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The Disney Diaries: Once Upon a Time…

Once Upon a Time…

That is the famous line that starts all of our favorite fairy tales. “Once Upon a Time…” With those four words, we immediately are transported on an adventure with characters and dreams that make us believe anything is possible. We are taken to a world of beautiful princesses, daring knights in shining armor, fiery dragons, and mystical spells. It is through this sentence that we begin to understand the power of words. When I was a little girl, I used to believe that those words were more than a phrase of a storybook, but a spell that promised me a life of adventure.

Fast forward to the present, and I have long-since outgrown the belief that “Once Upon a Time” is the only phrase that can change your life. From personal experiences of the heart to the professional realm of working in the adult world, life changing phrases can happen anywhere or any time. In fact, the most meaningful phrase of your life could be found in something as simple as an email.

This is the story of my phrase. This is my adventure in the Disney College Program. But unlike the fairy tales or Disney movies, my story does not start with “Once Upon a Time.” Rather, my tale begins on a rainy day that is ordinarily typical like any other day.

It was just a regular Friday morning filled with routine. I drug myself out of bed at 8:20 after hitting my snooze button five times. Mascara from the night before hung to the bottom of my eyes after a movie night with friends put me to bed past midnight. The lack of caffeine and sleep left me with no desire to do anything other than that which was completely necessary. My only concern for the morning was to get my coffee, get my breakfast, and get to work before my Senior Staff Meeting at our college’s newspaper. So when I nonchalantly went through my morning habit of checking my emails on my smart phone, the last thing I expected was to see an email from the Walt Disney Company. Yet when my thumb swiped across the touch screen of my phone, that was the sight I came across.

“Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney Resort!”

My sleepy eyes glanced over the phrase. I took a sip of coffee and looked out across my kitchen table, mindlessly going over the phrase in my head.

One… Two… Three… The caffeine from my coffee kicked in.

Wait, what? I thought.

I picked up my phone and returned to the email.

“Congratulations! You have been selected to participate in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney Resort!”

I don’t know if it was the coffee, or my excitement, but I suddenly threw my phone across the kitchen to the couch in my living room. Quickly, I ran back over to the couch and picked up my phone, repeatedly reading the phrase.

My hands began shaking. I called across the house to my mom. Before she could answer, I was running across the living room to her bedroom with the phone in my hand. We stood there, hugging, rereading the email, talking excitedly about the next coming months.

This was the start of my latest journey in life: moving over 2,000 miles away from Bend, Oregon to Orlando, Florida to work at Walt Disney World in the Attractions department. My phrase had been read, my spell had been cast, and I am embarking on my new adventure. My fairy tale has finally begun.


Emily Kalei | The Broadside




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