Saturday, 10 March 2012

Like All You Lovely Folks, I've Got a dream!

The first of many long days.

Today was what is known as Traditions. It's Disney training in a classroom taught by former princesses. Not kidding.

More legit than University of Windsor

How to Make School Exciting - Start with a Castle

We were bussed to Disney University this morning, where we were given the once-over for the Disney look. My shoes were not Disney look. That's what I get for wearing Crocs to traditions.

Ashleigh, Laura and I in our Traditions gear

We did a lot on the history of the company, the Disney look and stage presence (including the Disney point, the Disney swoop and the Disney scoop) but spent most of the time, and took a field trip, to learn about Disneys four keys - safety, courtesy, show and efficiency. The field trip? Backstage Magic Kingdom. It's not actually underground as you might think. It turns out underground in the state of Florida doesn't really happen, so backstage/underground is actually the first floor, and Magic Kingdom is the second floor. We were hooked up to these little microphone packs so we could hear our trainer the entire time, and we all looked super cool in Magic Kingdom with our earpieces and business attire.

You know you're a big deal when the boss comes to training.
Our reward at the end of the day was both our Disney Employee ID, aka free park access and discounts, as well as our glittery new nametags with our hometowns, personally delivered by the big cheese himself. It was surprisingly moving taking the shiny pin out of the gold sparkly box. There may have been some tears. Not actually me this time.

Perth Pride Forever. I didn't cry.
This evening I had to go purchase my lumberjack boots, as I need them for first thing tomorrow morning. Luckily, Orlando Premium Outlets happens to me extremely close, and they happened to have a Timberland outlet. Done! Then Laura, Ashleigh and I headed to Magic Kingdom to catch the end of the Electric Parade, Wishes (the fireworks show), and take a spin on Space Mountain before dragging our tired selves home for another early morning (made even worse by this daylight savings business).

Cast Members still have to wait in line for Space Mountain.


Note: Walt Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan, and has 10 times more Cast Members than the population of Perth, ON.

Thanks to: Everyone I left behind in Canada. I wanted you all to be there with me at Wishes tonight. You'll all have to come watch with me. Obviously.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Such Wonderful Things Surround You, What More Are You Looking for?

Days off! Something tells me I ought to enjoy them while I can.

I ended up relocating first thing Thursday morning. My new apartment is slightly closer to the pool and bus stop, and the general format is the same (third floor, three roommates). It's quieter, cleaner and generally more welcoming than the last one. I met a roommate from Japan who's name I can't quite recall, but I'm sure I'll see her again soon. 

This pond is full of the noisiest either frogs or bugs.
Really weird birds show up here, too.

So this is where I live now.

Most of Thursday afternoon was spent poolside. There are multiple pools with the multiple apartment complexes, and we all have access to all of them. This was is literally half a block from my new digs. It was just lovely! The pool itself was pretty darn cold though.
In the evening, Ashleigh, Laura (two other Canadians) and I headed Downtown Disney for dinner at the House of Blues. Spending all day in the sun makes us pretty ravenous...Try not to hate me (did I mention we get a discount at most restaurants? Yeah.).

Poolside view. That's Laura on the left.

We had to get a snack first. There's an AMC Downtown Disney.
(Ashleigh and Laura)

The first restaurant where we exploited our Cast Member discount.

I woke up later this morning and four of us Canadians (Laura, Ashleigh, Chelsea and I) headed to Walmart. It seem to take a lot of things to make us feel at home, but the #1 thing has got to be cleanliness. All the Canadians so far have moved in and wanted to clean straight away. 
A few hours this afternoon were spent poolside again, until the sky clouded up in a very ominous way, so we packed up. Ashleigh and I had to brush up on our ironing skills to look professional for Traditions tomorrow. I unpacked completely this evening and chatted a bit with my new Italian roommate, Gaia. I am now off to bed, as I have an early morning and a long day ahead of me.


Note: When it comes to the Disney International Program, no one is fired, they are "terminated", and no one quits, they "self-terminate". You just learned something!

Thanks to: Laura for helping me move, and Mackenzie who's going to send me mail.

OH! My address is available to anyone who wants it, but I feel weird about posting it. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

No Matter How your Heart is Grieving, If You Keep on Believing

...The dreams that you wish will come true.

I missed a few days. 

Here's what happened: Mom and I had a day of downtime in Orlando, which was mostly spent poolside. Win. 

I moved into my apartment at noon the next day and was really shocked because it was not what I was expecting at all. I got assigned to a residence consisting of about thirty buildings called The Commons. At the moment, I appear to have three roommates, one girl from Japan and two from Norway, and they've all lived in this unit for at least the last six months. It's weird. Mom and I took a trip to Downtown Disney to help me recover. 

Downtown Disney
My mom's a pirate!

The first piece in my lightsaber collection. 

This morning I woke up at the crack of 0700 after not much sleep for the first day of real Disney training. This morning, all the new Cultural Representatives met at the Commons Clubhouse for a morning of paperwork and talks about security and rules and housing. We had the briefest of lunch breaks before we got on a bus to the Vista Way Welcome Center, where we did more paperwork (I got a handwritten Disney nametag, that was rather exciting), and got electronically assigned to our rooms, and got our travel ID photos taken. This is for taking the shuttles to and from parks and malls and Walmart, etc. 

I'm smiling twice! My first piece of Disney ID!

Then we got on yet another bus to the Casting Center, somewhere within the Disney World walls, where we did rounds of immigration papers and visa stuff and got a chat on the Disney look. I'm obviously fine in the Disney look department.

Golden character pillars in the Casting Building

Me, Chelsea and Laura at the Casting Center

My plans for the evening included dinner at Oliver Garden (you're jealous) with two other Canadian girls, Chelsea and Laura, and tonight Chelsea and I took the monorail several times and eventually wandered around the Polynesian Resort.

Polynesian Resort!
After this, we found a beach and a luau. Really. 

It has been a very long day, but I have the next two off before Traditions on Saturday. 


Note: For those of you wondering if I get an axe as a lumberjack, the answer is most definitely no. No fake or real weapons allowed!

Thanks to: One of the English boys for a brief discussion of Doctor Who and multiple proper British pronunciations of TARDIS.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Life's an Easy Road, With Someone Beside You to Share the Load

Epic American Road Trip, the thrilling conclusion!

We left South Carolina very late by our standards (It was 0900) after a huge breakfast and way too many cups of our preferred caffeine source (seriously, you ask for tea or coffee, they bring you a carafe - very counterproductive to road travel). We had sunny but very windy weather through the rest of SC, as well as through Georgia and into Florida, but we finally made it!

Georgia Welcome Center
Free peaches weren't on their minds...

That's Spanish moss above me.
Despite the facial expression, I was very excited to see it.

Karen (my GPS, for anyone who doesn't know) brought us right to our hotel and past multiple exciting billboards. I have a feeling I'm extremely close to where I'll be living for the next year of my life.

View from hotel window.
There's also a hot tub you can't see. Glorious!

I have no idea what we're supposed to do tomorrow, since I can't check in to my new home til Tuesday at noon. I think mom actually wants to hit up a Disney about that? If we go, we'll have to pay full price like suckers (no Disney discounts til next weekend).


Note: The science nerd in me can't get over the bizarre tree population. What isn't a palm tree is an evergreen, and what isn't an evergreen is covered in Spanish moss. Does not compute.

Thanks to: My mom for accompanying me on this epic American road trip!