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Tales From The College Program: Hilary Duff

Before I start this story, let me remind you that I was in the Walt Disney World College Program in 2003.  At the time Hilary Duff was one of the biggest stars on the planet.  Having said that, let's begin.

I remember one night when Dan and I were working The Link alone, I went home sick.  I had a real sinus attack and the last thing people want to see around their food is a dude who can't stop sneezing.  I went home and Dan closed down the restaurant by himself.  The next morning I was awoken by a phone call from Dan.  His roommate who worked at Blizzard Beach had called to tell him that Hilary Duff was at the park.  Dan loved Hilary Duff, so we decided "Why not, take a crazy chance" and see if we can meet her.

I'll pause here to give you some advice if you ever plan on trying to meet a celebrity.  The first rule should be "Dress in a way that is appropriate to your surroundings.  So, you want to meet Hilary Duff at a water park, wear a swimsuit.  Neither of us really thought about this ahead of time.  Dan was dressed in his usual cargo shorts and sandals which i'd say isn't perfect but is the second best thing to a swimsuit..  At the time I only owned probably 2 pairs of shorts, I wore jeans and chucks everywhere.  This was probably not the best choice, but I also decided to wear an Alkaline Trio shirt with this graphic.


It didn't occur to us how badly we were going to stand out until we reached Blizzard Beach, and by then it was too late.

We arrived at Blizzard Beach with little to no plan.  We just walked around in hopes that we would run into Hilary Duff.  What would we say to her if we saw her?  Most likely nothing.  We assumed she'd probably have some sort of Disney entourage who wouldn't let a couple of street clothes wearing idiots like us anywhere near her. Hilary and I are both from Houston, so she would totally be cool with meeting a fellow Houstonian, right?  Turns out tracking someone down in a water park that you've never actually been to is a lot harder than it sounds. 

We walked around the park for a little while and stopped at a large area with chairs and bungalows for people to sun bathe.  As we stood there discussing if we should continue walking around the park sticking out like sore thumbs or just call it a day, we noticed something.  In one of the covered bungalows on the opposite side of the sun bathing area we were being stared at.  Given what we (or I) was wearing this was not a big surprise. The surprise was that the person staring at us was Lalaine, who played Hilary Duff's friend Miranda on Lizzy Maguire.  

This created a somewhat awkward situation as the three of us just kind of stared at each other.  The conversation between Dan and I at that point went something like this.  "Why is she staring at us?  Does she think we are here looking for her?  Why is she still staring at us?  Should we go over there and say "Hey, don't worry we are just walking around looking for Hilary?"  No, that will surely get us kicked out and probably fired, let's get out of here....Seriously, she is still staring at us" 

We decided it was time to leave, with no sign of Hilary and Disney security possibly on their way looking for the only two people in the park not wearing swimsuits.  We don't even know if she even went to Blizzard Beach that day, but it was definitely an interesting adventure.

The is pretty much my Al Capone's Vault of College Program stories.

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