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!