Friday, February 24, 2012

Bah! Midterms

So apparently whenever I write anything along the lines of, "Will post more!" or "Updates coming" i'm actually shooting myself in the foot because I never come back.... :( But this program is already so different from the last one. I'm working just about 40 hours a week, plus since I'm not getting work experience this time around, I actually had to take CLASSES which means homework and midterms. I'm taking all online classes: Photoshop 2, Art History and a quick 6 week course on how to research stuff (seriously?) that's required by my school. It's 7 units total, but it's seriously cramping my play time! Oh, the horrors of being an adult.... ;)

So I received some really good questions from Danielle, (who I hope doesn't mind that I'm posting them on the main page!) But I felt they were really good and warranted an actual response!
 In your opinion, what is the best park to work in as a Photopass?? 
 This is a hard one! One of the bests I have to say, is of course Magic Kingdom. I think that it's the epitome of what people picture when they think of Disney, and it has the princesses! The main street costume also looks fantastic, but the park itself can have some of the longest Photopass hours to work. My friend Traci from the last program was usually going in to work around 6pm, and would get off at like 4:30am (in the summer) so that can be crazy. EPCOT of course was ( and always will be) my home park. It has a bunch of indoor, air conditioned locations, which you will LOVE in the summer months. It also has the world showcase where you can be with a character all day, which I found to always be a lot of fun. But you don't get as many hours! As I mentioned, I really only worked around 32 hours a week my WHOLE program, so I would have to pick up hours Sunday morning when they were released (at 6am....) to make up for it. The schedule comes out every Sunday morning (at 6am....) as do Extra Hours you can pick up on the HUB. These shifts go really fast though, so the early bird catches the worm, as they say. Since you're going in the Fall, you'll have the tail end of the heat, and also the Food and Wine festival in EPCOT, but i heard the park gets really crowded for that, which can definitely be a negative. Animal Kingdom is growing on me, but it has a lot of bugs, lol, and no indoor areas (i'm spoiled...) So I would say MK and EPCOT but those are definitely just my biased opinions ;)
I heard AK has lousy hours, though I don't understand why because they close earlier than the other parks.. Do you feel that way or were the hours worse at EPCOT??
 If you're talking work hours, you really can't beat the fact that AK closes earlier than any park, leaving you the whole night if you want to go out. The latest we close is 8pm, but right now it's usually 5 or 6pm. I'm also getting more hours at work, which means more money! On the other hand, EPCOT I wouldn't go in til like 1 or 3pm and work til 9:45pm or midnight, which left me the whole day to park hop before work. There were several times I would go to MK or HS in the morning, just to meet the early characters, and then catch a resort bus to work. I can't do this now that I'm at AK because I start around 9 or 10am. Also, sometimes when you get home after a long day and eat, all you want to do is fall into bed and just lay there not moving, lol. So I guess it depends on what your looking for: money or play (which you kind of need one to afford the other...)
Also, did you find that the rooming situation worked out better for you going in knowing your roommates or going in as a single??
This is a funny question, as the first time I went in with a bunch of roommates, and then switched out two at the last minute. I got along SO well with everyone last time, and was so excited to finally meet Hilary and Chelsea, but knowing someone online doesn't tell you their quirks and habits. At the same time, knowing people through the facebook groups at least gives you a foundation to go on to build a friendship. I think at this time (one month in) I was closer with my last roommates than I am with my current ones (I also wasn't working as much). My roommates now are amazing and we get along great, I just think I knew my last set better. I also know people who went in, having chosen their roommates through FB and it didn't work out (are they a slob? do they leave their dishes everywhere? are they just plain loud?) These are things you can't really know before you go. That said, it's really scary going in blind, lol. I was so worried that I would be in an apt full of wild partiers, and luckily that didn't happen, but in the end, I'm going to go with: I liked knowing before I went. I liked at least trying to get to know the people a bit, and knowing that we already had something in common.

While we're talking about Facebook groups, can I just say throw out there that there are going to be annoying people. There are going to be people who purposely try and annoy/badger/troll/flame whatever people to get reactions. And Disney DOES monitor what goes on. They monitor what's said in blogs, so I'm pretty sure they monitor what goes on in those groups. People can claim 1st amendment all they want, but in the end, Disney is a business. You have been hired and chosen to represent Disney, which includes preserving the magic. Just remember that. Also, not sure if I mentioned this, but they definitely won't stand for anything they consider cyber-bullying. They made this clear at our housing meeting this year. So always watch how you conduct yourself, and just be mindful.

Coming Soon Eventually:

  • Africa Trek (maybe I'll work on those tonight, actually)
  • I get Tusker House trained on Tuesday!! That's character dining, which is takes place in Tusker House at DAK. And (even better) it's with Donald!
Look!  A picture!
Erin, Diamond and myself at our last Welcome Event

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I got photo of the week!

So the Pocahontas photo I talked about a few weeks ago ended up being one of the Photo of the Week winners! I just found out when I went to work yesterday! I'm really excited! I don't get copies of any of my photos as they don't actually belong to me, but it's nice knowing that I take good photos. :)
So it turns out that there is some sort of bug out here in Florida that I am allergic to. And it's not fun. :(( So touching on a topic I brought up a year ago, I know of two walk in clinics out here, one definitely more expensive than the other, but I feel like they paid more attention to what I was saying. Last year I went to CentraCare, which not only allows you to make appointments online, but will pick you up in a van (note: it's kind of expected to tip the drivers, much like a taxi). CentraCare is basically down by CrossRoads, but is usually busy and way expensive if you don't have insurance. We're talking around $200. I went to a different place today, a Walk In clinic closer to Chatham, I didn't have to wait, and was $110. However I didn't really leave happy. I was originally bit a couple weeks ago while walking across the Chatham lawn, and figured they'd go away. Last night, I was basically the open buffet in my bed. :( The doctor was only able to give me something to treat the reaction, and I asked housing to come in and spray my room, which they did. And I mean, they sprayed EVERYTHING! Very thorough, lol. We'll see how it goes, I'm a little pesimistic at this point, as I basically had the same problem last year, and the bites only disappeared when I went home to California.  ::sigh::
So the family recently came out and visited me! We had an amazing time and the weather was just great! Of course, the day after they left, I was FREEZING! The weather totally changed, we had freeze warnings and work was handing out hot pocket warmers (no, not the food. I just don't know the official name for them, lol). It got down to 24 degrees on Saturday night! We couldn't even figure out how to get our heating system to switch to heat. It SAID that the apt was 73, but it was LYING!!! My roommate and I only had a sheet and our comforter, so we slept in socks, sweatshirts, and put our beach towels on our beds in a desperate attempt to stay warm!  Since it's low season, we have some cool cast discounts going on, including for Animal Kingdom's Wild Africa Trek. I arranged for the family and I to go on this 3 hour walking trip, and it was the best decision ever!!! We walked for the first hour and a half, and it wasn't strenuous at all. There was a total of 12 people in our group, and 6 of them had to be over 60. We got really close to hippo's and crocodiles. We crossed 2 "rope" bridges (planks of wood) and then had an amazing snack lunch waiting for us at a picnic site overlooking the Savannah of Kilimanjaro Safari. Breathtaking. We also had our own private Safari ride, where our truck would stop for as long as we wanted as we took all photos of the wildlife. The regular safari's are only allowed to stop for like 10 seconds, but we got to camp out and just watch the Giraffe's and the Lion as the other trucks drove by. We also were given binoculars so as to better spy on the animals. Included in the price is also a cd of photos taken of us on our trek, as well as the animals from that day. Family agreed it was the best money ever spent. :)
On to random some pics! I have some real professional ones from the Wild Africa Trek coming, but I want to put a watermark on them. They came out amazing! So look for those :)
Before heading to Orlando, I stopped off to visit Traci at her college, New Mexico State.
Yay! I hadn't seen her since we left Orlando in August. I had the BEST weekend

Kelsey and I goofing around in EPCOT on our days off. She is now PT at DTD

My sister, Erin, goofing off (also in EPCOT. It's the place to be!)

Me and 2 of my 3 roommates at the CP welcome event. It was a Pirate theme!

Family's first ride on Rockin' Rollercoaster. I love my sisters face!
P.S. The artsy photo's were taken with an app on my iPhone, Hipstamatic (the paid version). I absolyutely love that app!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Not every day will be magical

The truth is that not every day is going to be as magically awesome as some of your other days, but it's going to matter how you keep yourself motivated. Today was veerrrrrry long for me. While nothing went wrong, it was just a day where I wasn't feeling the magic. Despite this, I was always trying to watch how I interacted with the guests, how I talked to them and helped them find their way around the park. I also had to be aware of my facial expressions, as I was kind of in a sour The day really culminated in getting to the security gate after work and realizing that I had left my car key back at base. It felt like I was never going to get home, lol. It was only a five minute walk back to base, but all I wanted to do was get home.
My roommate has definitely been having a hard time as well. Basically everything that could go wrong, did. From not getting cleared for Traditions til like a week later, to getting incorrect info, to costumes that don't fit right, to the A bus not showing up when it's supposed to, and finally, not getting paid because her payroll got messed up.  It has definitely been a struggle for her to keep going, and I'm really glad that she's pushing through. She's been late twice to work this week because the A bus either didn't show up, or left early. We're not sure which, but I know that she gets to the bus stop 10 minutes before the bus is supposed to be there, so we're not sure what's going on. She's quick service at an MK resort, and its' gotten to the point where she's leaving for work about 2 hours before her shift because she's had such a hard time with the bus.
Having my car here has been REALLY nice! (If only her work was by mine!!) My car officially came and I have taken it to work almost every day. I had planned on not using it to get to work, but the J bus only comes every 30 minutes, and it takes about 40 minutes to get home. So if I just happen to miss the first bus to come home, I won't be home til over an hour after I get off.
Work hasn't been terrible, though! I love my coordinators, and really I have gotten along great with all my other cast members. I already have some favorite character attendants; some even greet me excitedly when they see me coming! Due to the way that DAK is set up though, I don't work with characters here as often as I did at EPCOT. There's a lot of places where you shoot The Tree of Life, so I should be getting really good at that soon. (hopefully...) The Tree is definitely different than Spaceship Earth. I know it's a mental thing, but I'm having a hard time getting my framing right for the tree. I suppose I should give it more than three weeks though... ;)
Last night was fun, as I picked up a shift at EPCOT and got to see a lot of my friends who I hadn't seen in six months. I ended up at Goofy for about 3 hours and shot 1009 photos. It was really weird to work there, as all of my shifts at DAK are day shifts, usually 9-5:15, while the EPCOT shift was 6:15pm-00:15. I've gotten used to going to bed early and waking up early.
Sunday is my last day of work for a few days, as the family is coming in to visit! I was able to get Monday-Friday off to show them around. When they came last time, we hit up EPCOT, Universal: IOA and DAK, but missed Studios and MK (mainly because MK is VERY similar to Disneyland). We will not be missing any parks this time (but we will be skipping Universal). I can't wait! Especially since they're coming out while I still have my holiday discount for merchandise. I'll be the favorite daughter for a while :)