Traditions is a new Cast Member’s golden ticket into the behind the scenes magic of Walt Disney World. A four hour class for college program members, and a full eight hours for everyone else, it is considered the first official day of work. Traditions is technically an “orientation” class, but if that word conjures up memories of boring videos and confusing training, rest assured that Traditions is in a class of its own. I have personally been through Traditions several times over the years, because every rehire is required to take it again. From my experiences, here are 6 fun facts about Traditions.
1. You must have the proper “Disney Look”
When attending Traditions or any other training session, you must follow the guidelines for Disney non-costumed cast members. This means dressing professionally, ensuring that your hair, makeup, and fingernails are within acceptable parameters, removing piercings, and covering tattoos. Fortunately, the guidelines have been relaxed significantly over the years, making it relatively easy for anyone to follow the rules. Gone are the days of mandatory pantyhose and high heels, and somewhat more casual styles are now allowed. Stay away from jeans, leggings, sundresses, and other very casual clothes, make sure your shirt is tucked in unless specifically designed to be worn untucked, and don’t show up looking wrinkled or dirty, and you should be fine. Of course, you will have a copy of the Disney Look guidelines, so review them closely to make sure you are not missing anything.
2. It’s a magical day
Many new cast members talk about how their jaws dropped when they first entered Disney University to begin their Traditions class. The day is packed with fun experiences and lots of surprises, and even the training videos are surprisingly engaging. Disney buffs will find all sorts of things to love, from their first introduction to the mythical Utilidors to the chance to win prizes for showing off their encyclopedic knowledge of animated characters. New cast members who have never been to Disney before tend to wander around in a slight daze as they realize everything they have been missing all their lives.
3. You won’t believe you’re being paid for it
A guided onstage and backstage tour of the Magic Kingdom? Disney trivia games? Legends and stories and personal experiences handed down by someone who looks like he or she lives and breathes all things Disney? Many fans would gladly pay good money for these experiences, yet those who are going through Traditions are being paid to be there! In my first Traditions class, I kept wanting to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. At the end of the day, when you get your nametag and cast ID, it can actually be a little hard not to cry.