Posts Tagged ‘Frontierland’

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Howdy, Y’all!

September 7, 2009

I thought I’d had some long days: I hadn’t even come close to a true long day.  Today, I left the house at 7:00 a.m. and didn’t get home until 11:00 p.m.  For the mathematically challenged, that’s 16 hours.  I worked a total of 12 hours – 6 in Discovery Island and 6 in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom.

I have to say, though, that today was really great.  Stocking at DAK went really quickly and smoothly.  Before I knew it, I was on my way over to Magic Kingdom. All I can say about MK vs. DAK is…wow.  At Animal Kingdom, Cast Members park in a designated lot right next to guest parking, and walk in in the same area as the guests.  We walk on-stage to get to our work areas, only going backstage once we reach our destination.  At Magic Kingdom, Cast Members have to contend with the infamous Utilidors, the underground tunnel system beneath MK.  Cast Members park very, very far away at MK, and take a bus to the entrance of the tunnels.  Then you walk forever, through color coded tunnels, to get to your destination.  You store your things in lockers in the tunnels, take the elevator up, and get completely into character before stepping on-stage.  It really is a whole different experience.

After going to get my special issue costume and finally figuring out how to get on-stage, I had a little time to kill before work.  So I wandered around Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square (in street clothes, of course.)  I caught the end of the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade, shopped, and watched the Pirate Tutorial in Adventureland.  This little show was such an unexpected treat!  It’s a street show, where Captain Jack Sparrow and his assistant come out and teach the kids in the crowd how to win a swordfight, Captain Jack-style (by running away!), and make them Official Future Crew Members.  Both Captain Jack and his assistant were very good, and of course the kids were adorable.  They finished off the show by leading the crowd in a sing along of “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me”.  The whole thing was too cute, and definitely a pleasant way to pass a little time. I highly recommend stopping to watch if you ever pass by a show in progress. 

Once I finally got to work, I rotated between Big Al’s (an outdoor stand), the Frontierland Trading Post (a Pin Trading Center) and Prairie Outpost (candy and other treats).  I had an absolute blast!  Working in Animal Kingdom, sure, there’s a theme.  We say things like “Have a Wild Time!” and talk about how we’ve heard that there’s a Yeti hiding in the mountains, and just generally staying in character.  But working in Frontierland, I was really able to unleash my inner drama queen.  I’d greet people with a great big, “howdy!”, call kids “sugar” or “pardner”, and make any of the kids buying toy guns promise me that they wouldn’t use ’em to hold up any trains.  I sort of created a character for myself, and I loved every minute of it.  I was a rootin’, tootin’ frontiers-woman!

The costume in Forntierland is also way cuter than the one on Discovery Island, although it isn’t as comfortable. 

The Frontierland Get-up.

The Frontierland Get-up.

The long skirt is fun, but hot, and the material for the skirt and shirt is really thick.  Plus, I had to tuck the shirt in.  Yuck!  It was definitely nice to have a waist, though! 🙂

I was really disappointed that I was getting so few hours, but now I”m thinking it could be a good thing.  I had so much fun tonight; I’m going to pick up Extra Hours every chance I get!

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This Post Has No Title…Just Words and a Tune

September 3, 2009

Another day working registers.  Like yesterday, I spent most of the day at Creature Comforts.  Register there wasn’t as awesome as stock, but it still wasn’t bad.  The best part was playing tic-tac-toe with a little girl who only spoke Spanish.  This was another chance to use what I learned this summer, and I did ask her name and how old she was.  Other than that, it was all smiles, points, grunts, and charades, which I think is pretty amazing.  It makes the world seem so much smaller when you realize that people can communicate almost wordlessly.  So many gestures and inarticulate sounds are universal.  We played for probably half an hour while her mom shopped, not really saying anything beyond “Ha!” when we won or “Gah!” when we lost.

After a short break, CDS (the Cast Deployment System) told me to find two of the Cast Members working parade duty and to give them their next assignment.  Wouldn’t ya know, one of them was stuck on the other side of the parade route, so I had to stand there and watch the whole stinkin’ parade while I waited. I’m being sarcastic, of course.  I love the parade!  Every afternoon, I count down the minutes until 3:45, when it will start.  You can hear the music coming from quite a ways away, and you can always tell when the parade is within sight: the crowd gets so still as people stop trying to squeeze through, and just stop to watch.  Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade wasn’t my favorite when I first came to WDW as a guest.  But, like all of Animal Kingdom, I’m starting to appreciate it more all the time.  It’s less formal than the 3:00 parade at Magic Kingdom, and guest participation is much greater.  In fact, it’s almost impossible not to at least clap your hands, and I almost always find myself humming along with the music.  The giant animal puppets are definitely my favorite part, but I also love watching the faces of the guests who get to ride along in the parade.  I’m sure their smiles are genuine when they start off in Africa, but by the time they reach Discovery Island, their cheeks must be hurting because their smiles are so forced that they’re nearly grimaces, and they’re barely waving.  And they always look so self-conscious!  Maybe it’s horrible, but I also find it entertaining.

All this, plus I finished up the afternoon working the Pin Porch, which is a Pin Trading center right outside of Island Mercantile.  So of course there was lots of pin trading to do and guests to interact with.  All in all, not a bad day.   

Tonight I came home to the most delicious smell – one of my roommates put a pot roast in the crock pot with a note that it wouldn’t be ready until midnight, when she gets home, but that there would be plenty left for our lunches tomorrow.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I love my roommates!  It’s like a slumber party every day!

I finally found a shift on the Extra Hours Hotline that I could pick up.  Next Sunday, I’ll work from 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at DAK like normal, but then from 4:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. I’ll go work in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom.  It will be a long day, but I think it will be fun.  And It’ll put me halfway towards my goal of working in each of the parks at least once.  The costume there is pretty crazy, but definitely an improvement on the Discovery Island dress.  I’m probably going to try to go by costuming tomorrow to pick it up.

I’m sitting here, watching Project Runway, smelling pot roast, and I have to say…this is starting to feel like home.  It’s still exciting and new, but I have this overwhelmingly wonderful feeling of routine; a feeling which I’ve missed for the last three and a half weeks.  It’s very, very nice.