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!

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