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!


I can go the distance... Part 1

I'm here!!!!

I have half an hour before I have to go to our first day of orientation so I will quickly fill you in on the last 48 hours!

Saturday - we drove down to the Holiday Inn and found our rooms. Pretty standard to be honest! Stayed in the hotel that night (had a nice but expensive dinner!). I didn't have too bad a night's sleep even though I woke up at 6am and didn't find it hard to get up! I think it was more nerves than anything else! We went down to get breakfast to find they were charging £15 per person!!!! How obscenely expensive is that! So we decided to give that a miss and go straight to Gatwick aiport to find some food there.

Sunday - Hense, I checked in reeeeally early, I had already done the checking in part online so I had my seat and everything, I just needed to give them my luggage. It was pretty easy and the check in man was really nice to me, explaining what I had to do and where to go next. Anywhoo, me, mum, dad and victoria went up to Costa Coffee and all I could manage to eat/drink was a mango smoothie because I felt really nervous. I felt just like I did when we drove to Bournemouth on my first day except with the added pressure of having to fly 5000 miles first! Eventually it got to about 9am and I decided I had better go through security so I said my goodbyes which weren't too bad and went through. It was really easy going through security, no problems except my bangles set off the metal detector and I had to be frisked LOL.

Then I got into the departure lounge and I knew where we had decided to meet but first I had to actually find the place! So I wondered around and decided to take the opportunity to call Tom and let him know I was in the departure lounge. Then I spotted some of the others I had seen on Facebook so I went over and introduced myself. Phew! The hard part was over!

We hung around for a bit because our flight was slightly delayed and eventually at about 11am we went through to the gate. There was about 15 of us by this point so we all sat around together, getting to know each other which was really nice. Finally they started calling people row by row, from the back of the plane first. I was in row 30 so it was a while before I got to go onto the plane. I planned my seat well because I ended up sitting next to a girl called Victoria who went on the ICP last year and also a guy called Rob who also did it last year (he was in the row in front of me). Eventually we took off at about 12.30 which was about 1 1/4 hours late... bit lame. Anyway, to cut a looooonnnng flight short, the films were a bit rubbish (I rewatched 27 dresses), the food wasn't too bad (I had this chickpea curry type thing) and we got a shoutout from the Captain!! "Hello to everyone going to Walt Disney World to work this summer - big up!" LMAO.

We finally landed after about 9 hours and 10 minutes, at about 4.40pm (Florida time - that's 9.40pm in the UK). As we were near the front of the plane we got off really quickly and literally whizzed through security. I've entered the US 4 times before and every time it has taken aaaages to get through security but this time was a doddle. I went up to the scary looking immigration man and gave him my passport, visa waiver forms and the infamous DS2019 form, he took my fingerprints (I acciedently knocked over his stamp thing, bit embaressing haha!) and then he was like "Go through to that room over there and take a seat". So I kinda expected him to then give my passport back but he didn't which was a bit scary because I had been guarding the passport and DS2019 with my life for the last 12 hours! Anyway, went off to sit in this little room with everyone else from my flight with a visa... met some people who had come off the BA flight which had landed at 3.40pm and they had been there for an hour!

I was lucky tho, my name got called with several others after only about 10 minutes. I got my passport and forms back and then we went to pick up my luggage. Inexplicably, my primark suitcase came through on the first class carosel and my black suitcase came through on the economy carosel! Anyway, much difficult moving ensued because I had my laptop bag on my back, my folder of important stuff in my hand and trying to drag 2 suitcases as well! Luckily we didn't have to take it all that far, only down a level to the Mears shuttle desk.

I was surprised as to how quick the whole thing was really because we were on the Mears bus only an hour after getting off the plane! Pretty impressive, well done Orlando International! We got taken on this bus to a couple of the resorts before being taken to the pavilion at Vista Way. It was good because it had just been raining before we got off the plane and so the temperature was only about 24C.... (randomly, sitting in my apartment I can hear Beauty and the Beast blasting out from somewhere!! *has a look out window* It seems loads of people are at the pavilion so I had better go too! Will finish this post later!!)


Saturday, 21 June 2008

It's a great big beautiful tomorrow....

Ahhhhh! In precisely 22 hours time I will be on that aeroplane having just taken off from Gatwick on the way to Orlando!! It doesn't seem real! It does seem that my MSN name has been counting down the days forever... I remember when it was 70 days, 69 days....30 days... 29 days... but now it's finally 1 day to go!!

This will probably be my last post before I get to Orlando because I don't think the hotel we are staying in at Gatwick has the internet and it's going to be all go tomorrow with the flight being in the morning so... all I can say is that I really hope I have packed everything and watch this space!


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

"Certain as the sun... rising in the east... tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast..."

Wow, only 4 days until I'm on that plane! It's all been a bit insane since I last posted, with packing up all my stuff in Bournemouth and then moving back to Bristol. I have learnt it is very difficult to pack and unpack at the same time!! Although I tried to seperate my clothes into Florida stuff and non-Florida stuff, I have still spent a few hours today trying to sacrifice what clothes I want to take and what I can literally fit in my suitcases!! I'm not doing too badly with the packing overall but my room is an absolute state! I don't understand how I have aquired so much stuff since September and why it won't now fit back in my room!

I am still excited about going to Disney but now that it's only a few days away, the apprehension is starting to set in, I'm a bit nervous about meeting everyone at the airport and managing to get myself on the correct plane complete with luggage! I am sure it will all be fine, but there are always little worries about things such as where I will be living and who with... and also what job I will get! I think that's the single biggest thing I am worried about because I don't want to end up with a job I don't like for 10 weeks!! However, I have a feeling that any job is better than fitting shoes on smelly children LOL.

I better get back to my packing! I hope to update with my final thoughts before I go on Saturday but if not I will try and post as soon as I can about everything to do with the journey and arrival! Keep an eye on my blog, I will try and update suitably often throughout the whole 10 weeks!!


p.s. I have managed to upload my first picture onto my blog... a lovely pic of how messy my room is in the middle of packing. And it was worse than this when I got back from Uni..... believe me, much worse!!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

"I can finally see it, now I have to believe it...the world is made of faith and trust and pixie dust..."

Ooh, less than 2 weeks until I fly out now! How exciting! It's 12 days if I am going to be exact which doesn't seem like a long time at all... although it hasn't really sunk in that everything is finally happening... it still seems like my Disney adventure is months away and I have loads of hurdles to jump before I get there.

I have pretty much got all my clothes ready, I just need a trip to Boots for things like suncream and shampoo and get my bits and bobs ready like photos to take! As I haven't moved back from University yet, I can't start to pack so on Sunday (with a week to go!) I am moving all my stuff back from Bournemouth and then I can seperate it into stuff I am taking and stuff I'm not.

It has been really hot the last few days - about 24C in Bristol (which is where I have been for a few days) and apart from the weekend being really surreal as I have been involved in filming a Christmas film complete with fake snow, a tree and carols, I have been thinking about how hot it's going to be in Florida! You can get a feeling for it when it's warm here but add in the really high humidity and pure strength of the's going to be pretty intense! Definately need to get some suncream.

I have been chatting to people on Facebook, some who are on my flight and some who are not, many of them are going to London tomorrow to meet up but unfortunately I can't really afford to go and this week is going to be busy busy busy with trying to tie up my loose ends, do my last few duties for SJA, handing in my 2 essays and of course packing. I am sure it will be fine because we are all going to meet up at the airport and hopefully we will all be living near each other anyway once we arrive.

Sarah, whom I met at the interview day, and actually had my interview with, was put in a resort rather than a park.... I fear this will happen to me... I don't think she is 100% happy with it and I really hope I get put in a park, I don't mind which one but I think I would prefer it to a hotel. I think whatever I am given I will get on with and try to work with, you have to give things a chance but I really hope I am in a full on Disney park! Fingers crossed...


Sunday, 1 June 2008

Just around the riverbend...


A few weeks ago, our St John Ambulance duty at the Poole Festival of Running seemed like months away... and I worked out that when I was doing that duty it would only be three weeks til I left for Florida. Unbelievable. Well, today was that duty!

It hasn't really sunk in that I am actually going to be 4350 miles away even though I talk about Disney and Florida non stop these days to anyone who will pretend to listen! The first lot of people went out on May 25th and it's wierd to think that they have been out there for a week now... having heard vaguely through Facebook that they've heard where they are working and have recieved their costumes it seems like worlds away to me, still in Bournemouth where I've been for the last 5 weeks!

It's only 2 days until the summer project presentations and then I have a couple of essays to hand in and I'm done for the first year! After Wednesday, I am going home to Bristol for a few days to help out with a film with the ITV Workshop people and catch up with some friends ( - check it out! Come back to Bourney next Tuesday for 4 days and then it's the final trip home on Sunday 15th... following that I have a week at home and then I'm off! Hopefully the next two weeks will fly by and then it's just the packing that has to be done.

I am getting really excited (can't you tell??) but also a little bit scared of the heat, meeting new people, living with new people, having a new job, being in a different country from my family and friends, missing people etc etc. However, having said that, I know this summer is going to bloomin' fly by!!!