My alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and unlike most days, I jump out of bed in excitement! It’s my first day of practice and first year participating in the Canoe Races of the World, also known as C.R.O.W- a beloved annual cast member event at the Magic Kingdom® Park. Teams of 8-10 will row around Tom Sawyer’s island for best times, advance to finals, and get a chance to race against the clock in the competition round.
Tradition means a lot to us at Disney, and this annual two-week event began in 1973 at Walt Disney World Resort following Disneyland in 1963. Teams compete in men’s, women’s, and co-ed leagues within Pro and Rec (recreational) divisions.
I am lucky enough to be part of this event and enjoy a week of team camaraderie and fun. This pre-sunrise experience in the Magic Kingdom is magical as it’s a rare treat to be in the park without all the smiling guests. One of my favorite walkaways is by Rivers of America in Frontierland, especially being able to enjoy the charming scenery in the early morning. As the sun burst through the sky, I stood there amazed gazing at Big Thunder Mountain from afar as the sun kissed its peak. In that picturesque moment, it was life’s simple pleasures while standing in the happiest place on earth that truly made this moment special. After taking in the backdrop, I smiled in delight, as I heard the faint sounds of disco music playing in the background. The earlier participants were already in the water, working hard to shave off seconds from their time compared to their competitors. The theme this year is Disco C.R.O.W and as I walked towards the dock, I heard one of the captain’s in the canoe yell, “Row, Row, Row” and watched bystanders cheer their fellow teammates. It’s remarkable being inside the park before sunrise, waiting to participate in this friendly competition. It’s special being a part of something uniquely Disney, and an experience I truly cherish.
Partners Federal Credit Union has 3 teams in this year’s C.R.O.W. races.
- Row-gue One REC Mixed
- PartnOars PRO Mixed
- PartnOars PRO Women’s
Finals will be on May 15th.
Let’s go Partners Team and Paddles Up!
Formerly authored by Mimi P. at Partners