Best Moments of Summer 2013 (and being a Cast Member)

My time in the US this summer was filled with delights and life-changing experiences; today I want to shed a light on the moments that I remember as being the best this summer - those that will stick with me.

If you want to read more about any of these moments then you can click through to that particular blog post.

As a Cast Member:
1. The girl from Qatar - This was when I was on my own in the parks ready to watch the first showing of the 4th July fireworks as part of Limited Time Magic. I was meant to be on my own for the fireworks but soon made a friend. I started chatting to a family and their little girl from Qatar was fascinated that I was from London - she provided what may have been one of the sweetest moments of my summer.

2. The UK pavilion with Dan - Dan and I decided to visit the UK pavilion in EPCOT. The depiction of a typical English shop with barrels of hay with biscuits inside them as being something typical to the UK had me in stitches, as well as many of the other things we saw.

3. Watching Monsters University - It was great being able to watch such a big hit months before it came out in the UK. The American cinema/movie theatre experience sure is something to be remembered.

4. Blowing Bubbles - It was my last day so I decided to create a little bit of extra magic by blowing bubbles and one little girl, dressed as Tinkerbell, had the time of her life.

5. Mickey's Retreat - Even though at the time I was sweating like a pig in the heat, the hour or so spent at Mickey's Retreat was really fun as I got to ride a paddle boat and play swing-ball. It wasn't in a theme park but it was spontaneous and genuinely fun.

6. Is Donald OK? - One day one cute little girl wanted to know if Donald was OK at the end of the show at Philharmagic. My acting was put to the test.

7. The English Accent - One evening I was on nighttime "castle back" duty meaning that I had to direct people away from the castle whilst it was closed as the parade went down Main Street. One group of basketball girls loved my accent so much that they just didn't want me to stop talking.

8. Spontaneity - This happened on two occasions. The first time Courtney and I were at home and decided to spice up the night by watching Illuminations, followed by Wishes and rounded off the night with Space Mountain. The second time Marly drove me and her to see Illuminations, followed by Wishes whilst eating a delicious Mickey Mousse on the beach of the Polynesian resort on a swinging bench. Bliss.

9. Celebration - I took a day off to leave Disney property and venture to a little town designed by Disney called Celebration. It was beautiful. The houses were amazing, their Main St was beautiful and it just seemed like a perfectly designed community. Oh, and we saved a turtle and visited Old Town too.

10. Sword in the Stone - Having the power to make magical moments with the Sword in the Stone was one of the best bits of my job. The joy it brought to people was really heartwarming.

11. Christmas in July and Pool Party - What's better than celebrating Christmas in July with cake and jumping into the pool in your work clothes?!

12. The Great Piggy Bank AdventureThe Great Piggy Bank Adventure was something no-one had ever heard of in Innoventions in EPCOT. I'd read about it online and went to play with Oriol and Paul. It was definitely worth the wait. Side note: We had way too much fun for a group of grown men playing a kids game.

13. FASTPASS - This is a bit of a general one and something that happened on a day to day basis rather than on one specific day but anytime I explained FASTPASS to someone that had never used it and told them it was free the look on their face was priceless and the gratitude they expressed was immense.

14. Getting a GSF Card - Guest Service Fanatics cards are given out by Cast Members to one another when they recognise you've gone above and beyond. This was my first and only one and it really made my day.

15. Steak n Shake - Terrible service, great food and so much fun after work.

At Universal:
1. First time riding The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - It was my first ride in Orlando and my last. It blew me away every time but particularly the first time I rode it. Mind-blowing.

2. First time riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - I came off saying "I have no idea how they did that" which pretty much summed up what I thought - it was incredible!

3. Meeting the Simpsons - I just stumbled across the characters and met Marge and Homer with no wait during a visit to Universal with my parents. It was a great moment that really took me back to my childhood and was genuinely really fun.

In New York:
1. Stepping out into the city - I looked around as I stepped out of New York Penn Station to see the city for the first time and just as my uni housemate had told me "it's like stepping into a film". That's exactly how it felt.
2. In Abercrombie - Although I hated the store, one girl who worked there said she loved my accent when I asked where something was.
3. In Abercrombie Part 2 - This girl who worked there told me she loved my T-shirt with NYC on it haha. I don't know if they are paid to be this nice or what but I'll admit I enjoyed the attention.
4. The Apple Store - Seeing the Apple store was the moment when I truly realised I was in this amazing city.
5. The Tango Class - It was fascinating to see how a tango class popped out of nowhere and appeared in the middle of Central Park.

1. VIP - We were treated like royalty at Disneyland on our first day there including a special VIP viewing of the fireworks. I can't remember the last time I'd felt that appreciated.
2. Cars Land - From the moment I walked into California Adventure I was amazed at Buena Vista Street but the great theming in Cars Land took it to a whole new level. It was stunning.
3. Studio Tour - It was a lifelong dream to go to Hollywood and do the Universal Studio Tour. This summer I did exactly that!
4. Seeing the Hollywood sign - Even if it was from a distance it is such a simple yet fascinating landmark to see.

Photo credit: Hi-Fi Bri

NEW: Want the inside scoop? Download my book about my 16 months spent living and working at Disneyland Paris now on Amazon.


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