Monday, 20 June 2011

Blog Update!

Quick post just to say that I'm experimenting with vlogging on You Tube! Now whilst this is quite funny for me to watch myself back - the point of them is to tell people who have no idea about the college program all about the applications process and the preparation for the program. If I am so inclined, I will keep them going whilst I'm in Florida but I'm not committing to that yet!

So, my point is that they're not aimed to be a video where I get to enjoy the sound of my own voice (I really don't!), they're supposed to be informative :) So, enjoy! The links are down the right hand side of this page, along with links to my previous ICP blogs and my personal blog that originated when I had to write it for Uni.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Still excited!

So it's been a few days since I found out that I was going, I actually found out first thing on Weds (15th) morning but I didn't publish the last post until a couple of days later because I forgot I made it a private post. Fail.

So the last few days have mainly consisted of talking about Florida constantly to anyone who'll listen! As I haven't had any paperwork or my Disney pack yet (not expecting that for a good few weeks yet) I can't really make any plans but I have now finally caught up with Nick. He's been working crazy hours back at Star Tours in the Hollywood Studios (where I was for my last ICP) and that coupled with the time difference means we've barely both been awake and free to chat... seizing the chance to talk to him did, however, mean waking up at 6am... but it was worth it! Now that we've chatted about it, I'm even more excited for the 1st November! I hope to fly over there a few days beforehand - the one way flights are only about £320 which is crazily cheap so I hope I can book it reasonably soon. I even have that money already!

Talking of money, it is a relief I can finally PLAN how much money to save and all that jazz. I'm hoping to put at least £1500 into my Disney fund.... I'll need roughly £700 just for the flight, insurance for 4 months and the visa, plus I'll need about £300 for my first couple of weeks and then I want to take as much spending money as possible. I've got just over four months to earn the moolah so I think it's achievable especially seen as the summer holiday is almost upon us which means Back To School - my 7th at Clarks!!!! 7th!!!!!!! Obscene. I have a feeling it will be my last. However, it also means lots of overtime in both jobs thus more money in the Disney Fund!

So... I shall try and restrict myself to posting now and again on this blog and not constantly. This is already my 11th blog post and I have only just got onto the program! I'm debating whether to try doing a couple of vlogs about the applications process for YouTube but we shall see... not sure I can like the sound of my own voice that much! For now, I have to start writing lists, clearing out my room/clothes and saving money like you've never seen before! :D

Also, on a side note - congratulations to all those who also got dates! And for those that got waitlisted, you've just got to keep thinking positively because as Walt said "If you can dream it, you can do it!"

Friday, 17 June 2011


Okay, so I went to see Take That last night which was AMAZING but I was slightly on edge because my emails wouldn't work (Orange let me down again on the signal front) so I was paranoid I'd get THE EMAIL and I wouldn't recieve it... but there was nothing.

I wake up this morning at 8am and turn on my phone as per usual... there's an email. From Yummy Jobs. THE EMAIL.

I'm going to Disney on 1st NOVEMBER 2011!!!! And I'm in Food & Beverage!!! 

Seriously thought I was going to explode! After days and days of thinking I'd recieve it at about 4/5pm in the afternoon... I went and got it at 4am! My heart was beating so fast I thought I was going to have a heart attack and I didn't know what to do with myself! Even now, more than 2 hours later I am still in shock!! I haven't posted it on Facebook yet as there's a few people I want to tell in person but it will be up by the time this blog post is public! (for the same reason, this will be a private post for a few hours!)


Thursday, 9 June 2011

30 Day Disney Challenge

Okay, so I've seen it around on a few peoples blogs and on Facebook as well... it's called the 30 day Disney challenge although I'm going to ignore the 'day' concept as I currently have far too much free time on my hands. Instead, I'm just going to use it as an excuse to waste some time online...

Day #1: Your favorite character

Well, it depends on the meaning of 'favourite' (ignoring the American spelling there!)... if you're talking about most entertaining to watch then it's going to be someone like Troy from High School Musical (Hello, Zac Efron!) but if you're using the term 'favourite' in terms of someone you most want to be like or admire then I would say my favourite character is... Cinderella! She is a hard working girl who has had a bit of a rubbish upbringing, she wishes upon a star and her dreams came true. She ends up bagging a prince (charming, no less), getting a very pretty dress and living happily ever after. It's also always been my favourite 'traditional' Disney film.

I still love this picture combining Cinderella and the Royal Wedding...

Day #2: Your favorite princess

Okay, so I kinda just answered this one by choosing Cinderella for the last question... so this time, I'm going to say Ariel - aka, the Little Mermaid. The reason I choose this is for the similarities we have between us - no, I'm not a mermaid - however, we do have the same coloured hair (gingers rule) and both of us like collecting random things. She likes to accumulate human objects such as forks (dingle hoppers) whereas I like to collect souvenirs from my life... the several boxes on top of my wardrobe confirm this as they contain random things I've saved over the years. The ICP boxes for example have things such as luggage labels, a Block Party Bash ball, random pins, my last bump outs and of course, my graduation ears.

Day #3: Your favorite heroine

Wow, these first few questions are kinda similar... okay, this time I'm going to go for Dory from Finding Nemo! She's an unlikely heroine but nevertheless, definately worth mentioning! She comes across Marlon who is looking for Nemo and despite her memory problems she sticks with him and of course, holds the most important piece of information - P.Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney! It's only due to Dory that Marlon can find Nemo and bring him home so yay to Dory!

Day #4: Your favorite prince

My favourite prince is, of course, Prince Charming. Just because.

Day #5: Your favorite hero

This one is easy - my favourite hero is Flynn Rider, also known as, Eugene Fitzherbert! Taken from the recent film, Tangled, he is a funny character who starts off with the undesirable quality of being a thief. Not just any thief, but a thief that stole a crown from the King! Of course, he comes across Rapunzel locked in her tower and enables her to follow her dreams and see the lanterns. The fact that he does this despite the danger which it puts himself into is why I class him as a hero... he helped Rapunzel follow her dreams and eventually be reunited with her true family. He also contributes to the death of Mother Gothel which was a pretty good thing too.

Day #6: Your favorite animal

Leading on from my last answer... this answer comes from the same film. My favourite Disney animal has GOT to be Maximus from Tangled. This is the funniest animal character I have ever seen - the way that the animators enabled Maximus to have expressions, emotions and even act out practical jokes yet without humanising the horse is incredible. If you haven't seen Tangled... go and see it just for this character!

Day #7: Your favorite sidekick

After thinking about it for quite a while I've decided that my favourite sidekick has got to be Mater from Cars. I only recently watched this film for the first time (shock, horror) and I absolutely love Mater - everything from his tall tales to his Southern accent... plus, of course, his faithfulness to his new found best friend Lightning McQueen! Cars 2 is out on the 22nd July and I have seen the trailer several hundred times (thank you Disney Store in-store video) and it looks pretty fabulous for a film aimed at 7 year old boys!

Day #8: Your favorite villain

Hmmm... This one goes to Lots O' Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. Mainly because he smells of strawberries and for the entire Christmas period this was all I smelt at the Disney Store! I even bought a mini-Lotso for my desk! I think that Lotso is a misunderstood villain and really he's a good guy at heart, he just got rejected after being a faithful toy for many years and so became bitter and twisted.

Day #9: Your favorite couple

I'm going to go with Troy and Gabriella from High School Musical just because I love the songs they do together, it's pure cheese and the cuteness was that they were a real couple for quite a while... I don't believe they still are but nevertheless - it was cute. Also, I liked the bit at the end of HSM3 when Troy chooses to go against his father's wishes and follow his dreams of doing musical theatre and basketball at a college close to Gabriella who will be at the Oxford-equivalent of Stanford. Aww.

Day #10: Your favorite original character (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc.)

Oh, this one is easy. It's gotta be the Boss!

Day #11: Your favorite song

Wow, this is a VERY difficult question because I love so many Disney songs! I'm going to refer to my iTunes listening count and the winner is... 'Go The Distance' from Hercules! It's also written by Alan Menken who has written SO MANY amazing Disney songs from loads of different films such as Beauty & The Beast, Tangled, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Little Mermaid... the list goes on. In fact, the top 5 listened-to Disney films on my iTunes are ALL Alan Menken songs. I also love this song because it's very inspiring and it's featured during my favourite fireworks of all time - Wishes.

"I have often dreamed, of a far off place, where a great warm welcome will be waiting for me, where the crowds will cheer, when they see my face, and a voice keeps saying, this is where I'm meant to be... I will find my way, I can go the distance, I'll be there someday, if I can be strong, I know every mile will be worth my while, I would go almost anywhere to feel like I belong..."

Day #12: Your favorite love song

I refer back to my iTunes again... the winner is... Beauty & The Beast from the film of the same name of course! Now, this song is so cute, it's an unsurprising winner... but since it got that high on my most listened-to list, it actually featured in the aforementioned in-store video over the Christmas period so that probably adds another 500 listens to the count really. I actually still really like the song even though I heard it at least once an hour over Christmas 2010 so that does justice to the song I feel.

Day #13: Your favorite villain song

The first song that comes to mind is 'Mother Knows Best' from Tangled... as mentioned, this is quite a new film so not so many people might know it as the classics but I think it's a funny song and sums up the power that Mother Gothel has over Rapunzel. It's also very catchy and has good visuals during the film. Click here for the link if you want to hear it.

Day #14: Your least favorite song

Okay... well recently that's been The World Is Something You Imagine but as it's a song released by Disney Store for charity I can't really choose that one! And the main reason I don't like it because I hear it approximately 16 times in a 4 hour shift... if not more! So, alternatively, I'm afraid it's got to be It's A Small World... ahhhhhhh!

Day #15: Your favorite kiss

For this one I'm going to go with Snow White! I say this because there are so many Disney kisses to choose from so I'm going for the first one in the first animated Disney classic because by kissing Snow White, the prince breaks the evil spell set by the wicked Queen and they lived happily after after. Yay.

Day #16: The first movie you saw

The first movie I saw at the cinema was actually Casper which remains to be my favourite film to this day. However, sadly, it's not Disney. SO, the first Disney film I remember seeing at the cinema was actually Pocahontas in about 1995. It was my brother's first cinema film and he spilt his popcorn down the stairs and had a screaming crying fit which is why it makes it so memorable!

Day #17: Your favorite classic

Okay, so we've kinda already answered this question with Cinderella early on in this quiz! Moving on!

Day #18: Your least favorite classic

This one is easy - it's Alice In Wonderland. Sorry people! I know it's a popular one! But it's also the only Disney film I've started watching and turned off half way through because it bored and confused me... it's just too mental for me. I like the characters and some aspects of the story but as a whole it really doesn't work for me. Not even the Johnny Depp version.

Day #19: Your favorite Pixar film

This is a hard question because there's been so many great Pixar films! I think I'm going to go for 'Up'. I didn't see this in the cinema, I actually first saw it on DVD about a year ago and I'm glad I didn't see it at the cinema because I sobbed all the way through! And then, when I got it on DVD for myself, I cried all the way through again! The way that it portrays the life and death of a ordinary couple in love without using words was completely amazing and for that I love it. It's also super funny and a wonderful concept.

Day #20: Your least favorite Pixar film

After some thought I think I'll say Ratatouille just because I hardly know that film... I honestly have loved pretty much everything Pixar has put out, in particular Wall-E, Toy Story and Up :)

Day #21: Favorite sequel

I'm going to go with the newest Disney film upon writing this which is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I was really NOT a fan of the other three and only went to see this one because I have to keep my product knowledge up to date but I loved it! Johnny Depp was amazing as Captain Jack, I liked the simple storyline and it had fabulous stunts and special effects... savvy?

Day #22: An overrated movie

I've already mentioned Alice In Wonderland which would have been my choice for this question... therefore I'm not too sure. I don't have the patience for some of the classic films which a lot of people would have - it's nothing to do with the technology, just more about the stories. But then, I still love some of the classics. Argh. I don't know the answer to the question.

Day #23: An underrated movie

I'm going to say Cars for this one - it wasn't particularly underrated as such through the reviews or the dedicated fan base but more just personally for me! It came out in 2006 which was when I was in Lower Sixth and so I was totally not the target audience - I thought it was just a film about Cars... I never realised the humour in the film or the personalities that the cars had, or the fact there are no humans in it! I actually watched it and was pleasantly surprised plus I laughed all the way through which is a good thing!

Day #24: A movie that makes you laugh

About a week ago, I went to see the latest Disney offering which was called Prom. Now... we'd seen the trailer for this so many times in-store that we had to make a little Disney Store trip to see it when it was released... and we laughed so much! Not because it was a funny film but just because it was SO PANTS! The acting was pretty poor, the budget was pretty low (for Disney) and the story was completely predictible but that's precisely why we had a fantastically funny night and I loved it.

Day #25: A movie that makes you cry

Oh damn, I've already said Up in a previous answer - that's definitely the most tear-jerking film ever! Okay, even though it's already been said in another answer as well, I will go for Toy Story 3 because I was in pieces when ***SPOILER ALERT!*** the toys nearly got obliterated near the end! And also when Andy gives his toys away at the end!

But, to be honest, most things make me cry so it doesn't take much!

Day #26: Your favorite scene from your favorite movie

It's got to be the graduation scene from High School Musical 3 when they do the massive choreographed dance routine with the gowns and mortar boards right at the end of the movie. I love this scene because it's the final scene in the HSM trilogy, it marks the end of an era and acquiring the film on DVD kind of coincided with nearing the end of University for me so I was dealing with a graduation as well... Click Here to see it!!

Day #27: Saddest death

Well, it's got to be Bambi's mother hasn't it... enough said.

Day #28: Your favorite quote

Oh, there's so many and they're all from Walt himself! I'll list a few of them:

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"
"It was all started by a mouse"
"All of your dreams can come true if you have the courage to persue them"
"If you can dream it, you can do it."
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."

But my favourite quote of all comes from Jiminy Cricket in Wishes...

"You see it's just like I told you, wishes can come true if you believe in them with all your heart, and the best part is you'll never run out of wishes, they're shining deep down inside of you, because that my friends, is where the magic lives."

Day #29: Your favorite theme park

Yay, theme park questions to round off this mammoth post! Well done if you've stuck with it this far, I never realised how long it would take me to fill it out! Okay, so my favourite theme park is the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida.... Of course! I worked three months at the Emporium on Main St USA and during that time I saw the wonder and amazement that lit up the faces of not only children, but adults too. The castle is an image which sticks in people's head and also I loved the parades going past every day and the fireworks every night. For me, it's a truly magical place.

Day #30: Your favorite theme park attraction/ride

This is a difficult one to answer! After much debate over the last few years I think my favourite ride is the Hollywood Tower of Terror in the Hollywood Studios because it's so original and not just like any old rollercoaster! Other close contenders include the Rock'n'Rollercoaster feat. Aerosmith... Star Tours (loyalty!)... Space Mountain... Expedition Everest and Soarin'.

As for attractions, I would say that my favourite show is definitely the Festival of the Lion King in the Animal Kingdom park (if you don't include fireworks or parades into this question!) - the quality of the singing, dancing and acrobatics is incredible. Other possibilities include Philarmagic, Fantasmic, Finding Nemo: The Musical and the Great Movie Ride.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Face to Face Interview!

Well... I am rather tired, my feet hurt and I'm developing a sore throat BUT today was amazing!

It all started at the ungodly hour of 5am when I got out of bed. I'd been tossing and turning for the short time I was actually in bed (didn't get there til gone midnight) and really didn't get much decent sleep. So, got up and got ready, made sure I had all my documents and then prepared to leave... I left the house at 6am and drove to Bristol Parkway - I swear I didn't see another car on the road the whole way there! The weather was reasonably warm and sunny so no worries there either! The train arrived on time at 6.30am and it was pretty empty all the way to London so I got two seats to myself which was nice.

It was once I was on the train that the nerves really kicked in! I don't know why I was that much more nervous for this Disney interview than any of my others - I'm guessing because it's been such a long time coming and you really only get one shot at it! I didn't feel like eating because of the nerves but did manage to have a cereal bar and some water which was better than nothing. As we approached Reading, I heard the train manager saying something over the intercom... so after turning down the Lady Gaga blasting in my ears, I heard him say that there were potentially some delays due to vandalism overnight. I had a slight panic, looked it up on my phone and it said online that there were up to 30 minute delays!! Luckily, as it turned out, I was only delayed by about 10 minutes... but I did see that pretty much all the trains after mine were cancelled until later in the morning! I am so glad mine wasn't!! Thank you God!!

So, got to Paddington at about 8.20am and headed to find a taxi. There were signs pointing in opposite directions for the taxi rank which was rediculous so I just headed out of the exit that I knew and luckily a taxi driver saw me and so I jumped in. The charge was only about £13.50 and that was well worth the stress I saved getting to Hammersmith! There were three out of four tube lines down for engineering today which I would have used to get to Hammersmith so it was a lot less hassle and more comfortable getting a London Cab!

He dropped me off literally right outside Disney HQ and instantly I saw people dressed in suits, looking a little lost and confused! We all immediately established that we were together for the Disney interviews so that was easy. Suddenly a whole load of people arrived who had been at Costa so now there was about 20 of us standing around in buisnesswear on a Saturday morning - haha! Someone I knew through Hayley (one of my managers at Disney Store) arrived at that point so we all walked around to the back entrance and went in through there. Got our passes and headed up to the waiting room.

Upon meeting Jason from Yummy Jobs I got a "I've met you before!" comment which made me a little bit excited (hehe) and I checked in. We stood around chatting to people for about 20 minutes before being taken into the cinema room which is lush! We had a NEW video to watch which included interviews with other college program cast members.... this included none other than a former roomate of mine from last year! SMALL WORLD! So... then Jill did the presentation, we had some trivia questions (I got the cruise ship one right again, same as last year!!) and we watched the infamous Valerie video which was as wonderfully annoying as usual! The presentation was funny and enjoyable - it lasted about an hour. Jeff also did some talking during the presentation and then they put up a sheet on the screen of everyone's interview times which was good. I was shocked to see that mine was at 11.50am! That was only just over an hour from the end of the presentation!

So, me and a few others went to Starbucks around the corner as I was rather peckish by that point... I got a bacon roll and a chocolate Frappuchino which I instantly regretted. As amazing as it was - it made me feel sick again! I think it was mainly the nerves but I haven't had a chocolate frappuchino for a few years (probably since Sixth Form days!) so I was amazed at the cream overload it contains! Anyway, headed back to HQ at about 11.20am and Jason went through my paperwork with me. It was good that due to the online form, we didn't have to sit around filling out any forms this time... you only filled out a form if you wanted to apply for the HRC (Historical Research Centre - not really my cup of tea!) Me and Jason had a brief chat about the fact I'd done two ICPs and Star Tours of course (it is the ride of the moment y'know!) and then I sat down with the others who were waiting around.

Then I met Linzi who was the girl I was interviewed with. She was also a Disney Store cast member so we had quite a bit in common which was really nice! Soon the interview rolled round and it was time to meet Jill - again! She interviewed me for the 2010 ICP so it was nice to see her again! The interview was so uninterviewey.... it was much more of a chat! She asked vague "questions" like why I wanted to do the program, how I would use my previous experience to help me and of course, how would I feel about living with people from other cultures but mostly we just chatted and I'm sure she got interview answers out of me through that which was amazing. I mentioned the UK and how I talked about it so much at Star Tours as well as my experiences at Disney Store and Clarks... Linzi came up with some great comments too and I felt we bounced off each other which was really nice. I hope that we both get through! All too soon, the interview was over!

So, I was done and dusted by 12.30 - probably the quickest out of my three Disney interviews! After saying goodbye and thanking the Yummy Jobs guys, I headed back to Starbucks where we sat around for a little longer until others had to leave for their interviews. I texted Maria and arranged to meet her at Charing Cross so we could go check out the new Oxford St store!!

At about 1.45pm I met Maria, we went to the new Imagination Disney Store and it was amaaaaaazing! I loved it! I bought a London Mickey bag and four of the limited edition pins for other cast members that requested them yesterday! (Including one for myself of course!) We then headed up Oxford St (via getting a bit lost on a bus that went the wrong direction!) to try and get to Marks and Spencers at Marble Arch so Maria could check out a sofa she wanted to buy for her new house. I grabbed some lunch in the cafe in M&S and then we headed outside to the corner of Hyde Park to chill in the shade. The weather, as the day had progressed, got hotter and hotter - the sun was shining and I was melting in my full interview gear! I made sure we stopped in at H&M and I bought a thin t-shirt top which I put on straight away and that was a little better. My feet are still recovering from the hell I've put them through in the last 24 hours tho....! (It started yesterday by wearing new jelly shoes = blisters and then the heels all morning today!)

At about 5pm I headed back to Paddington and got the train home. And that's where I am now! Yummy informed us that we'd know "by" the 15th June - next Wednesday! I have a sneaky feeling it will either be Thurs/Fri this week or Mon/Tues next week but who knows! In the mean time, I will try and complete the 30 day Disney challenge post that I've been working on and post that up!