End of Program. For our CPs, those are the saddest words in Disney’s vernacular. It means they’ve reached their last shift as a Disney Cast Member and the end of their dream of working for the Mouse.
For parents, it means a return of our CPs to home, college and the next step in their journey. For a lucky few CPs, they will have been offered part- or full-time jobs with Disney and will stay on, continuing to make magic.
For one family, however, the Spring 2016 program has changed their world dramatically, unexpectedly and instantly. One CP went to sleep one night and natural causes conspired to fail his wakening the next morning. It was not End of Program for this CP but an end of their world for his family.
As parents, this news caused us to face our greatest fears. We hugged our kids tighter, whether in person, on the phone or via facetime. We send our children into the world hoping for the best. We’ve been accused of living vicariously through our children on the Disney College Program. Guilty! But we want the best for them – and, thankfully, most of us do enjoy the reward of seeing them achieve their very best.
As a gesture of community and love, we present this video compilation created by our Facebook community member, Sharon Costello, that highlights many of our children and their adventures from acceptance into the program, to arrival, performing their roles, having fun and through to graduation.
In posting this video, we honor the memory of William Gracia, the CP whose End of Program arrived too soon. We also offer special remembrance to one of our own group parents, Dan Johnson, who was taken unexpectedly during his daughter’s program.
In the words of the one who started it all, it’s not goodbye but, rather, “See ya real soon!”