Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Day 1668: Phone Interview

If you've made it this far in the Disney College Program application process, congratulations! Now comes the real challenge though: your Phone Interview. Of course, it's always important to note that the DCP lingo refers to this portion of the process as a PI, so don't get freaked out thinking that Disney is about to send a Private Investigator to shadow you for a few weeks. It's just a phone interview, and it's not unlike a phone interview for any other position with any other company. 

Only it's Disney and you really, really, really want this job. 

Once you've finished your Web Based Interview, you'll be directed to a system to schedule your PI if you passed. You're able to schedule your interview for any day during the next few weeks after your WBI, and the ability to choose when you'll receive that phone call is a blessing. Some schedule their interview for the next day and it goes fine, I scheduled mine for almost a full two weeks after I completed my WBI since I was running a major on-campus event the week in between my two interviews and wanted to give my full focus to the event while still allowing for time to prepare for my PI. Really, it's up to you, but I suggest allowing yourself at least three days to prepare for your interview. 

I'll give you pretty much the same advice you can find elsewhere, largely because it's the same advice I'd give anyone going into any kind of interview, whether it's a phone interview or for Disney or not, and it's a system of three P's: Prepare, Practice, Present. Stick with me though, because this is about to be a long post. 

Prepare is pretty obvious, especially since I mentioned a few weeks ago that your research isn't over. A quick Google search will enlighten you to what kinds of questions your recruiter might ask you during your interview. I made a list of every question I could find, put them in a word document, and answered them all. That way I had at least thought through pretty much every possible question they could ask me, although I narrowed it down to a set of about 14 questions with bullet pointed answers sitting in front of me during the interview itself. 

To give you an idea, here are some of the questions I recall my recruiter asking me: 

"Why do you want to work with Disney?" 
"Why do you want to participate in the program?" 
"Do you think it would be a big adjustment to move this far from home?" 
"What qualities would make you suited for PhotoPass Photography?" (My top ranked role)
"Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a roommate." 

I won't list my written answers here, because I fully believe in individual answers. In other words, my answers are best suited for me and my experience, and your answers are best suited for you and your experiences. Those little differences will set you apart from other applicants, and you should utilize those qualities rather than using a carbon copy of mine! Be yourself, be honest, and be thoughtful. 

Practicing is just as important as preparing though. Once you have your cheat sheet narrowed down, speak through your answers a few times. I like to say them out loud as I write to find what feels most natural in order and phrase, and then I set it aside until the next day, when I ran through it a couple of times by myself. Eventually, I handed my cheat sheet to my roommate to sort of "quiz" me and mix up the questions just enough so it wasn't precisely what I had written on the page. Practicing with someone else, whether it be a significant other, a friend, a roommate, or a stranger in the hallway, can vastly improve your nerves when it comes to the actual PI, and as they say, practice makes perfect! 

Present refers to presenting yourself in a professional and "Disney-esque" manner. Disney is very obviously looking for a specific sort of person to employ in their parks, and while you should, to a point, tailor your answers to what they want to hear, if you're not being honest they will see through your lies. It's crucial that you're professional and honest at this point in the interview process. Whether it's about your experience or a tattoo, telling the truth can prevent you from ending up in a role or situation you hate, so if there's a role you really have no interest in, don't say you're interested if you're not, but if there's something you really want to do, mention that! Be enthusiastic and stay positive and polite! Present yourself in a way that would make Walt Disney proud. 

And just as a bonus, here are just a few extra tips to help your Phone Interview go smoothly:

- Schedule your phone interview at a time that's good for you. Your PI will be scheduled for a half hour period, but they can call anywhere up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time or 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, so block off an hour, and remember that they're working in Eastern Standard Time, so triple check your time block. 

- Dress like you would for a real interview, or at least in a manner that makes you confident. I wore a pair of dark-wash jeans (my favorite pair) with a cute blouse and my favorite black blazer and I actually wore my Knights on Broadway heels for extra confidence. Yes, even though I was just sitting in my apartment, I wore my show heels. In addition, I did my hair and makeup that morning to give myself the confidence I needed. 

- Situated yourself in a location that's quiet and has good signal. They won't continue the interview if you're actively driving, so keep that in mind, but I know some drive their car to a local park or a remote part of a parking lot and park there for their interview. I did mine in my apartment, and my roommate was kind enough to step out for the morning so I could have the place to myself. 

- Spread out your notes in front of you, have a couple of questions to ask your recruiter prepared (I used the standard "Have you participated in the Disney College Program?" and "Is it too early to request a location?"), and keep a pencil or pen nearby to write down the name of your recruiter! Be sure to thank them by name at the end of the interview (Thank you Nancy)!!! 

- Some people set up a camera and film themselves. I did this because I'm so used to sitting in front of a camera and the setup and recording light reminded me to smile and present the same bubbly personality I try to have on camera. If you don't feel comfortable on camera, don't film yourself. It's as simple as that, but it's certainly something to think about!

- The call will come through on a blocked number. ANSWER IT. If you don't answer the first time they will likely call again, but it's better if you answer the first time. 

- Remember it's a conversation with your recruiter, not just an interview. They're asking questions to get a feel of who you are as a person, but I ended up having an entire conversation with my recruiter on the history of the Disney College Program that lasted significantly longer than my answers to any of the other questions. It's a real person on the other end of the line, and having a real conversation with them can reflect positively, since you'll be having real conversations with guests in the parks if you're accepted. Don't force it, of course, but if it feels natural to ask a question here or there or discuss something further, go for it!

- S.M.I.L.E. I can't stress this enough, and it's something that everyone discussing the Phone Interview will say, but it's honestly the most important part about the phone interview. Disney is looking for positive, happy students to participate in their programs, because the Disney Parks are positive, happy places. They will be able to tell on the other end of the line if you're smiling, so do it as much as you can or is comfortable. As I just said, the camera was my reminder to smile, but for you it might be a giant sign on your wall that has SMILE written out in giant letters, but whatever it is, don't forget to show those teeth! 

All in all, when it comes to the Phone Interview, just remember the Three P's: Prepare, Practice, Present, and to smile, and you'll already be more than ready for this giant step toward the Disney College Program. 

Have a magical day!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Day 1663: Greatest City in the World

It's been about five years since I last headed to the greatest city in the world, but there were still a million things I hadn't done there, and that meant that when my friend Kiera asked if I wanted to take a spontaneous trip to New York, I immediately checked my bank account to figure out if I could swing it financially, especially with moving to Florida in just a few weeks. Luckily, I did some budgeting and found enough leftover cash from various gigs I'd picked up and other awards from college to make a trip to New York City happen and we booked it soon after. 

Of course, there's a lot to talk about when it comes to New York City, which is why plenty of the posts from the last week which have yet to appear will absolutely be focused on my trip, but it seems fair to give an overall rundown of all the excitement we experienced on our adventures! 

As you can see from the above picture, we were lucky enough to see FIVE shows while in New York. Four were Broadway shows, including Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, War Paint, Bandstand, and Chicago, and one Off-Broadway show: Avenue Q. We rushed all the shows, meaning we would sit outside the theatre's box office in the morning for an hour or two (or more) in hopes to get discount seats. The wait is frequently worth it though, as we had excellent seats for all five shows and basically saw four of the shows for the regular price of one, if you take into account where our seats were for some of the shows. 

But that's not all we did, as the subway system helped us get all around New York on the cheap. Since we invested in the 7-Day unlimited metro pass, we could use the subway as much or as little as we wanted over the course of the week for a flat rate of $33, and if you're heading to New York for a trip, note that you only have to use the pass about 11 times for it to pay for itself (a single ride ticket is $3), so if you're comfortable using the subway (and everyone should be, but that's a topic for another day) and you'll be there for a few days, it's absolutely worth the cost. In other words, in between rushing for tickets and the shows themselves, we also saw the following sights: 

Times Square, Rockefeller Center, New Museum [of Contemporary Art], South Street Seaport, Chelsea Market, The Bagel Store (Rainbow Bagels!), Heatonist (Hot Sauce Store), American Museum of Natural History, Columbia University, The Statue of Liberty (and Ellis Island), MET Cloisters, Harlem (and the apartment in The Last Five Years), Trinity Church, Alexander Hamilton's Grave, 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, Belvedere Castle, and Strawberry Fields (Imagine Mosaic). 

Coming soon right here on Everyday Disney I'll give you an inside look at Times Square, the NYC Subway System, The Bagel Store, the American Museum of Natural History, Hamilton's New York, The Statue of Liberty, MET Cloisters, Disney in New York, an inside look on each of the five shows we saw, and one final post with some of the other exciting things we discovered in the Big Apple! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day 1661: Web Based Interview

So you made it past the dreaded submission and into the Web Based Interview, or as most applicants refer to it, the WBI. Congratulations! If you thought everything so far was exciting, get ready for one of the most nerve wrecking experiences of your entire life, because the WBI is, more or less, a personality test that decides if you'd be a good candidate to work for Disney. That's right, this little test is going to figure out if you're suitable to be a Disney Cast Member. 

The good news is that as terrifying as this test can be, it's actually not all that difficult as long as you use your common sense and keep track of your answers. That means that you want to seclude yourself from others so you can focus entirely on this portion of the interview process. For me, I locked myself in my apartment (although I made the mistake of forgetting to tell my roommate what I was doing, so she walked in when I was about 70% done and scared me half to death...I still passed though!), turned off the lights since I'm calmer in the dark, turned on some peaceful instrumental music, and began my WBI. 

For those that don't know, the WBI will need to be taken within a few days after receiving the email invitation to do so, but you can do it at any time that's convenient for you. So if you're like me and your days are filled with classes, meetings, rehearsals, and maybe grabbing a quick bite to eat, you can complete this at 3am if you'd like. I don't advise that, but it's nice to know that you're at your own free will here for a moment. 

Now, there's any range of options for how people suggest you approach the Web Based Interview, and after a lot of research and a little personal experience, I'm not sure there's any perfect way to make it to the Phone Interviews. As I've said in the past, I know some people perfectly suited for the Disney College Program that didn't pass the WBI. So here are my quick tips on the Web Based Interview: 

1. Don't stress too much. I have some anxiety myself and whenever I found myself getting anxious during the WBI I used my performance trick of quickly closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. The more anxious you are, the more likely you are to answer something in a way you normally wouldn't. 

2. Be consistent!!! Of all the suggestions I came across, this is perhaps the most important one. Disney is about to throw a ton of questions at you and you'll have to answer them all in a very short amount of time (I believe it's 60 seconds or less). That being said, they'll try to trick you. No one ever said that getting into Disney was easy, so one minute they'll have you rank the phrase "I am always on time" on a scale of 1 to 5 (Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree) and the next they'll have you rank, using the same scale, "I am never late." Of course, in this case, the "correct" responses would be Strongly Agree to "I am always on time" and Strongly Agree to "I am never late." Pay attention to the questions and remember your answers. 

3. Slow down! In order to make sure I was thinking each question through fully, I read them all out loud to myself. It took a bit longer than some may take on the WBI (Disney says it'll take you 40 minutes, it probably won't), but it made sure I was answering truthfully and consistently. 

It's pretty common for people to suggest you should try to rank each question as Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree only, avoiding putting the middle answers as much as you can. I honestly have no reference on whether or not this is true, as I've only done the WBI once and obviously passed, but I did keep track of how many Agree, Disagree, and Neutral answers I put. I allowed myself two of each agree and disagree, and one neutral. I did use all five of my "Moderate Answers," and it worked for me, so who's to say what for sure works or doesn't work in regards to how you answer the questions. I used them on questions where I truthfully didn't feel strongly one way or another, but it's obvious that Disney wants you to be confident in your answers, hence the suggestion to use those "Strongly" answers more often than not. 

The other terrifying, but also somewhat relieving, part about the WBI? You'll get so wrapped up in answering questions that all of a sudden you'll reach the end of the Interview and you'll be instructed as to whether you passed or failed. A pass means you'll immediately (or soon after) be able to sign up for your Phone Interview, and a fail, obviously, means that perhaps there's better luck next time. 

All in all, I definitely worked myself up by the Web Based Interview, when in reality as long as you use your conscience as your guide and answer truthfully, you're likely to be just fine and make it on to the Phone Interview! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Day 1654: Time to Apply!

Finally! After what might be months or years of anticipation and weeks of planning out your application, your chance to apply for the Disney College Program has finally arrived. Well, that is, if applications are currently open. As I mentioned previously, the best way to stay up to date on the program is to sign up for email notifications for when applications open up again, and then it's onto that initial application. 

Since we've already covered the ranking of roles, this will be a shorter, but no less important post about the journey of the Disney College Program. There's some controversy as to when exactly you should apply for the program once applications do open up, largely because some say that if you apply on the first day you have a lower chance of getting accepted because of the number of applications on that first day. Others say you should apply immediately once applications open up so yours is one of the first ones they go through. 

To be completely honest, I'm not sure there's a rhyme or reason to the way Recruiting goes through the applications, at least not that we could ever know about. I tried to wait until the second day after applications open to apply in fear that mine would get lost in the first-day shuffle, but I just couldn't get anything done knowing that there was something I could do on my journey to the Disney College Program. So I applied the first day, and I'm skeptical about the idea that applying so quickly crushes your chances, because I did and I was obviously accepted. In other words, take what you read with a grain of salt. But don't wait until the last day or week to apply either. 

When you hit apply, you'll be directed to a pretty self-explanatory application that asks for the customary information, such as your name, school information, and work experience. In fact, if you already have a LinkedIn set up with your resume and work experience, there's an option to log into the Disney system using LinkedIn, and it'll automatically input your top work experience into the application for you. I still highly recommend going through the application with a fine toothed comb. 

The biggest thing with this initial application is going to be keywords. Use words that you'd use on your professional resume, and tailor them to the roles that you're ranking highest. For instance, since I knew I was applying for the PhotoPass Photographer role, I made sure to include my photography and videography experience on my application, noting that I'm familiar with DSLR cameras and basic photography skills. I also was sure to include that I have experience with crowd control, specifically in regards to large groups of college students, high school students, and middle school student, and public speaking as well. Regardless of what roles you're interested in, use keywords like "guests," "teamwork," "leadership," "efficient," and "communicate." 

After filling out this initial application with your work experience, you'll pick which program you're applying for, rank your roles, and will eventually hit submit. In all, I think the application took me around 25 minutes with proofreading and some thorough contemplation as to how I wanted to word things and what I wanted to include. 

At this point, one of a few things can happen. You can immediately get a WBI (Web Based Interview) link and you may be able to take that (which I'll discuss in a later blog post). You could be like me and wait a few days before getting the WBI link, but still be "In Progress" on the website. Or you could fall in "submission." You'll be able to view all of this on your dashboard (which is where you can view your progress throughout the entire application process), and I'll tell you that if you fall into submission, that's not to say you won't be accepted for the program. It's more likely you'll never make it to the WBI, but there have been participants who are put into submission immediately and manage to make their way out. So don't give up, but also don't get your hopes up, because honestly, it could go either way (although to be blunt, it's more likely you won't get accepted). 

And then you wait, again. If you're fortunate enough to get send a link to the WBI right away, I suppose you have less waiting to do, but otherwise the best advice I can give is go about your normal life. There's so much waiting involved with the Disney College Program that it's easy to get caught up in obsessively checking your status or your email for any updates. I tried to limit myself to checking the dashboard once a day throughout the process, and I didn't check my email any more than usual, which sort of helped toward the end when I was in the final stages of waiting. Feel as calm as you can knowing that your application, for the moment, is entirely out of your hands, and hope for the best. 

Next week: The Web Based Interview, AKA the most stressful test I've ever taken! 

Have a magical day!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Day 1650: Spider-Man Homecoming

I can still recall the day I watched my first Spider-Man movie. For some reason, we had one of the 2000 movies in our house but had never actually watched it, so I didn't really complain or disagree when our babysitter (yes, I was still fairly young) convinced us that the miscellaneous Spider-Man movie was the perfect choice for that evening. 

I remember almost nothing about the film itself, other than I thought it was a ridiculous film because obviously the Marvel Superhero bug hadn't bitten me yet, and I went about my life up until yesterday honestly believing that Spider-Man was one of the strangest and worst superheroes out there. 

Well...I was wrong. 

In the tradition of catching the latest Disney film during opening weekend, Megan and I headed to the theater last night, settled into our recliners, and waited to watch Spider-Man Homecoming. We realized after the film that both of us had considered skipping this film, figuring that perhaps this one wasn't quite up our alley. In fact, I had completely forgotten about this new addition to the Marvel universe until I went to the theater a few weeks ago to see Wonder Woman and saw the giant Spider-Man Homecoming advertisement display, and even then I wasn't sure about the film. 

First of all, I'm absolutely behind in my Spider-Man Universe knowledge. I had completely forgotten that he was a teenager, hence the Homecoming title that made no sense to me until I saw the film (although it does still feel like a sort of strange title). But like all the Marvel characters and films, I'm still learning, and it seems that with each new film I find a new favorite character. Spider-Man was no exception. 

We've had a lot of great Marvel films in the past number of years, and a lot of wonderful television shows to back them up. Look at Captain America: Civil War, which came out last week and was absolutely a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. It wasn't just a welcome and worthwhile addition to the Marvel Universe, but was a spectacular stand-alone film. Spider-Man Homecoming, in my opinion, ranks in the same [ferry] boat. It'll make much more sense if you've seen a previous Spider-Man movie, and the pieces will fit together better if you've seen, specifically, Captain America: Civil War, but that's not to say that it can't be watched on its own. 

That being said, things I wasn't as thrilled about with the new Spider-Man movie (and don't worry, there are no spoilers here): as always with Marvel, it is a bit of a problem that you might not understand all the references and key plot points unless you've seen a prior film. Since Spider-Man was reintroduced in the last Captain America movie, there are multiple references to it in the film, and while, like I said, it makes sense without having seen the other films, it makes more sense when you have seen the films. Just something to note. I also felt the pacing was a bit strange throughout the movie, since the climax of the film seems delayed due to a prior climactic moment (or three). 

On the opposite side, however, with things I loved about the film, I can't express to you how much I laughed during this movie. Where with Civil War I cried more than during any other Marvel film, this time I laughed more, and it was consistent and well placed, which is extremely important in action films like this. In particular, the post-credits scene had me in tears, and is well worth the wait, if you're patient enough. The characters all felt developed and included at just the right moment, especially in regards to the reveals of the film (of which there are several). 

But most importantly, the message of the film is consistent and clear: If you're nothing without the suit, then you shouldn't have it. This film about a coming-of-age teenager who just happened to fall into a world of superheroes proves a very important point about living up to the person you want to be, and following through with your actions. We may not all be Iron Man or Captain America or even your everyday neighborhood Spider-Man, but behind the suits, they're people who care and strive to do what's best, even if they are in the midst of a Civil War. They don't just put on the suit whenever they feel like doing good, but rather are able to do good whether they're wearing it or not, and that's important to remember. 

I won't lie, I think Spider-Man may just be my new favorite superhero, a spot that has, up until now, really only been held by Captain America (and, perhaps, a bit of Ant-Man). There was just something about the geeky Peter Parker donning his specalized suit and trying to live up and prove himself to his superiors, an idea that certainly resonates with those in my age group just starting to head out into the real world, where we too will have to prove that we are just as worthy without the suit as we are in it. 

If you haven't had a chance to see Spider-Man Homecoming yet, head to the theater as soon as you can to catch a showing, because the spoilers in this film are already everywhere and it's only been out a couple of days! Do yourself a favor and see it before you see the spoilers, because it'll be worth it! 

Have a magical day!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Day 1647: Do Your Research

You probably thought that this week's DCP Wednesday post would be about applications because now that you've decided to apply for the Disney College Program that's the next obvious step, right? Wrong! There's still more to do before you log in and click that fateful "apply" button! There's a lot going on with the Disney College Program, and it's good to know what you're getting into and what might interest you most before you get down to business (to defeat the huns). 

The initial application for the DCP will ask you common, customary questions you'd expect, like your name, school, and where you've worked, but it'll also ask you to rank your top roles, and that's a huge decision and a crucial part of the application process as a whole. What you write down at this point will impact your phone interview, potentially your acceptance into the program, and what you'd be doing if accepted, so it's important that you rank your options carefully. This blog post doesn't give you explicit descriptions of each role (you have to do some of the research yourself, after all), but I can promise you that, in the future, there will definitely be feature posts from various college program roles. 

First and foremost though, there's the decision of which college program you'd like to apply for. Since there are programs running consistently at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and there's several seasons throughout the year, you'll have to figure out which one is right for you. Personally, I applied for both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World programs, but put WDW as my priority location. The Disneyland program is drastically smaller than the Walt Disney World one, so your chances of being accepted to WDW are likely a bit higher, but if you don't have a preference, go for either, and if you do, notate that! I loved that I could apply for both programs at once, and I actually had a short conversation about it during my phone interview with my recruiter later on. 

Of course, when you apply makes an impact on the season you're applying for, and the best way to keep track of when applications are open is to sign up for email notifications. That way you won't miss when fall applications open months ahead of time in January. Depending on where you are in your college career and what works for you, it also might work better to do an advantage program rather than a regular seasonal program, meaning that, if you do Fall Advantage, you'll be applying to work from May/June to January rather than August/September to January like the rest of the Fall students. I've included the seasonal chart from the Disney Programs Blog below to give you an idea of what those seasons look like: 

Finally, you'll have to do some research on your roles before you actually apply. Doing your research ahead of time makes you more informed about what roles would be best for you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. For instance, I know that I really would prefer to stay out of Quick Service Food and Beverage roles, as well as anything to do with food because, while I love eating food, I just happen to know that it wouldn't be the right fit for me, especially since I have no prior experience in food service. However, after doing some research, other roles popped out as ones that would suit me well, such as Attractions (because of my experience in public speaking and crowd control), Front Desk (because of my experiences as Music Librarian and running Music Festivals), and, of course, PhotoPass Photography because of my experience with photography and videography. 

The best way to do research on these is to head over to our old pal Google and search for descriptions of each, although the Disney Program Website does feature an in-depth look at each role in the Earning section of the DCP page. I used these descriptions to get a general idea of what might work best, and then initially ranked each role. From there, I went to YouTube and Google and made additional searches to find out what real DCP Participants have said about each of their positions, getting a feel for what they're really like out on the job so I could make my final decisions on how I'd rank each role (you rank one on a scale of High, Moderate, Low, or No Interest). 

It's also important to note that there are different roles at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. For instance, there is only a Park Greeter position available at Disneyland, and Housekeeping is only at Walt Disney World. The available roles for each program are available on the DCP Website as well. 

Of course, there's more research headed your way in the future, specifically involving where you'll live and who you'll room with and how everything works in general, but let's just take it one step at a time. Now, go do some research! 

Have a magical day!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Day 1644: Change is Hard

Since Disney made more than one announcement concerning the future of more than one Disney Parks attraction the other day, the internet has been buzzing with controversy. As a Disney Blogger and YouTuber, among other things, it can sometimes be difficult to stay quiet when there's such continuous conversation abut the future of the parks - about what's right and what's wrong and what Walt would or wouldn't have wanted. But if I've learned anything in almost five years of blogging, it's that you should probably stay quiet until you've had enough time to truly come to a conclusion about how you feel, and then you should probably reexamine that feeling more than a few times over. For some, this might only take a few minutes, but I prefer to take a bit more time to sort out my thoughts, and I think I finally have.

We'll start with the first announcement, concerning the attractions currently sponsored by Siemens: Spaceship Earth, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, and it's a small world. So many seemed shocked by this development, but for me, it was just a few weeks ago that I scoffed at an article that suggested the company would obviously renew their sponsorship with Disney. It hasn't been a question in my mind for almost a year actually; Siemens wasn't going to renew and I was prepared for it.

Given the track record of sponsored attractions in the Disney Parks, the fact that these attractions have kept sponsors on board as long as they have is sort of astonishing. It wasn't until January of 2016 when I stood in the Test Track Chevrolet Lounge gazing out at the Universe of Energy that I truly realized just how important sponsors are for these attractions. There I was, standing tall and pretty in a brilliantly decorated and designed lounge at Test Track when just across the courtyard was Ellen's Energy Adventure, an attraction I've come to love and adore over the years, slowly decaying. The cast member who brought us up to the lounge caught me looking at it and began to explain the sad story of how, because it has no sponsor, the Universe of Energy is only maintained to the point where it can continuing running. They'd make those minor repairs, just enough to keep it going, but it quickly became obvious that not everything at Walt Disney World is meant to stay the same, and sometimes for more reasons than one.

Does that mean I'm terrified for the future of not only my favorite attraction, but also my favorite nighttime show? Of course. I'm always terrified for an attraction that loses a sponsor, because I've seen what they've done to attractions in the past, Maelstrom at the forefront of that list. It's not a matter of Frozen Ever After being bad, because it's not. It's more about the fact that, at some point, every single one of these attractions becomes a part of the staple, normal Disney experience. We welcome new attractions into the Disney Parks family, and we say goodbye to them too, and even after all this time, I still feel for those that have lost their favorite attraction. Sometimes I even fear of it happening to me too.

Which brings us to the second announcement from Disney Parks and Resorts: the changes to the Auction scene in Pirates of the Caribbean. To say I wasn't shocked about this announcement, unlike the sponsorship from Siemens, would be a lie. I couldn't have predicted this one in a million years, and for me, it seemed so out of the blue that I initially found myself angry. How could they take out such an iconic scene and completely change it? It seemed unnecessary, regardless of the fact that I completely and 100% agree with the reasoning for changing it.

It frustrated me, then, that I was so upset about something that I knew I shouldn't be upset about. I watched as Twitter exploded with arguments on both sides of the discussion, some calling it a necessary change, praising Disney for finally working its way out of the gutters of sex slavery and human trafficking, and others petitioning to put a stop to the changes altogether. It felt odd, to sit on the sidelines and watch as so many argued about the fate of an attraction that, for the most part, will stay the same when the fate of my own favorite attractions hangs in the balance.

So I stayed quiet, until I happened across a tweet that made a reference to the future of IllumiNations. What will happen when they likely announce the replacement for my favorite nighttime show at the D23 Expo later this month? Am I not supposed to be sad? Am I supposed to walk around praising Disney for getting rid of something that literally means the world to me simply because others can do without it and it's in need of a change anyway? Am I supposed to ignore those feelings simply because what follows IllumiNations might be better or more politically correct or in tune with the world we live in today?

Simply, the answer is no, and that's what's important here. It's ok to be sad about change, even the changes coming to Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes, Walt always intended for the parks to be continuously changing, but sometimes change comes with a forced hand, oftentimes after the departure of a long-time sponsor or a change in the social climate. Yes, it's incredible that Disney has waited until now to update the Auction scene in Pirates of the Caribbean when it should have been done years ago. And yes, perhaps if you're arguing that there's nothing wrong with the scene itself, you might want to reexamine your views.

But because these attractions, whether it be experiences as a whole or specific scenes, become a part of our Disney experience, we grow attached to them. There's something special about sailing on Pirates of the Caribbean and hearing "We wants the Redhead!" because it's something we've done for a very long time. I know it was incredibly difficult for me when they removed the smoke and distinct smell of the burning of Rome on Spaceship Earth, and while that was a much smaller change than what's coming to Pirates, it still affected me. It affected a lot of us, just as these new changes will.

And as hard as it might seem, it is time to move ahead. I'm incredibly excited about the New Auction scene in Pirates of the Caribbean, because it's obvious that Disney has already put a lot of time and thought into creating a better message while preserving some of the history and nostalgia from the attraction we grew up with. If that's what we're truly getting and that's how Disney is going to move ahead with whatever is coming next, whether it be for Pirates or Spaceship Earth, IllumiNations or the Universe of Energy, what else could we ask for?

Have a magical day!