Saturday, 6 October 2012

Ever Just the Same, Ever a Surprise

It's been a busy week of celebrations and lasts here in Lumberjack land.
Monday, October 1st, was Epcot's 30th anniversary, as well as the first weekend of the Food & Wine Festival. The promenade was insanity. To make matters worse, cast members were given super special edition 30th pins to wear on our lanyards to trade with guests. The keen pin-traders somehow found out, and were stalking us for most of the day - my first pin was gone within a minute and a half of being onstage. Ridiculous. 
Happy birthday Epcot!
I plan to look better than you at 30.
I abandoned Epcot on its 30th to go play at Magic Kingdom with Lesley. Storybook Circus is now completely open, and has a literal Big Top in the form of its merchandise location, as well as character meet and greet spots. We watched cast members make caramel corn and then got to test it to make sure it wasn't poisoned. The jury's still out on that one.
On Tuesday I was feeling less than magical, so Lesley and I went to the Cheesecake Factory (I had to prove that it sells more than cheesecake) at the Mall at Millenia, aka fanciest mall on the planet. We wandered around Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's like we belonged there but felt the need to whisper. 
We went back to Magic Kingdom for the day on Wednesday, as I had heard that play-testing was happening for Enchanted Tales with Belle, an attraction in the highly anticipated New Fantasyland. We stalked the doors to the Fantasyland expansion and literally jumped off of the carousel to get in. Totally worth it. We saw Belle and Maurice's cottage and Maurice's workshop, which contains a magic mirror which transports guests to Beast's castle, where guests surprise Belle with a re-enactment of how Belle and the Beast met. You're darn right we participated all four times we went through. We're the best laughing portraits ever!
Maurice and Belle's cottage, with chicken and goat prints in the queue.
Here's where she meet Prince Charming,
but she won't discover that it's him til chapter three
(The corner's been bitten off by a sheep).
I'm way taller than Belle ever was.
Those measurements are in 'ans' not 'years', by the way.
On Thursday, a very special guest speaker who owns a restaurant on Disney's Board Walk came to speak at the Commons. You might know her, the sole female Iron Chef on Iron Chef, Cat Cora! Was at the Commons (where I live)! So exciting. After lining up for an hour, we got an hour long Q&A with her, as well as a brief cooking demo, free food and a photo/autograph opp. She's tiny 
in real life. And adorable.
Me and Cat Cora! She's sitting, but on a tall chair. 
 In the evening, I dragged fellow lumberjack Zach to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal in the pouring rain. We persevered through seven of the eight haunted houses, as well as Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween adventure (it's a show) and it did eventually stop raining so we could "enjoy" Universal's scare-acters, who are really really good at their jobs. 
Friday I was back to work in little Canada, but in the evening I went to little Italy with Lesley, Rhys, Caro, Eileen and Laura (I was the sole merch lumberjack) to celebrate the end of Lesley's program. Good food, good company, good times! Then I celebrated Anastasia's 21st birthday with the merchies.
Lesley and I at Via Napoli with dessert menus.
It's a good combination.
Today I misread my schedule and showed up to work work a whopping 2.5 hours early, but luckily was allowed to start that much earlier, as well as end substantially earlier than I should have. I went to Hollywood Studios with (surprise) Lesley. We managed to get some six FastPasses to Rock'n Roller Coaster, went on it once, and it broke down. Womp womp.
Tomorrow, back to the grind, and if anyone wants to give me material to feed guests regarding Canadian aka real Thanksgiving, I'd be glad to have it. 


Note: We sell the ever-coveted ketchup chips in the Trading Post now. Someone tell me something good about ketchup chips. 

Thanks to: Tom, for not making me hang out at the park for 2.5 hours this morning, and the random dude at Hollywood Studios who gave us FastPasses this evening. Probable cast member, you made so much magic. 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Boys and Girls of Every Age, Wouldn't You Like to See Something Strange?

Who's ready for more mildly entertaining lumberjack adventures?
This Friday was supposed to be my Saturday, but I volunteered (to get paid) to work a shift "super greeting" (here at Disney, we don't just greet)/ merchantaining at Mouse Gear, the biggest in-park merchandise location in Disney World, which conveniently is located in Epcot. That morning marked the release of some of the limited edition Epcot 30th anniversary merchandise, including special Duffy plush, pins, shot glasses/toothpick holders, iPhone cases (only 300 of each style), lanyards and so many tees. Mouse Gear had representatives from Italy, Canada, the American Adventure, Germany, Norway and the African Outpost on hand to wrangle guests into the appropriate queues and entertain them with Epcot trivia during the wait. I learned people are crazy about limited edition merchandise. And Epcot. Who knew? I also learned how to navigate the tunnels under Mouse Gear, at least slightly so I didn't get lost.
Jenna and I super greeting like bosses with new friends from Germany and Mouse Gear.
That's a (crazy) Guest's pin-trading Duffy bear.
Saturday was another day of voluntary overtime, as I worked a whopping (for merch) 11 hours. The park is open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays during Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, although the booths shut at their normal time. We just get an hour extra to sell Glow products and tell people that IllumiNations doesn't start until 10. The opening weekend of Food & Wine also coincided with a really gross late summer heat which has reminded me of I don't want to be here during the summer anymore.
Tonight I got an ER from my shift to hit Downtown Disney with long lost awesome girl Megan. It's Frankenweenie weekend DT Disney, meaning in addition to 3D showings of Alice in Wonderland and Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack and Sally were on hand to meet and greet guests...if you chose to wait in the enormous and ridiculous line. It's the first time the pair has even been at Disney World.
Megan and I at the Holland Pet Cemetary photo spot DT Disney.
We chose not to wait, but instead enjoyed the last day of the 50% discount at Bongo's Cuban Cafe (owned by Gloria Estefan, y'all) and went to see Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D. There's a very real chance it became a sing-along. At least to me. I'm not sorry, Megan.


Note: This is how I've been spending most of my free time lately. I'm still getting over a cold or whatever, so I hang with the plush collection watching Doctor Who a lot more than I care to admit.
We're all riveted by the eleventh Doctor.

Thanks to: Angela, Randy, Sam, Isabelle and my mom for the mail this week. Thank you all so much!