Tags: vista way

Alice in Wonderland

The last few days...


I know you're all absolutely gagging for a proper update, Amy-essay-style, so I'm going to start from the very beginning (a very good place to start, I'll have you know) so you get a proper update about it all. Or as much as I can do in the time I have before I go to The Magic Kingdom. For free. How surreal is that sentence- oh, I'm just popping off to a theme park. Brilliant, but weird. I am so excited as well, it's been MUCH too long since I had some Disney fix. ANYWAY, update time...

Day 1: Up at 7ish, which could have been a lot worse (some people on the flight had been up at ridiculous times in the morning...), and after some last minute packing (which of course meant I forgot such vital essentials as my toothbrush and razor. And birth certificate, it later transpired. Not. Clever. Anyway...) we were off to Gatwick. The queue for check in was absolutely full of people with ICP luggage labels- like almost every other person! But of course, nobody was speaking to each other and everyone looked pretty nervous. This was the first time it really hit me that I was leaving home and started to feel a bit shaky at this point! But it was soon fine- just before I went through security, two of the people I'd spoken to a bit on Facebook- Charlotte I and Luke (musicians, Huddersfield, boyfriend and girlfriend) turned up, so I tagged along with them, did the usual scanner business, and we went up to the designated Sports Bar meeting point. I was tempted by having my last taste of alcohol at 11am, but the prices soon put me off. We're not in Studentland any more Toto. Anyway, everyone soon turned up- about 25-30 of us clogging up the area. Oh, and our flight was delayed 1 1/2 hours which was more than a little frustrating. But our boarding time rolled around soon enough and I took my seat beside Abbie (SUCH a girly girl, was brilliant... She even wore heels on the flight- so impressed), Charlotte T and Laura, and we were on our way to Orlaaaaaaando. I've never been quite so hyper waiting for a flight. Although the hyperness soon died- nothing like an eight hour flight to take it out of you. An eight hour flight with some brilliant turbulence. I should be more worried by being shaken about so much in a little box I'm sure, but I really do have a strange fondness for turbulence...

Annnyway, spent the flight watching the Pursuit of Happyness (I got past my dislike of the wrong spelling, it's actually quite a good film), reading Glamour, stealing Abbie's magazines and having random hyper periods. Oh and it turned out that the woman in front of us was the Mum of the guy (or one of the guys?) who rides a motorbike in the MGM stunt show, so she was telling us all about the wonderful Florida thunderstorms. You can't escape the rain. Ever... Bah.

So then we landed, went through the most rigorous procedure of landing I've ever experienced in my life. Also, nobody told us you have to go to a little separate room with J1 visas. We all got taken off one by one, thinking these security guards were going to do something Not Fun, then breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when we found everyone else waiting in there as well! Quite amusing to see everyone have exactly the same reaction.

And then they take your bags off you AGAIN after the first baggage carousel, which means two times waiting for your luggage. Seriously, it took us at least two hours to get out of the airport. And more if you factor in the time it took for us to find the Disney welcome desk- nobody in the airport seemed to know where it was. Not helpful when you have to pay for one of the trolleys and neither of your bags have pulley things. Mum, Dad, will you lend me money for new ones, my arms are STILL aching from dragging them around- I am NOT going through that again on the way back!

Anyway, at the welcome desk we got our welcome packs with our apartment numbers on them- luckily I was in Chatham (3408), with one other girl from the flight- another Amy (too many Amys!)- and everyone else is in the 30s nearby, which is pretty good. Right opposite the pavillion as well, which has been incredibly useful for spotting when buses come the last few days. Not so useful when we have to start using the proper buses but never mind.

So got the apartment at about 10 or 11, to find only one other girl in (my room-mate, Katie. She has a boyfriend doing the programme so we don't see an awful lot of her). I then pretty much went out straight away to Wal*Mart, which was NOT a good plan- we were so tired that nobody could be bothered to think straight, and after grabbing essentials (cereal, pillows) we collapsed into a cab back to Vista and into bed... Had a bit of a strange sleep (going to bed at 6am British time will do that to you) that night... and then it was time for Day 2

Day 2: Lots of form signing, met someone I'd been speaking to off the WDWIP forums- Rachel- and was queuing with Katie and Charlotte T's flatmate (who came to Wal*Mart the night before), Maibh (Maive. She's Irish if you didn't guess from the spelling of the name :P). After that Maibh, Rachel, Charlotte and I went to Bennigans for lunch- which has MASSIVE portions for ridiculously small prices. I could only eat about half, but considering I paid $5 for what I got, I wasn't too fussed! After that it was time to go over to the Commons for some talk by Price Management, and our new best friend, Gretchen, where they hammered the No Drinking rule into us a LOT. Oh and apparently we always smile. Always. Some of the staff at Vista Way clearly hide this fact well... And then at 3 that was us done for the day. Returned home, bummed around on Facebook, then went out with Karen and ANOTHER Charlotte (C)- my flatmates- and some other people to Bennigans. Again. Don't worry Mum, I didn't eat another full meal! But I can see all my money being spent on food! Ah well... Returned home after that, we all chatted for a while, Emily- the final flatmate of us six returned home (her parents and boyfriend are on holiday here for the first few weeks so she's been with them mostly), talked some more and then it was bedtime.

Day 3: The talk things I wrote about before in the morning. Came home, watched everyone else get their place of work and got very jealous when someone ended up doing Ops at Pirates of the Carribean! Best job ever! Anyway, 3 o'clock eventually rolled around and just as I was going in I saw Charlotte T come out. She's working the Bibbity Bobbity boutique in the Wide world of Disney shop in Downtown Disney- she gets to do Princess Makeovers on little kids! How IMMENSELY cool is that?!?! And her costume is ace- pink and frilly, brilliant! Anyway, she'd seen my name, and not being able to wait any longer I forced her to tell me my job role... and I am... working in THE BIGGEST DISNEY STORE IN THE WORLD in Downtown Disney- the same shop her boutique is based in, which is uber-cool! So it's not a park, but as someone pointed out, at least the whole magic isn't ruined by it being my place of work. And it's not a hotel, so super-WOO. But yes, apparently they employ 500 staff so it must be VERY busy and it's absolutely GINORMOUS. Seriously, you can buy ANYTHING in there so long as it's Disney themed. I know because we went to Downtown Disney last night to check it all out- my uniform is extremely sexy- high waisted beige trousers (I keep saying pants, the American-ness has got to me already. AGH!) and a red, blue and green striped shirt (I think that's the right colours). Sexy as. But still, pretty excited about that- Amy J (ANOTHER one, also on the London flight), Charlotte and I were all going round it just totally in awe (Amy's working with me, which is cool)- as was everyone really. I'm pretty excited about getting started now! First training shift there though... 3:30-midnight. Brilliant...

So after checking out WWOD we headed to Planet Hollywood for another person off the flight- Rosie's- birthday. By 'we' I mean, Charlotte T, me, Luke, Charlotte I, Laura (not who I sat next to, this could get confusing!), Amy, Kate and Rosie. All from the London flight and they're all absolutely lovely- it's a really nice group of people :) Which was aceness as they just place old school music the whole time. Although it did make us all want to go clubbing- not even drinking, just dancing! But yeah, that was cool and we bought Rosie the photopass (ie official) photo of us outside the restaurant for her birthday, which she seemed really chuffed about :) Anyway, after that we wondered round for a bit more before heading back at about 9:30 as most of us had to early morning Traditions...

Day 4: Yes, this did indeed include me. I have been up since 5:30. At the time Hannah was texting me having just opened her present I was awake, and there's a FIVE HOUR TIME DIFFERENCE. Ugh. Anyway, after stressing about whether we looked alright (you have to wear proper business attire to fit into the 'Disney Look', and they seem to be really strict- people were sent home because their hair was slightly too highlighted, even if with natural colours!) we got on the buses at 7 and off we went to Disney University.

Traditions is the class that (I think) every Cast Member has to take, and it basically goes over the past of the company, as well as not so interesting stuff like sexual harassment, safety, etc, etc. I was falling asleep in that middle section! But they show some uber-cute videos of people around the parks as well, which brightens it up. And Disney University is SO cool- it has stills from the movies EVERYWHERE, as well as stuff like a scene used to help animate Alice in Wonderland, models of Minnie and Mickey and everything like that. So that was exciting. What was more exciting was that we got our Disney IDs! Basically we can now get discount and play in the parks for free. So in fifty minutes I am off to Magic Kingdom with Charlotte I, Luke, Kate, Laura (Hollywood Laura), Rosie and Charlotte room-mate, and Charlotte T and Amy J are joining us later. And I have a day off tomorrow, along with a lot of other people, so I can explore one of the other parks that I've never been in before!! I WILL get over my vertigo/fear of lifts and get on Tower of Terror! Anyway, on that note I am going to get myself ready... Sorry for the poorly-written/abstract nature of this post (especially people wise!)- Internet not working in the apartment (even though it was yesterday afternoon, grr...), so I'm in the learning centre (free computers basically) and have limited time, so I've just been trying to get everything down for you! I've just realised there'd wireless down here though so I'll bring my laptop down next time and write a better update. Oh and these computers won't let you on Facebook either. I'm shaking from withdrawal symptoms!

They're playing Cinderella in here. How brilliant is that?

And on that note, I'm off to visit my good friend Mickey! SO EXCITING! Tarah!

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