That Time I Worked At Disney World...

It has been a while since I updated this blog, which has mostly been used to to share about my trips and travels. And basically, my time at Disney World was an extended vacation haha (I worked too, I promise ๐Ÿ˜‰). I wanted to share some highlights of my time in Florida with y'all, for your sake and for mine!

"Jessica, how did you work at Walt Disney World?!" After graduating in May, I decided that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I took a brief hiatus from the "real world" and participated in the Disney College Program (DCP). The DCP is essentially an "internship" where they connect you to a location and role at either Disney World in Orlando, FL or Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.

Program participants work a full-time schedule, and then have free, unlimited access to all the parks in their free time! I was there for five months and only scratched the surface on all the things to be done and the sights to be seen, but, here are some of my highlights!


Celebrating the seasons at Disney

One of the fun parts about doing my program August - January is that we got to experience two of Disney's most popular holidays, Halloween and Christmas!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party was a spook-tacular time! (we celebrated a lil early, this was in mid-September)

Eatin' and meetin' and greetin' at Chef Mickey's

Before my lovely friends, Emily and Shannon, cut their programs short to move back to Michigan

ALL. THE. FOOD. Seriously, it was buffet style, and there were soooo many great options. We came away very full (but very happy).

ALL. THE. FOOD. Seriously, it was buffet style, and there were soooo many great options. We came away very full (but very happy).

More food (are you sensing a theme yet?)

One of the highlights of my whole program was the fact that I was down at Disney during their annual Food and Wine festival at Epcot. For those of you who don't know, Epcot has a section of the park that is called the World Showcase, which showcases countries from around the globe. During the Food and Wine Festival, each country gets a handful of food and drink specials unique to their location, AND they add a few extra countries at smaller booths throughout. 

TL;DR there is a WHOLEEEE bunch of delicious food from various countries ๐Ÿ˜

The perk of living/working at Disney during this time is that I had plenty of time to sample bits and pieces of the Food and Wine offerings over the two months that it is happening. This allowed me to sample more options without being overly full (there is a lot of food if you're trying to do it all in one or two days), or, more importantly, going broke (nothing at Disney is cheap haha). 

All the food at the festival (these are waffles from Belgium) is in small, single serving bites, so that you can have room to try a lot of different things!

Pro-tip: go to Food and Wine with friends, because sharing is caring

Pro-tip: go to Food and Wine with friends, because sharing is caring

I take my food photography very seriously, as you can tell

I take my food photography very seriously, as you can tell

FAMILY FAMILY FAMILY!

So, my mom and brother planned to come visit me while I was down at Disney, and our original plan was the first weekend of October. I had it all planned out; the flights, the hotel, the plans for the parks. But, Mother Nature had other plans. 

Hurricane Matthew made his way into Florida that weekend, and we preemptively decided to cancel my family's visit a few days before the worst of the weather hit. 

In the end, the hurricane moved ever-so-slightly when it was out in the water, so the projected impact was greatly weakened, but the storm was still so bad that Disney actually closed for an entire day, which is something they have only done four other times in their entire history.

It was a bummer to have their visit postponed, but we knew it was what was best. We re-scheduled for the first weekend in November, and on the Friday they were due to arrive, I woke up to a text from my mom saying their flight had been canceled. ARE YA KIDDING ME?

I felt like we just couldn't catch a break ๐Ÿ˜‚ In the end, my mom called a few airlines, I re-arranged our Fast Passes and spent some time stress-shopping at Target, and by mid-afternoon they had finally arrived! 

I took them straight to Hollywood Studios to get the fun started

We had to ride Splash Mountain, in our best attempt to recreate the memories from our family visit in 2005 (the photo on the left!)

Having a ~magical~ time at Magic Kingdom

We managed to fit a lot of fun stuff in a three day period!

We visited Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom on Friday evening after they arrived, and then Saturday we spent the whole day park-hoppin', starting at opening ceremonies at Magic Kingdom, then jumping over to Animal Kingdom, then visiting Epcot for Food and Wine Festival (they loved it just as much as I did), and wrapping the day back up at Magic Kingdom.

Plus, we hopped over to Universal Studios for a day of all things Harry Potter and more!

Having visitors to show around made me feel like the real-deal, and I'm so glad they finally made it down to visit, even after all of the technical difficulties! 


This marks (approximately) the halfway point of my program, so we will wrap up this blog post here!

To read about the rest of my adventures (DCP pt. 2), click here!

Jess Takes A Journey: San Francisco

Jess Takes A Journey: San Francisco

My San Francisco trip was part business, part pleasure, but overall, totally awesome. We spent a lot of time indoors at the Society for News Design conference, but we also made up for lost time on our day off by doing all the San Fran things we could in a single day. This post highlights a lot of our tourist-y endevors, but like I said, we were moving pretty quick, so I may have missed a few photos!

Jess Goes Global: Argentina, Part Two

Jess Goes Global: Argentina, Part Two

The second half of my trip to Buenos Aires was filled with just as much food, exploration, learning, food, and friends as the first half. This was a very busy trip, so by the second half of the week, when we had a slow day, we took it for all it was worth. But we also explored new places whenever given the chance. This post covers the highlights from part two!