Today was Traditions day! Traditions is the class that every new cast member (employee) must go through in order to work for the company. The class talks about Disney’s heritage, company goals, and policies. Cristina and I had Traditions at 8:00am so we had to catch the bus by 6:55am! Our other four roommates didn’t have Traditions until 2:30pm so they got to sleep in. Traditions takes place at Disney University which is right next to Magic Kingdom, and it usually lasts about 4-5 hours. If you want to know what happened at Traditions, keep reading-but I don’t want to spoil the magic for anyone, so if you don’t want to know, stop reading now!
When we first got to Disney University we were ushered into a large cafeteria and awaited Disney people to escort us to our room. There were two coach busses full of people in the cafeteria. When they called my number I followed a group of people up a staircase full of tons of Disney displays to a classroom. I had to show them my passport and get approved on appearance (you have to be in “Disney Look”) and then I could go inside. The room that I was in held about 80 people and had pictures of Disney characters all over the walls.
When I entered the room, they had multiple TV screens playing a slideshow that had everyones name pop up on the screen in a pair of Mickey Mouse ears. It took me a few times to get the picture of mine, they popped up so quickly. At my table there was a big red box, Traditions booklets and pens. We were told to sit down and not touch the big red box. Once everyone was seated, the person directing our class started some Disney trivia. Unfortunately, I wasn’t fast enough to answer the trivia questions which was a bummer because they were handing out exclusive Disney Tradition pins that you could only get at your Traditions class.
Our presenter, Kayla started discussing Disney safety stuff which was pretty boring. I was hoping the whole class wouldn’t be dull. Eventually we got into the fun stuff and she talked about how Disney revolves around making people happy and how lucky we are to be able to work for such a great company. Kayla, and the other presenter Taylor, took turns talking about their stories with the company, and the company policies.
After an hour or so we were allowed to open the red boxes as a table….and surprise! It was my very first pair of Mickey Mouse ears as a cast member! We also received our temporary blue ID card which gets us into the parks for free and gets us our company discount! We took a break and were told that at the end of the break we would have a quiz, but instead we went to Magic Kingdom! We had to put in ear-pieces so that Kayla or Taylor could talk into them and whisper secret things without screaming to all of us in the park. We took a nearby bus, and got dropped off at the utilidors which is the secret tunnels under Magic Kingdom.
Fun fact- Magic Kingdom is actually on the second story. The tunnels are not “underground”, they are actually the main level and you can drive right up to them.
As cast members, we are not allowed to take any photographs of “backstage” areas, so unfortunately I cannot show you what they looked like. If you can imagine though, its looks like a huge warehouse with many wide hallways. It almost resembles a parking garage-nothing too fancy. The coolest part about being underneath was stopping right under the Cinderella castle and seeing the dressing rooms for the princesses and the elevator that goes up into the castle!
We exited the utilidors on Main Street USA and I got my first glimpse of the castle. It was so different walking down the street and knowing that I wasn’t just a guest anymore. I can’t explain the feeling but I was very relaxed knowing I could visit whenever I wanted for the next seven months. We walked through fantasy land and saw Merida, Alice, Tigger and Pooh. In one of the other groups my roommate Cristina got to see Snow White in full makeup eating lunch in regular clothes (jealous)! Apparently the princesses eat together at lunch!
We weren’t in Magic Kingdom long, but I wasn’t too upset about it because we were all dressed in full business attire and it was hot! We headed back to the classroom and got another surprise. Mickey Mouse walked in holding a big golden box! The box had all of our name tags in it! I was so excited to get my name tag! As soon as I saw it, everything felt real! Mickey didn’t stay long, but we didn’t either. We left shortly after receiving our name tags.
After Traditions, Cristina and I took the busses back to our apartment and we decided to change and go to the parks. We parked at Magic Kingdom because we were planning on watching the fireworks later and took the monorail to Epcot. We went on Spaceship Earth first, then the Figment ride that I had never been on, had lunch, and then went on the Land. It started to rain on our way to the Ellen ride, so we went on Finding Nemo instead. After Finding Nemo, we headed back to Magic Kingdom to wait for the other girls to get done with traditions so we could all watch the fireworks together. While waiting we went to Casey’s Corner, the Emporium, a few shops in Fronteirland to see what Cristina’s costume will be, Pirates of the Caribbean*, and I had my first Dole Whip-so so so good!
*Funny story-on the wait in line for Pirates of the Caribbean there was a boy and a girl that were probably 13 or 14 years old that were making out in line the ENTIRE time in front of us. We were both so grossed out, but I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard because there was a dad (probably in his 50s) and a daughter (about my age) in line right in front of us and directly behind the lovebirds. The dad started video taping them kissing as a joke and the daughter kept slapping his hand. His laughter made me laugh. It was a crazy experience.
We were so tired that we both sat on Main St. and waited for our other roommates. Unfortunately, they got back late and had to take the bus to Magic Kingdom so they didn’t think that they would make the fireworks in time. We decided to go back to the apartment after the electrical parade and go to sleep. It was a long way back because it was packed with people. Once we got on the monorail it stopped in the middle of the tracks for a “routine maintenance check”, of course that happens when we are both dead tired. We finally got home-but we were both exhausted.