Nataly and Jason
How We Met
After I graduated college, I decided to fulfil one of my life long dreams and applied for the Disney College Program 2013. With a little bit of faith, trust and pixie dust, I got accepted. Who would have guessed this experience was going to change my life in so many ways? I was a Merchandise Cast Member in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and was assigned to the Africa section of the park. Jason was my coordinator and the first months there we basically ignored each other’s presence. We were (and still are!) complete opposites, I was under the impression he was too nerdy for me and he thought I was too much into partying.
Still, out of nowhere, one day we just struck a conversation about Greek mythology, something we both are really into, and suddenly we became inseparable. He became my best friend and my patient listener every time I came back from a failed date. We always had a chemistry going on since we started as friends, but none of us was brave enough to act on it. Until finally, months after denying we had feelings for each other, we both decided to take a chance and went on our first date. It was perfect, it was magical, and it was frightening because we technically had an end date.
I was an international student in the US and my work permit ended a year after I graduated. The day we started dating marked a three month mark before I had to leave the States and go back to Panama, where I currently live. Still, we both decided it was worth a shot and decided to do long distance. And it really was worth it. Three years, countless flights to and from, and a gazillion calls and texts later, he asked <3. Back to where we started: in “Mombasa” the shop where he was my coordinator.
A picture from back in the day. We would always goof around while doing the closing of the store.
How He Asked
We had talked about marriage several times before, since we knew that was our end goal to ending the long distance. However, I had no idea when or how he was going to do it. Since he still currently works at Disney, he pulled some strings and planned a wonderful proposal with the help of the cast from the Lion King Show! This show is my all-time favorite and a must see every time I visit our park. I was visiting with my twin sister and her boyfriend and after landing “unexpected” VIP seating to the show, we were escorted outside at the end of it by a Cast Member. To my surprise, we were backstage and suddenly the cast from the show started to come out and asked if we wanted a picture.
Since the Cast Member had also brought a random pair of girls from the other VIP seating, and they looked as lost as I did, I didn’t think much of it and just thanked my lucky stars. We lined up for pictures and when it was our turn, my sister decided to take our picture. Little did I know, she started to record everything. And then he grabbed my hands and that was when I knew. His hands were cold and shaky, and as I looked at him, he got down in one knee and delivered the most wonderful and magical speech (which I am SO glad is caught on video because during that moment I was too excited to really process everything that was going on!) Of course, I said yes. Disney has given me memories that will last a life time, amazing friends and eventually my very own fairy tale with my real life Prince Charming.
Our initial photo, I still didn’t know he was going to propose.
The photo after I said yes.