From Tuesday, April 29 to Saturday, May 3, I travelled to Anaheim, California to be part of the Sullivan Heights Disneyland Leadership Trip. During this trip, we participated in the Disney Youth Education Series, and we learnt about how to be a good leader, responsibility, and teamwork.
The first day’s activities took place in Disneyland and were focussed on "What is a Leader?” We spent time to finding out what qualities we have that make us a good leader and how together, we can come together to become a strong team. We discovered the 4 C's; Courage, Confidence, Curious, and Constancy. Our group leaders told us about Walt Disney’s philosophies and how they helped him become a successful leader. We went on rides, played games, wrote and drew pictures, and had discussions to help explain and find out more about being a strong leader who can inspire people to do the right thing and lead others by example.
On the second day, we went to California Adventure Park and completed activities that were geared towards creating our own brand name and overcoming difficulties we face. We learnt and examined these skills by looking at how Walt Disney managed to create the Disney brand. For example, even though he lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, he didn’t give up. He worked with his brother and created Mickey Mouse and continued to build a successful animation company. During the day, we went on The Tower of Terror to see how elements of the T.V. show “The Twilight Zone” were incorporated into the ride. We also went through the Up Jungle Gym to prove to ourselves we can complete challenges and even if we do fail, we can pick ourselves back up and try again. We also went on the Soar’ in Over California ride and learnt the background of how it was designed by Mark Sumner. He created the prototype for the ride out of an Erector Block Set and had one day to give his sales pitch reasoning why this should be the design of the ride. That night, we watched the World of Color Show in front of California Adventure. It was amazing and was one of my favourite parts of the whole trip.
On the third day, the whole group participated in a scavenger hunt to test the leadership skills we developed and to see if we could apply them to certain situations. For example; teamwork, confidence, preparation, and organization were big components of this challenge. Everybody was split up into groups and given a list of 100 things to take a picture with, such as, characters, rides, certain foods, and much more. In the end, our group didn’t win, but we had lots of fun and learnt a lot about ourselves in the process! At night, we watched the fireworks and Fantasmic, which were two outstanding shows that Disneyland puts on every night.
When I look back and reflect on the trip, I can easily say I had an amazing time and I learnt a lot about being a leader and myself. This was an experience of a lifetime and sharing it with the wonderful people I did is something I will never forget.
And just remember, "You are never too old for Disney."