During her sophomore year at Oregon State University, Communication major McKenzie decided that it was the perfect time to pursue something she had been dreaming about almost her whole life.
She had been to the Disneyland Resort dozens of times with her family, and applying for the Disney College Program was something she wanted to do for years. “I didn’t tell anybody that I applied until I got accepted,” she said. “It was the most exciting email I think I have ever gotten!”
McKenzie works as a Retail Sales Clerk at Disneyland Park on Main St. U.S.A. at the Emporium. In her role, she is responsible for assisting guests with their merchandise selections, operating a cash register and interacting with hundreds of guests each day.
“In my role, I get to meet so many guests every day, and from all over the world,” she said. “I try to find things in common with them, and make them feel welcome. It’s so interesting hearing their stories. I also love seeing their faces when I get to help them find the items they have been looking all over for.”
Participating in the Disney College Program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but being here during the fall is extra magical because of all the holidays our participants get to experience, especially Halloween!
“Halloween is a fun time of year because it’s enjoyable for people of all ages,” she said. “Here, Halloween isn’t scary like it is everywhere else and it’s so cool to see the decorations around the park.”
The highlight of working at Disneyland Park during the Halloween season is Mickey’s Halloween Party. This separately ticketed event is a spook-tacular time for all ages because our guests have the opportunity to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat around the park. Plus, the special entertainment and fireworks make this night a scary good time.
“What I enjoy the most about working at Mickey’s Halloween Party is seeing all the costumes that guests wear! It’s AMAZING how much effort they put into their costumes. They go all out,” she said. “It’s so fun addressing the guests as the character they are, and to see their reaction is just magical.”
“I also had the chance to attend Mickey’s Halloween Party as a guest,” McKenzie said. “It was amazing! All the different Halloween and villain events that were going on around the park were so much fun to be a part of! The fireworks were phenomenal!”
If you want to participate on the Disney College Program, McKenzie has some excellent advice for you.
”Take advantage of every opportunity you get,” she said. “Enjoy every minute while you are here because it goes by really fast. I’m still shocked that we’re halfway through the program and there’s still so much I haven’t done that I want to do! Don’t let anything discourage you from putting a smile on your face because you never know when you’ll get the chance to make someone’s day.”
Although our fall program ends in January and McKenzie will be returning to Oregon State to finish school, she hasn’t stopped thinking about her future with the company since she arrived.
“I’m really going to miss being able to say that every day, I worked at Disneyland Park,” she said. “On my days off, I get to play in the parks with my friends, and not only make magic, but enjoy the magic made for me. When the program is over, I’m going to miss everything. The Disney College Program has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and it has shown me how much I love The Walt Disney Company and how badly I want to come back. I really want to have a career here and make a difference with this company.”