I feel very fortunate to be blessed with two wonderful and healthy children. My daughter Haley is 14, and I’m starting to believe she thinks the Disney channel is the only channel on TV because, other than iCarly, that’s all she watches. My 17-year-old son Bret acts like he’s too cool for Disney, but he really does love it. He’s what I call a closet Disney fan.
My son complains that all I talk about is Disney, Disney, Disney! Well, is there anything else worth talking about? The one thing that embarrasses him more than anything else is for me or for my wife to mention Disney in front of him and his friends. That’s when he acts like he’s too cool to be a Disney fan. Yet there are times, when he’s alone with us, that he shares his love for the place where dreams do come true.
Currently, Bret is a senior in high school, and he’s in the midst of applying to colleges. He’s focusing on culinary schools because his dream is to one day become a chef. I don’t want to mention the names of the colleges he’s applying to, but he favors one greatly over the others. When my wife took him to visit this particular culinary college, he was extremely impressed with the facilities and program. While the college’s facilities and program won him over, there is a little extra added bonus: the college has an internship program whereby students spend a semester working in their desired industry. One of the participants in the college internship program is Disney. So while Bret was speaking to us so enthusiastically about the culinary program, he also shared his excitement for the internship program and for how he would love to do his internship in Walt Disney World.
This wasn’t the first time Bret mentioned spending part of his college days in Walt Disney World. A couple of summers ago Bret was a Junior Counselor in a day camp. One late spring evening we dropped him off for a pre-camp staff meet and greet. When we picked him up later on, he didn’t want to talk about the camp–all he wanted to talk about was how his Senior Counselor had taken part in the Disney college program and how much she loved it. He told us that’s exactly what he wanted to do when he went to college.
Our most recent Disney vacation was this past July, and Bret still talks about the vacation as if it happened yesterday. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. Whether or not he’ll admit it, he absolutely loves Disney. He has told us on more than one occasion that he had the best time ever on our last trip. It was on this visit that Bret got to experience part of Disney property all by himself. He saw it for the first time not as a child but as a young man starting to understand and appreciate what Disney is all about.
I don’t know if Bret will be accepted into the college of his choice, but I do know one thing. If the opportunity ever comes along for him to study or work at Walt Disney World, he’ll have his bags packed and be on his way before you can finish saying Chef Mickey.
(Photo contributed by NDM #118)
Contributed by: Stuart S. (NDD #47). Stuart is our resident Disney geek and creator of Disney Geek Dad.