Phew! Today was a whirlwind. After getting up bright and early this morning I, along with 5 other Youth Activities Counselors, were whisked away from our hotel to be fingerprinted (super duper cool). Then we joined up with the rest of the other new Disney Fantasy/Dream crew members for Disney Traditions. Traditions is a special training course completed at Disney University (yes, there’s an actual building called Disney University within the Walt Disney World Resort) intended to teach you about all things Disney. Besides the same old boring Safety and HR spiels, we also went over a ton of Disney history trivia and played games to get us into the Disney culture and mindset.
For participation incentives, anytime someone spoke up or answered a question correctly, we were given a “critter,” which were little rubber toys of various Disney characters, such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy. But these weren’t just any old toys, oh no. These characters were clad in awesome nautical themed outfits. And of course, leave it to the table full of 20-something year old white girls to know their Disney trivia – we dominated the Name That Disney Character competition and soon our entire group was rolling around in critters.
We were then taken on a backstage tour of Magic Kingdom, where we got to walk through the network of tunnels beneath the park, which essentially make up their very own subway-esque urban city. By the time we returned to our classroom, who was there to greet us? Mickey Mouse of course! He stopped by right before his parade to say hi as well as to drop off our shiny new name tags. And when Mickey Mouse hands you your name tag, you know you’re officially part of the Disney Family.
Although 9 hours of Disney training was exhausting, the day was far from over – we ARE in Disney World after all. I spent the rest of the night with my fellow YACs, Sara (Mexico), Rosa (Ohio), Alice (Utah), Laura (England), and Mel (Australia) wandering around the Magic Kingdom park, finally ending the day with one last ride on Space Mountain, a dazzling parade, and a pretty awesome fireworks display.
Now I’ve got about 4 hours to catch some sleep before it’s time to check out and heave ho into the ocean.