Goodbye Joe!  He’s Off to the Disney College Program

Joseph was mighty stealthy about making his application to the Spring 2018 Disney College Program.  He’s well aware of how many apply (tens of thousands) and how few are chosen.  I know he didn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up in case this wasn’t meant to be.  This time in Joseph’s life was years in the making and we’re proud and excited that he’s seeing a long-term dream come true.

Goodbye Joe!  He’s Off to the Disney College Program

Acceptance to the Disney College Program involves a three-step process:  Online application, Web-based Interview, and finally a telephone interview.  We didn’t find out Joseph had even applied until his telephone interview was scheduled.  By then his excitement was high…as were his nerves.  He’d made it to the final stage!  His concern was that unlike face-to-face meetings where you can appear confident, make eye contact, and gage the interviewer’s reactions via body language and facial expression – telephone interviews are tough!  So much to convey with just the sound of your voice.Disney Simba Magic Shot

The big day came and Joseph did his best to express the reasons he feels he’s a good match for the College Program.  Aside from describing himself as a dedicated hard-worker, he wanted the interviewer to know his history with Disney.  He’d grown up vacationing in the Disney Bubble and understands all too well the crucial impact Disney Cast Members have on guest experiences.  He would love the opportunity to pay it forward by helping to make Disney Magic for other families.

When he got the email that he’d been accepted to the Disney College Program he was absolutely delighted.  And so were we.  While I’ve tried my best to be hands-off through the process of filling out online paperwork, requesting housing, preparing to move over 800 miles from home…it hasn’t been easy.  I’d say I’ve (mostly) been successful.  Joe might disagree.  I should get bonus parenting points for trying this hard!

Luckily, for both College Program participants and their parents, there are helpful Facebook groups to join that can be great resources.  As one would expect, they can also be full of drama at times as separation anxiety strikes all parties involved.  The benefits are worth being witness to a few uncomfortable virtual meltdowns.WDW Mickey Pretzel

If we’ve learned anything so far it’s this:  For every person who was accepted to one of these coveted positions, there are hundreds who were not.  If you are interested in the Disney College Program, please understand that roles are assigned rather than chosen and most have nothing to do with prior work experience or personal preference.  While working in a custodial position or in a parking lot or an Auto Plaza booth or in food service or in a gift shop might not sound like glamorous positions, remember how many other people would have loved to be there!  There are many blogs and vlogs out there by Disney College Program participants who enjoyed every minute of their program experience in one of the roles I mentioned.Meg and Joe at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Now…Joseph’s off on a new Disney adventure and we can’t wait to see how it goes!  If you have any questions about the application process or what comes next, Joseph and I will do our best to help!

Here’s a picture of Joseph just this morning as he masters the “Disney Look”!

2018 Will Be One for the Books – All the News at Once

This empty nesting business is not at all what we’d been warned to expect.  We’d heard scary stories about sadness, boredom, loneliness, marital discord even.  I’m pleased to report that none of that stuff has happened.  We’re spending our time on more adventures than ever and while it may only be January, I’m happy to say…

2018 Will Be One for the Books – All the News at Once

First, a little back story.  As it happens for many people like us, our nest didn’t stay empty.  Joseph moved home last summer to save money and knock out another semester of school, but he was keeping a secret.  We soon learned that having him home would be very temporary.  Joe’s been accepted into the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World and will be reporting for duty next week!  We’re incredibly excited and proud for him.  He’s wanted to apply since he first learned about the program several years ago and the timing is perfect right now for him to make this dream a reality.

Whatever will we do to fill the time while he’s away?  I’ll tell you exactly what we’ll be doing…getting ready to be grandparents!  Megan and Grant will be welcoming a baby girl this summer and Raymond and I are over the moon!  Our lives have been full of joyful surprises lately and we feel blessed beyond measure.

Here’s what will be happening next…

Starting with the tomorrow’s blog post, Joseph and I will begin a series of Disney College Program articles.  For the next few months, we’ll share his adventures and any tips and tricks he discovers for anyone else who dreams about an internship at their favorite vacation destination.

Megan will also have lots to share.  She’s run her first 10K, her first half marathon, and is about to run her second of both race distances (Fairy Tale Challenge), all while expecting.  She’s been a trooper training through quite a bit of morning sickness and I bet she’ll tell us what keeps her motivated.   Because Meg will be visiting Disney World three times between now and the baby’s arrival, I’m sure she’ll have plenty of advice about the do’s and don’ts of park touring while expecting.  There will also be nursery prep with plenty of Disney touches, I’m sure.

Since I believe any age is a great time for a Disney vacation, I can’t wait to start planning our granddaughter’s first trip!  I’m about to learn a lot more about things like Baby Care Centers and kiddie pools, I think.  Oh, the cute baby clothes and princess costumes!  I only thought Disney got all of our money.  We’re about to take this to a whole new level.

In our family, there’s never a dull moment, but this year is shaping up to be extraordinarily exciting…can’t wait to share it with you!

Have you got special plans or events in 2018?  I’d love to hear about it!