If Epcot was like being hit with frying pan in the face when I began Food and Wine, Magic Kingdom is like getting a reassuring, yet slightly intimidating hug. I awoke early this morning and dressed up, adhering to the Disney Look (timeless and refreshingly modest) and drove to the Magic Kingdom without using my GPS. (That’s quite a feat for me.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize getting to the Magic Kingdom takes significantly longer than getting to Epcot. Magic Kingdom (or, as Cast Members slangily throw around the acronym, MK) has a separate parking lot for cast, with a bus that runs to “the Tunnel.”
Here I will pause to add a fun fact: Magic Kingdom is actually built on the second level of the property. Underneath the park is a ground floor known as a Utilidoor, where the magic happens. That’s why the ground slopes as you walk towards Cinderella Castle–you’re accommodating the underground curtain where Mickey Mouse and his minions reside.
But I digress.
My commute takes me past Space Mountain (I can see already I’ll find myself greeting it cheerfully, the way I did this morning, “Good morning, Space Mountain!” every time I pass it by) and the Contemporary Resort. I just love the look of the Contemporary, it’s retro and gorgeous.
Then somehow I stumbled into the right parking lot and miraculously hopped on the right bus to take me where I needed to be. I met my orientation group and was given my snazzy headset. I spent the next few hours touring the Magic Kingdom as both a Guest and a Cast Member–the best of both worlds!
I was paired with a girl who was heading to the Bibbety Bobbity Boutique as a Fairy Godmother in Training.
“I was always meant to work here,” she sighed as we walked through the park. “I’ve wanted this my whole life. It feels like everything is falling into place. I’m supposed to be here.”
I felt the same way.
To add to the magic, Disney is now in full swing for the holidays. I’m from Wyoming, which is the land of snow and blizzards and wind, so sixty degrees with sunshine doesn’t feel at all like the holiday season to me, but the magic is tangible at Disney.
There will even be snow on Main Street to add to the season!
I feel as though a new chapter of my life has been opened, and I’m thrilled to see who and what will be a part of it.
I’m officially living my dream. Tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and get in my car and drive to work, like every normal American. But instead of a nine-to-five grind at a desk, I’m going to be cooking for guests at the Walt Disney World Resort, right next to Cinderella Castle.
That’s what they mean when they say, “Once upon a time is now!” Because it is. My storybook is just beginning. Wish me luck!