I’m writing this very late after-the-fact, but I feel like I need to stick up for myself and for others in a similar situation. When it come to doing the DCP, for a lot of people, the program is VERY important to them. It’s important in many ways, because they have grown up loving Disney and the movies and the characters and what the company means. Doing the program is a dream come true for people like me. It’s more important that I get to learn about working for the company that I love and get to create magical moments for guests than it is that I’m getting to put it on my resume. I would do the program even if it wasn’t impressive on my resume. It means that much to me that I participate in this great and magical opportunity.
I’ve had more magical moments AS a guest in the parks than I could even imagine. I’ve had great experience waiting in long lines for characters:
The Character Attendant for Phineas and Ferb last May:
Him: “are you a mermaid?”
Him:”It’s the hair. I knew it.”
Me:”I only have three days here!!”
Him:”Oh, you have to find a prince! You know what you should do? Marry one of the Star Wars guys. That way you can be on land AND the galaxy! “
Me:”Eeeehhh Illthink about it.”
Not to mention that both my 18th and 19th birthdays and graduation were celebrated in a Disney Park. Nothing is more magical than having every CM that sees you genuinely wish you a happy birthday. During the first trip, we were eating in Adventureland at Tortuga and a little girl from the next table ran over to me and told me happy birthday. Just being there with the generally-happy people (obviously there are grumpies, but I’ve had good experiences so far) is really amazing.
I saw this post on Tumblr the other day:
I understand not everyone doing the program BLEEDS DISNEY like me. But I know enough people that do and I know how important the program is to them. Others are just doing it as a job. I’ve seen many people admit that they feel guilty because they see how much this means to some people, and people that didn’t get in the program this year. They feel bad that they got accepted and it doesn’t mean the same to them. What I don’t understand is, why would you even APPLY to the program if you didn’t believe in what you were going to do for 5-8 months? Would it not be hard to “fake” the magic everyone else naturally feels? I could work at some government internship for 8 months and want to kill myself because I don’t speak that lingo or feel anything for that. So I won’t apply for anything like that, even if it looked good on a resume.
One of the (few) things I’ve loved about the main DCP Facebook page is the advice from alumni. One said they regretted not knowing any basic Spanish while on their program, because so many people speak it that come to the parks and it was difficult to communicate. I totally agreed with this, and it’s made me look up some vocabulary I might need, just to be able to know a few words here and there. I’ve had 6 years of Spanish, but due to the lack of great teachers, I don’t know as much as I should. So though I will not, most likely, have a name tag like this:
I hope to someday. But I thought this person’s post was helpful. They weren’t saying “You need to be bilingual before doing the program” but were just saying pick up some basic direction words that would be very useful to other guests.
On Twitter later, a girl I followed (note past-tense) was going off about how there was no way she would learn another language just for a minimum wage job and she didn’t want to be yelled at in another language anyway. It was several Tweets in a row talking badly about this Facebook post and so I subtweeted. Some subtweets are mean, but that was not my intention. And, honestly, it wasn’t just about her. Like I said above, many people have made comments about the program that do not reflect my views and opinions. I subtweeted basically what I said earlier, “If you aren’t excited about the program, why did you even apply?” and she called me out on it. The night before I had a conversation with someone else doing the program who admitted to me that he is just doing the program to do it. This tweet was NOT just about this one particular girl, but it was on my mind because of her mini-rant.
(direct screenshot quote) “Yeah, people are going to go though the trouble of learning an entire language for a fucking minimum wage job. Disney People.”
“Because I want to terrorize you all. I’m just kidding. I am excited lol. I just think some of these people are overly obsessed.”
“Yeaaaah I’m one of those people XD Sorry I have dreams” complete with the little laughing-so-hard-they’re-crying emoji. See, I wasn’t arguing with her. I was laughing and owning up to it. Even saying “sorry I have dreams” wasn’t sarcastic in my meaning. It probably appeared that way, but it wasn’t my intention.
“Well good for you. My dream is to be a lawyer, advocating for children in the foster case system. Yours is just the DCP.”
and then some other girl I don’t know replied with “Mmmmm those minimum wage dreams, the best kind! #girlbye”
I did respond to the lawyer comment and told her–GENUINELY–“I wish you the best! n_n That’s a wonderful and fulfilling career.” And I meant every word of it!! I don’t care if she thought I was being patronizing, I wasn’t.
Then lawyer-girl continues “Okay I don’t want to fight with you. I apologize for even responding to your tweet. I just knew it was about me. “
and continues again “I know I seem cynical but that’s just my personality. I love Disney and am very proud to be selected to work there.”
and STILL continues, “I don’t want enemies before we even get there. I’ll try not to complain so much about Disney people anymore.”
I never replied, because whatever I would have said would have been awful. Not to say I didn’t share my thoughts with Jaelen and my friend who loves Disney just as much if not more than me, Colin. But I wasn’t going to lash out on this girl I don’t even know. But honestly, it’s like the Tumblr post above. My “dream” isn’t doing the DCP for the rest of my life. It’s a stepping stone to it, yes. My dreams aren’t over in August. But they do start in January. The way she and the other girl responded, you’d think I’d told them my dream was to work at McDonalds. Working for Disney is so much more than just a job to pay bills. That isn’t why I’m doing it. Trust me, everyone says, “Don’t do the DCP to make money because you won’t.” But I AM doing it because it is what will get me to working within the company later on, if that is what I want to do in the future.
So, if you want to get through it and put it on your resume and then go do whatever the heck you want, go for it. As for me and others that I know, I’m going to make the very most of my program and my experience and be the very best Cast Member that I can possibly be and I will work hard, earn my Four Keys Fanatic recognition cards, and find where I want to be within the company. I will follow the rules and withhold the legacy of the company that Walt himself set in place. #GirlBye