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Thursday, March 1, 2012

One More Disney Day (Leap Day)

My roommate and I thought we were going to make it for the opening of Magic Kingdom at 6 am on February 29,2012, but we slept instead!  So I woke up at 8 am and headed to Animal Kingdom.  I went on a backstage safari with my coworkers.  We got to learn all about how the trucks work and Cast Members only knowledge of the ride.  I had so much fun hanging out with them that I decided to stay in the park with them after the safari.  We all rode Everest and made faces during the picture.  After we got off Adam found someone he knew and got us all day fast passes to ride again!  We all rode Dinosaur, which I finally made it through!  Then we rode Everest again before trying to see the Festival of the Lion King.  Instead we saw characters at Camp Minnie Mickey before eating at Pizzafari.  

Next we headed to MK for One More Disney Day.  We parked at Wilderness Lodge and rode the boat over, which was pretty cool.  We got cards for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom then walked around aimlessly.  The park was crowded at this point.  We fast passed Splash Mountain and headed towards the Jungle Cruise.  The line was too long so we rode Carousel of Progress instead.  On the way we stopped to watch the show in front of the castle!  My coworkers and I chanted "dreams come true" and helped Mickey save MK!  

Then Courtney showed up to ride Splash Mountain with us!  After Splash we got our shirts that say, "I took the leap and didn't sleep  I pulled an all nighter at the Magic Kingdom Park!"  We rode Haunted Mansion and got scared by the last cast member we saw right before the ride started.  Next we ate dinner while watching The Magic The Memories and You.  During Wishes we rode Space Mountain three times, each time making a different face.  Next, we made it to Winnie the Pooh, Snow White's Scary ride, and Haunted Mansion again.  By the time we made it to the Hall of Presidents I was getting delirious and everything was funny.  Courtney and I have several jokes from last night.  We saw the light parade and danced in front of the castle with Daisy Duck at the dance party that lasted four hours.  We tried to see Rapunzel, but a very rude cast member informed us that we were not going to see her.  He said," pfft, you're not going to get in this line, this is it!"  We were confused and asked if he meant for the evening the line was closed, he rudely said yes and turned his back on us.  It took us a while to recover after that, but we knew just the fix!  We went to the front of the park to see if we could find Minnie and Mickey in their pj's!  We found very nice cast  members that were helpful!  We decided to see the princesses first.  When we saw cinderella she was very sweet!  We took a nice pic with her then told her we were going to look silly for the next one.  She got excited and asked if she could do it too! We told her we were going to take an awkward family photo and she asked how to do that.  After showing her we took our awkward photo and had the photographer laughing.  After Cinderella's pictures she suggested we take an awkward photo with sleeping beauty actually sleeping!  We agreed that sounded good so Sleeping Beauty laid on the ground and asked us to join her!  We laid down and all pretended to sleep.  It definitely raised our spirits!  

Next, we got in line for Mickey and Minnie.  After waiting 90 minutes to see them, we got to see their adorable pj's!  We wanted to take an awkward photo with them as well, but they were trying to move the line along.  I showed Minnie that I had her on my shirt and she got excited!  Then she pointed out my tiara and bowed.  We took our picture and decided 4 am was a good time to go home!  We got home around 430 and went straight to bed!  

One More Disney Day was a great idea!  I had fun spending the entire day and meeting other people who stayed for all 24 hours!  I just think that disney should use fast passes for after midnight as well.  The lines got way too long to really do anything because everyone showed up for the excitement!  I can't wait to see what they do next leap day!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Practically Perfect in Every Way

There have been so many moments that I want to capture in this entry, and also explain how amazing this experience has been.

I worked in Movies one night with one of my favorite managers.  He and I joked around all night about how "nervous" I get with things.  It became a running joke all night that we laughed at for hours.  Also, that night Buzz (1 year old) and Woody (3 years old) came into our shop with their parents.  It was the CUTEST family I've ever seen.  I really enjoyed watching them.  While I was working in the front of the store for a little bit a little girl about 7 walked up to me. She said guess what, so of course I asked what.  She said I gave someone my autograph today because I'm a princes. I said yes I can tell!  She said I really did!  Then her mom told the princess to hurry up and finish shopping.

The next night I worked at Music with my homeroom leader.  It was a fun and steady night.  I had a check in with my leader part of the way through the night.  We got to sit down and tell each other about ourselves as well as discuss what we expect of each other.  At the end of it we discovered a lot of similarities between ourselves.  Also, I asked him if I could sign up for the Kilamanjaro Safari backstage tour as well as money counter.  He said both of those were very possible!!

I had the next day off so I went to mass and saw Father Paul on Ash Wednesday.  Then we went to the studios to ride Tower of Terror!  My roommates managed to get me on it not once, but twice that day!! It was so much fun and easily one of my new favorite rides!  In the evening my roommate and I went to the first College Program Alumni Speaker Series event.  We met lots of Disney professionals who work in events.  Also, in that group was the man who helped Disney put character interactions in Times Square!!  It was certainly a great experience meeting everyone and a successful first networking experience for me!!

This program has been tremendously amazing so far.  I don't want to go home and I wish everyone could just come join me in Orlando!  Disney is an amazing company that I truly hope to work for for the rest of my life.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Let the magic begin!

So much has happened since my last post!  I'm not very good at consistently posting anymore, but I need to write all of this information down so I don't forget all the wonderful memories.  I'm not sure where I left off last so I'll just start from the oldest memory I remember.

On Valentine's Day I received my very first package!!  My parents sent me a wonderful stack of boxes from Harry and David's that held tons of sweets! Oh, and some pears.  I was so excited about my package that I ran to the door to get it and told everyone about it.

I had to work that night at the All Star Sports resort.  I came across some interesting people that evening.  There was an adorable old couple wearing some OLD Valentine Mickey shirts.  I commented on how much I loved them.  The couple said the shirts were older than me and that they pull them out to wear every year.  Then they said, "Alicia, we came to get some milk because you can't have cookies without milk."  I rang them up and they asked for a bag for their milk.  I told them they could only get one if they brought me some cookies!  They laughed and went on their way.  I saw them the next morning in a different pair of matching shirts and they quickly recognized me and introduced me to their daughter!  It is so nice to be able to make relationships with the guests.

There was another man who I talked to for a long time about Walt Disney restaurants.  He was telling me about some of his favorites and I suggested some of mine to him.  After a while him and his wife were ready to check out.  I rang him up and he told his wife that I was going to give them my discount.  I jokingly agreed and told him his total.  He looked at me funny and I said, "That's with the discount."  He laughed it off and paid.  I put in his receipt in the bag and said, "now when you get AAALL the way back to your room feel free to look at your receipt to see your discount."  He was a lot of fun and I enjoyed his company.

The last guest related story I have is a story about my first real magical moment.  My coworker was ringing up a guest and I was helping her.  I asked the guest how her day was going and she said, "You really don't want me to answer that question right now."   I got really concerned and asked them what happened.  It turns out that it was the family's first visit and they woke up without hot water.  It took 3 hours for them to fix it and they were late for the Magic Kingdom.  Soooo... when they returned home Tinker Bell created some magic and left them some presents.  Some pixie dust for mom, a pin for the kid, and coloring pages and crayons.  All it takes is faith trust and pixie dust!

On Thursday my roommates and I celebrated our one month anniversary as roommates!  We got anniversary buttons and spent the day at Hollywood Studios.  Courtney went on the Tower of Terror for the first time with the other two, but I stayed back.  I walked down Sunset Blvd taking pictures until I found a very inviting bench.  The next thing I know a man in a suit and top hat is setting up his card table.  He and I began chatting it up.  He found out my major, where I'm from, that I have a boyfriend of two years, and that I'm a CP.  He ended up sitting down next to me while a security guard walked up and gave him a hard time for always talking to the pretty young girls.  Jack Diamond said it doesn't matter, she has a "Bo hunk."  By this time another performer walked up and started talking about the new movie he's going to be in.

The two actors began this whole skit on magic tricks.  Jack picked me for one of the tricks.  He asked me to pick a card.  After I picked my card he said that I needed to answer every question with "No."  He asked me if I was ready.  I said no!  Then he asked if my card was red... no.  Black? I questioningly said no again. He figured out that my card was black.  He asked if it was a heart. No. Club? No. (I looked down at my card.) Spade? No. Diamond? No.  He figured out my card was a club.  He kept asking questions and I kept saying no and he figured out my card EXACTLY!  He did some tricks with all of my roommates and so we obviously had to take a picture with him!!

So much has happened on this wonderful journey!  I can't believe how much I'm learning and experiencing!  I have already made lifelong friends and I can't wait to see what the next 3 months have in store!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick Recap

This post is just to catch up very quickly on the last two weeks! I can't believe it's been so long!

Just a few notes:
Went with my roommate to Blizzard Beach then the pirate welcome event then Epcot. In Epcot we took pictures, saw fireworks, saw Logan and a guy who works for IllumiNations, and we walked through the World Showcase when it was empty.

Jeannette made balloons for us to give out at work.

Chase came and won way too many tickets in the arcade.

My marketing you class was awesome! I love my teacher, classmates, and the material!

I might be trained to be a money counter!

My roommates and I spent a whole night quoting YouTube videos and knocking morse code on the wall. We have decided we make a family with a child, cat, mom, and me as the dad.

Logan and I went to MK and got autographs! We watched the parade twice. I wore my tiara and loved every bit of attention because of it! Aladdin, Jafar, Stitch, and Tiana noticed me during the parade.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Magical Memories

On Saturday night I had my first shift as floorstock in the sports resort.  I've decided I don't enjoy floorstock becuase it's tiring and there isn't as much interaction with the guests.  However, since it was my first night as floorstock one of my managers, Hilary, pulled me aside to discuss the job.  She explained how to use critical thinking based on the financial reports.  I mentioned the fact that I love numbers and she let me have a look at her reports! I was in heaven! 

Sunday night was my first night in the movies resort and I was so glad to find out I was on a register/ a greeter.  We also had a CP welcome meeting for all of the CP's in merchandise who were working the night shift.  It was with Whitney and Adam who are both CP Alumnae.  Adam talked about how he is always there to help us get where we want to go.  There was so much information that we went over in the meeting that just made me so excited about the fact that I work at Disney, including info about backstage tours.  As I was working as the greeter I came across many language barriers, but most of the time I was able to work with the guest to overcome that obstacle.  My favorite story of the night was this little girl and her mom.  The girl never got out of her stroller and she bought a goofy plush toy.  Her mom was helping her count out the change so she must have been pretty young.  Then her mom said it was time for bed because they have a big surprise in the morning.  I was so excited for it and I didn't even know what the surprise was.  Turns out the surprise was tea with the princesses because she has been cancer free for a year now! It was all I could do not to tear up.  I also helped another family get started with pin trading.  The kids kept coming back into the store all night so excited about finding pins to trade.  It really is magical getting to be a part of these people's vacations! 

Today Courtney and I took our own vacation to Magic Kingdom! We took the monorail from the Polynesian Hotel and "Santa Fe'd" it up in the car by ourselves with the handrails.  When we got to MK we saw the show at the Laugh Floor and they said the joke that we texted in!  Next, we rode Buzz Lightyear's ride and saw Kalyn working!  It was so cool to see her at work!  Courtney total skunked me though.  Since we were in Tomorrowland we HAD to ride Space Mountain.  Out of the six of us in our car 2 had a birthday!  We got some cookie sundaes from the Storybook Treats shop, DELICIOUS and rode the carousel side saddle.  We rode Its a Small World and half of the Haunted Mansion.  Halfway through HM the ride shut down and the work lights came on.  Then the cast members came through and evacuated everyone so we got to walk through the ride with all of the lights on! It was the coolest experience ever! They were nice enough to give everyone a fastpass for any MK attraction and it didn't expire for 24 hours.  We decided the Jungle Cruise was a must and our tour guide was hilarious.  On our way out we stopped by to see some characters!

We used our fastpasses to see the princesses, Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella.  We took pictures with the first two and stopped to talk to Cinderella for a while.  Cinderella was asking where we work and told Courtney to watch out for Stitch because he made a mess of the castle the other night.  He's a master of disaster and put toilet paper all over it!  She was so nice and asked if we had any princes.  Courtney said she didn't and Cinderella said maybe she'll find one down here, but she needs to be careful with her glass slippers.  After that wonderful time we saw Mickey and Minnie!!!!!!  Minnie mouse loved Courtney's TOMS and commented on them immediately.  They all took a picture then the four of us took a picture.  Mickey then went to kiss my hand and Minnie got upset, so Mickey gave her a kiss too.  The Cast member pointed out my necklace and I had to confess it was Minnie mouse because she's my favorite.  Minnie got so excited and was so glad I said that.  Those two made the perfect ending to our magical trip to MK today.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Second day off and first closing shift

On Thursday, two of my roommates and I went to Hollywood Studios!  We walked in and danced with Chip and Dale.  They were a lot of fun and took pictures with us after our short dance session.  Then we saw Goofy and Pluto and took pictures with them.  We wanted to see Minnie Mouse in her cute pink dress, but she had to leave and go to Magic Kingdom.  After all the fun with the characters we went on The Great Movie Ride.  The other two had never been on it and they enjoyed it a lot!  Next, we rode Rockin Rollercoaster, my favorite ride at Disney!  The line was so short we got to ride it twice in an hour!  My roommate loved that one as well!  The Beauty and the Beast show was showing right after we got off the ride so we HAD to go watch it!  I had more fun trying to take good pictures of this than I did watching it this time around.  We walked through some shops on our way back to Hollywood Blvd and made it just in time for the flash mob before the parade! It was a lot of fun dancing on the street together, then we got to see all the pixar characters in the parade.  The last thing in the Studios was Toy Story Mania!  SUPER fun!!!  I finally got to win best in car this time with 139,100 points!  I was sooo excited.

We all went back home after our last ride to pick up our last roommate.  I met my mom in Magic Kingdom before the rest of them got there.  We walked around the shops and got a cookie to split.  The nice gentleman handing out the samples noticed that I was watching him very intently and handed us a sample.  We met everyone else on Main Street USA for the Magic the Memories and You and of courses Wishes!  It was so much fun having everyone together for the show finally.  I am so super glad my mom got to make it out there with us.  We all stood around after the fireworks talking and laughing and having a great time.  After my three roommates left my mom and I walked through the shops and it made me SO glad I don't work in Magic Kingdom.  It would be magical working there everyday, but it was SO busy.  My mom got me some sweats, a tshirt and ADORABLE placemats.  The placemats are Minnie Mouse themed and look FABULOUS on the table.  We both walked back to the Contemporary together and got to talk a lot.  It was really heart breaking to have to finally say goodbye to her.  A lot harder than I thought it would be. 

After my wonderful two days off I had my first real work/closing shift.  I was really terrified walking in because I didn't know anybody and my "Earning my Ears" ribbon fell off!  The shift went well though and I didn't have any major screw ups.  Closing wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I did feel really lost and didn't really feel prepared for it.  Everyone else was just doing their own thing so I walked around and pretended I knew exactly what to do.  It wasn't incredibly busy, but it was busy enough that the time went REALLY fast, which was nice. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching Up

Yikes! It has been so long since I've written, there is certainly a lot to  catch up on!  Since my last post I've completed my training, been working in the gift shop for two days, been to Magic Kingdom, and went to Downtown Disney! 

On Tuesday, January 24, I completed my assessment!  I am officially qualified to work in merchandise in Walt Disney World.  The assessment wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I passed with a 92%.  On Monday and Tuesday I actually worked in the gift shop in the All Star Music resort!  It was very stressful because I was so nervous, but Tuesday was much easier than Monday!  Tuesday morning I had my first magical moment with a guest!  She was probably 3 years old and she asked why I had a princess Tiana pin.  Come to find out, that is her favorite princess.  So after talking with her a little bit I asked if she would like to have the pin.  She had a huge smile on her face as she took the pin and walked out of the store.  It's the moments like that that I was most look forward to, and they are just as rewarding as I imagined they would be.  So many guests come through, but each one has a different story if you stop to listen.  Disney World is such a magical place, I still can't believe I'm on the cast members who gets to create that magic.

Wednesday my roommate and I went to Downtown Disney!  She has never been, so we took our time and just looked around.  It was so hard not to buy EVERYTHING, especially with our discount!  She did purchase her first pair of ears though!  That was really exciting!  Then we ate at the Rainforest Cafe and enjoyed our discount there as well.  After dinner we strolled over to Goofy's Candy Shop and got a cookie for dessert!  We decided it would be fun to go see Wishes and ride the Haunted Mansion because she's never been on it! 

We arrived at Magic Kingdom with an hour until  Wishes.  After some pictures we ran straight to the Haunted Mansion.  We walked through the new interactive queue which I have never been through before, and it is a lot scarier than the ride itself!  The man who was running the ride finally opened the door without a smile on his face.  I made my roommate lock arms with me and it freaked her out.  She kept asking what was going to happen.  I reassured her it wasn't that bad and nothing was going to pop out at her.  We all walked into the enclosed room next where the walls grow.  The lights went out then flickered, and right when they came back on the Cast Member (who is a CP) was standing RIGHT in front of us with that creepy look again!  I screamed SO loud!! We laughed it off and got on the ride, she LOVED it!

We had plenty of time so we walked over to the castle to get ready for The Magic, The Memories, and You show, followed by the fireworks.  We both cried throughout all of it.  It never ceases to amaze me how Disney can create so much magic for so many people around the world!  We walked into the emporium on the way out and I got an oversized Minnie Mouse and she got a Dumbo.  Instead of going straight to wait in line, she taught me how to climb the wall so we could take a picture with our ears!