Confessions of an Ex-Disney Princess

You think your life's a roller coaster? Try working at an amusement park for half a year! The ups and downs were in high volume at the most magical place on earth, and let's just remember that not every day is filled with smiles at the Tragic Kingdom. I'm here to tell you what really happened during my Disney College Program, and let's just say that it was more emotional than the first five minutes of Up.

This past fall semester I scored, what I believed was going to be my dream job, with an internship at Walt Disney World. Here's the lowdown for those of you who aren't familiar with the Disney College Program: after going through a rigorous application process, participants take a semester off of school to move to Disney World to work for the mouse, all while earning college credit. Sounds like a dream, huh? Getting paid to hang out at one of the top tourist destinations in the world? All while racking up an amazing experience for your resume? Where do I sign up?

My thoughts exactly. So my eager self applied the day applications came out, after waiting almost four years to be eligible, and somehow secured a position working merchandise at the Magic Kingdom. What could be more glamorous than working retail in the busiest theme park in America? (Don't answer that question)

So I packed up my life in a Mickey shaped box and begun my journey on this life changing experience. On day one, I decided I wanted to do whatever I could to stay there forever. On day two, I was already ready to pack my bags and go home. Why the sudden change of heart? The magic was ruined.

As a self declared Disney Freak, doing the DCP has been something I've wanted since I was 14. I spent all my free time researching roles, watching vlogs, and hanging out in the parks to perfect my Disney knowledge. My love for the company even influenced me to move across the country and choose UCF for school. It's safe to say I had the highest of expectations. And it's safe to say that I was quickly disappointed.

Between my job, my roommates, and my lack of a social life, the DCP quickly became the most negative thing in my life. But because mama didn't raise a quitter, I spent the past five months not-so-silently brooding in my bedroom and counting down the days until I could head back to UCF. Yet no one could figure out why I was so miserable. People kept pointing out that others would kill to get to work in front of the castle every night, and attend all the holiday parties for free. Add in free admission to all of the theme parks and the opportunity to attend exclusive events put on just for the CP community and you've got yourself a killer semester. I even gained a successful social following across Instagram and YouTube and have been told by many that i have become young teens role models. Yet even with all of those life changing highs, i was still so unhappy every day.

The reality of the DCP is that the experience is going to be what you make of it. And despite how often I kept telling myself that, my unmet expectations led to a bad attitude that stuck with me throughout the whole program. The job itself is a lot of work. Four pm to midnight shifts every night absolutely wrecked my lifestyle. Being away from my friends at UCF was killer. And the worst part was, I didn't even have time to go to the parks for free, or when I did, I was just too sick of them from working.

Yet did I let my social media show it? Heck no, because not only was I supposed to be living MY dream, but I was supposed to be living a life that everyone wanted to vicariously follow. So I hid these negative feelings from the world because, ya know, social media is a hoax set up by the government to destroy us all and if we are going down, I'm at least looking good while doing it.

So the only one living out their dream was the Instagram version of myself, and as far as any of my followers know, that was the real me. I started caring more about my image than my actual sanity. No matter how bad my day at work was, the recently uploaded photo of me in uniform would always be smiling back with a pseudo-positive quote, or poorly written movie reference. It was hard to keep up this lifestyle of consistently crying myself to sleep, while only wiping away the tears to find a picture of my smiling next to Mickey to post about how much I loved my boss.

Yet like every rollercoaster, no matter how tame or wild, what goes down must come back up again. I spent most of my time complaining, when in reality I was able to make handfuls of memories to last a lifetime. But not as many as everyone who preceded me in the program hyped it up to me, and that's what disappointed me the most. For the first time in my life, the bad outweighed the good and put me in extremely hard place.

The once Disney obsessed princess is now dead, and in her place is someone who lost touch of the magic thanks to a bad attitude and a small paycheck. Falling out of love with a dream was the hardest thing that I've ever had to go through, but it happened and where I go from here is how ill define this experience.

I mean hey, it's not an internship if you didn't learn anything, right?