To be honest, I don’t know how I got here. My family took a few Disney trips while I was a child, my favorite kind of movies were/are Disney, and I know most Disney songs by heart. But I never imagined myself working in the Disney Parks—that thought had just simply never crossed my mind. But after I had a few outside influences and events that happened beyond my control, (I like to think of it as fate) I had caught the DCP fever. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was that turned the tide, but I was determined to fulfill this new dream.
But to be honest, I did have a few reservations. The same small town that I grew up in, just so happened to be the same town that I went to university in, so the thought of relocating across the country sounded both enticing and terrifying at the same time. It would be the first time that I would be living away from my family and home. I just really hoped that I was going to get along with my roommates and coworkers, and that I could avoid homesickness.
It didn’t stop there, though. There were quite a few days that were hard and discouraging—especially in the beginning. I called and FaceTimed my family, and eventually even contemplated going home. But after getting to know my roommates more, (spoiler alert: they ended up becoming my best friends) and after I “earned my ears”, I fell deeply in love with every aspect of the “DCP experience.”
I was able to come out of my shell and not be as painfully shy around strangers. I was able to go to the parks more times than most people go in their lifetime, I learned that I can stick something out even when it’s hard, that a little bit of kindness can turn someone’s day around, and ultimately, I was given the confidence like Moana, to trust “the voice inside."
There’s something about working at Disney that makes you more aware of the people around you. You want the guests to have the best experience possible, so you try to find little ways to add magic to their day. I didn’t realize it at the beginning, but adding magic to other people’s lives, adds it to yours as well. There are such tender feelings that come after knowing you helped orchestrate a special moment in someone’s life. After a while those feelings become addicting. I will forever be indebted to the Disney Company, because the desire to have those feelings more abundantly in my life, has helped influence who I am today and how I try to interact with people in my everyday life. I’ve realized that it truly is the simple things, that can make all the difference.
And so I guess the moral of the story is that of Cinderella’s, which just so happened to premiere while I was on my program... to have courage and be kind. Have courage to do the scary things in life, and to embrace the unexpected doors that are opened for us. Have courage despite not knowing everything that lie ahead. Have courage in the face of discouragement, doubt, and fear. And most importantly, be kind. Get to know the stories of those around you. Be an advocate for simple things like holding a door open for someone, saying please and thank you, and lending a hand if possible. If you do those things, I promise that just like me, you will be in awe by all of the magic that surrounds you.