From the Jungle Cruise to the Concrete Jungle

It’s a Friday night in New York City, and instead of going to a packed nightclub or bar, I’m snuggled up in my sweet Brooklyn apartment with an iced coffee and a determination to finally write something for this blog. I think about this blog a lot, mostly about how much I’ve neglected to properly update it. However, so much has happened since we last spoke, and I’m excited to be A Darling Back Home in NYC again.

So what’s new? Since I last wrote out my stream of consciousness on here, I was preparing to pack up everything and move to Florida for the Disney College Program. When I first started working at Disneyland back in 2018, I knew that participating in the DCP and working on the other coast was something I wanted to do. Prior to my program, I went to Disney World once with my dad for the 2014 Disney Dreamers Academy, which was such a life-changing opportunity! I knew I wanted to spend an extended amount of time there and learn how their park operations work.

The six months I spent working as a Jungle Cruise Skipper were some of the most fun, transformative, and amazing months I’ve had during my Disney experience. I quickly learned that there is no better feeling than making people laugh, smile, or roll their eyes in anticipation of my next comedically cringe-worthy pun. The last few years have been hard for everyone, and to give guests something to laugh and be silly about was truly a highlight of my program.

My program showed me that I’m more capable than what I give myself credit for. It’s no secret that College Program participants work long hours, but I felt proud keeping my energy up while working 12-hour shifts every day. While I was used to hectic schedules during my time at Disneyland, this program really forced me to evaluate my time management practices and take the necessary steps to be prepared and present for work every day.

And of course, the program was so FUN. On days off, I would go to the theme parks to go on rides, try the newest foods, and get my weekly fix of MuppetVision 3D. The people I met working here are some of my closest friends today, and I feel really lucky to have crossed paths with so many passionate, incredible people! I felt a sense of community from the minute I stepped onto the dock, and I feel really lucky to be a part of this silly family.

So what’s next? I could go on and on about how much the Disney College Program positively impacted my life, and how badly I needed to do this program to get closure and healing from a rough year. I moved back to NYC after my program concluded in February, and I’ve been fortunate to continue my journey at Disney on Broadway, where I get the chance to help out on Aladdin and Lion King. Aladdin was the first show I ever saw on Broadway (see below!), so it really feels like a full-circle moment to be here. I’m so grateful!

Life lately has been busy, hectic, and exciting, and I am so happy to be back in the city that never fails to make me dream big. I will be better at updating this blog with more adventures in the city, so stay tuned for more posts soon!

Until then, remember to chase your dreams, speak your truths boldly and passionately, and don’t let anyone tell you that fairytales can’t come true. It sure feels like mine has come true a whole lot lately.

xoxo, Jules.

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