was 6 and Katie and I had missed being able to pair with the girls we had been talking to. And honestly, Katie and I hadn’t seemed to be the best pair from the group chat. She loved Panic! and I’m admittedly not their biggest fan. I love Taylor Swift and probably sounded like her biggest night mare.

Chatham 7101, oh how you are filled with memories. From our living room flooding and maintenance bringing  in industrials vacuums to get rid of the water to screaming in the middle of the night when we spotted a lizard scury across the floor in our bedrooms. It was knowing that there was always someone in the apartment to explore the parks with or simply stay in and have a Disney movie marathon with. It was looking up from the kitchen table and seeing a Transtar bus stuck in the bushes across the street and getting home late at night and talking about the crazy day we’d had. It was having friends that also loved eating raw cookie dough and people that also always had chips and salsa on hand. It was excitedly pulling up to Chatham waiting for the security guy to exclaim, “welcome home, ladies!”.

While we might have been a bit afraid of living together with the whole Panic!/Taylor Swift thing, I couldn’t have asked for a better roommate. Katie, thank you forever for being my MK roommate, just as we had plastered on our doors. Thank you for late night, early morning, and mid day food runs. I can’t imagine getting lost in Orlando with anyone else, at least we realized how close we lived to SeaWorld from one of our first failed attempts to get to Magic Kingdom without Google Map’s assistance. I’ll never forget our excitement to move to Chatham 6202 because it meant we’d no longer hear washer and drier doors slam at all hours of the night and would no longer hear people sharing way too personal stories in the laundry room on the other side of the wall. Thanks for introducing me to Hawaiian pizza, giving me a new appreciation for all things Bachelor, and always staying awake so we could rant about our day at work. Here’s to surviving our disgusting sink, late night Wal-Mart trips, never remembering what my car looked like, throwing yourself into the ocean each and every time we went, not realizing we weren’t following each other on Twitter for 6 months, and dumpster diving for your keys. I’ll never forget complaining about our work day and hearing “shots, shots, shots, shots!” coming from the room above us and how hilarious we found it because at least someone was having fun that day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me a roommate that I sobbed with when it finally came time to not say goodbye, but see ya real soon.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -Winnie the Pooh

I was blessed enough to call Fantasyland my home. Every day I got to wear a purple princess dress that Rapunzel herself designed for me and pixie dust little girls as I excitedly announced, “with a little faith, trust, and pixie dust, may all of your dreams and wishes come true!”. I’ll never forget the little girl who looked at me in awe and said, “mommy, look! Rapunzel’s hair does grow back blonde!” or the little girls I talked to before they met Rapunzel and Tiana whose mom found me after the meet and greet and said, “I just wanted to let you know that my daughters called Rapunzel a fake because they think that you are the real Rapunzel.” (this was even after I’d told the little girls I was a royal citizen of Fantasyland and that Rapunzel had designed my dress, but that I was not Rapunzel) There were the guests who genuinely thanked me for making magic for them on their vacations and the guests who cried because they appreciated magical conversations with cast members. While yes, there were the guests who weren’t so magical, the crazy lines during poncho rush, the people who didn’t plan their Disney vacations at all, and the guests who you wondered how they chose Disney as a vacation destination, the good guest experiences always outweighed the bad guest experiences.

My Fantasyland Family, who is affectionately called the Fan Fam, was always there for me. I’ll never forget looking at the girls whose college program was coming to an end and thinking to myself that they were the kind of cast member I wanted to be. They made magic for the guests, knew how to fluff the princess dresses perfectly, and some how got their stores fully stocked early in the night. I’ll miss having stock lists that would be covered in sparkles and had all of the princesses’ names on it. It was Lexi storming through the door to tell about the latest crazy thing that happened to her, Meghan doing the MISI dance again, Sierra twirling through Sir Mickey’s in the purple princess dress, Betzy wearing her tiara at all times, Chelsea teaching all of us newbies how the ropes worked at Disney, Megan always bragging to me about how she never had stock shifts, Kayla somehow making it through 8 hour shifts in heels (I forever give you props, girl), Brooke always making the most magical moments for guests, questioning how Lindsey would get a shift that wasn’t stocking, and all of us somehow managing to keep Fantasyland from falling apart. It was our coordinators who told us that while our journey was ending, Disney would always be home. Thank you Virgil for laughing when I wanted to sing Frozen before we re-opened Castle’s doors, the Amanda’s for always making us laugh, Aimee who always encouraged me to follow my dreams and loved my crazy stories, Tony who always pushed us to make the best, most magical moments for our guests, realizing that I had “made it” as a cast member when Brad seemed to actually like me, and Ali who always let us talk about how crazy it could get in the land. It was these people and this family that brought so much magic to my experience. They all truly pushed me to be the best cast member I could be and kept me going to make the most magic I could for the guests, myself, and my fellow cast members.

Thank you Disney for allowing over 3,000 bright eyed and bushy tailed college students to move to Orlando and experience the magic that is your company. Thank you for allowing us to learn about the magic behind the scenes and how much hard work goes into making such magical experiences for the guests. Thank you for showing us the importance of carrying on Walt’s legacy in a company he poured his heart, soul, mind, and time into. For showing us that strong values are the building blocks for a brand and is what will bring people back. Thank you for sharing with us your passion for the company and telling us that with a little faith this company can take us further than we ever imagined.

Thank you for giving me a renewed sense of confidence in myself, my abilties, and my dreams for the future. At college it’s easy to get down on a grade that was lower than you expected or an overall class grade that wasn’t as amazing as you thought it would be. It’s easy to start thinking that that lower than expected grade is what defines you and what you can do in the future. Thank you for showing me that I’m so much more than a class grade or a cumulative GPA. That it’s my work ethic, my determination, my drive, my eagerness to learn and improve, and my knowledge that will get me further in any career I might find.

Thank you, Disney, for teaching me the values of a brand. As a marketing major and brand nerd myself I can’t begin to describe how much I learned about branding and customer service by working for your company. It was incredible to learn the values that Walt built his company on and to see how those values are still being carried on in the company to this day. It was learning how every aspect of the company has so much influence on the brand and how it’s portrayed. It was learning that this brand really did start with a mouse and now we are here.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I had laughed reading some of the comments people had on the program. I didn’t understand how a minimum wage job could make such a difference in someone life, how it could challenge them, and how they could not want to leave. Fast forward to me extending my program that should have ended at 4 months to 6 months long, crying over seeing the new hires getting trained and you’d give anything to go back to that, realizing how much this program has made you grow and stretch, and forever wishing you could have just one more day working in the parks because all you want to do is make more magic.

So Walt, here’s to you. Thank you for making my dreams come true. And I promise, I’ll never loose site of them and I’ll always do as dreamers do.

“And so our journey comes to an end, but yours continues on. Grab hold of your dreams and make them come true for you are the key to unlocking your own magic. Now go, let your dreams guide you. Reach out and find your happily ever after.” -Happily Ever After Fireworks Spectacular

 

As a current Disney Cast Member I run into a lot of guests that don’t know much about Walt Disney World. Many guests come to Disney with only passes to the parks and hotel reservations, no dining reservations or Fast Passes. While you can still have a magical vacation with hotel reservations and park passes, you will mostly be eating hot dogs and hamburgers and waiting at least 30 minutes for each ride. Today I wanted to share some Disney basics with you so you are prepared for your first trip to Disney and have a magical time.

FastPass+

Disney FastPass+, referred to as Fast Passes, let you reserve times for rides, entertainment, and more. Once you’ve purchased a ticket to Disney World you can make Fast Pass selections 30 days ahead of time. If you booked a Walt Disney World resort hotel you can make your selections 60 days in advance.

Fast Passes are a free benefit in the Disney parks and you can make up to three passes for each day online or through the My Disney Experience app (more on the app later in this post). Once you have used your three passes for the day, you can add another selection to your day on the My Disney Experience app on your phone or at one of the Fast Pass kiosks in the parks.

And for reference from a Cast Member, here are some of the current most popular FastPass+ rides by park:

Magic Kingdom: 7 Dwarves Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain

Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, and Kali River Rapids

Hollywood Studios: Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, and Star Tours

Epcot: Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’

My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience is a free app that you can access from your cell phone that is an easy guide to the parks. You can view your Fast Passes, reservations, see wait times, access digital park maps, make Fast Passes, find restrooms, find character spots, view your Photo Pass photos, and more. This app is truly a great resource to have while visiting the parks and I highly recommend downloading it before your vacation so you can play with it for a bit.

Resort reservations

Staying on property in a Walt Disney World resort is nothing short of magical. By staying in a Disney resort you have bus/monorail/boat transportation to the parks, meal plan options, and the magic of Disney Cast Members and all things Mickey shaped. Many resorts will also have dining areas to stop by for a quick breakfast as well. The basic break down of Walt Disney World resorts is value, moderate, and deluxe. Here’s a bit of a breakdown as well, just remember that there are more options such as campgrounds and villas that you can check out on the Disney website.

Value resorts: These resorts have bus transportation to the parks, Disney Springs, water parks, etc. and range in price from $100-300 a night. Value resorts include Pop Century, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, All-Star Sports, and Art of Animation.

Moderate resorts: These resorts have bus transportation to the parks, Disney Springs, water parks, etc. and range in price from $200-400 a night. Moderate resorts include Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter, Coronado Springs, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.

Deluxe resorts: These resorts boast bus, boat, and/or monorail transportation (when making reservations you will be able to view what transportation is available) and range in price from $300-$3000 a night. Deluxe resorts include Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Contemporary, Yacht Club, and BoardWalk Inn.

Dining reservations

Not making dining reservations is one of the most common mistakes that guests make when coming to the parks. Disney has a lot more guests than it did 10 years ago when you could walk in and wait for reservations. Now starting 180 days before your arrival date you can begin making dining reservations for your trip. There is a limit on reservations if your stay exceeds 10 days.

While I highly recommend doing your own research on Disney dining, as I could make a full post on this topic alone, if you are wanting to dine at Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table make it 180 days in advance or 99% of the time you will not get a spot.

Also, the character dining options are some of the best dining experiences Disney has to offer. Some of my personal favorites are Chef Mickey’s, The Crystal Palace, Be Our Guest, and Ohana.

I also highly recommend 50’s Prime Time Café, Blaze Pizza, Coral Reef Restaurant, Flame Tree Barbecue, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and Kona Café.

Book experiences

Disney Magic is a wonderful thing and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I highly recommend looking into many of the amazing experiences that Disney has to offer. While there are many more than what I will be listing today, I’m sharing the two experiences that guests never seem to know about.

Magic Kingdom’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: One of the hidden gems for princesses and knights between the ages of 3-12 is this wonderful place tucked into Cinderella’s Castle. You can be transformed into a princess or a knight by a fairy godmother in training. This experience is always completely booked, so be sure you make your reservations 180 days in advance.

Disney’s Backstage Tours: If you want a backstage peek at Disney’s operation and to learn more about the history of Disney world, a backstage tour is for you. Fun fact: If you book the Key’s to the Kingdom tour you get to go back stage to view the tunnels. Yes, they are in fact real and you can see part of it too. I highly recommend looking up the tour options if you are a Disney kid at heart.

Extra Magic Hours

When planning what days you will be in the parks, look up when there will be Extra Magic Hours in the parks you are visiting. Extra Magic Hours are exclusive to those staying in Disney resorts and give you an hour before park open and 1-2 hours after park close to enjoy the rides with much shorter wait times. Each park typically only has one day a week with early Extra Magic Hours and one day a week with later Extra Magic.

Magic Bands

Magic Bands look kind of like a FitBit in that you wear it on your wrist, but it’s much different. Your Magic Band is your hotel room key, how you get into the parks, what you scan for your Fast Passes, allows you to charge things to your room, and more. If you booked a Disney World resort stay you should receive an e-mail and/or a pamphlet in the mail with information about making a Magic Band selection for your party as they can be personalized with your name on the inside and there are many colors to choose from.

Pin Trading

Now that I’ve covered booking your trip, I want to cover some of the things in the parks that you might not be super familiar with if you’ve never been to Disney. One of the popular things to do in the parks is pin trading. A lot of the cast members that aren’t in safety critical roles will be wearing pin trading lanyards that you can trade with. You can trade two pins with a cast member as long as they are not broken and they are Disney pins. I highly recommend looking on Amazon or E-Bay for trading pin packs so you have plenty of pins to trade.

Pressed Pennies

Pressed Pennies are also a very popular item in the parks. They are a perfect souvenir and are a fun thing to collect as you run into the penny press machines. I highly recommend going into your vacation with quarters and pennies packed. Keeping them in plastic M&M containers is the perfect way to go.

Buttons and stickers

You will see a lot of guests with Mickey stickers or buttons that say Happily Ever After, I’m Celebrating, Happy Birthday, or First Visit. Buttons and stickers are available in almost every retail shop in the parks. Insider tip: if you are ever talking to a cast member whether they are at the front desk, a bus driver, custodial, working in a retail shop, etc. ask if they have stickers. There are lots of fun stickers that cast members have although don’t be upset if they don’t have any or are out, sadly our stickers go pretty quickly and we do run out every so often.

Shop Disney Parks App

If you see someone with something you are interested in or if you want to know if there is any good merchandise for Minnie Mouse, the Shop Disney Parks app is for you. This app allows you to search merchandise sold within the parks, locate where particular items are sold in the parks, and even have merchandise sent back to your house.

Package Pick-up and Resort Delivery

The final thing that people don’t always know about in the parks is package pick-up and resort delivery. If you purchase merchandise in the parks you have the option to send it to the front of the park, just as long as you will be in the park for at least another 3 hours and send it to the front at least 3 hours prior to park close. Your package will be available for you to pick up at the front of the park after 3 hours. Another option is resort delivery which allows you to send your package back to your resort and then you can pick it up the next day after 1 pm in your main resort gift shop. Just make sure you send your merchandise to the resort three hours prior to park close and if you miss that time frame your merchandise won’t arrive to your resort for two days.

Are you planning your first trip to Disney? Was there anything new you learned from this post? If you’ve been to Disney before, are there any tips you would add to this post? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Disney World. It truly is one of the most magical places on earth. Where else can you go from being a Jedi to dining with princesses to adventuring to the ‘happy place’ on Splash Mountain? Disney is truly the place for kids and kids at heart. And while as cast members we understand that people are paying thousands of dollars to visit our ‘playground’ there are somethings that cast members want guests to know. I’m not saying this to ruin your pixie dust or ruffle any feathers, because I promise I completely understand that you’ve worked hard to go on a once in a life time trip. But in all honesty, I can say you will have a more magical visit if you take these tips to heart.

  1. We can’t control the weather

While it seems silly to include this on my list, let alone to have it as the first item on my list, it’s something that needs to be included. Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather. There is nothing we can do about rain, cold weather, hurricanes, strong wind, grey days, etc. While it isn’t fun to have to deal with rain during your trip, it is something to be prepared for. Plus, Splash Mountain is the best ride to head to during the rain.

  1. We have no idea which rides are down, how long they will be down, or how long the wait is

As cast members while we are here to help you, we aren’t up to date on what rides are down, how long they will be down, or how long the wait is unless we are a cast member that works at that attraction. While yes we are in the park, we aren’t informed about these things because our concentration is on helping on guests. Even attractions cast members won’t know other wait times or how long a ride will be down for. You typically will have to go straight to the source to ask a cast member there about what is going on and even then they sometimes don’t have information to give out.

  1. If you are nice to a cast member, we will go out of our way to make magic for you

I can’t stress to you enough how far out of our way we will go to make magic for you especially if you are nice even though you are having a bad day. We love seeing the smile and excitement a guest has when we have made magic for them.

  1. There is no such thing as a “perfect Disney day”

I heard this expression from a guest I was assisting and I couldn’t see it as more true. You can’t come to Disney and plan a “perfect” day because typically at least one thing will go wrong. The carts for turkey legs will close sooner than you expected, the souvenir you waited to buy until the last day will be sold out, your favorite ride will be closed, you won’t get the reservation you wanted, etc. But that’s were Disney magic comes into play. While it might not be what you had originally planned, there are always more amazing magical things to do and try in Disney. When the guest I was helping told me about this they said that they had been too late to get cinnamon rolls one day they ended up finding their favorite Disney treat, Dole Whips.

  1. Disney still has rules

Even the most magical place on earth has its rules. We can’t sell you the purchase with purchase items without you spending a certain amount, you can’t run through the park, a princess dress can’t have the ink tag taken off while your little princess is wearing it, we can’t give you the DVC or AP discount without seeing a physical card or seeing you pull it up on the My Disney Experience App, and so on. While it is a magical place, the magic still has restrictions.

  1. If we ever have to raise our voice when talking to a guest, yes, we absolutely are allowed to do so

While this happens more often with security, attractions, food, and non-merchandise cast members, if we have to raise our voice with a guest, yes, we are allowed to do so. While I won’t get into details about the reasons I’ve had to raise my voice with guests, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a guest then tell me that I’m not supposed to yell and I’m ruining the magic. Yes, it ruins the magic. I will admit that it isn’t so magical to hear anyone yelling in the parks unless they are on one of our thrill attractions. But I will say that if a cast member raises their voice, we are absolutely allowed to do so and it is typically for the safety of ourselves, our fellow cast members, and our guests. (It also isn’t very fun to raise our voices, so please be safe while in the parks)

  1. We want you to have a magical visit. We will give you all of our tips to a great day in the parks if you give us the chance to

As I said before, as cast members we understand that you’ve saved and sacrificed a lot to be able to come to Disney. We want to you get the most out of your trip and enjoy it. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have guests stop and ask what rides they should head to next only to have them walk away excitedly because you just mapped out where they should go and when to avoid long wait times. Remember: as cast members we typically spend some of our free time in the parks. We know which times are the best to hit up certain rides, which rides are worth a long wait, and where you can go for some great quick service food.

Are you a Disney cast member and have anything you would like to add to this list? Are you a guest that has anything to add or input for this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

As a blogger and vlogger myself it’s always been important to me to show appreciation to others in my community. At the moment I’m in Orlando participating in the Disney College Program, which introduced me to a completely new niche of bloggers and vloggers. Today I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my personal favorites. Please remember, these are in no particular order and I chose people no matter when their program was or if they’ve done the program. If they love Disney then they are eligible for this list. With that, let the favorites begin!

Cally Bloxam

Cally is one of the first people that I stumbled upon when I started looking into pursuing the Disney College Program. I knew that I wanted to do the program, but I wanted to hear about the program from someone who had done it. When I came across Cally I came across someone who has a true love and passion for Disney, which was something that I definitely needed to see. I watched her room tour, her DCP haul, her pin collection, her letter to her pre-DCP self, all of it. I fell in love with the idea of the program and doing the program because of Cally essentially. And I have to thank her forever for opening me up to one of the best decisions of my life. Plus, I copied her awesome autograph book idea, so there’s that.

Sarah Bellin

Sarah is one of my personal favorite DCP vloggers. I love her friendship with her former roommate Annie, I love her bubbly personality, and I love how she basically took the DCP opportunity by the horns and used every moment to her advantage. I found her channel through searching for DCP hauls and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I basically used her videos as hype videos before I left for my program. I seriously have my fingers crossed that I have the opportunity to meet Cally and Sarah during my program. As weird as it might sound, I have so much to thank them both for because they gave me the motivation to pursue the craziness that is the DCP.

Tales from the Tower

If you want informational videos about the ins and outs of the DCP, Jessica is your girl. Everything from move-in day tips to advice for surviving DCP housing, Tales from the Tower is the place to go. I found Jessica and her channel because I stumbled upon her DCP memory box video and cried my way through the whole thing. In fact, once I was accepted to the program I went back to her video and made notes on what I want to keep for my DCP memory box. I watched her videos all the way up until I left for my program and still watch them now on the program when I get the chance.

This DCP Girl

I stumbled upon the This DCP Girl through the DCP Spring 2017 Facebook page. Sarah shared the blog posts she had written from her experience during her previous program on the page for us newbies to share. Let’s just say, I was insanely grateful for her. She shared lots of tips on navigating Disney housing, the application process, and the craziness that is working for the Disney company. I’m insanely grateful to say that she’s become a dear blogging friend of mine through sharing potential blog post ideas with her and even being an admin alongside her on the DCP Bloggers Facebook page. I’m forever grateful and amazed by the amazing friendships that blogging has brought me.

Disney at Heart

Jared and Britt are two amazing Disney YouTubers that make me fall in love with Disney more every time I watch them. In fact, I kind of point my finger at Britt for getting me obsessed with Dole Whip, popcorn, and straw, strawberry, strawberry shortcake! I can’t help but have a smile on my face when I face them because they exude genuine happiness. I love their Disney hauls and Disney vlogs, but if I’m being honest they could review just about anything and I’d be watching because I have a slight obsession. In fact, I even told a few friends the other day that if I spot Jared and Britt in Disney I’m going to be way to excited to hopefully talk to them.

Oh Yeah Disney

Scott and Emily are another one of my favorite Disney couples. I love their vlogs that allow you to follow them through the parks and how they share their favorite camera equipment for their amazing photos and videos. I always look forward to their new videos and even seeing what stuffed animals Emily picks out for helping out with videos. If you check out their YouTube channel, you also need to check out their Instagram accounts as well. Their photos are always absolutely gorgeous.

Everything Disney Pins

As much shame as I feel in saying this, I used to laugh at pin trading. I thought it was silly and not worth the money. But those thoughts changed when I came across the Donoho sisters and that opinion completely changed. I saw their love of pins, collecting, and sharing the joy of pins with others and instantly I was hooked. In fact, because I them I hope to choose a series and attempt to trade to get each pin in the set. Along with their Everything Disney Pins channel they also have With the Donohos and Everything Disney Shopping. I honestly am subscribed to and watch each and every video. Nine times out of ten I probably fall asleep to their voices after a long day at work. And to spread the pin joy, check out their online pin store. It’s super organized and has some amazing pins.

Maias DCP

Maia’s DCP channel is another channel that I stumbled upon when researching the DCP. I loved that she shared so many steps of the process from finding roommates, pre-DCP haul, packing, and check in day. She even did Vlogmas while on the program, which is a huge task to complete during the DCP. Currently she posts videos that are Disney related, such as unboxing Disney Legos and sharing information about her online store. I personally own her “Once a Cast Member, always a cast member” t-shirt and I have my fingers crossed that she will add more designs as well.

Do you watch any of these YouTuber’s videos or read any of these blogs? If not, which ones would you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

In typical fashion I’m back this semester with a day in my life post. It’s basically become a tradition for me to sit down and write these out mainly so that after graduation I can come back and see what a crazy day in my life was like. In case you didn’t know I’m currently taking a semester off of school to participate in the Disney College Program and it’s definitely one of the craziest, most stressful, and fun things I’ve ever done. And while in all honesty I don’t actually have a “typical” schedule, most days go something along the lines of what I wrote below. Let’s be honest through-my alarm is either going off at 4am or I’m going to bed at 4am after getting off of a 3:15am shift. So here’s a ‘typical’ day in my life. Enjoy!

5am: My alarm goes off and it’s time to get up and get my day started. As I stated above, there really is no in between for me. I’m either up at 4 or 5 am or going to bed at 4 or 5 am. Good bye to any kind of sleep schedule.

6am: Drive to work! Yes, I head out a full hour before my shift starts to make sure I get there on time. There are many instances where there is a car wreck right outside of the park and it adds quite a bit of time to my commute, so always thinking ahead so I don’t get that half point.

6:35am: If my drive to work goes smoothly I’m at work by now. During this time I put my stuff in my locker, grab a Tell-A-Cast, and head to clock in.

6:45am: We can clock in 15 minutes before our shift is scheduled to start, so I typically always am early to clock in. Normally several of my co-workers are there as well so we spend this time chatting about how we hope the day will go and if there are any upcoming events we need to be aware of.

7am: My shift begins! Typically the first few hours after park open are very slow so I spend a lot of time standing in the door way waving at guests. People that do come into the shops are typically just browsing to pass time before a reservation or FastPass.

3:45pm: After a long day of making magic, my day is over! I clock out, grab my stuff from my locker, and head to my car.

4:15pm: Home from work, grab a quick snack, change, and tell my roommates I’m headed to the store so we can pick up our groceries.

4:30pm: Head out to get groceries! I always stop at Trader Joe’s even if it is just to pick up peach salsa and then we head to Wal-Mart to get the rest of our necessities.

5:30pm: By this time we all decide that we are hungry and head to Chick-Fil-A because it’s our favorite and where else would we go?

6:30pm: This particular day we decided to go to Disney Springs to browse Sephora because of the VIB sale. Disney Springs is seriously so dangerous for my wallet!

8pm: Finally back at the apartment. Now I shower, eat a snack, and settle into bed with Netflix or YouTube before falling asleep. So exciting, I know.

How does your schedule currently look? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!