Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The First Week

So life is very hectic here!! Here's what I've done in the last week...

Monday 20/6
Today all that needed to be done was some form filling and a rather epic housing talk.  Made it very clear what we couldn't do and had an immigration man there telling us if we got deported we wouldn't be allowed back into the USA so we had to behave.

In the evening took my first trip to Downtown Disney, had dinner at the House of Blues.  The portion sizes were huge but oh so tasty; the sweet potato fries are probably my new favourite food.

Tuesday 21/6
Today was the day of the giant Walmart shop.  Bought a pin board for all the pictures I brought from home so my room now looks a little more homely.  Didn't buy a great deal of food as planning to eat out quite a bit in the first few weeks to get to know everyone.

Had lots more form filling in to do today and was given my training schedule for the next few days, I had the afternoon Traditions then started training in Magic Kingdom the day after at 0730, so only one evening to go into Magic Kingdom as a guest! But on the bright side more pay in my first pay cheque.

In the evening went to the Disney Boardwalk, which I've never been to before, its a lovely area and you can see the Epcot fireworks (for free).

Wednesday 22/6

Today was the day of Traditions, the general Disney training which welcomes you to the company, the course was located in the Disney University which is around the back of Magic Kingdom.  I found the course fascinating as it was all about the Disney history and traditions (which you might have guessed from the name), some people found the afternoon a little boring as it did involve lots of talking and powerpoint presentations but think that all depends on how super Disney you where.

At the end of Traditions we were given our official name badges and got our ID which allowed us into the four main parks.  To maximise time in the parks, myself and Heather got changed at the Disney University and headed straight to a bus stop which would take us around to the Main Entrance of Magic Kingdom.  It was amazing to finally be in Magic Kingdom after all the waiting and we made the most of our evening going on as many rides as possible, we managed to get on my favourite, Splash Mountain, literally as the park was closing.  We also watched Wishes, the firework show, and the Electric Light Parade.  I can't believe how much we managed to cram into one evening it did mean we didn't leave the park until after midnight and I didn't get home until 0130 (leaving me with three hours sleep before I had to get up for training).

Thursday 23/6
I ran on adrenaline for the entire day today, also Business attire in Florida for a nine hour shift just even much fun.  The day started with a tour of Magic Kingdom which was amazing got told so much information about the parks about all the extra details in the park.  We also got to stand on Mainstreet just as the park opened.

5 Minutes Before the Park Opened 

1 Minute after the park opened

After the general tour finished we were handed over to our area specific trainers and told our locations.... I have been placed on Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride; this was the location was dreading been placed on so I was pretty upset to begin with.  The ride consists of 16 carpets which go around in the circle and guests can control the height and tilt of the carpet.  After chatting to people though, I've ended up genuinely pleased with my location, the cast members working with me are all very friendly, the costume is so comfortable, its a popular ride with younger guests and there's plenty of people who will take shifts off you if you want to give them away.  Also, I will get to help with the reopening of The Tikki Rooms which have been refurbished and are due to reopen soon!!

The afternoon consisted off a tour of Adventure Land and Liberty Square, where we got to go on all the rides; Haunted Mansion, The Hall of Presidents, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise (we didn't go on Alladin as its fairly straight forward what happens with that ride).  It was brilliant to be paid to go around the parks; and because we ran ahead of schedule we got to go on Splash Moutain just before we finished for the day.

We also went to collect our costume, mine is a rather lovely set of pyjamas (I would sleep in them they are that comfortable!

Friday 24/6
Today was another 0730 start, this day was no where near as much fun, all we had to do was elearning courses and got a tour of backstage to show us were the break rooms and thing were. We did get to watch the 3 O'Clock parade which I haven't seen yet, its amazing!!  Looking forward to coming back to the park as a guest to watch it (so I can take pictures).

In the evening we all went to an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet which cost $5.31 was amazing so tasty and so cheap! The only downside was the huge storm that lasted all evening which mean that everyone got soaked!!

Saturday 25/6
My first day off!! I had a lovely lay in after the ridiculously early starts then headed to Hollywood Studios in the afternoon (after a search around on facebook for people to go with).  We went on the Tower of Terror, Backlot Tour, Star Tours (which has been updated and is awesome cannot wait to take Kieran on it as he is going to love it), The Great Movie Ride and Rockin' Rollercoaster.  We also watched the Beauty and the Beast stage show, still one of my favourites and it also sheltered us from the downpour of rain.  As we all had early starts we left just after eight, so before Fantasmic started, seemed really strange leaving before one of my favourite things, still not used to the fact I'm here for so long that I don't need to cram an entire park into one day.

Sunday 26/6
This was my first day of on the job training, which was a lot more fun than I expected.  I got to operate the ride almost straight away, which was quite scary but there were no guests around for my first attempt (which went smoothly).  I went into loading and unloading guests almost immediately with my trainer keeping a careful eye on what I was doing.

There are four positions on the ride; Greeter, Grouper, Long Walk and Short Walk.  The greeter greets the guests, grouper assigns guests to a carpet, and the Long and Short Walkers operate the ride and load the guests.   Everyone I met working on the ride was lovely and welcoming and really encouraging.

In the evening I headed back to Hollywood Studios to watch Fantasmic with Ashleigh and Heather; Fantasmic is a big show which uses projections sprayed on to water.  We went on Star Tours, Muppets 3d, Tower of Terror and Rockin' Rollercoaster; Ashleigh was terrified of Tower of Terror but she enjoyed it in the end (or enjoyed getting off the ride at the end at least).  We stayed for the second showing of Fantasmic as that meant we could get better seats without having to sit around for hours, we killed some of the time by wandering around the shops spotting the various things we were hoping to buy once our wages came through (the main thing I have my sights set on is a rather beautiful but expensive Disney Bag).

Fantasmic was so worth the wait, was amazing to watch and definitely worth the extra wait to get good seats!!

Thanks for reading to the end (sorry for any typos its getting late), I will try and update a bit more regularly now I'm settling into a routine.

J xx

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