Monday, January 23, 2012

Same Dance, Different Song

I think.
I finished Day 3 of work today at DAK and it's pretty much been amazing.  I wasn't sure how I would feel, having had the last five months off from work, but I really feel like I never left and picked up right where I left off.  I found myself thinking today that I feel like I can see more now than last time. I mean, I see more photo opportunities. Before, I would see the full timers moving around and grabbing these pictures from all sorts of angles, but not doing that myself. Yesterday I was behind the characters, in front of them, zooming in and taking pictures of just faces, just lots of different angles that I didn't do before at EPCOT. At the same time, I'm more conscious of what angles to avoid. Also what's in the background (signs, trash cans, etc). I feel like it's really coming together. :)
So I had Daklimation on.... what day is it? lol Saturday! I had Daklimation on Saturday and it went from 8:30-12:30 (exactly). I then had 30 minutes to eat lunch, run to base, change, and clock in for work. I was not happy with this short of a change over, but it worked out in the end (sometimes, that's all you can ask for). I then worked from 1-7pm in Camp Minnie Mickey. The first character I pulled was actually Daisy!! I had only ever worked with her once at EPCOT so I was super excited for this chance, and sure enough, she was amazing. At 2, she left and Donald came out and was really on it. I eventually worked with Goofy, who I absolutely fell in love with. He was such a charmer that day! I shot just over 1,000 photos that day. Yesterday (Sunday) I was with Minnie for my first two sets, before ending with Donald, and I shot apprx 1,200 photos. Today I was back in camp from 10-5:15 and actually got to start the day with my two favorite nuts, Chip and Dale!! I LOVED working with them at Studios last year, and I can happily say, they were just as crazy in DAK as at Studios! I laughed sooo much! I was able to work with a cool Attendant named Brian, and together we were cracking up with C&D. At one point I looked though my lens to see Chip holding a guys arm straight out and gnawing on it like a corn on the cobb.  I yelled out, "Chip! What are you doing, you can't eat him!!" Chip (still holding the guys arm out) pointed to the guys shirt, which read, "HERSHEY." I responded, "Chip, that's a shirt! He's not ACTUALLY a Hershey bar!" Chip then pantomimed unwrapping a bar of chocolate and pretended to eat it. I reassured Chip again that the guy was indeed, not made of chocolate. Chip spent the rest of the morning gnawing on guests that came up and I would have to yell at him. Chip also tried to escape a couple times today, to go harass Donald who had come out to mingle. I yelled out, "Brian! Chip's trying to escape!" and Brian went running over to grab Chip and shove him back towards his area. Dale thought he could succeed by putting a kids autograph book over his eyes, and side stepped his way towards Donald, but Brian was smarter than that and caught on quick.
After lunch I actually got to spend the whole afternoon with Pocahontas, who just recently was assigned a Photopass member. This was amazing, as I really haven't had much experience working with characters who can actually talk back. I had two shifts (I think) with Belle in France, but that was it. Pocahontas was AMAZING!! I feel like she and I really got a system down, and I could tell when she was going to give someone an extra special hug and was able to really take some fabulous photos. There was one girl who came through today that I think had cerebral palsy. She was in a wheel chair and spoke only Spanish, but her mom was able to translate for her. Pocahontas spent quite a while withe her talking and just really being down on her level. I was able to capture this great moment when Pocahontas leaned in and kissed the girl on the cheek (which she NEVER does) and the little girls face was just lit up with such joy. I really can't believe that I get to experience these moments and capture them for families. (It's also amazing I don't cry more, lol). I ended the day just under 1,000 photos.
I'm off Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thursday I'm in DAK south, which is the bridge area, entrance and Boat Dock (where Pooh and friends are found). I'm the only CP so far at DAK, but I've heard talk that we should be getting some more in February (which is really right around the corner). I'm really going to be spoiled as since I'm fully trained, and the new cp's won't have character training for a while, I'll probably end up with most of their shifts. Once they're trained, I'm going to be really sad to not have as many character shifts, lol.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Exploration: DAK

Hello! So I'm going to have to change the description of my blog, as I'm no longer an EPCOT photopass member; I'm now an Animal Kingdom Photographer! That's right, today is my third day (second day since check-in) and I have officially been placed at DAK. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed to leave EPCOT as I'll always consider it my home! I find it funny though, that I was placed in the one park that I was too afraid to pick up shifts in. It's as if Disney knew... What was it I said about stepping outside of my comfort zone...? I take it back!! The one thing I really remember from my roommate working DAK was that she had looong work weeks, and always came home tired. So I'm a little apprehensive. Well, at least I don't have to worry about a lack of stuff to write about!
The last few days have been CRAZY. I checked in on Wednesday the 18th, and people began lining up at 3:45am. Wow. What a difference from my last group (6:30am). By the time I showed up at 6:30, the line was around the corner and to the bus entrance. Probably a good 150+ people. I will admit, I totally saw someone I had been chatting with on facebook at the front of the line and wormed my way up there.  I went in without any roommates this time and was pretty nervous, but I knew that I wanted a 2 bedroom in Chattham this time. This was a last minute decision as I really liked being able to walk everywhere from Vista, but I really didn't want to live there this time. I wanted someplace nicer. And I am super glad everything worked out. Just like last year, the Chattham rooms went really fast. I really think that since I was a single, I grabbed one of the last 2 bedrooms, because I know my friend Jasmine was a bit behind me and they were gone by the time she got there with her roommates. There were however, 2 bedrooms in Patterson and Vista. Anyways!
I am not going to bore you with details, but things have not really gone smoothly with my checkin. It's nothing that I could have done, just miscommunication between departments, but it made for some stressful days as people had different information regarding me. This will not happen to you, and I think it's only happened because I was seasonal and didn't get switched over til last minute, but everything is fixed now. Because my last program ended in August, I am still certified in all my areas and did not have to go to any trainings!! I did not have to go to Traditions, or Welcome to Entertainment, or any camera trainings. As such, I just had to go to my park specific training today and am jumping straight into work. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I will immediately be making money (yay!) Bad because I feel like i'm not really getting to meet any other program participants. (boo). Everyone is bonding over training or going to the parks, and I have 10 hour work days already!
The days have not been without fun though! And the people I have met are all amazing! I really like my roommates. They all came in blind as well (without roommates) and it's worked out great. They're all from the Chicago area, which is weird....
QUICK THINGS!! I LOVE my Chattham apartment. It is SERIOUSLY better than Vista. Don't get me wrong, i loved every minute of living in Vista. There were not that many parties, and I found it quiet and still quite social. Chattham is sooo much newer though, it's great. I do already miss being able to walk places. If I want to go to Cici's or Wal-Greens, i have to take the bus to Vista and make sure to be back inside Vista by 9pm, or else security won't let me in to catch the bus. However, I have actually also shipped my car out this time. It is currently on a truck in Georgia and should be here sometime next week. I plan to still take the bus a lot to save money on gas, but still. I will have a car!! :) More later.
Shoutout to Samantha and the other girl (I'm sorry! I forgot your name! x_x) I met today who read my blog!