"How Was Disney?"

After living in Disney for almost five months, I came home this week.
I already miss Disney.

People often ask me how I liked my experience at Disney. I'm never sure how to reply. How can I contain in one small-talk appropriate sentence how exciting and challenging and wonderful and lovely and hard and, well, magical my experience at Disney was? Where do I start? How can I finish?

I usually just reply with something simple, something like, "It was magical- everything and more."

In between each of those words, however, is a plethora of stories and moments. That sentence bursts at the seams with emotions and light and friendships. It is a true sentence, but it is much more.

If I could give a longer answer, though, it would go something like this:

It brought excitement into my life. 

I am a homebody. I didn't go away to college. I don't just love independence and adventure. My perfect afternoon involves cats, coffee, and Netflix.

Disney changed that. Suddenly, I lived on my own in a huge and adventurous world. Epcot was literally in my backyard. Animal Kingdom was within my reach on any day. I didn't have school or necessary engagements or pre-existing rhythms to tie me down.

I could do whatever I wanted.

So I learned how to fly.

Okay, so I didn't fly (much), but I did learn the art of spontaneity and adventure. I found joy in abandoning the systematic way of living and letting each day unfold with beauty.

It challenged me. 

Whereas the independence of Disney gave me lots of opportunities to have fun, it also presented some challenges. It was hard for me, a girl who lived with my parents most of my life, to do things like cook all of my meals, buy all of my groceries, and balance the craziness of life in a new city. I was thrown into an adult world- one with a very good escape place, though- Walt Disney World.

It showed me love.

I treasure the friendships that I made throughout the program. In a place where no one knows anyone else, no one knows what they're doing, and no one wants to be alone, friendships happened very quickly. Everywhere I went, I made friends and saw friends. It surprised me how often I'd run into someone I knew in a place as large as Disney World.

The deepest friendships that I made throughout the program made the whole experience magical. These friends made me laugh at 4:00 a.m. after getting off of a shift. They made the holidays away from home merry. They helped me understand what friendship really is.

It made me wonder. 

Disney made me wonder what different paths of my life would look like. It made me wonder at other people's stories. It gave me wonder for different cultures. Disney produced in me wonder at the grace of God and the faithfulness of the gospel. Disney made my heart wonder in joy at the bonds of family and friends.

With open eyes and a joyful heart, Disney taught me a way of wonder- both the questioning kind and the awe-inspired kind.

It made me work hard. 

In case you thought that the Disney College Program was a giant vacation, think again. We all work very hard. CPs get the worst and often the longest hours of any Cast Member. This means working long days into the wee hours of the morning, even on the holidays. A very typical shift for me started at 17:00 and ended at 2:00 (yes, we use military time).

The job itself wasn't always easy and fun, but it taught me how to genuinely care about my work and how it affected the guests. It taught me to put aside my personal problems for the sake of the guests.

It opened my eyes to magic.

Here's the part where I cry when typing out this post. Living in and working for Walt Disney World showed me magic. The magic of stories, love, togetherness, quality, imagination, drive, and a little bit of pixie dust.

Being able to call Magic Kingdom my home means the world to me. Being a small part of hundreds of thousands of vacations makes me smile! Working for Mickey Mouse will forever be one of my most magical experiences, one that I will treasure forever.

So, yes, Disney was magical- everything and more.

Princess Hannah

p.s.- many more Disney posts are to come. In fact, the whole month of January is dedicated to updating y'all on my Disney Adventure! Comment below anything you'd like to know more about. And thank you all for supporting me on this journey!


  1. You put into words everything I feel/have felt about the program! Trying to express all that Disney means to you is SO hard, but you did it so well. I especially loved what you said about excitement/adventure! Can't wait to hear even more!

    1. You are so right, describing Disney is excruciatingly hard. I'm so glad that you get it. Love you <3

  2. This was beautiful and I loved this post! I’ve always wanted to go to Disney but I never have!!

  3. How exciting! I look forward to hearing more about your experience!!

  4. Hi Hannah!

    Wow. What a neat experience you had! I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing more pictures. :)


    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! And be sure that there will be more pictures :)

  5. The DCP looks like it would be so so much fun!!!

    (I wish I could have met you there when I visited last month!!)

    1. It is absolutely AMAZING!!! And that would have been so perfect

  6. I can't believe I didn't see this post until NOW. Your adventures sound like they were amazing. I had fun looking at all the pictures on your Instagram and this RECAP is so fun to read!! Working hard is difficult but being able to do it at Disney seems like a small blessing within its self. I can't wait to see what you have planed next.

    1. I'm always so late to blog posts... Thank you for following and supporting my adventure! I'm glad you're enjoying these posts!

  7. I'm so happy that you got to have this amazing opportunity. <3

    1. Me too. I still wonder how it even happened sometimes.

  8. GAH Hannah I love this! I'm so glad you had a rad time at Disney! It sounds like your time there was a magical and growing experience. That's awesome that you got so much out of it :) Can't wait to hear more!!