Before I get too ahead of myself, I wanted this part to be about two major days in any Cast Members life. Your first paid day as a CM is your Traditions Day. What is Traditions? Imagine your typical work orientation, not like the housing and College Program orientations I talked about in Part 1, and amp it up to 11! This is where you learn all about Disney service, and the Disney Point. Ever noticed at Disney Cast Members never point with one finger? The Disney Point is done one of two ways, either two fingers (the traditional way and the way I still point to this day), or with an open palm. Why the special point? Who knows!? It's just what you do. You also get to learn about the "point system" which is essentially the "how can I get away with murder but not get fired" system. It refers to call-ins and disciplinary. Short version, you have to really really try to get fired from Disney. It's here also that you get your name tag and ID. The iconic pieces of Cast Member attire. I was there during the 100 Years of Magic Celebration so my name tag had my favorite anything Disney rather than my home town as they are traditionally. So mine said The Haunted Mansion. Thinking back I could have probably came up with something better, but I stand behind it. Most times guests would just ask me why I was working at The Land when my name tag said The Haunted Mansion. I'd usually respond with something like "Shh. Don't tell anyone I've escaped".
After Traditions you get your schedule for the next few days which starts with your Discovery Day. This is a day where you get into a group of about 15-20 who all will be working at a certain park, and a guide takes you around and teaches you everything about your park in one day. You also get to ride as much as possible and eat a pretty nice lunch at one of the restaurants in the park. Growing up, I went to Dist a lot. Every 3 years from the time I was 3 until I was 18 to be exact. In all those years I went to EPCOT only once, in 1991. I didn't remember anything. I was pretty sure I never rode Horizons, World of Motion, or Journey into Imagination. I vaguely remembered Spaceship Earth, but I may have never ridden that either. The good news was on Discovery Day I got to experience EPCOT like never before! Now, many things may have changed in 12 years but for me the ending of Discovery Day is a moment I won't soon forget. After a long fun day of park exploration our group was taken to the area right behind the Fountain of Nations. There you will find the classic knot logo for EPCOT. We were circled up and then told to turn around and face the other direction. As soon as we did this fanfare and music comes over the speakers in the area, and a voice comes over and says "Ladies and Gentleman, please face your attention to the Fountain of Nations, and join us in welcoming our newest EPCOT Cast Members!!" People started applauding and cheering, some even took pictures with us. Total strangers, but Disney fans who wanted to share in our moment.
Following Discovery Day you receive your training schedule, and that's where the real fun, and Part 3, begins. Cheers and Ears!!