Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Disney Tale

I've wanted to work for Disney since I was little. My first year of college, I started researching ways to do that. I looked up auditions, since I wanted to be a princess. I discovered that to be Belle (my favorite Princess), you had to be 5'7. I'm 5'1, so that was a downer. I went to the informational meeting on campus in October 2007, and applied. I thought that there were summer jobs available (May-August), until halfway through my phone interview. She informed me that it was a semester-long program, and I thanked her for her time as I told her "I don't think I can do that yet. I just started my first semester of college, and I don't think my parents would want me to go gallivanting off to a magical land just yet." She laughed and told me that she hoped to talk to me later.

I applied again in August of 2009 for the Spring 2010 program (January-August). My interview lasted about half an hour, and I hung up the phone feeling hopeful. In October, I got the 'pending' letter, telling me to call December 1 if nothing happened. December 1, I called, and they told me I was still pending. Yikes, but good, I thought.

However, later that afternoon, I got this:

Which is something no one really ever wants to see. I cried, but it made me even more determined to get hired at the Happiest Place on Earth.

So in April of 2010, I went to the recruiting session on campus once again. Filled out the application, did the online interview, and got this 15 minutes later:

"Next Steps - Phone Interview

Thank you for completing the Web-Based Interview and for applying to be a part of the Disney College Program.
Congratulations – you have been identified as a strong candidate!"

I called right then and there, but the office was closed. I called the next morning before class, and set up my interview for March 24. It went well, and I told her that I would love to work in Attractions or as a Character Attendant. At the end of the interview, I told her "I really, really hope I get hired. I've applied twice before, and I know that I would be perfect there, because I'm almost absurdly cheerful. Thanks for this opportunity." She laughed a little and told me "I hope you get hired too, but I can't promise anything." I thanked her again, and hung up the phone. My interview lasted 14 minutes and 54 seconds, when it was supposed to last 20-30 minutes. I remember thinking 'well, I either really got the job, or they're never going to hire me.'

I then got this email on March 25:
"Dear Anna,
Thank you for taking the time to interview for the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

You should hear from us again in about 3 - 4 weeks. If you haven't received any mail from us after the 4th week...."

Okay, great! Awesome. A month. I can do that.

I headed to Portland with my mom, brother and his girlfriend for spring break, trying to not focus on that. On the second day of driving there, I was checking my email at 6am, when I saw this in my email inbox:
Disney College Program: Your Invitation (March 27)

......OH MY GOD.

Of course, I opened it. My hand was shaking.

I stared at it, and then started crying. I ran into the breakfast nook in the hotel lobby, and told my mom "I did it. I got hired. I'm going to work at Disney World!!!!"

She gave me a huge hug and started doing the mom exclamation thing that I love. I vividly remember this random old guy in a trucker hat saying "Congratulations!" as he drank his coffee and watched CNN.

That's my Disney story. The next day, I paid my housing fee and chose my arrival date for Orlando: August 11.

They hired me 3 days after my interview. Three days. I did something right!

Dreams come true!

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