My Disney Story
I grew up and have never lived any where but in Orlando. Walt Disney World has literally been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. My parents would take me there as a small child, and I would cry every time we left because I just didn’t know how soon I would be allowed to go back. The parents of my childhood best friend both worked at Disney World, so I can remember going to the cast member parties at a pretty young age. Back in 1993 Disney used to have Grad Nite and I remember that magical evening at the Parks as being one of the highlights of my senior year in high school.
I think it was 2007 when I spent 3 months or so actually working at Disney. I don’t know what came over me. My siblings all worked there when they were young, but I was a very busy adult with a husband and 2 children by this time. Even though I was gainfully employed as a dental assistant in Winter Park Florida 4-5 days a week, apparently I wasn’t busy enough. So, I threw in buying a house for good measure, you know, since we had nothing else to do.
Even though I had 13 years of customer service experience, (5 years of that customer service experience with a little company called AT&T) and absolutely no food service experience…at all…ever…the Disney casting center thought I’d be a good fit as a hostess at the Garden Grill over in Epcot. I really didn’t understand it – but I didn’t care! I just put on my little farmer’s outfit, my Disney required non-skid shoes, and my tiny little fake diamond stud earrings. Then I made my long journey to work at the happiest place on earth. It was a long way from sucking spit at the dental office all week, and I loved it.
Little did I know that just a few short years later I would own my own company – and begin taking calls for Disney dining from home!
“Thank you for calling Disney dining, my name is Krista. How can I help you celebrate today?”
It was something I am pretty sure I said in my sleep. The calls were constant and there was no time to breathe in between. It was all the fun of working with Disney and it’s guests on a global scale – without ever leaving my little home office. Many times I was still wearing my PJ’s! I just did it, and I loved every minute.
In fact, Disney dining was a big part of my life for 3 years, so that little stint at the Garden Grill gave me some invaluable inside knowledge about how Disney dining works. I took a month long class about booking resort stays too. In spite of never working as a travel agent, I am a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge. These are just some of the skills and experiences that I get to draw from as I spend time with my Disney friends all over the world via social media and my online radio shows. I am on an awesome journey – building a financially sound company and career out my love of the Disney Parks. I feel so very privileged and blessed to be able to share my lifetime of living near the Disney magic with you.
Thanks for reading my blog, facebook posts, and tweets! I hope you have a magical day – and I’ll see YOU in the Parks!
- Disney Dining Plan Entitlements Explained… (disneyways.wordpress.com)
Krista — I grew up in Winter Park and developed my lifelong love of Disney as a child. I love reading your blog for that reason. It’s a great reminder of all that I loved as a child and love to experience with my children. Keep posting. It’s amazing how much I learn.
Jamie, Thank you so much – that really means a lot to me. Your encouragement will keep me going!
I KNEW Disney had people taking call from home, ha! Thanks for proving me right. LOL.
Yes the secret is out! Ha! The majority of them are on property, but if you have called a lot – chances are you got somebody once or twice that wasn’t. They aren’t allowed to tell you where they are. It’s a tough job. Always be kind to your reservation agent. If they’re working from home that is the only perk they get, and they are just as good as
the others. 🙂
Wow that’s really cool, how did you manage to get a job like that? I always call Disney Dining whenever I visit the parks and the reservation agents are always so sweet!
I would love to know how you got that reservations job too. I love everything Disney and although I don’t live in the area I would love to be somehow affiliated with Disney! I would love that job!
That’s a lovely story! If only I had the energy I had- back when my kids were little (they are 31 &32 now!) I just get such a kick out of looking at those cast member nametags. My husband worked there in 1974-76. He lost a couple of his name tags, but managed to keep his America on Parade tag, and it has been displayed proudly in our home for many decades 🙂 Thanks for all the magic you share on your blog!
Charlotte! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for reading the blog, I appreciate it so much.
You are welcome! 🙂
I totally fit into the “you work for Disney?” “No but I used to category” too!
And Casting pays no mind to your past experience, they simply want to put people wherever there are holes.
Would love to do this!