October 7, 2013

New Disney Blog!!

Hi everyone!!

Just wanted to encourage you all to head on over to the newest version of "Disney to Infinity and Beyond."  This is a blog that has everything Disney related in one location.  In my previous post, "Life After the College Program," I mentioned the blog and how it is on Blogger.  Since then, we have made some major updates and changes to the blog.

The blog can now be found at this link:   disneytoinfinityandbeyond13.wordpress.com

This change was for the better and lets us create a better experience for everyone.  The new layout has better navigation tools for you, the viewer.

We would truly appreciate it if you would head on over and follow our new blog!

Thanks so much and have a magical day!!!

October 6, 2013

Life After the Disney College Program

Hi everyone!  I am sorry it has been so long since I've last posted.  Since my last post, I have completed the Disney College Program, moved back home, and continued on with my studies at college.  There isn't a day that goes by that I do not miss working at Disney.  All of the friends I made while on the program are still in touch everyday.  We talk like there isn't hundreds of miles separating all of us.  These friendships that I made along the way are the best, strongest, bonds I have ever made with anyone.  We all understand each other and are going through the infamous "Post-Disney Depression."

When we kept hearing about this depression you will go into after your program ends, none us really believed it would be as bad as they said it was going to be.  I think it is safe to say that we all agree that it is much worse.  We are constantly thinking about Disney and how in the world can we get back as soon as possible.  I know I am constantly talking about my experience there and how much I want to go back on a daily basis.  No job has come close to comparing with my role as a Disney Cast Member.  I might have just been a resort lifeguard, but it is by far the best job I have ever had. 

I can honestly say I have never cried so hard in my life than the way I broke down into tears in the middle of Main Street, U.S.A, watching Wishes in front of the castle for the last time.   As soon as the music for Celebrate the Magic (the pre-firework show on the castle) started, I had tears streaming down my face.  Those who know me, know that I am not one to cry very often so this was shocking to me and everyone around me.  That last Wednesday night of my program, when my friends and I all went to Magic Kingdom for the last time together, will be a night I remember forever.

There are several things that you don't get "warned" about before you embark on the experience of a lifetime, so let me help you out so you are somewhat prepared. 
  • They don't tell you that your Disney obsession (if you have one, which we all have at least a slight obsession) will become 100 times worse after your program.  You will find that every little mention of Disney, any Disney product in a store, and just anything else you can imagine will somehow have you thinking of all the wonderful memories you had.  This becomes the closest thing to the real magic of Disney that you have.  
  • You will find that your social media accounts will be bombarded with anything and everything Disney because you will go and like all these Disney accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  You name it, you'll find it.  
  • You will refer to you Disney roomies as your "roommates," even though you have different roommates now.  They will forever and always be your "roommates." 
  • Your last shift will be the hardest shift of your life.  I remember being on the lifeguard stand for the last time at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, when one of my managers came out to say goodbye to me because he was headed home for the day.  I tried so hard to hold back my tears all day long up until that point and as soon as he came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said that he really appreciated all of my hard work the past few months and that he was going to miss having me as a lifeguard, my sunglasses became curtains to hide my tear filled eyes.  If that wasn't enough, I still had about four hours of my shift left and I was on the rotation as having to say the closing announcement.  Saying that pirate themed closing announcement for the last time took all I had to keep my voice from cracking the whole time.  I managed to complete it but as soon as I finished and walked back to the closet to put my tube away, I broke down in the back of the storage closet.  I turned to walk back out and my coordinator met me at the door crying too.  That night in the recreation office were some of the hardest goodbyes I have had to say.  I wanted, more than anything, to say "see ya tomorrow."  
  • You will make friendships stronger than any other friendship you had previous to the program.  I don't know why, but your Disney friends will become your best friends.  You think you have best friends back home that you will return to and everything will be the same as before you left but it's really not.  While you were having a blast at Disney everyday for the past few months, making new friends, your friends back home were doing the same thing.  They made stronger friendships with others just like you were doing the same in a different state.  When you return, you realize your lives are now going in different directions and it's hard to pick those friendships back up where they left off.  These old friends  do not know what you are going through.  They don't understand how you could be so obsessed with Disney and you feel as if you are annoying to them when you hangout now.  Some friendships are lucky enough to last but others just fizzle out.  You can always count on your Disney friends, though, to be there for you, to help you through some really tough times, and to always be there to talk to.  You created this special bond with Disney magic that just can't be weakened.  
  • Once you get back to school, you are going to have many thoughts that this is not what you want to do anymore.  As you walk around campus, you just won't feel as happy as you might have been before you left.  I find myself constantly thinking "why did I choose this school anyway?"  I keep thinking that if I could go back to my senior year of high school and do the whole college process again, I would do everything completely differently.  I would choose a different school, different major, everything.  The only thing that I would not change would be the time I took off to participate in the Disney College Program. 
  • You will continue using that "Disney Point" long after your program.  I will forever have the habit of pointing things out with two fingers.  At my new job, I am constantly pointing in directions with my "Disney point." 
  • Every job after your College Program will seem pretty laid back compared to Disney.  You'll find yourself questioning guidelines on how you are supposed to look at your new job and being surprised that there isn't an entire handbook written on the ways you can and cannot look at work.  Your nametag doesn't have to be perfectly straight, on your left shoulder anymore, but you find yourself wearing it that way anyway.  
  • You will find Hidden Mickeys EVERYWHERE!  Whether you are staring at an image or walking to your car, you will find something that looks like a Hidden Mickey.  Anytime you see three circles put together, you will automatically think "Mickey Mouse."  
  • And finally, you will find yourself holding back tears when you see something Disney related at some point.  This can happen at anytime, when you least expect it.  You could be watching tv and, BAM!, there's a Disney commercial.  Or you will randomly find yourself looking through your photos from your program and you start crying because of all of the wonderful memories that are flooding back at once.  You'll feel that lump in your throat when trying to tell people of your experience and what it meant to you. 
Here are ten things you probably didn't think of about your College Program and I am sure that any alumni of the College Program will agree with these things. 

Currently, plans are in the making for me to finish school as soon as I can and head back down to the mouse for good, right after graduation.  The College Program was my dream from a very young age and I achieved that goal.  Now, I have gained even bigger dreams and the courage to go along with reaching them.  My favorite quote from Walt Disney is, "If you can dream it, you can do it!"  I truly believe in this.

I encourage you all to go and apply to the Disney College Program.  It's coming up on a year from when I heard that I had been accepted into the Disney College Program and I wouldn't change any of it for a moment.  If you have a passion to succeed and make thousands of people happy, then this program is truly for you.  Even though CP's are on the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak, this program opens up so many opportunities for you.  I grew up so much and I was really able to find myself while there.  Because of this program, I have an actual plan of what I want to do after college and for the rest of my life. 

It's amazing to think that all of this was created through the magic that was brought to us by one man and a mouse.  Walt and Mickey will forever have a space in my heart.

I would really like to thank all of you for coming on this journey with me and I really hope that I have helped at least one of you along the way.  If you want more on all things Disney, you can head over to a new blog that I have created with my best friend from Disney called "Disney to Infinity and Beyond."  Here is the link:  disneytoinfinityandbeyond.blogspot.com

Now I encourage you to go out and make your dreams come true!! 


May 9, 2013

Hi everyone!  I just "graduated" from my program.  I can't believe it is almost time to leave.  I feel like it was just yesterday when I was standing in line with my roommates waiting to check in.  This experience has been amazing and I definitely recommend participating in the program if you have the chance. 

I have had the time of my life these past few months and can't imagine it ending.  I was very lucky and had amazing coworkers.  They have truly made my program that much better.  Without them, I don't think I would have had as much fun as I did.  They have made going to work enjoyable and something I have looked forward to since January.  I am going to miss them all so much.  The Caribbean Beach Recreation team has become like family to me. 

My roommates, especially Kelsey and Natalia, are two of my best friends.  I can't even think of how we might not have even met if one of us had picked a different date to check in.  I don't know what I would have done without them this semester.  We have had so much fun together and we are constantly laughing and having a grand old time.  They are friends I hope to have for the rest of my life.  Kevin and Kody are great friends too.  They make me laugh so much and will be two of my best friends after we all go our separate ways as well.  I am going to miss them soooo much. 

Kelsey, Natalia, Kevin, and Kody are just four reasons why this has been the best time of my life.  The five of us have been through a lot together already.  We have been there for each other these last five months, through thick and thin.  We have accomplished so much together, helping one another with our bucket lists of things to do before leaving.  I can't wait to see where else life takes us.  I have a feeling we will all stick together through life even from all over the country.  Love you guys!

As for these last couple of weeks,  I am going to be pretty busy with work, packing, and running around.  I will keep you all posted on how the end of my program is going and what it entails. 

Have a magical day!!!

May 4, 2013

"Your past is just a story
and once you realize this, 
it has no power over you."

April 30, 2013

 "To laugh at yourself 
is to love yourself."
-Mickey Mouse

April 29, 2013

Disney's Art of Animation


My family was just visiting this weekend and we stayed at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.  It is the newest of them all and it was just perfect.  Disney really went above and beyond with this resort.  

We stayed in a Finding Nemo themed family suite.  It was amazing!  It was like you had joined Nemo and his friends right in his coral reef.  The details were spectacular.  It wasn't your typical hotel room with boring walls and mismatched colors.  The walls were blue and the carpet looked like waves.  The beds gave the illusion of sleeping right in the reef including the anemone that Nemo and his dad, Marlin, share.  

The pool area was awesome as well.  Giant statues of the characters played a role in creating an amazing pool area.  Giant jellyfish dripped water from them to give a fun spin on fountain-like water features.  Under the water, speakers played fun music throughout the pool. 

The food court was great.  The food was all delicious and they had something for everyone.  The "Surf and Surf Burger" is a must if you're a seafood loving person.  There were many different varieties of desserts every night too.  

Needless to say, I will definitely be staying at Art of Animation again sometime in the future.  It was a fun resort and a wonderful sight to see.  Once again, Disney has created a wonderful and magical place to stay and enjoy!!

April 24, 2013

"Around here we don't look backwards for very long.
We keep moving forward, 
opening new doors and doing new things
because we're curious...
And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
-Walt Disney