Posts

Showing posts from June, 2013

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 27 - Spontaneity is the Key! - 29th June 2013

Image
Today was scheduled to be a pretty boring standard day in, after a fairly busy day out yesterday at Universal. The weather was forecast to be rubbish all day with showers, so I did my laundry and stayed in relaxing. My friend Courtney came over after having been to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. We chatted for a while and I threw out the idea of going and watching Wishes and I said "Or I could do that on YouTube..." then the idea of doing both Illuminations and Wishes on the same day popped into my head, and in less than 15 minutes we were out the door. I've got to say that for the rest of the day our timing was impeccable. We waited about 5 minutes for a bus to EPCOT. We arrived at EPCOT at 8:50PM and were on-stage by the lagoon at 8:55PM. Illuminations then started at 9PM and it was my first time seeing it. My first time seeing Illuminations Illuminations was really good and had great music too! It's nice how each show is unique at the different parks. Next

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 26 - Coaster Day! - 28th June 2013

Image
I and Emma left for Universal at 9 and took the Lynx bus, arriving at 10am. We went to Universal Studios first as we really wanted to do some of the newer rides as we knew they’d be busier later into the day. We queued for Express Passes before we went inside but when we asked for the queue times everything was 20 minutes or less, except Despicable Me. We decided that we wouldn’t need the Express Passes then. The price incase you were wondering - for unlimited rides on everything except Forbidden Journey that day was $107 per person. And that was on top of what people had paid to get in to the park. There was also no annual pass discount offered. We headed straight for Rip Ride Rockit which broke down whilst we were in the queue. 40 minutes later we were on the ride. The lap-only restraint worried us a bit but when we were seated we found that it was actually surprisingly comfortable and kept us very well locked in. Photo: GoStructural.com The fact that you choose a song was g

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 23 to 25 - Work can be fun too! - 25th-27th June 2013

Image
Day 23 - Tues, 25th It was a pretty unexciting day before work today. I basically stayed in and worked on the blog and slept in. Work was from 17:15 to 23:45 which is a nice length as it means I get a half an hour lunch break. It was a pretty standard day at work but I didn’t work in the theatre at all today so didn’t get to/have to watch the movie. I was tasking pretty much all day so I was giving people breaks, asking if they needed the restroom, sweeping the queues, moving strollers, etc. I still haven’t been given the task of the sword in the stone which is really annoying as I’d love to do it. I did a bit of guest flow today which is what you make of it. You can simply stand there and direct guests if you want or you can do what I did which was get some fastpasses and give them out as magical moments and blow bubbles, whilst still helping guests. I also did a bit of Fastpass distribution which is still my favourite position because of the amount of guest interaction. After wo

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 22 - Hollywood Studios - 24th June 2013

Image
Today was my day off. You may remember that I gave away my shift today as I needed a day to reenergise or it would have been 10 days of work in a row. I’ve just been looking at my schedule and I have 4 days off coming up very close together so I’m worried about how many more days I’ll be doing in a row. Despite that, the point of today was to chill and relax a bit. I went over to the gym in Patterson Court (another residence) as I’d heard it had better weights equipment than the one at Chatham and it did which I was happy to see as the Chatham gym is shocking. After that, I went back to the apartment and got changed and went to the pool to get a tan and for a swim. After about an hour relaxing, I decided that I’d go to Hollywood Studios as this was a park that I’d not really fully experienced yet, and the plan was to get lunch there and watch some of the shows to complete my goal of experiencing every attraction at all the parks. One of the buses didn’t turn up at all and in total I

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 20 to 21 - And...more work - 22nd-23rd June 2013

Image
Day 20 - 22nd June 2013 I had been scheduled to work 10 days in a row which I thought was a bit excessive so I gave my Monday shift away to a girl at work yesterday. My request was approved which means that I’ll now have Monday off - hooray! Today was a 10-hour work day from 11:30 to 22:15 with a SIM (Safety in Motion) class scheduled in the middle. The class was about 45 minutes long and was introduced to reduce workplace injuries after Walt Disney himself found that many employees at the original Disneyland were experiencing pains from repetitive movements. The bus today was 20 minutes late which isn’t ideal after a long day’s work and when they only come every half an hour. Buses at the drop off point are also not allowed to overtake each other so sometimes there’s 3 or 4 buses backed up and you have to wait for them to leave individually before you can get to and from work. Work is much better now than last week now that I’ve got into the swing of things, and that I’m tal

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 17 to 19 - Work continues - 19th-21st June 2013

Image
Day 17 - Wed, 19th In the morning I went to my social security appointment. This meant being on a bus for 6am as they opened the social security office two hours early for Disney employees. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would; the whole process took less than 2 hours including the journey both ways. Back home I decided to go back to sleep before work. Today was another fairly short shift at work from 5PM to 11:45PM which meant that I would be there at closing tine. Not really very much to report except that I got to watch Wishes as I was on exit glasses and there weren’t really many guests in the theatre during the fireworks. Day 18 - Thurs, 20th Today was set to be my longest shift ever from 11am to 11:15pm with 4 breaks.  Thought it would be long but manageable. After lunch at about 3PM I started to feel unwell. I’m not sure if it was the amount of rubbish processed food I’d been eating (it’s really hard to eat healthily here), the heat, dehydration, or a mixture o

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 16 - And the work begins... - 18th June 2013

Image
So today was the first full day that Disney let me loose without an “Earning my ears” tag and the trainers are right, as soon as you have a nametag people expect you to know the answer to absolutely everything, and not just everything in Disney World. They expect you to knew everything about everything. I’ll try and post some of the most specific questions I’ve been asked here on the blog over the next few weeks. I don’t know whether it was the heat, or lack of food, or what but it was an absolutely shattering day. It was only 6 hours long, but I think the lack of a lunch or dinner really made me exhausted as we don’t get a half an hour break unless we work for more than 6 hours and the two 15 minute breaks that we do get are just not long enough to eat. To give you an idea of a typical work day, I need to explain this: You come to work and clock in on a computer called the CDS (Cast Deployment System), you can clock in up to 15 minutes before your shift starts. When it is offic

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 15 - A Magical Day - 17th June 2013

Image
I, Blair, Kirsty and Rosie decided that we’d go to the Magic Kingdom today for the opening show. It was 100% worth it. It’s such a great, feel-good show and made me so proud to work at the Magic Kingdom - something to boost morale before my first full day of work tomorrow. Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom Despite everyone’s reluctance to walk quickly, we managed to do the rides I wanted to do straight away to minimise queues - Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain and all in less than an hour. We also went on the Tomorrowland Peoplemover again - I love this ride too much for a ride that does nothing more than tell you which is beneath you but it’s relaxing. We also rode Buzz Lightyear and I am pleased to announced that I beat Blair by over 300,000 points. I actually won a shooting game! We also saw Monsters Inc Laugh Floor which was actually quite good even if the audience participation was a bit cruel. After, we visited Cast Connections and Property Control wh

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 14 - A Fantasmic Day - 16th June 2013

Image
So today was a day of exploration as Blair, myself, and some of the girls decided to go to EPCOT. We went on Test Track via the normal queue which is extremely tedious and boring, though the designing you own car concept was fun. It was an 80 minute wait which didn’t go by quickly at all due to a very boring and slow-moving queue but we wanted to experience the car design side having done single rider before. The ride is more fun when you’ve designed your own car admittedly though. We also went on Soarin’ which was what I expected it to be, but I have to say I was a tad disappointed because of the queues it gets which are excessive. Even WITH a Fastpass it must have been half an hour before we boarded. The projection technology really needs to be upgraded as the image is low quality, but you are quite high up and you do get the feeling of flying which was fun. I think if it didn’t have Fastpass it wouldn’t be nearly half as popular. We went on Living with the Land and the Cir

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 13 - Assessment Day - 15th June 2013

Image
It was the day of my assessment and I wasn’t really nervous as I’d been told it was pretty difficult to fail. It consisted of a written test for the carrousel and Philharmagic of about 80 questions, followed by me doing all of the positions and answering questions whilst doing them. I also got a chance to ride the carrousel today during my assessment which wasn’t too bad. A kid stood up on a horse (which they aren’t allowed to) whilst we were riding and my assessor shouted him down which made me laugh as he obviously wasn’t expecting any Cast Members to be riding.

 I am happy to say that I passed my assessment with flying colours and I then had the chance to remove my “Earning My Ears” red tag that we were given during training. Off with the tag! After training I had lunch and a meeting with a manager welcoming us to Fantasyland. We got told about calling in sick, how points accrue (points are bad and you get them for any offences you commit such as turning up to work late or

Walt Disney World ICP - Days 10 to 12 - On the Job Training - 12-14th June 2013

Image
Walt Disney World ICP - Day 10 - OJT Training Day 1 - 12th June 2013 Today was my first day of On the Job Training. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet but I will be working on Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel and Mickey’s Philharmagic which is a 10-minute 4D show staring Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Ariel and many other Disney characters and the best songs from each film. It's genuinely a really good show and I think a hidden gem at Disney World. Justine was my trainer and she was great, I was training with a girl from Hong Kong too. One of my attractions! Photo:MyMagicKingdomUK.webs.com We started work bright and early at 7am and it was short 6 hour shift. I was shattered by the end of that shift. No it wasn’t a long shift at all, BUT it was all the information that was being bombarded - we worked mainly on the Carousel today and we were taught how to set it up in the morning and how to run it in normal operation. Incredibly it can

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 9 - A Wild Day Out - 11th June 2013

Image
I got up at 9am - my body clock seems to be set to that time.I also booked my family’s hotel with cast member discount which is between 40 and 50% which was nice and I spent a few hours updating this blog. In the afternoon it was time for my first visit to Animal Kingdom where I arrived around 3 o’clock. It was raining quite heavily all day and so the park was fairly quiet. We got a fastpass for Dinosaur and rode Primeval Whirl which was fun if a little rough. Then we did Dinosaur which was quite good with a really cool ride system and a good storyline. It is very loud though and I’m not sure kids would find it hugely fun. We did Expedition Everest through single rider and got in in 15 minutes. Single rider is definitely the best way to ride as you can do so much more in a day. It was fun but I think the rain pelting down ruined the experience a bit. It does go very high up though but then doesn’t seem to gather as much speed as it could. It’s cool though and I’d like to e

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 8 - My first visit to EPCOT - 10th June 2013

Image
Work weeks run Sunday to Saturday here at Disney, so it was my first day off this week. I got up at 9am-ish and got the bus at 9:40, the plan was for I and Dan to meet Emma at EPCOT. The bus broke down at Vista Way after having only traveled 10 minutes, so another bus was brought in and it was too full for us to get on, so we got the bus to the Contemporary. Then we walked to the Magic Kingdom (5 min walk) and wanted to get on the Monorail to the TTC - this was not working, so we got the ferry there instead. There we got on the Monorail to Epcot. We finally at EPCOT arrived at 11:20am - 1hour and 40minutes after we had left the accommodation. Ridiculous. The EPCOT sphere/globe at the entrance It’s incredible how quickly Fastpasses go at this park: we got a Soarin’ Fastpass at 11:30am - the return time was 18:25 to 19:25 already and all fastpasses were gone for both Test Track and Soarin by midday. People at these parks know exactly what to do in what order, and if you don’t the

Walt Disney World ICP - Days 5 to 7 - The Training begins... - 7th to 9th June 2013

Image
Walt Disney World clearly puts an incredible amount of effort into training its Cast Members. Before we are even allowed to do on-the-job training, there is a lot of classroom training - in total we will spend almost 2 out of 9 weeks we are here training and filling in paperwork. Day 5 - 7th June - Traditions I’d been looking forward to Traditions for months and the day had finally arrived. Traditions is a training class where the aim is to completely brainwash (I mean...teach) you with facts about the parks, Walt Disney’s legacy and more. The most important thing we are told is safety. This is the number one priority in everything Disney does. We are then taught about the 4 “keys” - Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency and how these must be followed in this particularly order in everything we do as the cast. I cant really tell you everything that is covered in the class as 1) I’m not allowed to and 2) It’d ruin the magic. I can tell you though that we got our Disney name-tags c

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 4 - A Universally accepted truth - 6th June 2013

Image
I had a day off today! Woop! In fact all the UK ICPs had the day off so most of us used the day go over to Universal. We got a cab over at 9am - the cab cost $28 + $4 tip = $32 for a 9.9 mile journey which isn’t too bad. It worked out at $8 each. A bus would have cost $2 each but we’d have to walk half way - it wasn’t worth it. On top of that, it was pouring down with rain as there was a tropical storm about so we definitely weren’t going to walk it. I contemplated not going, but with the US school holidays starting in a couple of weeks I knew this would be the only chance to do the parks while they were empty. We got to Universal at about 9:20am and I picked up my annual pass from the will call booth. Then it was through the gates and into Islands of Adventure. One word - WOW. I know Disney’s theming is great but the entrance to this park is incredible. It wasn’t anything like I’d been expecting and I found that consistently the whole park looked incredible visually. The stun