Also known as – The Disney Life Crisis
So I recently turned 24.
I’m currently living at home with my mum – my stepdad, teenage sister and 2 cats in tow.
I have a pretty standard office job and having worked for the company for 3 years this month I’d say my job is pretty secure. I know what I’m doing, I know what my hours are; week in, week out, it’s pretty much the same.
I work in Marketing, so sometimes I get to write things, which is what I’ve always wanted to do at heart. Maybe not the things that I’d really want to write about – but I get to write none the less.
I have my own car, which I love, she’s called Peppy and she’s a dream.
I have a small circle of friends (emphasis on small) and my social life, although lacking, is probably better than most.
I’m pretty healthy. For 5ft 3 I weigh somewhere between 10 stone and 10 stone 7, depending on what kind of day it is.
I also have a new game where I try and walk 10 000 steps a day (with a desk-job this is tricky but it keeps me occupied.)
But recently I’ve hit a little bit of a wall with life in general. Although it’s pretty “cushty”, it’s not the life that I had in mind for myself at 24. Now, this is down to a variety of different factors, however, the main recurring component here is this:
I spend a God awful amount of time (even more than I’m prepared to admit) trawling through the Instagrams, the Twitters and the Facebooks of Disney Cast Members.
There. I finally admitted it. I follow them all. I’ve even started, for some unbeknown reason, stalking (or following) a number of Cast Members from Disneyland Paris too.
Don’t get me wrong, it started of pretty innocent, following and befriending the people I met at interviews, the people I’ve conversed with on forums and on the Facebook pages, people that I knew way back when …
But then I found their friends… the ones that tagged them in photos, the ones that they tagged in photos, the ones from Blogs I’ve read, the ones from YouTube, the ones Instagram Search recommended. I now follow so many Cast Members that 80% of my “recommended Instagram Search” is Disney related. It’s a little out of hand.
And that’s how I contracted Disney Envy.
Disney Envy is a real thing. It should ideally be listed in the Yummy Jobs side effects small print. Disney Envy is when the people you meet and know from whoever and wherever, get the jobs and adventures you wanted. Disney Envy is when you sit for hours scrolling through their photos and updates, until you feel yourself getting nauseous, agitated and a little angry.
Disney Envy is hideous, and I really wish I had never contracted it.
It launched back in April, when a friend of mine, from before I’d even heard of Yummy Jobs, flew out to Orlando to start their CRP programme. It was created a year ago, when said person asked for my advice on where to find the application, what to write, how to prepare. It initiated when they made it past pre-screens and into final interviews. I forgot about it when they were waitlisted. It re-activated with a vengeance when they got offered a start date back in October. I managed to almost forget about it again during the build-up down time…
But when they flew out in April. Then it became a completely different ball game.
Back in February, I came so so close to getting my dream of a HRC contract, until I fluffed up the final phone interview spectacularly and lost out. So I really wasn’t ready for someone I knew, and had so many mutual friends with, to go instead. All I could think was – “if I get a job now I’ll be copying,” and that was the “positive” voice in my head talking.
I got this really sickly feeling in my stomach, I’d been trying to get on this programme since 2013, but never quite reached it. They tried once on a whim, and landed it…
In the end I forced myself to unfollow them on all online media platforms. But this turned out to be fruitless, as they would only pop up in the photos with the other thousand people that I followed . There was no avoiding it, so I re-followed.
I don’t know exactly what it is about seeing people you know doing the programme that is so different to watching strangers do it, but there is a massive difference.
I even managed to convince myself that my friend was doing the programme all wrong. They definitely weren’t a Disney keeno and never had been. Never seemed to post photos with characters or the parks, only photos of nights out, cocktails and beach trips.
I convinced myself that I could, and would, do it better. I’d visit all the characters, I’d eat at all the restaurants, I’d stay in all of the hotels. Yes, I’d probably join the UK Lasses and go out once in a while, but I would do so much more…. I’d run (or walk) the Disney Marathons. I’d make friends from around the World (both the real one and the Epcot equivalent.) I’d join the VoluntEars. I’d book myself on a Disney Cruise.
I would be a GREAT Cast Member.
Now, I might be getting a little bit over-dramatic now, as things aren’t all bad. I admit, there’s no “right” way to do the CRP programme… There’s nothing wrong with exploring America, nothing wrong with sampling the night life, seeing the beaches – absolutely nothing wrong with having a good time. Isn’t that the whole point of the CRP programme? For you to experience the most Magic of years – regardless of what you find magical.
I’m fortunate to still have my Disney Friend, Louise. My Disney Envy sista through and through. Which is really useful! We seem to take it in turns to have our highs and lows: telling each other all about our bad days and why we’re sad; Getting overly excited about Disney rides, characters and attractions.
We have each other to remind ourselves that, at the end of the day, we’re both still fairly young. As my Grandma used to swear: Everything Happens for a Reason, and that one day – someday – we too will be Cast Members.
The whole application process with Disney is heart-breaking and not for the feint-of-hearted. It’s bound to be. So many people apply each time, so many people think they want it more than anyone else, but Yummy Jobs can’t possibly take everyone. It’s all down to Chance and saying the right thing at the right time.
I haven’t quite gotten over my Disney Envy, nor my Disney Life Crisis (as we so affectionately call it). Speaking honestly, I don’t think I’m going to any time soon. All I can do is try and stay positive, be happy for my friend for beating the odds and getting the job of a lifetime, and try harder next time applications open. As a wise man once said:
“By failure we learn, by success not so much”
“we keep moving forward.”
See ya real soon, Disney dreamers!
Love Kelly xxx
What are your Disney Envy experiences? And what do you do to overcome them? – I’m hoping to collect all of your answers to write a new article – “the shared Disney Envy experience” 🙂