Until next time... Have a magical day!
Yesterday I officially re-became a cast member! We had our Traditions class in which we learnt about the heritage of the Walt Disney Company and more specifically Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. It was an early start as we had a bus to catch from Chatham at 6:45 that would take us to Disney University behind the Magic Kingdom.
Now I'm not going to go into the class itself all that much as I like that the day's events are designed to be exclusively for new cast members and I'm not one to ruin a surprise or two! However, the class is conducted by two cast members that have been trained to conduct Traditions classes and the day is filled with lessons almost, regular short breaks and a group activity or two.
The cast members we had conducting the class were in training and subsequently, they weren't all that confident in their presentation and it did make the learning sections drag a little. Be prepared for a lot of need for concentration as they throw a lot of information at you. It is a fun day though!
If I had to talk about a negative, it would be the mini presentation that the Union put on to explain what they do and encourage you to sign-up. In my opinion, the way in which this is done is quiet misleading. They never made it clear that there was a cost to signing up via the form and they didn't make it clear that it was also a choice. So if you ever come to have a Traditions class, know that you do not have to sign-up to the union and they will still represent you should it be necessary. I chose to not sign-up this time as I felt like there was little they offered on my last program that directly impacted me. Sure they do a lot over time for permanent cast members but ultimately, I'm only here for a year and I do not feel as though I need representation for possible matters as of yet. I can sign-up down the line should I choose to do so.
During the Lunch break, as I'm a returner and kept my I.D. from my last program, I knew that I wouldn't get my blue I.D. (Disney I.D.) like the others would. So I popped down to access control that processes all I.D. cards and got my old I.D. reactivated in no time. Don't worry, if you're a CP or CEP Alumni, you're not technically classed as a permanent employee as you are on the CRP so you'll get a new I.D. during your Traditions.
During the afternoon break of the class, we discussed that we should probably go for dinner as the parks are just too busy right now thanks to Spring Break. I hopped on the My Disney Experience app and managed to snag a dinner reservation for our group of 8 at Trail's End; located at Disney's Fort Wilderness resort and campground. My third favourite resort at the moment, Fort Wilderness is probably the most American place I've even been and I've never had the pleasure of eating at Trail's End.
Dinner was AMAZING! I've never been to a buffet that I've enjoyed so much as Trail's End. Every item on the buffet screamed MERICA! The corn bread was to die for, the Mac & Cheese was incredible and the cowboy beans were top notch! Our server Serena made us all feel so welcome! She's been at the restaurant for nearly 15 years and I can see why people keep coming back with service as good as hers. This was the first time we all used our Disney I.D.s to get our cast member discount. Lucky for us, Trail's End was included in the special 40% off offer! So after gratuity and tax, it only cost us about $25 each. A absolute steal for the quality of the meal and service.
After our meal and after we had settled up our cheques, chef TJ who had come to the table earlier to show Hope around the buffet due to her gluten intolerance, dropped off a huge tailor made gluten free desert just for Hope and surprised the rest of us with an incredible strawberry and hand whipped cream cake! Safe to say that all of us were at bursting point even before these treats and after them we might as well have been rolled out of there!
Upon exiting Trail's End, we took the time to fill in an appraisal card for Serena and TJ. We wanted to thank them for making our first dining experience as cast members so truly magical and a meal we'll never forget.
We walked down to the beach, just in time to catch the water pageant on Bay Lake. I know it's dated and it isn't all that spectacular but just hearing that music is enough to flood me with nostalgia! After that we had a few minutes in the store before making our way back to the front of the resort via the internal bus to drive home in my beast of a car! It's actually worked out so well having the large car as we wouldn't have been able to do half of things we have done all together. I like to call it fate delivering me the only choice of my beast of a car and a pick-up truck.
Today is our first day off and I've spent it having a lie-in, popping to Walmart with Hope, Jen and Ashley, doing my first load of laundry and now chilling by the pool with Ashley and Hope whilst I write this entry. I'm taking my 'don't try and do it all too soon' learning from last time very seriously and I'm so glad I'm chilling out today. Having seen just a sampling of how busy the Disney and Universal parks are a few days ago, I'm in no rush to be parking it up.
Until next time... Have a magical day!