TUESDAY, JANUARY 3RD, 2017-1:46am
My clock-out time was 1:45, so I had a little bit of running to do. But I was used to it. I ran to jump through the front cab of the train when I needed to cross to another side of the platform. I ran to find guests answers. I ran to track down a sad child to hand him a sticker and make his day. I ran to be in the right position to do my hand signals to the driver, letting him/her know to close the doors and take off. I ran to drop ramps for guests in wheelchairs. I ran to the console to bring power to the beams. Running became second nature, and I did it without even realizing it. I did it with a smile plastered on my face, because who wouldn’t smile in Walt Disney World?
As I headed off the last ferryboat and busted through the doors at our Transportation and Ticket Center headquarters, or what we monorail pilots call “base,” I raced over to our Cast Deployment System to finally clock-out. However, I wasn’t alone. I was with two of my monorail friends that had the same clock-out time as me. Laura, another girl in the College Program, who had been the first person I met outside of training and became one of my best friends, trekked alongside me. Victor, a friendly base resident, was also in tow. That was the thing about monorails. I was never alone. Even when I closed the station all by myself, I was never “alone.” I never felt scared or intimidated to ask a question. I generally like to keep to myself on a personal level, yet everyone on that platform looked out for me, reached out to me, and became some of my best friends. I was part of a team…a unit…a family.
It was a good night on audience control. I handed out my stickers, cheered for Monorail Green when it whisked by, and nothing funky happened.
I was seriously crunching on time. I instinctively flicked out my wrist to check the time, but I hadn’t worn my watch that day. I guess I just wanted to soak in every minute of my shift, even though it was nothing too special…
I typed in my number to clock out, but Laura and Victor stopped me. Then, the black hole that I had temporarily covered for the day suddenly appeared larger, stronger, and deeper than ever. This was it, and Laura and Victor reminded me. This was my last clock-out as Monorail Hannah. BUT…I still had that costume on. All of the monorail pilots that I had admired and chatted with the past 5 months were all still there, waiting for their clock times to come. So, I put on a grin. Laura and Victor grabbed my phone and took pictures of me clocking out for the last time to be goofy and to give me a memory. I did it. “Thank you for helping make the magic!” See the mouse, go to your house. Done. But I was in a sense of denial…I would come in on Thursday and all would be the same. I was sure of it!
I walked over the bridge to the parking lot with Laura and Victor. Then, we said goodbye. Like, a REAL goodbye with hugs and such. In fact, now that I thought of it, people were saying goodbye to me all night! Laura was the first person I talked to in rails, and now she was my last. I walked to Monorail Silver (my silver 2004 Dodge Stratus), opened the door, sat down, and started the ignition. Then, I cried. I cried in the car. I cried on the way home. I cried in my apartment. I couldn’t stop crying. “It’s not over,” I told myself.
That was one month ago.
A whole new life that I had learned to absolutely love was ripped away from me in the blink of an eye. I was born in July, and the Florida heat was only natural. Going to theme parks all of the time? Score, because that’s one of the only things that makes me truly happy in life. I learned critical communication skills…Wright State IN ACTION! None of that boring classroom stuff! My job was the coolest. M-A-P-O! And of course, friends. I had never been good at making real, always-there-for-you friends…but I would never forget about those guys. I did miss my family, but we tend to make our way back to each other no matter what. The fact that I was learning to live as an adult and I loved my life was HUGE.
Now, I am finishing my degree at Wright State University. Am I happy? NO! Do I get to go to theme parks? NO! Do I have a cool job? NO! Do I have friends like I did at Disney…or at all really? NO! Do I get to see my family now? YES! (There’s always a plus in a book filled with minuses.) Sure, things are still hard. I still get upset. But the truth is, looking at the past is dangerous, and the future must be what is focused on. So, what is Monorail Hannah up to now?
There are three really cool job opportunities available that extremely excite me, and as far as applications go, I just might be taking a stab at them. They are as followed:
- Marketing Internship at Cedar Point
- Rides at Cedar Point
- Disney College Program Summer Alumni 2017
Each of them are extremely competitive, but with a good attitude and mindset, anything is possible! Thank you for the experience, DCP Fall 2016!