Friday, August 6, 2010

A month later, do I still feel the same?

Yes! Even better, actually.

Work is going much better. I've realized that although the role of merchandise is boring, it wouldn't be any better in another location. I like Tomorrowland! I love my coworkers, we have a lot of fun at work. I'm embracing the positive. My hours have been cut to something managable finally since the new fall CPs are coming next week. I'm definitely excited about this!

It's so weird to think the entire 'advantage' part of my program is over. I feel like such a pro at everything now, it's all second nature. I've made friends here...that I swear I'll know for my entire life. I've met a lot of new people. One of my favorite things to do is to just start random conversations with fellow cast members (especially CPs). Tip: Be outgoing. You won't make friends or have fun any other way.

So we've been making a lot of ADRs and eating out a lot. Basically my entire paycheck each week goes on food. Some groceries, mostly Disney restaurants, fast food places, and Mouseketeeria.

Just live it up down here! That's my philosophy. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What's new.

It is really hard to organize my thoughts about what's going on here, but I really do want to give you guys an update. It's easy to blow this blog off when you're here, because you're having so much fun and don't really feel like writing everything down. But I know that when you're waiting to check-in, reading these blogs can keep you sane.

So my roommate had a good idea to organize her recent post into sections.

Friends: I love it. I love meeting new people. Everyone here is so friendly and you can honestly talk to anyone you see. Since we're all only down here for a few months, there's not really time to let a friendship mature, so everyone is just instantly bestfriends. My favorite part about being down here is all the cool people I've met, and having fun adventures with them.

Work: It's...alright. Honestly, I wish I loved it more. Work is just work. There are some really good moments, especially when I'm talking to guests or having fun with my coworkers. It's really boring though, I get paid to do a lot of standing around doing nothing. I've been having some crazy hours lately, but next week my schedule rocks! Work is just something I have to do to get all the other cool perks of being here.

This is how it works in Tomorrowland. It's divided into three zones. Zone 1 is Mickey's Star Traders, Merchant of Venus, Geiger's Pin Cart, and the Speedway Cart. Zone 2 is the Arcade (Space gift shop) and Ursa's Hat Carts. Zone 3 is the Buzz Imaging and the two Buzz Carts. Zone 2 pretty much sucks for some reason, nobody likes it. Zone 3 is just really really slow and boring. I kind of like working in Zone 1 the most since it's busier, and the day goes by faster.

We work one Zone per day, and get rotated throughout different positions all day. Technically you're not supposed to be at one position more than an hour, but that's not how it always works unfortunately.

Cute moments: I don't know if I've told this story, but on my first day of training we had this meeting with our leader. She walked us around the stores and asked us to do some guest interaction. I found this woman taking a picture of her mom with a Stitch doll, so I offered to take their picture together. The mom couldn't speak english, but she was SO grateful, happy, and even wanted a picture with us! So on my first day of work, I made a guest so happy that they wanted a picture with me. Isn't that cool?

And just another recent one I thought of. I was merchantaining at Mickey's Star Traders and carrying around this huge Stitch plush while making it wave. Every single person, no matter how young or old, got this huge smile on their face when they saw it and waved back. It was just something that put a little more magic in my heart that night.

Parks: I haven't actually been to the parks that much. Well, I have...kind of, but I haven't done very much there. I still haven't even been to Animal Kingdom. So my new mission is to actually do more things when I go to the parks instead of just strolling around. It starts tomorrow with my adventure to MK with a few friends. Me, Mary, and Tracie even have an ADR to 1900 Park Fare that night. It's going to be such a fun day where we're just like all the other guests.

That's it for now kiddos, I'll update again in the future some time. :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's been 10 days but it's felt like a lifetime.

So here we are again. I can't believe it's only been 10 days since I updated this. So much has happened! But at the same time...not really. Or not really anything I can blog about? Just fun nights with friends and working a lot. I earned my ears about a week ago and everything has been pretty normal. Work I'm getting scheduled a lot of really really long hour days, so it's kind of burning me out. Thank goodness for days off! Honestly, I feel like work is just something I have to do to get all the fun perks of being here. Some of my coworkers seem fun though.

I'm trying to have a lot of fun and be as carefree as I can. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

First week!


Hey hey everyone! I’m currently typing this from my apartment where we have basically no internet until Monday, so I don’t know when this will be posted. It’s Tuesday night and I’m doing laundry, showering, and other things in preparation for Traditions tomorrow morning. Firstly I just want to say I’m having the time of my life. It’s amazing here. Anyway, let’s review the last couple of days, shall we? (Well now it’s Saturday at 2 am and I can’t sleep. Basically I’m updating and adding to this when I can.)

Saturday was my going away party which was fun, but a little stressful since it was right before I left. I got about an hour in total of sleep this night after tossing and turning so much. Who’s going to sleep when they’re SUPER AMAZINGLY EXCITED FOR DISNEY!?

Anyway, I went to breakfast with my parents around 4 am on Sunday, headed to the airport, said a quick goodbye, went through security, and got on the plane basically. I wasn’t tearful or sad for me at all because I knew I had so many amazing things to look forward to. P.S. It’s a week later and I haven’t had one twinge of homesickness or sadness at all. I love my hometown, but this is quickly becoming the normal, awesome life for me.

The flight was…alright. It seemed longer than 45 minutes, but I was in Memphis soon enough. I HATE THEIR AIRPORT. They don’t have any kind of tram between terminals, plus I had to walk for B1 to B42. Think of a really long way to walk. Now double it. That’s how far I had to walk, just to get to my gate and discover I had to spend 4 dollars on bottled water and there were no seats. Anyway, that flight was actually really good. I read Castmember Confidential the whole way, and although I’m not sure of it’s credibility, I liked it a lot.

MCO was great, finding Magical Express was actually EASY this time, and I was on my way to Disney before I knew it. I was surrounded by little families that were so excited for their vacations. Check in at Pop Century took literally less than 2 minutes and then I met up with my roommate Megan and Joe!

Joe’s been here a month already, so he showed us around Orlando a little and we got to see his apartment at Chatham. Then we headed to the Poly was dole whips and a few trips around the monorail! But Tracie and Mary were waiting for us so me and Megan went back to Pop Century, got an overpriced lunch, and met up with the other roomies. We all headed to DTD afterwards (on a completely empty Disney resort bus!) where we met Elliott, Sara, Abby, Lyanne, Laura, Suzie, Ryan, Brent, etc etc etc. So many awesome people.

That night is kind of a blur but we basically strolled in and out of the shops and then sat outside Wetzel’s just talking. Oh, and a bunch of us went to Trex, shared appetizers, and got harassed by fake dinos.

This night was so much fun and almost when I knew that this program would be as fun and amazing as I had thought it would be.


Check in! This was quite a long day. And honestly guys, the more and more I write the less and less detailed my posts are going to get, lol.

We woke up ridiculously early (it was ridiculous for this day, it would quickly become the norm for training) and Megan drove us (the first of many Orlando driving adventures) to IHOP where we met up with the other roomies and Ryan for pancakes and excitement-sharing.

Now for check-in. We got there around 6:30 and the security guy opened up the parking lot across the street for us. We saw a black cat there…which, I mean, I really don’t think we’ve had bad luck at all. Anyway, we sat outside of security on these awkward benches for an hour and a half (about a handful of people trickled in, no more than 20, our arrival date was super small.) Also a warning girls, there are days where the humidity is RIDICULOUS. You can’t even imagine how humid it can be until you’re sitting outside for a long time in the early morning and your hair start to go insane. I’ve started putting half my hair up which helps a lot.

Anyway, at about 8:01 security told us to head on back to the Welcome Center which is kind of in the back corner of Vista. We were the first people in line. They gave us sticker-y name tags and there was a DJ there with far too much energy for 8 am. Then we basically just had to fill out a couple forms, get some stuff signed, and then went into the room where we they assign housing.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get Chatham or Patterson like we had hoped for, but we did get a 3 bedroom at Vista, so we’re all together and HAPPY. Vista’s not so bad actually, and now I couldn’t see myself at any other complex. It’s older and some of the stuff was a little creepy at first, but now this really feels like home. We have rearranged the furniture (I’ll get pictures up sometime), put a slip cover thing on the couch, decorated the walls and such all to make it feel a little more like home. Which it does.

Anyhoo, Casting was next, so we hopped on our assigned bus (they guide you through every single thing these first few days, no worries) and headed to the very cool Casting building. Here we stood for a few minutes and a woman came down the line telling everyone their work locations. I’m…..Tomorrowland Merchandise!

Basically after that it’s a bunch of weaving in and out of these little stations, filling out paperwork, and learning about the paycard, Disney Look, getting fingerprinted, etc. It’s seriously over before you know it and there’s very little waiting.

Now, our housing meeting wasn’t until Day 2 so after we got back to the apartment we were free to do whatever we wanted! So we…sat around and talked about how hungry we were. Megan went to pick up our luggage from Pop Century and I unpacked a little. Sara came by to tell us that unfortunately she was just having too hard a time with everything, which I completely understand. It just wasn’t the right time for her to be doing this so she left. We got a new roommate the next day, Paige, who seems nice. Oh, let me tell you who my roommates are if you didn’t already know!

Jenn - MK Tomorrowland Merch

Abby - (room roomie) DHS Hollywood and Vine FSFB

Tracie - MK Toontown Merch

Megan - MK Toontown Merch

(isn’t it cool that they get to work together!?)

Mary - Epcot Mission Space Attractions

Paige - DHS Sunset Boulevard QSFB


Woke up early AGAIN. This is becoming normal for me, and I’m actually awake and ready to go at 3 am today (Saturday) when my training isn’t til 8. So the housing meeting was…as fun as it possibly could be. Our facilitators for this were really funny and tried their hardest to make it interesting for us, but let’s face it, you can’t make boring info that fun, lol. Also, the room wasn’t that cold at all for me. It was actually perfect. But I’m weird like that.

The bus back to Vista was really crowded so we had to stand, and on one of the particularly sharp turns I fell into this random guy. Nice to meet you. We came back to eat at Chick Fil A, which is really close to Vista. A lot of things are, like Walgreens and Wendy’s. It was tasty, but I was getting tired of eating out so I really just wanted to go shop for my own groceries! Which is what we did next. The Walmart there is pretty huge and has everything (except the kind of bread I eat, grrr). I spent about $100 which was what I was expecting. I had to get a lot of basics, so in the future I doubt I’ll spend that much on food.

After unloading our MASSIVE amount of groceries into the kitchen we took another driving adventure to Ikea and Target. I got a couple things like a cute trash can. Ikea has a lot of adorable stuff for really cheap, but I didn’t want to spend too much money. Then at Target we got more things to decorate our apartment with…and Starbucks. Tracie promptly spilled her drink on herself in the parking lot and it looked like she got shot. Nobody could breathe because they were laughing so hard, especially me. I love you Tracie, haha.

That night was spent at the Polynesian! We got sushi (crab cake roll for me, deliciousness) and sat at the far end of the beach that was very out of the way and just talked and talked with Megan’s friend Brent who writes books about Disney. (From Screen to Theme by Brent Dodge - read it!) and has the most awesome job and car ever. Anyway, we were just sitting there staring at the castle, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary all lit up and I almost felt like crying. I couldn’t believe this was my life now. The fireworks were amazing but we couldn’t hear the audio very well.

Then later that night I just did some laundry (our laundry room is literally about 5 steps from our front door. AWESOME.) and other things. We have to share one Ethernet cable right now until Megan’s wireless router gets here. No big deal, I’m not missing Facebook.


Traditions! I was feeling pretty terrible on this day. My stomach felt all weird and my throat had been hurting for days (my nose is still stuffy!). The bus ride was kind of miserable for me, so of course it would break down in the middle of the street and we’d have to be rescued by a resort bus. Of course. We finally got to Disney University and got split up into some groups. I was with Tracie and Mary. We also got into this line to receive our ID and be checked over for the Disney Look, but the guy didn’t really seem to be looking.

The first 30 minutes is the worst. Especially for me because I was already sick. It’s just a very dry video on something I can’t remember now. Everyone was literally falling asleep. But after that it gets better! We met our facilitators Sara and Ben who were pretty funny and really sweet. We just basically went over some Disney history and how we should act as Disney Cast Members. Then the fun part came! (Not fun for my feet however, they’re still not recovered.) We slapped on some walkie talkies and got to wlk around the utilidors and onstage at the Magic Kingdom. I felt very official, lol. We were basically just supposed to be observing the cast members.

After heading back to the classroom we had a surprise. Since I saw the reaction of everyone in my group, I’m just going to keep it to myself if you don’t already know what it is. How everyone reacted, however, is absolutely priceless. I loved it. The class went pretty quickly after that and before we knew it we were finally on a bus back home.

All my roommates went to MK, but I was still feeling crappy so I stayed in. Yes. I had my ID to get into the parks for free, and I stayed in instead. Well, I actually went to Subway and Walmart and got registered for the Hub, but still, I stayed in. I know I needed to rest up and stop burning myself out so much. I think I’ve finally found some balance.


My park orientation, or Once Upon a Time…Is Now, was on this day. (Wow the days are starting to blend together.) Our facilitators were Jo Ellen and Joseph who were also quite funny and sweet. I’ve been so lucky with all my trainers. Oh, Megan and Tracie were also in this with me which made it even more fun.

There was lots of walking today. Please please please I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy comfy shoes for this, even if they’re ugly. And wear them in a little before you leave. We basically walked all around Main Street, a little of Fantasyland, some backstage, some onstage. Just learning fun tidbits about that part of the park which was actually really interesting if you’re into Disney. Then we got told this intricate story of the Haunted Mansion and actually got to ride it!

Then after watching a short video we met up with other trainers. All the merchandise people were pulled into the same group and our guy took us to Costuming. My costume isn’t so bad, it’s just not that comfortable or flattering at all. I have never worn shorts that had to go above my belly button. Warning! You WILL have to go up probably 2 or more sizes in the pants/shorts. Don’t freak out, it’s just a number. You know you’re really a 6 and not a 10, you’ll be okay.

That was it. All done for the day! After coming home, showering, and eating I was supposed to meet up with my friend Kristin at MK, but it started MASSIVELY down pouring and there was loud thunder and lightning everywhere. I didn’t really know where to go on the bus, so I didn’t feel like it would be good to navigate while storming. A little tip: Just be flexible. Sometimes the plans you make will fall through but that doesn’t mean you can’t reschedule.

Later that night my roomies all finally awoke from their naps (Abby sleeps through anything, btw) and we decided to go on another driving adventure to find shoes and try and hang out at DHS for a couple hours. The Studios was fun even though the only thing I really did was ride ToT (awesome awesome awesome) and wait for them outside of RnRC. We were full of energy, so when we got home we took silly pictures with our costumes on and had a lot of laughs. I love these girls!


Good day. First day of on the job training basically. We met at Costuming, and my trainer Sharon was super sweet and awesome. It was just me and this other guy Mike training with her, so I liked how personal it felt. She showed us how to navigate the tunnels a little bit and where to find our lockers and other important stuff like that. For anyone who will work at MK in the future, the tunnels are big and scary and confusing at first, but you will quickly get the hang of it. I’m already a pro at getting to my area from the entrance and to a few other places, although it is still a scary maze! I’m sure after a while it will all be second nature to me.

She showed us the break room, where to clock int and tc. We met some leaders (managers) and then went out onstage to see the different zones. In Tomorrowland we work in all the shops and they’re divided into three zones. Basically you work one zone per day and it will be on your schedule. She took us around to each zone to show us what was included and just the basic layout. Then we met with one of our leaders, Bonnie, who described herself as the ‘momma’ of tland. She sat down to get to know us a little and then took us onstage to have a little guest interaction of ourselves. She just wanted us to go up to a guest and use one of the basics (the things that will be drilled into your head.)

I found a woman taking a picture of her mom with this Stitch plush, so I simply asked them if they wanted me to take a picture of them together. They were so delighted and overjoyed that I would even offer! After we got a great shot of them, the mother (who was Brazilian and couldn’t even understand English) was so happy she actually wanted a picture with US. ON MY FIRST DAY. Wow, right? Those people will look back at their camera and remember me. I’m in people’s vacation memories already and it was only my first day. Bonnie was also just really excited since both of us who were training were really outgoing and not at all afraid to go up to guests.

This awesome thing called a BREAK came afterwards. I went to the Mouseketeeria (I’m pretty sure I just misspelled that made up word..) and had a really yummy salad with chicken, pecans, and ginger dressing. There seemed to be tons of options, but I was unnecessarily rushing so I didn’t really pay attention. There’s also my favorite, Subway, but the line was a little long.

Then we did some terribly terribly boring e-learning stuff about safety and chemicals, got our water bottles and pin trading lanyards. Then our area leader, Daniel, who is kind of in charge of all the college program people had this meeting with a whole bunch of CP’ers from tland. It was two hours in this really nice conference room and we basically had a lot of fun talking and getting to know each other. Some of them had been there a month or so already. Daniel used to be a CP, then a PI so he really seemed to know what we were going through. I also got paid to eat a Mickey Bar. Yes. This place is amazing.

We didn’t have much time left after this since we also got another 30 minute break, so Sharon just had us set up our register usernames/passwords and we spent about 20 minutes at Star Traders playing on the register. We actually got to do a real life (and really complicated) transaction!

Then I came home, shower, rested, and had a fun night. That’s quickly becoming the routine.

So here we are. This is a detailed account of every day so far. I can’t guarantee I’ll keep going into this much detail (actually I know I won’t) but I know these first few days are really interesting to all of you people who are still waiting to check in/apply/whatever. It really is a whirlwind and you quickly have to learn how to pace yourself. You’ll be really really busy and it will be a little overwhelming at first, but then it becomes normal. You just have to keep your energy level up and try and grab sleep whenever you can.

I really really really love it here. It’s almost exactly how I imagined it to be so far. I’ve only been here a week and this already feels like home, like my normal life. I can’t wait til you fall kids get here (wait..actually I can. I don’t want that much of my program to be over with yet!) because it’s so amazing. Everything is going great. Except the fact that I woke up at 2 am this morning wide awake and I have merchantainment tomorrow. Luckily I’m out at 2:30, so maybe I’ll be able to squeeze a little nap in. It’s 4 am now and I’m getting a little sleepy again, so I think I’ll try to get a little more sleep in.

Oh, the beds are SUPER uncomfortable at first but I’ve gotten used to them now. I’m usually so exhausted by the time my head hits that pillow that I don’t even notice.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Sorry! Kind of.

I know there was supposed to be a packing blog and all with pictures of the disaster, but that would have required me to sit down for 2 seconds and upload them, write it all up, etc. And I've been BUSY. I know you guys are actually happy that I've been keeping myself busy and having fun on my last week or two at home. And really, what's so interesting about packing anyway?

So that brings us to the present. Saturday, June 12th. My flight leaves at 6 am tomorrow morning and I hav- WHAT!? TOMORROW? And you say I've been waiting for months and months and months (years) to do the college program and I leave for Florida TOMORROW?!

I'm filled up with this incredibly undescribable feeling. If you've done the CP in the past, you probably know what I'm talking about. If you're still waiting for your chance, then you will. Trust me, you might have to wait years and years, but you'll finally get your shot and it will feel amazing.

I also meant to do a 'I'm leaving!' vlog, but since I'm currently sitting around in my swimsuit waiting for everyone to get here for my going away party, then getting ready and packing things last minute, then sleeping 4 hours and getting ready/packing last minute AGAIN, then leaving for a quick breakfast and to the airport...yeah...don't really have time. But I felt is necessary to pop in here and ramble for a minute or two.

Usually when I'm really really really looking forward to something, and it's just about to happen, my excitement kind of dwindles the last few days and I'm all like 'yeahh, whatever'. But not this. No, I have stayed completely, over the top, superly duperly ECSTATIC! Actually, everyday brings a new level of excitement. Today I'm pretty calm about it. Why freak out when you know it's all happening in a few hours? And it will happen however it's going to happen anyway. Everything will work out great. I know that I'm going to have the time of my life. :)

I'm not really sad about leaving at alll. I feel like at the most I'll tear up once I get on the plane and I'm by myself, but I don't expect any tears in the morning. I know I'm going to have so. much. fun. and my family will be visiting, so why waste the energy on crying? We'll see how it goes. I might be a teary eyed mess, lol.

So this is it. Here I go. I'll update..whenever we have internet/I have time to sit down and write about the crazy adventures I'm sure I'll be having. I will be extremely sleep deprived the first week, so be patient with me please. Wish me luck everyone! And to the people who are already there, I cannot wait to hang out with all of you.

Goodbye hometown, hello sunny Florida! :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Addicted shopping.

Yes, the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of CP shopping for me. Every weekend I've been hitting the malls and my favorite stores buying myself an entirely new summer wardrobe, plus all the other things I'll need for Florida. Actually if you remember, I've been shopping for this internship since the weekend after I got accepted. And it just seemed like the closer and closer my countdown gets, the more I want to shop. But...I think I'm pretty much done now. I have 3 full business outfits, 30+ casual tops, 10 or more casual bottoms, shoes for work, various sandals, bags, and a few travel size toiletries to hold me over until I go shopping once I'm down there. All I'm missing now is a swimsuit, and I've discovered how picky I am with them! (Side note: I wonder if our arrival date will get one of those snazzy welcome pool parties?).

Oh, and a 4gb memory card. I'll probably need more since I plan on taking pictures of well...everything, but I can always get that in Florida. I would have bought full size shampoo, conditioner, etc but I had to leave space for my other addiction...Bath and Body Works stuff. What? A girl needs to smell good!

Speaking of shopping, my wonderful roommates and I have been 'researching' the malls/outlet malls in Orlando. And well, we've pretty much decided to use the pantry for clothes and just be starving/broke, but incredibly fashionable CPs. ;)  But really, just the outlet malls (which are in WALKING DISTANCE!) have a ton of stores that we don't have here which is especially exciting. I can't wait to shop at some of these new places!

Not to even mention DISNEY SHOPPING. Property Control, anyone? I don't know if it's actually that good of a place to shop, but I hear about it all the time. 20% (and 50% holiday discount) on merchandise is going to be a killer for me. Especially since I'll be working all around this wonderful merch and I'll constantly want to buy the cute stuff.

I've been packing on and off for a week or so and taking pictures all along the way, but I don't want to blog about it yet. This weekend I plan to get pretty much everything packed up (after I pick out the clothes I want to wear on the 13th and 14th, plus anything I still need before I leave) and then I'll upload all the pictures and make one big post about it. So look out for that sometime next week.

(ETA: They changed the Disney Look today for non-costumed women to include business style cropped pants, sleeveless tops and dresses with straps at least 3 inches wide, and slingbacks with open toes. Too bad I already bought everything....)

Vlog #7 (Waiting Rambles)

I meant to post this over here when I first uploaded it, which was May 19th, lol.