Disney, don’t get me wrong. I love you. Making magic with Guests is what it’s all about.
But do you have to keep scheduling me for overnight party shifts?
At two AM this morning (tomorrow morning?) do you know where I’ll be? I’ll be in Patagonia, drizzling oil on the permanently-leaning flat top, dancing to Taylor Swift or Ke$ha (last year it was a lot of Ke$ha) after chugging red Powerade and eating my weight in gummy worms, trying to stay awake.
Tonight I will watch the sun set over a splendid view of World Showcase, and I will still be there when it rises. Epcot, my darling, you are always beautiful, but at five in the morning I will probably not notice that. I will only notice one thing: I either need more sleep or more caffeine. Or both.
The Wine and Dine Half Marathon is this crazy dream of Disney’s that involves esteemed, high -paying Guests running 13 miles straight at wee hours of the morning, culminating in a big, final feast at the Food and Wine Festival where they eat, drink (a lot) and “protein spill” into the bushes.
Those poor custodial Cast Members. Sometimes I wonder what genius sat down and said, “You know what would be fun? Making people run a half marathon and then loading them up on lots of food and alcohol!”
But Guests seem to find it fun, and so here we are. I really commend you who do it, I can only handle the eating part, minus the running.
And don’t get me wrong, Cast Members don’t suffer abuse working this event. We treat it like a party — Epcot’s usual chirpy elevator music is replaced by pop hits and bright lights, and even though we’re working, most business is slow enough to accommodate dancing, laughing, Guest interaction and a lot of really good people- watching.
Inebriated Guests can be funny. And this is the one night a year Epcot feels a lot like a party, less like a family -oriented educational experience.
Plus a lot of us are on overtime, so that’s always nice.
Last year I partied Wine and Dine style in Belgium, this year I’ll be in Patagonia. For a good long while this will be my final Food and Wine Festival. I’m terribly sentimental about it and I have stories to regale you with, and I will.
But first? I must survive tonight. Wish me luck! (And if you’re running, come say hi!)