Disneyland: A Magical Internship? - Intern Wardrobe
- Elizabeth Morrison
- On November 20, 2014
For some, the word “internship” equates to a boring, coffee-running, low paid job that students compete tooth and nail to get. For others, it can mean opportunities and a chance to see a new part of the world. In spring of 2013, I found myself moving to Orlando, Florida with one of my best friends to take an internship at Walt Disney World.
Four months prior to this, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw that an acquaintance of mine was moving to Disney World. I asked her how she was getting to “move” to the happiest place on Earth. She informed me that she had been accepted into the Disney College Program. Immediately I Googled the programme and within two days I had submitted an application and filled out their questionnaire.
If you are thinking about applying… the initial questions you answer will determine if you get a follow-up interview. Yes, a computer is grading your questions so think “happy” and “perky” responses! They only hire people who have good attitudes!
Luckily, I passed the initial test and a few days later, I got a call from one of the programme coordinators. She asked me a series of questions and then hung up the phone. A week passed and then I got an email. “Congratulations Miss Morrison! You have been accepted into the Disney College Program!” The months following this email were filled with research, preparation, and excitement.
Late January I arrived in Orlando and began my job as a Character Attendant in the theme parks. I was assigned to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the duration of my internship. Essentially, my job had me assisting characters with their guest meet and greets in the park. I also aided guests with their questions and kept the characters’ schedule running smoothly. It was a hard job! I was on my feet all day, dealing with guests who just didn’t understand that they weren’t the only family in the park, and making sure Mickey Mouse got his breaks throughout the day.
The craziness of the job was sometimes difficult to deal with. People didn’t always speak English and I only knew a few words in other languages. However, it was great to get to know people from other places even if we could only communicate by smiles or hand gestures.
That was a big part of what I learned in the programme. Communication is key in any environment; things run much smoother when there’s plenty of it going on. Another important thing I learned was being able to smile through criticism. I had many people insult me, throw fits, get angry, and tell me how to do my job. It shook me up at first, but I built tough skin as a result.
The Disney College Program was hard but I came away with great memories and a better sense of who I am. Finding yourself in a place literally made of magic was a very worthwhile experience for this college girl. I would definitely recommend it!