Sunday, July 24, 2011

Working at Epic!!!

Monday equaled my first day of Training for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! Which everyone just calls Epic. I had to be at work at 8.30am so I had to catch a bus at 7am to get there in time to try on costumes and figure out where I was supposed to go. The costuming cast members are very unhelpful though so it took me a while to get sorted - as well as all the sizing over here is weird so you have to try on like 5 different sizes before you can find one that fits but still looks good on as well as Disney has the worst fashion sense!!!!!

I finally managed to get a costume sorted but then I had no idea where I was supposed to go - so with only like 5 minutes before I was meant to start work I just went around to the front of the theatre and luckily there was someone there who directed me where to go and I was only like 2 minutes late - but I really hope that I won't get a half point because of that!

I was training with a girl I knew from Australia who had come over in January aswell. Her name is Ashlea so it was good to have someone to talk to while training. Our trainer on Monday was Kathleen and she was really nice. We learnt all the positions and it was a little bit overwhelming at first as it felt like there was so much to remember and so many things happening at once but by that afternoon I was pretty much set.

We started off  "pushing water" which happens every morning as the theatre is hosed down every night and we have to squeegie all the benches and make sure that the all the water is pushed down to the bottom and there are no puddles of water anywhere. It really sucks and is very boring!! But hopefully we don't have to do that very often as apparently CPs don't normally get given the opening shift. Then we leart all of the positions there are "House - Left, Right & Centre" they direct the people to seats and take car of the quests in weelchairs. Then "packer" gets everyone to "fill up all available space" and "slide to the centre of the theatre". "Photocell" is the person who lets people into the theatre and directs the weelchairs to a cast member to be taken care of. "Greeter" lets people know when the next show is, when to come back for the show, pulls people in to watch the show and gets to pick a kid for each show to be the junior director! Everyone has to help clean up the theatre after every show - that is the worst bit!!

My training days were pretty easy and this job is 100% easier than Quick Food and Beverage. Only issue with this job is that it sucks having to mass pack - this is where you stand down the front and yell to 400 people to move towards the centre of the theatre and you have to do it all fun cause it is Disney! I am going to have so much confidence after 6 months of doing this several times a day. The other part that sucks is the mean guests that get angry cause they can't sit down or the show is sold out or they can't see - I hate guests sometomes they are so nasty sometimes and 99% of the time it is their own fault for coming late!!!

On Wednesday I was supposed to have the day off but my training schedule and CDS (cast deployment service) which is responsible for everyones shifts were different and so my schedule got all mucked up but it was sorted in the end it just meant that my days off this week were Fiday and Saturday instead of Wednesday and Thursday. It also meant I had 3 days off this week as I already had Sunday off. Days off are good and all, but your paycheck is always very small which sucks!!! I have found that due to my early finishes every day I have so much time for my chores such as laundry, walmart trips etc and I do not need two days off anymore except for socialising. And due to most of my friends leaving in the next 3 weeks I will have plenty of time to pick up extra shifts and I will try to get scheduled for 6 days a week! Every extra penny helps when you have so many things on your American Bucket List to get done and now only 6 months left to do it!!!!

Thursday was my assessment so I am now officially an Epic Cast member! Yay! So much better than training as they do tend to treat you like an idiot or a baby sometimes. The assessment consisted of a written test (and by written I mean multi-choice) which I got all right!! Yay Me!!! Then we walked around with our assesor and she asked us questions and then observed us doing all the different jobs. Was a wee bit scary but went well. After that was finished I was put into rotation which meant that I was given jobs to do all by myself. Unfortunately I got House Right three times, but I got a greeter posistion for a little bit as well - which was fun!! I have decided I like greeter and photocell (when it isn't too hectic) the best!!

For the last show I saw my friends Sarah, Rebecca and Victor who all came to watch - it was very fun seeing them and getting to tell them where to go - highlight of my day!! Oh the other day we picked the Junior Directors for a show and when we asked the family if they were having a good day they told us that they were having a horrible day and when we asked them if the kids wanted to do the Junior Director thing and that they would get to meet Indiana Jones afterwards and get VIP seating they were so happy and told us it just made their day!!!! I was so happy that we had made some magic!!!

After work on Thursday I hung out with Sarah and Rebecca and we went to Lone Star for dinner. The meals were very filling and it was nice to hang out with my friends while they are still here. On Friday Rebecca and I made a deal - I would go shopping with her in the morning if she came with me to see Harry Potter. So I finally saw Harry Potter 7 pt 2! I thought it was okay definitely not the worst of the adaptations, and overall a pretty good movie, but only as a second parter as there wasn't really a beginning or a middle! I was glad Neville got to kill the snake as that was a part of the book I would have been so mad to have been changed. The ending was just idiotic though and really cheesy even worse than in the book.

In the evening Sarah and I went to Rebecca's after she had finished work and watched A walk to Remember and Mary Poppins - It was nice and relaxing!

Today I didnt really do anything except Laundry and go to Walmart where I bought a watch as my new job requires me to know the time and a new MP3 player as mine broke.

Well It is back to work tomorrow - now that I am not training I will have to see what the day offers me!


Friday, July 22, 2011

A new Job!

So Saturday rolled around and we finally got sent an email telling us the location of our new job. My email said Hollywood Studios Icon Attractions - so of course I was like wat is Icon Attractions??? Anyway after a wee bit of asking around I finally found out that Icon Attractions are: Star Tours, Muppets 3D, Indiana Jones, American Idol, Jedi Training Academy and Great Movie Ride. So I would be at one of these attractions. I was just so excited that I wouldn't be working at The Honey I shrunk The Kids Playground - It is very boring there apparently you just yell at kids to go down the slide feet first and tell people they cant bring food into the playground (yawn) But Yay!!! cause I don't have to work there!! So of course I wanted to know exactly where I would be working but unfortunately I would have to wait until my training schedule was sent to my managers at Sunset and that wasm't until Thursday.

My last week of work at Sunset I had aweful shifts 3 of which were closing Dishes. Luckily I am so seasoned at Dishes now that I can get through with pretty much lightening speed, especially if I have good people to close with!!

On Wednesday I basically had a lazy day but I did get to Walmart and my awesomely brilliant mum gave me some money to buy clothes so I got four pieces of clothing for like $45 bucks was v good!!! The rest of the day I just lazy bummed around watching tv shows.

Thursday was Loren's last day as a cast member so we went to Property Control - but unfortunately there wasn't anything good there on that day which sometimes happens. Some days are crap and other days are brilliant for good finds!! I did buy some pins for my collection from Cast Connection though.

After that we went to Hollywood Studios with Cody, Sarah and another friend of Loren's and we got to watch Beauty and the Beast from the VIP section which was really cool - plus we had the good singer!!! I also got my training schedlue and found out I would be working at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! not my first choice but anything is better than the playground!!!!! So, excited that I finally knew where I was going to be working. We then met up with Ruth and rode on Toy Story twice and I finally got to the Beaver - yay!! Both times I was a Beaver but I did improve on the second time so aiming to just keep getting better every time I go!

After that we went home for a wee bit (ie a shower cause we were all sweating pretty bad (eeeeewww) I know it is gross but it is so hot and humid here - cannot wait until October hits and the humidity dies down a wee bit). Then Ruth, Loren and I headed to Epcot as the others were going to ditch us to see the Harry Potter midnight showing! Losers!!! lol

We had dinner at China and went on Test Track - I love that ride. We were going to go on Soaring but Loren didnt want to miss her last showing of Illuminations which was very good I just love the music that accompanies the fireworks it makes them spectacular. I think Timaru should have music to the New Years Fireworks as they use many of the same fireworks that disney use lol!!!

Once Epcot closed we went to Jelly Rolls which was alot of fun. I love that place!!! And we even went to the Dance Hall and all did the cupid shuffle!! lol!! Later at like 3am we went to Dennys and I had Pancakes for $2 and Bacon but the bacon is weird here it is fully hard not just crisp like it is back home so I didnt really like that - but the pancakes were really good!!! I did feel pretty sick though. I think it was most likely a mixture of the alcohol, sun, lack of sleep and probably dehydration - but once I got to bed I was fine. Friday though I had to get up early to go with Loren to the hotel as I had reserved the room and needed to show my cast ID for the discount before I started work!! It was very weird being back at Pop Century as that was where our whole Disney journey started!!

Because all my friends are leaving I kindof feel a bit sad that I am not going home as well. Not because I don't like it but because all of the absolutely amazing and lifelong friends I have made here are all going to leave me and I am needing to make new friends again. But then I think of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and I am glad that I will get to experience all of those events both in America and at Disney!!!

On Saturday I got up early and made Afghans for all my work friends to sample. I was quite surprised noone knew what an Afghan was even the Brits and Aussies , as I didnt realise they were a NZ invention. My last teo days were sad - but was good knowing I could come back and see some of my friends who will still be at Sunset. I took loads of pictures with everyone so I won't forget them!!

Sunday was the last day to spend with Lorena and Narelle ever until we go to Australia or they come to see us. I met up with Loren in themorning at Downtown Disney and we decided to go on the Balloon - it is a hot air balloon that goes up 400m and you can see almost all of Disney from the air. It was a pretty windy day so we only just managed to get on but we had both wanted to do it from the start of our programme so we were glad to get it ticked off!! We went with three of Loren's friends from work and we all ate at Earl of Sandwich together afterwards.

After that we went back to Pop Century and I burned Festival of the Lion King, Illuminations, Wishes and Disney Wishes! (CDs which Loren bought at Property Control) to my external hard drive - I love the music and am so excited to have it yay!!! Then we went to Hollywood Studios and I got them in on my Main Gate Pass which means I aonly have 2 days left on it now =( Then I had to go clean my apartment and go to Walmart to get more phone credit cause I had run out so I met up with them again at Magic Kingdom for fireworks - but we also went on Laugh Floor and for some unbelievable reason we also went on It's a Small World. We watched the Fireworks for Loren's last time - and I had a great spot but due to unforeseen circumstances involving food, Haunted Mansion, pins, a phone not working, bridges, people and confusion I managed to get separated from the others - but I just met up with them at the train station later and we took pictures with our old ganag from Pop Century again!! lol

Then we had to say goodbye and tears were shed - they never told us we would have to say goodbye to so many great friends and great people!!!!!!!

Well this is the end of the first half or my programme let's hope the next 6 months are just as fun-filled and rewarding as the first =) !!!!!!!

Write Soon


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well...It has been a while....

Okay so It has been quite a while since I last wrote but the truth is I have just been so busy the last two weeks that I haven't been able to find time to write. Okay so after Independence Day work was pretty much back to normal and although I was sad to leave I felt pretty stifled in the job. I was definitely ready for a change and was definitely counting down the days until I changed jobs. For those of you that don't know the Australia / New Zealand 12 moth programme entitles you to two jobs -each 6 months long. So for the first 6 months of my programme I worked Quick Service Food and Beverage and for the second 5 months I get to work Attractions.

That Wednesday was one of Loren's last days off before she (on the 6 month programme) goes back home so I spent the day with her. We firstly went to Animal Kingdom in the am. It was amazingly fun - we rode Dinosaur (my favourite thrill ride at Disney) and watched Festival of the Lion King - I love that show!!!!! We were going to go on Kli River Rapids but the line was like 80 minutes and honestly ythe length of the ride does not constitute a wait time of over 10 minutes! So we skipped that one!

After Lion King we were getting a picture with Donald and this guy calls out for people to volunteer to have a song made up about them and Loren in her infinite "meanness" volunteers myself!! It was very embarressing at first but the song was actually amaazing and afterwards Loren got a song written about her too! Best Magical Moment of the day (or eva) but I still have 6 months to go so maybe something even better will happen!!!!

After AK we headed to Magic Kingdom where we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (my favourite Rollar Coaster at Disney) and we got to eat dinner at Casey's which is this food joint themed for a baseball concession stand so they sell hotdogs aka "american hot dogs" and cracker jacks and candy floss etc it was pretty cool. Then we watched the fireworks from the train station. It has an amazing view but someone had the bright idea to build a giant flag pole right in the middle of the view of the castle so it sucked for taking pictures or videoing the show!!!

Thursday was official Lazy Thursday with Sarah and Rebecca my buddies from work. W e watched movies all day and enjoyed junk food and Pizza as well! Such a fun day and we didn't even do anything. In the early afternoon this massive storm blew over top us and some massively close and massive lightning and thunder right above us caused the power to go out for like an hour right in the middle of our movie watching. We couldn't even get the dvd out of the dvd player to watch on the computer. The annoying thing was that after about an hour the power came back on for like 10 seconds and then died again and this kept happening for like another 20 minutes!!!!We didnt even have internet so we had to just sit around staring out the window and talking - was kindof exciting though!

That is the thing they don't tell you about Florida though - they said it would be hot and that it would be humid and that it would rain for an hour or so every afternoon. They did not tell us that there would be massive thunderstorms every other day or that it would down pour for hours at a time some days - the amount of rain they get here is crazy!!!!

Anyway I promise to write soon this time


Friday, July 8, 2011

Indendence Day

So this is my 50th post! Wow I cannot believe I have actually been writing this for so long - I am never able to keep up a diary or journal so I am quite proud of my 50 post accomplishment!!

Last Saturday I didn't start work until 4.45pm so I went to Hollywood Studios with Loren. She finally made it to Toy Story and we both made it into the 90,000's with our score as on this ride you sit in little carts and have to shoot at 3D virtual things like plates or balloons or ring toss etc. It is very fun but definitely not worth the wait of over an hour that some people wait. The other day it was a 2 1/2 hour wait - Crazy!!! Anyway If you are just in a two when you go on the ride you get to skip half the queue - which is so brilliant!! I have almost made it to beaver!!!

We also went to American Idol and Star Tours. After Loren went to work I went to drawing class and got to draw piglet!!! I think my piglet is pretty cute =)

Work that day kind of sucked - but it wasn't as bad as the day before where I got soaked walking to work and then had to change my costume after an hour of condiment bar and had wet shoes all day!!  We had to get new shoes which would be fine but they were too small, but my other shoes were wet so I wore them however it was entirely uncomfortable!

Sunday I gave away my shift so I was able to go and see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom!!!!!! This was amazing as they were the same fireworks that would be shown at Magic Kingdom on July 4th for Independence day!! They were so cool! I spent the afternoon at MK by myself of course. I went to property control in the morning with Loren. I also took my shoes back and managed to swap them for a size bigger they are so much better now that my pinky toes aren't cramped. It amazes me how small american's feet are - in NZ I wear about a size 8 which is just below average but here I wear a size 9 1/2 and the average is like a 7-8. So strange!!

I bought at property control a photo album, some pins, Disney playing cards, a Hollywood Studios T-shirt and the cutest little outfits for my dog and cat - so excited for them to try them on! Liddy you must send me a pic of Abbs and Precious dressed up!!

After dropping my neew stuff off at home I headed to MK and hung out all day by myself. I watched the 3pm Parade and the Mickey float broke in front of me - I was a wee bit worried for those people that are friends with Characters in the parade casue it was ridiculously hot outside, but they finally got a little cart to tow the float for the rest of the parade.

I also went to see PhilharMagic (Love it!), Carousel of Progress, and since it was independence day - Hall of Presidents (I was almost falling asleep in that one!) I also visited Beasley at work, pin traded, ate dinner and window shopped!! Was a very long, busy day!! People were lined up at like 5pm for the 9pm fireworks - I got a position at like 8pm and my friend Collette from England arrived just before they started she had been working. I filmed the fireworks and they were just magnificent - they completely surrounded us!!

After the fireworks we watched the electrical Parade and then Memories show as Leroy who also is from England and works with us and who had met up at with us after the fireworks, hadn't seen them before. It was mental when they were over as everyone was trying to leave the park at the same time! Crazy!!!

Then it was back to work for the fourth! I was lucky enough to be able to watch the last 5 minutes of the fourth or July Fireworks at Hollywood Studios from outside my work. They were incredibly pretty and I really want to see if I can find them on Youtube so I can watch the whole thing!

Well I will write soon,


More Goodbyes

Work has become very monotonous and boring as of late. It really drives me insane when I am working with people that I do not like and I have to remind myself that I only have a few days left; as of now I only have 7 more days of work. So excited about the change, but also a wee bit nervous especially about which job I will have. I still do not know, but on Sunday we will be getting our schedules for that week so if I do not know before then, I will on Sunday! I really hope there are lots of nice people to make friends with at my new job as come August basically all my friends will have gone home. Lisa left last week and Loren and Narelle leave next week. Sarah and Victor leave two weeks after that and Kolbi, Kristen and Rebecca all leave in the first couple of weeks of August. People I have been friends with since January will suddenly no longer be here which officially sucks!!!

Anyway since Lisa was leaving last week we had a fun day at Hollywood Studios last Thursday and then dinner at Applebees on Friday. Thursday was fun! Sarah and I went early and saw the rope drop at Studios and then went to get a fast pass for Toy Story. It was crazy!!! Everybody was basically shepherded to Toy Story but the line for both fast pass and the ride's were massive, so we went and rode the Backlot Tour. When it was over like 35 minutes later there was no queue for fast pass so we got one but it was for 3pm already. Then we went see Beauty and the Beast while we waited for Lisa to arrive. She fully called us just as we finished Beauty and the Beast and asked us to meet her at Beauty and the Beast for the next show - so we ended up watching the show twice in a row. But I really love that show!!!!

Then we met up with Rebecca and went on the Great Movie Ride, Art of Animation and Muppets. Since as Lisa used to work as Disney Junior Live on Stage we watched that also. Unfortunately Lisa didn't tell us that you had to sit on the floor. It has been a very long time since I have sat on the floor for a   long period of time. Luckily the people in front of us left so we were able to stretch our legs out. But we got to see Handy Manny, Little Einsteins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates as well as all our favorite Disney Gang. Lol!!! (Kim and Sarah - Reminded me of our Banana's in Pyjamas excursion!!!!)

We ended up having lunch at work - Lisa and Rebecca had Rosie's and me and Sarah had Eddie's. Then we got Ice cream from Scoops. At 3 pm Sarah and I went on Toy Story and Lisa and Rebecca went on Rock 'n Roller Coaster. It was so much fun but I still only got a rabbit as a prize which is like the fourth lowest prize I am trying to get the next one up which is a beaver. Then we went and watched Indiana Jones and then American Idol. Rebecca and I did Tower of Terror while Sarah drank her Hot Chocolate. After that as Lisa had gone home to pack, we all got Popcorn and watched the finale of American Idol from outside. The girl we voted for didn't win though, but the guy that did was pretty good.

After Studios we came back to Rebecca's and Lisa came over and we watched Tangled as Sarah and Lisa hadn't seen it. We decided that we should have Lazy Thursday this week and just eat junk food and watch videos all day.

I also had a very good night on the Wednesday as we watched Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba. It was fantastic!! I went with Sarah and two of her friends - Katie and Becky, from England. I ended up buying a program of the show as you couldn't take photos. These little girls were absolutely amazing on the diabolos. It was such a good show and I really want to go again before I leave. I even managed to pick up a souvenir Popcorn Bucket that someone had left on the ground after the show!

On Friday after work we all headed to Applebees which was a lot of fun and a great send off for Lisa. Unfortunately we had some annoying people from work who turned up that I really do not like so we sat down one end of the table to them since as they weren't even there to say goodbye to Lisa! Work fully isn't the same without her now and we all miss Lisa so much!! =)

Write Soon