Wednesday, 17 September 2008

On this magic night, a million stars will play beside us... glittering, shimmering, carouselling...pure enchantment lights the way...

Hello everybody, an update from cold, cloudy England!

Well, it's been 2 1/2 weeks since I got home from Florida. The flight back was ok but pretty boring and I was getting edgy at the end of the flight because I just wanted to get home. Enjoyed my first drink on the plane with dinner because Virgin Atlantic give you free wine!

Getting home was a little emotional but enjoyable! I am enjoying home comforts again now before going back to Uni in a couple of weeks....such as having a bathroom not covered in dark hair (ew!) and NICE FOOD! I got 350 photos printed in Boots and stuck them all in 2 albums plus I have a box full of memories from Disney and I still think it was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I still LOVE Disney but I don't know if I would do the ICP again... definately not this year but never say never! I just don't know if it would live up to the last 3 months! The only bad side about being home is having to go back to Clarks... it is SO boring working there now compared to Disney... I had to get out of the habit of referring to guests and dollars which took a while! I only have a few shifts left until Christmas now thank god!

I forgot to include my very last going above and beyond story in the airport post...

Going back to my last day in Florida... when I was at Downtown Disney. After rearranging my suitcases I realised the fat off Florida guidebook that was in there was quite heavy and bulky so reluctantly I took it out. I wondered around Downtown with it for a bit, contemplating putting it in a bin but feeling bad about doing that when I got a brainwave!! So I saw guest relations in the distance and a woman who looked like she was with her grandson who was wearing mickey ears... I went up to them and said "I'm really sorry for being rude, but how far into your vacation are you?" She seemed a bit taken aback (don't blame her!) and said "Oh, just a couple of days". Brilliant! So I said "Well, I've been a cast member this whole summer and I bought this before I came here but it's too heavy to take home so would you like to have it?" Well, she said yes and was so happy she gave me a hug! It was also her birthday because she had a birthday badge on so I thought it was just perfect and it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside!!

So, signing off on a high note now....

See y'all real soon!


Friday, 29 August 2008

All it takes is faith, trust and pixie dust...

And so it must all come to an end. This week has been absolutely mad... almost like the first week but backwards! I am sitting in the gate/departure lounge at Orlando International and it's a miracle but they have wireless, free internet which is quicker than Vista Way...

Lets go back to Saturday... me and Matt had training which was a bit rediculous as we only had like 4 shifts left but it was still fun. It was at 11am though so we went into magic kingdom at 9am so that we could go do a couple of rides. I also wanted to film the mini show/parade thing on main street where they sing the song 'Walking down Main Street USA' so we did that and then went on Space Mountain twice and Pirates of the Carribean. Then we went to our trainig for 2 hours before working a lovely 10.5 shift til 11.30pm... so basically spent the entire day in the vincinity of the castle.

Sunday, me and Victoria had already decided to take a trip to Planet Hollywood again so we met up and went for lunch. We both had chicken fajitas which were yummmmy and then we had pudding. I had an immense chocolate brownie thing which was actually meant for 2 people although I didn't realise this until I was struggling through it when half was still left! Victoria on the other hand, had a 'bread pudding'. What they didn't mention was the fact it was drowned in a whisky sauce!!! We obviously didn't read the menu properly because it was properly alcoholic. So after managing to avoid alcohol for 9 weeks it was ruined! Hahaha... Anyway, we left to go back to Vista because we both had work. I thought I started at 17.45 so I strolled in at 17.30 to clock in and they're all like "where have you been?!?!" Turns out I was supposed to start at 16.45 and so I was late... in my last week! How annoying. Anyway, because you can't be late, get ER or ROS or extension in the last week (as your pay check is already decided as you recieve it in the same week you are doing the hours) so that meant that I had to come in an hour early the next day which meant I had a really long shift on the Monday from 15.45 til 1.15am... eugh.

So Monday was pretty much just work. WOOOO.

Tuesday I had to do my packing and that wasn't fun. Especially when I realised how freaking heavy my suitcases were and also how I had blatently bought too much stuff over here. Hahaa. So after I struggled with my packing for a few hours I decided to go early to MK and film the afternoon parade! Woo. It was really fun although I got sunburnt just standing in the sun for 30 minutes! Then I went into work again...

Wednesday was my last shift. In the morning we decided to go to Epcot so we went and did a few rides like mission space and soarin'. I was feeling really tired having decided to continue my packing after work the night before and not going to bed til gone 3am. haha. Pretty much have lived on 4 hours sleep a night this week!! Anyway, came home at about 1pm and had a couple of hours of yet more packing and tidying. Went to work for 17.45 for my LAST shift!! It was pretty good actually because I was on stock (which is crap...) but in Womens which had 2 of us stocking. So I basically merchantained for the most part as we had hardly any stock to put out... then at 9.50pm we got told to meet at the front desk... to go and watch Wishes!! FROM THE ROOF!!!!!!!!!! It was bloody brilliant, knowing how much I love the fireworks and being actually paid to sit there and watch them, feeling like you were the only one watching them from the roof of the Emporium...soooo good. Then Edouard finished his shift so we all said goodbye to him which was a bit sad because the rest of us finished at closing, 1.15am. We had our final emporium doughnut binge and then got changed to go to late night iHop as is tradition with the leaving CPs...we didn't manage to get there til about 2.15am and so ended up going to bed at 4am. Again.

Then to our final full day in Florida... Thursday. Well it started off a bit crazy because I overslept (wonder why..) and had 5 minutes to get dressed and get on the bus to the bank to go and fetch/cash our last paychecks. Managed it though and then was on the bus and Jon from Clarks called me!! Wants me back at work this week. So I think I am possibly going back on times. Anyway, spent THREE hours at the bank which was NOT fun. Included having an argument with some really rude French ICPs who tried to push in the line after we'd been there for over 1 1/2 hours! I don't think so! So eventually managed to get my money (woooo, 2 weeks of work plus the money from my bank account which I had to close... so had about $700 in total. Whoop whoop!) and then we jumped back on the bus, quickly got changed and then me and Victoria went to Hollywood Studios. We had lunch and then we had Cast fastpasses (courtesy of Vic's manager.. heheee) for Toy Story Mania which was wicked, then we got backdoored onto Rock n Rollercoaster and then we used our regular fastpasses which we obtained earlier to go on Tower of Terror. A few tears here and there from wierdly both me and Vic even though we were saying goodbye to HER managers haha!!

Then we went back to Vista and met up with the other girls. We all went to this eatery up the road from Vista called Bahama Breeze which was reeeeally nice. I had a tomato and basil pizza type thing and a Key Lime Pie which was goood! Then we got the bus straight to MK to see Wishes... After doing a ride or two using the Re-Entry passes (thanks Lara!! haha) which were 'obtained' we went over to the Walt statue and met up with the other ICPs to watch Wishes......there were tears from everyone as soon as the music started! For me it was mainly the emotion of the day but also because I know it will be the last time I watch Wishes which really is special to me... no idea why but hearing it every night for 10 weeks might have something to do with it. Wishes finished and everyone was crying... lots of photos were taken.. lots of strange looks from guests who didn't realise as well! We had a group photo of about 100 of us... an unfortunate manager who happened to be passing got about 40 camera thrown at him to take this photo with! We were a bit tour group-ish with chanting and various bits of singing but it was really amazing. A quick visit to the Emporium for the last bits of jewellry I wanted and we left the Magic Kingdom for the last time :(

Eventually got home at about 12.30am and preceeded to try and finsih my packing. Yet another late night at gone 3am for bed!

And so.. to today, Friday. Got up, returned my costumes, tidyed, tried to squish more stuff into suitcase and then called for a taxi for 10.30am. Said goodbye to my housemates (actually meant my goodbyes to Selena, Sarah and Kelly.... but definately NOT to Stephanie who, I forgot to mention, actually refused to answer the door yesterday when I locked myself out...stupid cow.) and then struggled to the Clubhouse with 2 huge, heavy suitcases, a heavy backpack, a handbag and a hoodie. LOL. The taxi was there for me and took me to Downtown Disney where I again, struggled with my suitcases. One was alright, only 20kgs... the other one was 32.5kg!!! Unfortunately if it is over 32kg then it's too heavy for the plane. LOL. So I had to open up my suitcases again and rearrange! Took out my beloved WDW guidebook which was really big and heavy and a hoodie as well which I carried instead. So reweighed it and it was just over 30kg which is good although had to pay the $70 excess baggage fee. Meh.

Good to get rid of my suitcases but still have an uber heavy backpack and handbag LOL. I met up with the other girls who were on my flight and we had a bit of lunch at Planet Hollywood but nothing like what I had with Victoria (who, by the way, was getting a plane to San Francisco at 7am this morning so I said goodbye to last night... it wasn't sad tho because we're going to go and see Graham Norton in London at some point :P). We hung about for a bit then got a taxi to the aiport and now we're here at the end of our amazing adventures in the world of the Mouse.

I know this is a beast of a post but I wanted to reminise on some of the funny and stupid guest questions I've had... (bear in mind I worked in the biggest store in MK on Main Street...)

"Where are the rides?"

Guest: "Where is Main Street?"
Me: "Main St reaches all the way down to the train station..."
Guest: "So where is it?"
Me: "you're standing on it."

"Do you work here?" (bear in mind my 1906 costume, pins and NAMEBADGE)

"Are there any Disney stores round here?"

"Where's the Emporium?"

"Is this seperate stores all the way down?"

"Where is the park exit?"

"Do you sell anything that is not Disney?"

"Which way is the castle?"

Comment from a guest: "I would like to know where to make a suggestion to Disney."
Me: "Sir the best place for that is guest relations at city hall... is it anything I can help you with?"
Guest: "I have seen something dirty."
Me: *really worried it is some dodgy disney reference* "Erm.... yes?"
Guest: "The ceilings on the Winnie the Pooh ride were filthy." LOL.

Guest: "Do you sell christmas ornaments?"
Me: "Only a couple I'm afraid..."
Guest: "Well, why not??"
Me: "Because it's August.... oh, and there is a Christmas shop in Liberty Square."

Ahh... the list goes on and on... I hope everyone has enjoyed reading this blog and well done for getting to the end of this massive post! Please email me or comment if you have any questions or you are looking into doing the ICP and want advice!!

Lots of Love and Disney Magic!!

Catherine xx

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bibbiti, bobbidi, boo!

This week has been crazy and will continue to be more crazy as it goes on. I am literally writing to say I promise to do a full blog post very soon and am in the middle of my attempt at packing which is failing quite well because I have faaar too much crap to fit in 2 suitcases and have bought too much stuff in Florida. I really hope I don't end up buying another bag and having to pay £75 for excess baggage but I do fear I will be giving Virgin Atlantic the £35 charge for a bag over 23kg!! Ahhhhhhhhh!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Cruella De Vil... if she doesn't scare you, nothing will...

Tropical Storm my arse!! Now I know Orlando didn't get the full impact of it because it kinda veered off course towards the east coast where it is now lingering but still! The rain and wind we got was seriously English... imagine a wet and windy winter's day in England and thats what we had except about 20 degrees warmer. Which is actually worse because if you put a coat on to be dry then you boil from the heat and if you take it off you get wet. And then go into air conditioning and freeze!! In this place you are either too hot or too cold!!

I got my schedule for my last week :( I am doing all stock shifts which is a bit crappy but at least it means I can work at my own pace :P Depending on which area I'm in of course. I still have 2 or 3 sales shifts til those stock ones though and now I have finally got my voice back after that cold I can actually talk to guests!!

Yesterday was my last day off... and as usual I didn't waste it! After realising that the park only had about 15,000 guests on Tuesday (normally its between 30 and 50!) and the queues had all been 10 minutes all day, I wanted to get in on some of this walk on ride business! So I went with Matt to MK bright and early on Wednesday so we could do the rides in Fantasyland because they get stupidly long queues... mainly coz its the only place with rides designed for lil kids. So we did Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan, Dumbo and the Tea Cups plus the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway all in one hour!! Then the queue for Space Mountain was 20 minutes (turned out to be walk on... damn!) and I had to run so couldn't join him on that one. Went to the TTC and waiting bloody ages for the american coach to take me back to The Commons where I was meeting Victoria. It eventually arrived at 10.50am and I was somewhat damp by this time... luckily the air con was so brisk on the bus it dried out my trousers even though I was freezing!!

Got to The Commons and met Vic and we walked over to the premium outlets (5 minute walk) then had to find the LYNX bus... which we eventually did. Again, still pouring with rain but I was equipped with a poncho now so wasn't too bad. Took an hour to get to the Florida mall on the bus but it was worth it!! Did some proper clothes shopping :D Stayed there til about 6pm and got the bus back, arriving (eventually) at about 7.30pm to Vista. Got changed and went back out to get the F bus to CrossRoads where we went for a CURRY!!! Yeeaaahhhhhh!!!

I have missed curry! Americans just don't DO indian food. It was good to eat something that cost more than $10 and didn't come with a side portion of fries.

The weather has cleared a bit today and I have work at 5.30... only a 6 hour shift which is good and I don't have to close!! WOO.


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Little April Showers...

Well, this is my fourth time in Florida during hurricane season and everytime we have escaped any sort of tropical weather.

Except this time! As Tropical Storm Fay is on the way! I am very excited although slightly disappointed it never developed into a hurricane and it's losing it's eye as it travels up Florida (for all those who aren't geography geeks...these kinds of storms feed off water and as its over land its losing power). However! It is gradually getting more windy here which is wierd because it's never windy in Florida... it is only drizzling at the moment, a bit Englishy in the weather actually. I start work at 4.15 and I think the worst of weather is due for late afternoon/evening so bring it on! LOL!

This is an image from this morning, when the storm was more formed complete with a clear eye... I am just near the top of the map where you can just about see it saying Kissimmee... (click the picture to make it bigger!)

Monday, 18 August 2008

Too annoyed to think of a lyrical blog title...

Well, I now have the tail end of this horrible cold. I ended up going to work til 2.15am (it was a good shift because I was in kids stockroom so didn't have to talk to many people therefore didn't lose my voice too much) but ended up calling in sick for last night because I was supposed to be working til 5.15am which is crazy. Bit disappointed that I can't say I worked til 5.15am which would have been fun but needed sleep more and thankfully I feel a little better today.

However. I have a MAJOR problem with my apartment buddies now.... the air conditioning. They keep either turning it off or turning it up to 90 degrees which means it doesn't come on til its 90 in the apartment (which it never is... thats like 33C) so therefore no cold air is going on. I went to turn it down to 70 last night which is what its supposed to be on (about 21C... still hotter than england) and got a mouthful of abuse from the flatmate who moved in 2 weeks ago and never even introduced herself to me. She is also from barbados and already knew the rest of my flatmates.... she said "You need to put it on a temperature that suits everybody" so why the hell has she been putting it on bloody 90 then?!?!! Anyway, I sit here in my polyester costume shirt and leggings actually sweating as if I am outside because I can't feel any cold air. We're in Florida for christs sake, and not everyone is from some carribean island and used to hot weather!!!

I am very much looking forward to not having to share a room anymore and getting some decent housemates.... and before that, being able to sleep in a cold room in England where it rains. Although I LOVE working for Disney and I really like my job and the friends I have made here... I am ready to come home now, to some cool weather, good food and all the people I love. It's weird to say I am coming home next week but it's true, it's going to be 1 week and 5 days til I am flying.....


Saturday, 16 August 2008

Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...

I think working solidly and being equally busy on my days off is starting to take its toll because I am ill...again. I have a really tickly throat and a croaky voice although having eaten this morning it's a little better.. I worked til 4am last night and I have a 2.15am shift tonight. I don't want to phone in sick because I will get another point and if you get three points you have a reprimand (I already have one from phoning in sick a few weeks ago) so I might just apply for an ER for midnight so that I dont have to work til 2.15am.... doubt I will get it though, never do.

Also had a couple of idiot people that have been working on my shifts which pissed me off the last couple of days for different reasons plus being ill hasn't helped. Disney did something to annoy me this week too which was to not tell the guests that Spectromagic is not on for the next 2 weeks, therefore they keep expecting to see 2 parades in the evening but all there is is the short daytime parade (which I love anyway, but that's besides the point) at 7pm!! Oh well...


Thursday, 14 August 2008

Four Parks, One World..... One Day!

What a day!

As we only have limited time left here in Orlando, I have made a list of things I want to do so that I am not on the plane home thinking "Oh, I wish I had done this and that". One of the big ones was doing all four major Disney parks in one day :D And today, me and Victoria managed it, quite easily actually!!

We started bright and early by getting the 8.04am bus to the Animal Kingdom. We got there and sneakily got let in 10 minutes early because we went a way where no-one else was waiting to get in! (No 1 fortunate incident) So that gave us enough time to get to Everest ahead of the crowds, it said 25 minutes queue but even on stand-by we were in and out of it in about 15! Then we went straight over to Dinosaur and did that. By now we were a bit hungry so we went and had breakfast! Then at about 10am we headed out of the first park! Wooo!

We got on the guest bus to Hollywood Studios and got in there at about 10.30am. It was reasonably busy so we got fastpasses for Tower of Terror and then headed over to the Great Movie Ride. When we came out of that the High School Musical 2 Pep Rally (mini parade/show - 2nd fortunate incident) was in full flow so we did a bit of watching that, then went and got churros (which happened to have literally just been cooked and were nice and hot! 3rd fortunate incident!) (Coz you can't go to 'MGM' without churros!) By then it was time to head over to Tower so we went and did that :D We managed to jump the last few people at the front of the queue because there was the fantastic call for "Party of 2??" WOO (4th fortunate incident....). AND we were in the front row! Woop! After Tower we decided to give the Rock n Roller Coaster a go on single riders... we queued for about 35 minutes which wasn't too bad when it was getting so busy there! So after that we headed to the boats to Epcot!

We arrived in Epcot at about 1.30pm and we walked over to China to get the classic Orange Chicken and Rice... yummy! We lounged around a bit there because we were both getting a little tired! Then we went over and did Spaceship Earth and then Journey into Imagination (via the little coca-cola place where you can try different global types of soda.... thanks again Vic for the Italian one which was truely viiiile.). We didn't do the BIG rides at Epcot because a) they were in a different bit of the park to where we were and b)the queues were far too long!

So then we went and got the monorail over to my favourite park, the Magic Kingdom. And we got to sit in the front with the driver!!! Was very fun! Once we arrived, we mooched around a little bit in Main St, got an ice cream and then headed over to Tomorrowland to go on Blue Train! (Actual title is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority!) Then we decided to get fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear's SpaceRanger Spin (and in the process got 'surprise fastpasses' for....get this.... CAROSEL OF PROGRESS! Personally think this is a con to make people go on the ride. LOL.) so we went to the aforementioned Carosel of Progress although didnt use the fastpasses because a) there was simply no need and b) it was hilarious to keep them because it's truely rediculous to give fastpasses for this ride! Hahaa!! Once we were in the right time, we went on Buzz Lightyear and then we went over to Liberty Square and did Hall of Presidents (never have I ever been on such a boring, American ride.... interesting if you like american history and that's it. Don't think it was aimed at British people. LOL.) Then we went on the Haunted Mansion (whoop!) and decided it was time to head over to the Polynesian. Yes... the Polynesian resort.

Why? For Wishes!! We skipped the parade and got the boat over to the resort which I liked (Victoria wasn't such a fan... spiders, lightening and the fact she doesn't like boats. haha).. we had a walk around the hotel (it's Looooovely! I think I actually prefer it to the Grand Floridian!) and I bought some flip-flops Mum will be jealous of. Haha. Then we went out onto the Disney/Man-Made beach they have and even managed to get sun loungers to sit on. (5th fortunate incident!!)The weather was perfect (it had been all day) because it was cloudy and windy! Yes, windy... in Florida! It was fantastic... you will only understand how amazing wind in Florida is if you have stood in queues in 30C+ and 100% humidity! But then we watched Wishes from there because you can see the castle! It was an experience... really nice!!

So then we got back on the monorail to the TTC. And as we walked to the bus stop, it started to spit with rain... uh-oh.... but only once we had finished our day! (6th fortunate incident!) so I decided to put my poncho on just in case... well... 5 minutes later the HEAVENS OPENED. And I mean it POURED with rain... in proper monsoon style! Vic got absolutely soaked and I was pretty wet too!! Even with my poncho on! But it definately finished the day in style, especially when a nice bus driver (yes, they exist) took pity on us all soaked there and took us back to Vista in a minibus he needed to return there anyway (7th very fortunate incident!) meaning we didn't have to wait for the A bus which would have taken about 45 minutes to get there... which meant I got back at about 11.25pm.... so a full 15 hours and 15 minutes of Disney magic today!!!

Really good day and if you look at all the fortunate coincidences we had.. it seems we were a bit blessed! haha!

Absolutely shattered now, hense the lack of grammar and probably full of speeeeling mistakes but never mind!!


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Come and share the excitement and magic, of Disney's Dreams Come True...

Woooo I get to see the full length day parade today for the last time... it's my last day shift whilst the parade is doing it's full trip from Frontierland to Main St. After Thursday it will only be going up and down Main St as I wrote in my last post!

The other day I was supposed to have a day shift where I could see it but they sent me on break at 3.14pm! How unfair! I could actually hear the parade starting to come down main street but they forced me on my break, they wouldn't even let me delay by 15 minutes. Thats the kind of situation when I wish there were more nice co-ordinators like Connie... unfortunately she wasn't in that day and so I lost my battle and had to go on my break. Meh. THEN, they sent me on my last break (which is only 15 mins) at 9.59pm... so right before wishes... this actually had advantages tho becausse 15 mins is not long enough to go all the way to the break room and back so I just sat in the parking lot at the back of the Emporium and watched Wishes from backstage! Only bad thing is that you can't really hear the music from there :(

I have realised how few days off I have left before leaving Florida and I have so many things I want to do!! I think I will have about 5 more days off before I leave and I have just realised I think they might take our disney IDs off us the day before we leave which means we wont be able to go into the parks on our last night :S I will go find out what we can and can't do... I wanted to see wishes that night!!

Had a day off yesterday and not being one to waste a day off (even if I didn't get to bed til 5.15am the night before) I went to downtown disney with Charlotte, Matt and Emma (from work) to see Mamma Mia again but we got the times wrong and ended up seeing Wall-e again (which is a great film anyway!). Then we missed the bus (through NO fault of our own) back to Vista and because they had to get to work we decided to go straight to the magic kingdom. So we got the resort guest bus to the Grand Floridian (got to have a poke around there, took some photos.... very posh) and then the monorail over to MK. They got off at the park and I stayed on, hopped off at the Contemporary (took some more pics) and then got back on to the TTC where I got the A bus back to Vista! Stayed at home for about an hour, then got the C bus to Epcot where I went to see Illuminations (got an amazing spot to stand and met a really nice English family who I chatted to all about being a cast member and they let me stand with them so I got some great photos) then I legged it to the monorail and went over to the Magic Kingdom to see Wishes! LOL. Was great... missed the A bus back at 10.30 by like 1 minute so had to wait for the next one therefore not getting home til about 11.40pm which was a bit lame but brilliant day even if I had to do some of it alone as to lack of people having the same nights off as me!

I have to rush off to work now (1.30pm til 11.30pm... wooooo)!!


Tuesday, 5 August 2008

It's a small world...

I can't believe that I have been working in the busiest store in the Magic Kingdom for 6 weeks and I haven't run into anyone I know or anyone from my area of Bristol! The nearest I managed was a 15 yr old boy who went to QEH and then a couple of days ago I met an American who knew people who lived in Bradley Stoke of all places! LOL!

Americans always seem to presume because you're from England you will know their mate who lives in Newcastle or Liverpool! I have got used to telling people that Bristol is near London now because in American terms it is! 2.5 hours is practically next door if you compare it to America!

Had another amusing guest yesterday who came up to me and said in a really serious voice "I don't know if you can help me... I'm looking for something with Mickey Mouse on it?" I took him as a serious question for a good minute before I realised he was winding me up! LOL. Then he said he had a serious question, he was looking for a hat he had seen in the video Disney sent him when he was planning his vacation "1001 ways to spend money at Disney". Having seen this video I found that very amusing! LOL!!

I also worked out today that I have seen the Spectromagic parade approximately 42 times this summer! LOL. Its only on for another 2 weeks and then they are taking it off temporarily because they are doing maintenance on the bridge to Frontierland (in the middle of August, are they crazy?!) so instead the afternoon parade will be on at 3pm and 7pm but it's only going up Main St and then around the circle by the castle and then back down Main St. It will be different thats for sure!


Monday, 4 August 2008

I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street USA...

So my shift today started at 3.30pm (when it was still daylight, shock horror!) but I thought it started at 3.15! So there I was, ready to clock in at 3pm and then it wouldn't let me... so after hanging around for 15 minutes I clocked in, grabbed a Mickey glove and headed for the nearest door onto Main St.


3 O'Clock Parade!!! The one I never get to see because I'm not there in the daytime! So, even though I wasn't being paid to do it, I danced, sang and waved my way through the parade! It was blooming hot out there today as well! At 3.30pm when it finished, I headed back into the air conditioning and one of my managers said "Oh I saw you out there, you were doing a great job!" and I said "It was fun! But I better go get my assignment now and do some proper work! I mean, I already clocked in but I don't actually start til 3.30!" and she went "No way! Wow!"

....and then came and found me 15 minutes later to give me another Guest Service Fanatic card :D Well deserved I think as I stayed in the character and played the part plus gave off a very postitive image and energy in boiling heat for NO money!! :D Gotta love Disney!

With that plus a guest who decided to post-sale ship EVERYTHING she had bought throughout the day to the front of the park (took a total of 40 minutes and lots of forms) I got quite exhausted during my short and sweet 6 hour shift. Managed to leave 10 minutes before Wishes so got to see that as a guest as well :D


Saturday, 2 August 2008

We're all in this together...

It's weird because I didn't think I would miss everyone as much as I have during the program. I'm in my Sixth week now so I'm over half way through and I only have 28 days left before I'm flying back to the UK... I can't wait to get home and see everybody again, have my home comforts but I will really miss my job and working for Disney. I don't know if I will really miss Vista Way and the living situation that much (I want my own bedroom back!) but definately the people at work and the Emporium. Even when I'm at uni, I don't go more than about 4 or 5 weeks without seeing someone in my family or taking a trip home to Bristol... and with the added factor that I am 5000 miles away and it's impossible to pop back to Brizzle for a few days it makes the missing home thing worse! Having said that, I am still having a great time here on the whole!!

Mostly over the last week I have just been working a lot and sleeping...been to a few parks as well tho! On Tuesday 29th, we went to the Florida Mall which was great!! Apart from HSBC being lame and deciding to block my card after I tried and failed to use it in an ATM three times.... Luckily I have a credit card! Whoop! So I bought a few things for people in my family but also some new Sketchers which I really needed... were $55 but I got 20% cast member discount! Wooo! So they ended up being like $44... which is cheaper than at home! I also bought a skirt, a top and some jeans... all for $60! Once we got back to Vista, we decided to meet up again later and go to the Magic Kingdom for the evening... so we went at about 8pm and did a couple of rides, nothing particuarly amazing tho! We saw Wishes from Fantasyland which was a really strange experience! To explain: Usually I watch the fireworks from in front of the castle because you get the correct perspective and it looks very pretty. Fantasyland is behind the castle and watching it from there is like watching a tennis match with fireworks going off all around you!! I definately prefer it from the front of the castle!!

Wednesday was my second day off so me and Victoria made an early start and went to Animal Kingdom. Managed to get Everest, Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, The dumbo-style dinosaur ride and the Nemo Musical done before leaving at about 1pm! Then we went to Hollywood Studios in the evening but it was a bit of a mistake because it was EMH that night for resort guests so it was reeeeeally busy. We ended up coming back at about 10pm!

Thursday I went back to work and had a good shift from 12 til 1845 which was great because I got to see the afternoon parade!! Had a bit of an incident 30 minutes before the end of my shift though....

Firstly need to tell you that we have four Disney Basics... they are 1) Stay in Character and play the part..2) Respect and involve all guests including children... 3) Project a positive image and energy...4) Go above and beyond.

So... there were a group of kids who all belonged to a camp and they were wearing these yellow t-shirts with their logo on them. Anyway I was chatting with one of the young girls (she was about 11) at the register and she told me that they were only at disney for one day and they would be leaving in a couple of hours :( As I was serving the next guest I realised she had left her cell phone on the counter of my register! So I thought they can't have gone far because they were only there 2 minutes before.. I did a quick trip up and down the Emporium and then up and down the other side of main street... I even went all the way to the tip board (which is as far as I can go in my costume... its part of preserving the staying in character part!) but I couldn't find them. Admitting defeat I went to lost and found at City Hall... after recieving my receipt for handing it in I decided to have one last look in Main St before going back to my register...and lo and behold I see some more kids in the yellow shirts!! Woo! So I went over and explained that someone in their group left a phone in the emporium and the leaders of the group need to go and retrieve it because she probably hasn't realised that she left it anywhere. I went back to the store with a sense of accomplishment and told my co-ordinator who told me to go and tell a manager the story because it was 'going above and beyond' and I also needed to give them the reciept. So I basically told the wrong manager because all he did after I explained the whole thing was "So the girl found her cell phone...?"

I was so annoyed! They go on about these basics and then he didn't even say well done for me. So I moped about for the rest of my shift and when I was waiting to clock out another manager said to me "Are you ok?" so I said "No, I'm annoyed!" and explained the whole thing... well, the upshot is that he said Well Done and gave me a Guest Service Fanatic card for going above and beyond (rather like getting a gold star!). So all ends well.

Victoria met me after work and we went into the magic kingdom (because I finished at 7pm! wooo!) and it was really great... we did loads of rides including splash mountain in our very own log! For some reason nobody else was in the boat with us so we got the photo!! We saw wishes from the proper place and even a bit of Spectromagic (as if seeing it twice a night every night wasn't enough! :P)

Since then I haven't really done a lot except visit the bank and work! Although yesterday we had another interesting story...

I've had to deal with three lost children in the last week. It's a common occurance in the Emporium because it's such a big store and gets so busy.

Story 1: Little boy comes up to me when it was really busy as if he was in the queue for my register and goes "I've lost my parents." So... I took him by the hand and he starts to sniff and cry :( We walk up and down the Emporium and just as I told him we'd go to City Hall and see if his parents were there, a guest relations woman came up to me and practically grabbed him off me. She went "Your parents are on the other side of main street." She didn't even ask him name!!! So I got left there... just like.. what the hell happened?! She whisked him away without a word of thanks to me. Meh.

Story 2: A little girl comes up to me again when it was very busy and asks if she can use my phone. I explained that the till phones aren't connected to an outside line and whether she had lost someone to which she said "Yes, my mom..." So again we went on a walk of the Emporium and didn't find them. When we got back down to Souvenirs she suddenly went "oh this is my dad...." and he spoke to her in perfectly boring, calm Spanish... as if he hadn't even noticed she had gone!! :O

Story 3: (From last night) It's 3am and the store is about to shut for the stupidly late EMH. A woman comes up to me and goes "I'm sorry but I have lost my daughter. I've been looking for 20 minutes and I can't find her." Perfectly calm. Worryingly so actually! So I was like.... ok.... "Have you looked around the store?" to which she said she had been walking up and down. So, I said we'd go and check City Hall. Nothing there. Got told to go to Baby Care, so we walked up to Baby Care... it was locked. Obviously she wasn't there. I said we'd go back into the Emporium and locate a manager to see if they knew anything... well, they had locked all the doors to stop more guests coming in!! So eventually found a door with custodians who could let me in! I asked the nearest co-ordinator who said that yes, there was a lost girl in Zone 80......this little 4 year old was curled up with a minnie mouse plushie on the cushioned bench we use for people trying on the croc shoes... fast asleep!! She had been there the whole time! So all good - mother reunited with child and it was time for my bump out :D


Friday, 25 July 2008

He's the leader of our gang, that's made for you and me... M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Well, I have been a very busy bee for the last 3 days!!

Monday I worked until 2.15am which was alright. Tuesday I ended up having a lie in instead of going to the Florida Mall which I'm going to do this Tuesday instead... I went to Cast Connection instead as well as the bank at Disney University and also costuming to return one of my shirts which was far too big! (long story involving me having to get the next size up because there were only manky shirts left in my size, nearly being late and having to fast walk/eat Subway to work ending with me clocking in only 4 minutes before the shift started!)

I bought loads of stuff, I spent $33 and it should have cost me $110!! Highlights include a photo album that has practically nothing wrong with it, a 2008 photo frame with a tiny chip which can be hidden, a United Kingdom Epcot shirt for $4, some Minnie ears with a purple veil (so cute!) and some stickers! Got back home for abour 4pm and then I went out for All You Can Eat Chinese food... why does practically everything in america have to involve those 4 words?!

Was yummy though... realised I could make it to Magic Kingdom for the fireworks at 10pm even though it was 9.05 when we left the Chinese. So.... I jumped on the A bus when we got back to Vista Way and he got me to MK in 10 minutes! Got there at 9.30pm, got on the Monorail and charged up Main Street and was in front of that castle at 9.50pm!! That is quite an achievement!! Saw wishes but my camera batteries had run out so I didn't take any pics! Had to contend with the rest of the crowds to get out of Main St... attempted to go into the tunnels and beat them but it failed so I had to jostle my way out.... then for some OBSCURE reason I decided to go on the ferry over to the TTC instead of the Monorail.... never again! Got caught in the middle of a Brazilian tour group and it was pretty hellish! Got home at like 12.30am!

On Wednesday, me and Victoria went to see 'Mamma Mia' at the cinema!!! Was soooo funny! Loved that film... so getting the DVD when it comes out... hopefully around my birthday would be good! We grabbed some food at McDonalds, yeah healthy I know, and then we went to Give Kids the World which is a Volunteering (or Voluntears as Disney put it... ears...mickey... gettit??) thing for Cast Members to do. You go to this place called Give Kids The World Village and it's where they put up families who have terminally ill children, give them Disney and Universal tickets and generally help them have a great vacation... we go there to give the parents a break for a couple of hours. So I got a bit facepainted and we played games. Then we did some kareoke ('Village Idol') high school musical songs no less, and then we got picked up at 9pm and brought back to Vista Way. Quite fun really!

Then on Thursday, Victoria and I had already decided we would go to Epcot because she had the day off and I wasn't working til 8.15pm.... so at about midday we caught the bus over there and arrived at backstage Epcot which was quite amusing because we didn't know where the hell we were going! So, we got on this bus and the bus driver preceeded to give us a guided tour of backstage Epcot which was rather amusing. We got off the bus in Canada and did a walking/photo tour of the World which was really fun! We ate in China and ended up in Futureworld where we did some of the sitting down/air conditioned rides before getting the monorail over to Magic Kingdom.

Donated more money to Disney there because I had more food and we walked around the shops a bit. Did the new Monsters Inc show called 'Laugh Floor' which was fun! Then at 7.40pm I went down to get ready for work... only did 6 hour shift last night which was really good actually. Got put on registers in the Princess room for most of it and then stocking mugs and cups which apart from us not having enough stock left, was quite easy and didn't involve any sizing!! Wooo! Got home at about 3am and slept in til 1pm today because I am working a beastly shift tonight.... 7.30pm til 4am... plus it's Extra Tragic Hours tonight so the park is actually open til 2am... at least I am on sales.


Monday, 21 July 2008

A dream is a wish your heart makes...

Ok, so it's been 6 days since I last wrote - shows how little free time I've had as most of it has been spent sleeping!

After writing my last post, I watched High School Musical which was great :) I probably should have spent the time having a nap because I was working the standard 1845 - 0315 stock shift that night... and it was lame as! Because I got put on 'kids hang' which I soon discovered involves sitting in a little stockroom full of kids clothing up on the 3rd floor (where only the managers offices and the restrooms are) with NOTHING to do, waiting for the phone to ring when someone needs a different size for a piece of clothing. I figured after the first 15 minutes it was very boring... I lasted 2 hours before calling down to the front desk and asking them to get someone to relieve me so I could go on my first break, where I managed to aquire some food, drink and a magazine!! :D So the rest of the shift in kids hang went very well, I got paid to sit and read a magazine... did a little bit of putting stuff on hangers but there were literally no jobs to be done up there!

Wednesday 16th was my next day off and so me and Victoria went to MGM studios! It was great, we got there about 1.30pm and had some lunch (guest prices... meh!). Then we got fastpasses for Tower of Terror and went to queue for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster... fantastic as usual. We went on single rider so it only took about 45 minutes in the queue... then we went and did some of the smaller rides that I've never done like Mickey's Philarmagic which was fab! And Walt Disney One Man's Dream and also a show about animation which were interesting! Then we headed back to Tower of Terror (on the way we got Churros!!!!! finally! And this really nice guy gave us some fastpasses for Star Tours which he didn't want anymore) so then we did TT which is fantastic. Then we headed over to Star Tours and the heavens opened... it rained soooo much! We decided to then leave the park and go to the Yaucht and Beach Club Resort to meet the others to have a 'kitchen sink'!

We got soaked leaving MGM and we got on a boat over to the resort which was quite cool. It was nice not to have to get on another bus! After wondering around the resort for a bit and finally finding 'Beaches And Cream Cafe' to have our 'kitchen sink' we met the others and ordered this beast!! I have tried to upload a picture onto here but it won't work! Basically, it's a massive bowl shaped like a kitchen sink and in it is 8 scoops of ice cream, 4 brownies, cake, banana and every topping and sauce they have! It was amazing!!! We shared it between 5 of us!

Thursday and Friday were crappy! I worked 1230 - 2315 on Thurs and 1300 - 0030 on Friday! Having two shifts that long nearly did me in I tell thee! My feet hurt so badly and not even Spectromagic got me feeling magical at the end of 11 hours of work... you can say "think of the money".... but whats depressing is for those two long shifts I earnt the massive amount of $150... which is only £75... and half of that is a week's rent. Meh... Worked Saturday and yesterday as well.. really nothing exciting happened to be honest!

One little incident was when I was doing a bit of tidying on Saturday and a guest came up to me and said "The watch case isn't supposed to be open is it?" and I turned around to find a woman looking and touching the $250 watches in the case... so I went over and said "Did anyone open this for you at all?" and she went "No, it was open." Uh-oh! Not good! Anyway, she preeceded to touch and fiddle with the watches before declaring she wanted to show her sister in law in another room of the shop so I had to lock the cabinets and chase after her where she then practically threw the watches around... I'm like... they cost $250 and $105, show some respect! They were both wearing Gucci so I spose they weren't expensive to them but the point remains! Anyway, I directed them to the watch shop across the other side of main street and luckily off they went, leaving me to put them back into the case safe and sound!

Went to UPS on saturday to post a package to Tom... it only weighed 6 ounces and yet it cost me $12!!! And they told me it would take 10 days! 10 freaking days! Today I went to the US Post Office and mailed 2 packages plus 2 cards to two different countries and the whole lot only cost me $22 and they said it would only take 7 days!

Tonight is an easy shift 1715 - 0015 and I'm on sales which is good... plus I have lots of fun things planned for the next 2 days off which are my free days YAY!!!


Tuesday, 15 July 2008

I wish I may, I might, have the wish I wish tonight...

Well last night I FINALLY got to see Wishes. I was determined to go on my first day off since last week and actually stand in front of the castle and take in the fireworks and the music as a guest rather than bits of the fireworks and the music whilst standing in the doorway of the Emporium.

So I did! And you know what, for the first time... my camera stayed in my bag and I just enjoyed the fireworks and soaked up the atmosphere. And it was amazing..... in fact, it really was Magical. I know that I'm going to try and see it a few more times before I leave and I'm sure I will take photos on those occasions but I noticed so many things I hadn't seen before because I wasn't looking at the digital camera screen.

We actually got to MK at about 7.30pm (me and claire) and we went off to Space Mountain to see the queue was like 100 minutes so changed our mind and went over to Fantasyland... did Mickey's Philarmagic which I have never seen before but it's a really great 3D show with loads of fab Disney music in it which you know I will love! Then we went on Snow White's Scary Adventures as a bit of a joke :) Then we went over to Frontierland to see if we could see Lara at work but she wasn't around so instead we went on Thunder Mountain! Queue was only about 15 minutes... then we stopped at the Jungle Cruise on the way back to Main St which was great in the dark! We saw Wishes and then legged it over to Space Mountain and still had to queue for about 30 minutes but it was fantastic... worth the wait! Then we made our way back to the bus, via the Emporium where I bought the Wishes soundtrack which is something I forced myself to wait to do until I'd seen it!

I've realised I'm a cast member even when I'm not on duty... I'm always on the look out for guests who don't know where they're going, or want a photo taken of them... I managed to chat with 3 children yesterday whilst we were queuing (one of whom tried to stab me with his plastic sword... little pirate!) and when we were waiting for Wishes, we talked to the couple in front of us all about Disney and about their vacation. It passed the time and was really nice because we could answer their questions!!

This morning, me and Victoria went to Cast Connection which is a cool shop across the car park from Disney University where they sell reduced stuff because it's either broken, marked, discontinued or in most cases just overstocked or out of date (e.g. it says 2007 all over it) I bought a lilac hoodie that says Walt Disney World on it for $11!!!! It should have been $49!! :D There's nothing wrong with it at all!!

Got work tonight so am going to watch my newly acquired DVDs which finally arrived from England!


Sunday, 13 July 2008

I am sixteen, going on seventeen...

Following my post yesterday I was speaking to someone at work who told me the stupidest thing she'd heard about was a woman holding a map and saying to the cast member "I can't find any of these rides!".......She was holding a Seaworld map. LOL.

Just a small note today because I have to rush off to work soon for my shift until 4am (yeah, insane, I know)... yesterday I helped a family who seemed to have a lot of kids. So I asked them if they were all related and this is how the conversation went:

Me: Wow you have lots of people in your party... so how many of you guys are related?

Girl: All of us!

Me: Oh, what, are some of you half brothers and sisters..

Girl: Nope, all full brothers and sisters. There's actually 14 of us...

No everybody, that's not a typo. FOURTEEN CHILDREN!!! Apparently the oldest 3 weren't on vacation with them but that's still like... 11 children at Disney for a holiday. And my mum got stressed with four!! Oh and by the looks of it there was another one on the way which is a bit insane. They were from Texas.



P.S. They spent $450!! And the guest before that spent $600! It was an expensive evening for them and a good one for the Emporium!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Have a magical day!

Just thought I would do a quick post about most commonly asked questions and comments from the guests so far... just been reading a facebook group full of them and it made me laugh a lot because I recognise those questions!!

Most stupid question was when I was on registers in Emporium, a woman came up to me and said "Excuse me, which direction are the rides??" Erm.... in the opposite direction to where you have just walked in the entrance... main street only goes two directions - towards the park and towards the exit. DUH!

Another silly question I got asked twice when I was on door greeter was "Is there a parade or something about to happen?" No madam...they just put the ropes up and people sit around on the kerb sides for 2 hours for fun.... oh and also "Does the parade come down main street?" (Look on your map and find out!)

Another one... at 1am.... "When do you close?" NOW!!!! The clue is in the fact you are the only customers and it's dark outside....

Most commonly asked question is "Where are the restrooms?"... bit like SJA duties then. HAHA.

Most frequently said comments to me include "Are you english?" (Yes, it says I'm from England on my it!), the immortal "Oh, I love your accent"... "Have you met the queen?"... "Princess Diana was such a beautiful person and those kids are adorable"... the most stupid comment to do with royalty was "Who's going to take over the head of the country when Queen Victoria stops?" Erm....

Hope that provided you with some laughs...


Friday, 11 July 2008

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.. Part Two

I have just called in sick for tonight. Last night was fantastic, the shift was quite long but I was door greeter for the whole evening til we shut! Clearly the best job in the Emporium! Got paid to stand in the doorway, saying Hello and Goodbye to everyone, wearing minnie ears and a mickey hand, carrying a huge minnie mouse and making her wave to everyone! Got to watch spectromagic twice and even hear/see the flashes of Wishes!!! :D Brilliant. Only down side was that my nose would not stop running and it's not very magical to have to blow your nose every 10 minutes.

Cold still hasnt gone today, my head hurts and I'm all congested even though I have had paracetamol and antihistamine. My toe is hurting because one of the last blisters is right on where you walk and to top everything off I have a big mouth ulcer right on the edge of my lip which hurts like hell whenever I eat anything. So... didn't fancy working til 4am... didn't fancy working at all therefore phoned in sick.

Hate phoning in sick because I only ever really do it when I am actually ill... only phoned in 2 or at the most 3 times to Clarks in 3 years... and yet have phoned into Disney after only 2 1/2 weeks. Ah well, hopefully I will feel better for tomorrow's shift! :)


Thursday, 10 July 2008

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...

Well, exciting trip to the medical center this morning.

I got a taxi to this walk in clinic at 8.30am which only cost $6... cheapest thing of the trip. Went in and had to give my details to the receptionist. Got charged $226 to sit in the waiting room potentially for a doctor.

Then went through to a corridor where I had my blood pressure and temprature (spelling?! for some reason it looks wrong...) taken. Then got taken to a cubicle where I sat and waited for about 20 minutes. Was soooo boring, nothing to do. Eventually at about 9.20am a doctor came in, took one look at my toe and told me it was infected. He looked at my hands and told me I had dyshidrosis which is a rare type of excema that particularly affects people from colder climates when they come to Florida or sub-tropical climates. Diagnosis over, he disappeared and I waited another 25 minutes or so (reeeeallly boring) before he came back with a piece of paper telling me what was wrong and a prescription for antibiotics and steroid cream.

I went through to the pharmacy and got the medication ($103) and then collected all my documents which I need for claiming off my insurance when I get home. Lucky I have my newly acquired credit card to pay for all this! Got a courtesy shuttle home... that's nice of them.. not that I had just spent $323 or anything....


We're all in this together....

Another post, another treasured day off!

Picking up from where I left off on Sunday...

Sunday: It was my day off on Sunday so I didn't do much. Just sat around the house, watched Casualty which was brilliant (got so overexcited that I was just watching TV... oh, so sad. But I don't even have an American TV here!) Me and Selena (one of my Barbadian housemates, that is, someone from Barbados) went to Downtown Disney to get a bit to eat in the evening but that was about it.

Monday: Back to work on Monday but not until 6.45pm so did my washing in the morning, oh the thrills. For the first time I wasn't really in the mood to go to work, I think it was because I knew that I would be on stock. Luckily I wasn't on putbacks tonight, I was put on 'dec 2' which is in the souvenirs section of the Emporium (or as Disney likes to call them: "Tangible Memories") which was basically snowglobes, photoframes and little china models of the characters as well as bobbleheads (nodding Mickeys to you and me) The shift started off really boring, I was partnered with a guy called Andrew and it seemed to me that all he did was stand around chatting to people backstage... very boring for me. The annoying thing about Dec 2 was that everything was in boxes because they were breakables so you had to keep going to restock... also we had run out of loads of stuff which was a bit rubbish. I took my first break at 9pm which I thought I would regret (as it's early!) but actually the middle part of the shift, until my 2nd break, went quite fast because I stuck to being out on the floor, talking to guests and pin trading etc. I took my second break at midnight, before the store shut... once it had shut, a load of painters and decorators came in. I realised this was because Meg Crofton (one of the BIG wigs at Magic Kingdom) was coming to visit the next day... we all got the shop looking ship shape and Bristol fashion! :P

Tuesday: Finished work at 3.15am and got home at about 3.45am. Tried to stay awake because joy of joys, we had to get the bus at 6.30am to the Social Security office - woo. Failed miserably because I kept nodding off, so I got changed into the clothes I was going to wear to the SS office and then went to sleep for an hour! So, after only 1 hours sleep I rolled out of bed at 6am and went over to the Pavilion to get the bus. I followed Victoria's advice (as she did the program last year, she didn't need to get another social security card) and sat right at the front of the bus which meant I was one of the first off, the first in and the first out!! Was quite painless... just had to go in and give passport and birth certificate to a woman who typed loads of stuff on a computer, then sign a sheet and then you were done. We were back at Vista Way at 8.30am! So, having been up for about 21 hours without any proper sleep, I went to bed!!

Briefly woke up at about 1pm because there was a massive thunderstorm (which I totally missed) but eventually got up at 4pm. Felt sooooo much better having slept although I really hate sleeping in the daytime! Went to work again for 1845 til 0315 but at least I felt wide awake! Got put on Mens Apparell (ie. mens clothes) for the whole night. Actually it was quite good because the girl I got paired up with left at midnight and spent most of the shift backstage chatting and gossiping about other people. She tended to stock Zone 85 (the sports stuff) whilst I stuck to the traditional Tshirts, Hoodies etc. I got the hang of it easily and it was better than the hard goods because you just had to make sure everything looked full.

I felt a bit rubbish at the start of the shift because everyone seems to look down on the ICPs... I guess it's because we come swaning into Disney full of enthusiasm and then just as we get completely trained, we leave. But that's the way it goes. Don't get me wrong, there are some really nice people at the Emporium...but there are a few full-timers who seems to look at the ICPs like dirt... it's bad enough that we have to work the long, late night shifts but to also have them basically ignore us and not even make small talk is just plain annoying. *rants* The frosting on the cake (so to speak) is when one of the co-ordinators who I don't particuarly like, came up to me at 9.55pm going "Oh Catherine, there you are! We have been looking for you for 20 minutes! Where have you been??" I was really annoyed because he had presumed I had taken a really long break but actually I had my fair 30 minutes and just forgotten to sign back in after my break. I had come straight back to Zone 80 and continued stocking. He obviously hadn't looked very far because I had been there the entire time and in the stock room... everytime he speaks to me I get the feeling he's annoyed with me and in turn that annoys me!

Anyway, the shift went quite fast and I did a magical moment! Wooo! Basically, at 1am the shop shuts but there was one family who were still buying a few last minute things. Normally I get annoyed with those kinds of people who hang around in shops past closing time (I guess it's different at Disney because we don't leave when the shop shuts). Anyway, the kids were messing about trying on these massive yellow slippers (they look like the character's feet...) and it was actually quite funny. But the little boy (he was about 3) was sitting on the floor with his shoes and socks off going "Mom... mom... mom!" but she was too busy looking at the jewellrey with the other kids. Basically, he just wanted his shoes and socks back on... so going back to my roots I just popped his shoes and socks back on for him and his Mum was sooooo grateful! It made me feel happy I had helped and "Gone above and beyond!" Then his sister who was about 5 came over and was pointing to one of my pins (the fairy godmother one) so I offered to give it to her (in some circumstances we are allowed to give pins rather than trading) but she was very polite and just went "No thank you" even though she really liked it so I decided to just take it off and pin it to her lanyard instead... she was really happy! :)

Yesterday (well, this morning...) was full of drama once the shift had ended too! I got back to my apartment at about 3.45am and was just about to get into bed when my phone rang - it was Victoria going "Can I come over? I have a situation here..." So wondering what was going on, I said of course and she came over about 5 minutes later. In a nutshell, it turned out her Texan room mate had come home completely drunk and got carried into her room where she threw up all over the carpet... basically she had drunk so much that she couldn't control ANY of her bodily functions... if you get my drift. Ew, yes. Anyway, obviously Victoria wasn't going to stay in the room when it was full of people and the smell of sick so she didn't know what to do. We quickly decided we had better go to security because this girl was in a bad way.

So, we walked to security at 4am in our pyjamas and told them the situation. The catch-22 part of it was that this girl was 19 years old.... and the drinking limit is 21. And as I mentioned in a previous post, what happens if you drink under 21? TERMINATED!!! So anyway, Victoria didn't want to be blamed for having alcohol in the apartment or drinking herself but luckily security said that she had essentially cleared her own name because she had come to tell them. Anyway, they wasted no time in calling 911!! A few minutes later, a MASSIVE fire truck/ambulance/first responder vehicle had turned up complete with lights flashing all over the place and we followed them back to the apartment. Long story short - they called for an ambulance, the girl got carried out... another girl (British) went with her to the hospital (she had been drinking as well but securtiy didn't know that and she didn't appear drunk) and Victoria had to fill out a statement and then sleep on the sofa because of the smell.

Fast forward to this morning.... the Texan girl and the British girl have both been TERMINATED! We don't know how they came to the conclusion that the Brit had been drinking too but it sounds like she deserved to be terminated because she had pushed the boundaries enough with drinking all the time and leaving alcohol in the apartment. Victoria managed to get someone to come and clean the room including the carpet although I still think it smells a bit funny in there!

So, having not got to bed until 5am last night, me and Victoria were both quite tired today! We both had the day off so we went to Walmart and got a few bits and bobs. We went to Bennigans for dinner which was really nice and pretty cheap. I am working tomorrow but not until the eveinng again so I am going to the walk in clinic tomorrow to get a doctor to look at my troublesome toe... as much as I resent having to pay $200+ and sort out medical insurance claims when I get home.... more tomorrow!


Sunday, 6 July 2008

It's the circle of life....

It seems that the only free time I have these days are during my days off! Today is my day off and I am sooo glad! I'll give an overview of what's happened since I last updated:

Thurs: Having gone to bed at 9.30pm the night before and got a really good nights sleep, I went to work on Thursday for my first day without a trainer! Managed to get there bright and early which was good because I didn't want to be rushing. My shift was only from 4.30pm til 10.30pm so it was only a 6 hour shift. I was on registers for the whole time which was good because I was really getting to grips with the till system and on the whole I enjoyed the day, had some good guests and I got to hear the July 4th fireworks display which they did in full on Thurs and Fri (I had only seen the 'rehearsal' which was slightly less than what actually was shown on the day itself). It's kinda frustrating only being able to hear fireworks because you really want to see them. I was quite annoyed actually because everyone else who was working near me all disappeared... and then reappeared after the fireworks and when I said "Where have you been?" it turned out they had been hanging around the doorways and watching the display. Which is really unfair because I know they are not supposed to but I actually stayed doing my job and helping guests and none of them told me that they were going to go and watch them! Meh.

Was quite glad to be able to clock out and get home early though as it wasn't a late night shift. It had gone quite well but I felt a little bit bored because none of my fellow ICPs were working... I was just with loads of people I didn't know who were full time or part time.

Friday: Oooh the 4th of July. I didn't really know what to expect, all I had been told was that it was going to be busy and I knew that I would partially be on stock and mostly on registers. My shift was from 12.15 til 7.45pm which is quite a good shift really.... so, what was the very first job I got given on stock?? CROCS!!! Why why why do shoes follow me round everywhere?!?! It was quite amusing really that the first job I got given involved tidying these stupid shoes and restocking the display. More to the point, I really hate Crocs because they don't fit people's feet properly especially children, and they are so ugly! And expensive! Anyway, luckily was only doing that for about 30 minutes before I got put on putbacks which is basically collecting all the bits and bobs that get left round the tills for one reason or another and putting them back in thier correct places. Did that for about an hour before I was put onto registers... yay!

It went quite well considering how busy it was and the fact I was freshly out of training. The biggest pain in the neck was shared between a man from Guilford in Surrey who bought a watch and then 2 seconds later changed his mind so I had to do a refund which I had to call a manager over to do because you can't do your own refunds (it's lame... and complicated!) and a woman who decided she wanted half of her purchases to be sent to New Jersey, the other half to be sent to her resort and some more stuff she had bought earlier in the day to be post sale shipped to her resort as well. Needless to say I was not very happy especially considering the queue of people forming behind her! Apart from that, the day went very well really considering my lack of experience!

As 7.45pm rolled around, I went down to my locker and got changed, grabbed my bag and then found a way out of backstage that came out by baby care... really inconspicuously as well! Nobody even noticed that I had walked out of a gap in the wall! haha! Anyway.... I have never seen SO many people in one area of a park! It was mayhem! There were ropes and tape on the ground directing the traffic of people creating a one way system because everyone had already taken their spots for the fireworks. I managed to finally meet up with Lara, Sarah, Alexa and Vic in Tomorrowland and we slowly made our way to Main Street (which involved a bizarre detour route through backstage, I suppose with the amount of people there it was just easier... but didn't it ruin the magic a bit for them?!). We managed to squish ourselves into a spot about half way down main street for the fireworks.... which we AMAZING. I can't imagine how much they cost to put on but I have never seen so many fireworks in 15 minutes! Apart from the music/americanisation ruining it a bit, it was quite magical!! We did a bit of sneaky cast member shortcutness to get out because I told the others to follow me back out of that baby care entrance and so 1 minute after the fireworks we were backstage and getting our stuff from lockers before heading to the buses. I got to bed at about 12.30am so it wasn't too bad considering there was 72,000 people in the magic kingdom (they did actually close the park to stop anymore people coming in). Another astounding fact... the Emporium (my shop) took over $300,000 on 4th July..... thats JUST our shop.... add in the rest of Disney to that!! :O

Sat: Yesterday I got up again, bright and early, at about 7am... yes, it's crazy. But we wanted to get to Animal Kingdom for when it opened at 9am and we did indeed manage it. It was only me and Vic but it was nice to know exactly which rides we wanted to do. We headed straight to Everest and did that (whoop!! Would love to do that one at night... unfortunately animal kingdom shuts at 7pm) and then got Fastpasses for the Safari... headed to Dinosaur and did that (still the scariest ride in WDW!), went back and used our fastpasses for the safari... then went and did Kali River Rapids and got absolutely soaked. Then we crossed the park and went to see Festival of the Lion King which was amazing as usual!! We left the park at about 1pm because we were still damp and it was getting very busy and very hot!

I had my first uber night shift at 6.45pm til 3.15am last night. It wasn't too bad except that I was on stock which was a bit rubbish because I was doing putbacks ALL NIGHT. It got a bit dull but I had a good laugh with Charlotte, Matt and Edouard (from France!) so it was reasonably good. When it got to about 2am tho it started to really drag because there were no more guests (the park was shut) and so we were just tidying and restocking. We did get given a crispy creme doughnut though at the end of the shift! woooo!! Got into bed at 4am so slept in today until about 12 as it's my day off.

Just got my schedule for next week though! Ahhhh! (As in, the 13th - 19th July) Most shifts are the 1845 - 0315 ones but on the Thursday and Friday and I working 11 1/2 hour shifts!! Ahhh! From like 1230 - 2315 and 1300 - 0030! It seems that I am on sales for both of them though, not stock so hopefully that will be ok.

Right, I am going to get back to watching Top Gear which my parents recorded and sent to me YAY... I watched Casualty yesterday and got overly excited because its my favourite programme and I havent watched TV for 2 weeks! Wooo!


Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Hey there, hi there, ho there, it's a Disney kinda day...Mickey and his friends are calling for you to join the Disney parade!

Wow, what a couple of days!

Apologies I haven't been here sooner, I made a couple of attempts to come on the computer and post a long post about what I've been up to but been soooo tired because of training that I decided sleep would be a better option! So, today is my day off and I have got round to keeping you guys updated!!

Saturday: I posted on Sat, so you know mostly about that. We went to Cici's Pizza which cost me a grand total of about $6 for loads of pizza, pasta, pudding/cake type things and a drink!! Woooo for all you can eat! Felt slightly sick afterwards but it was worth it! haha!! I got an early night because it was my first day of training the next day.

Sunday: Woke up and got my glad rags on (i.e. costume). It felt like my first day at school... putting on crisp new clothes (well, they are 60% polyester!!) and feeling a bit wierd being dressed like that! Here's a photo of my costume!

Brilliant isn't it! Well, I actually quite like it... I don't think it's very Disney to come here to work and just wear something boring! The necktie gets a bit hot at times because it's so close round your neck... ditto the waist bit. I actually wore a longer skirt on Sunday than pictured and it annoyed me so much because it kept dragging along the ground. So I went to costuming after work and managed to get my hands on a shorter skirt which actually fitted me better round the waist too!

Anyway, got to work in good time and met Charlotte who is from Wales, doing the same job as me as well as another lady called Carrie (I think) who was from Wisconsin... much amusement ensued throughout the day figuring out what different words meant in UK and USA and discussing the monarchy during our breaks. The first day of training really just consisted of going over stuff we had already learnt like how to use MATRA (the POS system.... ie.. the till) and the 'Disney basics'... then we did an hour actually serving customers which was really scary!!

It wasn't even busy but trying to get used to using a real till (not a training one), actually counting back the money correctly, never mind the fact it's also in a currency I don't know and also trying to Be Disney to the guests was pretty tricky! It was fun though! Was quite exhausted by the end of the day but we decided to meet up in the evening and go to TGI Friday's at Cross Roads (near to Chatham Square). It was actually a really nice meal and you realise how much cheaper it is at TGIs in the US when I had chicken fingers, fries, a drink, a brownie obsession and tip all under $20! (That's £10 guys!!) We were all pretty exhausted by then so we headed back to Vista Way.

Monday: I got up bright and early and managed to get to work early! I was there at about 8.50am and my shift didn't start til 9.30am so I went to the Mouseketeeria (yes, it really is called that!) for a bit of a snack breakfast. Went along to my training and met my second trainer called Judy - she was really nice! The 2nd day of On the Job training was pretty much like the first except we did a bit more time on the tills. We decided to go to Epcot to see Illuminations which I really wanted to do. So even though I was still tired, I got back from work at about 5.35pm to realise I had left my key in the apartment!! Lame!!! Security told me someone would come round and let me in at 6pm... brilliant. Well, lucky for me, Sheila came back from work at about 5.50pm and let me in. So had about an hour to get changed before going back out for the bus to Epcot.

We went and did the Nemo ride, Spaceship Earth and Mission: Space before going to find somewhere to stand for Illuminations. It was quite good although my photos didn't come out very well! We walked to the shops to get out of the crowds and had a look around. Anna decided she wanted to buy some sherbert so we joined a queue to pay and it took ages and ages and ages... you know why?? Because some woman decided to buy $515 of stuff!!!!! Then we had to try and get back to the cast member entrance to get our bus which we only had about 20 minutes to do (otherwise we'd have to wait another hour!). That was fun seen as none of us were Epcot cast members! So, we basically walked/almost ran the whole perimeter of the park, in the dark, backstage to find the exit! We eventually found it and saw the bus indicating and starting to pull away so we legged it, screaming and waving and he stopped! Yay! The bus was absolutely packed but at least we caught it!

Tuesday: The day started very badly. I woke up at 8.20am. I was supposed to be starting work at 9am. OH MY GOD was my first thought when I realised very soon after waking up! I decided to just get the first bus and run along the tunnels because I didn't think a taxi would actually get me there any faster! I threw my clothes on and just about had enough time to clean my teeth, ran to the bus stop (called Charlotte on the way to let her know!) and again, a bus was just pulling away! So again, I ran and screamed and he stopped for me (thank GOD!). Jumped on the bus and willed it to go fast! Got to the TTC at MK (Transport and Ticket Center aka the guest entrance) which we can't get off at when we're in costume so stayed on the bus to Disney University and realised whilst on the way I had forgotten my neck tie!! So when we arrived at DU, I legged it into costuming (convieniently situated at the bus stop) and literally grabbed a neck tie and then ran back to the bus stop. Lucky (again) for me, the bus was ready to go to the cast member entrance to MK. It was about 8.55am when we arrived which is fine except for the fact that where I have to clock in is situated below the emporium... at the other end of magic kingdom... so I had to half run, half exhausted walk, sweating like a pig the horrible long tunnel which takes you to Main Street USA.

I clocked in at 1 minute past 9. ONE MINUTE PAST!!!! Normally this would mean that I get a point for being late (3 points = reprimand) but luckily the manager took pity on me as it was only my third day and he erased it off my record! Phew! All in all, a lot of luck and nice people made sure that oversleeping didn't affect my day too much.

Oh yeah, and it was about 26C all this time so I was boiling hot in a polyester costume too! One thing is for sure - I am not oversleeping ever again!! But to manage to go from sleep to backstage at Main Street in about 40 minutes is pretty much a world record I reckon!

I was exhausted but we had already arranged to go and see the rehearsal for the July 4th fireworks at MK but being late meant I had forgotten my clothes! So, big hassle meant I had to go alllll the way back to vista, get changed in 15 minutes and then go alllll the way back to the magic kingdom! Got back at about 7.30pm and met up with Victoria and Charlotte who I had had to abandon whilst I went back to Vista! I went and grabbed some food and then we did the immortal Carosel of Progress before getting our seats for the parade.

We sat at the very beginning of the parade, literally where it comes out from backstage. Before it started me and Victoria enjoyed (a little too much) taking part in the PAC games (Parade Audience Control) which were aimed at 5 year olds... i.e. head, shoulders, knees and toes.... YMCA.... etc etc. This is why I love being a cast member - you totally lose your inhibitions when at Disney and just get involved!!

The parade started and it was amazing... the advantage to being where it starts is that you can watch the whole thing and then walk through the deserted Emporium and get to the statue of Walt (outside the castle) and stake out your place for Wishes, or in our case, the 4th July fireworks. We got a great spot and waited around for about 20 minutes until it started. Well... I love wishes more than anything and I think the fireworks themselves were up to scratch with that but the music wasn't! It was all this traditional american stuff - it was sooooo tacky!!!! Hilarious though!! Mainly because we weren't American and so could take the Mickey Mouse out of all the "God bless america", "our great nation" etc etc etc etc.... Got some great photos and I really hope I can see it again actually on July 4th after work surrounded by americans because I think that would be an experience!!

Seen as I had the day off today I went into the park after the fireworks with Victoria and Charlotte. We headed straight to Thunder Mountain and walked straight on. OMG, I have never done any outside ride in the dark... it was incredible!! A whole new ride really! I loved it!! Then we went to get some dole whip (i.e. WHIPPY!.... as in ice cream.) and then went on the haunted mansion which I haven't done since 2004 and it was really good!! Much better now they have revamped it! We went over to space mountain but the queue was still 60 minutes so we decided to head back.

I didn't get to bed til gone 1am so now I am still tired! Think I will go and have an afternoon nap now actually! Went to Walmart this morning which wasn't fun because I had a banging headache and the bus was packed. Got what I needed including some absolutely beautful shoes (SARCASM) for work... only $30 and they are Dr. Scholl ones with gel soles so I'm hoping they will be comfortable especially with my dodgy toe (long story).

Anywhoo, this post is very long so will sign off now!


Saturday, 28 June 2008

To inifinity and beyond!!

So I still haven't been to see Wishes! It's nearly a week since I arrived and I haven't seen it yet... shocking! We attempted to go again on that day I last posted but again it was raining so we went to Downtown Disney instead. So I ended up back in Downtown for the second time that day! But it was still fun, we went to have fish and chips at an Irish themed place (I actually had a big chicken nugget thing) but the chips were really good.... not fries! Then we just walked around the shops until they shut at 11pm... I bought some postcards which I have to post at some point!

So that was Thursday. On Friday I got up bright and early at 6am to get ready for the second 'professional training' day where I have to wear the very hot clothes e.g. black trousers and a shirt... but luckily all our training was inside Disney University. It was called 'Merchantainment' and it was quite fun. Some more cheesy Disney videos... you gotta love them! Then some e-training which started off ok when we were learning how to use the cash tills by being shown examples and then doing it yourself. It got a bit boring when we had to watch videos about counterfeiting money and exercises of how to deal with it (if you suspect to be handling fake money... not making fake money! haha!). The session was only 8-12.30 so I came home and got changed.

At about 3pm I got the bus over to MGM... sorrrrrrry, 'Disney's Hollywood Studios'... whatever. Still MGM to me. haha! It was soooo hot. We were going to meet up with Vic and her sister (who is out here doing the year long program) but they were on a ride so we ended up going on the Great Movie Ride which I have never been on... the guy who was doing the spiel was bloody annoying tho so we didn't enjoy it that much :( Then we came off and met Vic and her sister before heading over to see what queues for Aerosmith and Tower of Terror were like... answer: too long. So we went to get a snack for tea... I had a chicken caesar wrap (which was a bit horrible to be honest!) before deciding to go on the Backlot Tour. That was a bit more fun and took up about 40 minutes.... then we went back to Tower of Terror which only had a 20 minute queue!! It was great!!

Then we went back over to Aerosmith and decided to just join the 70 minute queue because we had that exact amount of time to kill before Fantasmic. Turns out we were only queuing for about 45 minutes!!! WOOO!! And LOOOOOOOVE Aerosmith! I almost forgot how good it was!! It was brilliant. Having had our dose of adrenaline, we went into the amphitheatre for Fantasmic.

Last year when we were in Florida for a holiday, I didn't want to see Fantasmic because I thought it was boring and I didn't remember enjoying it when I saw it in 2004. But last night... well, let's say I was very wrong!!

Fantasmic was Fantastic!!!!!!! Love love love the cheesy Disney music and how Mickey disappears and reappears and the fireworks! It's just great. And a good substitute for Wishes seen as I haven't seen it yet! Anyway, after having no rain all day it started to drip-drop as we were walking out of MGM... and by the time we finally found the Cast Member bus stop it was pouring! So we all got a bit wet but it was a fantastic day!

This is a long blog post! Well done if you have got this far! Today I got up at 5.30am. 5.30am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For a very good reason and it was worth it tho! We got on the bus and finally got to the University (there was a bit of palava... cannae be arsed to explain but American Coaches should have bigger buses....) at 7am just in time. Then we got split in half and luckily I was in the first group who then got taken onto another bus.

When we arrived at MK we walked through security, past the keen beans who were queueing to get into the magic kingdom at 7.30am! Wierdos!! Anyway, they looked at us like "why do you get to just walk straight in??" but we did because we rule. Blatently. Then we had THE most amazing view of Main Street USA....

Completely empty.
This park can get up to 80,000 people in it so to see it empty is really something special... no... magical!! So we got taken around a tour of the Magic Kingdom which was really fun, lots of geeky Disney facts and we saw the first few guests enter the park. We paid for this training! We therefore got paid to go on Buzz Lightyear's SpaceRanger Spin and It's a Small World! We were going to go on the Haunted Mansion but it was shut! Boooooo! Then we got taken backstage which I can't say a lot about because it would spoil the magic... sorry! But it was really fun!
We headed over to DU to get our costumes at about 1pm. That was fun. Not. The sizes of the costumes are completely off.... some people had 2 or 3 sizes off what they usually were! Personally I was between sizes with my skirt (the smaller one was too tight and the bigger one too loose) and my blouse was perfectly sized until I realised I had to do it up round the neck (hot or what?!) and my neck was too big! So I had to get the next size up! I promise you will get some lovely pictures of me in my costume soon!!
After that, more e-learning which was on the whole, boring. We finally headed home at about 3.30pm. And that was my day! Tonight we are going to Cici's Pizza.... all you can eat for $3.99 (cast member special price!!) you gotta love America!!!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I'm walking down Main Street USA....It's the heart of America, the heartbeat of a holiday....

Yes, July 4th is approaching... and you can tell! Every Disney shop is adorned with Mickeys in red, white and blue with some sort of flag. I am quite looking forward to it because I've never been in America on their Independence day... wish England had something like it.... oh yeah, we do... St. George's Day. Which we don't really celebrate. Meh, we should all be as patriotic as the Americans! Anyway, it's practically the busiest day of the year at DisneyWorld... according to my bible/Disney guide, the parks reach capacity in early afternoon.... CAPACITY!

Like, even in mid August when it seems really busy, the parks do not reach capacity! Apparently, if cast members are caught in the park on July 4th when they are not working, they get TERMINATED!

Talking of TERMINATION, that was a major theme during Traditions which I didn't even mention! What happens if you drink under 21? You get TERMINATED! What happens if you hold a drink for someone else and you're under 21? You get TERMINATED! What happens if you swear at a guest or a manager, including in other languages? You get TERMINATED! What happens if you take home some unwanted food from your quick service hot dog stand that you work at? You get TERMINATED! You get the idea....


Anyway, quick update of today - this morning I went to the Partners bank (the bank for Disney employees) and set up a "checking account". Now, I have never set up a bank account before (my HSBC one was done by my parent when I was about 11!) let alone one in America where they have loads of different terms and words for things... i.e. checking. So, that was a fun hour spent... but I did get it set up in the end complete with direct debit thing for when I start getting paid. (Apparently we get paid for Traditions and training too... woo!) Then I came home, battled with my phone card trying to call Tom, had some lunch and then went out to Downtown Disney to get a purse which would fit American money because all this week I have been carrying my money around in an envelope... not very safe!

It started spitting whilst I was on the bus to Downtown... and 5 minutes after I walked into World of Disney (biggest Disney shop in the world I think they said) the heavens opened and boy, did it rain!!! And continued to rain and rain and rain... it's still raining now... English kind of non-stop, drizzle. It's only about 22C which feels cold to me now!! I didn't end up seeing Wishes last night because of the rain and I don't think we'll be seeing it tonight now either! Meh!


Wednesday, 25 June 2008

It's supercalifragilisticexplialidocious!

I'M WORKING IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM!!!! Not only that, but in Main Street USA! In fact, in one of the biggest DisneyWorld shops, the Emporium (as far as I can tell... that's not official yet!). I am reeeeally pleased because I didn't want to be put into a resort but it's the longest opening hours of any part of the DisneyWorld Resort!!

I found this out yesterday but I was so busy I didn't have time to come online and write up a blog post! We had a session at the Pavilion in the morning where we found out where we were working (rather like the same feeling I had going to recieve my exam results...) and then we handed some forms in and stuff. Came back for an hour or so before heading back to The Commons... did yet more powerpoint watching and form filling. Then we came back to Vista and I went to do WalMart Part 2! Only spent 45 minutes in there this time and like $35 which is a bit better, still no make up remover so I headed to Walgreens today and finally got some for like $5... rip off! At least I now have some! I came back from WalMart and then we went to Downtown Disney again and the coolest thing happened!!

We decided to go to Planet Hollywood (there was 8 of us) and the people at the door said it was an hour and 10 minute wait so we were like, lets put our names down, do some window shopping and come back... until Anna mentioned "We're cast members!" The magic words it seems! The woman went "Oh, ok, wait 2 minutes!" So we waited a few minutes and she came back and we got led to a table for 8 right in the middle of Planet Hollywood! We had massive meals and got absolutely stuffed... THEN we got 20% off for being cast members as well! WOOOO!! So, fantastic night basically!

Today was traditions which loads of people say is really boring but I didn't think it was. Had to get up at 6am which was a bit lame (and felt very like the first day at sixth form, putting on my suit trousers, brand new shirt and shoes with heels!) because it's business wear so you have to look nice and fit "The Disney Look". They are quite strict too. Headed over and got the bus at 6.50am and was at the Disney University for about 7.30am... yes, there is a Disney University!

Traditions was 4 hours long and basically was a class covering everything from sexual harrassment at work, discrimination, how to deal with a medical emergency (blates knew that already), Disney ethics, customer service, laws, taxes etc. etc. etc. etc. With a few properly cheeeeeesy Disney montage films thrown in for fun! I found it quite interesting apart from the tax and laws bit, that was properly boring! The films made me really excited to get out there and become a cast member properly, dealing with guests and doing my job! Especially as I hopefully will be in a nice, cold, air conditioned shop! Woo!

And I got my badge today which was uber exciting! I have put a rubbish photo on here and will take a decent one when I upload my next load of photos! You can check out my facebook to see the first album of pics! I might make a little montage thing to put on here tho, if you can't access my facebook! :D

I am going to see Wishes tonight as I now have my Cast Member ID and so can get into the parks for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! WOOO!!!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

It's the start of something new....

Wow, three posts in one day! Whats wierd is that I have had such a busy day and yet from all this typing you would have thought I was bored in the apartment! Alas no!

We went off to The Commons and had a housing talk that went on and on and on for an hour and a half although it was quite entertaining. Then there was a lot of talk of going to Wal Mart which we all needed to do quite badly. So, eventually it was decided that six of us would go back to Vista Way and get a taxi (for some inexplicable reason the wal mart bus isn't running today, instead it goes to the Florida Mall...). Eventually we got the taxi and walked into Wal Mart at 3.15pm....

TWO hours and $120 later, I had everything I needed except make up remover - couldn't find it anywhere! I managed to get some bargains such as a toaster for $6 (won some brownie points with the flatmates there too!), a combination lock for $4, a Pooh bear lanyard for $4 and biggest of all - a phone for $30! So that's £15 for a nokia phone which comes with 300 minutes for free (I think it works out to 200 minutes if calling internationally). As far as I can see, a text either sent or recieved costs half a minute of calling time... get it? What tempted me was that it was only $0.15/minute to call the UK! I have to get it verfied which can take up to 48 hours tho.

If you want it, my "cell phone" number is: 407-455-2951. Don't ask me how to call that from the UK because I have no idea but give it a go! Hehe! And when it's all verified I will be able to call you for cheap! :D

We just popped down to Downtown Disney for a bit this evening, me and Victoria (the one I sat next to on the plane) went to a really nice place called Wolfgang Pucks which was like a McDonalds crossed with a Bottelinos... it was well nice! I had 2 side orders (best idea ever) of Macaroni Cheese and my favourite, Caesar Salad! Whoop! This came to a total of $8.50... a bargain dinner of only £4.25 and I was full afterwards... not surprising seen as all I had eaten all day was 2 cereal bars and spent the afternoon lugging heaving shopping bags back to my apartment!

My flatmate Shiela (yes, I got her name right, some small investigative glances at her suitcase labels confirmed it!) seems really nice, she is the one from Mexico. Kelly was asleep when I came in at about 5.30pm and she is fast asleep now which is a bit of a pain in the bum because I want to go and sort my room out, have a shower and wash my hair etc which I can't do if she is asleep in there (hairdryers cause lots of noise remember...) So I guess I will do it tommorrow, she leaves at like 7am anyway!

Tomorrow we find out where we are working.... scary stuff!!! (Went to the Christmas Shop in DD today.... LOLness if I get put there for the summer!!)


Monday, 23 June 2008

I can go the distance... Part 2

Right, where was I?

Oh yeah, we arrived at Vista Way and got taken into this room where we were shown a typically cheesy Disney video about being a cast member (gotta love it) and then given a pack with loads of bits of paper in it, maps and bus times and stuff like that (very useful). Then we were given a little paper bag with some food in it (orange juice, cereal bars, an orange and some skittles) which was really nice of them because it was about 6.30pm by this point (i.e. 11.30pm) so we were all a bit hungry as well as being tired!

As soon as I got my pack I found out I was living in Vista Way in apartment 3302 which according to my map was opposite the pavilion we were sitting in - score! And on the ground floor so no lugging the luggage (haha, lugging the luggage...) up the stairs which was good and much appreciated when I was hot and tired! I made my way into the apartment and instantly found out what it was like to go into the Big Brother house because 2 of my flatmates were there. There are 6 people in my flat in total including me... I met a Mexican girl called Shiela (I think...) and a girl from Barbados called Kelly who I am sharing a room with. This morning I met 2 more of my housemates, I think they were at work last night - they are both from Barbados is called Sarah and I can't remember the other one right now (even tho she is about a meter away from me doing some washing up!)

So, I did some unpacking and then there were some rough plans for me and a couple of others from the flight to meet up at Walgreens which isn't very far away... but I got a bit lost and inadvertantly ran into some other people and so ended up going with them and missing Rob and Beth (the original people I was going to meet!). It didn't really matter tho, I only bought some water and then me and Vicky (one of three Victorias I have met in the last 24 hours!) went over to Wendy's. Wendy's is alright, if you are reeeeally hungry and there is no alternative! It's a bit mankier than McDonalds to be honest... I had chicken nuggets and chips but it wasn't too bad. Although eating it at the equivalent of 3am was a bit wierd.. I didn't know if I was hungry or not!

So, eventually we went back to our apartments and I had the most refreshing shower ever! Then, after getting online to check my emails and Facebook and such, I decided to go to bed. Kelly didn't seem to sleep in my room last night which was a bit wierd.... when I was getting to bed she was on the phone and then through my hazy, half asleep mind I think she came in and took her bedclothes away, maybe she slept in the other room or on the sofa!? I don't know... but I heard her come in this morning and get changed into her costume. Her and the Mexican both do housekeeping in one of the resorts so they leave at like 7am!

Ok so I am rambling, sorry if you're bored and well done for getting this far! It's just that this blog doubles up as a diary for me to keep after I have finished the program so I want to be as descriptive as possible!

I had a bit of a crappy nights sleep because the air con wasn't very cold so I was a bit hot and I had no pillow so was using my towel instead which really wasn't that comfortable...rather like being in prison I would imagine. I kinda napped all night rather than slept and now my neck is hurting a little bit! Anyway, this morning I got up and wrote the previous post... I went out to see where the music was and joined the queue to get my housing documents checked. It was very well organised, you had to get your passport checked and hand in the DS2019 which they photocopy and then hopefully give back to me later! Then you followed a process which led round the room, handing in and recieving various documents. I got my ID card which has a horrible picture of me on it! (I will take photos and put them up soon I promise!) and then once we did that we had 2 1/2 hours free before we go to The Commons (near the other housing complex) this afternoon for more talks and stuff. So, me and some of the other girls got our swimming costumes on and went to the pool!!

It was really nice and sooo refreshing. It was only 10.30am but it was already hot. Anyway, we stayed there for a hour or so and now I am here writing this. I am off again soon to the pavilion to get the bus to The Commons and then we are heading to WalMart where I have a stupidly long list of random stuff to buy including a toaster (I can't live without toast for 10 weeks and there is no way of cooking it unless you fry it here and seen as I don't want to return looking like Michelle McManus, I have decided to be more healthy than that!) and make up remover!

So, hope you have enjoyed reading this mammoth post!