by Julia Camara
Elizabeth de Graaf is a writer, blogger, and Disney World employee. After graduating from Taylor University in 2013, she moved to Florida, taking a seasonal position at Disney World. As an employee she mainly works in the Magic Kingdom, selling merchandise and making magic for people. “We make magic by handing out pixie wands, stickers and buttons,” she said. Elizabeth created a blog called Lizzie in Disney, full of tips and stories of her life at Disney World.
As a writer, she regularly updates her Facebook and blog, answering various questions from, “Can I bring my cat to Disney?” to “What kind of rides are there for my three year old?” Elizabeth is also working on a new draft of her novel. A few years ago, she brought her manuscript to a writing conference and met some editors. She soon hopes to be signing with a contractor.
Born in California, Elizabeth grew up next to Disneyland. She developed a love for all things Disney and admired how the workers gave people an experience like no other. Her passion for writing came from creating stories in her high school English class. “I’d always known how to create stories with acting but with writing I learned how to create stories with pen and paper.”
Coming to Taylor, Elizabeth says she had no idea what to do with this new found passion. However, her life as a Professional Writing student changed her perspective. “I left having a clear idea of what it meant to be a writer . . . I found it changed my view of how to use writing to show the world who Jesus is.”
Working at Disney hasn’t always been easy for Elizabeth. “It’s a very dark culture,” she said. But from the support of her church she’s been able to highlight Disney’s finest qualities. The inspiration for her blog came from the dozens of emails she got from friends and family asking for advice on what the best rides and restaurants are in Disney World. Through the blog she’s been able to mix her love for writing with her love for Disney. “Life as a writer at Taylor taught me how to be a Christian writer in a secular world.”
Elizabeth says her favorite book-to-movie adaptation is Harry Potter. “Harry Potter is my favorite book series in the whole entire world and I absolutely love the movies.” She says that though they change some things in the movie, they keep the essence of the book by keeping the essence of the characters.