Growing up, Daniel Hayes had never wanted anything. He lived with his aunt and uncle in California for most of his life. His earliest memories were of when he was about five years old. He was into drawing, especially cartoons when he was younger. Daniel had a brilliant and vivid imagination. While growing up, he had channeled his ideas into movies. His uncle bought him a top-of-the-line camera and almost everything he needed to film and edit his movies. His aunt and uncle were always pushing him; trying to challenge his imagination. They wanted him to create new and unique characters and stories. With the help of his friends and schoolmates, Daniel created movies from scratch. He created everything, even printing off copies for his family and friends.
As Daniel grew up, he became more into photography. After high school, he had gotten jobs with some studios to photograph the movies. His job title was still photographer.
After working a couple of jobs and saving up some money, Daniel asked his uncle about moving out of the house. He was turning 21 soon and he thought that he needed to gain his independence. His uncle told him about an apartment they had in Orlando, Florida. They would let Daniel live in it so he could feel independent. He did not have to pay for it, and it was close to Disney World, which was always fun. It was weird that they had a family home near Disney, yet he had never been there. He had been to Disneyland so many times. It was like a second home to him when he was younger.
Daniel spent his 21st birthday moving to Orlando. He sent his clothes ahead of time. He did not want to take a bunch of suitcases on the airplane. He hoped they would be in his apartment waiting for him. His uncle made all the plans, so it was going to be a very easy move across the country.
Finally, he arrived at the airport in Orlando. He knew someone would be there to pick him up. When he walked down to the baggage claim, there was a man in a black suit with a sign that said ‘Daniel Hayes’. He checked with the man and yep, he was there for Daniel.
“My place is at 4600 North World Drive. It says Lake Buena Vista, but my uncle said it was in Orlando.” Daniel told the driver.
“Yes, sir, Right outside Orlando.” The driver replied.
Daniel sat back and enjoyed the ride. Orlando was much different from Los Angeles. There were lots of green trees and swampy areas in Orlando. Los Angeles had buildings on top of other buildings on top of other buildings. He noticed a sign that said, ‘Walt Disney World’. The sign seemed to be stating that he was going into Walt Disney World. He figured that they had to be arriving soon at his new home, as his uncle told him it was close to the park.
He looked up, out the window, and could see the park ahead. There was the Space Mountain right in front of him. From where he was, it looked the same as Disneyland. The car turned into the driveway of The Contemporary Hotel. Daniel seemed confused. The car pulled up in front of the hotel and one of the bellhops came over to the car and opened the door.
“Good Morning, Mr. Hayes,” the bright-eyed bellhop said with a smile.
Daniel seemed confused but smiled. He went to get his bag, but the bellhop already had it on the cart and was taking it inside. Daniel tipped the car driver then followed the bellhop. His uncle had taught him that he should always have tip money for people who helped him out. Daniel figured it was one of those times. The bellhop was waiting in the lobby of the hotel and Daniel could swear he had to be at the wrong address.
He leans over to the bellhop, “Is this 4600 North World Drive?”
“Yes, sir. You can pick up your key card at the desk.”
Daniel walked over to the front desk and a woman greeted him with a big smile, “Good Morning Mr. Hayes. It is great to have you here with us.”
“Thanks. Umm, something must be wrong. I am supposed to be moving into an apartment, but instead, I’m at a hotel. I’m a little confused.”
The front desk attendant interrupted. “No need for confusion. You are in the correct place. Let me get you set up.”
The girl at the front desk, with the name tag “Angela G.”, was from Houston, Texas, according to her tag. She proceeded to explain to Daniel about the hotel. She explained that his key card was a universal Magic Pass. With his card, he would have access to any of the parks, including the water parks. He could use it as a credit card, and he could charge his meals to his room. Daniel remained confused.
Continuing, Angela explained the other amenities he had. Those amenities included laundry service, wireless internet, and cable television. During the information spiel, Daniel started staring off into space. Nothing made sense. Everyone seemed to know him, yet he never had been there before. He still thought he was in the wrong place, after all, why would his family have an apartment at Disney World? He finally stopped spacing out as Angela’s speech concluded.
“I am not here to go to Disney World!” he blurted out.
“Yes, sir. I am letting you know everything you can do here.”
“I am supposed to have an apartment at this address.”
“So, I do?”
“Okay. Please give me the keys and tell me what that number is?”
“You have a suite. Straight down the hall,” she pointed with two fingers, “There will be an elevator that will need this card. It is a private elevator. It will take you up to your room.” Angela said with a smile.
Angela remained calm and relaxed while Daniel expressed his frustration. The bellhop, who had been waiting off the side, escorted Daniel to the elevator.
“Mr. Hayes, your items arrived ahead of you. I took the liberty of hanging up your clothes for you. If it is not to your liking, let me know. I will get that changed for you.”
Daniel looked at the bellhop’s name tag. “Thank you, Craig but I am not sure about anything right now.” The bellhop pushed the UP button on the wall. “Do you know what’s up?”
“I’m not sure what you mean by that.” The bellhop replied.
The door to the elevator opened to a walkway. Complete windows on one side and a wall with frames on the other. Looking out the windows, Daniel could see he was at the top of the hotel. Disney as far as he could see. There was Space Mountain, the monorail, and even in the distance, he could see Epcot. “Here we are sir, your new apartment.” Craig the bellhop continued.
“Yes, this is your apartment,” Craig assured Daniel.
Daniel opened the door to a beautiful apartment that contained everything imaginable. A big-screen television with surround sound speakers was on the wall. Off the side sat a fully stocked kitchenette, and a sunken garden tub. The apartment did not look like it was a hotel room at all. It was a very large apartment. His imagination started to run wild.
“We had your boxes put off to the side.” Craig used his two fingers to point towards the boxes. “If you need help unpacking, I can send up someone to assist you if you would like.”
Daniel laughed. “No. That’s okay. I don’t need help, thanks though.”
“Well, if you need anything, dial 888 on your phone. That is your extension to the concierge’s desk. They can assist you if you need a car, dinner reservations, or anything else you may think of.” Craig said as if it was well-rehearsed.
“Okay, got it.”
“There is a laundry basket in your bathroom. The housekeeping department will be in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They will refresh your supplies and do the laundry. If you need anything special, call the concierge’s and housekeeping will bring it up for you.”
Back to confusion, Daniel went. So, on top of living in an apartment in a Disney hotel, he had maid service, the laundry done, and the list went on. “Uh, I got it. I think?”
“Okay. Well, if there is nothing else….” Craig began to say.
“Uh, am I dreaming?”
“Well, okay then.”
“Have a magical day.”
The bellhop excused himself but as he stood at the elevator, he turned back to Daniel. “I like the artwork, sir”.
The elevator closed and Craig disappeared. Daniel stepped back into the hallway to look at the framed artwork. He had not particularly noticed it when he walked in. The framed works were very familiar to him. They were his drawings of characters he had created as a younger boy. He had not seen them in a very long time.
Daniel used to draw and color his characters then he would roll them up and put them in tubes. Once it went into a tube, he never saw them again. He always thought they retired to the garage in his uncle’s house. His uncle might have seen some of them and used them for artwork for the family apartment. They looked so different hanging on a wall in frames like they were important in some way. He stood there staring at each one for a moment, thinking back on when he drew the cartoons. Sometimes the thoughts were happy, sometimes not.
The telephone in the room rang. It gave him a start. Daniel ran into the room looking for the phone. He spotted it on the coffee table.
“Hello?” he answered. It was a familiar voice on the other end, his uncle.
“I called to see if you got settled.”
“Do you know I am at a Disney Hotel?”
“Do you like the apartment?” his uncle asked.
“Yes. It is nice. I am at a hotel!”
“It is an apartment. Bedroom, bath, kitchen. Everything is there. Enjoy all the amenities.”
Daniel thought for a second. “So, how much is the rent?”
His uncle laughed, “It belongs to the family. There is no rent.” There was a pause in his uncle’s voice, “Maybe, you should get back to your movies and stuff.”
Daniel ignored the comment but chatted a little longer then said their goodbyes.
Daniel sat inside his new apartment, looking at the amazing view. He could see all the parks on the clear, cloudless day. Everything was at his fingertips. It was not the ideal place to live, not even a practical place to live; but it was like living in a penthouse. With all his stuff still packed in boxes, Daniel contemplated if he should unpack. His other choice was to go out and check out the ‘amenities’ that he had.
After a few minutes of pondering, he got up from his sofa and wandered down to the hotel lobby. With no hurry in his step, he walked around the hotel and admired the different décor that created the vibe of the hotel. Everyone was very polite, he noticed; always greeting him, by name, with a smile. After a dozen “Mr. Hayes” calls, he decided to tell them to call him Daniel. After all, he was not that old but was starting to feel it with the formalities everyone had.
Daniel noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a tall heavyset man rushing towards him. Daniel got a bit nervous. It had to be a big mistake; the game was up. This could be the person who would be able to make some sense out of this. It seemed he was in the correct place because his character drawings were on the wall, though he could be wrong. But why would his uncle even confirm it?
“Mr. Hayes…” the gentleman said as he moved in on Daniel.
“Call me Daniel” he interrupted.
“Daniel, sir. I wanted to welcome you to The Contemporary Resort. I hope your suite is acceptable?”
“Uh, yes, it is.”
“I am Bill Morgan. I’m the manager of the hotel and if there is anything you need, please let us know and we will assist you, immediately.”
Daniel watched the manager’s mannerisms as if he were an excited elementary school kid or even a puppy. Everyone was so eager to help Daniel and he noticed it. The manager continued to almost squirm awaiting a reply from the hotel’s newest resident.
Daniel relieved the manager’s anxiousness by responding, “Is there an easy way to get to one of the parks?”
Bill let out his held breath and explained the bus system but then offered a private car to Daniel. Not used to people waiting on him hand and foot, Daniel declined a car and opted for taking the bus to the park.
An older gentleman dressed in all black with black sunglasses appeared. He looked a little like a gangster if one were to see him on the streets. He whispered to the manager, who watched Daniel at the bus stop. “You need to calm your ass down. This needs to be a natural environment for him if this is to work as planned. Your anxiousness is going to blow everything.” Bill took a deep breath to calm himself and the man in black disappeared faster than he had arrived.