I wasn't a CP. I was on the International Program, just like our friend from Morrocco. I worked Merchandise and Attractions in the Canadian Pavilion at EPCOT for a year. I can 110% say it was THE BEST year of my life. The job was exactly that a job. It wasn't always work. It was what you made it. I spent a lot of my time doing Take 5's and Magical Moments and that made the day go a lot faster. I'd dance with guests on the promenade, have water fights with SqueezeBreezes, crank call the UK CM's, pin trade, dress up our plush to look like hockey players, write notes to put in hotel deliveries, play games at KIDCOT, set up Easter Egg hunts at Easter...I could continue the list forever. It was the only job I've ever had that I have completely loved. Sure, there was a lot of the usual **** that goes on in every job...the same crabby guests...but for each crabby guest, I'd have 5 others that were so intrigued to meet me and talk to me about where I'm from...and I'm from Canada!! I can only imagine what it was like for the IPs from places like Morrocco. I think we were treated better in some ways than the CPs, but worse in other ways too. We make the same pennies an hour and pay the same for housing. We were lucky enough to have free laundry in our apts, internet was going in when I left and apparently we even had more cable channels. We received benefits after 3 months. Many of us were in the union...not by choice. We were tricked into signing on...for most of the IPs english is not their first language so it's easy to get them to do things because they usually aren't 100% sure what it is. CPs are lucky because they can take their experience and possibly move up within the company. IPs have zero chance of that because of VISA restrictions. CPs can participate in work activities outside of their assigned areas, so they can experience other things. IPs can only work in their pavilions because of VISA restrictions again and so we rarely got to escape the confines.
Yes, I too have heard lots of bad things about the CP, but I have heard lots of good things too. I can't first hand comment on the CP, but as for the IP, I'll be the first to jump up and encourage anyone to do it. I will also be the first to admit that I basically worked to support my year long vacation. I lounged by the pool on Christmas Eve (when can I do that in Canada), I played in the parks and had annual passes to all the theme parks in Florida, I went on a cruise, went to the beach and went all over Florida. I have friends all over the world. I too met the love of my life down there (but now we're stuck doing the UK/Canada commute, but we'll survive and figure something out). I had some good roomies and some bad ones. I've seen some of the horror stories first hand, but tell me when I will EVER have an opportunity like that again.
I have been home for a year now and I still miss it 100%. As do many of my friends. If I could go back, I would in a heartbeat. I was incredibly happy down there. Now I am stuck at home trying to find a job that makes me even half as happy as I was there.
Sorry this was long and ranting, I just hate when people get down on these experiences because they are valuable in so many ways.