Tuesday, October 5, 2010

home sweet home

I'm noticing a trend here, where my posts seem to take place on the 5ths. To break that habit, here is a post on the 6th!

Tonight I worked at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was an entire change of pace and totally different from a night at The Magic Kingdom. I overall enjoyed it, but it really made me appreciate where I work and the little things about it that you don't really tend to notice until you're somewhere else and everything is different!

I have realized how much I truly appreciate and love the place where I work. There is just something different about other parks. Not to say that they are anything worse or better, but there is just something magical about the "most magical place on earth". I think that anyone would really feel that way concerning their home park, although, my home park was Epcot. I love Epcot, but I definitely feel more of a connection to The Magic Kingdom and to me, it just feels like home. I get to roam the park, and I don't just work in a few stores in one area. My role is universal and I get to experience the parks in ways that many do not.


The halfway point

Hello world!

I am halfway through my internship. Wow, time sure does seem to fly.

Guest Relations seems to keep growing on me, and I love it more and more each day. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that the temperature is slowly but surely going down, making every aspect of life just a bit more enjoyable. :-)

Something cool about Guest Relations, is that it is a universal role. This means that you can take your training and apply it to other parks. I am attempting that tonight by working at another park's GR! I am super excited, yet also pretty nervous. I have tried to study a park map to see where some of the staple locations and items are (closest restrooms and smoking areas, height restrictions, shows, etc.), but I know it is going to be a challenge.

To inform anyone reading a bit more about GR, it is a role I have recently realized is way different than most of the other PIs. I have noticed that my hours are completely different than those of my roommates and neighbors. If you are intending on working in Guest Relations, expect to work long hours. You may have an 8 hour day like your roommates and friends, BUT those 8 hours may not start until 6 p.m. and end until 2 in the morning. You just have to learn to adapt. It may be difficult, but everyone has to start somewhere! You also will not always have consecutive or regular days off. That is another thing to keep in mind.

Currently I am really enjoying everything this internship has to offer, despite the crazy hours! I have met tons of different guests and have had the opportunity to make magic happen. It really does take some time to get settled into a new role, and I finally feel like I have settled quite nicely. I am still learning many new things each day, and I still ask questions, but I'm pretty sure that's normal. :-)

Good luck to everyone applying for Professional Internships for Spring 2011! I just submitted my application and my screening interview is tomorrow. I am pretty excited about it, but also really nervous. I'm not quite sure what is going to happen after this internship ends, but I would like to keep my options open and am always up for trying something new! Feel free to ask any questions if you have any. I love talking about my experience and getting others excited about it too!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Sooo...this blog may say things about my college program 2010, BUT there was a bit of a change in events (see previous post) that says otherwise!

I have not posted in quite some time, so I believe I should be keeping this a bit more updated. Sorry about that, folks! I was working and some girls actually recognized me from my blog, and that was a reminder that maybe I need to get back to this! Hello girls I met in City Hall! I want to see your blogs too, so let me know what those are!

Anyways, to update anyone reading this on my life the past (almost) three months...here's what's gone down.

On June 17, I checked into my apartment for my professional internship (PI). I was placed in a two bedroom, four person apartment without the ability to choose my roommates or if I wanted a two or three-bedroom. This is something different from the college program (CP) and most people were pretty disappointed because most of us had made our living arrangements prior to check-in day and were informed that we could not have any say in the process. The apartments are very nice though, and I think that Disney did pretty good with choosing a place for the PIs after their housing was pretty much filled up already. We were supposed to be placed in Patterson Court (the newest of the Disney-sponsored housing complexes), but there were so many CPs already occupying it and predicted to occupy it, that we were moved to another place.

My PI, as many of you may already know, is Guest Relations at The Magic Kingdom! I work at part of the most magical place on earth! (NOT the happiest, that is Disneyland!). To give you a bit of insight on how the Guest Relations (GR) internship goes, would be pretty difficult. There is so much to touch upon, I'm not quite sure where to start, but I'll give it a try!

During the beginning of our internship, all of the GR professional interns were together for a lot of global GR training with most of the basics that we need to know. We also have a lot of training on some of the computer programs we have to learn, and are taught all about the services The Hub (Disney's intranet for Cast Members) has to offer. We learn the ticketing systems and how to sell all different types of tickets, how to make dining reservations and more. It's a LOT of information in not quite a lot of time! After we were trained in all of the core things we needed, we were split up amongst our own intern groups per park. This semester, MK has more interns than all of the other parks! We have twelve, which is a record number I believe. Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) has two, Epcot has four, Downtown Disney has two, and Disney's Hollywood Studios (DHS) has four. All of us were picked from I believe a good bit of applicants. I want to say in the thousands, which is pretty cool.

With MK, there were so many of us that we were not all immediately in the hall (City Hall, our main GR location in the park). Most of us were either tip board or Celebrate Greeter trained and rotated shifts doing those for a while. What are those positions you may ask? Celebrate Greeter is a special position that I cannot really tell too much about. What I can say though, is that we help to create some magic throughout the park. What kind of magic? I can't really say, but I can tell you that it's the kind of magic you will only find at a Disney theme park! We also help out with the parades and audience control and things like that. It's a pretty cool position, and it involves being out in the park amongst the guests and just talking to them and helping them have a great day.

Tip board on the other hand, involves working at the outside tip board where the attraction wait times are posted approximately every thirty minutes until around six in the evening. It is an awesome place to be, even on the hottest of days. Working at the tip board, you get to trade pins with guests, answer questions, provide maps and times guides for the parks, and change the attraction wait times out. One of my most magical moments out at the tip board was during our "3 o'clock parade". I met a little girl, Princess Emily, who was terrified that the "bears" on the floats were going to come get her (after seeing them earlier at the Move It Shake It Celebrate It Street Party - MISICI). I told her that Tinkerbell spread her pixie dust on the sides of the roads so that no one from the parade could get to her, and that she would be okay. I stayed with her through the parade and eventually had her dancing and waving and even blowing kisses to characters! It was awesome, and definitely a rewarding moment. I remember being scared of things as a child, and it was always cool to have someone there with me to help the fear become something fun.

Different locations have all different types of training because of their different facilities and differing guest needs, so keep in mind that what I have written about has been mainly MK-centric. After spending some time in those positions, we were split up and individually taken through "City Hall training". This involved applying the knowledge we had previously learned and making it look good. We also learned about other things, like driving 15-passenger vans and more of the history of the company. It was an intense process, but eventually I earned my ears.

I'm going to leave you all at that for the night, but I hope this helped and I hope you have a magicalevenint!@

Monday, June 14, 2010

It all began with a mouse...

I am completely in shock.

I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and that good things come to those who wait...but wow. I never would have expected this.

Almost 3 weeks ago, I was driving home from school (about 2.5 hours or so away) to move some of my stuff home. I was set to move completely home early the next week. I contemplated stopping to use the bathroom at a gas station before getting on the highway, and eventually caved and stopped in. I don't answer my phone while driving, but I got a call from a restricted number while in the bathroom and answered it (no, don't worry I was not actually USING the bathroom at the time haha). It was a woman from Disney Casting.

WHAT?! I'm not quite sure what was going through my mind at that point, but it was a bit crazy. She asked me if I was still interested in an internship with Disney and then said it was not an interview, but she had a couple of questions for me. She asked if I would have a car and if I would require housing in Orlando. Then she went on to inform me that I was selected for a Professional Internship role in GUEST RELATIONS at Magic Kingdom....

OH MY GOSH. WHAT?!

I already had an amazing internship lined up with Star 94 in Atlanta, and so I stood in the parking lot of the gas station, halfway between Milledgeville and home, freaking out about what I was going to do. Eventually I made a decision later on that night at home (Wednesday), but had to wait until Thursday night to confirm it, so nothing was official until late Thursday evening.

At first I was on a waiting list for housing, but eventually got placed into Disney housing. It ended up switching too, which is crazy! Now no one knows what to expect! I am STILL in shock. I had received two rejection e-mails from Disney, but neither had the actual position listed, and I applied for multiple...so I guess I was still in the running and had no clue! When I spoke to one of the PI representatives over the phone, she told me that the e-mails were both for different positions, and that the position I was offered just took longer to be decided upon. She said that I was not rejected, I just hadn't been told anything yet, and that all of my application/interview/resume/etc. information was sent to different hiring agents in each department I applied for, and each of them decided for each position.

Unfortunately I had to give up an incredible opportunity that I was really excited about, but I know that this is a once in a lifetime chance that I cannot just let pass me by. This just goes to show that you really CAN get what you want, and that doors are never totally closed, even if you think they are. Magic really CAN happen. I applied for I believe 3 alumni of the College Program only positions, and two positions that were available to anyone, so 5 total. Guest Relations honestly was a stretch. I even said in my interview that GR is the "cream of the crop" and one of the most prestigious roles available within the parks, or even just in general. It was probably my second choice, because I really wanted to work with College Program/International College Program Events and felt highly qualified for it, but I am still SO excited and grateful for this opportunity. It is the role of a lifetime, and something that has the possibility to help define my future and change my life.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Attractions

I was offered a role as an Attractions Cast Member, which is super exciting for me AND my number one choice! I mentioned in my phone interview that my top choices were Tower of Terror, The Haunted Mansion, and the Great Movie Ride (GMR). I am really hoping for Tower of Terror (ToT) or Haunted Mansion over GMR. I have heard it's an amazing place to work, but now I am just getting really scared about the whole spieling aspect.

I think ToT or Haunted Mansion would be a LOT of fun, because you get to put a lot of personality into it, and they get to get super themed up during Halloween time and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (Haunted Mansion). Plus, they are all top attractions and places where you keep really busy and time goes by quickly. You get major interaction with guests, which is always a plus (unless they are not happy...then it is not as fun, but that's when you have to make it fun and bring the magic!).

I would like those, but I have to keep in mind that I could be placed absolutely anywhere and keep an open mind, because I do not want to get my hopes up and then get let down! On my last program, I worked merchandise at Epcot, so I am hoping to not be placed back in Epcot again so I can learn about a new park and add some variety to my experience. If I had to rank the parks I would want to work in, they would be Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and then Animal Kingdom.

As a Merchandise Cast Member on my last program, I loved my role but wanted something new and after visiting all of the attractions, which really are the heart of the park, I realized I wanted to be a part of that if I ever came back. I always talked about how much ToT was for me! I was on that attraction at least a hundred times on my program. Almost every time my dad called me and asked what I was doing, he would ask if I was on ToT haha.

If I had to think of other fun attractions I would want to work at, the first ones that would come to mind are:

Hollywood Studios:
  • Star Tours
  • Rock 'N' Roller Coaster
  • The American Idol Experience
Magic Kingdom:
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic
  • Space Mountain
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Jungle Cruise
Animal Kingdom:
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • DINOSAUR
Epcot:
  • Soarin'
  • Mission Space
  • Test Track
Some attractions that come to mind that I would not like to be on, although there is nothing wrong with them, I just personally do not think I'd have the best time:
  • Living with the Land (my #1 do-not-want)
  • It's Tough to be a Bug (SCARES the c**p out of me!)
  • any of the DAK trails (I don't do very well with super duper outdoor animal-oriented type things)
  • Swiss Family Treehouse (I have only been to this attraction once, and it was just not one I enjoyed...)
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room (it wouldn't be that bad, but I'm more of a thrill ride person)
  • Country Bear Jamboree (just no! the one time I went, I fell asleep!)
  • The Hall of Presidents (I haven't actually been on this attraction...but I feel like I don't know enough about politics to be there)
  • Stitch's Great Escape (quite possibly my least favorite attraction of all time as a guest aside from Living with the Land)
  • Carousel of Progress (this is a great attraction, but I feel like I wouldn't have fun with it. also, another one I fell asleep in the only time I went to it)
  • Lights, Motors, Actions (I'm not sure why, I just don't feel like I'd like it much either)
  • Journey into Narnia (eh...)



Accepted.


Okay soooo I never really kept this thing quite updated, but...

I would like to share the news that today I was accepted for my second Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World Resort!

I got my PURPLE FOLDER in the mail...then I accepted my role today as an Attractions Cast Member (!!!), paid my programming fee, and picked my program dates for Fall 2010! I will be back in Orlando from August 30, 2010 through January 7, 2011. I get to spend New Years in Orlando and at the happiest place on Earth!

I am SO excited. I am going to *hopefully* get back to blogging and I would love to answer all and ANY questions anyone may have.

At the moment, I am waiting to hear back about a Professional Internship (PI) with Disney. I went through one phone interview for three of the alumni-only positions I had applied for, and also applied online for two non-alumni positions. It will be a long waiting process, but it will be worth it if I get one of the positions I want. I applied to the CP (college program) as a back up because if I do not make it into Disney for a PI, this will at least give me one more chance to be back down in Orlando doing something I love after I complete an internship needed to graduate over the summer, and hopefully a chance to network and reapply for the PI afterward.

I applied for a few PI positions, but the one that I want the most is with CP and ICP (international CP) housing events. I have worked with events and with housing at my university for almost four and three years, respectively. I would love to have the opportunity to take the skills I have learned and enhance them in a setting of a place I love and believe I would thrive in. I really want to be able to work with college aged students and make their experience with the CP or ICP just as amazing as mine was. All prayers, fingers-crossed, wishes, faith, trust & pixie dust will be accepted!

YAY FALL 2010 CPs!