A long, long, long time ago I participated in the Fall College Program and there are a million reasons why I believe that program was exactly the right one for me. But what gives me chill bumps, even years later, is the experience of working in the parks during the holidays.
There are few things that I can think of that are more spectacular than experiencing the parks and resorts at the Disneyland Resort during the holidays. The magic literally fills the air and for me, also my soul.
For those of you who have worked in our parks at any point in the year can surely attest to the fact that watching families experience them for the first time or for the hundredth time is an emotional journey that you take right along with them. And doing this during the holidays will catapult your emotions to a new level.
And if you don’t believe me here’s what Hayley from Spokane Falls Community College says:
“For me nothing is more magical than watching guests experience the snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A. after the fireworks. The wonder in children’s eyes when they’ve never seen snow is the absolute best thing about the holidays for me.”
I remember my first holiday experience at Disney so many years ago like it was yesterday. Like the family who was visiting our parks as the Mother’s last wish to experience with her children. They returned over the course of several days and found me each time. My connection to that family will never fade. I also recall one night during The Main Street Electrical Parade when I handed a child in a wheelchair a flashing toy so that she would surely be noticed sitting low in her chair among the crowd, guaranteeing her a snuggle from her favorite character. I became a part of other families’ holiday stories that year and do believe I am in some small part, part of an annual holiday memory in the lives of a few very special families.
Brittany, a current Disney College Program participant from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas tells us:
“Bringing magic to guests is one of the best parts of my role. They may remember that moment for the rest of their lives and there’s nothing more priceless for me during the holidays.”
I know how hard it is to step away from tradition, to step away from your own family and immerse yourself in a holiday celebration far away from home. To you I say this: There is nothing more magical, more enlightening and more meaningful than contributing to the pure excitement of the holidays with families and children from all around the world.
So if you do choose to participate in a Fall program and find yourself that year far away from home, I can guarantee you one thing: The following year, when you are curled up in front of a fire, unwrapping presents and sharing memories of holidays past with your loved ones, you’ll have stories to share that will have most definitely changed your life forever.
Lianne, Disney College Program, Disneyland Resort Housing