Posts Tagged ‘Magic Kingdom’

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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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‘Tis the Season…for Homesickness!

December 4, 2009

In the four months since I got here, I haven’t had too much trouble with homesickness.  But I have to be honest:  it’s gotten a lot harder ever since my family left.  And with the holidays coming up, it’s been even more difficult. I’m definitely still glad to be here, but I have to keep reminding myself to not wish the days away between now and January 2nd.

Part of my restlessness has been unhappiness with my work schedule.  The transition to working evenings/nights at Magic Kingdom has been easier physically than I expected, but harder mentally.  I don’t feel physically exhausted anymore when 1:00 AM starts to roll around, but I don’t feel like my usual sunny, perky self when I have to sleep in until 11:00 the next day and then don’t have time to do anything fun before my next shift starts.  All I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t have to keep this schedule the entire program.  I just don’t know if I could have made it.

But not all is doom and gloom in this magical kingdom I call home.  Although my roommates and I didn’t get to go home for the holidays, we did get to have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner together.  And even if we’re not related, we’re definitely a family.  Melissa had to work, but the rest of us didn’t have to go in until late afternoon, so Traci cooked us a delicious  meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and all of the other traditional Turkey day dishes.  We watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then sat around the table, taking turns sharing our “thankfuls.”  We all agreed our “Florida family” was definitely something to be thankful for!

There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up.  My grandparents should be landing in just a few minutes at the airport.  Two of my grandma’s sisters and their husbands are coming to meet them, so the six of them are going to have a wonderful Disney vacation, and I’ll be spending most of my time off with them over the next week.  There’s also a trip with people from work to see the Candlelight Processional narrated by Anika Noni Rose, the College Program Winter Formal, the midnight showing of “The Princess and the Frog”, the College Program Completion Ceremony, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to look forward to.  Hopefully the old adage about time flying and fun-having will prove true, and all of these goings-on will distract me until after the difficult holiday season is over.

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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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A Ferris Bueller Day

October 29, 2009

Today was a Wednesday: the day my Exploring Marketing class meets.  I, however, did not go to Exploring Marketing.  When it came time to get ready to go, I thought of Ferris Bueller: “How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?”  For the Exploration Series classes, you’re automatically dropped after on your second absence.  So I haven’t actually dropped the class yet, and I may not for a couple of weeks.  But I decided today that there is just no point in making myself go to a class that I don’t want to take.  I’m not getting any credit for the class, and even though my instructor is entertaining and energetic, I just didn’t feel like I was going to learn anything that would really help me in life.

So it’s looking like I may never get my Mouseters degree. 😦   But that’s okay!  Plenty of great stuff happened today to distract me from my crushing sense of failure: I went shopping at Downtown Disney, where I experienced the awesome life-changing taste that is the Holiday Dinner Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich.  This unbelievable creation is turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayonnaise, and gravy, all squeezed between two toasted pieces of bread.  I washed this down with a glass of the Earl’s Grey Lemonade, which is lemonade mixed with Earl Grey tea.  I think this meal may be a new addiction, but luckily the price is reasonable enough that I can satisfy the cravings without busting the bank: the sandwich and drink cost less than $8.

Later, I got the chance to see the newest show at Magic Kingdom, Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee.

Tiana, Naveen, and Louis the Alligator from “The Princess and the Frog” have taken over the Liberty Belle riverboat, and now perform songs from the movie as they and their friends sail down the river.  In between shows, the new royal couple do meet-and-greets behind the Christmas Shop in Liberty Square.  The whole thing premiered on Monday, and Tiana rode in a special procession down Main Street to the castle, where she was greeted by all of the other princesses.  I wasn’t able to go to any of the opening day festivities, but the show was so awesome that I wish I could have seen it all.  They’re really starting to get me excited about this movie.  When I had seen the previews, I was a little unsure of how I felt about Naveen.  He seemed a little too cartoonish, with his outrageous accent, almost more like the funny sidekick than the leading man.  But after seeing the character on the showboat today, I got a little bit better idea of his personality, and he just seems fun.  All I can say is that this movie better live up to my ever-growing expectations or I will be a sad, sad, girl.

After Magic Kingdom, I met up with some friends from work for another trip to Epcot.  We got to see Boyz II Men perform at the Eat to the Beat concert series.  Boyz II Men was a little before my time, so I wasn’t really all that excited about going to see them.  But when they actually started singing, I was surprised at how many of the songs I knew.  And, I have to admit, I really liked it.  We had a blast, and the crowd was just great.  We stayed for Illuminations, and it was fun to actually get to see the fireworks.  Lately, I’ve gotten to hear them so much, but I’m always inside the World Showcase Tent counting the drawers and closing up shop during them.  Seriously, it’s really, really hard to count when giant explosives are going off every few seconds.  It was nice to be on the other side of those tent flaps tonight.

I don’t know if I’m going to go ahead and drop my class, or if I will wait and see if I feel like playing hooky again later.  I really didn’t dislike the class, but I also realized today that I’m probably not going to get any lasting memories or unforgettable experiences out of it, either.  So who knows if I’ll go next week or not.  But I’m definitely glad I decided to go with my gut and just let myself have a fun-filled day the Ferris Bueller way.

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A Practically Perfect Halloween Party!

October 23, 2009

“Boo to You”, dear reader!  It’s been an EXTREMELY busy week.  I’ve been wrapping up my resume for the Campus Rep position, working on my class schedule for next semester, preparing for visits from friends and family, working (of course!), and trying to have a life on top of all the rest!  It’s been really tiring, a little stressful, but fun and exciting at the same time.  So many great things are happening!

One of these great things happened this past Tuesday, when I went with all 5 of my roommates to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.  Of course, we all went in costume: Melissa was a creepy vampire, complete with eerily realistic fangs, Brit was a gypsy reminiscent of Esmerelda from Hunchback, Traci was a flirty German fraulein, Holly was Alice, and Kat was the Queen of Hearts.

Left to Right: Traci, Holly, Kat, Brit, Me, Melissa

Left to Right: Traci, Holly, Kat, Brit, Me, Melissa

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I went as Mary Poppins.  I ended up being so happy with my costume, and it definitely got a great reaction!  Everywhere I’d go, I heard people saying, “Look!  There’s Mary Poppins!”.  People would shout, “Hi, Mary”, or tell me how much they loved my costume.  I even had tons of total strangers asking to take pictures with me.  Seriously!  I was asked to pose with at least five separate groups.  The best of these came at the very end of the night: we were heading out towards the front of the park, and I was lagging behind a bit because I had been wearing  heels for the last five hours and my feet were killing me. A big group is sitting on a bench beneath the Astro Orbiter, and as I walk past they scream, “Mary! Can we get a picture?”  I waved, told them (in a terrible excuse for a British accent) that my group was leaving me behind, and kept walking.  “But we have Bert!”  They point behind me, and, sure enough there’s Bert the Chimney Sweep coming out of the bathroom.  His costume was fantastic, so of course I had to let them take pictures, and even got them take one with my camera.

Chim-Chiminee, Chim-Chim-Cheree, a pic with a sweep who's a stranger to me!

Chim-Chiminee, Chim-Chim-Cheree, a pic with a sweep who's a stranger to me!

In between posing for pictures, we watched the “HalloWishes” fireworks show, the “Boo to You” parade, and hung out with Jafar, the Queen of Hearts, and Frollo at the “Villains Mix-and-Mingle.”  We also hung out at the Character Dance Party in Tomorrowland, where we learned that Chip is a fantastic break dancer!  Check out Brit’s video by clicking here.

One more piece of news: although I had a fantastic time at the Halloween Party, and work has been going well, this week has been a little tough.  Of course, there’s been the usual drama that comes with trying to sign up for classes and fill out applications, but we also had a some bad news for the family.  My great uncle has been sick for a while: unexplainable weight loss, terrible muscle pains, and just general poor health.  A few days ago he was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Please keep him and the entire family in your thoughts and prayers.  Pray for strength, peace, and healing, because no diagnosis or disease is too powerful for God.

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Video Blogging–The Lazy Blogger’s Best Friend

September 13, 2009

My first video blog!  Hope you all enjoy it.  These may happen more and more, but I’m not sure I’m happy about it.  Does anyone enjoy watching videos of themselves?   I sure don’t!

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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!