Welcome to Traditions
This is a story that will remain close to my heart forever and always. Today was the day I became part of the magic and would carry on the legacy that Walt left behind, there is no turning back now.
My day started bright and early with a 6:30am bus to Disney University, yes we have our own university here at Walt Disney World. Our class started at 8am and I walked in and collected the most important ID I would need here in Florida. My blue cast member ID which now allows me to enter the most magical place on Earth. After I received my ID, I walked into the room and was instantly reminded I was not in Australia anymore. The walls were colourful, decorated with paintings from numerous characters from films and a slide was playing on the projector with different cast members talking about their roles within the company.
Now, for those of you who have no idea what Traditions is- it's one of most amazing experiences, it is required that every Disney Cast Member take this class. It's not only full of Disney history, but also legal information and what Disney Guest Service is including the 4 keys that they live by and that the key ingredient to the companies success is guest service and that personal touch they provide to the guests.
After videos of Disney history, benefits, and legal information we took a break for lunch. Once we got back our two leaders who were running the class said we were going to model the 4 Keys and do a skit, we all looked at each other petrified and couldn't believe we were going to have to do a performance in front of all these people. However we were saved by the 2nd leader when he said why get them to act like something that they have only seen in our presentation, why not take them to see it for themselves. He then asked if we would like to see the keys modeled in front of us, and we said yes, and before we knew what to do he announced we would be going to Magic Kingdom right then. I almost cried from excitement. Here I had been in Orlando 3 days and finally it was time to see the Kingdom.
We left the university and headed across the road to West Clock where buses pick up the cast members and drive them the 5 minutes to Magic Kingdom and drop them off at the entrance to the utilidoors - the tunnels under the kingdom. We all got off the bus excited for what awaited us and began our journey into the tunnels. As we were walking we learned that the tunnels run approximately 1.5 miles long. they can take you anywhere in the park and the different lands are colour-coded, so you will always know where you are in that regard.
As we are walking we get to the main hallway that we stopped under not even halfway though and it was here we learned we were right under the castle, before we continued walking and took some stairs up and came out on the side of Main Street. It was here we turned a corner and I saw Cinderellas Castle for the first time, and I couldn't help but cry. It sunk in that I was finally here and I was a cast member. We walked through the park into Tomorrowland before going back down and out to our bus.
We then went back into the classroom and watched another video before we heard a knock on the door. Our trainers looked at each other before they answered it and in came Mickey Mouse carrying a very special box. It contained our name tags! The final piece I needed to take home from my class. After the initial shock of seeing Mickey right there in front of me, and as he handed me my name tag, I couldn't help but cry again, it was so magical and he gave me a hug and for a split second I thought I was dreaming.
After that it was time for Traditions to come to a close and for us to go back home, but now we had the freedom to visit any park for free with our cast ID and begin holding on and creating the magic, memories and the legacy Walt left behind for us.