Posts Tagged ‘Food & Wine Festival’

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Drive-by Posting

December 16, 2009

In case you’re still unsure, this whole College Program thing is exhausting.  Fun, but exhausting.  So even though I love updating my blog, I just don’t seem to have the time anymore.  I’m hoping to sit down in the next few days and write some full-length catch-up posts, but just in case that doesn’t happen, here are a few thoughts and tidbits that I just feel the need to record.  I’m too tired for segues!

Today was our CP completion program, a.k.a. Graduation Day!  There was a huge picnic at Mickey’s Retreat, we all got graduation mouse ears and diplomas, and got our picture taken with the boss.  Tons of fun!  It lasted from 10:30 to 2:00, but we didn’t get there until around 12:30.  They had so much fun stuff to do, I wish we had gone earlier.  I went with all of my roommates, and we had a great time goofing off, taking pictures, and just hanging out.  I love these girls, and I got a little emotional about leaving for the first time today.

I’ve been working insane hours since I moved to Tomorrowland.  I almost never go in earlier than 5:00 pm, and if I get off before 1:15 am, that’s an early night.  Yesterday I worked for more than 14 hours, but I only have myself to blame.  One of the girls from work was trying to give away her shift because she had family in town, so I picked it up.  I already had a shift of my own that day, so I ended up working from 9:00 am to 11:45 pm.  It was exhausting, but I also have to admit that it was a little exhilarating.  As I clocked out, I really felt like if I could survive that, I could survive anything.  It was a really good day for it though, because I was working at Space Mountain, and it went down four times.  So it wasn’t a very busy day, and one of the times it went down I was at Preview so I just sat on the big comfy couches for almost an hour waiting for the ride to come back up.  I’m telling you, this can be a rough job. 🙂

The insanity is about to end, though, because all 6 of us who came to Tomorrowland after Food & Wine Festival are being sent back to Animal Kingdom.  I was really upset at first, because they weren’t sure if we would all be together.  But it turns out we’ll all be in Asia together, so at least I won’t be totally surrounded by strangers for my last couple of weeks.  Right now we’re only deployed there for the week of Christmas, but they may deploy us for the week of New Year, too.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  I’m definitely excited to have some normal hours!

In honor of leaving Tomorrowland, here’s a picture I should have posted a long time ago:

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A Post About All Last Week, But Mostly the Food

November 17, 2009

I have to say, it is a strange sensation to vacation at the place where you work.  But of course, when you work at Disney World, it’s also pretty nifty.  My family has all gone home now, but we had a great time.  We went to all four parks multiple times, ate tons of great food on the Dining Plan, and even went to Disney Quest, which was fun, but would have been WAY overpriced if four of us hadn’t gotten in free.

Unfortunately,  I did have to work two days while they were here.  I had my first two days of training for Tomorrowland.  They were okay, but basically a repeat of the training for the other two parks.  First we had the tour day of Magic Kingdom, and the next day was area training.  I had the second day with Kevin and Drew, a couple of guys I worked with at Food and Wine.  It was kind of annoying because our trainer kept showing us things and saying, “But you guys probably knew that.”  And nine times out of ten we did.  The only thing that was really new to me (besides the area, of course) was photo imaging.  We will be in charge of selling the photos they take on the rides at Buzz Lightyear and the newly revamped Space Mountain.  I’m going to get a full day of imaging training this afternoon, and then I’ll be ready to start working for real.

Speaking of Space Mountain, the ride has been having soft openings for the last few days.  A soft opening is when a new or newly revamped ride is open before it’s scheduled to open, but it is in test mode and can be shut down whenever they need to.  This keeps them from opening a ride with great fanfare, only to have problems the first day.  My family was lucky enough to catch Space Mountain during a soft opening.  It’s been several years since I’ve ridden, but from what I can tell, the ride itself is basically the same.  The queue has been updated, with a new ceiling over the queue area, and an Asteroids-style shooter game on screens that  line the queue walls to keep people entertained while they wait.  The ceiling means that you can no longer watch the trains zooming around on the track while you wait, but it does make the ride itself darker.  Not many substantial changes, but since I’ve always loved the ride, that works for me!

I took my family to the airport early yesterday morning, so it was a tough day for me.  I was really feeling down, but last night my roommates and I got all spiffed up and had dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian with the characters from Cinderella.  It was a really great buffet, and we had a fantastic time together, as always. It was a great way to get back into the swing of regular life, and improved my mood drastically.

I spent part of yesterday afternoon using up all of the meals and snacks that we had left over from our dining plan.  I went “grocery shopping” at Wolfgang Puck Express, and ended up with three pizzas, one barbecue quesadilla, an order of rosemary chicken with mashed potatoes, two chocolate chip cookies, two brownies, a creme brulee, four bottled waters, and one coke.  That’s $95 dollars worth of food.  It is now all in the refrigerator, and boy, will I be eating good this week!  I also got canned Cokes, cereal, Nilla wafers, and fruit from the Pop Century food court with our remaining snacks.

Well, it’s time for me to get ready for work, but first I’m going to eat some of the delicious food I just wrote about!  I made myself hungry!  Maybe some rosemary chicken…hmmm…

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Festival Finality, Family, and Floor Fries

November 9, 2009

It’s 8:30, and even though I’m usually a pretty early riser,  here I am: still laying in bed.  (BTW, it’s hard to type lying down.)  It’s one of those mornings where I’m almost lying here in protest.  I’m sweating under the covers, I can’t go back to sleep, and yet I’m not about to get up, because that would mean conceding victory to my internal clock which decided to wake me up way before my alarm went off.  And today of all mornings!  I worked until 10:30 last night tearing down after the last night of Food and Wine Festival.  So I was thinking that I would sleep in a bit and get really well rested before my family arrives today.  Alas, my body had other ideas, so here I am blogging instead of sleeping.

I realize I’m being a big baby. 7:30 isn’t all that early to wake up and it is a very exciting day.  It’s been three months since I’ve seen my family and I really can’t wait.  I’m going to buy their park tickets this morning, and I’m going to swing by the Pop Century to see if I can check in a little early before I go pick them up.  I’m also going to try to find a different way to the Sanford Airport than the way I went last time: it cost me 15 bucks in tolls!

They came at a perfect time.  Like I said, I was on the tear down crew last night for Food and Wine Festival.  I will have to do training at the Magic Kingdom on Thursday and Saturday, as those weren’t days I was originally approved to take off and I couldn’t get out of it.  But otherwise I will have the entire time they’re here off.  Erik will fly in on Friday, and they’ll all leave together next Monday (I’m trying not to think about it already!)

It’s been a real revolving door of roommates here this week.  Traci and Holly have both been back home all this week and are both coming back tomorrow.  The rest of us are all taking our turns going to stay in the hotels: I’m leaving today for a week, Melissa’s leaving tomorrow, Kat’s been staying at a resort with friends for the last couple of days, and Brit will be doing the same later this week.  It’s really amazing how much I miss these girls while they’re gone.  Sure, it’s nice to have the apartment to myself, but it’s just too quiet!  Luckily, Kat got us reservations months ago for dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian.  It’s a character dinner buffet with the characters from Cinderella.  We’re all going to get dressed up and go together next Monday, the night my family is flying back to Missouri.  The timing is just perfect because it will be a great way for us all to get back together, compare vacation notes, and then go back to regular apartment life.  It will also help distract me from what I’m sure will be an emotional night with a slight risk of homesickness relapse.

I’ve still got to finish packing and clean out my car so all five of us can fit in.  I really need to go get it vacuumed, because I spilled fries under the seat when I was taking Tiffany and Brett to the airport a few days ago.  Floor fries don’t really smell, but they’re still gross!  I don’t think I’m going to get it done, though.  Oh, well.  At least I’ll have a snack for the long drive out to Sanford! 🙂

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So Close, And Yet…

September 21, 2009

Well, I never did finish writing about my first day of training at Epcot.  But it’s all for the best, because now I can write about day one and day two!  But first, you guys get to see pictures of our White Glove Award-worthy apartment! 

Chatham - Bedroom Chatham Front Entry Way - Dining Room, Kitchen

Chatham Living Room

We had our first apartment inspection this morning, so we spent all day yesterday cleaning furiously and even putting out a few tasteful Halloween decorations.  By the time we went to bed last night, our apartment looked so good that I had almost no doubts we’d be getting the White Glove Award – the highest honor apartment cleaning has to offer.  Not only is it prestigious, the title comes with a giant box of Ferrer0 Rocher chocolates!  Unfortunately, though, notice our apartment is only White Glove Award-worthy, not White Glove Award-winning.  😦  One of my roommates was in the shower this morning when the inspectors came by, so they couldn’t inspect their shower (which was sparkling clean!) and therefore couldn’t give us the award.  But we got perfect marks on everything else, and I know we’ll get it next time!  We did get a consolation prize of sorts, though: all six of us got a little snack-sized pack of Knotts Raspberry Shortbread cookies.

I had Park Discovery Day today at Epcot, and, of course, had lots of fun touring the park.  We rode Spaceship Earth, and walked around World Showcase before it opened, but the highlight of the day was…a secret.  Unfortunately, we were sworn to secrecy about this super cute, super fun initiation ritual for new Epcot Cast Members after we participated.  We raised our right hands, said, “I do solemnly swear that I will never speak of _________________, so help me Mickey,” and promised to preserve the surprise for future Epcot CMs.  So I will honor that promise.  But for all you future Epcot-ians, prepare yourself for a little fun when you get to the Showcase Plaza. Beyond that? My lips are sealed.

After today, I’m much more excited about the move over to Epcot and the Food and Wine Festival.  My first day of training had me down a little bit, because, number one, it involved a lot of tedious legal information and lots of listening to presentations.  Number two, we were informed of an interesting little tidbit involving days off and requesting leave.  Apparently, the people who signed up for F&W knew what they were gettting in to, but it came as a bit of a shock to the rest of us: they are not going to be honoring leave requests during the 6 weeks of the Festival, including those requests that have already been approved on the Hub.  We have to have full availability.  This means that it’s not only going to be very difficult to get off to use the ticket I bought for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but that I will probably have trouble gettting any time off while my friends are here the first week of November.  They’ve already bought their plane tickets and everything, so I’m just hoping that maybe I’ll be able to trade some shifts with people, or that they were over-exaggerating the difficulty of getting time off.  Maybe it will also help that the time I’m really needing off is at the end of the Festival.  All I can do right now is keep my fingers crossed!

As I said, today was much more interactive, though, and even my scheduling worries are begginning to take a back seat to the excitement.  I do love Epcot, and I hear that F&W is a blast.  I know that lots of the seasonal CMs come back year after year just to do the Festival.  So I really am lucky, I guess.  The Soft Opening and Cast Member Preview for the Festival is next Thursday, the 24th, and since I don’t have to work until late that afternoon, I plan to spend part of the morning checking out the booths.  The early part of the morning I will be at the SALSA sale–a giant Cast Members-only sale.  I don’t know much about it, except that people have been talking about it for a month already and people are planning to be there hours before they open on the first day, sort of like Day After Thanksgiving shopping.  The way I see it, that’s got to be a good sign for any bargain hunter, right?

For a parting shot, here’s a picture of me in my latest costume. Cute, right? 😉

My Costume for Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  These pants are disgustingly see-through!

My Costume for Epcot Food & Wine Festival. These pants are disgustingly see-through!

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A Whole New World (Well, Park, At Least!)

September 17, 2009

I know I”ve said it before, but today was a very, very long day.  Could be because I got less than four hours of sleep last night! 

It all started yesterday with a good, responsible decision.  Brit, Melissa, Holly, and I went to the Cool Beans Cafe over at Vista Way.  I have to say, this was my favorite housing event yet.  Karaoke.  What else can I say?  I love the spotlight, so I sang a song, and then Brit and I did a duet.  We chose that great standard, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan, complete with human-video style motions.  It was super fun. There were a lot of really entertaining performances, but I’m pretty sure ours was the best.  😉 We actually had strangers come up to us after we were done just to tell us how awesome we were!

But a little after 10:00, I decided to do the responsible thing and go back to Chatham so I could get some sleep because I knew I needed to be at work at 8:00 this morning.  So I called Erik on my way back, and as we were talking, he asked me what time I was getting off tonight.  Well, when I looked at my schedule to check, I noticed that it said I was supposed to be at Epcot for Food  & Wine Festival Training this morning!  It was 11:30, and I had no shoes, no costume, and no idea where I needed to go for training.  Just to say “Epcot” isn’t really enough information!  It’s huge! 

So I ran out the door to Wal-Mart to buy the requisite white tennis shoes, waited through the world’s longest line (apparantly, Wal-Mart is the cool place to be on a Wednesday night in Orlando), and rushed back home so I could get in bed.  Finally, just after 1:00 AM, I was flipping off the light.  Costuming would open at 7:00, which would give me an hour to get my costume, figure out where I needed to be, and get clocked in for work at 8:00.  But, alas, I wasn’t to get the four and half hours of sleep that I was hoping for, because I woke up with a nosebleed at 5:00 this morning!  Half an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off!  Ugh! 

So the day didn’t exactly get off to a great start.  But at least I got out the door on time this morning, had no trouble getting my costume, and even found the training group!  Come to find out, though, I WAS SUPPOSED TO COME IN BUSINESS DRESS!  They made a mistake on my schedule, and didn’t put that it was supposed to be a Park Discovery Day, like DAKlimation at Animal Kingdom.  So they moved my Discovery Day to Monday, and had me do the training for Monday today.  It was a real mess.  And the worst part of it was, if I had only known that I could wear business casual, I would have been able to easily get in 6 hours of sleep!  6!

The training itself was a whole other story, but one that I just don’t have the energy for right now.  I mean, you heard the story!  So check back for part 2 of this epic adventure, which I will finish after a quick nap!  (or tomorrow.  Probably tomorrow. :))