If you’ve taken part in a Disney program, you’ll have so many amazing memories. There will always be ones that stand out when you look back on your time. I’ve managed to narrow mine down to these seven Cultural Representative Program highlights that will forever bring a smile to my face.
- Christmas – Christmas was one of my favourite times on my program. I didn’t want to mimic a traditional one as it would make me miss home. I spent two nights in Port Orleans Riverside with Jen, Vikki and Holly. We all had to work on Christmas Day but there was an amazing atmosphere in the UK Pavilion. In HRC, we had our own Christmas party with some food and I brought my Mac in to take lots of pictures on Photo Booth.
- Road Trips – I managed to do three incredible road trips whilst I was living in Orlando. All in about 3 months of each other! My first was driving to Washington DC for a friend to have an interview. I was there for all of about 10 hours then we had to drive back. Although it was short, it was really spontaneous and I got to see some of the monuments. My second was Savannah and Charleston with Vikki which was for both of our birthdays. We geeked out discovering their history and celebrated with many cocktails whilst pretending to be Southern Belles. Finally, was my road trip with Rhona to Nashville and the Smokey Mountains. I fell completely in love with both places, I could happily live there. Live music, beer and the mountains only a few hours away.
- Fall – The UK just doesn’t do ‘Fall’. Magic Kingdom had the best decorations! Pumpkin flavours and smells are my favourite so I adored walking down Main Street during Autumn. I also had a little pumpkin carving party with a few friends to really submerge ourselves in the American culture. Leigh and I went to Celebration to take some photos in the little pumpkin patch there too.
- Oakland to Winter Garden – When Rhona first arrived back in Orlando, we biked from Oakland to Winter Garden. It was only about 3/4 miles, but in the Florida humidity and July heat, it wasn’t easy. The route was so incredibly pretty and we had a wander round the shops and cafes. Before cycling back glistening in sweat!
- Star Wars Half Marathon – Running a half marathon has always been on my bucket list. I wanted to take part in Run Disney during my CRP so I decided to merge my goals. The run itself was amazing! Cast members get you really motivated and other runners keeps you going. You can stop for character meets whilst going through the parks but I tried to just keep going to see how quickly I could do it. The medal is really cool too which is half the reason I wanted to do it. I was lucky enough to take part in the Inauguaral Star Wars run which started at Hollywood Studios (I think!) and ended at ESPN.
- Four Park Challenge – One of my favourite days was with with my Canadian roommate and best friend, Delaina. We did the ‘Four Park Challenge’ for one of her last days in Disney. We managed to get a picture in every park in front of the icons and it was a the perfect way to say goodbye. Crying in every park in one day was definitely not on my bucket list!
- Magic Kingdom After Hours – Christian, Vikki and I were lucky enough to be given a magical moment of tickets to Magic Kingdom After Hours. I’m not sure if these still occur but it’s an event after close from 10pm-1am that you have to pay extra for. You get free ice cream and soft drinks and because there are less people in the park, you can walk on to most rides. We were even lucky enough to get the photo below taken by the Guy Behind The Castle as we were the last ones in the park.
There are so many other memories I have from Disney but these are just a few that always stick out in my mind. Most of my highlights are from the latter half of my program, it really is true that you cram the most in towards the end. Time starts to tick and you start to say ‘yes’ to everything. Spontaneous days can become some of your Cultural Representative Program highlights! This is where I think having ‘FOMO’ has its benefits. If I wasn’t worried about missing out, I probably wouldn’t have done half of my favourite things.