I Left Disney.

Just writing the title of this post hurt a little bit. Now, you’re probably thinking “stop being so dramatic” or “we’re tired of hearing about this” blah blah blah. But honestly, working at Walt Disney World was, and will always be, a huge part of my life, and who I’ve become as a person. Moving home, I’m finding it really difficult to be able to express, or even just talk about my time at Disney. In Orlando, I could relate to nearly anybody surrounding me, but back home I just don’t have that kind of outlet. My parents have heard my stories a million times, friends don’t care to hear about it, and if I start talking to a stranger about it, I just end up talking in a loop. It’s not because I don’t want to talk about it, I’m just finding it so difficult to be able to relate to people. So here I am. Writing about it. It’s been about a month now since I left, and I’ve had a lot of time to process a lot of emotions. So brace yourselves friends, I predict this is going to be one long post…


I never formally announced it here on my blog, but I did in fact, leave The Walt Disney Company. I am no longer a Disney Cast Member, and I no longer live in Orlando, Florida. Let me be blunt, it sucked to leave. Many tears were shed. But I knew that where I wanted to be, no longer matched where I currently was. I was missing family, and I wasn’t saving money. I LOVED being a Photopass Photographer with all my heart, but I realized it was time for me to move on…

I learned a lot of things during my time as a Floridian, so lemme break it down:

Working. Working in one of the world’s largest tourist destinations, absolutely changed the way I worked. Both as a merchandise and a photopass cast member, my work ethic drastically changed from any previous jobs I had held. One of the biggest changes was the sheer volume and pace I had to work at. Working right in the middle of Main Street USA is no joke folks. And on holidays? It was nice knowing you. As for guest service? Nobody does it like Disney. It taught me it’s more than ok to bend over backwards for someone, even if I’m not going to be directly benefitting anything. That even translates to my current job. I just want to make people happy, and I think that will forever be drilled into my soul.

Relationships. One of the things I am most proud of, is that I moved to Florida not knowing a single soul. And not only that, but I didn’t just pack up and leave after my internship. I stayed another 2 and a half years. I created a family there. Friends who cared about me more than I even thought possible in such a short amount of time. They supported me, and lifted my spirits. They let me show my goofy self without fear of judgement. They are friends I am going to have for a lifetime. But another thing I learned living down there, is sometimes relationships change, and not for the better. I learned when, and how, to let go of a friendship. No matter how close you once were. If I came across a toxic friendship in my life, I no longer felt the need to mend it, or to hang onto it for dear life. I learned it’s ok to let friends go. In no way does that make it easy, but sometimes to grow, you have to grow on your own. Whether it be old friends back home, or friends you’ve only had for a few months. If the relationship is no longer a positive one, and it can’t be mutually mended, it’s time to move on. Before I moved to Disney, I was a very temperamental person. I could get upset about something in the drop of a hat. But going through all those relationship changes, helped me to grow and change as a person. I can sort my feelings out, without blowing up. (But hey. I’m still human. I have my moments.) But how I deal with relationships it’s one of the biggest ways I changed. I’m proud of the person I’ve become. And I am beyond thankful for my Florida family. They took care of me when my own family was thousands of miles away, and they supported me in ways I didn’t even know I needed.

Money. Now this can be a touchy subject to open up about, but here it goes anyways. I struggle a lot with money management, and working at Disney World did not help my case. All the adorable and fun merchandise, the cool excursions and events you could go to. An annual pass to that *other* theme park… Also rent was expensive, and I struggled to find affordable places to live without having tons of roommates. Props to the people who live in big groups. Because after college, I just couldn’t do it anymore. But as much as I struggled to manage my money, it also taught me just how much help I needed to get my finances under control. My parents and my sister both really helped me get things to be more manageable, but in all honesty, it’s still something I’m working on.

Believing. Just believing in all sorts of things. The magic, hope, the future, myself. Magical moments were some of the best parts of my job. Seeing kids faces light up, or going out of my way to do something for a particular family, or taking photos of proposals. Believing in hope. Hoping for bigger and better things, and being able to stay positive even when things got tough. Believing I’ve got a bright future waiting for me, even if it’s not necessarily working for Disney. And just being able to believe in myself, and my choices. Being confident in the person I’ve become and where I’m going in life. I know, it all sounds so cheesy. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Just being able to stay positive, and believe in myself and where I’m going. One of the biggest reasons I gave up working a job I absolutely adored, was in the hope of ultimately moving to Denver, Colorado. I’m believing and full of hope, that by leaving Disney, I can end up there faster than if I would have rode it out down there. I believe that leaving was the right decision for me no matter how difficult it was.  Even if I’m only temporarily back in Chicago, I’m hoping for a bright Colorado future.

Open-Minded. I would definitely not consider myself to be close-minded, but working in such a diverse place taught me so much. Having lived in Orlando during the PULSE shooting, was unimaginable. So many people I worked and was friends with were so directly effected by it. It wasn’t some news story. I was a tangible place I drove past on a weekly basis. But the love and support the people and the city of Orlando showed the LGBTQ community, was so heartwarming. There are so many different, amazing, beautiful people in the world, and such violence is so cruel and unnecessary. Then all the different cultures I got to see and experience. I know more about Puerto Rican/ Hispanic/ Latino/ Portuguese cultures than I ever thought I would know. The friends I made that opened my eyes to the beauty (and delicious food) and the hardships they deal with every day. How the Disney community came together in support of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was amazing. Just the love and care everyone had for each other is what made having a Disney family so magical. No matter what you believed in, how you were raised, or what you looked like mattered. We were one. We were in this together.  Even just being open-minded about trying new things. I ate fish for the first time in years! I went on rides I never thought I’d go on. I put myself in social situations I would’ve backed out on in a heart beat. It’s given me so much confidence to put my best foot forward, try new things, and hear things out before passing any judgement or making assumptions. Being open-minded is such an uplifting, and freeing feeling.

Now if you’ve read this far, cheers to you pal. You got the experience of reading some fresh Andi feelings. Some of it happy, and some of it more somber. I’m one big ball of feelings. Call it Disney withdrawal, call it being emotional. It’s just a lot of what’s going on up in my head, and my thoughts and feelings after working and living in such a magical place and how I’m doing now. Which in all honesty, I’ve been better. Moving back home has not been easy, and has been pretty lonely. I like my new job, but it will never be what Disney was. Friendships have grown, changed, or been lost all together. But here I sit. Typing away late into the evening, just trying to sort out and process all these thoughts and feelings. I could probably keep typing out more, but my goal was to try and streamline some of these thoughts. So with that, I’ll leave you all with a little nugget of wisdom I once read somewhere on the internet:

“Happiness is a choice, not an emotion.”


I Still Exist!

Look! I’m still here! My last post was all about stress, and a lack of any posting. Yet, here I am, several months later, still without a blog post. I have’t forgotten about my blog or my YouTube channel, I have thought about it, had a couple of flickering ideas, but none of them have caught fire. I go in waves where I’m proud of my Youtube channel and blog, and then another where I feel really embarrassed by it.

I’m still working as a Photopass Photographer in the Magic Kingdom, and I’m actually coming up on my “official” one-year anniversary with the company! I’ll also be temporarily transferred to the waterparks for the summer! As much as I love Photopass, I’ve feeling a little bit in a rut with work. I still have not been trained in any specialties, so I’ve been feeling really disheartened. I’m looking forward to a little change of pace and scenery for the summer!

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again. I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things. I’m going to start with my blog, and try and go from there. So don’t worry, I still exist!

DCP Merchandise Haul!

Needless to say, living in Disney for 9 months, there is quite the temptation to buy all the cute Disney merchandise you see on an every day basis (especially being a merchandise Cast Member). So here I am, sharing with you all almost everything  I bought during my Disney College Program! I’m still in Florida, and still a Cast Member, so I’m sure there will be much more merchandise purchased in my future!

What in the World am I Doing.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written on my blog. I’ve been so preoccupied with other things, it pretty much fell of my priority list. But a lot has happened in a month, and it’s about time I shared what in the world I’ve been doing since I last posted, and snippets of social media don’t always do me justice…

I’m not sure if I ever formally announced it, but I’ve extended my program! I’ll now be staying with Disney until May with hope of pursuing a job or professional internship with the company after. I extended into my same role at my same location. Lucky for me I love my “DAARling” family!

Another fun fact? I’m moving out of CP housing! Although I’ve had an overall good experience with housing, being 22 years old I need my own space. And since I plan to stay in Florida, it makes sense for me to get a real apartment and finally settle in. One of my roommates from my CP apartment will also be living with me!

One disappointing aspect of the program is that I won’t be home for Christmas, so missing my family is especially difficult this time of year. I was lucky enough to have Christmas scheduled off, but what that really means to me is that I’ll just be at my apartment alone, which will weigh pretty heavy on my heart. Just being in Florida alone, it doesn’t feel like the holidays.

But lastly I have some more positive news! I am officially becoming a Disney Trainer! Being a CP this is a pretty big opportunity and responsibility to be given to me. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity, especially because I hope to stay with the company. I look forward to becoming a trainer and potentially even training new CP’s!


Even though this is probably one of the biggest transitions and most stressful times in my life, I’m pretty proud of myself for doing it. Moving my whole life to Florida wasn’t easy, but I really feel like I’ve found my place here.


The Lesser Known…

I live and work in the most magical place on earth! The sun is always shining, I’m making the magic! And yet, there aren’t roses and rainbows everywhere. There’s a little dark cloud seemingly following me around.

Sure, on my social media I’m casually hanging out in front of Cinderella’s Castle, basking in the Osbourne Lights, dancing with different characters…but what you don’t see, is me struggling.

Don’t get me wrong, the Disney College Program is the best decision I’ve ever made! But it’s also probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. Harder than high school, more challenging than college. In all aspects of my life, this program has taken it’s toll.

I’ve moved halfway across the country from all my friends, and family. I came here not knowing a soul. Seeing them all so happy and together, while I’m here alone.

I’m living with 5 other girls, on top of sharing a bedroom, which is no easy task. From passive aggressiveness, to not truly having my own space to escape to. I’m always on edge.

Living in an area I know nothing about, and depending on my GPS for almost everything. Even getting lost going home after work. Not knowing what areas are safe, and where I should be more careful.

I’m struggling to make friends that won’t be leaving to go back to school come January. Becoming so close to people I may never see again.

Waiting and waiting to hear back if I got a professional internship. I applied months ago, and have only received rejection letters since.

I work long hours, and have near impossible guests. Being yelled and sworn at, then having things be thrown at me. People demanding I give them a “magical moment.” Breaking down and crying in the stockroom. Ever-changing work hours wreaking havoc on my sleeping pattern. Being surrounded by so many people, but still feeling so alone.

I’m trying to make a life down here, without having a clue where to start.

My stress is through the roof, and I’m finding it almost unmanageable at this point. Typing this out is probably the first time I’m really putting into words how I feel, and I still don’t feel like I’m covering all my bases. I feel lost.

I love it here, and I have every intention of staying. But don’t let my social media fool you. Dreams do come true, but they aren’t always easy.