A new year signals exciting opportunities and a fresh outlook on life! It’s also a great time to re-assess your goals or make new ones. If you’ve felt like your program has room for improvement, now is the time to embrace change and make your program the best it can be. After all, Walt Disney himself said, “progress is impossible without change.” Here are some simple ways to set yourself up for success in 2018!

Get organized and plan ahead
With four theme parks, two water parks, 25 resorts and even more Disney experiences available at the Walt Disney World® Resort and two parks, Downtown Disney and three resorts at Disneyland® Resort, it can be incredibly overwhelming to plan your free time during your program. Not to mention the countless other experiences Central Florida and Southern California has to offer. It may seem simple, but make a list of everything you want to accomplish on your program. This way you won’t look back months later and wish you’d remembered to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table or meet Kylo Ren face-to-face. Make sure you leave room in your plans for last minute, spontaneous decisions because sometimes those can lead to some of the best memories!

Share the magic
Document the magical moments from arrival day to your service celebration, and everything else in between! Tell your family and friends about your experiences and take as many photos as possible. Blog, vlog, post to social media – whatever will help tell your Disney story. You’ll thank yourself when you want to look back on your program months later. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of your tickets! While it’s great to share your stories with family and friends, nothing compares to creating those memories with them there in the happiest or most magical place on Earth!

Prioritize your future
Whether or not you’re interested in continuing a career with the Walt Disney Company, consider taking advantage of the professional development opportunities available during your program. There are countless ways to expand your skill base and build your network both on and off the clock. If you’re overwhelmed on how to begin, start small. Talk to your leaders about your career goals (whether or not they involve Disney) and ask them for advice. Don’t forget about education opportunities like College Program Alumni Speaker Series events and professional development classes. We know it can be scary to chase your dreams, but you don’t have to do it alone! Consider bringing a friend along to larger networking opportunities to make yourself comfortable in a new environment.

Make small changes
Walt Disney didn’t create an entertainment empire overnight! This is an important reminder, especially if you’re trying to uproot your entire lifestyle all at once. Prioritize a few aspects of your program you’d like to improve and make small changes. Trust me, even a small change can have a big impact! It can be anything from getting to the bus stop five minutes earlier to using the gym or finally sitting down for a roommate dinner. Whatever the case may be, realize that eventually these small chances will have a profound impact on your experience.

Read the fine print
This may seem like a silly point to make, but it’s an important one! You’ll receive tons of information during your program, whether it’s from your work location, Disney Housing or your school back home. This often includes important deadlines and contact information. Make sure you pay attention, check your email regularly and read everything that’s sent to you, because chances are, it was sent for a reason. You don’t want to miss out on important opportunities during your program because you decided to skim an email instead of reading it all the way through. Plus, if you ever need to reach out for guidance during your program, you’ll want to know who you can turn to.

Embrace the challenges
Realize that your program isn’t going to be perfect. You’ll likely face challenges at work or home, but it’s important to recognize there are a ton of resources available to throughout your program just for this matter. There is an entire community of Disney cast members who’s job is to make sure you’re successful in all aspects of your program: living, learning and earning. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for help! You have the power to make your program a success by how you choose to face these challenges. Always remember that a positive attitude goes a long way!

KristinaDisney Service Center