All day yesterday I was trying to figure out why May 20th felt significant, but it wasn’t until I saw a picture from four years ago it hit me. May 20, 2016 I travelled from Brevard, NC to Orlando, FL to begin a crazy adventure working at Walt Disney World. The very next day, on this day four years ago, I entered my Traditions (orientation) class and began my journey within The Walt Disney Company. You can read about that experience here. What a wild ride it has been!
So this would mark four years, huh? Time sure does fly! I remember after lifeguarding at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for two weeks I had my doubts about the whole transition. Was this really worth it? What did I do? When will my apartment be ready? Lifeguarding here is stressful! I pushed through that transition period and excelled in the hospitality field. While there were good times and bad, there are a lot of memories to reflect on and appreciate on this anniversary day. Let’s go down memory lane together with photos and links to previous posts!
On May 21, 2016 I attended Traditions and earned my name tag and title as a Cast Member. A few days later I completed my lifeguard training with a cool crew of folks from all walks of life. Immediately following my lifeguard training I remember having to attend my Annual Training (AT) with the Marines before working a full shift. That was a crazy first month.
During the the 2016 holiday season I attended my first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park. I actually did a lot of things for the first time. I saw Garth Brooks record Christmas songs for TV, Cinderella Castle with lights on it, and a Merrytime Disney Cruise! Additionally, my family came to celebrate Christmas at Disney! Christmas is my favorite holiday so I was very excited to participate in a party at work and host my own party at home. Then I worked New Years Eve and rang in the new year with our Guests at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
As quickly as 2017 started, there were new opportunities on the horizon. The Cast parties at Disney’s Contemporary Resort were always a blast to attend. Lifeguarding was getting tiring but the crew and leaders were some cool people. I had some old friends visit and was selected to facilitate at Disney University. Quite a hectic first few months of 2017.
Speaking of hectic. . . things got even crazier! Pandora – The World of Avatar opened up and I got to go with a few friends. My friend from middle school visited and I tricked her into riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (we ended up riding in the rain). I started a Management Internship after celebrating my first year with The Walt Disney Disney Company. It was a full year of firsts!
I did end up getting mobilized with the Marine Corps in 2017 and went on a Military Leave of Absence. Before mobilization I got to go to Disneyland one more time following Hurricane Irma. While I was mobilized I received an incredible care package from my Yacht & Beach family. Their packaging made me laugh because when I saw it at the Post Office (before I knew it was mine) I thought, “someone’s girlfriend must really like Disney or something.” Haha! After coming home from mobilization I got to do a lot of fun things including attending my first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (and featured on Disney Parks Blog!), throwing another Christmas party at my place, winning awards at work, and enjoying the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
May 21st will always be a day to remember; the day that started another chapter of this wild ride. Thanks for joining me on a walk down memory lane. The whole point of this blog is to update folks about my life as it relates to the Marine Corps [reserve] and the civilian side. Hope you enjoyed going through old posts and photos as much as I did. Here’s to more adventures and more memories. Until next time: Be strong. Love God. Love others.