Last month while on vacation with my family in Orlando, I managed to sneak in a visit with the Disney Emergency Amateur Radio Service (EARS, naturally!)
I soon discovered that this Disney sponsored club is anything but a laughing matter. The group is restricted to Disney current and retired “Cast Members” (Employees) and receives an operating budget from the corporation and well as impressive facilities at the local fire department. Their logo includes Mickey Mouse holding an HT - great fun - but significant in that the Disney corporation is very particular about the use of it’s personalities. Only one other Disney club is allowed to use Mickey!
I arrived at the Fire station 15 minutes early for the meeting only to discover, consistent with the Disney culture, I was the last one to arrive! The Meeting started and ended exactly on time and the sense of purpose and group energy was nothing short of “Magic”. The Meeting included a video wall conference link with the club President, who was housebound that day. The group supports local Boy Scout events, Tour de Cure (American Diabetes Assn), Relay for Life and Field Day.
I was later offered a tour of the Disney shack and vehicles (they have their own News style van complete with hydraulic mast) and chatted about their FM and D-STAR capabilities. “Nothing bad ever happens at Disney World” one of the team members told me, “but we are ready.”
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