Letters from Disney: Life in Walt Disney

Living in Florida and working for Disney for the past few months has been my first experience of really living on my own. Of course, I had lived in the dorms my first two years at Frostburg, but dorm life comes with a meal plan and one or two roommates at most. Living in an apartment with four other girls and working full time has brought a brand new set of responsibilities and stresses into my life.

For this reason, if I could use one word to describe life on the Disney College Program, it would probably be hectic.

Before I came down here to work for the mouse, I only had a vague knowledge of everything that Walt Disney World (WDW) has to offer. I had only been here once before, after all. When I first got here it felt like I had all the time in the world to explore and experience WDW. Now that I’m more settled and have made a good amount of friends here, I feel as though there are a thousand things I need to see and do and a finite amount of time and funds with which to do them.

For example, my Friday consisted of waking up bright and early to work a 5:30 a.m. shift, taking a (maybe not-so-quick) nap to try and recharge, then getting ready and heading over to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Disney’s special Halloween themed event that happens a few nights a week during September and October.

With full days like this, it is easy to get burned out, even in “The Most Magical Place On Earth.” Though amazingly, most of the time I still definitely get more sleep here than I ever did during the school year.

Budgeting both my time and money have been a challenge, especially as time goes on. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to work, explore the theme parks, take care of regular chores and errands, and sleep. I am realizing that time management skills are important, regardless of whether you are actually still in school or not. I am having the time of my life on the Disney College Program, it is anything but a vacation.

Though I do have different responsibilities here, I do feel as though this is kind of adulthood with training wheels. My rent, which includes all utilities, cable, and internet, is taken directly out of my paycheck each week. Our apartments have regular inspections, much like the fire, health, and safety inspections that those living in dorms have come to expect.

This program is giving me all kinds of life experience while still having a sort of safety net in place. I am actually kind of thankful that I am not completely on my own yet, as that prospect is pretty intimidating with as crazy as my life is now. If anyone knows how to add a few more hours to the day, feel free to let me know.

Featured picture belongs to Taylor Whiteman.

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