Saturday, May 30, 2009

Enjoying some R&R

Hey! How you doing? I'm great! I'm smack dab in the middle of my joyous 3 days off in a row. Yesterday, my roommates and I were supposed to go the movies to see the new Disney movie, Up, but we ended up going out to eat at Olive Garden instead. Fine with me, I loves me some Olive Garden!! lol. Today was super fun. Nikki, Katelyn and I went to Typhoon Lagoon and then to Magic Kingdom! Typhoon Lagoon was so fun. First we rode Crush N' Gusher, and then I dragged them both on the super tall, super fast, super FUN body slide, Humunga Kowagunga. They were both terrified, lol, but they did go on it. I was so proud of them :) it was so much fun! We did a couple more water slides, and then hit the wave pool. It was a lot of fun, the waves were SO big! After that, we were ready for some FOOD lol. Katelyn and Nikki both had a super pretzel, yum, and I.....I had a delicious...scrumptous....delectable...super yummy TURKEY LEG! YUM :) It was so great. After we ate, we decided to do one more thing before heading over to Magic Kingdom. That thing turned out to be something that I had always been afraid to do - Shark Reef. Shark Reef is an attraction where you snorkel in a reef full of fish, sharks, and sting rays! I was so scared, but since I forced Nikki and Katelyn to go on Humunga Kowabunga, there was no way they were letting me back out of doing Shark Reef! (Karma) lol. The water was absolutely FREEZING! They have to keep the water temperature at 68 degrees for the sharks. I got used the water after a couple minutes though, and my fears were also fading. It was so cool! I'm really glad I decided to do it, or rather, they made me do it lol.

Next, we hopped on over to the Happiest Place on Earth, the Magic Kingdom! YAY! It was really special becuase it was Katelyn's first time visiting the Magic Kingdom! We we got there, we went over to City Hall on Main Street and got her a "1'st visit" button. Nikki and I also got buttons that said "I'm Celebrating", because we were celebrating Katelyn's first visit to Magic Kingdom lol. It was really cute. Katelyn was really excited, and I was excited for her. The first thing we did was hurry over to Adventureland because we suddenly realized that our roommate Jeanna was working today. She works as a skipper at the Jungle Cruise. We wanted to go surprise her at work and see if we could get on her boat. It was perfect timing becuase a few minutes after we got in line, we heard and announcement over the loudspeaker congratulating Jeanna on completing her Skipper training! We saw Jeanna and waved her down. She came over and told us that she was about to get off work, so we wouldn't be able to see her perform today. We still rode the ride though, because we were already at the front of the line. It was a really cute ride, and our skipper was funny. We got off and headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean. It was great because it was only a 5 minute wait, so we were able to almost walk right on. Katelyn loved it so much that she wanted to go on it a second time lol. After our encore ride, we met up with Jeanna and went to my faviest ride in the world, Splash Mountain! Unfortunately, when we got there we saw that it had a 70 mintue wait, so we got fastpasses for Splash and went to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Woot! We ran into a guy that I work with, and he was on duty so he gave us free fastpasses for the ride! We were able to get on with no wait. Big Thunder was so much fun! It was great being able to just enjoy it as a guest after working there all week. After that, we rode Peter Pan's Flight, Mickey's Philharmagic, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club, and Stitch's Great Escape. By then it was time to get back to Splash Mountain for our fastpass time. It was AMAZING as usual lol. After Splash, we went to watch the Spectromagic parade. It was so pretty! Last, but definitely not least, we watched the beautiful fireworks show, Wishes. Now, I really don't like loud noises, and I usually hold my ears during fireworks shows, but today I forced myself not to hold my ears. I didn't hold my ears even once for the entire show! Lol, I was so proud of myself! It was really loud though lol. But yeah. Didn't hold my ears lol. Woot! Anyway, it was a super duper fun day and Katelyn had a blast. It was fun to be able to be with her on her first visit and to witness her amazement at the incredible experience that is the Magic Kingdom park. So MaGiCaL! lol. :)

Tomorrow is my last day off before returning to work. I'd like to go to EPCOT, but we'll see how that goes. I think I'm the only one of my roommates who is off tomorrow, so, yeah. I guess I don't mind going by myself, but its always more fun when you have someone to enjoy it with. I'll probably do though. I'll let you know what happens! Thanks for reading!

Love, Michelle

Friday, May 29, 2009

Training Week....Daaaaaaaaaannnnggg! lol

Hey! Its been a while since my last post...sorry lol. I've been waking up every day at 5:00am or earlier for training. I've been SUPER exhausted! Wow, its pretty hard to even remember what all has happened. During training, we go to the different positions within the attraction first to observe what we will be doing, and then actually doing it ourselves a few times, just to get the idea of it. We also go to the training room to take notes on all the procedues that we will have to learn how to do. On Tuesday, I have my assess. Its a combination of a written examination and actually working in various positions. I'm a little bit nervous, but not as much as I was in the beginning. There is this one position, Grouper, that I was terrified of doing, but I got a chance to do it yesterday, and I actually really liked it! Grouper is the position where you place the people in the rows to get on the train. You stand at the bottom of the ramp where the people come into the loading station and yell, "Follow me all the way down please, all the way down!" Then you ask them how many people are in their party and you put them in groups of 2 or 3 and place them in their rows. Its fun except for when you ask someone how many people are in their party and they say 2 but they actually have 5....then they get upset when you seperate their party lol. Its like, well if you knew how to Anyway, here is a list of all the positions: Fast Pass Distibution, Fast Pass Return, Greeter, Wheelchair Assist, Dispatch, Unload, Grouper, Grouper Assist, Tower, Merge Point, and thats all I can remember right now, but I know theres a few more lol. Its so funny because when you're visiting the parks as a guest, you don't realize how many people it takes to run a ride. I guess I just didn't realize just how involved this job would be! I love it though! Its a lot of fun.

The people I am training with are amazing. Its great becaue everyone gets along so well and we have so much fun. At lunch, everyone sits together, sometimes squeezing 7 or 8 people at a table meant to seat 4. We already have so many inside jokes lol. Last night, we had to do a Track Walk after closing, and we started our latest habit. At every little thing that happened, we started saying, "Daaaaaaaannnnnnggg!" LOL now I can't stop saying it. Its just so funny. Anyway, I'm off for the next 3 days YAY! I slept in today for the first time in what seems like forever. I was so happy and rested lol. I'm probably gonna go to the movies, or mivies, (Timmi lol) with my roomies to see Up. Tomorrow, Nikki and I are going to Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends to see the Stormtropper parade, and then to EPCOT. Fun stuff! lol.

Love, Michelle

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Yet Another Amazing Day

Today was yet another amazing day of training. Walking through the park this morning, I actually had to stop to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn't deaming lol. Today was the second day of training. I got to work early, so I went to the "Mouseketeria" to get something to eat. I had a bowl of fruit (yum!). BTW, It seems so weird to be calling Disney "work" lol. It seems like those two words don't even belong in the same sentence! Anyway, at 7:30 it was time to meet up with my area trainer. Today my trainer was Jackie. It was pretty cool because my roommate Nikki works right next door at Splash Mountain, so we were in the same training group all day. First we went to the Fastpass machines and learned all about how they operate, how to open them up, and how to manually issue a Fastpass. Next we went to both of the ride entrances (Fastpass entrance and Standby entrance) to learn the various procedues for dealing with guests. Then came more fun! To my extreme delight, we got to ride Splash Mountain. I was SO happy! I wasn't even expecting to get to ride anything today, so it was even better! After Spalsh (YAY!), we went over to explore Tom Sawyer's Island. I had never been to Tom Sawyer's Island before, so it was really cool to be able to do something new. It was a lot of fun. Its pretty easy to get lost over there though, because there are so many different paths and tunnels and caves and stuff. But that's really the fun of it; getting lost and finding your way back again. When everyone finally found their way back, we headed back down into the tunnels to have lunch. I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwhich with onion rings and a sweet tea. It was yummy! After lunch we went to the Disney Learning Center for 2 hours of computer training. We had to sit at computers and watch modules and videos about our various job responsibilities. It was LONG. And I was sooooooo tired...I was sitting at the computer fighting my hardest to stay awake lol. When we were finally done with that, we went back up on "onstage" (out in the park) to help with the 3:00 parade. This was definitely the most magical part of the day. It was AMAZING. We were in Fronteirland which is the last stop for the parades, so while the guests were waiting for the parade to come through, our job was to carry hoolah hoops and play with the kids and just interact with the guests. It was really cool and so much fun. For me, the best part of working at Disney is being able to interact with all of the guests, but especially the kids. When I see them happy and having fun, it makes me think about all the times I came to Disney World and how much fun it always is for me and how happy I get just being at Disney World. Anyway, enough with the cheeziness lol. As the parade rolled into Fronteirland, We got to got over to the area where to parade ends and watch the entire parade as it rolled by. The parade is called, "Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade". Its so cool! I was SO happy when I saw Mickey and Minnie! It was too exciting and I felt like a lil kid lol. Well, after the parade was over, it was time to go home. We went back down into the tunnels to go clock out.

Later on my roommates and I all went out to eat at Hooters. We had a lot of fun and the wings were really good! Well, I gotta be at work tomorrow at 7:30am again, so.....I'm going to bed! 'Nite!

Love, Michelle

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Having An Amazing Time!

Its only been a couple days since my first post, but there is so much to tell! Friday was Traditions. It was my first official day of "work", but I didn't do any actual work. Traditions is more of an orientation for new Cast Members where you learn the history, policies, and, well, traditions of the Disney company. It was four hours long, and we took four, 15 minute breaks over the course of the class. We watched videos that showed all the various components and branches of the Disney company and explained their background and history. We also watched a video that laid out and presented in a somewhat humurous and slightly cheesy manner Disney's expectations of its Cast Memebers. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that we also got out Disney World nametags!!! It was an incredible feeling knowing that I am now an official Disney World Cast Member!!! :)))

Today was even better. It was my first day of training, but, again, instead of having to do any acutal work, today was an orientation to my new work location: The Magic Kingdom Park! Although I am now an official Cast Member, today I, as well as my fellow Magic Kingdom trainees, was treated as a guest. We were given an exclusive "V.I.P." tour of the park, including various attractions as well as the backstage areas. I finally got to experience that mystical part of the Magic Kingdom; the famed Underground Tunnels. It was incredible. I'm sure I was walking around all day with my jaw dropped open without even noticing lol. As a part of our training, we were given the privilege to ride some of the rides - without having to wait in line! As a group we rode The Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lighyear's Space Ranger Spin. We were then split up into groups corresponding to our respective lands and we found out which attractions we would be working in. I got Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! At frist, I was pretty heartbroken becuase Splash Mountain is my favorite ride and I really had my heart set on working there. But I think working at Big Thunder will be a lot of fun too. I even already know some people who work there, and they seem to really enjoy their jobs. Since I will be working in Fronteirland, I and four other CP's were assigned to continue our training with Fronteirland's area trainer, Luis. He is such a funny guy! Once we got to Fronteirland, he showed us around at some of the key places that we would be accessing on a daily basis, and then we got to have some more fun! We went to the front of the lines to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (FUN!), Splash Mountain (OMG YAY! lol), Country Bear Jamboree, and the raft thingy that takes you to Tom Sawyer Island. We had some extra time so we even got to ride Pirates of the Caribbean! After all the fun (Best training EVER), we went to pick up our costumes. My costume consists of brown shorts, a sort of light burgandy buton down shirt, hiking boots and a cowgirl hat. Lol its so dorky but I love it ha! Wow I just can't believe I'm actually gonna be working in Disney World! Omigosh and by the way, today's training was paid so you know what that means??? I actually got PAID to go to Disney World and ride the rides! How crazy awesome is that?!?! I know!!! lol.

So tomorrow is my first day of training where I'll be doing actual work lol. And I have to be there at 7:30am, which means I have to catch the 6:05am bus, which means I have to wake up at 5:00am! I'm going to bed! lol 'nite!

Love, Michelle

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Brand New Experience

Hello and welcome to my blog! This blog is all about my experience in the Disney College Program. I'm starting this blog so that my family and friends can follow along with my experience of living, learning, and earning at the Happiest Place on Earth! I also want to be able to look back and reminisce on all the wonderful times and memories that I know I will have. Its so incredibly amazing to think about how I am going to be at Disney World for the next 7 months! I have always been a Disney World fanatic, but I never in a million years thought I would be working here and enjoying all the incredible opportunities available with the Disney College Program! I'm so blessed to be here!

I am living in a 3 bedroom apartment in Patterson Court. Its a gorgeous apartment! All the bedroooms have their own bathrooms and the kitchen has brand new appliances. There are 2 people per room, but I have a room to myself. I was pre-matched with a roommate, but unfortunately, she will no longer be here because she was given an assignment in Morrocco by the U.S. Air Force. Its awesome having my own room, but I don't expect it to last long. I'm sure I will be assigned a new roommate before My roommates are really nice. Everyone gets along well. In fact, I'm about to go to the store with 2 of my roommates. I will write more later!

Love, Michelle