The holiday season is right around the corner and the Disneyland Resort is beginning to look like the perfect winter wonderland. This time of year always creates an unforgettable atmosphere at Disneyland and it’s truly one of the most magical seasons for our guests.
For many of our participants, this is their first holiday season away from home, which can be very challenging. I remember leaving for my program and even though I was extremely excited and it was only May, I kept looking at the calendar and thought about being alone for the holidays and all of the family traditions I’d miss.
As the holidays approached, I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be alone…I had my Disney ‘ohana to celebrate with me! Here in the Programs Office, we do everything we can to make sure our participants are having the best internship experience possible; especially during this time of year when they’re away from home for the holidays for the first time.
November is the month where people take a moment to give thanks, and here at the Disneyland Resort, we have a lot to be thankful for. We’re celebrating Thanksgiving with a special meal for everyone so they can get a taste of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, filled with everyone’s favorite holiday foods. This is their chance to sit down and share some of their favorite program memories with their fellow participants and experience a “home-cooked” meal together.
All of our participants love backstage tours and learning secrets about attractions they can’t get anywhere else, so this month, we’re touring the Haunted Mansion and giving them the chance to walk the track and see what the 999 happy haunts are up to this time of year. Jack Skellington usually takes over the mansion during the holidays, so I’m sure we’re in for a real treat.
What could possibly top that? How about a tour of Walt Disney’s private apartment on Main St., U.S.A. at Disneyland Park? This historic piece of Disney history is one event that our participants seem to cherish the most because it’s where Walt Disney stayed when he visited the theme park with his family, and it’s where he witnessed his ultimate dream come true.
These are only the beginning of the events and activities we have planned for the participants over their final two months on the program. As their departure date starts to get closer, they’re starting to realize how much fun they’ve had and how many lifelong friendships they’ve created along the way. They now realize that they’re not just a group of people on an internship celebrating the holidays alone, they’re a family celebrating together.
Although the upcoming holidays won’t be the same as what they’re used to, they will definitely be amazing and filled with special memories with their Disney family that they’ll always cherish.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season!