I’ve Been a Bad Blogger!August 16, 2009
As I was reading other people’s blogs, preparing to do this program, I noticed a trend: many people began really strong, posting several times a week, but once their program started, the number of posts dropped off dramatically. As a reader, I found this understandable, but frustrating. I really wanted to know how the program would go, what I could expect, what would happen when I finally got to Disney. I promised myself that I would be diligent with my blogging, continuing to record my experience no matter how long the days were, or how late I was working. I told myself that I would find the time. And yet, here I am, five days into my program, and I’ve only posted once.
And, oddly enough, time hasn’t been the problem. Sure, I’ve been busy. But there has also been plenty of down time. I still haven’t worked a full day since I got here half a week ago. But the real issue has been content. Although there has been plenty of exciting things happening, there has been a lot of hesitancy to share too much, and this has intimidated me whenever I thought about sitting down at the keyboard.
Disney is very serious about protecting the magic: they take the revelation of backstage information very seriously. So much that’s happened in the last few days has taken place backstage, that it’s difficult to know what is considered confidential, and what I can write about freely. Even if I was sure what I could write about, I wouldn’t know where to begin. So much has happened in these last few days. I’m going to try, however, so this post may be extra long. Let’s get started, shall we?
On Friday, I went to Traditions, the general Walt Disney World training session. Parts were a little…less interesting than others. But most of it was actually interesting, and even a little inspirational. The things they talked about—how we can create magic for guests, why so many people return to WDW over and over again—made me feel lucky to be a Cast Member. That afternoon, two of my roommates, Brit and Melissa, and I went to the Magic Kingdom to cap off a great Disney day. We spent several hours at the park, seeing favorite attractions, viewing the parade, and just soaking up the atmosphere.
As exciting as Friday afternoon was, Friday evening was less inspiring and a little more depressing. I spent the evening with my Mom and stayed with her at the hotel so I could take her to the airport first thing Saturday morning. I was prepared for a long goodbye on Saturday and maybe even a few tears, but, after being told at the ticket counter that they would be closing the gate 30 minutes before takeoff, leaving my mom 2 minutes before they closed, there was so little time for goodbyes that we just hugged quickly before she ran off through security. It really did make the process easier, though it was a little startling to find myself on my own so quickly.
On my way back to the apartment, I decided to take advantage of the full awesomeness of having nearly unlimited entry privileges at the Disney parks. I swung by Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where I will be working, to check out possible work locations. It was around 8:30 when I arrived, and, although the park wasn’t supposed to open until 9:00, all of the areas seemed to be open. I shopped for a little in some of the shops on Discovery Island, and then decided to see if I could get on Dinosaur. I could and did, and walked almost straight onto the ride. Then I left. I was out of the park before 9:30, just as it was starting to get crowded and hot.
Today was my first real training session, called DAKlimation. If Traditions was the general WDW training, then DAKlimation was the general Animal Kingdom training. Tomorrow I’ll have training specific to my area, but today was mostly about learning the basic theming of each land in Animal Kingdom, and taking a guided tour around the park and backstage areas.
Then we got our costumes. Mine is pretty bad, but at least I met several other people who have to wear the exact same thing. It has a skirt, which isn’t bad, but the top is like a tent with a giant striped collar. So when I go to my training tomorrow, bright and early, I’ll be wearing my gorgeous new ensemble, complete with hose.