Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Closure, Indifference, Hunger

     Yeah, so I have done a pretty awful job keeping the blog updated. But in my defense, Disney has done a fantastic job of sucking my soul into busyness. And business. That, and I've never been super into the whole blogging thing. Long, uninterrupted blocks of text and I aren't very close friends unless they're in some sort of very compelling novel. But, here's yet another uninterrupted block of text for anyone bothering to read.
     Yesterday, I worked Tomorrowland stroller parking. It was awful. Basically, I spent five hours along side one of the other Star Tours GC's yelling "keep to your righthand side!" while knit-browed tourists act like they're planning to run me over...or make me burst into flame using their angry gaze. Soooooo not the funnest thing in the world. Normally, I like GC shifts. Not when it's busy. Ew.
      And I'm getting a lot guest control parade shifts. Those are interesting. Not so much angry guests with daggers for eyeballs, but they still aren't very happy about being told they can't watch the fireworks from where they're standing. We have quite a few people to squeeze into a fairly small space, and we have to keep an open walkway. It's not the easiest thing in the world, especially because I HATE yelling (talking loudly, not so bad, but yelling sucks) but it's not near as bad as doing the Star Tours split. At least the parade leads are fun.
     I would like to take a moment now for some fashion policing. Now, look see here, I don't exactly dress up to par with ze fashion world, but some faux pas even I can't help but notice. How can you walk out in public in a vest that is DROWNED in sequins, and not expect anyone to laugh? Or, some cases, for their brain to explode? Really? I saw a group that had a fella with a mullet and the most sequin covered vest I have ever seen in my life. It begs the question: What were you thinking? Is this a joke? Please, please say it's a joke. The lady this man was with was wearing something very similar. It was highly disturbing. Think about your clothes before you walk out of the house. And when your sequins call JUST SAY NO!
     With less than two weeks left in the program, it's been an interesting time for reflection. I've met a lot of fun and interesting people since I've lived in the apartments and worked for Disney. I feel like if I could go back and do the whole thing again I would have tried harder to hang out with other CP's. I guess to some extent I felt intrusive inviting people to do things all the the time, but really, there are only four months which is not as long as it seems when your whole life is spent working at a theme park. Though, I do think that to some extent I at least tried the best I could. I also would have gone into food services, had I wanted to make more money. A LOT more. Other than that I did everything I had particularly wanted to, so I am content with how my program experience went. And soon, on to Hawaii.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So Close

     Well, so, the college program ends in just a few days...it's sad and exciting all at the same time. One of the glasses here broke so I have to replace it (as long as you have the right amount for the inspection they don't care what they look like) with one from the dollar store or some place. The celebration was eh, well, not that awesome to be honest. It was like a high school prom, plus awesometastic food. Same picture taking, bad music, awkward dancing (I will admit, before I left nobody was dancing quite as close as at prom, but it seemed like they were getting there). So, I got my cap, pictures, food, and free stuff, then was on my way.
     SO I am considered officially "graduated" from the program. Whooooopeee! This pretty much just means no more class. Which is quite convenient since it means no more waking up way early for class on Tuesdays which are almost always my day off.
     Then on Saturday I went swing dancing. That was way more fun than I expected. I love swing dancing, but I didn't have a partner so I didn't know that I would actually end up dancing at all. There were several guys there who were open to asking anyone to dance, so I got to do a lot of dancing (most of it was jitterbug and lindy) and it was really awesome.
      Then the last couple days were the holiday party for the cast. This means the park stays open to those who pick up the free tickets for whatever day. Then there are all sorts of places to take pictures, and way shorter lines than usual during the day. It's kind of funny because you get two tickets to the park...but most CP's don't really seem to have people to bring with them, you know? So we invite our other CP's because they're the only people really know.
      Anyway, this is quite close to the end of the program so it's a bittersweet feel. For me at least, I'm just getting to know people. Trying to make friends while knowing you've only got a couple weeks left is kind of weird.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend in the life of a DCP intern!

So I had a video that I posted, BUT the audio was waaaayyyy out of sync, so I took it down and here's the transcript:

So... this is me, Kayleigh, doing a video blog. And yes, I actually wrote what I'm going to say, because that's how I roll.
This is sort of a fun experiment. I'm not sure if I'll keep doing videos, but it'll be sort of fun to try it this once[and it apparently doesn't work...]. So, um, anyways... I'm functioning on kind of a lack of sleep, which as my mother could tell you, is my usual state of mind, Disney Cast Member or not.
But believe me: You have never been tired before you've been a Disney College Program intern. So... well, I mean, that is to say, if you're a traditional college student, who lived a fairly quiet life, and had no children, you have never been tired before your college program.
Because I'm sure being a parent is probably more tiring. I'm assuming. I think if any parents are watching/reading the transcript, they will agree.
ANYWAYS. So I've never been more tired in my life. Because pretty much all my time is spent on the go.

I had Thursday and Friday off this week, which seems to be pretty usual now. On Thursday, I went to the mall with some friends. It was pretty cool. It was actually the first time I've been off property- off Disney property(besides grocery shopping). That was a little funny. It was weird going into stores and, like, looking at prices and going, "Oh, that's the actual price I would have to pay, my little blue card won't do much for me here." And after that we came home and Miranda and I went to the Magic Kingdom and walked around for a few hours. There's a story there, but I really won't go into any detail on that. 
On Friday, I got up at eight in morning to go to the Animal Kingdom and ride Dinosaur with Miranda and watch Finding Nemo: The Musical. We had planned to ride Dinosaur. It's a funny story: Every time I've gone on that ride before, I've always gone with a total stranger. And it's a scary ride, and you kind of always end up screaming and grabbing the person next to you, which is always awkward when it's a total stranger, so Miranda and I basically planned to go on it together, because we're like, "Hey, we're friends. Let's go on a ride where we're already friends, and we don't come out new friends." You know? So we went on Dinosaur,  and then we went to Finding Nemo: The Musical, because it was right there, and it was just about to start, so that was pretty cool. I really liked it, and they did a good job with that. Anyways, then I went to a class at Epcot where I walked around The Seas for two hours, and that was really cool. And then I went home... yeah, just briefly... and then Miranda and I went to Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Lights, which was so cool, and I have some pictures of that. And then we went to her apartment and watched the new Bones episode.

Then on Saturday morning, I woke up at FIVE to go to the Magic Kingdom for the Christmas Day parade filming. I spent the next twenty minutes laying in bed contemplating my existence and figuring out just how mad my friends would be if I didn't show up... and then I got up, because I decided they would probably be mad if I didn't show up. And then, after being in the Magic Kingdom until about eleven, I went home, did laundry, and then I went to work, which was from 4:30 to 2:45, because there was a hard close at one o'clock. And then I got home at 3:30ish. Normally I would have woken up at 8 this morning to go to church, but I slept through that alarm. So I'm going to watch a conference talk or two at home. Later tonight, I'll be working glow at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. It's a nice short shift. I'll be off a little bit after midnight. On a normal midnight close you wouldn't get off until an hour and forty-five minutesish after park close, so it's nice.

I do love my job. I complain about my hours all the time, but you would, too, if you were at the park until 2:45 in the morning. But I love working at the Magic Kingdom, and I really like doing Glow. I get to see the parades and fireworks and shows every night. Last night, I got to see the Electrical Parade twice from where I was, and that was really cool. I didn't get to see the fireworks, though, because for the zone I was in, I had to stay to the side during the fireworks so people can see. That's okay, because it was the regular Wishes show, and I've seen that... a lot. I sing along with it. Or lip-sync, if guests are near. Depends on my zone. If I get this zone for the Christmas party tonight, though, I'll be sad. Or I'll rebel and take my cart to an area where I can see the fireworks. Because Holiday Wishes is really pretty, and I haven't seen it as much, and the fireworks are just mind-blowingly awesome.

The Christmas parade is okay. I do like it. Clarabelle Cow has her own float, and it's my favorite. She gets SUPER into her dance and the gingerbread cookies. It's really fun. The thing is, it's a really slow parade. And mellow. Very chill. Of the holiday parades, I definitely prefer the Halloween parade. The energy was a lot higher, and I feel like it was a little tighter. The Christmas parade has some moments where you're going, "eh... that was a little off... and I have no idea what those elves are lip syncing to, because the float with their music is definitely way up by Casey's Corner, and we're definitely still in the Hub." Also, it has the princesses, which is cool, but Rapunzel is not there. AND SHE TOTALLY DESERVES TO BE. I get that they can't just add her to the Princess float because there's only so many spots, but she should at least have a float like Snow White or walk in the parade. With Flynn Rider. And Bo Peep needs to not be in the parade. Or she needs to be less creepy looking. I love Bo Peep as a character. When I found out at the beginning of Toy Story 3 that she had been sold, I cried. But she doesn't really translate well to a character in the parks. She's a mask character, and the proportions are just weird. She's just super creepy looking.  Honestly, she would be a lot more approachable as a face character. I get that it's hard to do with the Toy Story characters, because it's so perfect to do them as mask characters,  but right now, Bo Peep is pretty terrifying.. 

And that's pretty much it. I wanted to keep this short, because I personally dislike watching long videos. Have a magical day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You've Been...Dying ...to Hear From Me

     So, wherever I left off on the last blog post...who cares? It was Halloween timeish, yes? Well, it is no longer Halloween (for those of you who were confused)!!! It is now Christmas time at Disneyland!
     Thanksgiving week...was not something to be thankful for. As CP's we don't get holiday pay, since we don't have our "ears" yet. And we had to work parade shifts with angry guests. No me gusta. But, they did give us rice krispy treats shaped like turkey legs...
     As for keeping busy, I've now seen Walt Disney's apartment above the firestation...that was...thrilling. It was one large room, and a bathroom. I sat where Walt sat. I was feeling pretty hoity-tioty about that. He's got a grilled cheese maker up in that place. I want a grill that's only for grilled cheese. I know what I'm buying when I'm rich and famous.
Ol' Wally's Chair

     Now then comes the busiest time of the year. The time when the Buzz Lightyear wait is 10 minutes on average, and everyone tells you that they're sure you'll probably get punched on New Years working GSO. Apparently, this is a common occurrence. I've heard it a lot, so it sort of makes it sound like there's some gang that comes in every New Years with the singular intent of making sure to punch every parade shift employee. Maybe I'll wear chainmail.
     Working the parades...murders the magic for me. Of all the things that kill the magic for me, it's that. Nothing else really does. But once you hear those RIDICULOUSLY obnoxious songs enough times, you really just kind of want to take your little blue light, stick it in your nose, and swish your brain around Egyptian style. To me, that would honestly be more pleasant. Something about those songs  is just SOOOOO ANNNNNNOOOOOOYIIIIIIIIIING. The visuals are fun, but the music just kills it for me. 12 times is enough. I don't want to hear it again. Fireworks are cool though. If you work by the castle you get to watch about a thousand proposals, and it's cute every time. Then, you can pretty much just turn around and watch the fireworks depending on where you are. I like that. I like fireworks. Parades are no bueno though.
     Graduation from the program is next week...woot...woot....? We're doing a dance. I laughed inside when everyone else was dissapoinTed that we don't get to walk. I didn't even want to walk at my middlecollege, or high school graduation (No joke, my parents made me. I wanted to go out to dinner and call it good. My graduation was THREE HOURS IN A HOT STUFFY LOUD BUILDING!!!). I'd waaaaay rather dance. I always said the only time I would walk willingly is if they played Ease on Down the Road from The Wiz sung by Micheal Jackson and they let us rock out in a coordinated fashion with fantabulous discotastic outfits.(Mmm. I taste an awesome new adjective. Discotastic.) With so many sequins it would make your eyes burn. Anyway, no one has taken me up on that yet. You just wait though. I'll make someone do it someday. And it will be EPIC.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This is Halloween...

     Posting, posting, haven't done any posting in a long time. I've been rather busy though. My best friends are my books and my laptop, and both occupy me wonderfully. Well, it's been Mickey's Halloween Party here for the last several weeks and park attendance has been ridiculous. Every couple of nights people without wristbands get kicked out of the park at six or seven (if you plan a visit ALWAYS check the park closing time to be safe). When we work GSO (guest control-those ravishing red vests-the other day they ran out of ties so we got silky black bow ties. Yummy.) we check for wristbands, and if you haven't got one, then in the nicest way possible we say "What? You didn't pay extra. Go home. We don't want you."
This, my friends, is a pumpkin
     The party itself is mostly just a cool lights show on the castle, Halloween themed music, extra characters are out, and Disney hands out candy. The lines are way short too. The guests tend to be more demanding (for $50 a person, I would be too), but it's fun to work because of all the costumes. My favorites were: Pricilla and Anastasia, who were older ladies who TOTALLY played it up and they had a little girl with them who they dressed as Cinderella. It was adorable. We also had a Scarlett and Rhet Butler where the Scarlett had on her dress made from the drapes. They looked perfect. And we had the auctioneer and red-headed-wench from Pirates of the Caribbean. Not only were their costumes and wigs perfect, but the make-up the guy was wearing made him look creepily exactly like the animatronic.
     The first Tomorrowland staff Halloween party was the other day. Needless to say, it was a little disorganized: I guess a couple of managers threw it together. I'm glad they did though. There was a treat judging contest, and people got super creative for that. Cupcakes with brains, marshmallows with Frankenstein. And it was allll tasty. Then we rode Space Mountain a couple times straight because no one was in line. We also had "Hauntopia". Here's the thing about Disney staff: alot of them have worked other theme parks...as scarers. So we got on the creepy nighttime Autopia track(I never realized how much more menacing that track seems at night...), and had all manner of people dressed up as zombies and murderers greet us along the way. There were three of us crammed into my car, and we spent the whole time trying to figure out who was who, since all the scarers were people we knew.
    Yesterday, I went for a walk near the apartments and found some interesting things. Not only is Muzeo right here, but not far off is a community center. When I was there they were displaying kinetic sculptures that were really, really neat. They were Halloween themed and were the kind that made you not sure if you should jump, or just wonder what was wrong with the artist. It was a pretty fall day out and so I got to see all the interesting houses. This is a historic district it turns out, so there are some super neat houses. The library is right next to the bus stop, and since I've gotten my handydandy temp card, I went there and got myself some books. Hooray!! Also, every Wednesday night the 195 does free karaoke (there's a couple amazing old black guys who sing)...I was deaf in one ear the first time I went...boy...that was interesting. I always go with my neighbor and we do ridiculous songs, and the DJ gives us dirty looks, so we have a good time.

Zocalo park celebrates Dios De Los Muertos
Buzz crew and one nemo-er at the Halloween party
     On another tangent, I visited what my family likes to call the "Disney Costco". Company D. I spent a long time wandering back and forth, stopped several times for directions, and in the end, I had passed it assuming it was part of another building. Fantastic, right?  But I did find it and was able to get all sorts of stuff for Christmas presents for cheap. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly counting down the days just yet, but for buying gifts, I don't wait if I can get it for cheap at the moment. Cheap is what I do. Oh, and the other day I had a nightmare...I was working Thunder Mountain, but I didn't know how. I have never been so terrified in my life. That's what this job will do to you. The wheelchair guests were being super difficult too in my dream. Man, it was weird.

Long time, no post!

Ahoy there! It's been a while since I last posted- only excuse is that if I'm not working, I've been playing at the parks.

Work: I love my job. Honestly, it gets better every day. I love love love working the glow carts. Here's a pic that my friend took of me while I was working at Not So Scary:

Yeah, I look a little angry. One of my other friends took a picture while I was smiling, but they all came up to my cart at a REALLY crazy time. That's my "Don't touch that! Stop pressing the buttons! No, none of this is free!" face. But I promise, I really really enjoy it! I like being out in the middle of the park and getting to see the shows and parades. And the Halloween parade is one of my favorites.

Also, here are some pictures from September 27th. I finally tracked them down- this is from when I went to the Halloween party as a guest.

This is the group I went with. This is us waiting in line to meet the seven dwarves.

And this is us with the dwarves! They were so awesome!

Let's see, what else have I done... Oh! I went on a backstage tour of the Haunted Mansion!




Seriously. I highly recommend it.

So here's the story: Sunday night, I worked Glow for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. I got off at 00:45. Took the bus home, got home around 1:30. I chatted with my roommate until about three, and then I watched Community episodes on my laptop until 5:30. See, I had tried to go on the tour the previous week, and I epic failed because I couldn't wake myself up enough after my glow shift to go. So at 5:30, I started to get ready. One of my awesome coworkers lives in the apartment complex next to mine, so she was giving me a ride(the tour was for College Program interns from Adventureland Merchandise). We left at 6, and got to the cast parking lot at about 6:20ish. Most of the other people going on the tour were there, too. We got on the white bus to go into the park.

Once we got to the utilidors, a couple of us dropped things off in our lockers, and we headed upstairs. We came up by Columbia Harbor House and walked over to the Haunted Mansion. We had to meet our group by 6:45.

While we were waiting, we got to watch a bunch of the Christmas floats go through the parade route further down in Liberty Square. (Side note: I'm super excited for the parade! I probably won't go to the cast preview, buuut I'm working Glow for the very first party).
The cast member from the Haunted Mansion came out. She greeted us and took our IDs. We walked into the mansion through the VIP entrance. While she was getting the animation turned on, we chatted and got more and more excited. Finally, the maintenance guys began turning on the animation, and we began walking through. Apparently people spit on things in the Haunted Mansion as they're going through  the ride. SUPER DISGUSTING. So we had to be careful not to touch things unless our guide touched them first.

I really wish I could describe everything, but it's just not possible. So I'll give you a couple of fun facts: There are 9 hidden Jack Skellingtons throughout the Haunted Mansion. Some of them, you can't even see from the Doom Buggies, because they were kind of put there for the benefit of the cast members. But keep a look out for them! Also, the dresses that the dancing ghosts are wearing in the ballroom are the same as the dresses the princesses used to wear when they just walked through the parks without any attendants.

I'll post more pictures as soon as I get them together. Our coordinator took a bunch of group pictures, and after the tour was over, we got to ride through and take flash pictures, which was pretty cool. So I'll try to get some of those pics to put up here. Here's what I have for now:

So there are monsters throughout the ride. This is one of them. See the teeth, eyes, and tongue?

That's Master Gracey, the master of the mansion.

Madame Leota, who is actually LEOTA TOOMBS.

And the singing busts! Woohoo!

After the tour was over, we all went on Peter Pan's Flight, since it was only a five-minute wait, and then we scattered. I went home to get some sleep since I had work at 8:15 PM that night.

And that's pretty much it! Have a magical day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beach & Food

Today, I went to Blizzard Beach!

I wish I had pictures. But I don't. Because it's sort of dumb to carry electronics at a water park. So I'm going to link to some pictures from the web.

Here's Summit Plummet. It's a body slide with what I guess is a 12-story drop. Yes, I went on it. The wait was scarier than the actual drop. But it is really really fast.

This is the Slush Gusher. It's right next to Summit Plummet, but it's shorter, so we figured it would be a good practice run. It was not fun. The Summit Plummet was better. Slush Gusher was painful and I actually caught air... which is terrifying on a body slide.

The Lazy Creek was pretty fun and relaxing.

The Toboggan rides were awesome. This pic is of the Racers ride. The Slalom one was pretty awesome, but it's hard to get good pics of it.

Runoff Rapids was also fantastic.

Team Boat Springs was pretty fun. We got put in a tube with some guys from the UK, because there's a minimum of four people per tube, and we only had three.

And that's pretty much it for Blizzard Beach! We got a Sand Pail, which is ice cream with lots of toppings in a little plastic bucket. One of my friends took a picture of it, so I'll post that when I get it from her.

Later today, I went to Epcot for food! Here's some pics:

I went on The Seas with Nemo and Friends for the first time! It was pretty adorable, but the area at the end is even better. It's like a small aquarium, with lots of observation areas. I saw lots of different kinds of fish, including sharks. I also saw manatees! I couldn't get a good pic of them, though. I did, however, meet a cast member who is involved in animal research here at the parks.

Then I went to Argentina for a beef skewer. I totally forgot to take a picture, but trust me, it was fantastic.

Then I went to China, where I got this:

Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles! This was soooo yummy, and almost a meal by itself.

Then I went to Italy:

This is my second chocolate cannoli. SO FANTASTIC. I couldn't walk by Italy without getting it.

Then Belgium:

What else? A Belgian waffle. This was basically heaven. Strange thing about this photo... it looks sunny outside. It was actually really dark.

And finally, on my way out of the park, Australia:

Lamington! It's yellow cake with chocolate and coconut flakes. It's wonderful!

And that was pretty much my day. But I've been promising pictures, and here they are! Though they are all of food. Sorry about that. But I'm sort of a fan of the stuff.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Not So Scary

Guess who went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? This girl! That's right, I broke down and got a ticket for it. I went with a group of two people who I knew and four people I didn't. I didn't dress up, but major props to those who went to the park in full costume in that humidity. I got off work at 7 that night, along with a friend of mine form Facebook(that's right, we first met on Facebook. Let's not be judgmental about that). After I changed, I went back upstairs and got my wristband- it was that easy. With the wristband came  a bag that I could fill with wonderful goodies. Which I most certainly did.

We met up with my friend's friends(she's been here for three weeks longer than I have) by the Haunted Mansion. They had just come off it, and so we decided to go on the ride ourselves and meet up with them in the line for the Seven Dwarves. The Haunted Mansion was pretty cool- the cast members there were in more costume than usual. Zombie makeup and all that. So we went on the ride. Sometimes that ride stops. It happens. Unfortunately for us, it stopped while we were in the Attic, which is the creepiest room ever. We got stopped right in front of the bride... so yeah, that was terrifying. 

After the ride, we joined the rest of the group in the Seven Dwarves line. We took turns holding our spot in line- normally I don't feel okay with that, but since we were all taking a picture together and not seven separate ones, I felt fine with having someone hold what was essentially one place. When we weren't waiting in the (long) line, we went on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We walked onto both of those rides. And by walked, I mean we entered the standby line and walked with nobody in front of us until we got to the log or train. That NEVER happens, especially on Splash Mountain.

The Seven Dwarves were totally awesome. I need to get the picture from someone I went with, and then I'll post it here. After we met them, we ran over to the Hub(the middle of the park in front of the castle) for the fireworks show and the Villains' show. Both were awesome. Then we went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride(also no wait) and watched the Boo to You parade. Also awesome. After that, we trick-or-treated and gallivanted about the park until midnight, at which point we went home.

So on a more serious note: Work. I enjoyed my Glow Cart training. I have a Glow shift tonight, so I'll let you know how that goes. To be honest, I'm kind of nervous, because I'm going to be by myself for the entire shift, responsible for a cart full of things that have a nasty habit of walking off. People, please never make jokes about stealing when you're in front of me. Don't come into the Crow's Nest to buy water and joke about how you're distracting me so someone else can steal a bunch of other waters from the water cart outside. Please don't pretend to walk away from my glow cart without paying. You will make me very nervous and you will most likely not be getting the best of service from me. Why? Well, at Disney, Safety is the top priority- it even comes before Courtesy, which is what Disney is really known for. Even a joke about stealing is essentially a threat, and threats make me as a Cast Member feel really unsafe, especially if I'm all by myself. I'm also concerned about the safety of other guests. If you're the sort who would openly threaten to steal, then who knows what other sorts of laws and rules and general codes of social conduct you're willing to break? So save it for someone who will actually enjoy your joke.

Less serious: Epcot's Food and Wine festival is going on! I went the other night(for the food, of course). It was AMAZING. Seriously- the food is the best of the best. I had a sausage in a pretzel roll from Germany, a chocolate cannoli from Italy, and escargot and a crepe from France(though the crepe wasn't from their Food and Wine booth). They were all amazing. I'm excited to go back and try food from other countries.

So that's pretty much it for now! Have fun!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Full Disclosure

     I got a text today from someone I won't name (*cough* the only other person that writes on this blog *cough*) reminding me that I haven't written in a zillion years. I had considered this the other day, but my excuse is that I've been fairly busy. I've been working full time this week and trying to pretend I have some sort of social life.
    Mickey's Halloween Party started on Friday: it's where three hours before the party you can be dressed up for Halloween. Then only people with special wristbands are allowed in the park. They can trick-or-treat and do other events. Basically, it extends my hours...I don't think I will probably ever go into the park for that. But I might break down and buy myself a ticket. I'm looking forward to painting my whole self green so I can be a witch for Halloween.
     Corporate Analysis is interesting. We get previews of lots of things to come and review Disney history. And we get a random fact every class. The instructor is a pretty interesting person too. The Walt Disney Company actually nearly failed several times because of financial issues; of course, it's not such a problem today for them, but it was for many of the first years.
     Things at Buzz have been...crazy. I swear people are just throwing their sunglasses off the ride on purpose. Then they get off, come back, and wait for me to tell them "Oh, you dropped your sunglasses in the ride just like the other six people who just came through? Well of course I  will stop the whole ride and go get them for you!". Then when I tell them that they have to wait til the end of the day they give me a look like I'm a horrible person. Look guys, we want to help you. We do. But we also value everyone else already ON the ride who don't want us to stop every 10 seconds like we already do. Also, the other day during my 6:45 shift the bus dropped me off early. If you read about the two pedestrians that got hit the other day...yea...that made my bus route weird. I heard about it and just kind of thought to myself "...oh....it's THAT kind of day today..."
      By the way, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASSSSSSSE don't leave any bags unattended just sitting around. You'll have about four seconds before someone calls security. There might be nothing in it, but we don't know that. People put bombs in their underwear for heaven's sake. There could be just about anything in that lonely little backpack, and we don't take any chances at Disney. It's like I said, safety is CRAZY emphasized. There is nothing you can do at Disney that there isn't a plan for. We aren't going to risk our safety, or yours. We get millions of visitors. Trust me, there ain't nothin' we haven't seen.
     Seeing as it's Halloween time at Disneyland, Space Mountain has become Ghost Galaxy (it's the only holiday we celebrate...happy holiday!). I was really freaking out when I went to get on it because all my coworkers were saying it was scary. Meh, not so bad. The scariest part is probably the noise of a witch being boiled in oil type sounds that are played outside Space Mountain at night that are so loud you have to yell at the person next to you.
     Oh, and more holiday funtimes, Sally and Jack Skellington are available for pictures in the park. I was accused by Jack of being from Easter town due to my rather excitingly colored dress (that's right! he talks!). I was in line to see him talking to a guy who I assumed to be the father of a child...it turned out when we got to the head of the line the guy started going "Man, Jack is BA: I'm going to meet Jack!!". Um. Ok. Well...I'm glad you're so excited. A bit weirded out. Mostly because you're old enough to be the father of any of the 10 year olds here...but great. I was just getting a picture for funsies. I like Nightmare, but not quite as much as the guy in front of me...

Here's some fantastic music to enjoy while you read :) Added to my list of favorite composers.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Living, Learning, and Earning

Well. I have decided that so far, I love my job. I know it's still shiny and new, so my feelings may change, but right now, I love it. I've been working in Pirates the last two days, and it's been fantastic. The Pirates Bazaar is really busy, because the Pirates of the Caribbean ride empties into the shop, so there's usually lots of guests(except for an hour today when the ride was closed).  Here's my pirate costume:

The pose is odd, because LOOK AT THOSE SOCKS! And yes, the pants are highwaters. Stylish, I know. There's a vest that goes with the costume, but it's optional right now because it's hot. I'm sure it will be required in a month or so, but for now, I refuse to check one out from costuming. Also, I'm technically not 100% in costume here, even with the optional no-vest. My nametag is off, and when I'm working registers, I have to wear a lanyard for pin trading.

So that's the "Earning" update. Now for the "Learning" update. I wasn't originally going to be taking any of the classes here, but they're piloting a seminar that just seems too good to miss. It's on environmentality and sustainability in a Disney context, and that is right up my alley! See, I love working here so much that I'm starting to wonder if it would be worth pursuing a future job with Disney. This class involves learning about animal care and the greenhouses at Walt Disney World, which is probably where I would be looking for a job in the future. So I'm excited to (maybe) be taking that seminar! I have yet to hear back from the people in charge, but hopefully I got in.

Now for the "Living" segment.

See this empty space? That's off to the side of our living room. We have NO IDEA what to do with it. Suggestions are most welcome, but please bear in mind that we are broke college students. Also, we cannot stick anything on the walls. We already have a whiteboard calendar there where we all write our schedules and important dates.

So that's the update for now! Have a magical day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Disney likes to make up words. Utilidor, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Zippity Do Da, aaaaaand Merchantainment! Basically, it means that even the stores at Disneyworld should be entertaining! I love merchantaining. It's everything I love about guest service. When I'm merchantaining in the Pirate's Bazaar, for example, my job is to walk around the store with a hat or a sword or some other combination of props, and interact with guests. My favorite is to wait at the ride exit and swordfight with little kids. The parents love it, too. I've actually been asked to pose in pictures with little kids who have bested me in swordfights, and I've been in a lot of videos. I keep waiting to show up on Youtube.

Anyways, what I'm trying to lead up to is this:

This is my Adventureland costume! Since guests were taking pictures of me, I asked around, and it's 100% okay for me to take a picture of myself in costume as long as it isn't backstage. This picture was taken in my bedroom. This is the costume that I can wear anywhere in Adventureland. My bangs look funny because there was a TON of rain today, and I forgot my rain gear. So I got soaked. But this costume dries REALLY quickly.

I'll post pics of my Pirate costume as soon as I remember to bring that costume home. It's currently in my work locker. I'll try to remember it tomorrow.

Anyhoo, that's all for now! I just wanted to get this picture up because people have been asking about my costume. Have a magical day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I earned my ears! And other miscellaneous happenings.

So yesterday was my first official non-training day! I worked the Pirate's Bazaar, which is the shop that guests enter as the exit the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. That meant I got to wear my Pirates costume. Since it was my first day alone, I decided to leave my red ribbon on. When you're training with the Mouse, you get a little red ribbon that you stick to the bottom of your nametag that says "Earning My Ears." Nobody gets it except for other cast members, but hey- at least they cut you some slack, even if guests don't. And you know what? It's totally the guest's right not to cut newbies any slack. Guests are not always right, but they are still our guests.

And guests are usually incredibly nice. I've only seen a couple who weren't nice. Most people are so incredibly thrilled to be in the park that they can't imagine being less than nice. Even the people who have annual passes are nice- the park is their playground, and when they find out that you're training, they feel like they've been let in on a little secret, and they get the awesome feeling of having more park experience than an actual cast member.

Speaking of the park as a personal playground... I love being a cast member! I went to the Animal Kingdom and Epcot today. I didn't see or do everything, but since I have (mostly) unlimited access to the parks for the next few months, I didn't feel guilty for deciding to skip the fireworks show at Epcot and go home instead.

The Animal Kingdom was pretty cool. The first ride I went on was Dinosaur. There wasn't any wait, so we were able to get right on. This ride is NOT FOR CHILDREN. Let me repeat: NOT FOR CHILDREN. It's a really intense ride, and probably one of the scariest I've been on. I went with a girl who I met briefly last week. We've talked for maybe 30 minutes prior to today. So basically strangers. I spent that ride hugging her, that's how crazy it was. And I am not a stranger-hugger. It was terrifying. I'm totally going to go on it again, but still... terrifying. There's a shop at the end of the ride, and as we left, I looked back and saw some little kids in tears as they exited the ride. And they were not crying because the ride was over. Older kids should be fine, but little kids do not belong on the ride. This ride is outside of the Magic Kingdom for a reason, folks.

After Dinosaur, we went on Expedition Everest, which is now probably one of my favorite roller coasters. Just... you have to go on it. It's worth a 30-40 minute wait, less if you don't actually enjoy roller coasters. But the queue is pretty interesting, and fans are placed somewhat strategically throughout.

The ride we went on after that was Kali River Rapids. We had heard good things about it, and it was a hot day, and you pretty much get soaked on that ride. The fast-pass wasn't available for the ride, but we still wanted to go. It had a 40-minute wait, but we decided to stick it out with the promise of a fun water ride.

Wait for it.

It stank. It was so not worth the wait that it isn't even funny. It's short, only has one proper drop, and you only get soaked once. The queue isn't that entertaining, and it's hot. Most of it is outdoors with no fans. And the ride itself was pretty boring. We spent most of the time anticipating a plunge or a splash of water, and nothing happened. Seriously, if the wait time is anything longer than 15 minutes next time I'm there, I won't even bother. If you want to get wet, there's a nearby fountain area for kids to play in that would do a better job in less time and with less disappointment.

The next ride we went on was Kilimanjaro Safaris. It's a 20-minute safari. There are actual animals, and it's pretty cool. Not much to say about this one, except it's different every time, and you should definitely go on it.

After those four rides, and general irritation still left over from Kali River Rapids, we decided to head over to Epcot, where there are more indoor rides. We went on Spaceship Earth, Ellen's Energy Adventure, Living With the Land, walked through the World Showcase, got food at the Werther's store, went on Maelstrom, and then, last but certainly not least, Soarin'. Spaceship Earth is definitely a must-do. Ellen's Energy Adventure was pretty fun, but I love Ellen Degeneres, so I may be biased. Living With the Land was a pretty interesting ride. It takes you through the greenhouses at Epcot, where they actually do agricultural research. The World Showcase is pretty cool, especially if you come with the intent to shop or eat. We didn't, but it was still fun to see. The Karamell-K├╝che, which is the Werther's shop, smells like happiness. I got a caramel apple oatmeal cookie, and it was amaaaazing. Plus, cast members get a discount, so it was win-win. It's in the Germany section, and it's right on the corner, so you can't miss it. Then we went on Maelstrom, which is in Norway. It's sort of like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but on a Viking ship and with trolls and two drops instead of one. I liked it a lot. After we finished walking through the World Showcase, it was time for us to go to Soarin'(we had Fastpasses). Let me tell you- Soarin' is AWESOME. It's probably one of my favorite rides in Disney World. It really did feel like I was flying over California.

And that's pretty much all there is to report. The water is still as nasty as ever. There's no way to accurately convey the misery of showering in water that actually SMELLS disgusting. Otherwise, Central Florida isn't bad. The humidity... meh... but they say it should be cooling down here soon, so that will help. Adios!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One Day More...and Then One More Day

     Working for Disney is pretty much fantastic. I mean, your job is to make people happy. So, you just smile all the time and everyone usually smiles back. It is pretty schweet. I think my favorite thing is having the little kids run up yell "I'M GOING ON BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!!!!!!!! I'M GONNA BEAT ZURG!!!". Usually I have to tell them to stop running about that time, but it's cute either way.
     So, fun story, even in our hot Buzz Lightyear outfits, guests never fail to try pick-up lines. Most common ones (and this is as they're gliding by in their cruisers and the female attendants are at Main Console) reported by my coworkers, and experienced by myself: "What's your high score? ;{)" (really? Do you really think I know that?) and "How many points are you worth?" (A lot more than you're gonna score buddy). We just offer a courtesy laugh and tell them to watch their feet. Sometimes they'll ride more than once: 11 is the record so far. I've also heard "Hey, you! This guy loves you!" as a random guest went by...what do you say to that? Swapping stories is interesting in the break room. Thank goodness we work on a moving platform.
     We also rotate positions every half hour or so which becomes super confusing for guests. I'll be out at greeter, and the suddenly I'll be loading them on the ride. Often they'll give me a puzzled look and I'll just reply "Did I move...or am I just a twin?". Then they look even more confused.
     Today must have been brand-new intern day at the bank. Everyone was friendly and chipper and happy...they hadn't been broken by the monotony of their jobs yet. So that was kind of fun when I deposited my paycheck because they actually seemed happy to see me, rather than giving me a bored expression and asking why I never use the ATM. Oh, and yesterday I didn't realize our pan wasn't nonstick, so when I tried to make a pancake it became pancake crumbles. Which I covered in jam. I was...oh...yum...it was delicious.
     Other than that things are basically the same day to day. I go grocery shopping, hang out with my roommates sometimes, watch netflix all day, go to work, stay at work, get my bumpout (does that not sound like something a mobster would say? "Ey you. Yeah you. I'm here wit ya bumpout."), go home, sleep, and do it all over again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yo ho, yo ho!

I've been REALLY busy since I last posted. Holy cow have I been busy. But it's a good kind of busy! Here's a quick review of what's happened since I last posted:

On Friday I went to my Disney Traditions class. Traditions is a class that every single employee takes. It covers a little bit of Disney's history, and they cover the Disney Basics. The Traditions class at Walt Disney World also includes a short walk in the Magic Kingdom. You also get to go through the utilidors, which are the tunnel system that is under the Magic Kingdom. Fun fact: The park is actually the second story. The utilidors were all built on the ground floor, because you can't dig in Central Florida. If you do, apparently you just get water.

A word on water: All of the tap water here is gross. Seriously. It tastes like gross new plastic times eleven. It even tastes gross from the fountains at the Magic Kingdom, which totally kills the fantasy. Crystal Lite and bottled water are my new best friends. I ran out of Crystal Lite the other day, and I was chugging milk and grape juice just to stay hydrated. The water here seriously makes me gag. Even ice tastes gross.

Saturday, I began my training. I learned how the register works. It was strange, because I was the only College Program(CP) in my class, and everyone else had already had a couple of other training days besides Traditions.

On Sunday, I had some location-specific training. The first thing I did that morning was get my costume! I was already excited about it, because people had been telling me that they were like pajamas. They weren't lying! The general Adventureland Merch costume really does look and feel like pajamas. The pants even have a mesh panel up the side, which is great for the hot and humid weather here. I can wear that costume in any of the shops in Adventureland, but I also have a pirate costume that I can wear when I'm working in the Pirates of the Caribbean shop. There's a third costume that I'll wear when I'm working the Glow Carts, but I won't have that training until the end of September, so I'm not even going to worry about it.

Costuming was a huge pain. Those of you who read Alyssa's post already know- costuming is no place for vanity. The important thing to remember is that the sizes for the costumes are meaningless. They act as a general guide- for example a Large Long pair of pants should be longer than a Large Regular pair of pants. But I had to try on every single pair of Large Long pajama pants before I found two pairs that were long enough. So for future interns: Don't get too worked up over costuming! And make sure to try on a whole bunch of everything! Something will fit you.

After we did costuming, we did some e-training and then walked around Adventureland for a while. Our facilitator showed us a few things and had us interact with the guests pretty frequently. We had lanyards for pin trading, which was so much fun! I love pin trading with the little kids, especially. The grown-ups are sometimes kind of rude about pin trading, but apparently it's pretty competitive, so that sort of makes sense. I'm going to try to stay out of it on a personal level, since it looks like an expensive hobby.

When I got home from work, I got changed for church. They have a late sacrament meeting for the LDS kids who have to work at the parks during the morning session, but it was canceled for a CES fireside. We went anyways- it's good to go to some church. After that, we headed BACK to the magic kingdom for... the cast preview of Mickey's Boo to You Halloween Parade! We waited at the cast bus stop forEVER, until they finally let us into the park. We went through the utilidors and came up in Liberty Square, where they had all of us stay in a big quick-service restaurant while they got all of the guests out of the park. After they let us out of the restaurant(at midnightish), we were herded into... the Haunted Mansion! I was totally geeking out at this point, because it was my first time in the Magic Kingdom outside of work, and going on the Haunted Mansion ride at midnight just felt so epic! As we got off the ride, we were directed to the parade route, and at 1, the Headless Horseman rode! IT WAS SO AWESOME. The rest of the parade was fun, too. I've still got the song stuck in my head, but I don't mind, because THAT is how good it is.

I had Monday off. Woohoo sleeping in! I went to the Magic Kingdom and played in Adventureland and Frontierland and Liberty Square for a few hours, and then headed back home because I was out of milk and had to go to the store. Woohoo grocery shopping!

On Tuesday I had my Magic Kingdom Orientation. Yeah... most people have the BEFORE they actually start working in the Magic Kingdom. Woopsies. :) The orientation was FANTASTIC. Yes, I said fantastic. The Magic Kingdom is all about fantasy. Our facilitators for the orientation were super, and I could really tell how much they loved working at the Magic Kingdom.

Today, I had my first day of register training. I got to work in every single shop in Adventureland and interacted a lot with the guests. I didn't mess up too much, and my facilitator was nice/seemed to like me. I'm getting more familiar with the utilidors and all the backrooms. I'm still a little confused when it comes to figuring out where the shops are in relation to the utilidors, but hopefully I'll have it down tomorrow.

WDW does a really good job of training employees. I have gotten such fantastic training. I'm getting one-on-one training for sixteen hours, and that is so incredibly helpful. The correct onstage behavior is constantly modeled for me, and the facilitator is able to answer any questions I have right there on the spot. It's a very effective way to train new employees, and it seems to be working well. I've only heard of one person who wasn't fully prepared for work on their first official day alone.

Aaaaand that's it! Life is going good. I'm definitely getting more used to the humidity. I haven't been seeing as many little lizards around... it must be getting cooler? The bus system has become my friend. The bus drivers, not so much. I've got the whole laundry thing figured out, too. No quarters necessary, thank goodness. We use little moneycard things. It works pretty well. The washers lock while they're doing a load, so you had better be certain about the wash settings before you start the load! But the locking is great, because you don't have to stay in the laundry room while your clothes are getting washed.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Adventures

So... I know it's been a while since I posted, but that's because my life was really dull. Not in a bad way. I worked and spent time with my family, which I really enjoyed. But nothing particularly unusual or epic or Disney-related. And then... my life became nothing BUT adventures, so it's been difficult to get computer time. Etcetera.

This next bit has nothing to do with Disney, but people have been asking me what I've been up to, so here's the summary of my last week: Last Wednesday, I said farewell to my family(which was a tearful moment), and my dad and I drove to Seattle. I checked my two heavy bags and went through security. The TSA people at the Sea-Tac airport are nice, but not particularly efficient. I got to the gate and checked in with the flight agent. You see, instead of having a seat number on my boarding pass, it merely said "check in at gate." It turned out that the flight was oversold by 16 people, and NOBODY was volunteering to get off. Nobody. People who checked in first got their seats. I guess I was behind? Anyways, thanks for that, HURRICANE IRENE.

 So I didn't get on my flight. I did, however, get a hotel voucher, a first class ticket for the next day, and a voucher I can use on a future ticket. And they told my that my baggage would be put in a locked room(remember that). So that was nice. And then I got to spend the rest of the day in Seattle with my dad. We went to REI and the Woodland Park Zoo(which is, by the way, my favorite zoo in the history of ever). The next morning, I got up EARLY and went to the airport. I didn't have to check any bags(since they were already in New Jersey), and I already had my boarding pass WITH A SEAT NUMBER on it. No problems in security, and I got to the gate in plenty of time. Other people got bumped from the flight... but not me! I felt bad for the people who didn't get on, of course, but not bad enough to give up my seat and say goodbye to my dad all over again.

 I got into Newark, NJ at around 3ish Eastern time. THERE ARE NO BATHROOMS IN THAT AIRPORT. It took me forever to find a restroom. I was in literal pain by the time I did find one. But I did find one, so all was well. I called my aunt to find out how close she was(ten minutes), and then went to find my poor bags. First I talked to your stereotypical NJ lady, accent and all, who informed me that I was in the wrong line, and to go "ovah theah" to get my bags. She waggled her fingers in the general direction of "theah," and I headed off to find my bags. As I was heading to the correct window, I saw my bags... just standing against the wall... in the open. I assumed that a security person would jump me if I tried to get my bags, so I waited in line. At the end, an angry Jamaican lady informed me that if I could see my bags, I could just take them. That... bugged me. My luggage didn't appear to have been tampered with in any way, but I hate being lied to. Either the airline employee in Seattle had blatantly lied, or didn't know what he was talking about, which is still a lie. I've seen this a lot in airports and with airlines. I'm not sure what the deal is there.

 Anyhoo, my wonderful aunt Nancy picked me up from the airport! I was in pain from the long flight, and it was a looong drive back to her place because some key roads were still closed from the flooding, but she still made me enjoy my ride! New Jersey is very flat and very green. Almost like Seattle green, but a lighter green. We made it back to her apartment safe and sound. I got somewhat settled, and played with my cousin and a little girl that my aunt babysits. I enjoyed it. It was nice and peaceful and quiet... quite the opposite of the last two days.

 The next day we went to the Turtleback Zoo, which was fantastic, but I won't bore you with all my zoofangirliness. But zoos=awesome in my book. Then... we went to New York City! The first stop was the Central Park Zoo(like I said... zoos are my thing), which is an extremely well done zoo. It gets really crowded, and it doesn't have the large exhibits that seem to really wow people at big zoos, but it's a zoo that knows its limitations and does extremely well within them. We walked down 5th Avenue... went to FAO Schwarz(coolest toy store EVER)... walked down to the GE building... ate street food... had Mister Softee ice cream... it was a good day. Hot, but good.

 Sunday, we had to go back to the city to pick up my aunt Molly. We had a pretty low-key Sunday, which was good. On Monday, we went back to NYC. This time, we went to Washington Square and I met up with Colby, an old friend of mine from Alaska. We walked around some of the NYU campus-ish area and got falafel sandwiches. Later, I met up with my aunts and cousin again for some more NYC fun. Molly and I went shopping and got awesome fruit smoothies from one of the street vendors. At the end of the day, we took the subway back to where we had parked the car(for the record, Nancy is a parallel-parking goddess), and then drove home.

 Tuesday was low-key, which was a good thing, because it rained. Hard. We went to Kohl's, and half of the parking lot was flooded, that's how hard it was raining. On Wednesday... I got up super early, and my wonderful aunt Nancy took me to the airport, with my also-wonderful aunt Molly coming along to help me inside the airport. I got everything together, went through security(it's never crowded for the super early flights), and I was on my way! My plane was NOT oversold, and I got on my seat just fine! I finished Pride & Prejudice, and got to Orlando without any major hitches.

 I used Mears for my travel from the airport to the program check-in. The counter was really far from my baggage claim, and I felt like a ridiculous camel with all my bags. I had to wait a bit for a van, but it wasn't bad. There were three other CP people in the van with me. The shuttle person dropped off two other people at their hotels first. I wondered about that a little, because our location was closer, and there were more of us. When we got dropped off, though, I found out why.. none of the college interns tip! People: It is polite to tip your transportation from the airport, whether taxi or shuttle. They have to help you with your luggage, but it's up to them whether or not to be nice to your luggage and whether or not to take you to your location first. Tipping your shuttle driver will make life easier on future interns.

 The check-in process was crazy, but everything went smoothly. There are people who will tell you exactly where to go, what to do, how to act, and where to sign. No question is ever too dumb to ask. Most of the people helping you did the college program themselves, so they understand your confusion and possible nervousness.

 My apartment is in the Chatham building! I wasn't super thrilled about that at first, but I've gotten to like it. I was given my apartment number and key, and about 30 minutes to get my bags in and get back to the bus stop to go to Casting. None of my roommates were in, but there was a note saying hi and a bag full of cookies. I ran out as quickly as I had come in, because I didn't want to miss that bus. Casting was... interesting. They whipped me right through the hiring process that took me a week at the grocery store I worked at back home. I got my assignment: Adventureland Merchandise! I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT. Seriously, that's one of three locations where I wanted to work. the other two were Tower of Terror or somewhere in the Animal Kingdom, and after being here, I've found out that the costumes there tend to be more comfortable. That's fantastic, because while I'm getting used to the humidity, I'm not used to it to the point where I could wear some of the costumes I've seen.

 After casting, I made a Wal-Mart run with a couple of my new friends. We got lost getting there and back, but figured it out in the end. I think I'm going to stick with taking the bus from now on- it will take longer, but there will be less chance of getting lost. When I got back, I met my roommate, B(I'mma  use letters for my roommates until I get the okay on using their names)! We share a bedroom, so I was glad to meet her right off. I spent the rest of the night unpacking and getting settled and meeting my other two roommates. Nothing too interesting happened.

On Thursday(today), I slept in a little, and then made another Wal-Mart run for some laundry supplies. When I got back, I had some lunch, and then I went to the Welcome session, where they covered housing. I made some more friends while I was there. Everybody here is so nice! It's so easy to start conversations with people, which is great, because there's a lot of waiting. We're all in the same boat, and we all came here for the same reason: we want to work for Disney. Some people want to work for Disney for different reasons, and that's what makes the conversations more than just running through a checklist.

 Later today, I went to Grocery Bingo. This is a Very Big Deal here. Basically, if you win, you get free groceries. I read about the crowds online, and let me tell you, none of the other bloggers are exaggerating. There were hundreds of people there tonight. I'm glad I got there an hour early. I didn't win any groceries, but I still had fun. They ended up sending my group back outside so the next set of hundreds of people could get in. I had the option of waiting in line again, but I decided to just go home. I'm getting the hang of the bus system... I think. Anyways, that's all for now! Thanks for reading, and hopefully I'll be able post soon. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Alive I'm Alive I'm...Kind of Bored

     It's my day off today. I know I haven't written in a while, and everyone has probably been wondering if I'm dead. Just so you know, I am not yet dead. In fact, I feel like I could go for a walk. But, I do happen to be bored out of my mind.
     The first apartment inpection was today so my roommates and I cleaned like crazy. We got knocked for having crumbs on our stove top. To be precise, there was ONE crumb on our stove top. I can see where jealousy has taken root. Our apartment was so fantastic the inspectors couldn't stand it. Ah well, happens a lot. It can be hard to be this awesome some times.
     There's not much to do around here for free if you don't have time to get there. My wonderful mother sent me a Forever 21 card so I could go buy me some fabulous clothes and jewelry. But I'm saving that for another day when there's nobody home and everybody back home to call. So by boredom has forced me into blogging.
     I love working for Disneyland where you don't feel weird smiling all the time, and the other employees are, for the most part, friendly. The more time I spend at work though, the more faith I lose in humanity. I had this lady last night get on my conveyor belt (yes, I call it mine: when we load people on the ride-an omnimover-they have to step onto a moving conveyor belt and then into a "cruiser") and she turned around and looked at me (while still moving forward:we only have a limited amount of time to load people) and said "Is this dangerous?!". I replied "Yes, what you're doing now is. Please get in a cruiser." She yelled back "WHAT?! THIS RIDE IS DANGEROUS?!" to which I had to reply quickly "No! The ride itself is not dangerous. Please get in a cruiser ma'am!". She finally did. Moral of the story: If you want to know if something is dangerous, ask BEFORE you're on the conveyor belt.
     Another fun story was when a man stepped on the conveyor belt, we loaded his son on the ride, and then he turned around still standing and said "Is he tall enough to be on this ride?". As a Disney employee you have to be very friendly, so of course I was, but I very loudly had to say several time "Yes sir, please get on the ride." Would I really be letting people on if the ride was dangerous, or if the kid wasn't tall enough? What did they expect me to do? Oh well, what can you do?
      Oh, and then when I'm working as Greeter (the person who stands at the ride entrance to answer questions and such) I often get the question "Is this really a 10 minute wait?". Disneyland is pretty dang accurate when it comes to wait times. But you know, even if the posted wait time was wrong...do you really think we'd post it? I mean, really, what do they expect me to say? "Nope. It's actually 60 minutes. We just like to laugh at the people waiting in line. Those silly people weren't smart enough to ask if the wait time was true. Good thing you were smart enough to ask." Of course not. Yes, it is only a 10 minute wait.
     I'll try to keep funny stories from work updated, but they can be hard to recall after two weeks worth. They're pretty amusing. The more you spend time at work with the guests...the more you wonder what's going on in our public schools today.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Earning My LGM Head

     Yes, I am now certified Star Command Mission Control. SCMC as Disney might call it. I can safely (...) work the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride. Hooooray. I didn't say anything when they gave me the certificate, but I would like everyone to notice that "Emperor Zurg" is NOT capitalized. That's because folks, no one capitalizes the wicked.
     I'm crazy pumped. Anything that means I never have to read that OG again is beautiful. I got to put my name on an LGM (little green man) head and stick it to the wall of the Buzz office, as tradition dictates. I have my first post-training shift today too where I can load, unload, greet, merge, and main console people. It's kinda sad though because I probably won't see my trainer very often anymore, and he was super cool, but the Buzz cast is awesome too. What a peculiar place to store a salad...
     Basically what we did was spend two days doing OJT where we stayed up til one in the morning learning the regular evacuation route, the end of the world evacuation route, what buttons to push, how to reset targets, what to do about service animals, and all sortsa funness like that. Our trainer also went over stuff over and over and over again as long as we wanted so that we could get comfortable. On the evac routes...the first time we looked at those, I at least, was quite confused. It was a bunch of colored arrows drawn on a map that said things like "meet at the sparkly monster". Little did we know that "sparkly monster" is an actual technical term for part of the ride.
     Something our trainer told us while he was showing us how to work the ride was "look guys...90% of the people here aren't listening to the safety instructions. So, that's why you're here." After working the ride it's totally true. The automated announcement says "please face forward and sit back in your seat, keeping your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the ride at all times." Majority of the people I saw: one kid sitting turned completely around talking to their parents, while the other was sitting on the very edge of their seat or standing, with their dad pretending to shoot the not yet activated blaster at everything, and their mother taking a picture. Which is where the employees come in to say "please turn around and sit down guys". Watch your kids. We're trying to avoid either of them falling out or getting smacked in the face by a cruiser door mmmk.
     By the way, something that pretty much made my day yesterday: during training we were standing near by the guests practicing loading, when a little boy looked up at my trainer and yelled "IT'S BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!!!!!". He got super excited and high fived my trainer and I, as did his little brother. After they moved on my trainer laughed, looked sort of confused and said "...that little kid just called me Buzz Lightyear...". My trainer looks nothing like Buzz. It was amusing. We played along in the Disney spirit of course though.

The Very Model of a Modern Major Disney Trainee

    Still stuck in training...for the last two days. Of course, this at least was on the job training which is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less boring than guest interaction training. Our trainer is great too. He's a sassy guy who knows everybody, is very friendly, and who works on Space Mountain most of the time. Funny story: every time he walks by a particular janitor he goes "Heeeeeeeeeey! This guy!". Said janitor in turn gives him one of those awkward do-I-know-you? hellos and goes on with his day. The first time this happened we looked at our trainer and said "So, do you know him?". He doesn't.
     For OJT (There's an acronym for everything at Disney) you follow your trainer around as they repeat everything you've already heard, and what you don't already know goes straight in one ear and then runs away as soon as you need it. Luckily, you have a couple days to learn it all. And you'll hear it over and over and over and over. It's also in the operating guide, which you have to read. The OG is...a very long, dry book. If you learn by reading it's great though I'm sure. But if you just got up at 5 am after a late night...it's not so much.
     The second day of OJT you do some more reading, but you actually get to try out all the positions. I thought that was quite fun. You learn all the button pushing and how to get people on and off the ride safely. It's hilarious to watch guests as they first start the ride but aren't quite to the targets yet because they start waiving their little blaster everywhere pretending they're shooting things in the loading dock. They point it at attendants, lights, other guests, themselves, and sometimes make sound effects. Then when they see you looking at them they give you a sheepish little smile and laugh. The funny thing is, I didn't see a single kid doing that: it was all adults. I was thoroughly amused. That's what I like about Disneyland: everyone is there to have a good time no matter how old they are.
     Last night I worked til 1:30 a.m. We had to learn to assemble the WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle), and how to use the evacuation routes. One evacuation route we learned was just in case the ride breaks down and we have to let everyone off. The other is what our trainer likes to call the "end of the world" evacuation route. Disneyland has a plan for pretty much everything. Today is my last day of OJT and they'll be testing me to see if I can run each position on the ride.
     Here's an amusing video. Compliments of my sister. Hehe. I am thoroughly amused. Well done. How can you watch that guy dance and not smile? Eh, ehhhhhhhh?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm All Muffins and Juice Boxes [and Hot Pants]

     Guess what today was...MOOOOORE TRAINING! Luckily though, rather than making us sit around for hours on end watching power points, we were out on our feet with a trainer doing guest interaction training. Myself and the other girl I trained with are now officially allowed to talk to guests.
     We started the day with costuming. Man...so, um, most of the costumes...um...how to put it...you lose 40 attractiveness points when you put them on. End of story. If you were beautiful before you are now plain. If you were supermegaawesomefoxyhot, you are now maybe cute. If you were ugly...then...well...either you don't exist anymore or you just plane. For today, we started ourselves out with a polo shirt and pants. Mind you, there's no vanity sizing in Disney: if you put on some extra weight where your pants go you are going to have to face the music. The pants go to just below your ribcage and you tuck the polo into them. The pants also make your tuckus look pretty lumpy too. If you don't have much on your backside then you just look sort of silly and flat. Those hot pants make you feel sure of yourself. And you got to use what to got to get just what you wanta.This is your standard costume that can transfer to any land. It's "neutral".
          This is James Brown performing Hot Pants. Feel free to listen to Super Brother #1 while you  read.
     So then our adorable trainer took us around the park. He reminded me of the main guy from Psych, but with a higher voice. We took another tour of the park, answered questions for guests, and then helped coordinate the guests during a parade. Our trainer was the owner of the quote above because as we walked by the castle he looked up and said "castle=magggiiiicallll!" and then proceeded to say "Yea...I'm all muffins and juice boxes about this stuff :)"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Disney Look

     WHAT does a Disney employee look like? A human. Or sometimes an animal. Anywho, the people ones have to dress a very special way of dressing and doing their make-up. Sooo basically if you want to look like a Disney employee you have the "costumed look" and the "business casual" look. Business casual=not casual clothes...nice shirt: it doesn't have to be collared but should be nice and clean. No jeans allowed, and no sweat pants, but beyond that it's not hard to get the business causal down. And costumed you just can't wear any super exciting make-up, and your hair has to be a more "classic" style. Just imagine someone who works in an office: would they have bubblegum pink hair, a grungy T-shirt, be chewing gum like a heifer, wearing beat up old sneakers, smelling like the city dump (assuming that they actually care about their job)? I hope you don't think so. It's an appearance thing. Disney wants their staff to look professional and approachable.
     If you are doing the program or working for Disney, don't let the look thing get to you. They are pretty specific, but in a lenient sort of way if that makes sense. Most thrift stores sell what you're looking for. Ladies will probably want to pick up some blazers. Be modest and conservative. Don't wear a super tight pencil skirt: I saw a girl get pegged for that. Go with a knee length pencil skirt that gives some room to move and maybe a collared shirt or nice ruffly business like one. Menfolk don't have to have suits, but collared shirts are for them. NO POLO SHIRTS. A nice, clean, ironed, button-down shirt. No matter who you are you'll probably want to get a pair of comfortable black shoes. Here at Disneyland all but two positions require solid black shoes. They have to be comfortable. Comfort over looks. And completely polishable.
     If you work a late shift Disney will help you get a ride home. For late night shifts give your supervisor or manager a call and, in my experience, they'll be happy to help you find a safe ride home.
      Disney will give you enough hours each week so that you can pay your rent. They also give you two days off every week during the nonpeak seasons, but you cannot preference Friday nights, Saturday, or Sunday. You have to be open to working on those days, but I'm hoping they'll give me a little time on Sundays so that I can go to church. They'll help you with trying to figure out how to get days off and such. But DO NOT expect any time during the holidays. They stress that often. If you do the program you're not going home for the holidays. That's just how business goes I guess. You work so others can have a good time with their families. I feel like it's worth it. I've had enough good times with my own family I'm glad to give some time to other people.