This is a blog post I’ve wanted to write for years, but have also been weirdly nervous to do due to the fact I have numerous people on my social channels that did the same job, but I’ve never really spoken in detail about why I left, so this is me doing that. It’s not that I’m not”over the things that happened, as has been suggested, more that a blog about your life centres around the past, present and future, big moments in your life, which this was one of.

In 2013 my friend Jess told me about an opportunity to get a job at Disney World in America and instantly I was excited, I applied with her and got through the application process. I was then invited to an interview and then back for another one, a little while later I was slammed with disappointment that I had been “waitlisted” – in my head this was a no, as I watched a lot of the people I’d got quite close to during the application process get the yes e-mail. The job was to work as a cultural rep in Epcot in Florida
I moved on with my life, got an amazing job in a company I’d dreamed of working for and got a call offering me the Disney job, I turned it down realising I was where I wanted to be – months later I got a call again, this time I debated it, I was still happy but would I regret it if I never went?
So obviously I did, putting my relationship, friendships and career on hold. I made a HUGE deal about going, had a leaving party, the works, I was more excited than I’ve probably ever been in my life.
And then I came back, after only a couple of months, I was meant to be there for a year and this is why.
  • I struggled with the change, I’m never usually homesick, I love being away and travelling but as soon as I was there I felt wrong, and out of place. I actually cried on my first night whilst everyone I travelled with was excited and happy, this feeling didn’t dissipate like other people told me it would, I felt out of sync. On top of that we were thrown into really long and hot days, I struggle with heat, as someone who has had sunstroke numerous times and there isn’t time to acclimatise – it’s just go from the start, and I kept getting ill.
  • The actual job, (in Epcot) oh my god I cannot put into words how much I HATED it. You start off by going to Disney “University”, which is basically three full days in a building without windows whilst they teach you stuff like “don’t steal” and the 24 hour clock, at one point I was literally falling asleep whilst answering quiz questions, and then you get to the actual job. There were parts of it I enjoyed, I liked working on the mini bar outside and interacting with customers, but there was also the chippy and I’ve done some shockingly bad jobs and this was probably the worst. Serving fish and chips inside a tiny building in baking heat whilst wearing the most ridiculous, pride destroying cotton mop top hat. Because we all wear them in England right?
  • The cult like attitude – This might get some people’s backs up and it’s not my intention but I didn’t realise that you had to not just like Disney but LOVE Disney, you’re not to think any ill of Walt or the job itself. In fact I was told hundreds of times “YOU ARE LUCKY TO BE HERE” But why am I lucky? Disney should feel lucky that so many people love it’s brand they’re willing to work gruelling shifts in order to provide the amazing service Disney does provide. One day they extended what had already been a ten hour shift and I was knackered and sick and one of my colleagues was like you should be pinching yourself, this is a dream to work here. It didn’t feel like a dream, it felt like a nightmare. If you call in sick you get a “point” three points and you get a reprimand, you’re literally punished for being sick – something you can’t help, you’re also not paid so you’re doubly punished, all whilst being told you should be grateful.
  • The fakeness and drama, it was actually this, above all else that pushed me into quitting. Do you know that scene in Mean Girls when Regina tells a girl she loves another girls skirt and as soon as she walks away she turns around and says it’s the ugliest skirt she’s ever seen? It was like that but ALL THE TIME – and of course, it wasn’t everyone, obviously, some of the nicest, kindest and purest people go to work out there and do this job, I have plenty of them on my Facebook, but the others, well wow – here’s just some tiny examples of the kind of stuff.
    • We’re at a bus stop waiting and two girls are discussing this other girl and how they’re SURE she’s cheated on her partner who’s at home. The girl they’re discussing turns up and they stop, and one of the original gossipers goes off only for the other original girl to start bitching about her to the one she was JUST bitching about.
    • I was told I shouldn’t be friends with my friend (who is now one of my best mates and a groomsman at my wedding) because he wasn’t popular and this would rub off on me.
    • I was told the lack of confidence I felt about myself and my body was wrong because it made other people uncomfortable and I should stop.
    • After never visiting the parks because I felt so down, I decided this one day I would, I told my roommate but it was on the proviso I could wash my uniform in the morning before work, she applauded the decision saying it was about time I got out there, when I woke up she was washing another persons bedding, smiling saying she was “just being helpful” knowing full well it was stopping me going out.
    • I walked in on a “friend” saying I should just leave, because I didn’t deserve to be there if I was going to be upset

They were just a handful of the things but it was like this daily (with SOME people) and I just couldn’t deal with it, the reaction when I left confirmed I’d made the right choice. When I left, I deleted practically everyone off Facebook , even a lot of people I liked, because I just didn’t want drama, I literally made ZERO public negative comments about anyone, this was followed by lies being made up about me, being called a fat wench by people (due to my weight and the costumes we wore) when I returned on a holiday there people shouted at me. Months after I’d left a negative review was given about my old room mate and I had multiple people messaging, including Disney managers telling me to take it off, despite the fact I had nothing to do with it. I had horrible tweets from people telling me I should enjoy my amazing life and fuck off causing drama, again, I hadn’t done what they were accusing me off. But it made me into a villain and her into a victim. (A friend of hers actually wrote ANOTHER fake nasty review about her, to make it look like I was being super nasty and vengeful)

Following writing this blog post, it was shared amongst hundreds of people who do this job, in which I’ve been attacked online left, right and centre, assuming I’m jealous, bitter, a plethora of other negative comments, which only perpetuates my view point. I’m none of these things, I’m just documenting a period of time from my angle.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a victim in all of this, I know I gave an air of arrogance, that it looked like I thought the work was below me and my life at home was better, I rolled my eyes and complained a lot, plenty of reasons for people to dislike me. I didn’t think the job was below me, not at all, but it felt like deja vu, these were the jobs I was doing whilst trying to earn my degree, to get the career I wanted and had just left behind, the only difference was the location – and I just didn’t love Disney enough.
I know for a fact people I worked with WILL read this and I can’t stress enough, if I have you on social media, you’re not one of the people I’m talking about.
I left because for me this wasn’t my ‘time of my life’ chapter, but it was for a lot of people and that’s why we saw it so differently and ultimately why I didn’t fit in. I would recommend this job to people, especially if you love Disney or you want to live stateside, or feel like that you’re in a rut where you are now, life only offers so many big changes and I always advocate taking them, I know I’m in the few who couldn’t take it.
I did meet one of my best friends through the job though, and I did get to fulfil a dream of living in America, it also enabled me to goto Harry Potter world on my days off which was insane, and I did come home and work for the Disney company again.
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