Friday, August 12, 2011

See Ya Real Soon!

My summer program is officially over. Wednesday was my last night of work (and for many other people as well) Tonight we all went out to Ale House to hang out and have a good time. There are so many people leaving. I am going seasonal, so I know I will be seeing many again but there are a few that I probably will not.

After I got home tonight I read all the pages that everyone had signed in my autograph book, and cried, everyone had said such wonderful things to me, I am glad I had made an impact on them. I was only here for such a short time this summer, yet I feel like I have made friends to last a lifetime.

My one roommate Christine has already left early because of some health issues, So it has just been Katelyn and Kristyn and I. It is so strange to think that 3 months ago I had never met them in person, and had just decided that I would be their 4th roommate. Now I cannot imagine my life without them. They have extended their programs and will be staying until January now. I was offered an extension but I decided I needed to return to school this semester.

I have been moved to Seasonal status, so I will be returning again to work a few weeks this year. I am sad that this chapter of my Disney journey is over, but I know that it has opened the door for me and has really given me a chance to re-evaluate what I want to do with my life. Pursuing a career with the Walt Disney Company is my Dream, and after all this is "Where Dreams Come True"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Deployment - Round Two

So I was deployed again last week, and this time I actually enjoyed it. This time I was sent to Hollywood Studios to work at Rock around the Shop (the gift store for Rockin Roller Coaster, Starring Areosmith) and Tower Gifts (the gift store for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror)

Let's look at the costumes shall we?

This is the one for Rockin Rollercoaster
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And this is the one for Tower of Terror
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I think I liked working at these locations because they were a lot of fun. Rockin Rollercoaster had Aerosmith playing in the shop, granted the same 5 songs on repeat, but still much better than the music at my location. I even found myself singing along "And I don't wanna miss a thinggg" but hey I wasn't the only one singing! What I enjoyed most about these locations was working at the photo counter where you could purchase your ride photo. It was fun to do those and I saw some really hilarious pictures from Tower of Terror!

The themeing at Tower of Terror is incredible! When you get off the ride the photo area looks like it could be a front desk and then there are several door that say they go to "The Sunset Room" but really it is just our stock room.

Also the breakroom is inside the tower upstairs. It's decorated pretty cool and the walls actually vibrate from the attraction going up and down the elevator shafts.

Probably one of the coolest things was the night my friend and I were assigned to take out the garbage and cardboard. It was a long walk to where the dumpsters were so we were unhappy about it. So we are walking back there and we could see the fireworks from Fantasmic! I wish I could have gotten a Fantasmic shift while I was there (since other deployed people from my location got one) But I was happy working where I was.

I guess deployment really depends on the location you get, because I really enjoyed these two locations and I would love to work there again sometime.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Lets talk about being deployed. Being deployed means you are scheduled to work in a location other than your normal location. There are 2 reasons why you could be deployed.

1. The location you are being deployed to is short on people. This most often occurs during special events like Star Wars Weekends, Food and Wine and Flower and Garden.

2. Your location does not have hours to give you because they are over staffed. For College Program we are guaranteed to be scheduled 30 hours minimum, so if your location cannot give you those 30 hours you are deployed somewhere else.

Last week I was deployed to Tren-D a SMALL clothing store at Downtown Disney. I was deployed for the second reason, which is worse in my opinion because that location didn't really need me either.

I did not like being Deployed, one reason was since they didn't need me I kept getting assigned tasks like "Stock and organize shoes" or "Restock register supplies". I did this almost for every shift. Only once during the week did I get to be on register, so I was really bored. Also I didn't know where anything was in the store so I was always confused!

I did get to wear a sort of cute costume though, and here it is

I was very happy to be back at Mouse Gear this week though, and I hope I don't have to be deployed again!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Behind the scenes tour of The Haunted Mansion

From time to time they offer a behind the scenes tour of the Haunted Mansion to Cast Members. Space is very limited as they only take about 10 to 15 people on the tour. I wanted to do the tour on my last program but I never got the chance. Well this time I did. We weren't allowed to take pictures on the tour, so I don't have any to share.

The tour is at 7am while the park is empty of guests, and it was a walking tour of the attraction. We got to walk through the entire ride with the lights on and really look at all the details. There are so many things that you never even notice because of how dark it is and because the cars are moving. But if the ride needs to be evacuated then the lights come on and guests would be able to see everything, so it needs to be complete.

So we walked through and our guide showed us how the effects worked and shared some interesting facts. For example in the room where they have all the staircases only 1 staircase is real on each side, and all the rest are just from a mirror behind it. And they can change the size of the footprints that appear on the staircases, so one day they might be really big and the next really small.

We also got to go into the Ballroom, the scene with all the ghosts is really just one big special effect. If you have been on the ride you know you are looking down into the ballroom from above. Well the audio animatronic figures are actually located in the space below and above the track, and large pieces of glass separate the ballroom and the figures. What you are seeing is the reflection of the figures on the glass. Many of the figures are also in the Pirates of the Carribean ride and if you look closely you will see that the ghost in the rocking chair is the grandma from the Carousel of Progress. It was really cool to go into the actual ballroom and walk around inside.

The graveyard scene was also neat to walk through, we got to pet that little dog (whose name is Bones) and he even has a little dog treat in front of him. Finally the Hitchhiking Ghosts have the names of Gus, Ezra and Phineas. They originally were named The Prisoner, The Hitchhiker and The Traveler, but the CM's here at WDW came up with the other names. Guests would go to Disneyland and tell the CM's there that these where their names. Finally Walt Disney Imagineering came to WDW and asked about the names, and then changed the names offically. Now in all the Disney parks throughout the world they are known by the names that the FL CM's came up with.

Finally we went into one of the two stretching rooms to view that part of the ride. If you stay long enough after everyone leaves the Gargoyles in the room talk to you and giggle to eachother. Then the guide instructed us to lay on the floor and look up at the ceiling, so we did and she reset the room and made the ceiling come down. It was really strange to see the ceiling coming down at you.

It was a really cool tour and I was so glad I got to do it this time. I really learned a lot but there is only so much I can post on here because it is considered a "trade secret" or information that I'm not supposed to share. I'm hoping to take another backstage tour before I leave, but we will have to see.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Working and more working!

Since I've been finished with training I have been working a crazy amount of hours. Like 11 hour shifts and 6 days a week! One of the leaders told me it is because we are in between College Program groups and people are leaving before new people are coming in. So hopefully once we get some more CP's I won't have to work 53 hour work weeks!

I work almost every night until 12am or 2am on Tuesdays for Extra Magic Hours. Now I know what you are thinking "But doesn't Epcot close at 9?" and yes you would be correct. This is how a typical night goes. At 9pm the fireworks start and they finish by 9:20. As everyone rushes out of the park they stroll right past our store and think "Oh hey, I wanted to buy an Epcot shirt!" or "Aww crap I forgot to buy something for so and so" Which is why we stay open. Guests shop in the store until around 10:30-10:45pm, and we begin to close the registers at that time, so by the time 10:30 rolls around there is only one person on register. Everyone else has a closing assignment.

Closing Assignments vary and of course some are better than others. Jewelry, no thanks, all those earring and necklaces and charms to organize. Souvenirs is another one you don't want to get stuck with because its all key chains, magnets, postcards, basically small things that people don't put back where they belong. Any of the softlines (clothing) isn't too bad. Toys is ok too. Consumables can be a pain in the butt because you have to clean up a lot of stuff. Home Dec is my favorite because the stock room is right through a door in the area, the other stock is backstage or downstairs and sometimes you have to go to multiple places to find what you need. Home Dec is pretty easy, you just refill the displays and organize things.

Closing assignments take until ten of 12 or 2 and then we have a meeting where we talk about our sales for the day, share guest stories and have other announcements. Then it is time to clock out!!

I'm pretty much always on register, which I don't mind, It really makes the shifts go by faster, but I could also be scheduled as floorstock sometime.

Our location is getting new costumes starting June 12th. So tomorrow I have to go to Costuming to get fitted for my new one. I'm sort of annoyed because everyone got to go while they are at work, but since costuming closes at 6pm I have to go before my shift starts.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Earning My Ears!

So now that I have finished training and have my first week of work out of the way I figured it was time for an update.

For Training at Mouse Gear on Day 1 I got my costume, which isn't really that bad, that took a long time because the sizes on the clothes aren't the same as regualr clothing. But after trying on several sizes and lengths of pants I found some that sort of fit alright. Then the trainer showed me how to walk to our location and also explained how the Cast Bus works. At Epcot there are 2 buses, East and West. East goes to the front gate and the access to the tunnel, West goes all around the World Showcase. The tunnels at Epcot are not really like the ones at Magic Kingdom. It doesn't go all around the park it is pretty much a straight line under Future World. In the Tunnels is where my locker and breakroom is.

Mouse Gear is actually 3 floors. There is the tunnel level which is where most of our stock is kept and then the 2nd floor has a small stock room and the sales floor area. The 3rd floor is where the manager's office and the Money Room is. It is the 3rd largest store in WDW, and it can get pretty crazy in there.

The next training day was called "Discovery Day" and that was where we walked around the park and they showed us where things were. We also watched a video about how Walt's original plans for FL and Epcot were greatly different from how they are today. We did get to go on Spaceship Earth, and we rode on one of those boats around the World Showcase Lagoon and they talked about each of the pavilions.

The next training day I had to Re-take Merchantainment, which is Disney Speak for learning how to run the register. I was pretty bored since I had already done this class once and hadn't forgotten the information.

Day 3 of Training was where I actually got to use the register and do transactions. Pretty Easy. On Day 4 we learned how to do the Embroidery on the Mickey Ears hats. I actually liked doing it, and it was pretty easy. Then we took our assessment I got a 98 on the Hat Stitching and a 100 on the Merchandise test! The trainer said not very many people get 100 on it!

I had a day off and then I had to work 11 hour shifts on Friday Saturday and Sunday. Probably because it is Memorial Day weekend. I really don't like those really long shifts, since the store is pretty busy the day goes by fast, but by the end of the 3rd day I was really feeling run down. I'm scheduled mostly nights for the next two weeks with shifts ending at midnight or 2 am.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Arrival Day, Casting, Traditions

So now that I finally have internet access I can update. Arrival day went really smoothley on Monday. I met up with Christine, Katelyn and Kristyn at Waffle House at 7:30am to eat breakfast. I didn't want to really eat that much because I was nervous and didn't want to feel sick. I really wish I had eaten more though because later on I was starving.

So we checked in and got in line together since we wanted to live together. I took everyone's program guides and waited in line to see about our apartment while they waited off to the side. So I told the lady we wanted a 2 bedroom at Vista, and she said she didn't have any!! I asked her if there were any 2 bedrooms at the other complexes and she said she was looking. Then she said there was a 2 bedroom at Vista but it was a Non-Wellness (Meaning you can drink Alcohol in the apartment.) We needed Wellness because Kristyn is not 21 until June. She said she could switch it for me! So we got our 2 bedroom! The Apartment is really nice, I will post pictures of it later once we get everything put away.

Then we went to casting to fill out paperwork, be fingerprinted for the background check, get our payroll card and go over the Disney Look. I was sort of nervous that my hair would not be Disney Look. I have highlights but they lighter than they should be. I figured at Casting they would really scrutinize you more than at your location so I pulled my hair back and hoped they wouldn't notice. I was also worried that my fingernails were too long, but when we went in they barely even looked at us, and didn't ask to look at our nails. I guess they figured since we are alumni that we already know the drill.

On Tuesday we didn't have anything to do Katelyn and Kristyn and I went shopping at Target and Walmart. The car had so much stuff in it there was barely any room for Katelyn in the back seat. We ended up going back again because of all the stuff we forgot.

Yesterday, Christine and I were supposed to go to Traditions. Katelyn and Kristyn are Campus Reps and still actively employed by the company so they didn't need to go, so they got to go pick up their ID's and go play in the parks. So about an hour before we are going to leave Casting calls Christine and says that her background check didn't come back yet. She doesn't have anything against her but it is just taking forever. I heard that it happened to a few other people too. So I went to Traditions alone, and it was pretty much the same as it has always been. We were all alumni except for one girl! The people teaching Traditions kept really playing everything up for her.

Later on in the night we decided to go out to Buffalo Wild Wings, while we were leaving the complex we met the guys who just moved in for Fall Advantage directly below us. They were going to Buffalo Wild Wings too, and on the bus ride we met some guys who were going there too. We even sang Spice Girls for Karaoke and finished off the night with some Steak n Shake.

Tomorrow is my first day of Training at Epcot, which I think is weird because I don't have the park orientation until Sat?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm home

This song by Diddy - Dirty Money "Coming Home" really fits how I feel about returning to Disney.

"I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the World that I’m coming home"

This place was my home for 7 months and the experience had completely changed my life. When I went home I went through some really tough times, and this summer is a chance to start again. My Kingdom (The Magic Kingdom that is) has given me a chance to experience all of this again. I will leave this summer with no regrets.

I was nervous whether I was making the right choice to return, but as soon as I drove over the FL state line I knew that I made the right decision. This summer will hopefully be better than the last. I can't wait for this journey to begin again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time to leave!

It seems like it has been an eternity since I interviewed and accepted my offer, and tomorrow is the day I leave! I have everything all packed up in my car and I am ready to leave at around 5am tomorrow morning. I'm driving to my Nana's house in South Carolina and staying there until Saturday morning, then I will be driving to Florida and meeting up with my former roommate Layna. She still lives in Orlando so I will be crashing at her place and hanging out until my check in on Monday morning.

Someone had looked me up on the HUB and told me that I was going to be at World of Disney (the huge store at Downtown Disney) I was pretty excited since my roommate this time around, Katelyn, worked there and she told me all about it. But later on someone called me to talk to me about my medical accommodations and told me that I was going to be at MouseGears at Epcot.

I'm actually more excited for this location! It is the parks biggest store so it will be very busy, which will make shifts go by quickly. It is indoors, so I won't be out in the heat and the very best part is......CUTE FOREIGN BOYS! Epcot is where most of the international program kids work so "Hello, boys from around the world!"

Also I worked at a resort last time so it should be fun to work at one of the parks. Also if I remember correctly the costume isn't that bad either. I'm hoping to wear sneakers since last time I had to wear dress shoes, and my feet hurt from wearing flats everyday.

And now to finish off with a quote from one of my favorite Disney attractions, "The Carosaul of Progress" - 'There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day! There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Less than 2 months

In less than two months I will be back at Disney! I am excited and overwhelmed at the same time. I have been trying to find someone to sublet my apartment for the summer so I don't have to pay rent, but so far no luck. I might end up paying rent here as well.

I will be finished with finals on May 5th and then will be moving everything out of my apartment (since I'm living somewhere else next year) by May 8th. I need to work on May 9th and maybe the 10th.

I plan to leave on the 11th and drive to my Nana's house in South Carolina, Stay with her until the 14th and then drive the rest of the way to FL.

I have made plans to live with some pretty awesome girls. Katelyn, Kristyn and Christine. By the end of June we will all be 21, and we are all looking to just have an awesome summer. Christine was one of my roommates on my first program, but she ended up moving out because of issues in our apartment. But she is giving me a second chance (Not that I really caused the problems to begin with).

Anyways. I plan on making a list of things I want to do while I'm at Disney this time. One will be Drinking around the world at Epcot (Not all at once) and I want to go to Harry Potter World at Universal.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm going to Disney World! (Again)

After careful deliberation, I have accepted my offer for the 2011 Summer Alumni Program.

I'm very excited to go back as I truly loved my CP program in Spring 2010. I really hope this summer program is as much fun and that I get to meet even more awesome people.

One of the best parts is I can see some of my old friends! My former roommate Nicole will be doing Fall Advantage 2011 and she will be starting in May as well. And two of my other former roommates Layna and Amy live in FL, so I expect to see them as well!

All I know is this summer is going to be a blast!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I've been Accepted for the Summer Alumni Program for Merchandise! I thought I would be really excited because I really want to go back, but now I'm not really sure if I want to. I have a lot to think about when it comes to deciding if I want to go or not.

I have a lease here (I could try to sublet)
I would make more an hour at home
I wouldn't have to buy groceries if I was at my parents
Experience might not be the same, I'm in a different line of business this time

I loved my CP. I love Disney!
Even though I would make less per hour, there is more opportunity to work more hours and even overtime!
Living in beautiful Fl
Having free entry to Disney World!

I'm just not sure what to do. I have until March 3rd to make my decision.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Beginnings!

My College Program has been long over, and I have returned to school. I miss so much about working for Disney. I think the best part of working there was making the magic for the guests. Lot's of people have asked me about the program and every time I find myself talking about giving out "first visit" buttons or making "pop buckets" for guests.

I'd like to do the Fall Program but I would need to wait until after I graduate, because I can't fit it in again with my major. So this I have applied to the Summer Alumni Program for this Summer!!

I had my phone interview last Sunday. You have to go through all the steps for Summer Alumni as the regular program. I viewed the E-Presentation and did the web interview. During the phone interview the interviewer was like "Oh you are a former Cast Member?" and then she asked what I liked about the program and why I wanted to come back.

There are only certain roles available for the alumni program. Merchandise, Attractions, Custodial, Housekeeping and Quick Service Food and Beverage. I only applied for Merchandise and Attractions. I should know within 3 to 4 weeks if I have been offered a spot. Until then, fingers crossed!