It’s very easy to now see why there aren’t many blogs out there about the Disney Culinary Program. First of all, there just aren’t that many of us and then once you’re here, you’re busy. Very busy. Between work and play it’s difficult to write.
Today was the day that I was to go to Traditions. Traditions is the last step before you are officially employed. It’s an orientation, cheerleading, company history, legal event that lasts about 5 hours. Since I’ve been here, I find myself often contrasting my perceptions now vs. those in 1989. It’s been even a bit fun to me to notice how I’ve changed. Once wide-eyed and naive, I sat in Traditions with a big, genuine smile on my face. I took pleasure in buying everything the company was selling me. The company hasn’t changed so much but I certainly have. I see behind the curtain just a little bit more. It’s harder to suck me in. I’m thrilled to be here but I know, deep down, that it’s work. Hard work. I want it and I’m ready for it. And I’m certainly all for Walt Disney’s philosophies about business and people. But where once, I loved the upbeat rah rah feeling of Traditions, today, I was just glad to be done with it. Give me the bullet points and let me get on to making magic for people – this 5 hour class could be easily reduced to 2 if just a bit of the fluff was removed. During the class we did get to make a short field trip to the Magic Kingdom. I’ve not spent a ton of time at Disney in my life. There was the summer of 1989 and then a week-long trip with my family in 2001. So it does feel new and fresh and a bit like a vacation to me. As we walked through the tunnel system it was a bit like a time warp for me. I remembered most of the details. We came up through the door that was just behind the store on Main Street where I worked in ’89. As the sounds and smells of Main St. USA hit me, I felt my first tinge of pixie dust. I had been waiting for it for a while.
After Traditions, we came back to the apartments and changed clothes. Then a guy I had met on the first day called and invited me to go to Disney Studios with he and 3 of his friends. Even though I’m 42 and the group was comprised of kids ranging from 20-27, we had a blast. I’ve learned to associate with young people and enjoy it. I’ve learned to enjoy their youthfulness and silliness and I love being with people who are not yet road weary. Younger people teach me how to not feel old and I appreciate that. Two of the people I was with tonight have never been to a Disney park. I loved that. I miss my own kids and it made me happy to see these kids experience something so wonderful for the first time. We rode Rockin’ Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania (which TOTALLY made me want my boys to be there.) We started watching Fantasmic which shut down after 5 minutes because of technical difficulties. At the end of the night, I was invited to go back to the parks with them again tomorrow and go to the beach at some point. So somehow, I made them forget I was 42 as well. That’s the best part.
Tomorrow is Food & Beverage Core training. So far, I’ve had very little time for sleeping or eating. My eyes are blurry now as I type. I’ll have more to tell tomorrow. But tonight… tonight was good.