We all put in a lot of effort at our day jobs and regardless what you do for living, your pastime is Disney. Your free time, listening time, and vacation time all go towards one of the most impressive establishments that exists. The amount of effort and energy that goes into the daily operations at Walt Disney World are insurmountable. Magic Kingdom’s Cast Members have to keep the tide and flow of millions of visitors in coordination each day. What would it be like to sit in the shoes of a Cast Member and see what they see, get the opportunities they get, and enjoy our pastimes as they do? Being on the other side of Walt Disney World and working to make millions of visitors, consumers, and enthusiast entertained at home, at the parks, and everywhere else would be an amazing life event.
I had the pleasure of running into a few Cast Members on the new social media phenomenon Periscope and after watching Disney Professional Intern Katie Denta (https://www.periscope.tv/
1. When did you start getting into Disney? Have you been a life long fan or did it all start with your first experience as a Cast Member?
I’ve been a Disney fan since birth. I grew up watching Disney movies, wearing Disney Princess dresses and visiting Walt Disney World. I think my passion for Disney turned into career aspirations during my High School Musical phase in middle school. During a trip to WDW in 8th grade, I remember meeting Disney College Program students working at Epcot. After hearing about how they were getting paid to live and work at WDW, I was sold.
2. What are some of your favorite things to do at the parks?
I absolutely love visiting the Disney Parks after work. My roomie Megan (who is also a Disney Intern) and I are at the parks at least 3 nights a week. In fact, my coworkers joke with me about my park-hopping habits and frequently ask “What park is on deck for tonight?” I feel so lucky to have the flexibility to stop by Magic Kingdom at 6pm and ride the PeopleMover (my current favorite attraction) before fireworks.
Some of my must-dos at the parks include:
· Satisfying my sweet tooth with a Dole Whip
· Thanking the Phoenicians on Spaceship Earth at Epcot
· People watching on Main Street U.S.A
· Attempting to hit a max score 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
· Going on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom
· Periscoping different shows and attractions so my family and friends back home can enjoy a bit of the magic
3. What can you tell us about your work experience with Walt Disney World?
My first role at Walt Disney World was on the Disney College Program (DCP) in the fall of 2013. I was a Main Entrance Operations Hostess at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK). I was a member of the parking team, so I drove the tram, spieled and parked cars. I loved working with my “TRAMendous” DAK parking family as we were some of the first Cast Members Guests would interact with on their vacations. I got to create magical moments for our Guests who might not have otherwise expected to experience a bit of magic in a parking lot.
After my DCP, I had the privilege of staying at DAK for Disney Professional Internship as a Guest Relations Hostess. In the spring of 2014, I was on the opening team of MyMagic+ at DAK. I loved being able to create magical moments for Guests at the DAK Guest Relations window, lobby and main entrance locations.
Most recently, I accepted a Disney Professional Internship in Marketing/Public Relations. Since June of 2015, I’ve been working in Disney’s Celebration offices on a number of projects ranging from blog writing and graphic design to photo shoot prep and writing internal communication pieces. In my role, I partner with various cross-functional teams to ensure that our presence across marketing, advertising and communication channels supports key business objectives.
4. What is the housing situation like?
During my Disney College Program, I lived at Chatham Square, a Disney-provided housing complex. Living at Chatham was one of the most fun parts about my DCP experience. I lived in a three bedroom unit with five other girls. We met online before we started the DCP and requested to live together. My Chatham Square roomies (who I lovingly refer to as the “Princess Roomies) became some of my best friends.
Disney housing had certain rules, similar to when I lived in a college dorm. We couldn’t bring guests over without checking them in and we had to keep our apartments clean (they conducted apartment checks every few weeks). I always felt safe at Chatham as Disney has around-the-clock security guards at all of their housing complexes. Disney also provided buses for students who didn’t have a car to go to work or to the parks. I brought my own car down with me and I really enjoyed the flexibility of not having to rely on buses.
As a Disney Professional Intern, I opted out of Disney-sponsored housing.
5. What are your future plans? Do you intend on making a career at Disney?
I’ve dreamed of a Disney career for the better part of my life. Disney is a unique company that stresses the importance of powerful storytelling, collaboration and growth. I fully intend on learning as much as I can on my Disney Marketing internship and applying for roles with Disney once my internship ends in June. I love being apart of the Disney Cast Member family and can’t imagine leaving the company.