The Disney College Program.
Honestly, I thought this was a regular university that students attended who were going to someday have a career with Disney.
Boy was I wrong, kind of.
Disney has always been a huge part of my life. Watching all the movies, falling in love with the characters, obnoxiously singing all the songs. I couldn’t tell you how many times I pretended I was a mermaid, lion, or princess.
But I had never had a desire to work for the Disney Company. Until May of 2013.
It was the end of my senior year and time for the band trip to Florida. I had been looking forward to this ever since I was a freshman in high school because everyone always talked about how much fun it was. And they were right.
While at Disney, my high school band had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn some of what it takes to be a musician working at Disney, we even got to record a piece and put it to animation! It was such a cool experience, but I didn’t realize how life changing it would be.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How something can be so life changing, but you don’t realize how much it changed you until after its over.
Our session was led by one of the lead trumpet players in Mickey’s Philharmonic. I remember him telling us that he plays some of the same music over and over and over again, day after day. But for some guests, this could be their first, or only trip to the parks, so he has to make sure that he always gives it his all. This really hit me. I thought, and still think, that he has such a good mentality. I know I’ll be carrying this with me during my time as a CP.
So I got to thinking.
I wonder if I could ever work at Disney.
I can’t sing, so that’s out. Nor am I a good enough musician, so that’s out too. And I can’t really act either.
But I wonder what you have to do to be a princess.
I did some research on the audition process and all that jazz. But at this point being a character performer was simply and idea, not a dream.
Fast forward a few months. I started college. New friends. Old friends. New experiences. Life is grand.
I’m not sure why (or how) I remember this, but nether the less, I do.
January 28, 2014
It was the start of the second semester and very, very cold. What should have been our second day of classes was, in fact, snow day part two. I woke up that morning in my cozy lofted bed in the infamous 609 and decided that I wanted to work as a Disney face character. An extremely random, yet extremely real dream. Some people thought I was crazy (which I can’t deny), others thought it will never happen (and they could very well be right), and then there were the people who believed in me. I guess you could say it was a day that changed my life.
So I did some research on what it takes to become a face character and stubbled upon something called the Disney College Program.
An internship. For college students. Working at Walt Disney World (or DisneyLand). In a variety of roles. Including Character Performer.
(Side note: The Character Performer role is only offered to CPs at Walt Disney World)
I spent the next several weeks researching the DCP, and then in February applications opened for the 2014 Fall/Fall Advantage programs. I didn’t apply right away because I wanted to focus on RA applications and interviews first. There were character performer auditions in a city by me during my spring break, so I could go audition without having to miss class. Everything seemed like it was meant to be.
A couple weeks after the applications went live I filled out mine, got the link for the WBI, took the WBI, and did not pass the WBI. I was DEVASTATED! How was this possible?? I did not even have to chance to really even interview with someone and my chances at the DCP for this season were already over! And now I was unable to attend the character performer audition because I was NLIC (No Longer In Consideration).
But that didn’t stop me. (Clearly)
“If you love it, embrace it. If you want it, chase it.” -paradise fears
I spent a lot of time over the summer doing as much research as possible on the DCP. I felt much more informed about the program as a whole and the various roles that are offered. I was ready to apply again when applications came out in August. I was nervous that I would get NLIC’d again, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t give up. I want it to bad.
(If you are looking for more information regarding the application process as well as some tips and advise, I have a post about that)
It’s not that I had a bad feeling about doing the DCP the first time I applied…
…but now everything just feels right. I know God wants me participating in the DCP now in the specific role that I’m in. And I think that’s why I’m not as upset as I thought I would be when I got denied for the Character Performer role. If it’s meant to happen one day, it will happen. I will be auditioning again. I don’t give up on my dreams like that.
Maybe there will be a certain family who I need to make a magical moment with that I wouldn’t have encountered if I wasn’t doing the program with this season.
Maybe there is someone that I need to meet, who I wouldn’t have met if I wasn’t dong the program this season.
Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten the role of Merchandise if I wasn’t doing the program this season.
Maybe I had to break ties with that certain someone before participating in the program this season.
Maybe this will be the time of my life.
Maybe this will forever change me.
Maybe I’ll discover my purpose in this world.