Wow. Thats about the only feeling I had on this day. How is it already graduation? How do I only have two weeks left? WHERE DID THE TIME GO!? These were the thoughts running through my mind as I waited an hour to get a picture with the bossman himself in his graduation best. So what exactly is graduation you may ask? Allow me to explain!
Disney Graduation is held the day or two before the first group departs the program. For example I was the second departing group on May 18th, but the graduation was held on the 9th and 10th to accommodate those who left on the 11th. Yes, graduation is two separate days because like Starlit Splash Disney does not guarantee you will have work off in order to attend. By hosting it on two different days it allows CPs to have a better chance of being able to attend one. You are only allowed to attend one graduation and must RSVP which day you will be attending prior to the event. Also I should note that this was only from Spring DCPs and ICPs, there was separate graduations recently held for Spring Advantage DCPs closer to their departure date.
I went on the first day and was happy to find out that most of my roommates were able to attend that day as well! My first piece of advice is be ready EARLY. Graduation is held in the Chatham field which just so happened to be right next to my apartment. The reason I say get there early is because the line started to form a solid hour before the event started. This line, by the time we got there about 20 minutes prior to the start, was already hitting the security building at the entrance to the complex!
Once it hit time for the event to start we were moved swiftly into the venue space. On our way in we were each given the famed graduation ears. Accepting those ears was the first stroke of reality that made me realize this was actually happening. How many Vlogs and pictures had I seen of people in this exact moment in programs before me? The number is too large to count. This was the moment I had dreamed of not just for months, but for years. After waiting in line to receive my certificate of completion we moved on to another much longer line. The wait even though it felt as if the line itself wasn’t even moving at times was worth it. When I entered that classroom thats when it hit me full on. It felt surreal. This was happening. I did it. I completed a dream of mine that had been growing in my heart since I was in kindergarten. My roommates ran into the open arms of the Mickey and Minnie as the emotions hit. It was a swift meet and greet as there was plenty of other eager DCPs waiting behind us, but it still meant the world to me. That was memory and photo I knew was going to stay with me for a lifetime.
After that it was time to get some grub. The food was a Mexican, BBQ mix with churros and cookies for dessert! Overall it was delicious and filling. Then came time to find a shady spot with a pretty background for a photo shoot. Like the basic Disney girls we are we clearly needed to take 1,000 photos to make sure we got at least one perfect picture to commemorate the moment. After plenty of pictures, we received shadow boxes to hold all of our memories, enjoyed music from the live DJ Disney hired, then went on our merry way. We had the option to wait in another line to meet the Three Caballeros (who else when the theme was Fiesta), but due to the time constraint (because unfortunately I had work that night) and the lack of wanting to wait in another line, we went back to our apartment.
Overall it was an amazing day. I felt like Rapunzel who had finally seen the lanterns and realized it was time for me to find a new dream. One recommendation I do have is to take the graduation ears and bring them to the Magic Kingdom. I suggest getting them embroidered to commemorate the program. For example, mine says “Aloha Princess” and underneath that it says “DCP 2017.” This way these tasseled ears can go on display in my house for all to see. It reminds me of when I did the program (just in case I do another in the future) and my dole whip swirling nickname. Another suggestion would be taking your embroidered ears and do another photoshoot in front of the castle! My roommates and I did this with our embroidered Traditions ears! (Missing Miranda in this picture because she was working) This was another special moment. It was a time that allowed us to celebrate our accomplishment together.
Below I created a little video that combines some of my favorite moments and clips from throughout my program. I decided to make this video to give a brief overview of how amazing this program really is and why no one should pass up this opportunity if it is given to them. Enjoy.