Sunday, July 31, 2011

Flight Plans

So... I purchased my ticket to Orlando a few days ago! For some reason, this made the whole thing that much more real to me. Before, it felt more like a nice idea and a cool conversation topic. Now that I know exactly when I'll be leaving Washington and entering Florida, I'm a lot more nervous. I'm still excited, but... yeah. Nervous.

But you know what makes me feel less nervous? Knowing exactly what I'll be doing when I arrive. The CP website is helpful, but reading the blogs of current participants has been even more so. This one in particular has made me a lot less nervous about Day One. See, I'm the sort of person who likes to have every detail ironed out. When I go on a trip, I print up maps of where I'll be. Before I go out to eat, I download the restaurant's menu and choose what I want beforehand. When I went to Disneyland, I kept Alyssa with me(because she knows that place like the back of her hand), and we planned out what we would do each day.

And usually, I end up having more fun that way. I'm spared that awful moment of being lost in a strange place, or the awkward moment of indecision when the waiter asks if you're FINALLY ready to order, because this is the third time he's come by. During the Disneyland trip, some of our friends decided to leave our group so that they could go and be spontaneous... only to end up rejoining our group later on because we were actually getting stuff done.

So while my contributions to this blog will be about my own experiences, I'm going to make a point of including as much useful information as possible, so that the next set of interns will also be able to have fun without worrying. :)

College...at Disneyland?

      Hallo! I'm Alyssa! I am going to be working at Disneyland for my Disney College Program (DCP) experience this fall. I grew up in a little(r) city where the sound of gunshots and police sirens in one half of town is about as common as eating lunch...other than that it's purty quaint. I have completed two years at a community college thus far via Running Start (did it. loved it. do it.).
      As for my Disney experience, my family will basically use any excuse to go to Disneyland. Common thing to hear on a family road trip from my dad: "Hey kids, now that we're finally in the middle of Nevada...we're only 12 hours away from Disneyland! Whaddaya say?!" or "Well, visiting Seattle for the day is fun...but now we're just 20someodd hours away from Disneyland! Let's go!". Then my mother usually reluctantly reminds him that they should probably send us kids to college at some point, and that paying for such a thing would be a good idea. So, we find ways to be cheap at home so we can pay for all our excursions. We are big travelers. Especially to Disneyland. Around the house we call it "the mothership". And let me tell you, there is no addiction recovery program for the happiest place on earth.
     How did I find out about the program? I'm sure you're sitting on the edge of your seat wondering. Fun story really. So, we were going to go visit my cousins over President's Day break this year, when my father came up with his usual "Yes, we could do that...or we could go to Disneyland!!!". He and my mom debated which of their children least needed to have an inheritance, and after that was settled, and my mother had volunteered to work extra so we could go (they take turns doing that: I know I'm a whinybutt, but I really have got some good parents) we departed for the 20 hour drive.
      When were partying hard like we always do down at ze Land of Disney we went to Flynn's Arcade for some little special collectible coin thing. I was not particularly excited about this, but my dad was, so I stood there listening to Juke Box Hero while mi papa spoke to the employee working there about getting the coin. The employee (after bestowing the coin upon my father) said "Hey, are either of your daughters going to college soon?" I told him I was.
      This wonderful man then proceeded to inform me that Disney had it's own college program. In the words of Carline Bingley I was "all astonishment". I could go to college...at Disneyland...I  could go to college...at Disneyland...I could live in a dumpster...or I could go to college...and fulfill one of my life goals...to work at Disneyland.
      Right around this time I was rejected from the only university I had applied to. Whoopee. I wallowed in self-pity for a bit, but then suddenly, a choir of angels came down from heaven singing the words "Disney College Program". I applied but didn't actually expect to make it because I was young with little work experience. Soon enough though, the phone call came and I was on my way to working for Disney.
      If you're interested in the idea of applying to the program check out disneycollegeprogram.com. Disney makes it pretty easy to apply and once you've been accepted they stay with you every step of the way, sending periodic emails giving information needed for getting employment with Disney and officially becoming a part of the program. I'll keep you updated on what happens and how I feel about my experience in the program.

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Introduction: Kayleigh

Hey, all! I'm Kayleigh. I'm going to be a Merchandise Cast Member at Walt Disney World for the Fall 2011 session. I'm a 20-year-old LDS girl from the dry side of Washington state, though I was raised in Alaska. I have an associate's degree in biology from my local community college. I currently work as a customer service manager at a grocery store. I'm the oldest person in my family. I love chocolate, peaches, the color orange, and orangutans. I want to work in wildlife and wildlands conservation in some sort of public education sense, possibly at a zoo.

My first, and so far, only, major Disney experience happened when I was sixteen. My high school marching band went on a trip to Disneyland. It was the best week EVER. I had never been to a theme park before(there's a tiny waterpark in Anchorage, but... yeah... doesn't count), but I had been to fairs and carnivals. Disneyland was such a far cry from any of those that it doesn't feel right to mention them in the same paragraph. Disneyland was so clean and perfect... everyone was nice... even when we were backstage doing a band clinic or getting ready for a parade, everything was neat and shiny and wonderful. When we left, I promised myself that I would be back soon.

Why did I apply for the program? Well... long story short, I got rejected from my first-choice transfer university, and in a fit of pique, I applied to Disney World. I went through the application and online interview process, and scheduled a phone interview. It was sort of on a whim... but when people heard that I hadn't gotten into my top school(which was the only school I had applied to), I told them about my upcoming phone interview so I wouldn't seem so pathetic. And, well, I started getting more and more excited. My phone interview went well... and a week later, I got my e-mail welcoming me into the program. By that point, I was looking forward to it so much that if I hadn't been accepted, it probably would have been the end of the world.

And so far, that's my Disney story. I don't know much about Orlando- I've never even been farther east than Chicago. I'm sure the heat and humidity will join forces to make me miserable, but right now, I don't really care! I can put up with anything for a semester, ESPECIALLY if Disney World is involved.