And we’re off! Headed to “the happiest place on earth” (although I still believe home will always be the happiest place on earth). But whatevs.
On Tuesday, May 6th, I said goodbye to my Brentwood home and took the 10 hour road trip with my mom to Orlando. When we finally arrived at our apartment around 8pm, we dropped our luggage off and immediately headed to Downtown Disney to enjoy the evening. As we walked around Downtown Disney, I started to cry. I was anxious about the new job, excited about being at Disney World, and sad about being far from home, my siblings, Wes, and friends. Within 20 minutes of watching joyful children with their families and talking to current Cast Members, I felt calm and hopeful.
I spent the next day with my mom unpacking, organizing and cleaning the apartment, and (of course) Disney dining and shopping. My mom and I had a blast driving around our new neighborhood (a mile away from the theme parks!!) and running errands. During a delicious dinner in Downtown Disney, my mom told me that we could go to a park of my choice for the next day: I picked Animal Kingdom.
I love Animal Kingdom. A lot of people tend to overlook it, but even when I was a young child, I enjoyed every minute of the park. Of course we went on all the typical rides (Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, etc.) but I also took the time to observe the different characters. I visited Mickey, Minnie, Pooh, Tigger, Baloo, Pocahontas, and King Louie and watched how they interacted with families and stayed true to their characters. My mom even surprised me with a Disney autograph book. (My goal is to get every every character’s autograph by the end of the summer.) We also attended Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade and Finding Nemo: the Musical. It was truly a magical first day being at a Disney park. I still can’t believe that I’m going to be able to go to any park for free during the summer! What a dream come true.
As I write this, I am laying in bed in my swanky new bedroom. It is a purple room with big-screen TV, a queen-size bed, and window seat. It feels like paradise. The apartment has a pool as well. I haven’t been able to enjoy it yet, but I’m excited to spend an entire afternoon in the water (it’s very warm here in Orlando…obviously).
Tomorrow at 1pm, I will attend my Disney on-boarding appointment. There, I will get my picture taken for my Disney ID and will fill out a few forms before I start my training at Disney University on Tuesday.
I want to thank my family members, friends, and even professors who have continued to support and encourage me. It has meant a great deal to me. Those who know me well have probably recognized that I’m an extreme homebody. This move has definitely been a tremendous change for me, as well as an exciting adventure. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead, and I can’t wait for my siblings, my dad, Wes, and my bestest friend “Shug” to come visit! I’ll be writing soon about my appointment tomorrow! Cheers!