Tags: magic kingdom

The Little Mermaid

The Happily Ever After

Well I guess the Journal deserves a conclusion of My Very Last Day/s, even if I would rather be back in Vista writing this. OK, so I'm currently able to use DECENT internet from my amazingly comfortable double bed, but right now I would give that, the bacon sandwiches, the roast I'm to have tonight, just to be back there for a little bit longer...

Still, I can't, so might as well get on with the update.

Wednesday: Last day at work! I did pretty much all my clothes packing, leaving my wardrobe depressingly empty, then got the F Bus in uniform for the Very Last Time. Got into work and had to exchange some presents so snuck out into Princess room to find Amy already finished and doing her present shopping, Jordan skiving off being a line guide, and Charlotte away from her register. The last day had officially begun. Did all my exchanges then went to pawn them off onto Amy so I didn't have to drag them to Buffalo's later that night. Got a fair few stickers from Charlotte then went to clock in for the Last Ever Time. Hung about in the break time for as long as possible before getting my last assignment, putting me in good old Carnival. Was working with Stewart at first, though, and then Marie, so that was cool. I think they were being nice to us on our last day, and not making us work with all the new CPs with all their questions. (Seriously, I know I'd worked with tills before so was slightly more used to the system, but they do seem to ask a ridiculous amount of questions with Very Obvious answers. There is No Need). Anyway few hours whizzed by as there was barely time to think- trade seems to have perked up again. Unfortunately this meant no time to make the most of it being our last day by doing naff all.

Then came break and my last trip to cast McDonalds for mm-mm Chicken Strips. My arteries are probably half as wide as when I started working here... Managed to stretch out breaktime over a good 45 minutes or so of break with Claire, Rachel, Krystina, Raul and later Artan all there. Most of whom were not actually on break. WOD really does suck your work ethic from you. Went back downstairs to be told by Ena that I was closing registers, which means I can't remember who my Last Guest Ever was, as I was more excited about going on break at the time and thought I'd be back on registers later. Still, time flies when you're closing so that was fine. Was really weird though as at one point I was out back counting registers then half of the ICP crew leaving came in to clock out. Charlotte was actually in tears, bless her. It was really, really surreal, watching them leave for the last time. And then all they got from a manager was 'well... good luck... been nice having you... we'll miss you... bye'. The other day Robert (another of the umpteen managers we have here) said good luck and bye to Ben and Jennifer who are leaving on Thursday. The looks exchanged between the rest of us could kill. I think he noticed. Oh well.

So, pulled a couple more registers and then the store proved too busy to take any more, so Lynette took me out back for my final evaluation. She was all like 'I can't believe you're going, I thought you had longer, etc', and then was really sweet about how well I'd done at the job, how good I was with guests, etc. I think she may have me confused with someone else, but not complaining as my overall evaluation came out as 'exceeds expectations', which is quite impressive considering my 45 minute breaks and Disney Expectations from customer service. I'll certainly be making sure future employers see it from now on anyway! (Also, how I got 'meets expectations' for attendance I'll never know considering I got my first reprimand for skiving on Sunday (4 days of in 30 days- you're allowed 3)... Although apparently only getting one reprimand is a pretty good achievement for ICPs, so score!)

Finally finished the day on doors in EDR (not quite as fun (or bad, depending on how you look at it) as being on doors in one of the other rooms as there are less people begging you to get in that you get to turn down for being so silly as to think that we'll make a special exception for them, and let them in 1 1/2 hours after store close. Read the opening times people!). Then Rachel and I both finished. Clocking out for the last time was weird. I printed off my last ever bump out slip, and the last ever picture of Mickey saying 'Thank you for helping make the magic', said goodbye to a few people, and then that was it. Out the door for the last time. Goodbye WOD. Much as I moaned about how much I couldn't be bothered with work, the hours, the guests... a lot of stuff... I'm really going to miss that place. Especially the people. But trying to put on a brave face, the two of us went off to Buffalo to meet up with the lucky ones who finished earlier. I was able to leave my sexy $20 Wal*Mart trainers in the Cast Building changing room which felt a little weird. Had to pay $10 to get into Buffalo because we're u-21 for ONE HOUR of bar time left. I hate being under 21- one plus about being back in the UK I suppose. Buffalo was much fun, with pretty much all of the work crew being there, and Charlotte and Amy dancing along to Spice Up Your Life... a good way to finish our last night as Disney Cast Members. Went home to Vista on the F bus for the last time, said goodbye to Darren, which was weird as it didn't feel like a 'we may never see you again' type goodbye at all, more of a 'we'll see you tomorrow, but say nice things right now anyway'. Sad though, as while he's a Brit at heart, he now goes to university in Utah so we're pretty much guaranteed to never see him again. I hate goodbyes.

Thursday morning came all too soon. Picked up our Last Ever Paychecks bright and early (I got up at 8 to do this. 8. Ridiculous) then went to cast them at Vista Credit Union. Got a nice amount of money. However, most of this went on last minute purchases, as our (Heather, Charlotte T's, mine and Alicia's, anyway) next stop was Magic Kingdom to soak up the atmosphere one last time. Went on the front seat of the monorail, naturally, got another co-pilot's license (I'll be a fully fledged monorail driver one day), and then roamed the Kingdom. First we got photos taken infront of the castle- the obligatory Tinkerbell in hand photo (which they must have suddenly just made possible for everyone again, as up until recently you had to beg them to do it for you), and then a photo of us jumping outside the castle which has to be my favourite photo of the entire trip. One of the photopass people even commented on how cute an idea it was when we went to get them printed off afterwards. Maybe I have a new career ahead in photopass photography? Actually, that would be pretty cool. Now all I need is my green card.

We then went to Pinnochio's Village House for some pizza (SO good), then went to Toontown to see if the photos had come out yet. They hadn't. Went to Tomorrowland so Alicia could get her book back from her workmates (it's like a tradition to buy an autograph book and get all your friends to write in it so you can read back over their messages and tear up in years to come). We then backtracked to Fantasyland for a round on the teacups, some of Mrs. Pott's ice-cream, and Philharmagic as our Last Ride, which signalled the start of the last day tears. We then went to Fronteirland, where Heather sent Alicia into Splash to buy her some Splash Mountain pyjamas (she worked in the photo shop there, and didn't want to go in herself and have to say goodbye again, understandably). Then it was a last look at Fronteirland before we made our way to Main Street (ie The Emporium) and did some last minute shopping both there and in the photopass shop. And then it was time to go. By this time we were running later that we'd intended, and had graduation in two hours, so decided to get a taxi as the A bus can take an hour to get us home and much changing and preparing was needed for our last night together! So we got back to Vista quickly enough and it was time for a quick shower and general change, before heading off to the Commons for our Graduation.

Graduation basically involved getting our social security numbers, a certificate, free drinks and of course OUR GRADUATION EARS/ meeting Graduation Mickey. But after that we felt a bit crowded, so after much photo taking we decided it was about time to head off to Magic Kingdom. Got ourselves to Chatham to find an A Bus waiting, and a whole crew- people I haven't seen properly since the airport, etc- got on it. We got to Magic Kingdom just in time for Spectro, but seeing as none of us are really fans of that parade we made the most of it by using the time to get our names embroided (for free- they must've lost so much profit that night!) on the back of our hats, get some more photopass photos/ fudge/ ice cream, etc. And then it was time to get into position for Wishes...

My God, I know Wishes makes you cry, but not that much. At first it was a few tears trickling down my face. But then that damn Hercules song started playing. I can go the distance. And that was it. We (well, Charlottes I and T, myself and Alicia- Heather and other Charlotte (these were the only members of the group we hadn't managed to lose by this point!- were stoical and just watched the fireworks, goddam them) were pretty much hysterical. Really, really sad. And then we all split up for a last time as Charlotte I wanted some photos infront of the castle, but Charlotte T wanted some last minute gifts, so we headed our separate ways, myself with Charlotte T. We made our way through the Emporium for the last time, and then ended up in the centre of Town Square, right at the bottom of Main Street. And for ages we just stood there, silent, staring at the castle at the top of main street, where it all began. It was just too hard to turn around quite yet. But eventually, and strangely in unison (it really was a very surreal night) we made our way out under the railroad for the very last time, back to the reality of the joyless queue to get out of the park. Our very last monorail ride to the TTC, our very last A Bus (and any bus) trip home, and a silent walk back to our apartments. I then sat in my apartment for ages, not wanting it to be the next day because that meant it was time to go home. Unfortunately the need for sleep eventually won out, and bedtime it was.

Friday rolled around. I got up early, did my last minute packing in a mad rush. Cleaned out the apartment and was informed that our transport had arrived an hour early, which made the rush even madder. Then people started leaving our apartment so it was a huge last hug goodbye, which was horrible, and then another dash around to make sure we had everything. Said goodbye to my sexy costume, then had a last look around 3408 before dragging our suitcases to the clubhouse- a much easier task than the first time as I'd swapped the broken ones with the parentals for working ones when they'd visited. And then it was our final goodbyes with those who were going on later flights or off visiting other areas of the country- the Amys, Karen, Kate, Charlotte I. That was horrible, especially Amy considering how much time we've spent together both in and out of WOD the last few weeks. And then it was time to leave Vista for the very last time :(

Thankfully, for us checking in went smoothly. I feel so sorry for anyone who was supposed to be on the later Gatwick flight as it was delayed for 24 hours because of technical faults- pretty shocking for a major company like Virgin IMO, especially as there must be so many people on there needing to get back for school/uni tomorrow, let alone normal work. Charlotte T, Heather, Alicia, Danielle, Charlotte C and I all waited around together in the airport lounge until it was time for Charlotte T and I to go and wait for our flight to board. More horrible, horrible goodbyes. But we found Jordan in the waiting area for our flight and planned the story that Charlotte's to sell to the Daily Mail for NO LESS than £30,000 should he fulfill his dream of being on BB9 next year. Affair on the catwalk and amongst the snowglobes in Cindy's Closet. You read it here first.

Leaving everyone at the airport was so hard- I kinda felt sorry for all our parents as we were all in floods of tears about having to be home, not quite the welcome they'd expected, I'm sure! England is so COLD. And so GREY. I swear the view from our house was not so dull before I left, but apparently nothing's changed. It was enough to make me want to jump right back on the next plane to Orlando. At that point I could work for $6.67 for the rest of my life, so long as I could escape this place. Unfortunately immigration would have something to say about that, so I'm still here...

And that was that. Amy's Disney Adventure came to an ending. And she lived happily ever after...

The End
Alice in Wonderland

Amy's Grand (Floridian) Day Out

More than once a week? I know, I'm spoiling you- you'd better appreciate it. So, what's to report?

Well, Monday I wanted a bit of a relaxing day due to the fact that I was working 11:30pm- 9am (yes, I did get the am/pm bit the right way round there) that night. So Heather and I decided to check out the Grand Floridian, which is the most posh Disney hotel. And also the most expensive. By expensive, read: $315 a night at least, WITH Disney's 40% discount according to prices on the Hub. Unfortunately this meant that my curious price checking could become no more than just that.

Anyway, it's absolutely GORGEOUS. We were walking around in complete awe of the whole place. It has two pools- one with proper mattress-type-things on the loungers, and the other with a super-cool slide, there's a beach, a wedding pavillion- after seeing that I can totally understand why people would choose to get married there. I still couldn't quite bring myself to have a Disney Wedding, but it is absolutely gorgeous- it's on the edge of a beach, and there's a window at the top of the pavillion which looks out over the lagoon, Cinderella castle in the background.

Also at the Grand Floridian are SPEED BOATS that Cast Members can rent for about $13 for half an hour. Oh my God they were so much fun! Heather and I went slightly mentalist, going in the tightest circles possible which means the passenger is basically IN the water as the boat goes up on it's side, and speeding down the lagoon at the fastest the thing would go (and that's damn fast) but if in a boy-racer type vehicle then one does as boy-racers do, right?

And THEN, after relaxing by the pool and on the beach for ages (sipping our lovely, but unfortunately non-alcoholic, cocktails) we went for AFTERNOON TEA. Proper afternoon tea, with triangular sandwiches and scones with jam and cream and trifle! And tea! Oh it was so immense, though you could feel the servers chuckling at our need to photographically document pretty much everything we ate. But it was so ace! I bought my first pin (with ALICE on it :D) to commemorate the occasion.

We then laid out by the pool some more and went back to the beach before we had to go back so I could get a little bit of shut eye before the overnight shift of joy.

And what a joyous shift it was. The reason for making us all do the thing? Inventory- ie counting everything in the entire store. Including hundreds of postcards/pens/individual rings chucked into big boxes. It was wonderful. Luckily I was in the same "team" as Jordan (come on team Beige (what a motivational colour... It soon morphed into team tan, though, which has a much better ring to it I feel) and because neither of us had scanners which worked we had to do manual counting for others to scan the numbers in, so could pretty much stick together which made the whole thing slightly more bareable. It did get a bit ridiculous at about 6am (when it was getting light again...) though- we all started to get hysterical over nothing which meant there was no way we could check that the numbers put down for the china mugs we were assigned to were right for fear of breaking them, so we just ended up ticking it all. So really the whole thing was a waste of time as half of them probably aren't right, and I know that I, for one, do 'taxable catchall' for items that don't have a tag but I know the price for, which means it won't register that we've sold them anyway. Riidiculous.

Even more ridiculous was that, after getting home at 10, and sleeping until about 4, we had to get up again to go to work from 7-2. And I got to be in GHS which I fricking HATE as it's womens clothing and the person who's always in that room is a pain in the arse and treats you as if you've never done stock before. I was SO not in the mood. But oh well. 2 o'clock rolled around soon enough which meant TIME FOR TWO DAYS OFF. Woo!

So yesterday Charlotte T and I decided to do our two favourite parks; MGM and Magic Kingdom. Went to MGM first and did the Backlot tour (which was done at a pretty good time as we went past 'Lights, Motors, Action'- the car stunt show- while it was on, so got a good close up of the action), went to the muppets shop where I bought a super-cute bag with Kermit on... Oh AND we met the yellow and pink Power Rangers :D Memories! Except the red ranger's costume was all wrong and different from when we were wrong. Bah. Still, I have morphed with the Yellow Power Ranger. How super-cool am I?

We then went through the walk-through bit of One Man's Dream, about Walt Disney, before going to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid which was so cute! Loved it. I think I may have a slight obsession. Oh well.

This was followed by Tower of Terror, which I think I love even though it scares me to death. Even when they open the doors at the end and say 'welcome back' makes me jump- but who wouldn't be shaken up after a trip to the Twilight Zone?? I wish I worked there though, would be such a fun job to have. Is it sadistic and wrong that I want a job purely because I want be able to scare people?

After that we hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom, getting there just in time to grab a hot-dog from Casey's (so good) and find a spot for the parade, which I love. Even if the music is in my head more than 24 hours later. After that we did Dumbo, as Charlotte hadn't been able to do it yet, and went to meet Donald, Daisy and Minnie as she hadn't met Donald yet, which is something of a travesty. Then I got a mini-customised umbrella from Liberty Square (one of those cute material ones, like Mary Poppins has in Jolly Holiday), with Amy on 3 sections and 'ICP 2007' on the other- my personalised souveneir. Next was a trip to Adventureland for the sole purpose of getting some pineapple juice, which turned out to be an ace plan as it resulted in us meeting Timon and Rafiki, Mr. Smee AND the Genie. The Genie was absolutely brilliant as well- kept playing games with us, trying to make Charlotte dance and wouldn't let us go at the end; the photopass photographer actually applauded him afterwards, he put on such a good show! There's a reason why he's the best Disney character. Anyways, after that we were going to go on Thunder Mountain, but it was a 40 minute wait so we decided to go shopping on Main Street instead. Ended up buying a photoframe which is SO cute, and I have an idea of a photo I plan to beg a photopass photographer to do for us on the last day... Abuse their skills? Me? As if..!

After that it was time to come home, and quickly changed before going out to dinner at the Olive Garden with Charlotte's flatmate Maebh, and Charlottes T and I. Oh my God, it was SO good! On par with House of Blues, but SO much cheaper- free salad with the entreé, (which, for me, was tuscan garlic chicken pasta- amazing stuff) and then another M&S-style chocolate pudding which was also absolutely gorgeous- so just a generally damn good day all round.

Then this morning I went to the Premium Outlets with Charlotte T. Ended up spending way too much money on a purse, dress, denim skirt and top (the latter two from Guess, for $20 and $30 respectively- how good is that?! £10 for a denim skirt is damn good wherever it's from, but from Guess?! Woop). And now I'm off out to dinner again at some steakhouse which is meant to be super-nice, before going to see Wishes. So an excellent few days off all round= very happy Amy.

And now only six scheduled shifts left :O :O

Photos to come, but now time to get ready to go out. Quick change ahoy!
Alice in Wonderland

(no subject)

I got my last ever schedule today... What's more, it's not even TOO bad:
Sunday: 1-11 (potential for HOB-ness, woohoo!)
Monday: 7-2 (my favourite, plenty of time to take photos of the place!)
Tuesday: 3:30-2 (not so good, but my last chance to go round taking photos..!)
Wednesday: 6:30- 00:30 (would rather be there until 2 if everyone else is, but I'm not going to complain about a 6 hour shift!)

All on stock except Wednesday too, which means I can take advantage of the length of my breaks/ go around taking photos. Might ask to be switched to stock on Wednesday too... surely they should grant me my last wish seeing as it's the year of a million dreams and all ;)

On the downside, work is really weird at the moment. All the American CPs and some Mexicans left a week ago, and Wednesday was the last day for a lot of the ICPs, including Pierre, who was one of the people who made work just... fun. Always joking around and stuff. Work is so weird without them all- it's only the Canadians, the Spring Advantage ICPs and the people who started at the same time as us left now... Even weirder is that a load of new CPs were shipped in literally a couple of days after the old lot left, and they'll all start their training this week. So next week when they're all on their own is going to feel so odd, as it'll be like there's this whole new lot of people just starting their adventure as we finish ours... I can imagine it being a little like we're not supposed to be their any more. Meh. Still, only nine scheduled days left of work. Can't quite believe it. Much like I often still can't believe I'm actually here. Like today, when Vicki sent round a thing about meeting up for Vietnam I both thought a) if they arrange that for two weeks time I could actually go, and b) if I can't go... it's because I'm in Florida. And everyone else is at home. How exactly did I manage that?

Life update-wise, most of last week was spent sunbathing by the pool due to early starts (and late finishes) at work. Wednesday, however= Seaworld with Charlotte T, which was ace. Saw all the animals and rode Kraken, which was ace. Came home and it was a quick change before going round to Kate & Amy's for some High School Musical Uno-themed drinking games (yes, alcohol-involved. SHOCK!). I may or may not have been forced to eat bread before even leaving the house (this is what lack of alcohol + humidity does to you, folks. No tolerance whatsoever any more!). So then us two, Rosie, Charlotte C, Camilla and I went off on the Vista Party Bus to Makos. With a Midgit. Who poured drinks down our throats (they didn't care for the 21+ drinking rule much) and made Char & Amy do body shots off of one another. Stewart (work Stewart) was also on the bus, also rather red-in-the-face from alcohol! Anyways, got to Makos, which was sleazy as ever. The girls were wearing even less this time- their tops were actually painted on. I didn't notice this for a while, either, which either shows that whoever was doing the painting was rather talented, or I was just that far gone. I'm going for the latter. Had our night fuelled mostly by some corporate businessman in the "vip" (tiny circle at the top of the balcony- perfect meat-market spot...) section of the club, who just kept buying massive jugs of vodka and cranberry juice and letting us loose on them (and the one of the Makos girls made him buy me & Rosie a shot before we disappeared about 10 seconds later. Ha!). To be fair, that was probably quite a stupid thing to do but it made for a fun night all the same. Oh and I got a little bit close with a Charlie from Busted lookalike (with less eyebrows). Fun times...

Thursday was spent sleeping/recovering/laying by the pool, until it was time to wonder on down to the pool party to welcome new CPs. Except for us it was more time to say goodbye to the people leaving the next day, which was horrible. All these people celebrating, and there's us all like 'I'm never going to see you again'. Bleh. Still, there was free pizza, drinks and cookies so it wasn't all bad. We (Rosie, Danielle, Charlotte C and I) then went to Magic Kingdom to eat ice cream, see Wishes and then go on all the kiddie rides in Fantasyland such as Snow White's Scary Adventures, Winnie The Pooh, It's A Small World (naturlich) and the teacups, which were nauseating (I can't spell...) So a fun night all round, really.

Friday= Went to Magic Kingdom with Charlotte C to meet Ariel and do some shopping in the morning. Came back for about 1, then did my favourite 3:30-2 shift, which actually went reasonably fast. I don't know why, but work never seems to drag too much any more. Now I've said that, you can guarantee that today will go by slow as anything.

Saturday. Went to Norway for a Princess Breakfast which was ACE; met Belle, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel (in the dress she wears when she has that first dinner with Eric/his Dad, or I think that's the point we decided it appears) and Jasmine. The food wasn't half bad either- fruit and pastries and SCRAMBLED EGG, SAUSAGE AND BACON! Not proper bacon, unfortunately, but it was still PROPER ENGLISH BREAKFAST FOOD. I was quite excited, and I don't think being in the prescence of princesses helped. Of course all this excitement made me a little ill, so I couldn't go to work yesterday. A shame. Instead I ended up going to Typhoon Lagoon. Heather was actually off so she got us in for half price. We don't get into the water parks for free- utter cheek. Of course as divine retribution for mine and Charlotte's phoning in, naturally she hurt her foot (really badly) as soon as we entered the wave pool. So we last about 2 hours there before coming home. Was knackered so gave Beaches & Cream/Kitchen Sink a miss and ate pizza with the flat girlies instead. It was good pizza. Watched Girls of the Playboy Mansion and was very glad that I'd phoned in. Woo!

Today I work 1-11:30 on stock and reg. Can't wait...

But still, the feeling of wanting to go home and being done with the whole work thing is gone now. I really don't want to leave- I'm going to be so sad when I have to say goodbye to everyone here. Not that I don't want to see everyone at home, but being here for ten weeks was just like a uni term, without the option of going home for a night or two if you were upset, or tired, or just felt like you wanted to. As a result, you end up just getting so close to all the people you're here with... I can't believe that in a few weeks we all have to go our separate ways, meeting up for reunions (hopefully) now and again, but otherwise that'll be it. It's so sad. Basically my attitude at the moment is 'excited to be going, sad to be leaving'.

Still, there's a whole two weeks to go, so that's not worth thinking about quite yet, and plenty lined up that I have to do in that time. And now I should probably start getting ready for work (we all know this means I'm going to potter around on Facebook for another hour though).

More updates to come soon I'm sure.
Alice in Wonderland

Long time, no update

Woah, long time no speak. It's been an eventful week, the parentals having dropped me off with a suitcase of clean laundrey and a big bag of shopping about an hour ago before making their way back to the airport and then rainy England. So might as well start with last Wednesday, which is when my last update was I believe. Not that much happened. 1-11 shift, can't really remember much of it. Was meant to go to Buffalo Wings that evening but Charlotte felt ill and I couldn't find Pierre for all ten hours, so decided sod it and went home to sleep instead. Getting home before midnight was good... And that was the excitement of that day.

Thursday= DAY OFF! Except of course it was the day that it decided to rain all day. Proper British rain too- cold and constant, rather than the hour of warm thunderstorms you usually get out here. So we (ie me, Heather, Charlotte T) thought better of our original plans to go to Mickey's retreat (a cast area with a beach/pool etc) and then Typhoon Lagoon (a water park, if you didn't guess from the name) and went to Epcot to meet characters instead. Also went on Mission: Space, which was not nearly as bad as I was expecting, but I'm still not a fan. I had to make myself breathe slowly at first because it was making me feel so claustrophobic and makes you feel really weird in the face and arms. Don't think I'll be doing it again. Also saw Turtle Talk with Crush, which was just ace (Crush- the turtle from Nemo for those fools who don't know) interacting with the audience- he's like an animation on screen, but all his movements matches what he says, and he can talk to everyone, etc. V. clever. Were going to do Test Track and Soarin', but Soarin'- unsuprisingly- had a massive wait time, and Charlotte wasn't a fan of the idea of doing Test Track in the rain so we decided we'd do them both another morning. Went back to Vista, got changed, then went to Downtown Disney in the evening to see Ratatouille which was suprisingly good. Some dodgy lines in there too- much more explcit than most Disney films! (You can get too acquainted with vegetables you know/ I only swallow what I love being too of the most shocking :P). Went for Ghiradellis afterwards (well, Heather and I were rubbish and just went for the milkshakes but oh well) before heading off home and to bed.

Friday: 10-4 shift. Not quite sure how I managed that one, but I do still prefer night shifts as that's when all the CPs/ICPs work, and a lot of the full timers are MEAN. Still, went quickly enough, even the two hours on the horrible credit-card only tablet registers in EDR, which are really hard to use because you need to press the buttons with a fiddly pen and they're really small. But meh. Still, got home by five, which is usually when I leave for work, so that was nice. And then of course was the arrival of the parentals. After they figured out how to use the Sat-Nav/ follow my directions that was. Went to Downtown Disney- where else- where we went to the Rainforest Café for dinner, and I introduced them to the delights of Goofy's Candy Co. and, my favourite, World of Disney. Apparently it's not that big. Whatever parentals. I then went back to their villa to stay the night with my OWN ROOM and a comfortable bed. And a tv! Aceness! And that was Friday.

Saturday was their first taste of Disney: Animal Kingdom. Got fastpasses for Everest, then went on Dinosaur and saw The Lion King before going on Everest. Which they loved so much we went straight back on again. Everest rocks so much. Especially at the back! Got some food then went on It's Tough to Be a Bug, before I had to leave for work at about 3. By this point they were all hot and tired anyway so we all left, Dad dropping me off at Downtown Disney (can't believe it's such a palava to get there if I need to use buses, when it's no more than a 10 minute drive from any of the parks. Grr. I want a car here!) before they went home and had Chinese Takeaway without me. Gits. Can't remember much of that shift. Was 4-11 so went by pretty quickly, and got picked up afterwards, which was even better. Not much to say about that day.

Sunday was my 1-11 shift, but before I departed for work I got them into MGM and had a bagel while listening to the High School Musical pep rally. Dad was nice and gave me another lift. And picked me up again after my 10 hour stint in the princess room. Seriously, they put me on 1-5 doing stock in zone 2, then I ended up doing registers in there for the rest of the evening. Was lovely and hot as well, as the sun comes through the windows and shines right on the registers I was on. Still, they all came to DTD in the evening to look around/ go to the stores on the West Side, etc, so at 11 I was treated with half a Ghiradelli's sundae (Hannah hadn't been able to resist the rest of it) and heard how they'd been on rock 'n' rollercoaster/ seen Beauty and the Beast without me before getting at lift back to theirs.

Monday: DAY OFF! Also the parentals 25th anniversary- awwness. They chose Magic Kingdom for the special day, which may have been a bad choice as it was PACKED. But it was still ace and we managed to do a fair amount also: Splash, Peter Pan, Buzz, Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor (like Turtle Talk, but funnier, and with Monster's Inc. characters. Funnily enough) and Pirate's- all the nostalgic and fun ones. Mum and Dad then left us to go and get ready for the meal we'd booked them at the California Grill in the Contemporary Resort (which looks HORRIFIC from the outside, but is so nice on the inside, and also very Star Wars-esque, in a pyramid style, with the monorails running through it...). Hannah and I stayed in the park and watched Dream Along With Mickey (so cute) before going to eat at a restaurant at the end of Main Street which was pretty alright for theme park food. We then did Thunder Mountain (which had been broken down when we tried to go on with parentals :() and It's A Small World (obligatory) before doing some shopping (well browsing in my case, but culminating in the purchasing of a Dumbo plsuh in Hannah's), then getting some Main Street ice cream and watching Spectromagic (the floats kept getting stuck because it was raining- not hard, but enough to make the ground slippery) and then Wishes. Which Hannah didn't believe could live up to how good I'd made it sound, and was proven wrong. Mwahaha. The parentals then text us telling us to join them for dessert, so we trapised up to the California Grill, looking oh-so-hot covered in sweat and dressed in theme-park clothing, in this posh restaurant. Still, it was worth it- the dessert was like the M&S advert. Better even. The chocolate properly oozed out of the cake when you just put your spoon into it. And the taste was pretty damn good either. Plus the view was amazing- you could see the whole Magic Kingdom and all it's lights from up there, I can imagine watching the fireworks was pretty spectacular, especially as they pump the music in as well. So I think we made a pretty good choice of reservation. And I think the parentals agreed, too!

Tuesday: Day of shopping at the Florida Mall/ Dad playing golf. Bought too much, as per, and my winter wardrobe still isn't complete. I don't even want to think about how I'm going to have to wear jeans and jumpers all the time when I go back home. I've been shivering when I've been indoors, in a/c, all week, and keep being reminded that I'm going to die when I get back home. I think I may shrivel up and die without my regular dose of sun. I am certainly not looking forward to turning my natural colour all over. Especially considering how shamefully white I am even with tan lines. Fake tanner here I come. Anyway. Work was 7-2 that night. Doing stock in the joyous Map Room. By joyous I mean hate. With a fiery passion. Magnets and keyrings are so not my thing and our go-backs would just not go down. Left the place in a bit of a tip but meh, if you are going to only have 3 people in there, none of whom are the room 'regulars' then you're going to have to live with a messy room. Was in a bad mood all night because I'd have rather been asleep in the villa. Got a taxi there so we could get up and out the next day, both of us not entirely sure where we were going (thank you mapquest directions), but got back safe and sound after hearing about how the taxi-man prefers living in Orlando to Sydney, Australia. I think he may have been mad. I could not live in Orlando, in fact as a city I really, really dislike it. You can't really walk anywhere, and all there is is restaurants, mini golf, outlet malls and theme parks. Which is perfect for a holiday but how people spend their lives here I don't understand. The summer is long enough for me. It's just... not nice. But different strokes for different folks and all that. And it does have it's up sides. Such as

UNIVERSAL. And Disney. But for the purpose of talking about Wednesday I'm using Universal. As this is where I went after taking a personal day at work. Sensitive time for the family, want to be with them as much as possible you see. Dad decided to splash out, and not only did he buy the two-park, one-day hopper, but he also paid the extra $30 for the express line pass and, damn, it was the best $30 (well, $120) he's ever spent I feel. That express line basically walks you onto all of the rides, so we did everything in Islands of Adventure by lunchtime (except Popeye, because we didn't feel like getting drenched quite yet, and Doomfall, because we're all chicken). I still love the Hulk and Spiderman and Duelling Dragons muchly. Disney really needs a park like IOA. Like proper rollercoasters. Rock 'n' Rollercoaster and Everest are ace, but that's two rides out of four theme parks that are really thrill rides (and Tower of Terror I suppose)... not quite the same as a whole park full of them!

We then headed over to Universal, where we did Shrek 4D (LOVED it), the new Mummy indoors rollercoaster (best. ride. ever. Oh my God, so good!), Earthquake, Jaws, and Men In Black. By this time it was only about 3:30, but we decided to have a late lunch. Unfortunately Margaritaville was closed for a massive party, so we went to the Hard Rock Café, which was num. Then walked around Citywalk for a bit before we felt our stomachs had gone down enough to go back on rides. It had clouded over at this point, though, so we thought Universal was our best bet and went to watch The Horror Make-Up Show (hilarious) and did the Mummy again (not quite so perfect when you know what's coming, but still brilliant) before heading over the Islands of Adventure (and literally JUST missing the rocket launch because Hannah had to buy Emily a birthday present. So unimpressed. We did see the trail though...) and re-doing the Hulk, as they had forgotten to cross it off our tickets the first time. And because Mum and Dad weren't big on the idea of going on again (backs hurt, apparently) Hannah and I got to do it twice in a row. Damn those express passes rock hard. We were all absolutely knackered by this point, especailly me having been functioning on 5 hours of sleep. Not recommended when you're walking lots in a day! Still, had an absolutely ace day. Definitely prefer Universal for a fun day out to Disney, even if it doesn't quite have the same old magic. I'd still go to Disney just to wonder around over Universal any day though.

Was going to go to Buffalo Wild Wings that night, but fell asleep on the couch after watching America's Next Top Model and some random Who-Wants-To-Be-A-Millionaire-style show, except it's karaoke and you have to sing the blanks in the lyrics to win cash. Americans can be so over-enthusiastic. Didn't stop me falling asleep to their programmes though! Anyway, that put a dampner on that plan and I was in bed by about 11.

Thursday: Actual day off, and the family's last day in Orlando. They wanted to go back to Animal Kingdom to do the safari which we hadn't had a chance to do the other day, so off we went, getting fastpasses for Everest along the way. Well, not really along the way as it's on the other side of the park but oh well. Safari was ace- got to see some baby elephants playing in the watering hole, which was super cute. After that I FINALLY got to meet Eeyore at the character landing, and then we got some PROPER frozen lemonade (none of the Minute Maid sorbet crap) before heading on over to Everest, which was brilliant as always. By this point we were dying of heat, and we needed to go home so packing could be done anyway. I relaxed in the pool with my book instead- mwahah. After this was all done we got re-dressed and headed out to Downtown Disney where we ate in House of Blues (SOOOOOO good. Had the best pasta EVER), then went to World of Disney to do the last bit of Disney shopping (a princess dress and some birthday bits for cousin Sarah (Mum wouldn't buy the Alice dress as apparently it's too boring for a 3-year-old, and she has Belle and Snow White, so we went for Ariel's wedding dress instead. Well, at least it matches her hair), a scrapbook for me so I don't have to fit it into my suitcase on the way home, Hannah bought some birthday presents, and Dad got a grumpy breaking his golf club cap and some Pirates of the Carribean playing cards to fit in). We then went to Cirque Du Soleil, which was mine and Hannah's anniversary present to Mum and Dad, which everyone seemed to like. It was soooo good too, I can't get over how these people can do those tricks and things. And how people can walk the tightrope without falling off because they're shaking too much from nerves! Crazy stuff! Was a pretty perfect end to seeing the parents too. Went back to theirs for one last night in the villa before they dropped me back here bright and early this morning. Only three weeks 'til I join them back in Sunny (haha) England now. I can't decide whether I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again, or whether I'll be sad to leave here more. But seeing as I've done most things I want to now (or at least have them planned for the next week- going to Seaworld with Charlotte T on Wednesday, and going to have breakfast with the princesses next Saturday in Norway. Yay!) I think I'll be ready to leave by then. Besides, now all the CPs we were working with have left, as have the Mexicans, I think, the French go next week and the Canadians the week after, so it'll just be us Brits left at work (and possibly the French who arrived later, but I'm not sure) so it's not going to feel the same anyway by then. Plus I'm starting to miss not feeling lazy if I don't make the most of my day, and being able to go to a bar for a quick drink (or two, or more...), and catching up with the friends, etc etc. I've started mentally planning my room next year at Cardiff which I think says that I'm just about ready to begin the last phase of the programme and then get on home. Just got to make sure I make the most of the next three weeks, really!

And now I should go and unpack all my clean clothes and maybe go to the pool to start work on the tan that WILL get browner in the next three weeks, dammit.
Magic Kingdom Castle

I am a Disney Princess

Well, actually apparently I am the perfect Alice (because I am short, and slightly blonde :P), but that's not the point. She kind of beats princesses anyway. Except Ariel. Then again, in Disney all females are princesses. I love it.

Anyway, I'm in a damn good mood at the moment- this last week has been the best week ever. It all started on Tuesday with Heather, Charlotte T and my adventures in World Showcase in Epcot. For those who don't know, World Showcase is Disney's way of bringing some culture to America, and a number of countries (I couldn't tell you the exact number) have their own pavillions, which are supposed to be a representation of that country. Of course they're incredibly clichéd- the UK is like a very old school London, with cobbled streets, selling tea, and with wooden shops. Oh and of course there's a super-cool Victotriany/old-style pub- the Rose & Crown, which actually did make me feel quite homesick. Not so much as eating a Twirl did. I can't believe I paid £1 for a Twirl- this is how dire the chocolate situation is out here. But that said Twirl= one of the best foods ever, so there we go, even if it's not the same without being dunked into a cup of tea.

Anyways, we wondered around World Showcase for a few hours, which was just... nice. I prefer the parks now that the big rides (except in Epcot, but apart from Test Track and Turtle Talk with Crush, I'm not overly fussed about doing them. I'm sure I will at one point, but I can wait), the day is more about the experience of taking in the park rather than queueing up to experience a few thrills. So yeah, that was nice for a few hours, after which we returned home, where I made some lunch and then headed off into work. I think this was the night when I had a really good evening at work. Was on stock in Princess 3 which, because there was two of us, was really easy, and flew by because I was scanning for about two hours. (If I haven't explained what 'scanning' is before, basically you get a little machine and scan all the product you need more of, and eventually the stockroom will send it down to you. Much better than the constant list-writing malarky that we'd have to do in Smiths before trying to navigate the stockroom!) So that room got tidied really quickly which meant that I could do whatever, so ended up 'sorting out' the Build-A-Crown section (ie get a tacky looking crown and stick whatever little bits you want onto it), which eventually ended up with about four of us stood around there 'sorting it out' ie. doing a little bit of tidying, but mainly chatting and taking the piss out of the customers and how they just 'looooooove our accents', or think that because I'm English I'll know their cousin in Manchester (it. is. 3. hours. away!). Or the best one that Pierre (a French guy, if you didn't guess from the name) got from another Cast Member: [while counting out cash registers in French] "It must be really hard to count American money in French"


And obviously further banter ensued. I really do like my workmates- or the young ones at least. Anyways, waited until 2:40 for the bus home- always fun- and was off to beddy bies. Woop.

Wednesday: Wednesday was my lazy day, in which I read magazines/ pissed about on the Internet until it was time for my bus for the 5-2 shift of joy. Even better, I was Princess line guide for 2 1/2 hours of it. Did I explain the joys of line guiding to you? It involves telling imaginary people when the next register is open for their enjoyment. Well, in the evening those people tend to not be quite so imaginary, granted, but at 5 the store is pretty dead, and so there is absolutely no need for a line guide. Besides, it's good exercise for the cashier to jump up and down and shout to get someone's attention when they're free. And much more entertaining. Still, the rest of the evening went by fairly quickly and after being taught how to pull registers on what was probably Monday, I was then taught how to count the money and put it through the system, which, because I was concentrating hard on trying not to make too many mistakes (which I'm sure I did), meant the last few hours just flew by. Also managed to get an ER because of social security the next morning, and having to get up at 7- getting home at 3 would NOT have been fun, so they let me out at 1:30 instead, giving me a whole five, rather than 4, hours sleep. Woop! The journey back home was, of course, joyous at this hour- Millie and I were the only sober ones on the bus, as one of the stops on the way back is Crossroads, and everyone seems to go to this karaoke bar- Buffalo Wild Wings or something- on a Wednesday night. Oh how fun. At least this Wednesday I'm done by 12, so, fingers crossed, should miss them! But yes, that was my fascinating Wednesday.

Which brings me to Thursday and thus my DAY OFF! Except the first part of it was spent in social security, which went incredibly slowly as a) there were only two people sorting out the papers as opposed to the five they needed, and b) impatient French people from the second bus (who were supposed to wait until after us people who'd dragged ourselves out of bed early to avoid waiting too much) started trying to push in infront of us. Still, we were home by around 12 which wasn't too bad, and then, because we were all starving, we decided to treat ourselves to some munch. So Charlottes I and C, Kate, Amy J (who missed out on the delights of social security as she already got a number from working in the states the previous year), Karen (flatmate), Danielle, Kate and Amy J's flatmates- Sarah and Claire- and I are went along to Bahama Breeze, which is this absolutely gorgeous supposedly Carribean style restaurant. Had coconut shrimp (again) and season salad which was yum-as- one of the best places I've eaten so far, and super-cheap also! So that was always good. We had to walk home at a slow pace though, being absolutely stuffed! And then ended up sweating the whole dinner out again lying by the pool for a few hours.

Then came the evening, and possibly one of the best evenings I've had since being here. The plan was to go to Fantasmic at MGM, so we got onto the bus at 6:30, then wondered around MGM for a few hours, taking photos, looking in shops, eating ice cream, etc, until about 8:30 when we went to see Fantasmic, and miraculously (as people had started queueing for the 9 o'clock showing at 7...) got really good seats in the main, Mickey section because people don't want to budge up or sit near anyone else, so we found some gaps together. Fantasmic was really, really good- I loved it. Not nearly as much as Wishes, but it was still impressive all the same. I especially love how you can see Epcot's fireworks in the distance as it goes on.

Infact, it was so good that it made us not want to end our evening. So instead we decided to sprint to the entrance and hop on a bus to the Magic Kingdom, where we arrived just in time to watch Wishes on the ferry over. While you can only hear the music when you get near to the Magic Kingdom- and the music is what makes Wishes so special- seeing it from over the lagoon was, without a doubt, the perfect vantage point to see the fireworks themselves- you can see absolutely everything that goes on, and they all reflect into the water, and it's just quite beautiful really. Also, at one point, the driver stopped the ferry, just at the point where you could hear the music. Standing there, I felt like I was back in Cuc Phuong, on the night when all you could hear were the grasshoppers and all you could see were the fireflies and the stars; and you stand there and realise that moments like these are why you are here, and this is why you chose to do this all along.

We followed Wishes with some wondering around Magic Kingdom at night (up the stream of people departing after Wishes. Or more like at ocean), and then some Spectromagic, which was absolutely dead so we got an ace view of all the characters. I don't like it as much as the Dreams Come True parade, but it was still pretty damn good. And then we left, literally just missing the A bus which would take us home, so knackered we sat waiting for the next one (at least it's every 20 minutes, unlike the beloved F bus (my one) which, for some idiotic reason, only runs every hour), and then it was home and to bed. But despite the tiredness, the five hours of sleep, the missing the A bus, it really was the perfect evening.

Then there was Friday, when I spent most of the day sunbathing with the flatmates (minus Katie), and then we decided to go to Citywalk, in Universal, for some munch at the Hard Rock Café, where we had the best server ever. Wondered around for a while, lamenting the fact that I was working and a showing of Rocky Horror was on with people acting it out at the same time (I think how it was done originally, before it became a full-blown stage musical). Bah humbug, etc. Still, had an ace time- was nice to do something as a flat for once as well, as I rarely see Karen and Amy, but they're really nice girls. Was muchly fun.

Which brings me to yesterday, and another really good day. Charlotte C and I met Heather, who had just been to a character breakfast at Crystal Palace, in the Magic Kingdom, and we went on autograph hunting session. Started off in Fantasyland, where we went on the carousel and met Mary Poppins outside. Then we went on Dumbo (because we're cool) before meeting Alice and the Mad Hatter outside of the teacups. Our quest then took us to Toontown, where we road the Barnstormer- a 30 second kid's rollercoaster, much like the dearly departed Flying Fish or Caterpillar, but more painful (why would you put ridged plastic seats in a rollercoaster? Why?) before queueing up to meet none other than... the princesses! Met Aurora, Cinderella and Belle, which is slightly weird because they can talk to you. Then Cinderella goes and asks how much longer I'm here for, and not being able to think on the spot I say that 'I work here...', somewhat ruining the magic. Dammit. Still, they're so cute, and there was a little baby infront of us who was absolutely GORGEOUS, everyone was going nuts about here, she was so cute! We then went round again to meet Minnie, Daisy and Donald. Minnie was in a rather bad mood that day, getting a bit frustrated that our autograph books weren't open that very moment, so took them off of us then started signing. Minnie should never be in a bad mood... Still, Donald and Daisy were ace, as Donald kept kissing us on the cheek, so Daisy came round the corner when I was there and stood watching to make sure that he was good. And as soon as she was gone he kissed me. Brilliant.

After that we found ourselves in Tomorrowland, which meant, of course, we had to get fastpasses for Space Mountain. We then killed some time eating some munch (chilli and corn dog nuggets from Caseys for me), and went to watch the Castle Show, which got stopped really near the end because of rain (the characters are a little bit high tech, and because they have lots of things helping their eyes and mouthes move they can't really stay out in the rain. It really makes a difference that they can make facial expressions, etc, though). It annoyed me a little, though, as all they said to end the show was 'sorry, we can't continue with this show'. I mean they could have at least done something like 'Malificent has destroyed the stage! The characters have to go inside for safety' or something less frigtening involving Donald being in a grump, etc etc- they're so careful to preserve the magic with everything else (like when a character's friend needs to rest, it'll be because Minnie's cooking Mickey some tea, or Pooh needs some honey, or whatever- characters are never tired, or hurt, or hot, you see), so I don't understand why they're so lax with things like that. But still...

We then wandered back through Fantasyland, thinking we could do some indoor kiddy rides, but the queues for stuff like Peter Pan were all getting on 70 minutes, so we decided that was not going to happen, and hung around in Tomorrowland until our fastpass return time came up instead. Rode Space Mountain, getting our stupid poses on, before coming and and being reminded that the damn thing takes no photographs. Um. Lol. Still, was fun. And we escaped from Tomorrowland and Main Street just before the parade was beginning, hopped on the Monorail home and got back just as the bus was pulling away. Again. So when I eventually got back it was a super-quick change into my work uniform- sorry, costume- before heading of to WOD for a lovely 6:30-2 shift. Which went by suprisingly quickly considering they had me tasking for 1 1/2 hours (CDS had me with no proficiences for some reason, which left me collecting hangers and clearing lifts for ages until Chris was like 'um, we're 70 minutes behind on breaks, you are NOT clearing out B lift!'). So joyously I got put on line guide for Great Hall North, where they left me until 11:20, despite my asking for a break a number of times. Five hours without a break= not fun. But at least, because that one was so late, leaving me with no time for another one, I got an extra half hours pay for my second break. Woo for $3.30! Rest of the evening went by suprisingly quickly considering I was on doors in princess room (ie not letting people in, opening the doors for people leaving) for most of it, before they got me counting money... again... Wooop. Anyway, came out of work to witness a fight between some people over a TAXI. Oh dear Lord. You work for x many hours then are greeted by that. Fun fun fun. Waited the lovely 40 minutes for a bus home, got into bed about 3. Went straight to sleep, and now here I am.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say, I got to do my first bit of Disney lying yesterday. Basically, to preserve the magic of Disney, you don't tell anyone any boring stuff about the place. So when this little girl, all dressed up like Cinderella, asked me how they got the stars and the people on the ceiling of WOD, I was proud to say that my immediate reaction was 'Mickey does it all... by Magic'. But how, she asks. I don't know, I say, he doesn't tell us that, it's just magic. But maybe you could ask him the next time you see him. And then you have to come back at tell me, OK. And she left with a massive grin and a mission to find Mickey and to ask how the stars are on the ceiling of World of Disney. And I was proud, for this time I managed not to manage a little kid's dream. I'm finally a fully-blown Cast Member :P

A cast member who has to work from 3pm-2am today.

'Everything The Light Touches...'

It's been a while

Time for another Proper Update, seeing as my body refuses to let me sleep more than six or seven hours at the moment- never good when you're working every hour God (or scheduling...) sends you, especially when falling asleep on the job is a terminable offence.

Anyway, when I last left you it was a Tuesday... My last day off, on which I went to Wal*Mart with the flatmates. Then, as Emily was planning to leave at the weekend and it was the last evening we all had off, we headed to the Rainforest Café for some munch, this time making sure we got there early and still had to wait for a while. This involved being dragged into World of Disney, as is always the case when we go to Downtown Disney- I can never escape! People just don't seem to get that, while it's a good shop and all, and I don't mind my job, I really would rather not spend every waking moment there. But meh. Admittedly, it was amusing seeing Amy (D, not J, the one I work with) and Emily try on the princess dresses, and actually fit into some of them!

Annyway, Rainforest Café was nice, had nachos to start (biggest nacho portion I've ever seen, but soooo good- had chilli with them as well), and Tuscan chicken for my main which was gorgeous. Anyway, after dinner, Emily decided she had souvenirs to buy from, of course, World of Disney, which was too much for me, so Karen, Amy and I headed back home as the other two were knackered and I was experiencing WoD overload! We had planned to go and see the fireworks at Epcot, but by this point it was absolutely pelting down, thundering and lightening, so it was unlikely that the fireworks would go ahead, and even if they did it wouldn't be all that fun if we were worried about being struck. Not such an irrational fear, by the way, one of Karen's friend's workfriends (a lifeguard) was struck that night- only on the arm, so he was alright, but still...

So, that pretty much sums up Tuesday. Wednesday it was back to work, 12:30- 8, on stock in Carnival (the "plush" room) which was alright, as that room gets really, really messy from people picking up plushes, taking photos, then putting them back down anywhere. And apparently soft toys are a good place to hide things you don't want from other shops. So yeah, that went reasonably quickly. Don't remember doing much in the evening apart from chatting with the girls.

Which brings me to Thursday. More work, 11-6, which is an alright shift really. Also got lucky as the bus must've been late getting to DTD, so it was waiting there right as I got out of my shift, and so I managed to get home at around 6:15 instead of 7, which was nice. Anyway, got home and someone told me it was Laura's last night. I hadn't even found out until the day before that she was probably going home, so that was a bit of a shock. Apparently they'd said to her that if she was leaving, and didn't want to go back to work, then she had to leave within 24 hours, which sucked majorly. (Basically she was feeling really homesick, and was expected to work 50-60 hour weeks in a job she really hated, so she'd had enough and left). That was really sad, actually, as there was no time for people to swap shifts to see her off that evening, or to go out with her to say goodbye or anything, so we just had to make do with a load of us going down to the pool instead. Was so sad saying goodbye to her, can't believe she's at home now :( And also, so many people are leaving, you'd think Disney or Yummy Jobs would sort out the problems with hours, or at least sort out the presentation which stated that you will get two days off a week, like a weekend, and that you'll be working 35 hours a week with the option to pick up more hours if you so wish, yadda yadda. Surely that counts as false advertising- I know nobody who's lucky enough to only have 30 hours a week, although on the other hand it's only us WoD folks who got unlucky enough to be on 6 day-weeks. Or 15 in my case. More about that later...

But yes, Laura is the latest one to have gone back to England :( And much as I hate my hours, I'm so glad I like my job and the general life here enough not to want to go home. Well, you get random moments, but for the most part I love it.

But yes, on that note we come to Friday. This was the day of the glorious 12 hour shift. But in actual fact, as aforementioned, it was the best shift I've had since being here. I started off in East Reg, in Adventure, which is the pirate room basically, so the boys' version of princess room. Ended up working there with Jordan, Charlotte and Jay (my trainer), so that was fun and banterous for the most part. Got moved to GHN, which I hate at one point (there's one register per side, with no room to do anything really, and nothing's in the place you would normally find it at other registers. Not fun. Luckily, though, they broke me (ie sent me on break, not actually broke me in half...) about 10 minutes later, which was much appreciated!). After break CDS was being a pain, and kept spitting out stupid tasks such as tidy and fill the 'make a wand' section (already tidy), redistribute baskets, etc, etc. Although I did get to do my first 'Magical Moment', which was exciting. Basically, Magical Moments are either little traditions almost every shop, hotel or park will have to make a kid or family feel special. Also, in our shop every hour someone has to perform a 'magical moment' in the form of playing some sort of game with a couple of children or families. They're all pretty simple things, like noughts & crosses (sorry tic-tac-toe) using Disney characters to make the line, or help to find the magnetic Nemo, but kids love to do them, seeing as they're getting special attention from someone, and they get a certificate with stickers at the end, bless 'em. Anyway, the one I had to do (the room you're told to perform the Magical Moment in determines which game you have to do) was technically race Car plushes to a finish line, people being allowed to move their car forward one space if they won rock-paper-scissors (trust me to get the complicated one, as opposed to word scramble or something like that!), but seeing as we only had one type of Car Plush, which could get quite complicated when determining the winner, I changed it into 'I've got some lost people who need some help finding Mickey and Minnie, and whoever gets there first gets a special prize from Mickey', using Mickey and Minnie as the finish line (the animals were a bit stupid, seeing as their brains are full of fluff, so they needed some help to find them) and plushes such as Stitch, Eeyore, etc as the 'animals in need'. So yeah, that was a fun way to waste twenty minutes or so.

Oh, and after that they decided they didn't really have any till stuff for me to do, so from 9-11:30 they put me as the outside greeter. Which is ace as you get to go and put on as much glowing/flashing stuff as you want, pick up anything that lights up (in my case a wand and some rotating Mickey head thing), go outside and talk to people, or welcome them to the store. I basically got paid to talk and play with light-up toys. Ace. So yeah, that was definitely my favourite day at work so far, even if it was 11 1/2 hours! (I asked for ER so I could get the 23:50 bus instead of waiting forty minutes, which would get me home at one, and I'd have to get up at 7 the next day which would not have been appreciated!). Good times all round.

Even better, however, was Saturday. Was in for 9:30, which means I got to experience the store's morning 'Magical Moment' for the first time- I didn't even know it existed! Basically, they open up Princess room to the masses, but rope off all the others, with a ribbon tied across the entrance to Plush. From the crowd, they pick one kid to officially open the store and to cut the ribbon- how sweet is that! I had no idea what was going on at first- the morning meeting finished, and everyone seemed to be heading over to princess room, clapping and cheering, so I was just like... oooooook, how is anyone this cheerful at 9:30am... but then I finally cottoned on to what was going on, so was just like 'awwwww!'. And then went off to tidy the make-a-wand section, yet again. Or in reality, stood around and do nothing for half an hour. All good.

Even better however, was that they'd managed to completely overstaff themselves for the day. So at 2:30 there was a massive crowd of us who'd been told to 'go see manager' (ie CDS co-ordinator), and we were all asked if we wanted to go home. Um, yes please. I like my job, but not enough to refuse that! So off Charlotte and I trotted, three hours early. Brilliant! The rest of the afternoon wasn't quite so ace as we (Charlotte T, her room-mate Maebh and I) took a trip to Disney Uni, just to find that Vista Bank was closed, and that Cast Connection (cheap CM merchandise) was closing in ten minutes, so all in all that was a fun bus trip around Magic Kingdom. But better than being in work. We then went home, got ourselves tidied up, and then joined Heather and Rachel on a trip to what was initially going to be TGI Fridays, but turned into one to Rainforest Café. Oo, and this time they were nice and bumped us an hour up the queue for flashing or CM cards. Ace! Wandered around DTD for a bit, bought a huge Eeyore plush and a cartoon-style bag, both of which I've had my eye on for aaaaaages. I am totally in love with both of them! We then returned to the Rainforest and ended up getting sat pretty much right next to the gorillas, which was both annoying and exciting in equal measure, as they come to life every ten minutes or so!

Absolutely stuffed myself silly that night! We shared mozzarella sticks to start, then I had coconut shrimp with VEGETABLES (:O :O :O, even if they were still salady ones- still haven't had proper veggies in ages!) which was absolutely amazing. And of course we had to finish off with the VOLCANO! Which is lots of slabs of brownie, with ice cream and cream in the middle, with various sauces, such as fudge and chocolate, drizzled all over the side. Sooo good. We ordered two, not quite realising how big they were, so didn't quite manage to polish it all off, but I feel we did a damn good job all the same seeing as there were only five of us. It was a really, really nice evening as well- completely different group of people (well, not completely, but you know), really good chat, was just generally lovely :)

And then came Sunday, which was another ace day! Earlier in the week, Charlotte T had found out that Magic Kingdom were running their 'Keys to the Kingdom' tour- a backstage look at the Magic Kingdom, information about Walt's family, a look inside the utilidors, etc- for free, instead of the usual $30 for CMs (or $100 for mere mortals), so she booked it off and seeing as I wasn't working until 6:30 I went along with her. SOOOO glad I did- I was getting so bogged down with work that I had sort of forgotten about the Disney Magic. Going into a park again made me so excited, and the tour was really interesting as well. Absolutely loved it! Afterwards we had a few hours to spare before I needed to go to work, so we wondered around for a while, saw Mickey's Philharmagic, which is AMAZING, I love it, then queued up to meet Winnie the Pooh and Tigger (:D), before going to watch the parade, which is ace! Especially the talking bin they used for PACtivities (Parade Audience Control) before hand! It also finished literally JUST as the heavens decided to open- you could tell the floats had sped up super-fast to get out of the impending lightening/ rain! Managed to get on a monorail back to the TTC though, and the A bus back to Vista turned up pretty soon afterwards, luckily. Got back at half four, so I went back to the flat, did a quick change and got back on the bus at 5:15, ready for some fun-fun 18:30-2am shiftness. Woop. And I was so tired by this point, and so not up for working after having had a great day out. So when I saw my schedule for the next week I was not impressed- they expect me to work 15 days straight, with my only day off being the day I have to spend hours in social security. Um no. So Ron- one of the managers- saw me looking less than impressed (ie tearing up as a mixture of frustration and tiredness) and would not let me get away with saying that nothing was wrong. So I showed him my schedule, he balked at it, and immediately phoned Lenny- our area manager- to get him to sort it out. Which they have done... kinda... ie they gave me this Thursday off, which supposedly means I'd come in at 4:15 am on the Friday to continue the overnight shift. To me, that's pretty pointless as I reckon I'd just feel worse for sleeping a little before it, so I'm going to try and sort out all of that later today and try and get a proper day off for this week, or at least two next week (which I'm entitled to anyway), but at least I know they're willing to at least try to sort it out. So hopefully I can get this ridiculous 15-day-thing sorted! Especially as I was so tired when I started work yesterday that I was mucking up easy transactions, pressing the wrong buttons here there and everywhere, and obviously that's not good for the company as it's bad Guest Service. So there's my reasoning :P Other than that though, yesterday was a really good shift- 4-11, was working with Amy most of the day, was pretty busy for most of the night so it went by quickly, so in general a good evening.

Working 15:30- 2am today. Do NOT want to do it, but I'm sure it'll be fine once I'm there. 1-7 tomorrow, then going to MGM in the evening for a few rides and to see Fantasmic (can't believe I still haven't gotten around to that yet! So excited!). Then... on Thursday... WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH! Basically, the idea came from two of our Scottish workmates, Jordan and Stewart (the latter's at St. Andrews, parentals!) had managed to hire a car for $30 for the day, with $12 for insurance, and so it was suggested that we follow behind them as Amy's 22 so can drive over here. So we're off to Cocoa Beach, and out of the Disney Bubble for the first time in three weeks! Cannot wait! Then I think the plan is to get home, get washed and then go and see Harry Potter! Woop! Readying myself for the book release the next day! Think I'm going to go to the cast event at Once Upon a Toy for the midnight release, bag myself a copy, sleep for a few hours then read it until work at 4:30. Then on Sunday I'm not in until 6:30 so I can finish it then while lying by the pool i feel. Can't believe it's the last one! I am such a geek...

Anyway, that's my next few days planned out. Now I feel I'd best tidy my half of the room and a bit of the kitchen as we have a flat inspection tomorrow and my clothes are pretty much everywhere! Then some sunbathing action before work I feel. I need a tan, dammit! (I am getting tan lines, to be fair, but you wouldn't know there was any change in colour unless you saw them, seeing as I'm so pale naturally! Bah)

Guess I should post next week's schedule for posterity:

Sunday: 18:30-00:30
Monday: 19:00- 02:00
Tuesday: 19:00- 02:00
Wednesday: 17:00- 02:00
Thursday: OFF (social security)
Friday: 18:00- 01:00
Saturday: 18:30- 02:00

Could be worse, I suppose, as I get the whole day free to go and do stuff/ sunbathe, and everyone I know well at WoD has a similar schedule, so we can all be social retards together in the evening. Will hopefully be able to get some park (or shopping) action in on some of the really late shifts also.

Right, so after that epic entry you are all up-to-date in the life of Amy and I shall now leave you in peace! Tarah!

More training...

Yesterday was what will, I'm sure, be remembered as the most fascinating day of my Disney life. Or not. Basically, after getting the 7:15 bus due to fears of not knowing where to go, it soon transpired that it drops you off right outside the Cast Services building and I could have had an extra hour in bed. But oh well. I spent the next hour talking to a girl from Macedonia, Taci (pronounced Tat-si, I think...) and being amused by the way that CNN were reporting the car bomb in London: "OMG! Like, London has had a terrorist threat... So, like, we might be in danger over here! OMG!" For about an hour. I shouldn't laugh, really, but it was quite amusing.

Anyway, eventually 9 rolled around, and we met with the people who were sensible and 'risked' the 8:15 bus before heading up to costuming, where we were met by our trainer-person and someone who was going to present us with the joys that are our 'costumes'. Not uniforms, guys, they are costumes.

The costuming room is so cool! Rails and rails of the different shop outfits, with examples of how they should be worn hanging above them. I really want to get a shift in the Christmas shop or Candy Cauldron one time, purely to wear their cute outfits! The rest are more just funny colours, like Goofy's Candy Company with its fetching bright orange shirt and blue trousers. Sexy.

The bad thing about costuming- if you're body conscious already, Disney sizes do not help. After being scrutinised by the costuming person, I was handed a small shirt (fair enough...) and... size 16 trousers (a UK size 20). Those ones were absolutely MASSIVE, but I still ended up with a size 14 (UK18) (I'm normally a UK12/US8...) (they're still a tiny bit too big- I can manage to pull them down from under my boobs- where they're supposed to sit- to just above my hips, which means they're not hanging above the ankles quite so badly. Still, they are about the most unsexy thing I've worn in my life! What makes it even more unjust is that the guys' trousers are actually alright- they basically fit like chinos. Meh!).

So after some palava trying to find the right sizes and bagging the only pair of trousers left in my size (which means I'm screwed if I get them dirty as costuming isn't open until Tuesday after today, which is when I start my On the Job training and need to wear the sexy uniform for...) we were taken down to the computer labs, where we basically spent 2-3 hours watching fascinating films about how to read chemical labels, robots telling us that in Disney, the longer you've worked there the higher your st-ah-tus, therefore the better your schedule. ie. you are an ICP therefore you WILL get the hours nobody else wants... OK I was expecting that anyway, but I love how blunt they make it!

So after that brilliant few hours we caught the bus back to Vista where we planned to go and sunbathe, but then it decided to piss it down, so Charlotte C and I went to Wal*Mart instead with Laura, Kate and Amy J and I bought PROPER FOOD (ie chicken, VEGETABLES!! (vegetables don't exist on American menus except in salad form, I swear) oh... and some ready meals for those days when I know I won't be in the mood to cook... 92 cent ready meals. I'm intrigued as to what they'll taste like! Probably carboard...) and a load of stuff for the flat like binbags, dishwasher powder, etc, etc. Oo and Amy and Kate got a tv for their flat, so I think we may well be round their's a LOT from now on! $54 for a tv-video combo, always good!

So after getting home and the whole palava of having to borrow carts- like granny carts- to drag all our stuff back to our apartments (except they don't stear properly, so watching Charlotte try and drag this thing bag was rather amusing!) Charlotte went to the pool to sunbathe and I had some alone time just to read and Facebook- the first time I've been properly alone in the flat, or just alone, since we got here, so that was nice.

We then headed to Kate and Amy's for some PIZZA, with Charlotte I, Rosie and Laura. My first proper junk food since I've been here and it was gooood! I swear pizza tastes better over here. All four of them..! Pigging out while watching tv (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, a fantastic piece of cinema) is so kind of... familiar... it just makes you feel like you're back at home- basically like another term of university. But in Florida with the theme parks on your doorstep, and free cable. Oh and that whole having to work thingy...

Anyway, came home after that and ended up crazy dancing to some random songs Charlotte has on her mp3 player- the broomstick song or something- apparently it's a Liverpool thing! That suddenly woke me up (the film sent me to sleep somewhat..!) and we ended up staying up chatting until about midnight, Emily coming in at about 11 and joining us. And then it was bedtime- funfunfun!

So what's the plan for today? I have a Merchentertainment class at 1:30-5 or so (Merchandise + Entertainment= Merchentertainment, y'see) which I've been told involves even more video watching (yay...) and then Amy J and I are meeting the others in Magic Kingdom I think, as she hasn't been to any of the parks yet because the Traditions people were harsh and sent her home because she had slightly visible roots, so she'd had to get that dyed and do an 8-hour version of Traditions on Thursday. Disney can be so mean... :( So more of the mountains and a visit to Fantasyland are in order I feel! Anyway, on that note I shall be off as my stomach is growling at me..! Update soon I'm sure.
'Everything The Light Touches...'

Yesterday evening/ today

Last night was absolutely amazing. At about 3:30 we got on the buses ready to hit the Magic Kingdom. Annoying the bus we wanted to take decided to leave about ten minutes early, with half of the group (Kate, Rosie, Laura) on-board. Grr. But still, they're every twenty minutes so it wasn't long before we (we being Charlotte I, Charlotte C, Luke, Luke's room-mate, Mike, and I) too were off to play in the parks! It also meant that we got there just as the monorail (cue Simpsons style singing. Everyone does it, I know, but it's essential!)was leaving... so we were at the front of the queue for the next one, and got to ride up front with the driver with an immense view of the tracks. And how weird is it that it goes through the middle of a hotel?! Imagine walking out your door and seeing a monorail whizz past. Very strange..!

So after going past Space Mountain and seeing the Cinderella castle peeking up above the trees, and generally getting a little overexcited, we pulled into the entrance of the Magic Kingdom where we got to use our Cast Member IDs for the first time. Yay! One of the women doing admissions also told us that we could get first visit badges (OK, I've been to MK once before, but Charlotte (C) and Rosie have never been to Florida so...). Free stuff?! I'm there! But before claiming these it was time to experience MAGIC KINGDOM.

I'd forgotten how exciting it is to see Main Street for the first time. I'm still not sure whether I prefer the one in Paris or not, but either way seeing the castle for the first time is something I'll never get over.

So after squeeing about anything and everything, we met the other three outside Casey's and immediately heading off to Splash Mountain, as we were all absolutely boiling. Note: never wear denim in Florida. Not ever in cut-off form. NOT a good plan! However on the way we got sidetracked by PIRATES. Woo for the new Johnny Depp animatronics in there- they look so lifelike! Not something I'm complaining about! Even better, however, was Jack Sparrow's "friend" doing some kind of recruiting-for-crew-members thing outside of the ride. And he ran right past us. The temptation to grab him was strong. I mean, he's not Johnny Depp but there was a VERY strong resemblance. I'm so glad everyone here is just as in love with him as I am! Well, Charlotte I says she isn't, but she will be converted by the end of the trip!

After that we DID go to Splash Mountain, where for some reason it was decided that the two shortest people (ie Charlotte I and... yep, you guessed it, yours truly) should go in the front. I think the aim was to get the best photo possible but seeing as nobody actually bought it I think there was just some heightism going on, and people wanting an excuse not to have to get wet. Which we did. A lot. My jeans didn't dry all day. Another reason jeans don't go with theme parks very well, even in Florida! It's an ace ride though, I do love it. It's even better when it doesn't break down, like it did the last (and only other) time I went on it!

Splash was followed by Thunder, which is always brilliant. I do have a special place in my heart for that right as, apart from the kids' Caterpillar Ride at Alton Towers (which they got rid of) I think it was my first rollercoaster (well, the Paris one was anyway). Flying Fish may also be there somewhere. Still, it is awesome. After that we went to Peco Bill's where I was a good girl, avoided the really good smelling burgers and had a taco salad - basically salad with mincemeat on top, which is suprisingly nice! I was considering the chicken salad as an even healthier step, but considering my overdose on chicken the previous day I wasn't too keen on that plan!

We then made our way over to Space Mountain, where Mike left us to go and find a friend. I'd forgotten how brilliant Space Mountain was- Charlotte (C) and I were just giggling the whole way round! It got everyone so pysched up as well- it's amazing what some adrenalin can do to the system, eh?! So pumped up, we went for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger's Spin on which I was something like the third level up. I WILL beat my score of 110,000 (or something like that) before I leave. Not that that's likely, seeing as I seemed to accumulate 100,000 points before I even got onto the ride!

After that Kate and Laura had to leave us, as Laura had to be at Animal Kingdom for something like 8 today for her acclimatisation thingy- she's working in Restaurantasaurus, a fast food place, there. The rest of us all stayed and went to stake out some places for Wishes, the firework show there. And oh my God, everyone should see Wishes at some point in their lives. I actually thought I was going to cry. I know, it's only a firework show, but there's just something about it that's really, really, really special. I was just stood there, watching it, amazed at how brilliant and perfect it was, and thinking 'oh my god, I live in Disneyworld'. I don't think I'd really thought about it properly until then, but at that moment, every single person in the crowd seemingly in awe of the spectacular, it just hit me. It may only be for 10 weeks, but godammit I'm going to make the most of my life with the Mouse.

We hung around for a little while after Wishes to let the crowds die down a tad- didn't really work and we still ended up waiting a while for the ferry (we decided to be original with our transportation modes...). We found the bus back to Vista with slightly more ease than we had in Downtown Disney (we actually walked to the right area this time!) but still had to ask someone for it- I can't wait until I know exactly where it goes from. I think then's the point I know I'm settled in. I would judge it by work, but I was reading up on the store today and apparently there's 12 rooms/sections (all of which are about the size of one Disney Store at home and that's no exaggeration!), so I get the feeling I'll never really know my way around there, even with working every hour of the day!

Anyways, got back home at around midnight and fell straight into bed!

Today I had a day off, so I had a 'lie-in' until 9 (that now constitutes a lie-in folks. How life has changed since uni!), got up, pottered around on Facebook and then at about 10:30 Charlotte and I headed down to the pool to sunbathe for a while. We lasted about an hour before deciding it was too hot to stay out any more and came back to the flat for a bit for lunch/ more Facebook/ me starting to write this up/talking to all the poor people who had been up at stupid o'clock for training. We then got the 3 o'clock bus to... MGM (sorry, Disney-MGM) studios with the other two Charlottes, Rosie, Luke and Laura/Rosie/Charlotte I's flatmate Danielle.

I really love MGM studios. In a way I kind of prefer it to MK as it's much more relaxed- you can just enjoy the atmosphere a little more. It's not as magical as Magic Kingdom (it's all in the name folks), but Sunset and Hollywood boulevard (where Charlotte I and Rosie are going to be working, respectively) still have that Hollywood vibe, and there are some facades, like at Universal Studios, which they sometimes use for filming (I think) which are really cool. Anyway we pottered around in the shops for a little while waiting for Kate and Laura (the latter of whom had just had her Daklimation so she needed to go and change before coming out), who we met outside Tower of Terror (only a 20 minute wait, and I'm not sure it was even that!). Yes Dad, I actually did it. So there. It's bloody brilliant as well! Not been quite so scared of a ride in a while (well... since Stealth... which considering that was the last theme park I went to before Disney isn't quite such an achievement but hey) but it was amazing! After that we got some fastpasses for Rock 'n' Rollercoaster and went to see the Beauty and the Beast stageshow which is great- all the songs rolled together, so you have to love it! We then went to see the High School Musical pep rally (has to be done! They don't sing Breaking Free though! Shocking!) before going on the Great Movie Ride (have to take you on it Hannah- there's a Singin' In The Rain bit!), Muppets 3D and grabbing some food (a 'Toy Story Salad'. Again was SO tempted by the pizza but I was a good girl and refrained. OK so I just ate some New York Super Fudge Chunk Ben & Jerry's (it's cheaper in dollars than it is in pounds. Like less than $3. Crazy shiz!) but that's not the point!). By this point is was time to return to Rock 'n' Rollercoaster and oh my god, I love fastpass- we basically walked straight onto the ride next to an 110 minute queue. Mwahaha. Admittedly it is a fricking BRILLIANT rollercoaster, absolutely fantastic, but it's so short that I would be a little let down after an 110 minute way. But it's still so good! Loved it!

After that we were all feeling a little sleepy so we made our way down the Boulevards, worked our way through a few shops, some got sidetracked by a cute American (who unfortunately lives in Chatham. Boo) and make-your-own tiaras, I bought some Mickey earrings (like the black symbol, but in turquoise... very much like ones I used to have but lost. I can't believe they still sell them 5 years later!), so I now have more than one pair of earrings I can wear to work. And then we actually managed to find the bus with some ease for a change (partly due to the cast members in costume waiting there for it, admittedly!) and came home, once again exhausted, but very, very happy. Had an absolutely brilliant day! And now I shall be going to bed as I have some e-learning thing from 9 o'clock tomorrow and as the 8:15 bus doesn't get to Downtown Disney until 8:50 and I have no idea where I'm going, I'm going to have to get the 7:15 one. Which means another early start for Amy, especially considering I'm supposed to be in business attire and therefore look vaguely presentable once again. Bah. So yes, looking forward to that greatly... But I do have the afternoon off, so I think Charlotte and I are going on a Wal*Mart trip for fun essentials such as binbags, dishwasher tablets and sexy black trainers in the afternoon. Woop! Well, it can't all be Disney magical. Still, since I've been here I've been in such a permanently good mood, I love it. I just hope it stays the same...

Anyway, really must be off. But first... some Collapse )

and that's a wrap, folks!