Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Really Not So Scary

October has arrived and with October comes Halloween.  This only means one thing:  It’s time for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties!  I have been to two parties and they are so much fun!  I really love working during them too because you get to see everyone’s costumes.  My favorite so far has to be the family dressed up as the Main Street Electric Parade.  One was dressed as a dwarf in a mine cart and the other two were turtles complete with lights and music; they were so legit.  During the parties there is a Villain Dance Mix and Mingle, which is a show on the castle stage complete with a meet and greet afterward.  The parade is incredible as is the fireworks; definitely some of the best entertainment that Disney offers.  In addition there are a ton of special character meet and greets (the seven dwarfs, the princes, Captain Jack Sparrow, Tarzan), lots of candy, and the Cadaver Dans sing in Frontierland.  Since there is so much Halloween nonsense to see, most every attraction has little to no wait, which can definitely get boring when you are working.

Another special event also recently started:  The Food and Wine Festival in Epcot.  I went on September 27th for the preview and everything was heavenly.  The food is absolutely amazing, but kind of expensive; you definitely have to pace yourself when you go, so you don’t spend absurd amounts.  They gave out little festival booklets that have all the countries listed along with all the food and wine.  When you go to each booth you can get your booklet stamped at each country so you can keep track of where you’ve been and where you need to go.  Oh yes!  Speaking of food, Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney has brought back their Holiday Sandwich.  It is turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce all served in their artisan bread… it is hands down the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life.  You must try it!

In terms of Splash, work is the same old same old.  It’s not as busy as the summer, which is nice but can get dull at times.  We have also gotten plenty of new CP’s, so I don’t have as many closing shifts; winning!    Since there is a candy trail in our queue during the Halloween parties, we can also pick up treat shifts.  I have one on Thursday and am so looking forward to it!  I’ve always wanted to hand out tons of candy :D    

In terms of housing, we recently had another inspection and won the White Glove Award!  Looks like a few hours of cleaning definitely paid off.  We also recently got new buses; switched from American Coach to Transtar.  I didn’t think that they new buses could be any worse than the old ones… turns out that they are.  They are much smaller and have fewer seats and they tend to break down pretty often.  The drivers are also still getting used to the routes, so they tend to run late.  Hopefully they will start running better soon!  My classes are also starting on Wednesday, so I’m very excited for those.  I’ll be sure to let you know all about them.

Oh yes… Speaking of October, this means that I’ve been down here for about four months.  It’s so sad that my program is almost over.  I have made so many incredible friends and love my job; I just don’t want it to come to an end!

Well that’s all for now folks.  I’ll try and include a post of pictures soon, but for now I have to finish my laundry and get ready for work.  Take care and have a magical day!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Change Has Come

Well blog readers, September is finally here.  I feel like time is flying down here in Florida and I wish it would slow down!  I’ve been working quite a bit and spending time off in the parks.  Last week I went to Typhoon Lagoon (I have a bit of obsession with the lazy river), went resort hopping (love Animal Kingdom Lodge – it’s gorgeous!), and visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.  Somehow my days off are always very busy, haha.  Since school has started the crowds have let up considerably.  Most afternoons we have about a 10 minute wait or less; it’s insane!  You can actually walk through the parks now and most attractions don’t have too long of a wait, which is a beautiful thing.  With September comes Fall and with Fall comes Halloween!  The Magic Kingdom has been completely decorated with scarecrows and pumpkins and lots of fall decorations.  I will have a separate post with some pictures for you all.  Soon Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties will be starting, which I’m so looking forward too!

In housing news, we are no longer run by Price Management.  We now have Lincoln Property Control.  I haven’t noticed any differences by the switch yet, but will let you know if anything arises.  We have also had two roommates self-term and go home and have since gotten two new International College Programers from Panama.  And in more exciting news:  we have a television and dvd player!  Hello food network and all your wonderfulness…  it is a glorious thing.  

I guess I shall wrap up this post.  I’m working from 6:45 – 1:30 tonight during Night of Joy, a contemporary Christian music festival.  It should be called Nightmare of Joy.  There are a ton of teenagers, lots of screaming and yelling, and much more craziness.  So glad I get to do it again tonight…  Well folks, have a magical and joyous evening!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Random Nonsense

Hello loyal blog readers!  Sorry I haven’t posted too much in a while.  Working and living in Disney is definitely time consuming to say the least.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve worked quite a bit; usually starting late afternoon till closing.  I actually don’t mind these shifts, since it’s much cooler than it is in the daytime and we aren’t too busy near closing time.  We’ve had some interesting days – plenty of resets and the occasional evacuation.  I wish guests would just learn to stay in their logs… haha. 

Other than work, I’ve spent lots of time in the parks.  I’ve become addicted to collecting Sorcerer cards from the Magic Kingdom; I have a binder with the card holders (nerd alert).  Luckily I’ve passed the addiction on to my roommates as well.  My 22nd birthday was on July 31st, so I went to the Magic Kingdom with my roommates and had lunch at the Crystal Palace, which was absolutely amazing!  The only bad thing about spending time in the parks is all the delicious food that calls my name.  ;)

In recent news:  cast members can now get into the water parks for free!  I was so excited for this, since I’ve never been to either.  I recently went with some friends to Typhoon Lagoon.  We didn’t spend too much time there, but I do love that lazy river.  And the wave pool… dang that’s powerful.  I wouldn’t recommend going out too far unless you love to be knocked over by very powerful waves (learned that the hard way haha). 

In food news, I got to met Iron Chef Cat Cora!  I’m a huge food network fan, so this was such a wonderful experience.  She was very sweet and quite tiny in person.

I shall finish out this blog post with some pictures for you all to enjoy.  I have to work at 3:45, so I’ll talk to you all again soon! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Disney College Program Classes

There are three different types of classes:

1.  Collegiate Courses – these are taken for credit (if approved by your school).  They are going to involve purchasing a textbook, writing papers, and doing assignments.

2.  Exploration Series – these will teach you more about the Walt Disney Company.  They require a lot of participation, but have no homework or tests.

3.  Professional Development Studies – these are major-specific and are reserved for students in these majors (engineering, business, finance, theater, law enforcement, etc).  They will have homework, exams, and the like.

Since I have already graduated, I don’t need to take any of the classes for credit; aka, hello exploration series.  When we first arrived, we have received multiple emails stating that course registration would begin on June 25th.  Just kidding everyone, registration actually started a few days before.  Since I wasn’t on my computer as soon as registration opened, the class I really wanted to take, Exploring Disney Heritage, was full :(  I did request to be placed on a waitlist.  Since the exploration series is free, I decided to sign up for another class just in case the other one didn't work out.  I choose Exploring Guest Service!  This class is held once a week for 2 hours in Chatham (very convenient!), starting in October and ending in December right before the Christmas rush.  Fast forward to August 6th...  I opened my email and discovered that there is an empty seat in the Heritage class!!!!!  I was so pumped when I read that!  This was the one class that I really wanted to take, so I was ecstatic that I got in :D 

Any class is definitely going to be an asset and skill builder, so I’m very excited for both of these to start.  This is a great opportunity to network and meet Disney leaders, so I would definitely recommend taking classes if you have the chance.  If anyone has any questions about classes, let me know!       

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Things People Say


1. Fastlane
2. Fasttrack
3. Speedpass
4. Speedlane
5. Speedtrack
6. Flashpass (my personal favorite)

Maybe we should start calling them Splashpasses?

Rider Switch
1. Baby Swap
2. Baby Exchange
3. Baby Pass
4. Switch-A-Roo


“Was this ride based on the Jungle Book? Isn’t that where all the giraffes and elephants are from?”

“Where was the big drop?”

“Was that Bugs Bunny?”

"Am I going to get wet?" (I love this question, especially when it's raining outside...)

"Since when did you change the track? I liked the other one better."

"Are they building Everest over in Fantastyland?"

"Do you work here?"

Yup, these were all serious questions. And then you get to play the lovely game of charades with all the people that don’t speak English. It’s quite a sight. Haha

Cute Story 

I was at Fastpass return the other day and needed to measure a little boy.He stood up nice and tall for me and I told him that was good to go.He looked so happy and said “I’m so tall because I’ve been eating allllll my vegetables every night!”It was so adorable!You should have seen all the parents waiting in line… that boy totally melted their hearts.

Indentured Servants

From the always reliable Wikipedia:  Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. 

Some refer to CP’s as slaves.  I prefer to say that we are indentured servants.  We live and work on Disney property, are provided transportation, and put all our paychecks back into the company.  Seriously though, we are the only cast members that are basically living out Walt’s original dream for EPCOT:  Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  We live, work, and play in Walt Disney World.  Pretty neat if you ask me. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cast Member vs. Guest

I find it really east to switch from Cast Member mode to Guest mode.  Sure I still want to say happy birthday or happy anniversary to everyone with a button and I want to compulsively check people’s heights and occasionally pick up trash, but other than that I’m good to go.  I know some people think that working at Disney will ruin the magic, but I don’t think it does at all.  Sure you may see a princess putting her dress on backstage or see Woody putting his boots on, but when you visit as a guest, that’s still Cinderella and that’s still Woody.

I absolutely love the fact that I can go visit the parks whenever I want.  I honestly can’t even tell you the last day that I didn’t go to the Magic Kingdom.  Even though I work there, I still go there on my days off or even in the mornings before work.  I love just walking around, getting ice cream, and playing the Sorcerer game (way too addicting).  The only bad thing about visiting the parks is that I usually end up spending money, haha.  Most people I know spend their paychecks away and don’t save anything.  If you budget wisely, however, and only go out to eat once a week and don’t buy too much merchandise, you can easily save money.  So far I’ve saved about $500 in a month and a half; not too shabby.  All this talk about the Magic Kingdom makes me want to go there for a nice, refreshing ice cream sundae from the Plaza.  Oh look – I don’t work until later this evening, guess I’ll make a quick stop there before work. ;) See you folks later! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Property Control and Cast Connections

These are two stores only for cast members.  Both are located near Magic Kingdom costuming in the back of the parking lot.  Property Control sells damaged merchandise from all around the Walt Disney World Resort and lost and found items that were never claimed.  Most of the time, there isn’t much wrong with the items and everything is 75% off!  You can buy a ton of nonsense and only spent a few dollars.  I love this store and so does my wallet.  Cast Connections sells merchandise that is out of season or outdated.  They also sell items for their regular price along with groceries, dishes, Christmas trees, furniture, and so much more.  This store is much bigger and offers a lot more, but is more expensive than Property Control.  You can still get some great deals and buy groceries all at the same time!  Talk about productivity.  Over the past month I’ve bought the following items…

Oh yes... I totally made the mistake of wearing that necklace when I went to the parks. I didn't wear sunscreen, so I have this lovely burn on my chest complete with a white necklace mark. It's quite fantastic if I do say so myself.

Pretty awesome, eh?  Love CM discounts.