Being selected out of thousands of applicants into the Disney Academic exchange program has changed my life and given me the opportunity to gain a unique experience. Working for the happiest place in the world is both a great and challenging opportunity because guest’s expectations are incredibly high. During this program I completed two weeks of schooling at the University of California Riverside and now I am currently at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I have been given two roles for the next six months which are quick food and beverage server and merchandise.
I wake up every day and make a run to the bus stop where Disney has their own transportation system for their cast members (employees). Taking the bus is always exciting because the diversity here at Disney is unbelievable and having the gift of interacting with people of different cultures and nationalities on a daily basis is incredible. I spend the bus ride talking and laughing with fellow cast members about the things we see while at work.
My job is at the Epcot Park and I work as a quick food and beverage server at Sunshine Seasons which is a very big and popular food court. I put on a very attractive costume for work every day and laugh at myself every time I look in the mirror before I go to work. Although to some, working for Walt Disney World seems a fun and magical experience, it really is quite standard work. I am responsible for stocking, bussing, cleaning, serving food and most importantly interacting with guests and making their day magical. It is a major challenge to work ten hour shifts that requires physical strength and do it with a smile on your face because of company regulations. However, learning from professionals and interacting with guests from across the globe always makes my day a little more easier.
My first job in my life was this very role and clearly it is not the most fun or glamorous role but I must admit I have learned so much. On some shifts, I serve food to guests, stock or buss tables and I always try to entertain myself at work by saying hello to all the little princes and princesses. In the kitchen I have made friends with all the staff who come from all around the world. They not only teach me about my work but teach me about life. These wise people have already made a huge positive impact on me and I am attached to them to a certain degree. So far, I have learned to speak basic French, Spanish and a little of Mandarin thanks to my colleagues. Sunshine Seasons is incredibly busy and I must work quickly and efficiently to meet guests and managers expectations. The job is hard and like nothing I have ever done but this is a great opportunity for me to gain hands on experience and with this experience it will make any other job I will have in the future, easy.
On my days off, I take advantage of my free Disney pass that allows me to enter all parks for free and I enjoy being a tourist in the beautiful city of Orlando. My friends and I also make sure to take advantage of all the discounts we are given on Disney food and merchandise which is such a treat! Making magic every day at Disney has expanded my knowledge and allowed me to learn new skills that I am certain I will never learn anywhere else. Given that I am in the Disney academic exchange program I am required to take courses online at the Disney University so that I obtain a certificate in Hospitality Management from the University of California Riverside. The classes are quite interesting and I enjoy learning from professional instructors who have been working with the Walt Disney Company for years and truly value their positions.
The journey has just began for me and I have a long road ahead of me. I plan to fully utilize what Royal Roads has taught me and apply it in my current and future job. My life has turned around ever since I applied to this program and I hope more Royal Roads students apply to this program and change their lives like I did.
I have come across several websites that I believe contain very valuable information about Walt Disney World and all that Orlando has to offer, and much more.
This second website is my favourite and it contains information on Disney programs and internships. It has much valuable information on programs such as mines and offers many different programs to students across the globe.
If students are then interested in academic exchange program they can visit this website that will answer any question they might be wondering about.
There are many other activities and attractions to visit here in Orlando that are just as exciting as Disney. Orlando has a lot to offer such as the Cirque De Soleil and indoor skydiving. Thus, this website allows travellers to plan their vacation ahead of time and make all reservations.
This is another great website that allows not only students but anyone seeking a job to enroll in Disney programs that best suit their interests.