Tuesday, March 2, 2010

it's like I disappeared!!!

And with magic... anything is possible, right??

So, I spent two months not posting. Actually, I was deliberating AVOIDING posting. Because I didn't know what I wanted to say, and I really, really am not good at blogs. At all. Used to be... but now I'd rather talk to SOMEONE instead of just... the internet. So for any of you that do actually read or check up and wonder where I am... I apologize. haha

2010 has been great so far. I am working as an Attractions hostess... or Tour Guide, rather-- at the Magic of Disney Animation "Tour." When I applied for my extension, I specifically requested to move to this attraction. It has a special place in my heart (or at least where it is and what it used to be), and I was SO thrilled to be transferred over.

There are so many great things about my new role. I love Attractions... I think QSFB is one of the hardest jobs on property, so I am relieved to be doing something different. The Drawn to Animation show is a toss-up. Sometimes, it's really fun-- if you have a great audience, they appreciate it, you haven't done it a billion times already, etc. But at the same time, it's like acting out the same nine-minute scene over and over and over again... and if you get people that sit in there and sleep, or those that just stare at you and don't laugh at anything... well. It's no fun for me either!! I am in contact with our Guests allll day long, and I end up saying the saaaame things over and over again. But that's what I'm here for-- to repeat myself a thousand times a day, to clarify the awful Studios map, and to try to help Guests understand our poorly designed attraction.

(Now, an aside: coming from a Communication Design background, there is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with poorly designed and unresolved communication issues. I have never seen Guests so constantly befuddled and confused about where they are going and what they are doing. I pity them, and wish that I had the power to improve it or remove it, you know? So. frustrating.)

Overall, though, I work with some great people. Everyone has crazy personalities, which gives me plenty to laugh about throughout the day. We're a bunch of characters, that's for sure. SPEAKING OF... we get visits from characters almost every day, and I still get excited to see them. I don't think that's ever goin to change. haha :)

Anyway, this has been a quick, casual post. I'm sending lots of love from Disney World... miss all my friends and my family!!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

time flies...

A few months ago, I felt like the semester would never end. Two weeks felt like two years, and as I still tried to wrap my head around the fact that I was thousands of miles from my family and everything that I knew, it seemed like I would never get settled. What I've realized, I think, is that everything is so transient right now... where I am, what I'm doing, who I know... and one day, settling down in one place is going to be so great.

I was lucky enough to have my family visit me last week over Christmas. And when I say lucky, I mean... blessed, elated, so happy! We had a fabulous time... even though Dad ran us ragged through the parks every day. (I'm pretty sure we would've been fine without going a day or two the whole week... but it made him happy, I guess.) It was hard to let them leave, or not to leave with them, but I have things to finish here. If not to find a position in the creative dept, to keep putting one foot in front of another and not give up until I can't go anymore.

That being said, I guess it's a good time to let everyone know that I am sticking around, at least until May 14. While I wasn't accepted for any of the Professional Internships I applied for, my application to extend my program was accepted. And while it's not the most ideal — I would've liked to at least move up just a little — it's something. So I'm going to stick to it for now, ride it out, and see how it goes. Maybe being at Hollywood Studios next semester will offer different opportunities.

Yep, I'm headed to DHS. I think I will be at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Car Stunt Show. Exciting, right? I hope I get earplugs with my costume. It's not my favorite attraction over there, but I'm not complaining. I'm going to see how it goes, and realize that other than working outdoors all day, there are a lot of pros about it that might make it all worth it.

So, until then... and until I can remember that I have a blog I need to update... thanks for reading. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

my favorite show

“You see, it’s just like I told ya!
Wishes can come true, if you believe in them with all your heart. And the best part is, you'll never run out of wishes! They're shining deep down inside of you. 'Cause that, my friends, is where the magic lives.”

–Jiminy Cricket

Wishes, the fireworks show that happens (almost) nightly at the Magic Kingdom, is my favorite show. It has been since I first saw it... and I love working nights when I can hear the soundtrack in the restaurant. One of my absolute favorite things to do here is to be out in the middle of the park to see Wishes (it's a lot easier when you're just one or two adults and can duck in at the last minute). Not only do I love the show, but I love being there with all of our Guests as they see Tinkerbell fly, and hear Jiminy talk to everybody about having dreams and wishing that they will come true.

Yep, there are tears in my eyes every time... it reminds me why I'm here, and why I'm working so hard to be here. Here are the song lyrics... but I truly hope that all of you can come stand with me in front of Cinderella's castle one night, and be swept up in the magic of it all with me.


Music composed by Gregory Smith

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish, I wish tonight.

Ohh, a world of wishes,
A world where dreams come true.
So make a wish, see it through.
Dare to do what dreamers do.

Wishes... dream a dream.
Wishes... set it free.
Wishes… trust your heart.
Just believe!

We’re all just children,
Reaching for our dreams.
They’re shining high above us,
And even though it seems so far (so far)
We put our faith and hope on a shooting star.

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight.
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish, I wish tonight.
We’ll make a wish and do as dreamers do.

And all our wishes,
Will come

Friday, September 25, 2009

One Month Anniversary!

One month ago, I was checking into the program and getting keys to my apartment. It was the last time I saw my Mom, as I dropped her at the airport. And it was the beginning of (at least) a semester's worth of experience and adventure.

I am doing well, just working a lot and trying to take baby steps to doing something worthwhile. I'm working in Magic Kingdom Restaurant Operations, at a quick-service restaurant in Tomorrowland. Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe is host to a stage show by the outer-space star Sonny Eclipse, who performs... perpetually. haha We also have three different bays and twelve registers, seating 1162 guests at a time — but not including those that can't find a place to sit and take food to go. Overall, we have around 300 employees at our location, nearly 100 are College Program participants (that's me!), and we are THE largest grossing quick-service location in any of the Disney parks, in the United States, and the third-largest grossing in the WORLD — topped only by two McDonald's, one outside of St. Petersburg Square in Russia and one in Hong Kong, China. The reason they beat us? They are open 24 hours a day.

Here's me at work, a picture taken by my roommates who stopped by while playing on their day off:

Anyway, that's about it for now. I'm doing fine — a little under the weather lately, but I'm hoping to be better to work tomorrow. I'm also doing an okay job impressing my managers with my attitude at work and following The Basics, or the Disney standards for employees. One thing at time! It is just so hard to believe that it has only been four and a half weeks!

Hope you all are well... I am missing you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

alright, so it has been awhile

This is the first night that I got off after midnight. It was about 1:45 am by the time I got to clock out, and 2:30 before I got back to my apartment. Now, it's nearly 3 am and I am not at all sleepy. Must be magic...

I do realize I have a lot to update about... So much has happened since my Traditions class! I have wanted to write, and postponed it... and then not wanted to write, because I didn't feel like it... and on and on.

Anyway—my job is a hard one. I think everyone that is working here would tell you that their job is the hardest, or the most pressured, or the worst to have, etc. It reminds me every time about how often we feel entitled to things today, and how quickly we rule out jobs for ourselves because we are "too good" for them. I know that there are jobs out there that I would love to do... but I am also realizing that all too often, we have to start over completely in order to convince people of our usefulness. If I could walk around telling everyone what I am good at, and have them trust my every word, I would have nothing to prove... nothing to earn. And, I suppose, as hard and painful work as it is sometimes, I am part of a team. And while I already know how to BE part of a team, I'm proving that I can. I'm also going to prove that I won't quit when I start something, that I'll do what is asked of me and be dependable, and that I'll smile through things that may be uncomfortable, boring, or even painful. (Being on my feet for so long every day is teaching me a lesson in endurance as well!)

And one day, I hope and pray with all my heart... I'll get the chance to prove that I can be a part of a team that doesn't just excel at guest service—but a team that is imaginative, that brainstorms and creates... I'll be able to prove that I can contribute well to an environment like that, to a group of like-minded people, and be part of creating the happiness and entertainment that this company is all about.

As far as how everything is really going, logistically, I suppose... things are good. My feet hurt, but I try to remember how insignificant that pain is in the scheme of things. I should hold my tongue, for I am grateful for so many blessings, and the opportunity I have to be here. (Eventually, I'll know what to do with it, for real!) My roommates are great, and I love being with them and coming home to my apartment. That, in itself, is one of the greatest blessings I know I have. We have done many, many fun things on our time off that I will try to share when I can. And those days off help make all the hard work worth it.

I'm still reading Walt's biography... and will probably reread it as soon as I finish. There are times during the day when I'm just standing around, feeling like I'm wasting my time, or sweating as I shovel ice into coolers, or losing my mind while I try to count how many grapes go with which kid's meal and whether or not everything made it to the tray while making small talk with guests at the counter... and I really want to roll my eyes or grimace as my feet throb... I wonder if my manager knows someone that might be able to help me in my career, or if the dad I'm handing food to might be my next boss, or if someone who could help me out is watching how I talk to guests. And then I think to myself, "If Walt could walk in right now (as he did so many times at Disneyland), would he be happy with the job I am doing?"

Sure, call it corny, whatever you want. But I want the answer to be yes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My first day... my hire date!

Today was my first day as a Cast Member of the Walt Disney World Company. I am so excited to say that! And so proud to work for a company that has such incredible business philosophies and enthusiasm for making magic.

Me and my roommate on the SUPER EARLY bus:

Yes, my hair was still wet, but it was DARK outside, and we were styling the Disney Look to a T!

Everything that I learned this morning at Traditions did exactly what I'm sure they hoped it would — it told me about what the Disney company is really about. We covered the past, the present, and the future of the Company, and where we fit into the magic. Because really, that's what it's all about. And that's what is so awesome!! It was really neat to realize how HUGE the Company is, and how many different areas, initiatives, departments, and programs are involved in making it what it is today. There is so much involved in relaying the business structure and missions, but it is all done so well and with such enthusiasm, that it even makes orientations seem almost... magical!

There was so much about today that made it so exciting to know that you are joining THE Cast. There are 7,000 of us in the College Program, living on property. But altogether, the Walt Disney World Resort has over 65,000 cast members onstage every day!! And hundreds of thousands of guests visiting every day, to celebrate and to experience the magic.

Mostly, though, I am so excited to be working for the company that came from everything that Walt Disney was about. It is so incredible to see and hear so much about how the company is the same, and goes back to what Walt would have wanted. If only he could be here! But his spirit surely is, and his imagination, vision, creativity, integrity, and enthusiasm live on in the everyday workings of the Walt Disney Company.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

no passes... but we can still play!

It was a day to settle in, or at least that is what I'm sure the Housing team intended when they gave us our second day off. Instead, we took off for the Grand Floridian for lunch at Gasparilla, a counter service where we could see Cinderella's Castle out the window, just across the water! It was delicious, and so exciting!

Then we jumped on the monorail for a ride past Magic Kingdom (even though we couldn't get in yet), and stopped at the Contemporary to look around. We played in the arcade, got awesome nylon bracelets with our winnings, and did some window shopping. Ten points if you can find the five-legged goat in the mural above! haha :)

On our way back, we thoroughly enjoyed our walk through the Grand Floridian, including entertainment by my roommates on the grandiose stairs of the lobby. So hilarious! We practiced our Disney "point" by pretending we were giving each other directions, laughed so hard I couldn't breathe, stood around listening to the incredible "orchestra" band that plays over the lobby of the GF, and tried to take in the scenery as much as we could.

Later, we did some grocery shopping in a thunderstorm, and stocked up our little kitchen with all sorts of good stuff. All in all, a really great day of adventure, even without passes to the parks!