We'll put another year to bed in about an hour. When you're part of the Disneyland Show, though, time is relative. In the 24/7 world onstage and backstage, landmarks like "midnight" or "morning" don't really apply. Saturday and Sunday might be your Monday and Tuesday, and your "lunch" might be at 6 a.m.
Still, some of the hours that I spent as a Cast Member stand out more than others. The times when being in the Park was better than being just about anywhere else.
Say early enough so that the pavement still has puddles from being washed down as darkness just starts turning to dawn.
Or walking across a hub long emptied of guests and hearing Adriana Caselotti from the wishing well clearly.
Clicking the switch to turn off the lamps on a popcorn wagon as the Main Street Electrical Parade appears.
Posing for snapshots with guests while holding a fresh bunch of Mickey Mouse balloons. Stepping into the Character Shop to use the phone to call the balloon room for more. (The number was "5580." You remember it because you know that you're supposed to drive 55, but you wanna do 80).
Shuffling into X lot at 1:00 a.m. exhausted, then heading over to Denny's or Acapulco's or HoJo's because the people that you work with are all doing the same thing.
Driving the little white Outdoor Vending pickup around behind It's a Small World to stock lemonade at the ice cream train next to the Motor Boat Cruise on a summer afternoon.
Even getting stuck on that train as the sole vendor left on a private party night shift when the Small World clock and the (very) occasional couple of guests are your only company seems not so bad.
Of course, this blog wasn't around back then. And the occasional guests stopping by make now not such a bad time either. Thanks to all of you who enjoy hearing about the Best Possible Job. I hope to spend much more time with you in 2012.
Happy New Year!