About the Author

Some people claim to have an obsession with Walt Disney World. With 46+ trips to Disney World under my belt, I would definitely say I qualify. A student working on my major in English and minor in hotel, restaurant and tourism management, working for Disney just seemed like the most logical step! Now, I'm addicted to the backstage magic, as well as what the Guests see. This should be interesting...

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Amber Earns Her Ears

by Amber Sewell

Amber Sewell is 'earning her ears' at Disney World from the ground-up: her first experience as a Cast Member was her participation last year in Disney's CareerStart Program. Maybe you saw her at EPCOT's Electric Umbrella? If not, you'll be 'seeing' a lot of her on Disney Dispatch as she shares her stories about what it's like to be young and working for the Mouse. Amber's stories are fun, fascinating, and plain ol' fantastic. And maybe, just maybe, they'll put you on the road to earning your ears, too.

It Finally Happened!

NOV 22Amber and her roommates fail inspection and face the repercussions of a messy, dirty apartment.

And Universal Studios Too!

NOV 7Amber heads over to the competition - Universal Studios Orlando and talks about their parks as well as a trip to Cocoa Beach.

The World Continues On Much the Same

OCT 26In one of Amber's most intriguing and insightful articles, she explains the vortex of working for Disney. It's a great place to work but can suck you in and causes some to lose sight of their real life goals. Great article, Amber. Oh, and a lesson in hair coloring.

A Lack of Excitement

OCT 10Amber explains how even working at Walt Disney World, the Happiest Place on Earth, isn't always exciting. Sometimes, there is just nothing special going on.

Autumn Arrives

OCT 5If there's one thing that's a relief in Orlando, it's when autumn rolls in and the weather makes that end of year turn. Crowds are usually smaller and Epcot's Food and Wine Festival arrives. Amber fills us in.

A Week of Adventures

SEP 27Amber has costumes, cookies and Crossroads to deal with this week - as well as a special castmember tour of Haunted Mansion.

Transportation Convenience

SEP 21Amber discusses the difficulties of getting around without a car and using a bus for such simple tasks as grocery shopping.

Ready to Go Home!

SEP 16While working at Disney is a dream come true for many, Amber is feeling the homesickness and is ready to wrap this journey up!

Just 17 Weeks to Go!

AUG 31Amber gets her first taste of Grocery Bingo and a tasty treat also.

Amber Gets a Thank You Card

AUG 15 After a trip to Cocoa Beach that turned out well, and a trip to an orange grove that didn't turn out so well, Amber gets back to work, and learns to her surprise that someone signed her up for "package pickup" training. But there is a happy ending...

Behind the Scenes with Disney Merch

AUG 8 When you buy a trinket or a treasure at one of the multitude of Disney carts or shops, you probably don't give much thought to how things work behind the counter. Amber's role in the College Program is merchandise, and this is how she does her job.

Amber Circles the Wagons

AUG 1 Lately, Amber has had some hard times in the happiest place on Earth, with mouse malaise marring what she hoped would be a magical internship. But after an unfortunate 'sick-up' near a Captain EO cart, Amber appears to be regaining her mojo.

Amber and the Rippy Roommates

JUL 18 As part of her Disney World College Program Internship, Amber this week deals with guests who dangle babies over sharp machinery, a Captain EO fan who WILL dress her kids in Captain EO merchandise, and a minor roommate rumble back at the apartment.

Amber's Time of Disney Discontent

JUL 18 After a marvelous trip to New York and attendance at the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie, Amber returns to the College Program at Disney World feeling... discontent. Is it dull work? Is it sleep deprivation? Amber explains...

Amber's Wild Week at Disney World

JUL 4 It all started quite well: Amber meets Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, and scores a FastPass from Peter Pan, but then things go all to hell as a child gets stuck in a fountain at Downtown Disney and Amber is accosted by a drunken guest.

Tales of Broken Disney Dreams

JUN 27 Is Amber ready for her close-up at Disney's College Program? After nearly collapsing in the heat last week at EPCOT, Amber decides to audition for a 'face' role with the company. The audition involves someone staring at her... face. And there's more...

Amber at EPCOT: Heat Stroke and Arithmetic

JUN 21 Sometimes, it's the little things. Forgetting a water bottle. Avoiding heat stroke at EPCOT. Mental arithmetic. Thinking on Sunday that it's still Saturday. Amber deals with all that and more in Disney's College Program.

Disney College Program Diary: Week 2

JUN 6 How many readers are jealous of Amber's dream gig as a Cast Member in Disney's College Program? Everyone? I thought so. This week, Amber tells tales of her second week making magic for others in Disney World, including an inventive use of Crush.

Amber Starts Work in Future World

MAY 30 If you doubt you'll ever join the Disney College Program, relax: you can ALMOST experience it first-hand through Amber Sewell's weekly reports from Disney World. Amber has just made it through her first week in the program. Let's see how she did.

Amber Starts the Disney College Program

MAY 23 Amber has earned her ears! Well, her CareerStart ears, anyway. But now she's returning to Disney World as part of the College Program, which often serves as a springboard to full-time Disney employment. Let's follow her back to the Mouse.

Amber Bids Disney World Farewell

MAY 16 Few events are so fraught with regret as departure from Disney World. But the magic can't last forever, and now it's Amber's turn to pack up, her stint in the CareerStart Program over. Sad, yes - but is the magic really over? Will Amber ever return?

Amber Remembers Some Castoff Cast Members

MAY 9 Bittersweet, Amber reflects upon CareerStart participants who did't make it through the program, some because they stole from Mickey or fell down drunk in the Grand Floridian, others because they were homesick, and others just because.

Amber Learns Where Things Go

MAY 2 In the excitement of starting work at Disney World as a Cast Member, it's common to overlook the duller points of the job, such as where to pick up your costume and where to find the Cast cafeteria. Amber Sewell learned it all and now fills us in.

Amber Spends Easter at Disney World

APR 25 Everyone knows about the Easter Bunny, right? Not May, a Chinese girl and Amber's newest Disney roommate. Together with her other roommates, Amber decides to teach May about one of America's most cherished traditions: Easter eggs. Disney style!

Amber Deals with Disney Stress

APR 18 Sure, it's the happiest place on earth - but not necessarily when you're working there. Disney expects its CareerStart (and College Program) Cast Members not only to work hard but to look the part. Amber learns the Mouse can be a real taskmaster...

Amber Finds a Friend Over French Fries

APR 11 Now fully indoctrinated into Disney's CareerStart Program, Amber begins work at the Electric Umbrella in Epcot where one day she makes a new friend through circumstances unusual even by Disney standards: fallen French fries.

Amber Loses Her Way

APR 4 Amber made it to Orlando for the start of the CareerStart program, successfully completed her Traditions course, got her apartment, met her roommates, and finished her training at the Electric Umbrella. What could possibly go wrong...

Amber Trains at the Electric Umbrella

MAR 28 Finally, it's here: training! After all the time spent applying to the program, worrying about acceptance, driving to Disney World, meeting her roommates, and finishing the formalities, Amber starts training for work at Epcot's Electric Umbrella.

Amber Attends Casting and Traditions

MAR 21 Now that Amber has moved into her Disney World apartment, it's time to get busy. First up: Casting, where she's transformed into a Cast Member and discovers where she'll be working, and then Traditions, where she learns what it all means.

Amber Moves into Her Disney Apartment

With roommates and lots of closet space, Amber's ready for CareerStart!

MAR 14 Amber Sewell continues her CareerStart tale with her triumphant arrival in unseasonably cold Orlando, where she meets her roommates, gets a temporary nametag, and makes herself at home in Chatham Square, one of Disney's Cast Member apartment complexes. 'It was Florida. Florida is not supposed to be cold.' Well, clearly, I... MORE

Amber Drives to Disney World

With the Mouse awaiting her arrival, Amber hits the road

MAR 7 Amber Sewell continues her CareerStart tale with her drowsy, occasionally dangerous drive to Orlando in time for her check-in date and official start as a temporary Cast Member. 'I hope you're gonna be able to stay awake for the entire drive down,' Dad told me smugly, staring at the bulky cardboard box containing my... MORE

Amber Packs Her Bags

Amber Sewell packs her bags for Disney and the CareerStart Program

FEB 28 One day I was meandering through my favourite unofficial Disney forum when I realized I had a private message. It was from a girl (Paige) on the College Board who'd seen my roommate survey. We had a lot of things in common, she pointed out, including our favorite show, Gilmore Girls. Anyone who liked... MORE

Amber Hears from the Mouse

And she can't wait to find out what he has to say

FEB 21 At three weeks I was starting to get nervous. I was seventeen, after all. Even though I have an excess of enthusiasm for Disney, I thought that my age might be my potential downfall. I didn't think I said anything wrong in my interview, but I kept going over that first five minutes, when my interviewer had... MORE

Amber Aces Her CareerStart Interview

But will Disney accept her into the program?

FEB 14 Finally, the time for my interview arrived. There was no call. My stomach clenched as I watched the unmoving numbers on the screen of my phone, prepared to jump when the phone rang. A minute passed; then another. And instead of a ring, my phone began to vibrate. I had a voicemail. My stomach dropped as I... MORE

Amber Makes Her CareerStart Plans

After high school, the plan is - CareerStart at Disney World!

FEB 7 As we reached the end of our little back road, about to turn onto the highway to begin my 655 mile journey to Orlando, I set my iPod to my Disney playlist and selected 'Go the Distance'. As young Hercules sang of fulfilling his destiny, my indicator clicked off as I began a journey of my own. Now to... MORE