Thursday, February 23, 2012

Post 10: Day 18

So it's been over a week since I've's been ridiculously busy.

Last week I had training; Day one and two training was with Ann and a guy who's name I absolutely can't remember. We sat in a classroom for and watched slide presentations for most of the time, and then we went out to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom and practiced shooting each other. Day 3 and 4 were with a guy named Victor, who is A-mazing! He took us on a backstage tour of magic kingdom, and then we got to shoot guests! That was awesome. Friday, Day 4, we got "magic shot" trained, which is the art of capturing the precise moment that tinker bell jumps intros child's hand, or taking magic pictures of invisible balloons. That was fun.

Saturday-my first day all by myself.
Most interesting first day of work ever. I misread my schedule and was an hour late, had a meeting with the CP supervisor, and spent 20 minutes of my 30 minute lunch beak lost backstage, about ready to cry. It was pretty miserable. AND then the computer told me that I was to attend a scheduled meeting at the Photography (DPI) base. So I meandered back, and waited with a group of about 9 of us, no one having an idea what was going on. One of our managers gathered us together and escorted us to an adorable tour guide....who is responsible for tours of the Cinderella Castle Suite. Yes. On my first day of work, I got selected for a special cast member tour of Cinderella's guest suite. I was in a group of people who had worked for the company for 4 years, 7 years, 10 years and has never seen the suite, and I got to go on my first day. I could hardly believe it. It was absolutely beautiful, I got to see her glass slipper and her Coronation Crown. It totally made my day, getting to accomplish 2 of my dreams in one day.

I've been working by myself for 4 full work days now. I hate our universal costume, but I love our main street costume. Tink flies around main street for pictures, and the shoes i got from walmart are absolutley coated in pixie dust. The worst part about working main street though is the damn trolley horse. I can't tell the difference between that bell and the train bell, and the lady that drives it is CRABBY. Literally my first day on main street and she's "counting" me. She's not even nice. Other than that I like working main street a lot more than any of the other places...mostly because I'm not night or character trained so my only other option is standing on the bridge to tomorrowland and doing castle shots, and by that point most people have already gotten 257853279974 castle shots walking up main street, so it's not as busy. But is okay. Either way I'm still shooting.

On Tuesday I had my first Make-A-Wish kid. I couldn't even tell, and I still have no idea what she has. Her name was Princess Jessica, and her birthday is tomorrow (Friday); she's turning 8. She was missing 3 of her front teeth and was all smiles, really excited to be at Disney world. I did an invisible balloon shot, and she did such a good job I asked her if she did magic at home, and she told me about this trick that she does with disappearing coins and cups. She was absolutely amazing....whatever she has, I really hope that she kicks its ass in the gutter where it belongs.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Post 9: Day 7 (I kin haz caffeine plz?)

So I've been here in Orlando for a week now!! The weathers amazing, if not on the slight chilly side...though not as chilly as the wonderful snow I'm missing in PA!! Sorry guys. :-P

It's 6:37am on Saturday, I'm currently on the bus to Disney University, which is where all the Disney Cast member training occurs (no its not a Disney run college...I wish!). Today I'm getting my photopass Magic Kingdom Park tour, I have to be there by 7:15am. It takes about 30 minutes to ride the Disney Bus to DU, and that's where the drop off is for Magic Kingdom employees .

BUT let's backtrack a few days...

Thursday: Disney Marketing You Class at 8:30. Benefit to being in Vista is that my class is in the same complex...not all Disney education courses are in Vista, my roommate Domino's is in Chatham. I'm not sure if you can tell before you sign up.
My class was very entertaining, my professor is Penny, who has been with the company since 1980...a year before EPCOT opened, to put that in perspective for you. The class's goals is to pretty much help us figure out what direction we want our lives to go in. This will be beneficial to me, as I'm one of those people always bouncing around with what I want to do.

Class ran 8:30-12:30, then I zipped back to my apartment, ate, changed and met my friend Michael over. We got on a bus over to Magic Kingdom to meet Eddie and some of his other friends, I met Aleka who is from Hawaii, which is the first person I've ever met from Hawaii. We rode the magic carpets, jungle cruise, buzz light year, and saw the Monsters Inc laugh floor and the Stitch experience before we all went home. And I promptly went to bed as I had to be back near Magic Kingdom by 8:30 for my Welcome to Entertainment Session. (Yes, as far as departments go, I am roped into the same category as Characters, attendants, and costuming. Win!)

Friday: Welcome to Entertainment! Safety training, tours of the online systems and first week of training schedule...8 hours of fun times and excitement! After I got home I made dinner and stayed home and did most of my homework while some of my roommates went to EPCOT for the first time, then I went to bed for today.

Saturday: By this point I'm sitting in a room waiting for my Magic Kingdom tour to start. That's about everything that has happened so far today...will keep you all posted as the days go on!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Post 8: Day 3 (NameTags and New Faces)

Oy, it's been a crazy few days!!! Time to play catch-up!

Sunday: Woke up at 7am today. Not even kidding. Sleeping in possibly one of the most comfortable beds I've ever been in in my life, curtains drawn, lights out, no music on or alarms set, went to bed at midnight...and...I wake 7am. For serious. Oh well, I ended up taking a nap between 10am-noon anyways. :)

Tried to call my bank this morning to work out some situations with my missing debit card...and their customer service line is closed on Sundays. :( Took my nap after that failed attempt at being productive, then I was chilling on Facebook and saw that one of my internet DCP friends was across the lake in Downtown Disney! So I quickly got dressed, and boated across, and got to meet my first 2 real-life DCP buddies, Eddie and Jose.  Exciting day.

The 5am line
Welcome Session
Monday: I got up at 4:45 in the morning, AM, when Eddie texted me to tell me that the line for check in was already to the street. I got up, got my things together, and got a taxi over to Vista Way apartment complexes. I met a few people in line and chatted a bit, but no one that I've kept in touch with to this point...They began letting us in at 7am, as the line was already wrapping around the corner. We walked in, those of us with luggage took it to an (I think) racquetball room to store (I had 3 wonderful young men help me carry all of my heavy luggage). Then we stood in line for a bit (always lines in Disney! Sheesh!), verified our information, waited in more line, got a little book that had a calander and all sorts of phone numbers inside, waited in more line, got split into little groups, had a very energetic girl tell me lots of important information and make me sign papers, wait in more line, give some of the important papers to a lady at a table, went inside a little pavilion building, waited in MORE line. Got sorted and sent to a desk to get our housing assignments. My roommate and I had already made up a list of our preferences in the time I got up there, even getting there at 5am...all they had left was apartments in Vista Way, which is the older complex, and the place that my roomie and I wanted to least to be. BUT we're still living in Disney, so it's okay. :) We got a 2 bedroom. AFTER THAT, we went to a table where we signed that we knew how much we were paying a week, and first 2 weeks of rent are already taken care of per housing payment you do when you get accepted. This is by 8:30 in the morning, so this process has taken about an hour. After that we get a headshot for our housing ID, and then we're free to go to our apartments. I was the first one in, so I got first pick of the beds. I got one between 2 windows (yay!). I moved all my luggage upstairs and had it mostly unpacked by the time I had to leave for my Welcome Session, where you find out what your work location is (I am photopass in Magic Kingdom, YAY!), go through all the fun paperwork and background checks and fun stuff like that. This is where you get evaluated for your Disney Look...word to those who dye your hair, make sure it's a fresh dye so they cant see your roots, its a natural color, and you don't have like, 2343243 highlight colors or something, or they make you re-do it by Wednesday. AFter that you go back to your housing complex, chill for a bit, and then you go to your Housing meeting, which is where they lay down the rules of living in DCP housing. Another word to the wise...first can be at the bus stop 10 minutes before you leave...housing have to be there 45 minutes before...or else be really lucky that you have a roommate's mom's car to zip you over to the Commons when you realize you missed the bus. :P After your housing meeting the day is yours. Or, evening is yours. Whichever.

My bedroom!
Tuesday: IS ALSO YOURS. Completely empty...unless you're like my roommate Darise who has housing on Tuesday, but that's it. I went all over Vista and explored, and then took Darise to Downtown Disney for the first time.

Disney University, Traditions
Hollywood Studios
I know the feeling...
Wednesday: STARTS GOD AWFUL EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dear Lord in Heaven. If you are in the Morning Traditions class, which is kind of like your Disney Orientation, you have to be AT YOUR BUS STOP by 6:45am. AM. IN THE MORNING. (The second Traditions meets at 12:45 I think.) This meeting is where you get your Disney ID and your nametag. And that's all I'm saying. The rest is a surprise. Ha. Ha. After that you are free to do whatever, I went to Hollywood Studios and spent 2 hours wandering around the Art of Animation Disney museum, and then watched a Video about Walt that was narrated by his voice clippings and Julie Andrews. :D tonight we have a welcoming event that is Pirate themed, where there is free food (yay for that!!) and.....then I will be going home and to bed for my 8:30am class tomorrow.

That's about it for now, I shall attempt to keep you all posted as I go through training and other fun things over the next week. Loves and miss you all!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Post 7: Limbo (Arrival in Orlando)

Ohhhmmmmggggeeeezzzeee........what a day. It is currently 10pm, I am sitting in my hotel room all showered and cleaned, with my bags beside me, and absolutely exhausted.

Bye bye, TMI.
I was up till 2ish last night and back up around 7ish to finish packing. My dad and grandfather picked me up from my house at around 10am, we loaded my brimming bags into his car, and we drove to the airport with my boyfriend and some of my dearest friends following behind. (Love you guys so much. <3) Got there around 11am, checked in, had to swap some stuff between my suitcases so they were under the 50lb weight limit and sent them on the conveyor belt. I felt bad a little bit...because I had my Woody doll inside one of my checked bags........I don't even WANT to know what happened between letting him go and him getting to my hotel room lol. Then we all got some breakfast and sat outside security for 20 minutes eating and talking. Then I had to say goodbyes. And that was fun....I didn't cry AT ALL.....not one little bit..............okay....maybe, like, one tear. Or a few more than one. But that's it.

Sooooo..........then I went through security, got patted down, be-bopped on through to the waiting are and chilled there for like, 20 minutes till we started boarding. My parents are amazing and bought my plane ticket, and had upgraded it to business class for me, so I didn't have to pay for my luggage AND I had a really comfy seat. I met this very interesting woman on the plane, she was on her way to Orlando for the Builder's show; her brother is the President of a construction company, one that helped Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with siding for the 7 houses in 7 days project in their last season. And it was kind of funny, we had bumped into each other prior to the flight, and then she ended up in line behind me in Starbucks when we got off the plane.

Chillin watching 'Up.'
This was on my bed. Win!
After the flight I got to the magical express check-in, got on my magical bus, got to Saratoga Springs to check in and met Hannah, who is from London and in the college program, and she helped me figure out how I'm getting to Vista Way on Monday (going to call a cab). After that, I went up to my room, relaxed and watched Up until my bags arrived, then I changed into something cooler, and hopped on a boat over to Downtown Disney, walked around in a fruitless search for a new wallet (though I almost did buy a Walt Disney bio.....practicing self restraint will HAVE to happen. It's going to be like, having Hansel and Gretel working in the witch's CandyHouse. Ohhhhhh the temptation....) Hopped on a bus to get back to the hotel and met a woman from the UK, who was the only other passenger on the bus. She was also very nice, she was vacationing in Orlando by herself, as her husband was away on business and her children were all grown. She's done alot of travelling, especially in the US....she's trying to do the 'collect the state parks' adventure, and is going to hit Mount Rushmore in the near future. I'm always slightly envious of people who have had the ability to travel...I always feel so.... naive when I'm talking with someone who's traveled, because they're describing things to me that I barely have any grasp of. But it's also quite amazing.

"Yup, cu-mu-lo-nimbus..." -Russel,  'Up'

Now I am sitting all comfy and EXHAUSTED in my hotel room in my jammies, VERY MUCH ready for bed, but I promised several people a blog post. Tomorrow I'd like to swim, go back to Downtown Disney, and figure out what I'm doing about a bank (getting a new debit card from my PA bank or opening a new FL bank account). There is also a meeting going on tomorrow night at a local Denny's of a bunch of DCPers starting Monday....I will attempt to attend that, but only if I can find some way to get there. This is all for now. I hope you enjoy the photomographs. :) 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Post 6: -5 Days (Goodbyes and Lasts)

So we're down to 5 days till I leave!! Freaking out now, just a little bit. I have most of my things packed up in boxes and suitcases...which is only slightly problematic when you need socks and forgot to leave them out. Going to finish packing tonight.

(All of the socks I own.)

Today is also my last day at work...doing a 10 hour shift, which be great on my check in a few weeks. My Co-workers have thrown me an absolutely lovely goodbye party, and decorated the whole back room. It looks amazing...I'm really going to miss everyone, even though I've only been here for like, 6 months. Gosh it's been 6 months was about that long ago that I applied to Disney! GEEZE. Louise.

On Saturday, all the rest of my friends threw me a goodbye was morphed with like, 5 of my friend's mixed birthday party. It was at my house, and half the guests were already there and they still managed to surprise me...refishulousness. My cousin and her boyfriend had gone to get the cake for everyone, and they were "taking forever to get back"....code for, two of my close friends were running late and they needed to be there for the surprise so my cousin was waiting out in the car till they got there. It was definitely a surprise!

I'm trying to get some last minute seeing people in this week...planning on spending Thursday afternoon with my family, Friday is both my best friend's and my roommate's dad's birthdays. Wednesday evening I'm going to go back to where I used to do some theater and see all my friends there, and watch their dress rehearsal for Cinderella. (how appropriate!)

...Then Saturday, it's Leavin' on a Jet Plane time. Whew.

I guess that's it for now......oi. Can't believe this is really happening!!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Post 5: -8 Days (The Art of Boxing)

Last night I packed my first box. I started with my stuffed animals....I didn't realize until I had to pack them how much of a biased I have towards dogs and teddy bears! Interesting things you find out about yourself when you have to consolidate your life into boxes. I'm also going to be getting rid of a lot of my things....that's going to be interesting. It's finally starting to sink in that I'm leaving in a day over a week. It's getting pretty intense...I'm seeing on some of the groups that people are already down there and they're posting updates, someone will throw up a post and say "Hey I'm off work today, who wants to go to Hollywood Studios?" My reaction: UGH YOU LUCKY BUG! I'm so excited....I'm imagining having a day off, no plans, and just casually being able to say "Meh, lets go to Disney World today, I'm bored." ReFISHulous!! This, of course, will be after homework and studying for classes. I'm taking one Disney Class, and I'll be signing up for one online class with my College this weekend after I get paid, hopefully and American History class.

As I stated previously, I'm flying, so I'll have to figure out what I want with me that I'll really need, and leave the rest in PA to be shipped as I have money for it. If you are going to be flying, make sure you check with the airline to see what their regulations are as to baggage; I am flying AirTran, and I am limited to a suitcase that must be under 50lbs, a carry-on, and a laptop/camera case. 
If you also happen to be flying AirTran, here is the link to the website with the very carefully. There's alot of picky details.

This weekend I plan on getting my shopping done, I'm going to a local salvation army (super cheap second hand store) and I'm going to be getting all my business clothes and maybe see if they have any cheap decent shorts. If you are curious as to what exactly will be required of you as far as hairstyle, glasses, and Disney's definition of 'Professional attire,' this is the link to the page about the "Disney Look."

That's about it for today. My glasses look like they should be arriving sometime today (yay!). If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them, and I'll do my best to get an answer to you as soon as possible!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Post 4: -16 Days (One Does Not Simply "Walk into Disney!")

Okey dokey, it's been a few days since I've posted, I've been busy with working. Which brings up a very good lead in to my topic today; the costs of getting to Disney.
I want to say this right now; if you plan on applying to the Disney College program, then you should save up to around $1000 dollars, and this is why.
  1. Housing payment. When you get accepeted, you will have 10 days to pay a $300 fee to secure your spot. 
  2. Classes. If you want to take any Disney Education classes, some of them require a spot-securing fee (mine was $30), and you may have to get a textbook. (I got mine on for $16 including shipping).
  3. Travel. If you're flying, you're giong to want around $100 for a plane ticket (this is flying from PA). Also, some people who are flying are arriving a few days early and staying somewhere, so that they can get used to the area, and make sure you'll be there on time. Check in time will be between 9am-12pm. If you're driving, you're going to have to pay for gas, food stops along the way, and possibly overnight accomidations somewhere depeding on how far away you are. 
  4. Baggage. You have to get your stuff there somehow, and you dont get a mailing address til the day you arrive. I went shopping at discount stores, and the cheapest large sized baggage I found was around $50/piece....if you go to somwhere like Kohls or Marshalls, it was a few hundred dollars for one piece. Yikes!! I'll also be looking into duffle bags, hopefully they're a bit cheaper. 
  5. Savings. Disney says that you should have enough money set aside to feed yourself/gas your car ect. for about three paycheckless weeks....this is because you'll have a week's gap before you get your first check, which will only cover a few hours of classes on your first week, and then your next check may have your first 2 weeks of rent taken out of it. So...just keep that in mind. 
    1. Also, depending on how you travel, you might have to buy things like bedding, pillows, toiletries, ect. when you get down there. Make sure you save accordingly.
  6. Clothes. Your closet should have the following items; some buisness casual clothes, for orientations, classes, you'll want shorts/tshirts because, yeah, it is Florida, but you'll also want some jeans/sweatshirts. It does get a little chilly down there in the winter, you cant just prance around in a bathing suit all year. Speaking of bathing suit, each apartment complex has it's own pool and gym, you might want appropriate attire to take advantage of that.
    1. ALSO, For those of you who wear glasses, you'll want to make sure that they are plain, buisness professional glasses. If you google zenni optical, you can get cheap glasses online, and they'll ship to your house. Also, you can not have transitions lenses. 
So, moral of this story, if you want to get accepted, start saving now. Even if you dont get in, at least you'll have a $1000 in savings, and that's always nice.