Have you ever gone to Disney World and wondered how the magic happens? Well I got to experience the magic and the mystery behind it at the same time. See I went to Disney World the first time when I was a freshmen in college after being accepted in their internship program. And you can say it was an interesting experience. How, you say? Well, let's start with the three strange, challenging and difficult parts.
1. The difference between the magical place and backstage. Hmm... how do I word this without Disney being on my back? Okay... let's say the place you all know looks like this, right?
Well, the backstage area was like...
Okay it's not that bad but there's a drastic difference with the environment, the people and even the energy. It's pretty cool though cause it means Mickey got some edge. I remember seeing Mickey backstage like ...
He's lovable either way! 😉 But seriously, it's hard in the D... isney.
2. The costume, the music and the themes. Imagine being in an old style dress, hearing country music all day and working in a barn-like place everyday. Okay that may be a dream for some of you but for this Philly R&B loving chick right here, it was like pulling teeth. However, I had to smile my way through it. I learned a lot about hiding my discontent which works well in retail and in life so yay? 😄
3. The twilight zone was nothing compared to my day to day. When I worked at Disney, Magic Kingdom to be exact, I started to hear the theme music of the Twilight Zone in my head. I sometimes felt like I was in another Universe. I mean the families started to all look the same, even the Black ones and the kids started to act alike to me. I remember one time, I was working at the restaurant counter where I would make drinks (the kid friendly ones) and I made this huge order of sodas and waters. Two seconds later, I had to dump the whole order because the family decided they wanted no ice after the fact. I was like... 😳 *cue the Twilight Zone music* Unfortunately, this is just one of many examples where I had that facial expression internally. Nevertheless, it taught me one major lesson in life - patience, hella patience, especially when I became a sales associate after the internship.
Now, let's end with the three normal, cool and bright parts.
1. Being able to visit Walt Disney World for free and still feeling that magic. You know despite living that backstage life on the regular, I still managed to live in the magic of Disney when I visited during my free time. What can I say? Disney is damn good at creating a special feeling for kids and adults! Although I was working there for months before making my very first official visit to Disney as a guest, I still was super excited to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. My inner child was just bursting with joy. I was still in awe of the shows I went to and the other characters I met. I'm sure some of them were giving me the side eye because I was there by myself but I didn't care. I was enjoying it wholeheartedly and would recommend anyone - young and old - who hasn't visited to come through to Mickey's streets!
2. Meeting some pretty cool people from all over the world. To be honest, I wish I took more advantage of my opportunity and interacted with more people while there but I was shy and dealing with depression (you'll learn more about that in the next point). However, I still managed to meet some cool people from my Oklahoma girls to my cool chick from Japan. I also met someone who gave me the best advice about getting a tattoo and it stuck with me to this day (and I haven't gotten a tattoo yet thanks to her wisdom...still waiting for the timeless inspiration). And there was also my gay boyfriend who was so flamboyant but really thought he could make his ex jealous with me. lol His hugs were the sweetest though so I didn't mind playing my role. 😊
3. Learning one of the biggest lessons of my life. Honestly, I went to Disney World to escape my depression. Before I realized I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I was just a nervous and sad young lady feeling the pressure of figuring out what to do with the rest of my life. Looking back, it's pretty ridiculous to feel that way but hey, it happens to 20 somethings. Also, I just felt like I wasn't growing up at the same rate as everyone else so ironically, I thought taking a huge risk like going to Orlando for an internship at Disney would help shake off this inferior complex and make me feel like an adult but I learned a huge lesson - you can't escape your emotions no matter how far you travel. They only travel with you and eventually, you just have to face them head on so I went back home earlier than planned and did just that. So despite the abrupt ending of my time as an intern at Disney World, I have absolutely no regrets about this experience because I learned one of biggest lessons in my life.
Now I know I am definitely not the only one who can share some stories about working at Walt Disney World. In fact, the popular YouTuber, Swoozie, worked at Disney World while in high school and has hilarious stories because of it. I could definitely relate to some of the craziness. lol Watch a few of his funny stories below.
Have you ever worked at Disney before or do you know someone who did the internship? How was it for you/them? I'd love to read your stories!