“Welcome to the Company”

23 Mar

When I was a child, I had a pretty strong obsession with Walt Disney World. My brother and I would sit on the floor among our park guide maps and plan every trip our family would take. I took every chance I could to write a school paper about Walt Disney or construct a school project with a collage of Disney World pictures. I think I knew at a very early age that I wanted to live in Disney World.

Back in the days of dial-up internet, I did a search for "Disney University" not even thinking something would come up. I was just simply hoping there was a school for people who loved Disney. Thankfully, I came across the Walt Disney World College Program. I spent hours upon hours researching the program online. I found loads of Geocities websites filled with personal stories and pictures from WDWCP alumni. I was getting more anxious with every page view. I knew that this is what I would do when I got to college.

Knowing I wanted to work for Disney, I majored in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management. I only wanted to work at Disney. I didn’t have any aspirations to use my degree to work for Marriott, Hilton, Aramark, or hundreds of other companies. I even passed up an opportunity to work at the Plaza in New York City.

After a few bumps in the road throughout college, I eventually interviewed for the WDWCP during my senior year. I will never forget the day I opened the letter inviting me to join the Walt Disney World Company. I moved to Orlando the day after college graduation and became a front desk hostess at Coronado Springs Resort. I was finally a cast member!

I spent a few months on the college program before I had to go home for medical reasons. Although my move home was necessary, I spent the next few months absolutely miserable and depressed. Thankfully, my CP roommate Ashley had the brilliant idea to move back to Orlando together. And there I was again… a cast member!

I worked at the All Star Cafe and 1900 Park Fare, both as a server, from May 2004-January 2006. I really wanted to move up to management, but the money from serving was so much better than that of a manager’s salary. I was in a long distance relationship the whole time and made the decision to change my employment to Seasonal and move to Pennsylvania to be with my boyfriend at the time. Throughout the next few years, I felt like a part of me was missing. Disney is a part of my soul, as stupid and cliche as that sounds.

Now, you all know I moved to Orlando in July of last year. I had started re-applying to Disney in May of last year. I re-applied and re-applied. I finally got an interview at the end of January.

ww week 3 (3)

It went extremely well, but I was put on a waiting list for a server position. I really thought it would be 6 months to a year before I’d hear anything, but on March 9, I got the call. The “Welcome to the Company” call! As soon as the recruiter told me they had a position for me, I felt like that part of me that was missing came back.

As you can probably suspect, I celebrated that evening with a night out at Hollywood Studios!

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A few days later, I had another appointment at Casting to fill out paperwork.

casting 1

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casting 3

Eeeek!

casting 4

I will be spending all day tomorrow at Orientation, otherwise known as Traditions. I couldn’t be happier!

17 Responses to ““Welcome to the Company””

  1. Jenn March 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    AHHH!!! 🙂 You’re seriously living my dream right now too. If I could, I’d move down there in a heartbeat to work. I’ve even been scouring the NYC job listings to just work for the company right now but I have to finish grad school first. Can’t wait to hear about Traditions!

  2. Jaime March 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Wow! Congratulations and best of luck! 😀

  3. jan March 24, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    CONGRATS TO YOU. Do you know where your position will be? This is great. I thought you were in mortgages though… ? and 🙂

  4. jessey March 24, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    That is great news!

    My best friend in high school was completely obsessed as well (the first time I ever went to WDW was for his 30th birthday) – I am not sure if he ever applied for the college program. After lots of jobs in the entertainment business (as a writer/editor), he now works (didn’t start until he was 38) for the Company on their D23 website (he lives in LA) and he is completely living his dream. I hope all your dreams come true.

  5. Andrea March 24, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    Congratulations!

  6. prayrunlove March 24, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Congratulations! I also loved Disney growing up and ended up doing the college program fall 2009! I worked at finding nemo the musical as an usher. It was just such an amazing experience because all of us were pretty much throwing ourselves into the same position- for most it was the first time living on our own, making our own money (albeit 7.25 an hour), and making quite a few of our own decisions. I met so many great people both at my job, my roommates, and at the CP events! The only thing I regret is that I was kind of too responsible while living down there, and didn’t really take very much advantage over the fact that I was so close to so many things -the beach, universal, sea world, Daytona, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, etc, and focused more so on making $. I think by the time I went home, I had saved up close to $1000 (and on 7.25 an hour – that takes a while). It was still truly one of the best things I have ever done, and when I left my program, all I did was think about it and my Disney friends for the months following. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could! Can’t wait to hear more about your new job!

  7. peglegpug March 24, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    That’s awesome! Congrats! Or should I say… welcome to the family? 🙂

  8. Jennifer March 24, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    I just got the goosebumps reading this post, because it is also my lifelong dream to work for Disney. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d sell my house in Jersey and move down to the Golden Oak development with my husband and apply to do anything in WDW…sweep the streets, sell pretzels, be an attractions host at the Haunted Mansion…

    I look forward to living vicariously through you! Congratulations!

  9. Jennifer March 24, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    I forgot to mention that I was accepted into the WDWCP as well, but I decided to decline the offer because I had just started dating a really fabulous guy and didn’t want to put the relationship in jeopardy. I guess I got the best of both worlds, because we have been married now for 8 years. He proposed to me during IllumiNations, we honeymooned at the Poly, and have been back to WDW another 4 times, plus one trip to Disneyland as well! So I got my man AND Disney, too. 🙂

  10. Emily March 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    How exciting!! Congratulations!! I am so excited for you. I would love, love, love someday to work for Disney.

  11. Kipp March 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    I hope I get to see you my next trip down then! It should be the week after Thanksgiving.

  12. wdwalone March 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Congratulations – I am so happy for you and extremely jealous! I can’t wait to hear all about your experiences and maybe I’ll see you down there on one of my upcoming trips!

  13. beth March 25, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Congrats!! Where will you be working?

  14. Bethi March 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    I am so thrilled for you! It was my dream growing up to be a nut vendor in Epcot (the ones that make those amazing smelling sugared almonds). Yum! Anyway, I found you blog because you wrote a comment on my post on facebook’s runDisney. So glad I found you! Check out my blog too… maybe we can be running buddies for the Princess Half!!!

    • runeatdatesleep March 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      Hey!!! Thanks for finding me! Run Disney deletes links to blogs, so I’m glad you were able to hunt me down 🙂 I’ll go check out your blog now!

  15. Carolina @ Peas in a Blog March 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Woohoo congrats girl!

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