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Disney Fan Lands Her “Dream” Job. Ninety Days Later, She Disappeared

A black and white photo of a castle with a color image of a woman superimposed, swinging on a rope with a big purple x mark across her.
Credit: Jordyn Bradley/Canva

A young Disney Parks fan dreamed for years about becoming a cast member at Walt Disney World in Central Florida. Then, while she was in college, her dream finally came true. But 90 days after beginning her new role, she disappeared.

Related: Fairy Godmother FIRED From Magic Kingdom Role After Uproar Over Photo

cinderella castle

Credit: Becky Burkett

What unimaginable nightmare was at work, and how did the young girl’s dream job go so wrong?

Years of Wishing Finally Results in a Dream Come True

Jordyn Bradley had dreamed of becoming a cast member and working at Disney World for years. She had already experienced the magic of visiting the four Disney theme parks in Central Florida, and it soon became her dream to someday land a job at the Most Magical Place on Earth to bring that same magic to others.

young girl at disney university

Credit: Jordyn Bradley

“Counting Down the Seconds” Until She Could Begin 

Her years-long dream of becoming a Disney World cast member finally came true when she was hired through the Disney College Program, and there had likely never been a cast member more excited about beginning her new job at the parks.

Jordyn was hired and told she’d begin her role as a cast member at Disney World in August that year. A Michigan native, she could barely contain her excitement as she prepared for her new role and moved to the Sunshine State.

A stylized red map of the united states with two stamps, one placed over the northeast and another over florida, connected by yellow dashed lines.

Credit: Canva

“That summer, I counted down the seconds until my start date,” she explained. “I moved to Florida in August, a month before my 20th birthday, and it was officially the farthest I’d ever lived from my hometown in Michigan.

The Dream Only Gets Dreamier . . . At First

When she originally began her job as a cast member at the parks, Jordyn says she was assigned to work at EPCOT during the annual International Food and Wine Festival that year. She was tasked with taking guests’ orders at various booths around the World Showcase and ensuring they got their food and beverages.

A smiling food vendor in a colorful uniform standing behind a food cart with a menu listing various dishes and drinks.

She was initially placed at EPCOT, where she served guests at the International Food & Wine Festival/Credit: Jordyn Bradley

“My responsibilities were different each day, which kept my job interesting,” Jordyn said of her first role at the parks. “I genuinely enjoyed it.”

But then, everything changed.

Things Quickly Took a Different Turn

“My program (through the Disney College Program) continued until January 2020, over a month after Food and Wine ended,” Jordyn explained. “Most of the College Program employees were reallocated to other parts of the Disney property, even though EPCOT’s next festival was starting soon.”

An actor dressed as santa claus reads a list in a festive outdoor setting with topiary and spectators in the background.

Pere Noel at EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays/Credit: Becky Burkett

Staying in her current place at EPCOT and serving guests at the next festival–EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays, which was set to begin just days after the Food and Wine Festival wrapped up–made sense to Jordyn. But she didn’t have the opportunity to give any input about where she would be placed.

Not only was she kept from working at the next festival, but she was also moved to a different theme park.

“I had no say in where I’d work next, and I ended up at Magic Kingdom,” she explained.

No Magic at Magic Kingdom

Jordyn says she always enjoyed going to Magic Kingdom as a child. She had always loved the parades, the fireworks spectaculars, and the rides. But she was extremely apprehensive about working at Disney World’s busiest theme park during the Christmas holidays.

“I knew working [at Magic Kingdom during the holidays] would be a shift from my chiller assignment at EPCOT,” she said.

A vibrant street scene at night on main street featuring a cinema with a lit-up marquee and multiple christmas trees adorned with colorful lights. visitors stroll along, enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Magic Kingdom during the Christmas season/Credit: Becky Burkett

It was there–at Magic Kingdom, the park she had always loved–that Jordyn realized her dream had become her nightmare.

“With my new location assignment, I had to undergo training all over again,” Jordyn said. “And by the time I was trained, I’d only be there for a couple of weeks.”

But only a few days after finishing her training at Magic Kingdom, Jordyn quit her job–her dream job–as a Disney World cast member. She just couldn’t do it anymore.

How Did the Dream Become a Nightmare?

So, why did she quit her job? After all, she had dreamed of being a cast member for years. Based on Jordyn’s story, there were several reasons.

A woman in a disney employee costume assists a customer, showing her something on a smartphone. they are surrounded by a colorful display of minnie mouse ears.

Cast member at Magic Kingdom/Credit: Becky Burkett

First, her experiences as a cast member ultimately soured the way she felt about her role.

“My feelings toward the job just weren’t the same anymore,” she admitted. “Even though I only had about a month left in my College Program, I quit after a couple of days of training at Magic Kingdom.” But there was more.

Jordyn says she wasn’t surprised that Disney World is very expensive, but as a cast member, she began to realize “how true that was for every aspect of the vacation–from park tickets to bottled water.” That realization began to take on a new meaning for her.

Related: Disney World Ticket Price Hikes Are Coming. Here Are the Least Expensive Days to Visit

Disney Restaurants

Credit: TK Peter Lee, Flickr

Jordyn also took issue with her compensation, saying she was only paid about $10 per hour to endure “grueling shifts in the Florida heat.”

To make matters worse, she was forced to work on holidays including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve–something she thought she would have loved.

disney halloween costumes disney character disney villain adult disney costume kids costume idea favorite disney character disney movie

Credit: Disney

“Being so far away from home and having to be ‘on’ all the time at work, even when I was tired or out of it, proved extremely difficult,” she explained.

The Ex-Cast Member Needed Some Space

Jordyn’s experience as a cast member completely changed her mind about working at the Walt Disney World Resort. But sadly, it also changed her mind about Disney World altogether.

“My feelings toward Disney World have shifted a lot since I started working there,” she said.

magic kingdom sad face

Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

Jordyn says she doesn’t regret her time as a cast member at Walt Disney World.
On the contrary, she’s thankful for the opportunity. But, truth be told, her experience not only left her frustrated; it also left a bad taste in her mouth for the Disney Company and Disney World and made it nearly impossible for her to get back to the viewpoint of a guest enjoying the magic–something she had loved before becoming a cast member.

“It took me a few years to return [to the parks] after I quit,” she explains. “It was difficult to transition back to the magical guest perspective after being a frustrated employee.”

fireworks at magic kingdom

Credit: Canva

Though she’s finally been able to return to the Central Florida Disney parks as a guest, Jordyn says that’s where it begins and ends.

“I don’t think I can ever work at the theme parks again,” she said, “but now that I’ve gotten some necessary distance, I’m finally ready to continue visiting as a guest.”

A joyful young woman with glasses, smiling and holding up a button that says "i'm celebrating: new chapter!", in a sunny outdoor setting with umbrellas in the background.

Credit: Jordyn Bradley

Jordyn is reportedly looking forward to the next chapter in her life, and we wish her well.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

4 comments

  1. Here we go again. A title that makes one think and concerned that a college program student has come to some harm and truly “disappeared”. Only to read the article and find out it is about a young adult who did not understand the work ethic and quit her job because she was being worked to hard and not paid enough. Oh yes, and she had to work holidays. REALLY!
    Now I think Disney should pay cast members more than they do. I think they have hard jobs dealing with people all day long, some of whom are not nice and even nasty about not getting what they want… often more examples of entitlement. Cast members should be paid double what they are. But that’s another conversation.
    And then we fine out she quit… she did not disappear. She quit. Ammazing.

  2. Boo-Freakin-Hoo honey . it’s a job get used to it!!! people have to work holidays! while I agree about the low pay.the other stuff you’re complaining about is just someone who needs to grow up. you didn’t think it was going to be hot in Florida? Grow up and stay in your parents house

  3. When she accepted her role in the Disney College Program (DCP) she agreed to be available 24 / 7 / 365. Also the DCP is a “PAID INTERNSHIP” and her rate was $10 p/hr with a guarantee of 30 Hours p/week.
    So she “Self Termed” yet thousands of others both American and International DCP participants were sent home due to the park & resort closure of 2020.

  4. OMG what a whiney brat I had to do work that I wasn’t aware of wa wa wa! You graduated from college did you expect a JOB to be fun all the time it isn’t called fun and games it is called WORK! A life lesson jobs are work and not all of them are what you chose to do. Read terms before signing!

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