Something I get asked often when I tell someone I used to work at Disney World is “Why did you leave Disney?” Then they continue to go on how it must have been so cool, so ~magical~, and I was probably a princess. Yeah, it was cool, it was sometimes magical, and no, I was not a princess. Truth be told, I wasn’t getting the experience I needed.
When I completed my first college program back during my senior year of college, I vowed to never work at Disney again. LOL. I clearly changed my mind three weeks into my last semester of college because I missed it so much. So when I went back after I graduated to do my Professional Internship, I kept saying that I’d stay at Disney and make it a career. But then that Disney slump hit again where I wasn’t truly happy. I loved that I was able to make magic for families and go to Disney for free but I felt like I’d never get my foot in the right door.
The biggest issue I had with Disney was the unknown of my future. I didn’t want to work at Disney in a frontline job anymore. I wanted to be full-time and salaried with benefits and at Disney, that is so hard to find since so many people apply for those jobs and are often times more qualified. I applied to what felt like 50 internal job postings and other Professional Internships in my year of being an intern and the only thing I ever got an interview for was Concierge, which was a frontline job. I ended up getting statused as full-time Concierge and was supposed to start after my internship ended but I was also offered a job in Houston for a big kid job. I decided that I needed to make a big life change and took the job in Houston where I had a salary, benefits, and the chance to start a real career.
One of my leaders from VIP Tours once mentioned that sometimes you need to get experience elsewhere before continuing on your Disney journey and I wholeheartedly agree with that. I want to have a career in social media and content creation and leaving Disney was going to give me that experience to grow in that field. If I stayed at Disney doing Concierge, I wouldn’t be gaining that knowledge to succeed in the field I love and am passionate about. I already feel so behind compared to my peers because so many of my friends from college got real jobs after college ended and I was just dilly-dallying around at Disney, riding rides, and watching movies in minivans for a living.
Earlier in October, I went on a quick trip to Disney and I miss it so much, I really do. But Disney will always be there for me if I ever want to go back. I don’t think I’ll ever work there again though but the option is always there. And I honestly think I love Disney even more now because it’s a vacation again and something I get to look forward to visiting. And in case y’all didn’t know, I recently took a new job here in Houston where I work in social media and it’s giving me the career experience I need and I really enjoy it!
Do I miss seeing the castle every day? Yes. Do I miss getting to make magic? Yes. Do I miss all my friends? Yes. Leaving was hard but it had to be done. I was so lucky to have one of the coolest jobs at Disney but I’m glad I decided to take the blind leap of faith to leave.