Penn State Abington senior Mary Roche, lover of all things Disney, recently returned from a five-month stint with the Disney College Program (DCP) in Orlando.
Meet Mary: The history major graduates in December and plans to apply to Teach for America, the national teaching corps. Ultimately, she wants to teach history to high schoolers.
Prior useful experience: Mary is comfortable around people in costume. She worked at Foster’s Toys and Party Center in Doylestown, a local hot spot for renting costumes for special events and school plays.
Disney dreamin’: "I always dreamed of working for Disney, preferably as a bell hop on the Tower of Terror. I visited Disney often and watched almost every Disney movie an excessive number of times.
"I had initially thought that working there might ruin the so-called magic. It was exactly the opposite. The company is so organized and well-run. I could have never imagined how many people are employed there to make magic for all its visitors."
"I had initially thought that working there might ruin the so-called magic. It was exactly the opposite. The company is so organized and well-run."
-- Mary Roche, Abington senior
Disney Reality: Mary worked in the Quick Service Food and Beverage at Casey’s Corner and Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom.
“The hours were painstaking long some days. It was hot. It smelled. Guests could be quite challenging. I don’t say these things to discourage others from applying. I think it’s important to know that the work is not all magic and pixie dust."
“It’s very challenging – but it’s worth it! I had countless encounters with children and guests who made my time memorable. The smallest things, such as giving a Mickey straw to a little girl dressed as Elsa, would make their day which in turn made my day.”
Moral of Mary's Disney story: "Even though it wasn't my dream job as a bellhop for the Tower of Terror, I am so grateful to have work for such an incredible company."