Posted in Disney Diaries

Post-Program Reflection: Why the Disney College Program was the Best Decision for Me

Okay okay. I know you’re all dying to know the inside scoop on working for Disney. Well, it goes something like this: When I wake up in the morning, I arise out of bed with my pet mice dressing me in beautiful threads. I pour 8 ounces of pixie dust into my cereal and a horse & chariot arrive at my doorstep to take me to Cinderella’s Castle. EHHHHHH. WRONG. Let’s try again.

So, maybe the above statements were an exaggerated personification of the classic Disney tales. However, working for Disney truly was a magical experience, but just like everything else in life–it’s all about perspective. There are many program participants that will tell you that working here ruined the magic for them and how they couldn’t wait to go home. I couldn’t disagree more.

Sure, maybe the details of working here weren’t always the greatest, but that’s life for you. There were some days I left work defeated and others where I left on cloud 9. But it’s those bad moments that help us appreciate the good ones. Learning to work with ungrateful guests made me stronger and more compassionate for the ones that needed a little extra love. Working those late hours helped me to appreciate the 24-hour business. When people go on vacation, they often forget that those making their vacation relaxing and special is NOT a vacation for workers themselves. Disney operates at all hours of the day, every single day of the year in some capacity. All of the hard work, planning, and dedication that goes into making magic for people is something to be truly in awe of…and now, after witnessing it first hand, I have even more respect for the industry.

I often hear that landing an internship with Disney is a “dream come true,” but then that dream is quickly crushed after completing the program. For me, that is the farthest from the truth. I would love to combat the negativity because it truly was a dream come true for me. I’ve wanted to work here since my very first visit in 2015 and I stopped at nothing to make it happen. After almost finishing the program, I am so proud and honored to have been selected to do this. I’ve learned so much during the course of my program. I’ve gained transferrable skills that I know can help me in any career I choose. I have also gained the confidence to chase after my dreams, even if they are crazy. This certainly is NOT for everyone and I’m not suggesting that it should be, but I am truly grateful for Walter Elias Disney for making this all possible.

Now, as the program is over, I am back in THE LAND, ready to take on a new adventure. I don’t have all the details figured out yet, but I know that regardless of where I end up, I can always call Disney my home. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world and I will always treasure the memories made during the fastest semester of my life.

Anything you feel called to do in life can be your “Disney Dream.” But just remember, if things aren’t exactly like you had hoped or planned, that doesn’t mean the dream wasn’t worth it. Nothing is perfect. We are constructed to believe that nothing is “good” unless it is “perfect.” I believe this is why there is so much negativity plaguing our world. However, if you take that step back and realize that emotional perfection actually stems from acceptance of imperfection, then you can make the happiness surrounding your dreams a reality.

Peace & Pixie Dust

Posted in Disney Diaries

So Far, So Magical! DCP 2017

So by now, it’s no secret that I’ve made it to Orlando and have survived 2 weeks of my Disney College Program. Time has a funny way of working down here. Obviously it flies when having fun, but I can’t help but think of “With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).

I feel this fits here quite nicely. When participating in a program such as this, you think you are in control of time. There are so many things you need to do, so many things you want to do, and there are only 24 hours in a day. (By the way, Disney runs on 24-hour time, which is quite the adjustment from AM/PM. Yes, I know you just subtract 12, but nonetheless, still an adjustment!) Anyhoo, it’s much more sensible to let go and surrender yourself to the boundaries of time. I am so blessed to be here and I thank God for making this all possible. Through Him, I am able to make this a irreplaceable, life-changing experience regardless of the amount of time.

I will also take a moment to use this as a brief update in addition to my reflection. All aspects of the program are taking off without a hitch. Everything from roommates, role training, park adventures, and everything in between are going just swimmingly so far. After 2 weeks, I have (more or less) figured out how to take the busses and am excited to go on even more adventures! Pretty soon, I’ll be taking some seminars to further my knowledge and hopefully soon I’ll be operating in my role with confidence and ease. It’s all about perspective and I have high hopes that these next few months will be worth every minute.

Next time you find yourself worried about time and how much you can squeeze into a certain amount of it, just remember that God is there to help you handle the logistics of time, it’s just up to you to make it all worthwhile. So far, my DCP experience has been nothing short of magical and I wish the same upon all of you as well.


Posted in Tara's Tales

A Letter to My Childhood Best Friends

Dear My Oldest-Yet-Dearest-Friends,

I can’t believe I’m doing this. Sitting in a café, writing this article, on the edge of youth and adulthood (more like hanging on for dear life as the g-word is drawing near, but you get the point) reflecting on our past (may or may not even have a few tears in my eyes…allergies, I swear). I kid you not, it seems like just yesterday we were playing kickball in the cul-de-sac, writing scripts to our own versions of Hannah Montana, and getting a thrill of going to the mall without adults and taking way too many photo booth pics. Do the youth even do that nowadays?

I might be biased, but I believe we grew up at the perfect time. We have an appreciation for VHS tapes and thrived during the days of calling our home phones to see if we could come out and play; however, we are also are well-acquainted with the technological boom of today. We had it made, guys. I miss those simple times, I really do. Our imaginations were impeccable and I envy our ambitions. I want to take this moment to thank you for all of it.

You were my first friends. The ones I associate my earliest memories with today. You were number one on my birthday invite lists (thank you for still coming even though I had almost every party at Miss Molly’s Tea Room). You were there through all of the early milestones. You were even still friends with me during my caveman-looking-days (God bless you for that).

When high school came, I was terrified of losing you. I remember freshmen orientation like it was yesterday…when we had to split up, and I was the only one at the beginning of the alphabet, I thought my life was over. I couldn’t imagine going through what was supposed to be the best (and fastest) 4 years without you. But here’s the beauty of it: even when we established ourselves in different friend groups, joined different clubs, and hung out with different people at dances, our bond never quivered.

Then of course, college came in the blink of an eye and that fear came back around. How the heck could I stay friends with people going to colleges in completely different directions? But thankfully yet again, I was wrong because here we are many years later, still best friends.

40325_1401311362083_193811_nYou know who you are and this letter speaks for itself. Thank you for sticking by my side all this time and I look forward to all of our future endeavors to come.  I love you from the bottom of my heart and I always will.