The bus pulled up in front of the Contemporary Hotel to pick up guests there were going the EPCOT. Unfortunately, it was not the bus Daniel wanted. Guests from the hotel entered and situated themselves throughout the bus. The driver of the bus waited a moment to see if any more guests were coming. He glanced at Daniel, who sat at the bus stop. The bus driver yelled out to him, “You headed to EPCOT?”
“No, Hollywood Studios,” Daniel replied.
The driver waved to Daniel and closed his door. There was a bellhop behind Daniel that heard his response and picked up the phone. In less than a minute, an empty bus pulled up to the Contemporary Hotel with the neon sign that read ‘Hollywood Studios’. Daniel got up and entered the bus.
“You know, the front of the bus has more character,” mentioned the bus driver as Daniel stepped on.
Daniel smirked, “Okay.” Daniel decided to take the driver’s advice and sat in the first seat close to the driver. Others followed behind Daniel and took seats throughout the bus.
“So, how do you like your stay so far?” the bus driver asked.
Daniel looked around to see if he might be talking to someone else. Everyone around him was off in their own world. It seemed obvious to Daniel that the driver was talking to him. “Good, I guess.”
“I guess? That doesn’t sound good. Anything we can get you?”
The question seemed so random, but it did not hurt to crack a joke. “I heard a universal Fast Pass would be awesome.” Daniel giggled and so did the driver.
The bus pulled up at Hollywood Studios. As Daniel left the bus, the driver said to him, “Have a magical day, Daniel. And good luck with that dream Fast Pass.”
Daniel paused at the bottom step. He turned around at the driver wondering if he had ever introduced himself. When he realized he held up the other guests, he decided not to say anything to the driver. He continued toward the entrance. He walked slower than other guests, constantly looking back at the bus.
After putting his card into the reader to get into the park, a group of people quickly walked over to him. “Excuse us,” they said, stopping him from going all the way into the park. Confused, Daniel thought he was caught as a fraud. The group leader continued, “Congratulations! This is the Year of a Million Dreams. You have won a dream Fast Pass.”
“You’ve won a Fast Pass that can be used for your entire stay at Disney World.”
Daniel glanced around at all the people looking at him; he even looked back toward the bus that was no longer there. People took his photo and since he felt weird, he gave an awkward smile.
As he put the Fast Pass around his neck, the happy group of cast members dispersed and allowed Daniel to continue his day at the park. They had explained that he could use the pass at any park, at any time, and get to the front of the line on any ride, even if they were not a fast pass ride. That made Daniel’s day, even though he thought it was weird that he got it. The more he thought about it, the more he thought (and hoped) it was a coincidence.
Throughout the day, Daniel visited many of the fun places at Hollywood Studios. He saw a place called The Magic of Disney Animation and was intrigued. He watched the show and the cast member segment of the program. After the show, guests were encouraged to sit down with a cast member and learn how to draw a cartoon. Daniel saw an empty seat, so he plopped down, picked up a pencil, and drew a picture of Mickey Mouse trying to swat Tinkerbell with a tennis racket. One of the cast members walked up behind him and looked at the photo. “You’re fast…” he paused, “And a little evil.” He finished with a smile.
Daniel smirked. “Yeah, you can say that.”
“You’re good,” the cast member complimented him.
“Thanks. But not that good.”
“Good enough to be an animator.”
“Been there, done that.” Daniel got up from his seat.
The cast member tried to engage Daniel. “So, what? You don’t like it?”
“I don’t know. I have not done anything in a while. I’ve seemed to have lost interest in it.” Daniel responded as he began to walk away.
“Maybe you just need something to motivate you,” he replied.
Daniel was about out the door but heard what the cast member said. He waved his hand goodbye and walked out of sight.
Daniel explored one side of the park the found himself on The Streets of America. There was not much over in that area, which allowed him to walk through it very quickly. He passed a group of people who seemed to be waiting in line for photos for a character Meet and Greet. He glanced as he passed and noticed it was Kim Possible, Disney’s crime-fighting superhero, and her sidekick Ron Stoppable. Kim noticed Daniel.
“Hey, look at that cute guy over there,” Kim said quietly to Ron so guests did not hear. Just as the two of them looked over, Daniel had disappeared from their view. “Damn, he’s gone.”
Ron looked at Kim, “Were you wanting him for you or me?”
“Duh, me.” She responded just as another young Kim Possible fan came up for a photo.
After spending the day people-watching and wandering the park, Daniel returned to his apartment. He threw his wallet on the table in the dining area. He realized that he had thrown it hard enough to land on the floor but when his stuff did not fall, Daniel turned around. He noticed a pad of sketch paper on the table. He looked around the apartment in confusion. The sketch pad was not his and he did not put it there. Cautiously, he walked over to the table and turned the pad around. He flipped through the pages, but they were all empty. He tossed it down and walked into the living room.
He grabbed the remote and plopped himself down on the sofa. He kept looking over at the pad of paper on the table. He could not stop thinking about where it came from or who could have put it there. Trying to ignore it, he flipped through the channels with his remote, but the distraction did not work. It was as if the pad of paper had called him.
Daniel had not seen a sketch pad ever since he got a photo camera. His pads seemed to have been put away and never brought back out. He had not felt like drawing for an awfully long time, although he had a few ideas in his head.
He picked up his cell phone and called his agent, who was back in Los Angeles. His agent answered the phone, “Danny, baby. What’s shaking in Florida?”
“Not much, Mack. Just checking on my next assignment.” Daniel had been out of work for a while. His last job was a movie filmed in Chicago, with no major stars. He knew that he would need a bit more income living at Disney World and working would take his mind off Disney and the world he was in.
Mack, Daniel’s agent, paused a moment. “I got nothing.”
“Nothing? Not even television or press.”
“Nope, been slow over here,” He said to Daniel. “I’ll call you when I get something.”
He ended the call and looked over at the pad sitting there, staring at him. Something bizarre about a sketch pad on his table; it meant someone had been in his apartment. It was not Tuesday, so the maid service did not come that day. Being a little freaked out, Daniel decided to take a walk down to the pool so he could relax a little.
As soon as Daniel came out of the elevator and turned the corner towards the pool, a man who was watching the elevator spoke into his two-way radio, “Blue, you’re up.”
A hotel worker jumped in the elevator leading to Daniel’s apartment. He unlocked Daniel’s apartment, entered quickly. He pulled out a box from a black bag and sat it on top of the sketch pad. He locked the apartment and went back down the elevator.
After his swim and a snack at the quick service counter, Daniel went back up to his room. Not noticing the surprise package, he went directly to the bathroom for a shower then went to bed.
It was not until the next morning that Daniel noticed the box on the table. Unfortunately, he did not know when it was put there. He had not noticed it the day before, but he also had not heard anyone come in during the night either. There it was a simple black box.
It was square but not too big. Daniel picked it up to look at it. He had a box like that when he was younger but this one was new and a bit fancier. His box used to hold his drawing pencils. The box in his hand had the initials DD on it. The only thing he could think DD stood for was Donald Duck or even Daisy Duck. He smiled and opened the box.
Inside were colored pencils, he smiled as he set the box down. A chuckle filled the room. What confused him most was where it came from. A was a gift delivered to the wrong room. Either way, he found himself pulling out a few pencils. A few moments later he had drawn Donald and Daisy Duck, complete with a background just like a scene from a cartoon. He sat back and looked at it. Daniel became happy to see his imagination coming back to him.
Content, Daniel went downstairs and stopped at the front desk before heading to Epcot for the day.
“Excuse me,” he called to the lady at the desk.
It was not a girl he had seen over the past couple of days. Daniel asked. “There was a package put in my room; can I find out where it came from?”
“Let me check the records. What’s your room number?” said Dana H. as her name tag said.
Daniel thought for a moment. He was not sure what to say. He did not have a number on his door. He responded with the obvious, “I live in the apartment upstairs.”
Dana at the desk giggled. “We don’t have apartments here.”
Daniel seemed a bit puzzled. He pointed to the elevator. “Yeah, up the elevator over there.”
Just then another hotel clerk arrived next to Dana and interrupted pushing her aside. “Hi, Mr. Daniel. How may I help you?”
Daniel laughed. “I got a package and was trying to find out where it came from.”
“Sure, let me check.” Sara L. started typing on the keyboard. To Daniel, it sounded like she was just hitting keys to hit keys. “It does not say. I show it was logged in about 8 pm last night. Arrived from Hollywood Studios’ Magic of Animation.”
Daniel stood there pondering his next worlds. Sara asked. “Was there something wrong with it?”
“No. Simply curious where it came from.”
“Yes, sir. Anything else I can help you with?”
“No, thanks.” Daniel turned to walk away, but he did forget something. “Yeah, I forgot something. The past couple of days, I used my room card to pay for food, I’d like to pay for that, so I don’t get a big tab.”
Sara smiled and plucked away at the keys on the keyboard again. “I show that it has been paid already.”
“Paid? By whom?”
She tapped away again. “I show a zero balance.”
“Huh? Is there a waiting period before it shows up?” Daniel questioned.
“Then my dinner from last night would have shown up?”
With a smile, she confirmed. “Yes. Dinner last night at The Brown Derby. There is nothing owed at this time.”
Daniel decided not to press the information and thanked her for her help. He walked off to catch a ride to EPCOT.
Sara grabbed Dana, the original clear by the arm. “Follow me.”
She was taken into a back room. Two men, dressed in black suits with dark sunglasses, came from different areas of the hotel followed them in.