Happiest place on Earth

For those of you who follow me on social media, you know that I took last week off to gallivant around Orlando with my friend Amy. She convinced me to join her on a very scary looking roller coaster, where the pre-pubescent attendant actually made me shove all of my belongings in a locker so my family would have something to remember me by in case my body went hurling through the air, landing somewhere near the Island Adventure section of the park.

I rode it twice. And looked like this after collecting my belongings from the locker.

Lincee

Those of you who are hard core will question my loyalties to Disney, wondering why I would even waste my time at “the other park” in Orlando.

1. It has Harry Potter. Where else am I supposed to get a wand?
2. It has really fast roller coasters.

Let the record show that my first love will always be Disney World. I collected anything Mickey Mouse as a young girl. I watched every Disney movie. I was able to go on my first trip to Disney World when I was in sixth grade. I dressed up as Walt at my junior high “what do you want to be when you grow up” career day. I longed to be on the new Mickey Mouse Club.

And when my college professor looked me in the eye and asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I couldn’t help but blurt out that I wanted to work at Disney World. You can imagine the shock and amazement of a young girl from a tiny town in East Texas, when she received an acceptance letter for a six-month long fall internship at the happiest place on Earth.

People sometimes poke fun at how many times I have visited Disney World in my adult life. They don’t understand why I would want to go to the same place I’ve been before. Why wouldn’t I go to a beach or the mountains? Doesn’t it get old?

For me, Disney is woven into the tapestry of who I am as a person. As a young girl, it represented magical lands and handsome princes. When I got older, it represented adventure. We didn’t go on vacation. I didn’t have a passport. I could count on one hand how many times I had been outside of my own state. To even think about moving across the United States to work in place I had admired for more than half my life seemed unrealistic.

Until I got the letter.

Disney taught me to embrace the person God made me to be. I learned to be independent. I became bold and comfortable in front of an audience as a Jungle Cruise skipper. I became a better listener. I became a more patient person. I was a complete nerd and spent most days (even when I wasn’t on the clock) soaking up every inch of Disney property. I worked hard to secure my Ducktorate degree (yes that is a real thing) and as a result, I believe I landed more job interviews when I returned to the real world.

Disney World isn’t just a theme park to me. It’s a major tick on my timeline of life. And if I ever get a chance to return and take a boat ride through the jungles of the world, I will not hesitate. I owe it to the girl who proudly put on that monochromatic uniform 15 years ago. Because of her, I am who I am today.

Jungle Cruise

Make sure to catch that 3:00 parade.

If you do catch it, let it go. It will drag you all the way to Main Street.

Comments

10 Comments on "Happiest place on Earth"

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Molly
Molly

You were clearly an outstanding Cast Member! Kudos!

Kim
Kim

Lincee, I haven’t met you but I can honestly say you would be the worlds best Jungle skipper and would keep the crowds so entertained. I love it when people do their best no matter what their job is! The world needs more people like you that take pride in everything you do…even a job at Disney!

Susan
Susan

OF COURSE Disney World is the best job any person could ever have! Glad you gave it proper respect and yes, you probably were one of the greatest jungle cruise directors. I always thought they gave that particular position to the cream of the crop!

Kris
Kris

Hi Lincee,

I’m looking at 60 very soon (not sure how this happened…) and one of the regrets of my life is that I didn’t pursue my dream at 20-21 of working at Disneyland, on the left coast. I would have been thrilled to do anything (pretty much) but to be a Jungle Cruise operator! Wow! I don’t know why I didn’t do it, laziness maybe, maybe timidity, but I should have! And you did. Way to go Lincee!

Kristin
Kristin

I was a huge new Mickey Mouse Club fan. i wanted to be on it really bad. I practiced the “running-man” so much, hoping I would get to be on it. I did get to be in the audience once!

Melanie
Melanie

My husband’s and my retirement plans include working at Disney. How awesome would that be?!?

Kelli
Kelli

Now I want to see a picture of you in your Jungle Cruise uniform

Lincee

I had no idea working at Disney was the dream of so many people! You should all do it.

And Kelli – I’m digging up a JC picture now. Get ready for some monochromatic awesomeness.

JennyK
JennyK

I visited Epcot in 1990, but finally made it to Disney last year…it was the time of my life. And worth the 23 year wait.

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