“All the world’s a stage – especially when that world is Walt Disney World!” DJ said.
Leah double-checked that her ID badge was facing outwards, and followed the line of other initiates through the gate. They, as employees of the Mouse, were officially on stage. She couldn’t believe it. Never in her wildest dreams had she ever thought she could work at Disney, and yet here she was, in the most magical place on earth.
Well, almost. That moniker was kept for the Magic Kingdom. Here in Epcot, the magic was more subtle, hidden behind science and the wonder of exploring the world, and a lot of delicious food. DJ, their trainer and guide for the day, led them to Showcase Plaza, looking over Showcase Lagoon. Encircling the lake, were the eleven country pavilions where each of them would work, representing their home country. Canada’s iconic tower, molded after the Chateau Frontenac, loomed to the right. Soon, she would start work there, in the restaurant. She couldn’t wait to help guests feel extra special as they dined there, making memories, making magic happen.
“The UK is right next to Canada, so we’ll be neighbors!” Leslie, the tall British girl said, coming to stand next to Leah. The two had bonded over their shared love of princesses, magic, and glitter. They already had plans to go to the parks together on their first day off.
DJ led the group around the lagoon, introducing them to other cast members and explaining the history of the park. There was a lot of commiseration over the costumes they’d have to wear. The traditional garb for each country might fit the atmosphere and be fun for guests to take pictures of, but many looked hot and uncomfortable in Florida summers.
Once they finished the loop, the group headed across the bridge to Future World, the part of Epcot with all the fun attractions and shows. Inspiring music blared across the open courtyard, and Leslie grabbed Leah’s hand, pulling her toward the giant fountain in the center. The pair watched in wonder as the water shot up in time to the music. It spurted, jumped, waved, and drifted, matching the cadence to the second.
As part of their initiation, DJ took them to Club Cool, a fun store sponsored by Coca Cola, featuring the national soft drink from countries around the world. Leslie thrust a cup of Beverly into Leah’s hands.
“You’ve got to try this!”
Leah took a small sip and nearly spat it out again. “That’s awful!” The bitter taste clung to her mouth, and she scrambled to find the refreshing watermelon one again to wash it away.
Leslie laughed. “Isn’t it? I don’t understand how that’s the favourite drink in Italy, when they have so many other delicious foods”
Leah wandered over to the counter where one of the cast members was looking a little lonely. There was a Coca Cola themed tic-tac-toe game laid out, and Leah asked the girl to play with her. After the game, the cast member whipped out a small card.
“Thanks so much for playing,” she said. “I had a lot of fun, so I want to give you this.” She handed the card to Leah.
Leah took it, thanking the girl. It was a square red and white card with the words “Magical Moment” printed along the top. It explained that something special had happened and this was a memento to remind her of that. Leah clutched it to her chest, and thanked the girl again.
She couldn’t stop the smile that lit up her face as she skipped across the stage to where the others had gathered around the fountain. “That’s how I want to make my guests feel every day,” she whispered to herself.