Ladies and gentlemen, I’m officially a card-carrying, ID-wearing Cast Member at the Walt Disney World Resort!
That’s right, I have my Cast Member ID and nametag (hand-delivered by Mickey himself) and a smile the size of the Cheshire Cat’s. I had some training today and Traditions yesterday, and so many fun and amazing things have happened that I could spend years writing about the hours I spent at Disney University.
Unfortunately, there are some rules I must follow in order to avoid termination, and in order to preserve the magic, there’s not a lot of specifics I can mention. Honestly, I’m not really sure what does or doesn’t count as giving away too much information, but since I have a Disney-themed blog out on the World Wide Web, I’m a little scared of saying too much. So I will use lovely, vague, magical descriptive adjectives and you can imagine the rest.
But I digress.
I spent early yesterday morning driving to Disney University, taking the lovely toll roads past orange groves that glowed in the light of the sunrise. I carpooled with two of my classmates, also now Cast Members, who ensured we listened to nothing less than the most inspiring Disney music as we pulled into the parking lot.
The sun hit Disney University as the empowering melody of ‘Go The Distance’ from Disney’s Hercules swelled in the background.
We ventured inside, taking in the clean, crisp lobby. We were greeted and directed to the cafeteria to wait, after getting our professional business attire approved, adhering to the Disney Look.
We had two lovely leaders for Traditions. They were, as expected, very cheerful and welcoming, inviting us into the Disney Family with open arms. We watched inspiring film clips and learned about the company, even taking a jaunt into the Magic Kingdom to see the magic in action.
And can I just say….wow.
I wish I could be more specific, because I have tons of little stories that made this day magical, but I’ll just say in a vague, happy manner that it was a fantastic experience. And seeing Cinderella Castle for the first time since I moved down here? That was awesome. It was a Welcome Home moment.
And then, in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation on more Disney magic, there was a knock on the door.
And there stood the Mouse himself, to welcome us all to the family and give us our name tags, presented on a sparkling gold backdrop in a mirrored case.
I left ID in hand, name tag pinned strategically above my heart. (It’s the only acceptable location, really.) The second I got home, my roommate, a new annual passholder, exclaimed with the same enthusiasm I felt, “Let’s go to the parks!”
So we did!
Of course, we didn’t have much time. We arrived just in time to catch the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. I have the background of Wishes permanently engrained in my head, and this was the first time I ever stood and just plain enjoyed the fireworks without trying to capture it all on my camera. It’s worth it to just set the camera down and experience it. Watching it secondhand on film is not even close.
Even better, we had prime spots right smack in front. I’ve never seen the fireworks like that.
Perhaps it was the magic of finally accomplishing the goal of carrying that ID, wearing that nametag, getting the job…whatever it was, the night was absolutely magical. Even though it did take us until 1 am to get home due to the massive numbers of park guests all shoving their way onto the ferry and monorail.
Actually, we did get the chance to use the new Tangled bathrooms–world’s cutest bathrooms, by the way–and ride Space Mountain with a surprisingly short wait line. And I introduced my roommate to the magic of Dole Whips.
It was absolutely lovely. I will never forget it. After the longest day of lectures–no matter how lovely the subjects were, the day was very long– it was nice to stand in front of Splash Mountain and watch the log flumes fall, eating our Dole Whips, enjoying our first trip into the parks.
Hands down one of the most phenomenal feelings in the world.
It’s like Walt himself said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them!”
Lucky for me, the journey is just beginning!