Friday, 30 December 2011

And so that was Christmas...

It was a little bit weird if I'm honest. Christmas Eve was just like any other day, the park wasn't even that busy... I was greeting and seating as per usual. I finished work at 10 and Nick picked me up, we went via the Commons so I could pick up ingredients for curry, my Christmas presents and my clothes. We went to his apartment and I made us curry! It was the first time in over 2 months I'd had it and seen as it's traditional at home to have curry on Christmas Eve I thought I'd contribute! Okay, so it was from a jar but it was Patak's and so reasonably decent... I couldn't find any poppadoms or naan though (I've since found naan in Walmart) which was a bit sad. So... I made that and then we sat down and watched a movie which was nice. We went to sleep around 2am and then I had to be up at 7.30am on Christmas morning as my family wanted to Skype with me.

It was really awesome actually even though I'd only had 4 hours sleep! My whole family including my grandparents were there and I opened my presents. It was the best thing to being there really. Nick was asleep the whole time - to be fair he'd worked 80 hours in the week leading up to Christmas so he needed the rest! But I loved it - we skyped for about 45 minutes and then they had to go off to eat Christmas Dinner. I bummed around watching TV and reading Twilight on my new Kindle (LOVE IT... my new toy!) until Nick finally got up. I wanted to go and get breakfast but it was too late so we ended up driving to Downtown Disney (which was packed) and going to Earl of Sandwich - epic! He had the holiday sandwich so at least that was kind of relevant! After that, we dropped some stuff back off at the Commons and he drove me to Epcot so that I could get changed and go to work. Because Downtown was so busy I only ended up with like 30 minutes to get ready and cross stage... I forgot tights so I had to buy knee-highs from the machine at costuming so that was lovely (not) and then it was pretty busy in the park. But I clocked in with 8 minutes to go so it was fine. I was just glad that neither myself or Nick had to spend Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning alone because I think that would have been much more depressing. Quite impressively, I didn't cry for pretty much the whole day! I thought it was going to be really emotional but it wasn't...

What definitely helped was the fact I didn't have to be stocker in the end! WOO! I actually ended up greeting and then a cheeky bit of chippy fill in the evening. That was actually quite stressful because we kept running out of things - cups, beer cups, crisps... you name it. Eventually the day came to an end and we cleaned Chippy like a whirlwind so that we got out at 10pm like we were supposed to. We just made it onto the bus at 10.30pm and got back by about 10.50pm. Then it was action stations for Christmas Dinner... I had a small fire before people arrived because one of my roomates had split something underneath the electric hob so when I placed a big pan of water there to heat up and left it for a few minutes... I returned to lots of smoke and a small flame which was a bit worrying, haha! I turned it off and we ended up having to use the two smallest hobs for cooking which was a bit of a nightmare. Most people were working late so everyone ended up at mine around midnight... we did our secret santa (mine was Steffie and she got me a Griffindor Scarf - AWESOME!) and eventually ate at about 1.30am! LOL! It was too late for Tyler to go back to Patterson so he ended up sleeping on my sofa and everyone else left at about 2.45am... on four hours sleep I eventually got to bed at 3am, exhausted! But, it was great to have my Disney family around on Christmas Day and I think everyone enjoyed themselves after quite a stressful day at work.

On Boxing Day (Monday), I overslept. My alarm went off but I didn't wake up until 12.30pm. Whoops! Luckily, it wasn't too late because I didn't work until 2.30pm again... I got dressed and went to the bus stop at 1.15pm for the 1.20pm bus. It didn't turn up. Until 1.35pm. I was stressing quite a lot and as soon as we turned onto the 535, I realised why - the traffic was awful! It was clear that lots of people were trying to head for the I-4 to get home after Christmas... it took us about 30 minutes to get to Vista Way. After that, luckily, we were heading in the other direction so it didn't take too long to get to work - I got there at about 2.10pm and made it to clock in with 5 minutes to spare. Work was a bit better than on the 25th, I was chippy fill for most of the day if I remember rightly. After work, Tyler came over and he ate leftovers whilst I uploaded pictures onto Facebook, much excitement. We were still tired!

Tuesday was my Saturday! Day off, woohoo! I had a list of things to do, including three loads of laundry, cleaning my kitchen and bathroom (especially since after the party there was a bit of mess) and going to Walmart (that ever enjoyable trip....!). I did all this stuff as well as going to Housing to report the broken oven and wobbly table (which hasn't been fixed yet). At about 5pm I headed out to Epcot to meet Steffie and Tyler as they got off work at 6pm... we went to the UK and had chips (because I can't get enough of that place, obviously) and pear cider from the beer cart. Then we walked through Epcot and tried to get the monorail to MK but it was 101. So we got a replacement bus to the Magic Kingdom and it was soooo busy! We walked up Main Street and it was snowing :D And, actually reasonably cold, so it felt more Christmassy that I'd felt all week! We went to Tomorrowland (Space Mountain was at 95 minutes!) and did the Carosel of Progress (WOOO) before going round to grab some food, I had a chicken nuggets kids meal... :P We wanted to see the Magic, Memories and You (MMAY) show and then Holiday Wishes so we tried to get to the Hub (the area in front of the castle) but the bottleneck coming out of tomorrowland was at a standstill. So we walked round the castle to the other side of the park and came through from Liberty Square. We got a spot to stand right before it started and it really is quite an awesome show - I love the song they use. Then we saw Holiday Wishes (which is still nothing on normal Wishes in my opinion). As everyone started piling out of the park, we went back to the AdLib area (Adventureland/Liberty Square) and went to the Haunted Mansion which was a walk-on. Then we did It's a Small World and Philharmagic. After that I decided to call it a night because I was super tired... I went via the Emporium to buy a little torch to use with my Kindle at night-time (yes, I'm *that* much of a nerd).

I got back to the TTC and saw the A4 bus sitting there. Now, this was a bit strange because I didn't think the A4 ran this late but it was a bus so I went with it... I got on and I was the only one on the bus. The driver turns round to me and goes "So, where we going?" Now I thought this was a joke but he was serious - he didn't know the way to West Clock. So I did my best to direct him (this also involved the question "so, where were we just now?" meaning the TTC... I was in shock.) and we got to West Clock where thankfully some more people got on the bus. As we now had to direct him back to Housing - I have no idea where this man came from or what possessed American Coach to put him on the A route when he clearly had never driven it before. Apparently he usually does the C and F routes... I never pay attention when I'm on the bus so I didn't have a clue where to go, luckily another girl knew the exact route back to Housing otherwise we would have been lost for hours (like, as I heard, the unfortunate people that got the A4 later in the evening did!). I eventually got home, and went straight to bed.

Wednesday was my second day off and I decided it was going to be a lazy one. I wanted to go to Cast Connection to see if they had any 2011 stuff there yet... so I went to the bus stop with the intention of getting a C bus to Vista and then the A bus as The Commons is on request only. You can imagine my delight when the A2 bus comes into the Commons to drop someone off - I tried to get on the bus only to be denied access and told he couldn't pick anyone up here! Pile of crap! So I get the next C bus to Vista and then super-ironically ended up getting the A2 bus at Vista Way because I beat it there!! HAAA! Went to Cast Connection which wasn't that exciting - I didn't see what I wanted - and then had to get the A bus back... the driver refuses to accept that the Commons is on-request even though it says it on the timetable! GRRRRRR!!! I had had enough of American Coach by this point! I basically forced the driver to stop at Commons with the help of a couple of other people who were convincing him as well. Idiot.

I literally spent the rest of the day watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 AND 2.. and then most of the first Twilight film. At about 10pm I went round to Sam's where we had Peach Bellinis and the desserts we were supposed to have on Christmas Day. I got to bed late again (which is probably where my tiredness is coming from!).

Yesterday was pretty boring. I worked 11am until 9pm so it was a long day and it was very busy. I was greeter for half the day and then seater for the rest of it. I felt guilty leaving at 9pm because it was still so busy and it was EMH but I'd already worked 10 hours, started early AND I never ever get off before 10 usually so I wasn't gonna give up this rare occasion. Besides, no managers or co-ordinators had tried to ask me to extend so I just bumped out at 9pm, went to Cast Services to get changed and then jumped on the monorail to the Polynesian to meet Steffie, Tyler and his friend Daniel. We went to the Grand Floridian for a cocktail (ooh) and then got a bus to Downtown Disney to get Daniel's car to go to TGI Fridays. TGIs was FULL of most of the Canadian pavilion which was slightly overwhelming to me! I was just starving having not eaten for about 9 hours by this point... eventually got some potato skins and a diet coke. We got a taxi home and I crashed out, yet again at about 2.30am.

I had to get up early this morning to put a maintenance request into front desk so now I'm just updating this blog and then going to upload my pictures before going to work. I'm front of house again (probably greeter/seater... maybe chippy fill) until 10pm. After that I'm planning on getting changed and going to the Magic Kingdom to see 'Fantasy in the Sky' which are the New Year fireworks at 11.50pm (they do them on 2 days at MK!) and then tomorrow is New Years Eve!!! Let the madness begin!!!!

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Okay so I know it's only the 24th but I have a busy 24 hours ahead of me and so I doubt I'll have time to blog! So... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog! I hope you all have a wonderful time, eat lots of food and be merry!

So it's all been a bit crazy recently which is why I haven't blogged... been working a lot (of course), seeing people outside of work and trying to get some decent sleep (somehow, even when I sleep for hours, I am STILL tired!). I last blogged on Sunday when we got our schedules - of course, as soon as we all went into work everyone was moaning about what they'd got or not got. Most people are working Christmas Day, only a few have it off (including the newbies as they're still Earning their Ears). I tried to swap it but came to the conclusion that if I have to be stocker then so be it... I'm supposed to be stocking today as well but we'll see if that happens. Somehow, every time I get given stocker on the Hub, I'm not given it in CDS which is good... so we shall see! Apparently there is 4 stockers on Christmas Day anyway, one for Chippy, one for Beer Cart, one for the Bar and a Floating Stocker. So it should all be okay.

On Monday I went to Lasses for the first time. I am still not too sure what to make of it. It was fun, I'm not going to deny that, although I'm not sure it's for me. The reason I didn't go up until now is because I felt intimidated by it... and having been for a week, I still feel like that! Walking into a room of literally 30 people is a little scary and then I'm not even going to go into detail about the amount of alcohol that was involved. So yeah, I'm not sure if I'll go again - we'll see. But I'm not going on Monday because I've got such a tiring weekend ahead of me. The other thing is that I kinda resent having to give up EVERY Monday night to do something... I prefer to decide what I wanna do each day and not feel forced into socialising if I don't want to if that makes sense. Hmmmm. Watch this space.

So Tuesday I was off (which was the only reason I did go to Lasses, there's no way I could have worked the next day!) and we went to Hollywood Studios. This was less than enjoyable for the fact I felt like crap for most of the morning/early afternoon but we went to see Lights, Motors, Action (the highlight was the new bit with Lightning McQueen... other than that, I do find it kinda boring and very loud/smelly), then we walked around Streets of America for a bit. The park was really busy so we avoided the big rides on the whole. About 2pm we went to get some Chicken Nuggets and Fries which saved my life and made me feel human again... the others went to watch the parade but I didn't feel like it (and I preferred Block Party Bash, I'm a studios snob...) so I just chilled out. Then two of them went on Rock n RollerCoaster before we headed to the Animation Class... but there was a massive queue so we decided to go back later. We did the Backlot Tour and then went to get seats for Fantasmic... we got the front row!! It was awesome even though we did get a bit wet! I got some half-decent pictures which is a challenge at Fantasmic. After that we went back to the Animation Class and drew Jack Skellington and then Piglet which was fun. By then, the park was closing so we headed home - there was talk of JellyRolls but I was just too tired. Went home, went to bed.

Wednesday was my second day off. It was awesome because... we went to UNIVERSAL!!! We left kinda late but we were getting the i-trolley which was an experience for me... we walked to the Premium Outlets and the bus came almost straight away. It cost 25 cents for cast members (woooo) and only took about 35 minutes to get there. However, there was a downside - after getting off the bus it was a 20 minute walk along massive highways (on pavements though) to get to the entrance of Universal. This kinda sucked and there's no way I'd do that walk in the summer because you'd just die of heat. I didn't realise the bus stop was so far away from the entrance and I'd planned to leave early in order to meet Sam to go to Walmart in the evening... but after seeing how far it was and realising I'd have to do that walk back in the dark and on my own, I decided I'd just stay with the others and get a taxi back. I went with some Canadians - Jen, Arin, Phil and Steffie... I was an honorary Canadian for the day :D

So obviously, once we'd got our annual passes sorted (I went for Preferred, it gives you merch/food discounts in the parks, free parking and no blackout dates, it was $145 down payment then $12/month for a year) we went straight to Harry Potter!!! It's so awesome. But so busy! Having said that, we went straight on Duelling Dragons (ahem, sorry, Dragon Challenge as it's now called) which was only a 15 minute wait. Then we got butterbeer (NOM) before leaving Harry Potter and going to Jurassic Park. After getting a little bit soaked on that, we went over to Marvel and rode Hulk which was about a 30 minute wait. Then the others got hotdogs for lunch and we leave IoA (Islands of Adventure) and went to Universal Studios to catch the Macy's Christmas Parade. This was possibly the weirdest 20 minutes of my life.... giant inflatable characters, floats, millions of cast members with a variety of different dress code violations going on (but this is Universal, so there really isn't a dress code)... it makes Disney look SO GOOD. Haha! Having said that, it was still entertaining. I got a slice of pizza for lunch and then we went to ride Jaws because it closing in a couple of weeks, forever! It was great. Then we were going to do Rip, Ride, RockIt but the queue was like 60 minutes so we gave it a miss. We did the Mummy ride (always a winner) and then headed back to IoA and back to HP land... we queued for the Forbidden Journey (the ride inside the castle) which went 101 whilst we were waiting so we ended up waiting for over an hour, but it's SO worth it. That ride is so epic. Then we did Dragon Challenge again (on the Fire side this time) and finally got food at the Three Broomsticks. After this, it was time to go home... so we walked back through City Walk and got a taxi home which was only $25 surprisingly. Between 5 of us, this was a bargain at $5 each. Once I'd got back at like 10.30pm, I met Nick and we went to his apartment and watched Home Alone - classic Christmas movie!!

The next day, he had to work at 8am so we went for a very early morning Ihop (awesome) and then he dropped me off at the Commons. I bummed around during the morning and then went to work which was pretty non eventful. I think I was seating most of the day. After work, Sam, Sophie, Clare and David (newbie!) came over to mine and we had the speciala Pizza Hut deal which was 2 big pizzas, chicken pieces and breadsticks for $20. Oooooh yeahhh. I didn't end up going to bed til 2am but it was fun times.

Yesterday I was Chippie Registers and it was a fun day. In the morning I went to Publix with Sam to get some drinks for Christmas Day (I hate that walk to Publix) and then I got ready for work. I had a laugh with the guests as I always do on Registers and I was only 1 dollar out at the end of the day which considering how much cash I took, was pretty impressive! After work, I ended up at McDonalds with Steffie and Tyler until 1.30am which was fun...

And that finally brings us to today! SO, have a Merry Christmas people and I'll update again soon!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Snow is falling, all around us, children playing, having fun...

Well, not quite. It's still about 25 degrees here every day. But there are lots of kids having fun...

So, Wednesday night I met up with Steffie, Clare, Sam and then Tyler. We just drank wine and watched random stuff on my computer as far as I remember. Thursday and Friday were pretty standard - just chippie filling, seating and a tiny bit of greeting. The weather was hot and my winter coat has been in my locker untouched for days. Extra Magic Hours sucked on Friday - it was sooooo busy. I was chippie filler ALL DAY - as in, 8 hours of filling. It was okayyy, I worked with nice people but one of the culinary staff who isn't usually in chippie completely slowed us down and kept refusing to let us do the fish & chips so it kinda stalled the whole thing resulting in a massive queue. Chippie works best when everyone works as a team in a flowing way... almost like a pattern. Anyways, we had full screens (8 orders per screen so I probably had about 10 really) for 4 solid hours, we ran out of cups (I had to dash upstairs and get them because the stocker was busy), we had to get managers in to do the condiment carts but eventually it was over at 11.30. We got out by midnight and then got a taxi home because we were too tired to wait for the bus and we'd just missed one.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a good day though! Whilst my actual activites were pretty boring (guess what - chippie fill and seating) I had a couple of magical moments. One involved some guest recovery and just a really lovely guest (and a $10 note... long story) but the other involved a family who I met last year whilst I was at Star Tours. It's a very personal story which revolves around their daughter who had a brain condition called Leukodystrophy and was a huge Star Tours fan... we went above and beyond to make her Last Tour to Endor (as the ride was closing shortly after for the massive refurb) really special, took her on a tower tour and just generally tried to make it magical for her and her parents. I stayed in contact with her parents and sadly, they informed me that she passed away in May of this year... she had wanted to return to Disney once Star Tours had reopened and they'd planned a big family trip which they were going to continue with in honour of their daughter... now, I knew that this trip was happening over these few days but it's so hard to try and find a cast member when they're in food & beverage because they might be on break, tasking or seating/bussing tables out of sight so when I was in chippy yesterday and I looked up to see these guests, I just dropped everything and ran out. There was big hugs and a few tears (due to the unspoken emotional reason for them being there I think) and it was wonderful to say hello to them. It really cheered me up from a rather boring day up to that point.

In other news, today is Sunday. And that means - new schedules!! Of course, for the Christmas week!! Soooo as it stands right now, Christmas Day is the pain in the arse for me - I've been given a stocker shift from 2.30pm-10pm that day... I really don't want to be stocker that day. Whilst CDS isn't always right anyway and I may well not even end up stocking, I don't want to be doing the one position in the UK which doesn't require hardly any guest contact on CHRISTMAS DAY!! I am already apparently stocker on Christmas Eve (as well as today and Tuesday apparently)... so I'm going to try everything to swap with someone on Christmas Day. The rest of the week is fine (I even have 2 days off!) and New Years Eve I'm working from 11am - 00.30am WOOOHOOO! I'm also apparently in chippie which will be fun!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Last Sunday Night... *hum to tune of Katy Perry*

Okay so Sunday I was off work because I swapped with Samantha (as she wanted Tuesday off instead) so I started the day with a walk to Publix. That was fun. LOL. It's just a bit of a chore to walk over there... it's about 15 minutes but you have to cross two roads and two car parks - however, I needed some basics so I had to go. I called my mum on the way back and then once I got home, I put away all my stuff and then headed out to Magic Kingdom on the A bus. I just really wanted to see the afternoon parade because I felt I hadn't had any 'disney magic' for a while as a guest! When I got there I was really hungry so I got a Casey's hotdog which was gooooood! Then I watched the Dream Along with Mickey show on the castle stage at 2.15pm which was really cute!! I stayed in my spot for the parade at 3pm although I got the slight feeling it was a bit of a rushed one because the grey clouds were rolling in... sure enough, by the time it had finished and I'd walked half way down Main Street it began pouring down!

I waited for the rain to stop a bit then walked to the monorail and got back on the A bus at the TTC. The rain clouds were still hovering around when I was almost back to The Commons and by the time I'd got off the bus I got the '5 second warning'. This is a phrase I have coined for when you feel a few drops of rain in Florida because it generally means you've got about 5-10 seconds to find an umbrella/poncho/cover/run for your life before it torrential pours down! So I got pretty soaked. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching Glee on my computer with my roomate who wasn't feeling very well and just bumming around.

Then I got ready for HOB (House of Blues) which has a 'service industry night' on a Sunday - basically, anyone with a Disney ID gets in for free. If we'd got there before midnight then girls get free drinks too (not sexist at all...!) but sadly we didn't. I had a glass of wine whilst I was getting ready, then my French roomates had a friend over and they were drinking champagne (so French!) so gave me some too... then Ani gave me a Bud Light (ughhh)... and when I got to HOB I had a vodka and coke. Basically... wine + champagne + beer + vodka = bad idea. However, it was a fun night and I needed to have a crazy night like that but it's not happening again for a long time!! We got back about 2am and I went to sleep on the sofa at about 3am because I didn't want to wake up my roomate... it was actually very comfy.

The next day was rough. I was tired and not feeling very good for the entire day!! Luckily I was put on greeter for most of it which requires the least moving around and no handling food. LOL. I just had to repeat myself hundreds of times but I could cope with that. Much amusement as lots of people had been to HOB so I wasn't the only one! I actually finished work at 7.45pm which was nice so I got changed and went and had chicken nuggets in the America pavilion and spied a bit of the Candlelight Processional show which was going on. Then I walked to Norway and got a cake. I took it to Canada and ate it there whilst chatting to Steffie and Max who were on popcorn cart. At 9.30pm Tyler got out of work so I stood in Canada and watched IllumiNations with him there which was epic. Then we got the C bus back home and sat in my apartment, had pizza and wine (well he did, I couldn't take anything other than water LOL) and watched random clips of Little Britain and Gavin & Stacey on YouTube.

Tuesday was pretty boring, I got up... went to Panera Bread with Tyler (where we saw a man that really looked like he was "friends" with the Father Christmas in the UK Pavilion. What a beard.) and then went to work. I was seating and then chippie fill. We closed chippy, I went home and went to bed. Exciting day.

Today I was off again which the second of my original days off. Tyler and Steffie were also off work so we decided to go up to West Clock and visit the Partners Bank so we could get some half-decent bank accounts as opposed to the crappy pay cards they give us when we start (they charge you to even look at your balance at an ATM!). I discovered they've taken away the Learning Centre which was at Disney University - a pity because I needed to check my SSN number so I had to walk to Costuming to check it and then walk back. The bank took ages because they were understaffed but eventually I got my checking card and a savings account all rolled into one which is nice. It also has internet banking which is good. We got the cast bus to MK and got some lunch at Caseys (two hotdogs in 4 days... not very healthy!) and then I left them to play in the park whilst I headed back here. I received two more packages today which is exciting but they're for Christmas so they're under my tree now! I also got my family Christmas card in the mail yesterday... it had a speaker in it and they spoke to me when I opened it! It really surprised me and shocked me to tears! Christmas is going to be a day of crying, laughing, exhaustion and eating crap I can see it coming! Only 11 days to go!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Magical shifts...

Wow, another update already I hear you cry!! Well, seen as I actually have some downtime I thought I'd make the most of it and I'm not ready to go to bed yet! I also thought I'd post about the last two shifts I've had because they've been really good! (Some positivity at last LOL)

Yesterday I went into work feeling pretty rubbish because my neck was really hurting. I have no idea why... I was hoping it wasn't some illness I was getting (because it's like Fresher's Flu here right now - everyone is getting sick!!) but to be honest, I think I must have just slept at a weird angle or something. Ultimately though, it just really hurt whenever I looked to the very left or very right - basically, if I needed to cross a road, it really hurt!! So I dosed up on iboprofen and paracetamol (or atcetamophen as they have here instead, and yes, I've spelt that wrong) and got sent to the Greeter position which I was quite happy about. I ended upn literally staying there for the entire shift from 2.45pm until we closed it at 10.45pm. I was actually working til 11.30pm (extra tragic hours!) so I got an hour break but I spent the last 45 minutes helping to close chippy. Sooo... I was on Greeter which is probably one of my favourite jobs so that was good. It was very busy with a lot of reservations so on the whole we weren't taking walk-ins... Daniel E was assigning (the person that decides who sits where and how many spare tables we have) and he was only training but he was really good!! I've noticed that an important thing about the assignor is that they have to have some nerve in order to try and get as many guests in as possible because it means the servers earn more money and therefore Disney get more money from the restaurant. If you're too nervous about overbooking the restaurant then you can end up with loads of empty tables which isn't too good! Anyways, he was doing a great job and he's a lovely person so it was nice to work with him (the greeter is probably the person that most works with the assignor) and we managed to get most people sat on time (when they booked their reservation for) and even got a few walk-ins in as well.

We were very busy when this family of 5 walked up... instantly I saw the 'Give Kids the World' badge on the little boy who was in a wheelchair. Give Kids the World is a place near Disney where children who are terminally sick can stay and go to DisneyWorld - it's connected to the Make-A-Wish Foundation I believe. You can also VoluntEAR there (I plan to do this again at some point - I did it once on my first program in 2008) where you look after the kids and play games with them whilst the parents go to the parks on their own for some restbite. Anyways, I noticed the badge and there was no question about getting these people into the restaurant despite the crazyness and the lack of space. I spoke to Daniel and he said it would be about a 20 minute wait so I explained to the Dad about how we weren't taking anyone without a reservation but because I had some Disney Magic that was spare, I found them a table in about 20 minutes time! I gave them a pager and they waited... they got given 509 which was a really nice table overlooking the World Showcase and it was wheelchair accessible of course. They were such a lovely family and meeting people like that really makes you remember how your problems are so insignifant (like my painful neck) because their child is really sick and yet they can be the happiest, friendliest family I will have met all day. So when it came for them to be sat, I took the ticket off the seater and got them to cover greeter whilst I sat them :) They were lovely. I hoped they'd stay for the fireworks so I that I could do the magical moment with them but unfortunately the kids were too tired and we were crazy busy anyway so we didn't end up doing the magical moment at all. It's moments like that when I love being a Disney Cast Member.

The rest of the night was fun and then I closed greeter and went to help close chippy. Whilst I was cleaning the condiment cart, there was a group of drunk guys (I love EMH just for the amusing drunks!!) and they were trying to do Scottish and Irish accents to each other. They were so good that I was actually questioning to myself what nationality they were! They started heckling me just because I was there so I joined in with the banter and found out that they were actually from Texas! This one guy did a really good accent, he apparently learnt it from Love Actually LOL!!! It was fun having a laugh with them - they even took my picture hahaaa! Eventually I finished closing chippy, went home and crashed out, I was exhausted!!

Today I was FINALLY chippy registers again!! I say that because in the roughly 4 weeks since I've been trained, I've only done it once! So... registers were outside for about an hour of my shift then it started to rain so we moved inside chippy. This is a bit of a pain because it means it's a bit squished in chippy and it gets crazy with too many people in there. It was fine though and it didn't actually rain that much so the guests didn't get too annoyed! (You really don't want to combine tired, hungry guests and add cold and rain to that!) I went on my break and when I came back we had me and Dan on tills with Sam and Tom filling and Gonzalo and Eric as the culinary staff - it was fantastic!! We had a right laugh! Lots of singing and dancing was going on and I really enjoyed it. The time went really fast. The only downside was that because of all the fun we were having, I managed to have my till 50 cents up at the end of the night which annoys me because I like to be bang-on with my money and I even was on my first shift. So I was a little irritated by that but life goes on! haha! So yeah, I banked out and clocked out... we got to Cast Services at 10.20pm and the queue for the bus was rediculous! So we got a taxi ($2 each yeahhh) and I got home at 10.35pm. I probably would have been home at something crazy like 11.30pm if I hadn't got the taxi so I don't care about the cost! I put my laundry in the dryer and now I'm here eating the rest of my Ben & Jerrys and drinking some wine I found in the fridge. I'm off tomorrow so I don't know what I'm doing yet but I don't have to go to work! :D

Friday, 9 December 2011

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

My Christmas tree is up and decorated! I am going to wrap the jiffy bags and box I have received from Mum in some wrapping paper and put it under the tree.... I am going to purchase the Glee Christmas Album (Vol 2 and let's face it.. probably Vol. 1 as well...) and arrange our Christmas Day celebrations which are apparently happening at my apartment. Seen as we used Clare's and Dan's for Thanksgiving, it was decided mine was for Christmas especially because I have lots of space and it's only a 2-bed so less housemates to bother even though they're all invited of course. It's difficult because we don't know what shifts we're working yet and the likelyhood is that everyone is going to have to do some hours that day to make it fair (they don't give anyone the day off apparently). But I'm sure it'll be fun!

So, my shift on Tuesday turned out not to be a stocker shift thank God! They assigned that to somebody else and I was greeting/seating all day. I finished work at 10.30pm and so headed back home and decided to spend the evening revising my R&C menus because we're going to have our pre-service test and all that jazz in January and I think I'm going to be so busy working over Christmas and New Year that I won't have too much time so I'm getting ahead of the game! I ended up doing that until about 1am and then I went to bed.

On Wednesday it was boiling! The sun was out and the temperature got back up to about 27 degrees celsuis! Crazy! I drew a weather-related hopscotch when I was tasking and then spent the rest of the time mostly on greeter. I think it's my favourite job so far even though I enjoy chippie tills I've only had it once! After my break, the grey clouds started to roll in and the wind got up... in Florida this can only mean one thing - RAIN! And sure enough, it poured down! We moved podium inside but the tablets kept crashing so I stayed on the normal podium in order to use the computer there and check people in for their reservations. The rain didn't continue pouring for the whole time, it went to a drizzly sort of weather - like England really, but warmer! Having said that, the temperature dropped down from 27C to about 7C so it felt bloody freezing. I was very glad I had my coat but even more glad that I finished at 7.30pm!! YEAH! My one and only early finish on this schedule.

So once I finished work, Nick was supposed to pick me up but he had to go and get his hair cut and do a couple of things so I ended up getting the bus home... seen as I didn't know how long he was going to be, I got the H bus to Walmart (my original plans were to stay at EPCOT and see IllumiNations as a guest but it was too cold!) as I really needed to get some cleaning stuff for my apartment.. for some reason, my room smells a bit like damp/mildew - I think it's the carpets - and it's making my clothes smell a bit so I went and invested in a load of Febreze and stuff to put on the carpet. I eventually got hold of Nick and we arranged for him to get me from the Commons later so after I got back and put my shopping away, I met him by the sketchy car park (opposite the Commons) and we went to his apartment. It was a pity we couldn't have met earlier, we originally wanted to make some food (rather than buy it!) but then he ended up eating anyways so I just had a snack instead. We watched a movie and had some good chats which were well needed. The problem when we hang out is that we end up chatting for so long that I never go to bed before the early hours! Eventually I passed out at about 2.30am.

The next day was my one day off! YAY! So I'd arranged to go to the Florida Mall (because I was actually off when the bus goes there for once!) with Clare and Jessie. So after we got up, Nick drove us through the McDonalds drive thru and I had a McBreakfast which was epic after over 6 weeks since I had one!! I bought him an apple pie. So all in all, we both had VERY healthy breakfasts....! He dropped me off at the Commons which is so nice of him because I really could have walked and he could have slept for longer... I really appreciate it. I got changed and met Clare and Jessie at the bus stop at 11am (and also met some of the newbies who have just moved in! Exciting!) and we went to the Mall. We hit up the Disney Store, got some lunch (I had Starbucks?!), went to Forever 21 (another money eater!), H&M, American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Macy's and Charlotte Russe before getting the bus back to housing. Once I'd got home I skyped with my mum and then met up with Canadian Alison who also has a car (I love these people with vehicles!) and we went to Downtown Disney. We ate in Raglan Road which was good although very noisy as they have people playing live Irish music complete with people dancing... after that, we got to AMC so that we could finally see Twilight Breaking Dawn!!!! :D It's taken me ages to get to see it, it came out about 3 weeks ago! I actually thought it was better than I expected and I'm looking forward to the DVD so I can watch it again and pick up on the bits I missed - I thought the CGI was really good in this one actually. It also made me super excited to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows again on DVD which I might possibly be getting for Christmas ;)

So, I saw Steffie and Tyler for a bit when I got back and then crashed out because I was super-tired. I got up stupidly early this morning so that I could get to the post office and back as today is the deadline for parcels/letters to get to the UK in time for Christmas. I also did some more spiel revising on the bus so that was useful. I've just uploaded more pictures to Facebook (well overdue!) and updated this blog. It's EMH tonight at EPCOT so I'm working until 11.30pm - YAY.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Living paycheck to paycheck!

I'm poor. Again. I think that something I never realised was that on the CRP, you do less hours than on the summer program where after you're trained, you're straight into 50 hour weeks or whatever... with the CRP it's more like 35 hours and once you've paid rent (that's $102/week for my Commons 2 bed apt) and taxes (approx $40/wk) it means you're only left with about $150 to live on for the week. Okay, so yesterday I did go to Walmart and buy a Christmas tree with lights and baubles (and a star) which cost me like $60... but still. If you're reading this and preparing to come out next year, just be aware you might need extra money or be really good with not spending it! I keep having to resort to my English money which is really annoying!

Soooo... I left off with going back to work on Thursday last week. Well, Thursday was a slightly better day - I spent half of it in chippie filler and then the last half (after my break) in the restaurant greeting and seating. I think I closed greeter that night, it wasn't a particularly thrilling day... after work, we rushed back to cast services to get changed and then walked back through the UK pavilion to the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT in order to walk to the Boardwalk. We were the last people let through the gate before it was locked so that was lucky. We went over to Jellyrolls via the Cat Cora pizza window because we were all starving (it was gooood pizza too) and then got our standard $10 32-oz cocktails in Jellyrolls. We went because it was our first month anniversary! Crazy how fast it's gone! Sophie couldn't make it unfortunately because she didn't have her ID (it is 21 and over only) but it was nice to see them all again even though I wasn't really feeling the music to be honest and we only stayed until about 12.45am before getting a taxi back to the Commons.

Friday was a much better day work-wise. Yet again, I was chippie filler and then seating/greeting but for some reason I was in a much better mood. I kept myself busy by bussing tables when I wasn't seating which I think scored me points with the servers and then I closed Greeter I think which is the easiest position to close and in addition means you can sneakily watch IllumiNations as well because it's right there... at the moment it's got the special holiday bit at the end which is AWESOME. I neeeeed to go and see it as a guest so I can take pictures but my lack of days off and numerous 10.30pm finishes kind of put a stop to that. I can't remember what I did after work on this day... maybe I just came home and went to bed? The days all blur into one here!

Saturday was again, another day revolving around chippie filler and seating/greeting. It's getting a little bit repetitive seen as I never seem to get chippie tills (I've had it ONCE!) or beer cart... but anyways, I ended up in chippie for most of the day and it was actually quite a laugh with Samantha and the culinary guys (Michael and Eric whom I thought was called Jonas for most of the day because he had the wrong name tag and it claimed he was from Haiti which I KNEW was wrong...), we ended up getting a bit hyper and doing a lot of singing and dancing for which the guests must have thought we'd gone mad. But it was fun and it passed the time. We closed chippie as well and ended up getting out at about 10.30pm which wasn't bad. As we were waiting for the bus, all the servers came out so we shared a taxi with them back to the Commons ($2 each, win.). I was planning on just having a quiet night and going to bed but for reasons I can't be bothered to explain, Nick ended up picking me up at like 11.30pm and we hung out for the rest of the evening. I helped him do his mountain of washing up and general tidying of his apartment because it was a state and so we didn't go to sleep til about 3am which was a bit rediculous. Especially considering he had work at 8am so I basically got 3 hours sleep before being dragged back to the Commons... I got home and went straight back to bed for a couple of hours.

On Sunday morning once I'd got up again, I had to wrap all my Christmas presents because they needed to be posted. I spent about 2 hours doing that... they're all rather random and are more token gestures than anything else because it's actually quite difficult to buy presents that aren't too expensive or bulky to post back. Soooo apologies to my family for the fact that my presents are a little bit crap! Once I'd done that it was time to get ready for work... I was chippie filler for the day again and closed chippie again (sorry for the repetitiveness, such is my life right now). After work, Nick picked me up and we went and got Wendy's which I think has improved in quality since 2008 and I first had it. It's not that great! It was quite amusing though because we were both in costume and Nick's Soarin' costume really is the most conspicuous of them all because that blue is so freaking bright. After that, we went back to his apartment and watched some random documentaries on the Discovery Channel about the world's dirtiest jobs which was quite amusing.

So yesterday was Monday, and I had this weird shift scheduled which was 5.30pm - 2am. Now, considering the park closes at 9.30pm and nobody else was scheduled that late it meant I would have been the only one left in the UK pavilion so obviously it was an error by CDS. Still, it meant I had a whole day to do stuff! So... Nick was my taxi driver (I paid him in food) and we drove to the Commons to pick up my Christmas presents and Kristine my roomate... then we went to Walmart and got a Christmas tree. Kristine stayed at Walmart to get some other stuff, whilst me and Nick went to Olive Garden for lunch. Then we went to the Post Office which was just around the corner... that was a palava. WHY is the post office here so stressful! The lady was very very helpful though, I think she's used to dealing with ICPs attempting to mail stuff back to their own country. Basically, she said that it's not worth sending anything that weighs under 4 pounds by Priority Mail/Flat Rate boxes because it doubles the price. So I had to repack the stuff I was sending to Hayley in this random box she found and we (joint effort between 3 of us) attacked the box with sellotape - so have fun opening that Hayley!! That therefore cost me half the amount... then I was sending an envelope which I'd packed myself so that was fine plus the box for my family which did weigh over 4 pounds and cost me in the region of $40 to post. But I didn't mind because they are all my Christmas presents and tis the season to be giving. More to the point I was just relieved that it was all mailed. I just need to get Lauren's present sorted (which I'm afraid may not arrive in time for Christmas...) and some Christmas cards. I might try and get over there again on Thursday which is my day off - the cut off date for post is Friday to arrive by the 25th! After the post office, we went via Walgreens to pick up Nick's medication refills and then back to the Commons to drop off the Christmas tree. Then finally he drove me to EPCOT for work. So basically, a very productive day! Work was pretty standard - they called CDS and changed my shift so I started early at 5pm and worked until 10.30pm (although I ended up getting an ER at 10.10pm) so I really only worked about 5 hours... I was seating for the first half then I took over Greeter and closed that so it was an easy and reasonably enjoyable shift... only down side was that the wind was blowing in our direction (I believe towards the South West direction) and it meant we got showered in bits of firework. Glad I covered up the podium before we got covered in ash.

Today I've woken up early because I needed to check my shift on the Hub. I swapped with Clare so she could have today off instead of Thursday as her family are here and I'm having Thursday off instead. It's finally registered on the Hub so I'm working 3-10pm today and to my horror it says it's a stocker shift which scares the crap out of me because I really don't think I'll be a good stocker. So I'm praying that once I get into work, they'll change it and make me chippie filler or something instead. Fingers crossed. I've also done boring things this morning like my laundry, update this blog and will probably wash my hair in a minute - thrills of my life!!