Working for the Mouse, thus far, has been an incredible experience, one that, up until now, I didn't realize how much I'm going to miss when it's over. Already, there's a part of me slowly becoming consumed with sadness, dwelling on the fact that I will inevitably have to turn in my Cast Member ID come January.
But I digress. I'd much rather talk about all the fun and exciting things that have happened over the past few weeks.
So, just as I'm starting to bond with my new friends and learn the ropes, my time at Pinocchio's has abruptly come to an end (at least, until December). This came as a shock to me as I've only been here for four weeks, and actually, there's quite a bit of speculation as to how a handful of CPs and a select group of full-time CMs were suddenly uprooted from their home locations. My trainer assured me that Disney didn't mess around when deploying for special events and that each of us were observed before being selected. After I let the swelling of my ego go down a little, she explained that we were recommended by our home-location leaders for the 2012 International Food and Wine Festival.
For those who don't know what F&W is, I'll try to squeeze it all into one or two super informative paragraphs. This year marks the 17th year of the International Food and Wine Festival, which takes place in Epcot. Spread across the two-mile promenade encircling World Showcase Lagoon, approximately 27 countries from around the world are represented through various kiosks themed to fit that particular region.
Belgium's F&W Kiosk
Each kiosk will feature up to four food items from the country being represented as well as an assortment of wines, beers, and mixed drinks also hailing from that country and paired specifically for the available dishes. The locations are designed to briefly immerse our guests in that country's culture through taste, sight, and sound before sending them on to the next, hence this year's theme "Taste your way around the world."
All in all, Food and Wine, recently deemed the largest food-based festival on the planet, is an incredible celebration. It's a marvel to simply look at, let alone experience, and conceptually, the festival is meant for "responsible" adults to "sample" our vast assortment of international fares. However, as you may have already guessed, that's not how most people come to celebrate. "Drinking around the world" has become a popular spin-off motto year after year, and although it has been deemed illegal by the state of Florida (no, I'm not kidding), guests still attempt to drink one of every alcoholic beverage served throughout the two-mile festival within the 14 hour period the park is open.
Needless to say, most don't make it through the German kiosk still standing. Seriously, I've seen pictures.
I've gone through extensive training regarding all aspects of special event work, but naturally, they place the majority of the emphasis on interacting with, identifying and, of course, cutting off drunks. Although I don't condone the behavior nor do I find it to be responsible in any way, shape, form or fashion...
...this is undoubtedly going to be the most fun I've ever had while getting paid. (Well, maybe besides getting paid to ride The Haunted Mansion.)