December 20th, 2007 – by: wbboy29
Some of the cast of "Festival of the Lion King" from Disney's Animal Kingdom park
Back in the summer of 2002 I made the biggest move of my life (at that time, anyway, haha). I packed up everything I owned into my small Chevy Cavalier and drove, by myself, across the country (from Oregon-Florida), in pursuit of my life long dream. Ever since I was a kid I had always wanted to work in entertainment at the Walt Disney World Resort, and after driving over 3000 miles in only 3 1/2 days I finally arrived at my destination.
My first summer at the "World" I worked at the Test Track attraction at Epcot. I had the most amazing fellow cast members there, and the best management team ever, but it ultimately wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in Entertainment!!! So in November of that year I finally had the opportunity to audition.
"Be Prepared" You don't want to mess with this Gazelle :)
Well after a long and stressful morning I was pulled to the side with a small group of people and we were all offered a role in the Entertainment department, AAAHHH!!!! I was so EXCITED!! Finally a lifelong dream had been fulfilled!!! I couldn't believe it.
Well a short 5 weeks later I was in training for Entertainment and on my way in a new career. After training it took another year of paying my dues out in the parks, and proving myself until I finally got trained in my first parade. I was chosen to be in the new "Home on the Range" pre-parade, to help promote the new animated movie. It was a fun little parade, the cast got a long really well, and had a great time performing for the park guests. A couple months later, auditions came up for stilt performers.
My favorite costume (gazelle) in the Lion King show at the Animal Kingdom park.
Now having never touched a stilt in my life I didn't have a clue what I was in for, but it looked fun, so I thought I would give it a try. It took a couple of auditions but I was finally chosen for stilt training and on my way to one of my ultimate goals, performing in the #1 show on property, "The Festival of the Lion King." In Sept of '04 I was crazy excited to finally be chosen to learn the Lion King show as a Stilt Warrior, and after 8 months on stilts I was selected for a dancer role, WOO HOO!!!!!
Well to make an AMAZING 5 year journey short, I was eventually cast (for 3 years) at the "Festival of the Lion King" while also learning many other parades, and opening other new shows all over property. It was probably one of the BEST 5 years of my life, and a HUGE dream fulfilled.
Dancing my butt off as a Water Buffalo, haha
Well after 5 years I figured it was time to move on. I had an incredible time, but I had done all I wanted to do and more. I loved working for Disney, but I also wanted to travel, and I wasn't getting to do that while I was at Walt Disney World. So in early 2007 an audition came up for a touring Disney stage show. It was an EARLY morning audition, but I dragged myself out of bed, haha, and headed out for a new opportunity. Well to my OVERWHELMING surprise just 3 days after the audition I received a call offering me a 13 month international tour contract, and just 3 weeks after that I was on a plain and on my way to Japan, AAAHHH!!!!!!
Now I am fulfilling another dream and traveling the world while still doing what I love..... performing. I am having an amazing time on the road and seeing places I never imagined I would ever get to see. If you want to see how my adventure has continued please feel free to check out my other travel blogs full of photos of my journey thus far.
Take care everyone and safe travels :~)