Thursday, March 1, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Yesterday's training we were with the food and beverage people, housekeeping, lifeguards, and front desk/concierge CP's. I made a couple of friends in food and beverage and we hung out throughout the day. We learned how to clock in then we sat down and went over an overview of the hotel. It turns out the All Star Resort is the busiest resort on property and it is the 3rd largest resort in the world! Then the manager of the resort came and talked to us. He was a very nice man and I think I will enjoy working for him. Then we took a tour of the resorts three themes, music, movies, and sports. We learned where all the break rooms were and where our cast member areas are backstage.
After our tour we got our beautiful costumes (uniforms.) They are high waisted royal blue pants with a bright red top. I must say it doesn't look good on anyone. The pants run REALLY small, which meant that we had to get pants two to four sizes bigger!! After our costumes we had to go over some SUPER boring safety stuff, but at least our trainers made it less painful. Then I clocked out and arrived home about an hour and a half later, I think I'll start driving!
Today was more merchandise specific, which was better. I got to wear my costume for the first time! It certainly made it easier to get ready this morning. The first thing we did was some e-learning. I was sincerely worried I was going to fall asleep I was so tired after an hour and a half of it! Then they pulled us away to begin our merchandise training. It was another orientation really, we took tours of all three merchandise stores in the hotels and learned all the rooms attached to it and behind it. I'm really nervous about having to work in all 3 stores because of the differences in the 3 resorts. It will definitely take some getting used to all of the differences so I don't lead the guests in the wrong direction!!
After today I decided that I was put in a resort because of my Disney World knowledge. This way I can help the guests with the questions they have about the park when they get home. I met a couple of managers and they seemed super nice. Also, my trainers said the managers are really nice and will never humiliate us in the store, they try to help us out by joking around. That's definitely more of what I'm used to! I made more friends today!!
One of the last things we did today was receive our lanyards and pins! The trainer told us to watch out for the pin traders who are out to make money on it. Apparently there are people out there who see the pins as a money making scheme, which makes me sad. I can't wait to make that magical moment for a guest, and maybe with a pin! I am really excited about this journey I get to take and I can't wait to see what the next 4 months has in store for me!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
|First day in the Disney Look|
According to Webster's Dictionary, tradition means the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another. So yesterday I had a Traditions class with Disney. They taught us all about the values that Walt himself put in place for the large company. Even today the company is still using those values at keys to success in anything and everything that they do. We started off in a classroom at Disney University and received our employee id's!! Then we got to observe the values in action... In the Magic Kingdom!!!!
We all got earpieces to be able to listen to our tour guide/teacher. The teacher that took us on our tour is currently the manager of entertainment in Magic Kingdom! He knew everyone that we saw. We entered the Magic Kingdom through the underground tunnels, which was SUPER cool. Then we walked down Main Street USA looking for examples of the values in action! I mentioned something about the number of trash cans, and he asked if anyone knew the number of trash cans down Main Street up to the castle... 168!! Then we went back to the classroom and talked about the examples some more.
In the middle of our training class there was a knock on the door... it was MICKEY!! He came in and was so excited to see everyone. I got to hug Mickey and got a little character for answering a trivia question. When Mickey came in he brought a present with him, which had our name tags. We all got our name tags and became official Disney employees.
This class really inspired me and reminded me of the magic Disney creates every day. I can't wait to get out there and start learning and creating magic for others. After watching so many Disney employees and how much they truly LOVE their jobs I want to be them. I truly hope this is just the beginning and maybe one day I'll move up in the company and continue to work for the most magical place on earth.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Since so many people arrived early we were allowed to start checking in early. We proceeded to the check in building where we received our College Program Guides, aka our best friend, and our room assignment. When we were getting our room assignment I was chosen to be the "leader" and the other 3 got to hang out with "the cool people." I walked up to the counter and began talking to the lady about anything and everything while she was doing some paperwork. Then she asked the big question, "Where do you want to stay?" I knew exactly what we all had discusses, a two bedroom in Patterson Apartments. There were none left!! I was freaking out, I didn't know what to do. So I looked back at them and asked if they wanted a 3 bedroom in Patterson. The lady told me they had a two bedroom in Chatham Square. We all decided that would be a good pick! After getting our room and car decals we were on our way to the Walt Disney World Casting Center!!!!
I almost cried when I realized where we were headed next. This is the place EVERY cast member goes through when they first become a cast member. The bus ride there was SUPER fun with Cameron! He was hilarious and had us all sing Happy Birthday to my roommate. Then we arrived! It looked as magical as Cinderella's Castle inside and out. As soon as we walked in we learned where we would be working for the next four months. I was blessed with working in All Star Sport Resort in Merchandise. I have to admit that I wasn't excited at first, but I have come up with tons of advantages to working there!!
1. Pretty normal hours, the stores won't stay open until midnight!
2. I'll see the same guests pretty regularly and be able to make relationships with them.
3. I won't get sick of the parks.
4. It will be really easy to drive to.
5. I won't have to learn how to deal with crowd control.
6. It will be pretty slow compared to the park merchandise stores.
7. I'll get to work with pins and trade pins!
That's a pretty strong list. No reason to be upset there! After the exciting part came all of the lines and paperwork. There were so many lines and "stations" for us to go through, like background check, direct deposit for paycheck, I-9 documents, Disney Look, and so on and so on. Then we got back on the bus with Cameron and went back to Vista Way. I met up with my mom and dad, then we had lunch and headed to Chatham Square!
At Chatham we found out that my apartment is on the THIRD floor. But its good exercise for me to add to my running routine. My parents were awesome and helped me move in. Everyone got settled and my bed looks AMAZING!! My room looks like a princess room, very fitting for Disney. All of our parents left, and it dawned on us that this is our new home. So we all went out to Wal Mart after unpacking some. We discovered there were no bed risers there so we went to a Super Target for a few groceries. Again, they didn't have bed risers. Apparently that's a good thing to buy BEFORE you come to Orlando. Glad mom suggested I get mine earlier this week! Then we took my roommate to Chic Fil A for the FIRST time in her life. We decided to get the food to go so we could have our first meal in our new home!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
So tonight I met my roommate and suite mates!!! I think we'll all get along just fine. My suite mates are from Alabama and my roommate is from Michigan. We all loooove Disney and can't wait to check in tomorrow!
Tonight's event was eating at Captain Cook's and watching Wishes from the beach at the Polynesian hotel. I met so many people, including someone from CP apartments and a professional intern who will be working for disney wedding planning!!! So jealous. I would love to pick her brain and talk about how she got to where she is. The girl from CP apartments is a full time cast member now, but she used to be a seasonal cast member. I learned tonight that a seasonal cast member just has to work 140 hours out of the year. There are so many options when it comes to continuing with Disney that I can't wait to see what the future holds.
Tomorrow morning is checkin and I'm going to be there at 7am!!! But I finally get to move in and figure out where I work!! It feels like Christmas because I'm so excited.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
This morning I taught my last Pure Barre class at work. It was a fun class with five people at 6 am. I wasn't upset or depressed about it until it was over though. Throughout these next few days I need to stop and smell the roses a little bit longer than usual. If I don't cherish these moments they'll be gone before I know it.
It feels like its graduation time, I keep counting all my "lasts." I guess it is like graduation in a way because I'm starting a new chapter in my life. Graduation wasn't a sad affair for me and neither is this. I feel bad for not being sad about leaving everyone, but I'm leaving for Disney! I won't lie, I have shed a few tears already, especially when I think about how much I am going to miss my boyfriend.
I have already downsized and taken things out of my room that aren't going to Orlando with me. Now that I have started to pack it's starting to hit me that this is for real! I still have a few things on my to do list. I need to buy bed risers and a dust ruffle, and I need to sign up for calculus at Chattanooga State.
Over the next week I'll be busy getting ready for my move and helping my grandma get ready for her move. On check in day I'm sure I will have tons to share!