Just out of college, I got to work at the Happiest Place on Earth. Yes, I'm speaking of Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom. The Mouse. The Park. Whatever name you'd like to call it. I thought I'd share some of my adventures with you.
I was hired for Grad Nites 1996. I had no clue what to expect, but I soon learned I'd be in charge of a band called The Funky Hippies at the French Market stage in New Orleans Square. Yes, that was as awesome as it sounds. A flashy, gaudy 70s tribute band playing everything from Rick James to (my favorite) the BeeGees to Gloria Gaynor.
On one of my nights off, I got to ride in the Main Street Electrical Parade! I wagged Eliott's tail...the dragon from Pete's Dragon. That was awesome!
As the Grad Nites gig wrapped, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was under the impression I was hired for the 6 week stint. Then, my supervisor asked if I'd found a place to live. I'd been staying with a friend who also worked at the Park. I quickly found an apartment and settled in as an assistant stage manager for the Entertainment department.
I trained as a stage manager for The Hunchback of Notre Dame's Festival of Fools and Fantasmic! FOF was my favorite. I loved the wide set, the colorful costumes, and the amazing cast. Fantasmic! was a blast, too, but wet, since it's set on the Rivers of America. I have many stories from my nights on the River. I loved sitting on the far side of the fort to watch Fantasy in the Sky--the fireworks spectacular--between shows. Another show I was in charge of periodically was Aladdin and Jasmine's StoryTale Adventures.
I also did a variety of events. We did a cute little skit for a very fancy dinner at the Disneyland Hotel. I stage managed weddings, including Mickey and Minnie. I assisted with many big name stars. Two events stand out as the most exciting, though. The rededication of Star Tours with Chewbacca, C-3PO, and Carrie Fisher (yes, I got to tell Carrie Fisher when to go onstage!), and a press event for the release of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella starring Brandi (Jason Alexander blessed me at this event!) In a previous blog post this week, I also mentioned a fun event I did with Robin Williams to celebrate the release of Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
My work even led me to be in charge of entertainment at the Disneyland Hotel! From time to time, I'd get to act as Entertainment-1, roaming the hotel's various clubs and restaurants to touch base with the talent. Another wet spot, I'd start up Fantasy Waters--a fun fountain and light show set to Disney music.
Yes, it was a good run. I was there for three and a half years. I still have lots of memorabilia, including a beautiful jacket from the FOF show. I'll never forget my time with the Mouse. And I shall always be grateful.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3