Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Patterns have emerged in my work week - I usually work Friday-Tuesday and then have off Wednesdays and Thursdays - which has become my "Disney Weekend". Since I'm not character trained yet (still don't know when that is happening!), what I do at work is the same every day with changing faces and families. It's a lot of fun, and I am so lucky that I love my job, but there isn't anything very exciting or new to report.

However, today I had a day off! I went to the Magic Kingdom with a friend and had a blast watching the parades and riding attractions. It's strange that I can work somewhere every day and still feel like I'm stepping into a new magical place every single time I visit. Tomorrow I have off, but I'll be doing mostly school work and errands. Things here are crazy, but a lot of fun. I can't believe we're over halfway through February!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chilling in the View

Tonight, I was float the Magic Kingdom - which means that they put me wherever I am needed most. Today, that meant the View - where guests can go and look at all the photos they've taken that day and throughout their vacation. I spent the entire night in the View - with an exception of my lunch and break - so I got to explore all that the View has to offer and now consider myself a "View Pro".

I got thrown all sorts of difficult guests, guest problems and had to combine cards, find lost photos and adjust found ones over...and over...and over again. While it got a little repetitive, every guest is different and since it was so busy, the time flew by!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Peter Pan-ical Day

Today, since Erika had off and I didn't work until 7:15, we went to the Magic Kingdom at park open to ride attractions, meet characters and have a "roommate day". We even got "We're Celebrating" buttons to commemorate it! We spent the day exploring the lands, riding attractions and eating some fantastic food. But the most exciting thing of all was when we were leaving Adventureland to watch the Move It Shake It Celebrate It Street Party and Dream Along with Mickey.

I met Peter Pan.

I think that needs to be stated again in my excitement level -- I MET PETER PAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, a few things you should know about this beyond exciting moment. First - I LOVE Peter Pan. He is THE best. Second - He rarely does meet and greets, and when he does, they are never posted and very random.

So, off course, whenever I am in the Magic Kingdom, my Peter Pan sensors are on high and I'm trying to spot him the entire visit. Well, when we were leaving Adventureland Erika and I almost stopped for a Dole Whip but then decided to wait. Thank Goodness! So, I see a line of people waiting and I'm like, hmmm, I wonder who is doing a meet and greet over here in Adventureland - probably Aladdin or someone. But, I then spot the telltale green shirt and I FREAK OUT.

I'm not kidding, I shriek, hit Erika on the shoulder and go on to bounce up and down like a three year old. Of course, I make her stand in line with me and I am beyond exciting. I was probably more excited than all of the kids in the line. So the line makes it's way up to Peter Pan and next its my turn and he turns to me and I go speechless.

I'm just standing there, mouth gaping, because Peter Pan is talking to me. I can barely stutter out two words. So he's talking and my roommate is kind of talking for me because I'm just standing there in shock nodding with this huge smile on my face and I manage to utter about three sentences in his presence. But, we take our photo and he gives me a hug and it was amazing.


Actually, words cannot describe how amazing this was.

After meeting Peter Pan (!!!!), we got rained out for Dream Along With Mickey, watched the Move It Shake It Celebrate It Street Party, met the boss (that's Mickey Mouse!!) and then watched the second Dream Along With Mickey - where Peter Pan recognized me and Erika and pointed/waved. Yeah, no big deal. (Just Kidding - of course I shrieked like a three year old)

Then, we got a snack and sat down for the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade - where Ariel and I bonded over having red hair and Peter Pan blew me a kiss.

Yes, he blew me a kiss.


After the parade, we rode a few more attractions - including Jungle Cruise and It's a Small World - but since it was rainy on and off all day, Erika decided to call it a night pretty early and I went down to base to change and get ready for my shift.

As for work - well, it was pretty much the same as it had been all week. I was in East, which meant I was stuck at Tomorrowland Bridge and Partner's Right for the whole night - not bad, but not the most exciting thing in the world. I can't wait to be character trained so I can capture character meet-and-greets.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Schoolwork and a Night of Roommate Bonding

Today, my schoolbooks finally arrived and class has started for me! Which meant, during the day today, while my roommate was at work, I was in the apartment studying and getting a head start on my classes - Introduction to Ethics and Introduction to American Literature.

Tonight, I met Erika (my roommate) at the Magic Kingdom to ride some attractions and get our picture taken over...and over...and over. It was nice to finally be able to visit a park with my roommate - our schedules never seem to match up!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Change in what is "Uneventful"

Today, I had a day off so it was off to the Magic Kingdom with one of my friends and coworkers, Madeline. We had a great afternoon visiting work and exploring our home base, including riding Peter Pan's Flight (!!) and the Jungle Cruise. It was a more uneventful day off, but still lots of fun. I'm glad I got to hang out with one of my coworkers out of costume!

Isn't it crazy that going to the Magic Kingdom on a day off has become "uneventful"? I am so lucky to be down here for the rest of the semester! It has been the best experience ever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Night on Main Street and Valentine's Day

Last night, I was on Main Street the wholeee night, which was fabulous! I love the energy of Main Street, especially at night. It's beautiful! I also spent a good amount of the time in the View, which is where guests can go to look the photos they've taken throughout their vacation. I love being in the View because it is more interactive and I got to talk more with guests, and during down times, I got to know my coworkers a little better, which is always nice.

Tonight, which was Valentine's Day(!!), I had a College Program meeting for the first part of the night but then I was back in East, at Partners Right, Tomorrowland Bridge and the Rose Garden. I got to take photos of a lot of adorable couples today, met some of the cutest kids e.v.e.r. and even had a proposal reenactment from a proposal that had occured earlier that day. Love was definitely in the air at the Magic Kingdom.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chilly Nights

Another chilly night in the Magic Kingdom, but slightly more manageable since I was expecting the cold and our coordinators provided us with hand-warmers! Since we were a little over-staffed tonight, I had the opportunity to roam around Tomorrowland and Fantasyland making magical moments for guests! It was a lot of fun to add some extra pixie dust into their vacations.

When I was at a tripod, I spend most of the night on Tomorrowland Bridge, including during two Dream Along with Mickey's, the Magic Memories and You, and Wishes! Since it was very crowded, I got to talk to guests from all over the country before the show started and met the cutest little girl from Michigan who's favorite part of the day was going inside the castle, and tomorrow she got to have dinner with Cinderella. It was adorable. I also got hugs and high-fives from the cutest kids today.

When I wasn't on Tomorrowland Bridge, I was over on the Fantasyland Bridge, where I had four cheerleading squads want photos and one Brazilian tour group! Large group photos on a tripod are difficult, but definitely not impossible. My shift ended at 12:15, and the Magic Kingdom was open until 2am, which meant that I didn't have to wait long for the bus - and I got a seat. Which is always nice after a long day.

Tomorrow (or I guess it's today), I'm on Main Street for the first time in a long while, which will be a lot of fun! Can't wait to see where the put me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Winter" has struck!

Today it got "cold" for the first time since being down in Orlando - which means, a chilly 35 degrees. Not too bad, except for the wind - which was brutal. But, despite the cold, it was a great night at work.

First, it was off to the Rose Garden, where I was situated until my lunch break - about two hours. I got to watch Dream Along with Mickey twice, and take some great photos of families with the fireworks going off in the background. I almost got to shoot a proposal, but was called away minutes before it happened. ): boo...

After lunch, it was off to make some magical moments in Tomorrowland and then to Partner's Right during Dream Along with Mickey, Spectromagic (the first time the parade was back in months!!), the Magic Memories and You, Wishes, the Magic Memories and You, and then Spectromagic again. I managed to take some amazing photos during the fireworks of (very cold) families.

Then, it was break time, and afterwards, I set up Tomorrowland Bridge 2 until the rest of the night. It wasn't very busy since it was very very cold, but I managed to take a few shots in between waving to hurried guests. It was a great night, with some entertaining guests, and I get to do it all over again tomorrow!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Long Rainy Nights

Tonight was the first time I've gotten rained out at work. The drizzle held off for the beginning of my shift, but shortly after I returned from break, it started to pour. This means going to a rain location with other photographers to direct guests and wait out the rain. Since I had both my rain gear and my jacket, it wasn't uncomfortable for the most part - just a little monotonous, since I wasn't taking pictures and was mostly just waving to guests and wishing them a good night.

Before the downpour, I was on Tomorrowland Bridge for a few hours before lunch - which is one of my favorite spots in East, and my second spot to watch Wishes from, and then after lunch, I was on Fantasyland Bridge, which was pretty quiet since the majority of guests were on Main Street watching the Magic, Memories and You. It's an interesting view of the castle, but not my favorite position since it's tucked away and doesn't get much guest access.

After getting rained out though (I was under the overhang in my rain location for over two hours), and singing Disney songs to myself for the last half hour since there were NO guests to be seen, I got off of work at midnight and then had to wait almost an hour to catch a bus and come back to my apartment. The lines to get on busses at the end of the night are insane - since only three busses run an hour and there are more than three hundred people getting off at the same time, it creates quite a wait and makes getting home an adventure.

However, now I'm home and off to bed - I don't work until 4 today so I've got some time off to do schoolwork and errands.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Eating Around the World

Today, my friends Erica, Genae and I headed out early to Epcot to check out Future World and World Showcase. Erica had class at 1:30, so she had to leave at noon, but before she left we managed to ride Soarin, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush and even check out part of Innoventions! It was a lot of fun, since these are some of my favorite things to do at Epcot.

After Erica had to leave, Genae and I started in Canada and went counterclockwise around World Showcase since we always seem to go clockwise and begin in Mexico. Unintentionally, we started a great endevor to "eat around the world', but in reality, we only ate in four countries - France, Morocco, Germany and Italy. It was a lot of fun to explore World Showcase since I hadn't taken the time to do so more slowly before. I always seem to be rushing from place to place, which is a shame because there is so much to discover here! We even decided to let out our inner three year olds and go around the world collecitng stamps at the Kidcot Fun Stops, which turned out to be more fun than it sounds!

We left the park as it started to get dark because Genae was meeting some roommates for dinner and a movie and I discovered I had some leftover school stuff to handle. In the end, it was a great two days off. Tomorrow, I don't work until 5:30 - so who knows what my day will bring! (Probably a lot of laundry...)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shopping Day

Today was my friend Kim's last day off with our lovely holiday discount on merchandise before it returns to normal so we went on a great shopping adventure our to Cast Connection (a cast member only discount store just behind the Magic Kingdom) and then out to Downtown Disney to check out the huge World of Disney and the other shopping opportunities. (They took away Pooh's Thotful Spot, booo.) While it was an adventure navigating the bus system, we definitely had a great time exploring and spending a little money .

Then, when I got home, me and Erika decided to decorate our apartment by coloring the coloring books we had bought on a whim earlier and then hanging them around. We listened to Disney music, talked and laughed way too much - but it was a great evening with a lovely roommate.

In the end, even though I didn't go to a Park, it was a great day off. I managed to score some fantastic deals at all of our shopping destinations, which made the adventure even more fun. Tomorrow, I'll be heading over to Epcot with my friends Genae and Erica, which will be lots of fun, I'm sure!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My First Night Shift

Tonight was my first night shift, which was super exciting! I started out at Partner's Right, where I photographed families in front of the Partners statue and Cinderella castle while watching a Move It Shake It Celebrate It street party and two shows of Dream Along with Mickey. I love Partners Right because I get maximum guest interaction, everyone streams through the Main Plaza to go to any land from Main Street and I am always busy with a line of people waiting to have their picture taken. I've met people all over the country and world.

After Partners Right, I got to be part of a Dessert Party underneath Tomorrowland Terrace where I took photographs of guests who were specially invited to an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet during Dream Along With Mickey, Magic Memories and You and Wishes. Very few people wanted photos during the shows, so I got to talk to guests and watch the shows while working - AWESOME.

After the Dessert party, which ends shortly after Wishes, I moved over to the Tomorrowland Bridge to close the park and take photos of guests leaving the park and wish them a good night. This goes until about 45 minutes after park close and then I had a chance to walk through the empty park while going back to base. The park is gorgeous at night, both full of guests and empty - I love all the lights and colors.

Next, I have two days off! What will I do with my time?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Night and View Training

Today, I had my Night and View training with two other CP's - Tammy and Connie. It was nice to be training with someone else finally! Night training was extremely easy - it is just like shooting during the day, only with different settings for both dusk and night. And, unlike during the day, every camera is on a tripod at night and we can't add pixie dust and make magic shots during the evening hours. Pretty simple, right? It really was just as easy as it sounds.

View training refers to "the View", which is inside the Town Square theater near the entrance/exit to the park. It is where guests can go look at their pictures and make purchases. This training was a little more intensive - there is a ton to remember, and it seems a little more stressful. It is the only position that I need to talk about prices and money with guests, which is nice to know, but makes the spot a little more stressful. It is also the place guests go if they lose their card or can't find their photos - we have to locate the missing photos for them, which can be a pain! The View offers a lot of guest interaction, which is great, so I'm sure I'll like working here even with the stress of finding lost photos, talking money and customizing photos and packages with every guest.

Since we finished our Night and View training early, we got to watch the Magic Memories and You AND Wishes tonight. I love both of these shows -- I can't believe that I get to watch them every night I work! I am so lucky. Now, I am one step closer to being fully trained - the last thing is being character trained, which means being trained to shoot the character-guest meet and greets. That should be coming up next week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mornings at the Magic Kingdom

Today was a nice short shift - 8am until 2:30 pm, which meant I got to open the park at Partners Right. I love opening the park because its so exciting to see Main Street go from empty to flooded with people in just mere minutes. I love the energy of being right in front of the castle, welcoming guests into a new day at the parks.

Then, after moving around to a variety of different positions, I got to photograph the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It street party - which was a TON of fun. It's all candids, which is a great change from the tripod. I love this street party because of all the energy - the kids get so excited and are adorable following the dance moves. The parents' are so grateful that I'm capturing the magical moments.

I also got to watch Dream Along with Mickey today - which is my favorite show, ever. It never gets old, but I am starting to learn the dance and lyrics! No complaints here though, since I adore the show. Tomorrow, I get Night and View trained, which will be very interesting. Can't wait how to capture Cinderella Castle at night!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Second Days run a Little More Smoothly

Today ran much more smoothly than yesterday - no equipment broke down and I only got lost about a half dozen times! I still don't understand backstage, but since I was dressed in the "global" costume for Photopass, I could go onstage anywhere and then find where I was supposed to be. It was definitely a handy feature.

Today I was scheduled as Magic Kingdom East, which meant I took pictures of the castle from the Tomorrowland Bridge and in front of the Partners statue. I also got to rove around Tomorrowland and take candid photos for the "Magic, Memories and You" show on the castle. It was busy today at the Magic Kingdom, but since I was on a tripod, my line moved quickly because my shot was already set up. I got to talk to guests from all over the world and I helped out in my very first "magical moment" today, too!

After work, I took the bus back to my apartment and change, dropping off my work clothes, and then I went back to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with my friends Molly, Erica, and Genae to watch Dream Along with Mickey, The Magic, the Memories and You, and Wishes. We also met a ton of characters, including Tinkerbell and Valeria, Tiana and Naveen, Mickey and Minnie, Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White.

In the end, it was a great day! Much smoother than yesterday, so things can only go up from here!

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Days are Never Smooth

Today was my first day on the job without a trainer...yay! But, as I got into work and all clocked in for the day, things quickly went awry and it was the longest morning ever. Because I was a float, I didn't know where I was going to be working so, first, I had to change costumes. Which took forever because I couldn't find the locker room and then I discovered that my costume was a size too big. Oops. Then, I had to go back to base and check out my equipment, and somehow find the staircase that leads where I need to go. I got lost.

Once I was up on Main Street, things started to go better for a little while...until my camera kept holding onto photos and wouldn't let them onto the PDA and my PDA wasn't communicating at all with my camera. After I tried the basic troubleshooting I was taught, nothing went better. Which meant I had to go all the way back down to base to get my equipment fixed. This happened three times.

After I got my equipment all sorted out, things went smoother in the afternoon - I got to talk to dozens of families and take their pictures while experiencing two Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It! dance parties from Main Street, I got to hear/watch Dream Along with Mickey twice and I got to see the beginning of the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade before I was wisked off to punch out.

It was a long day, but despite all the technical trouble, I still love my job! There is nothing like being in the Magic Kingdom all day, getting to talk to guests from all around the world. My favorite encounter of the day was a little girl who was so excited that I could put Tinkerbell in her hands that she gave me the longest and biggest hug ever. It was so, so, so cute.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tours and Some Time Off

Today, I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning in order to catch a bus in time to go on an intensive Magic Kingdom tour called "Once Upon a Time is Now". The tour started at 7:15am, and once it got going, I soon realized that it is a tour meant to start off your college experience, so I was already a week ahead of everyone I was with. I met some really cool people, but it was a bit annoying to already know about 98% of the information given out during the tour while it was all new to everyone else.

But, after a long morning of finding out the same information I'd gotten all through training, I was done for the day shortly before noon, went over to costuming to pick up a special Main Street costume, and then went over to meet my friend Kim in the Magic Kingdom. We had a great time wandering around (we rode a few rides, including Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Splash Mountain) and then went over to Epcot to ride Test Track and a few of the countries in Epcot.

As it got dark, we headed back to our apartments since we had to work early in the morning and we were both exhausted from long days. It was nice to hang out with a new friend and get to know some more people on the program! And, when I got home, I had a special package waiting for me... THANK YOU GRANDMA AND GRANDPA!! LOVE YOU BOTH!

Tomorrow, I get to sleep in until 5:45, which is so exciting! It'll be my first day without a trainer hovering, which should be very very interesting...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Done with Training (For Now!)

Today, I had my Day 4 training with Photopass, which is my last day of training until I get trained to shoot night photos later in my program. It was a pretty simple day, consisting of learning how to take "magic" photos in the morning - which are photos with an extra bit of pixie dust that I now know how to arrange and take correctly. Then, after some practice shots of my trainer, I was out in the Magic Kingdom practicing in a location close to the castle.

Soon, it was time for our Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it! street party, which I got to shoot for the first time. It was so much to run around the central plaza with all the characters and guests dancing and take candid photos that Mom and Dad might be missing. I even took one that was excellent enough to get a star and have a shot of being projected on the castle near the end of the night!

Then, it was lunch time and back out the park to take photos of guests in two spots - Tomorrowland Bridge and First Aid. It took some practice, but I've finally managed to make the magic shots work! Before I knew it, my shift was over and it was time to clock out. A long day of walking and standing, but it was a great day -- I can honestly say that I love my job.