It’s Okay to Be Late

Woo.

Okay.

Gah….

These are the feelings I get when I think about writing my reflection of the DCP. It’s unfathomable to turn six months of bliss into a blog post. I made a short video with some of my favorite memories from work and with my friends, but that hardly does it justice either. I’m warning you now, this entire post is just going to be word vomit about my Disney College Program experience.

I fill with so much joy when I look back on my memories at Disney, and I can’t believe they are just that now: memories. My best friend Jessie and I have been struggling with this for a while: that moving back home was the right decision. I know it was, I have a boyfriend and school and a life back home. But you don’t understand how real the “Disney Vortex” is. I was so incredibly blessed in every way to experience the College Program. I know everyone says it, but you will literally never be able to see how much it changes you.

My biggest evolution in Florida was my faith. I went down with a resolve that I should probably go to church, and my intended friends/roommates and I were all Christian and looking for a youth group (them more so than I). The community I found in Orlando was probably the most perfect community I have ever had. I built such strong relationships because I had to. None of us had anything down here, so we had to band together to make a life for ourselves. Cru and WDW was my saving grace. Prompted by my roommate Jessie to attend church with her, I was uneasy, nervous, and a little skeptical. As a Catholic from birth, I was unsure about a “modern” service without communion or hymns. Because I’d been pulling away from the faith entirely, I really wanted to challenge myself.

As soon as I walked into that Holiday Inn Ballroom, my world changed. I’m not sure who was playing, but the worship songs brought me to tears in 10 minutes. I could feel God wrapping his arms around me and the Holy Spirit lifting everyone’s joyous voices in the air. I finally understood the songs were meant to praise God and his wonderful grace and love, not just ways to eat up more time in a service.

Cru at WDW acted as our youth group with Pizza Night (aka free dinner on Thursdays), Bible Study (which I never went to the structured ones, just the student led at VISTA WAY. That’s right, Bible Study at freaking Vista!), and a diverse net of awesome, God-loving people to go to the parks with, swap stories and just have fun. I was discipled by an amazing woman named Kristel, she helped foster my relationship with God and gave me the tools I needed to make myself good enough for Him! She also introduced me to Noodles and Company, and for that, I am forever grateful. 😉

While my faith was my favorite part of my Disney journey, there were so many other wonderful aspects. I grew my love of Disney tenfold. If someone asked me now what I wanted at the Disney store, I would say 7 of everything, and 10 if it has the White Rabbit or Br’er Rabbit on it. I cultivated friendships with characters I had either never heard or cared about. My favorite Disney Character is now Br’er Rabbit (with the exception of Mickey and Minnie, of course), and I have most of the merchandise ever made with him on it (I won’t get into the Song of the South debacle, don’t want to step on any toes!!). My favorite princesses are Mulan and Pocahontas (the two princesses that have like no merchandise EVER). I am literally redoing my dorm room in Swan Court from Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade. For my 21st birthday, my boyfriend and I will probably be going to Disney. I don’t know if you understand how deep my love for Disney goes…

I have absolutely no regrets (okay one, I really wish I could have gone backstage of Fantasmic!) of my program. I used every day to my advantage, tried to experience every new opportunity in my role, and made deep and lasting friendships… shoutout to you, #JAK!

TRANSITION TIME

I want to give some advice to those of you that have just started your DCP or are preparing to go. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times on 10,000 different blogs, so one more reiteration tells you just how important it is:

  • As far as packing, don’t take your entire life. I fit everything I ever needed into two suitcases and a military backpack, and I still didn’t use/wear anything. You will be in your role’s costume 80% of the time. Lounge clothes, some nice clothes to have nice dinners, and if you like to party, bring some of that stuff. THAT IS IT.
  • Cherish every single moment. While I have no regrets, I wish I would have had more time. I really struggled with deciding to extend or not to extend. It was the right decision not to, but I miss Disney so much sometimes.
  • DON’T RIDE THE PARTY BUS. Of course, I never rode it myself so I can’t speak from experience, but you are in Disney for 4/6/12 months to live your dream and work in the most magical place on Earth. Do you really want to throw up your pixie dust 5 out of 7 nights of the week? Termination is also a very real possibility, so… don’t.
  • Transtar (the bus service) does suck, so get used to it or find someone with a car. I rode Transtar all six months I was down there, and it was not fun. While I was safe on the buses (if I would fall asleep, no one would steal my stuff; the bus rarely broke down with me on it), I had other friends that had pretty bad experiences.
    • There was a point when the buses would randomly catch fire. I SHIT YOU NOT. My friend Hope had to evacuate the bus two separate times because of it.
    • The buses are almost always late or early or leave without you or something like that. I tried to be 10 minutes early every day just in case.
    • Get the App that tracks the buses. It is a lifesaver.
    • Some of the buses have a really gross aroma especially at the back (where I presume the engine is). It gave me a bad taste in my mouth (literally… I always carried gum in case).
    • Bring headphones. Your commute could be anywhere from 15/20 minutes (C bus to Epcot is a dream) to an hour or more (I don’t remember what route, but the one that goes to Cast Connection used years of my life I will never get back).
    • Actually… for your wellbeing and happiness, I propose you find a buddy with a car. It makes life a lot easier. I always tried to coordinate with my roommate and ended up staying 2 or 3 hours after my shift so I could ride with her.
  • Enjoy the little things. One of my favorite memories was at the end of my program. I was having a down-ish day and I was just walking around the Magic Kingdom after work because it makes me feel better, when a group of cast members from Harbour House in Liberty Square fiercely scouted out guests with birthday buttons and sang to them very loudly with bells and cymbals. It spread such a large smile on my face.
  • Be nice to your fellow cast members. You’ll learn very quickly that guests come in two breeds: Nice ones and Brazilian tour groups…. haha I kid. But there are the nice families and the families that require every ounce of special attention you had that day. When you’re playing in the parks, never underestimate a handshake, a simple “Thank you so much!” or “Good Job!” Making genuine eye contact and saying “You’re appreciated” goes such a long way, and I will make sure to do it every time I’m back at Disney.
  • If you need something, just ask. This goes for everything. My roommates and I had an unfortunate bug problem, and housing (after a few calls) came to clean up. If I needed an extra break at work or needed to speak to a manager, by captain was always more than willing to lend a helping hand. I was able to network with very important managers and directors by asking around. Nothing is off limits, and Disney really loves its employees, and wants to see growth.

The Disney College Program was the best experience of my life. I am beyond blessed to have come away with my bestest lifelong Calaberos Ashton and Jessie, a strong foundation for a blooming faith, and a passion for making magic wherever I go.

I applied to the College Program on a whim, got my 1st choice role, and had experiences I would have never imagined I’d see. It is so true that God leads you to where you need to be, and protects you in every situation. I felt God’s awe-inspiring love through the guests, my friends, my family, and everything in between.

So grow strong, grow wise, but never, ever grow up.

See Ya Real Soon!

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry that I’ve been missing from the blog for what, 3 months now? After my class ended that had me post at least once a week, I started enjoying my program even more, stayed in the Magic Kingdom until 2am, then worked at 6 the next day… so I haven’t really had the time (even though that’s the lamest excuse ever!).

I just wanted to update y’all really quickly, my program ends August 7th. That’s right, just about 10 days away! I’ll be doing a long reflective post and have videos and pictures in the weeks to come, but for now, I’m soaking up all the magic I can.

Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll see ya real soon!

Working the Dream: Entertainment!

Hi there! So for today, I have a very special announcement! This month, I will be conducting interviews with my friends in different roles in the DCP to show everyone just what we do down here! I hope you enjoy the first installment!

My roommate Jessie talked to us for just a second on the basics of her job in entertainment: A character attendant! Here’s the short clip below:

(Yes, we do have on I HEART Swan Court shirts! And ignore the weird end; I didn’t know what to ask on the spot.)

So she laid out the basics for you, but I’ll tell you the real deal: She’s the muscle behind the magic! Character Attendants are Jack/Jill-of-all-trades. Not only are they the sweetest and nicest of the bunch, they rule over the lines and stanchions with an iron fist. No matter how big those puppy dog eyes are, YOU CANNOT MEET GASTON RIGHT NOW. HE HAD TO GO HUNTING SO HE CAN IMPRESS BELLE. HE WILL BE BACK IN 15 TO 20 MINUTES.

The character attendants (or their loving nickname, “Blueberries”) are my favorite cast members in the park. Plus how cool would it be to hang out with Mickey or Minnie or Alice or Woody all day?! She makes sure they get their much needed breaks after meeting all their adoring fans, preps the guests to have the best time EVER with Buzz or Br’er Rabbit or Donald, and answers a litany of questions while making sure her character friends are safe.

Character Attendant, from what I’ve seen, is one of the rarest roles to be awarded in the DCP. Along with Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, these roles are in short supply because 1) there aren’t a ton of the shifts in the park (less for BBB), and 2) the full-time/part-time/seasonal cast members have some of these jobs too, which lowers the need for CPs even further. From my personal experience in the park, I think the largest roles to be cast in during the DCP are QSFB (Quick Service Food and Beverage), Merchandise and Attractions. If you are interested in applying to the Disney College Program and want more information, please comment below and ask me! The DCP Website is an awesome resource as well.

I’ve seen Jessie work, and I have to say, she is probably my favorite attendant in the park. I’ve seen and interacted with others, but the passion and charisma she has for her job and Disney World in general make being in her line so much more special. Go give her a huge shout out HERE!

Thanks for tuning into the first post of this month. New series start the first week of every month, if you haven’t already figured that out yet. Have a magical night!

Disney in Action: Animal Kingdom!

SHOCKER. I didn’t get a video for this blog post. I wish I did, but the days I have off are literally devoted to homework and laundry and grocery shopping. Once I’m done my online classes, I can finally enjoy the 2 months (SAD FACE) I’ll have left!

So Animal Kingdom is kind of the weird cousin of all the parks, in like every way you look at it. I have to say though, their entertainment is pretty fun.

While there’s not a lot of entertainment, the things DAK does have are great. Exhibit 1: Festival of the Lion King.

I LOVE THIS SHOW. Timon is probably my favorite part because of his sass and the tumble monkeys he plays around with, but the entire thing is just too cool for school. The emcees each take a section of the audience (I was a lion!) and make the sounds of that animal in different times of the show. Classic Lion King songs are sung and aerial acrobats are kicking butt swinging and jumping and flipping! At the very end, the guests from the first few rows are invited to come dance with the animals of the jungle.. It’s seriously the bomb. One of my favorite things to do in Africa!

Also check out Finding Nemo the Musical – it’s cool! In my opinion, Finding Nemo wasn’t a musical for a reason. But the songs are catchy and the show is really great for all ages! Bright colors and fun effects really make it a spectacle to see. It’s located right between Asia and Dinoland!

If you walk into the park around 9 or 10, keep a close eye on the trees… some of them move!! Well not some, just one. Meet DiVine, the living grape vine in Animal Kingdom’s Oasis. She hides in the trees and makes for absolutely beautiful pictures.

One of my other favorite things to do is Dinoland, USA’s “Dinoland Dance Party”! I love it soo much! It’s one of the only places you can meet Slim from Bug’s Life! A lot of random characters pop up at the dance party to groove and “Shake it Off!” One guy you can usually catch there is Br’er Fox… he loves to dance to “What Does the Fox Say?!” The other cast members dressed in different colored shirts and dancing are really fun too! They love to take pictures and dance with all the guests! I seriously recommend joining in! I think the times of it are somewhere around 3:15 and 5! However, I’ve heard rumors of it ending so get there as soon as you can!

There are a few pop-up shows around Africa, Asia, Discovery Island and Dinoland USA, but they’re not well publicized and I’ve only seen the African one for a minute or so. It’s cultural music, just like the ones at EPCOT, and they’re featured prominently so you won’t miss them on a walk through the park!

On the very rare occasion, you might run into a popup character! I met Timon one day when I was leaving the park! I’ve also seen Flik and Br’er Rabbit and Terk. It depends on how the animals are feeling, but you just might find an unexpected surprise at the end of your days!

Thanks for the WILD ride into Animal Kingdom with me, be sure to share my posts if you like them and don’t hesitate to ask questions!

Disney In Action: Hollywood Studios!

Hiya!

So I’ll actually be updating this post because it is currently 2:28 am and I just got home from work. I will be adding more, especially because I’ll be at Hollywood Studios tomorrow! Just for a little though, because obviously I want to sleep.

See y’all soon!

5:13 Update: So I’ve decided to update y’all in real time! I just got here and am sitting in Voyage of the Little Mermaid! It’s a continuously shown 15-minute show! Here’s the theater:

I’ve also heard its a live action show! BRB ITS STARTING!

GUESS WHAT?! My phone died. So I couldn’t live update anymore. Buuuuuut… I had an awesome night exploring for y’all!

Voyage of the Little Mermaid was good. Not amazing, not terrible, but good. The first part with the puppets was AWESOME. I kind of wish they did the whole show in that.


      Ariel had a kick-butt voice, and the animatronics of Ursula were awesome! As were Max and Eric! My big hangup was the length. It was a 15 minute show, but in my opinion needed to be longer. It jumped straight through Ariel’s time as a human (like HOW can you skip “Kiss the Girl”?!) and right to after Ursula was defeated. So I have some reservations about the show, and wouldn’t wait in a long line to see it! But it was still a fun thing to do.

My second favorite activity of the night: JEDI TRAINING ACADEMY

This is one of the times I hate that I’m not twelve (this and when I’m denied kid’s menu items!). You can literally go to Jedi training and FIGHT VADER. HOW COOL IS THAT. I took lots of pictures and almost jumped on stage, but I controlled myself.


          So the most awesome part of the night was the Frozen Sing-Along. Jessie has a special place in her heart for Frozen so it just made the show all the more magical! While a lot of people criticize it for having the “Arendelle Historians” in more of the show than Anna, Elsa and Kristoff, I didn’t really mind. They served as an awesome comedic relief and actually stood on the sides because parts of the movie were playing most of the time. Check out some of the photos!


     I had already filmed Fantasmic, so check out THIS link to see it! Instead of doing that, we met Green Army Man!! And our friend Rachel. It was awesome!

Have a magical night, I know I did!

Disney in Action: EPCOT!

Hello again!

I’m so sorry about the poor posting… one of my roommates moved out a week ago and took the WiFi… so it’s been a little hard to post! That’s why the Festival of Fantasy video isn’t up yet 😦 Plus I went over on the data on my phone so I’m deprived from social media!!

ANYWAYS…

This week we’ll be discussing the amazingly cool shows you can find in EPCOT!

Tomorrow World:

Hang with your favorite Finding Nemo pals at Turtle Talk with Crush! In this interactive show, audience members become part of the show and get to answer and ask questions to the raddest turtle in the EAC!

If you’re into talking trash, check out the JAMMitors, a percussionist group using trashcans, bins, and other miscellaneous pieces!

World Showcase:

The World Showcase is comprised of 11 different countries, many of which have their own shows! I’ve been able to see just a few, so I’ll include pictures of those!

Canada – Canadian Lumberjack Show (Note: please ignore my appearance, I had just finished an 8 hour shift!)

IMG_3909

Cheer on the red team or the blue team as they compete in three manly feats of lumberjack strength! The blue lumberjack next to me is drenched because he lost the log racing competition!

United Kingdom – the British Revolution; Paul McKenna band

Right behind Alice’s tea garden and Christopher Robins’ room, a gazebo houses the British Revolution, a British rock band! You can hear them jamming from 3-8 every Monday and Tuesday! On Wednesdays and Thursdays, Scottish Folk Music is played by the Paul McKenna Band from 11:30-5:15! If you’re visiting EPCOT Thursday through Sunday, swing by the Rose and Crown Pub, they have pub musicians daily from 5:15-8:15!

France – Serveur Amusant

In the mood for some laughs? Check out France’s comedic server show Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:15-4:30!

Morocco – B’net Al Houwariyate

Get a taste of Moroccan folk music and dance Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1-7:45 with B’net Al Houwariyate! If you’re eating at Restaurant Marrakesh, you’ll be treated to traditional Moroccan music and a belly dancing show!

Japan – Matsuriza

My father’s favorite show in EPCOT, Matsuriza is traditional Japanese drumming! There are usually three drummers and the show is about 10-15 minutes outside the Japanese pagoda. Their showtimes are intermittently between 12:45-6:30.

IMG_3732

America – The American Adventure; Voices of Liberty

While I haven’t done the American adventure, it’s daily from 11:15 to 9:00 every 45 minutes! I have seen the Voices of Liberty though, and it’s amazing. I didn’t take any pictures, but this A cappella singing group has wonderful voices and sings some of the most famous songs, plus classics and favorites.

Italy – Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro

I’m not typing that again, but it’s a awesome new traditional show from Italy! They play live music and throw flags and juggle them! It’s awesome! There’s also a mime/clown and juggle called Sergio, but FLAG TWIRLERS ARE AWESOME.

IMG_3911.PNG

China – Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

These Chinese acrobats are only out Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-7:15, so I haven’t been able to see them yet. But I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be the coolest thing EVER.

Mexico – Mariachi Cobre

Check out the roaming Mariachi in Mexico between riding Donald’s Three Caballeros ride and hitting up the margarita bar!

That’s it for the various shows and events in EPCOT! Check in next week for a rundown of the FANTASMIC things to do in Hollywood Studios!

WOW. I forgot the best one: IllumiNations! It’s this super awesome firework, light and water show done in the lagoon that World Showcase circles around. It’s so beautiful and has rocking music (WE GO ON!).

The Search for Mickey: Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom!

Our search for Hidden Mickeys concludes with a two-park finale! Mr. Hidden Mickey Guy is supplying all the help, so definitely check out his website to find even more Mickeys! But let’s begin… First up: Hollywood Studios!

Hollywood Boulevard: The Great Movie Ride

While you’re in the ancient Egyptian temple, pay special attention to the hieroglyphs on the walls. Mickey is hiding right under the bird and beside the legs of the men!

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.05.00 PM

Echo Avenue: Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner

Take a stroll past the boat that doubles as a diner and see a cleverly hidden Mickey Mouse head! If you stand near where the big hat used to be, the portholes line up with the sign and produce that classic Mickey Mouse!

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.09.42 PM

Sunset Boulevard: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Gift Shop

A very obvious Hidden Mickey, but cute nonetheless. While purchasing souvenirs after riding Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, look down at the counter to see either Mickey or Minnie sculpted out of guitar picks!

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.15.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.17.37 PM

NEXT STOP: ANIMAL KINGDOM!

Asia: Expedition Everest Queue

In the queue for one of the best rides at Animal Kingdom, observe your surroundings and find the campsite the Yeti destroyed! On the table you’ll see a tea kettle that has been smashed by the Yeti’s claws, but it’s shape forms a Hidden Mickey!

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.22.55 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.23.02 PM

Africa: Refreshment Stand outside exit to Kilimanjaro Safari

After your dangerous and fun exploration through the Savannah, grab a cool drink to cool off! This refreshment stand houses a small but adorable Hidden Mickey.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.27.48 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.28.02 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.28.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.28.18 PM

Dinoland U.S.A.: Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures

Pop into this merchandise location right by Goofy and Pluto’s meet-and-greet at the Dinoland Gas Station! It has a ton of fun dino-themed memorabilia, along with a unique Hidden Mickey! Look up when you enter the store to see a Mickey marionette! It’s hard to spot in the first picture, but the second picture shows you exactly what to look for!
Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.33.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 5.33.53 PM

Oasis: Tram Pickup

Like in Japan, take notice of the metal grates that cover the trees near the tram stop! The overlapping circles make a Hidden Mickey!

IMG_3312

And that about wraps up our search for Hidden Mickeys! Like I’ve said before, there are too many to count; no one knows the exact number of Mickey heads hiding in the park! But keep your eye out and find as many as you can!

The Search for Mickey: Magic Kingdom!

So if you haven’t already guessed, Disney is magical beyond belief and creatively amazing in so many different ways! If you’ve ever watched any Disney/Pixar movies, you know “easter eggs” (or clues, hints, and nods to other Disney/Pixar movies) are prevalent in all the movies. The Disney Imagineers have brought easter eggs into the parks as things called “Hidden Mickeys.” The concept is simple: the image of Mickey Mouse’s head is hidden all over the parks in art, architecture, food and buildings! While I couldn’t visit the Magic Kingdom myself for the search, I had a lot of help from Hidden Mickey Guy (found at http://www.hiddenmickeyguy.com/catalog/magic-kingdom), and the pictures below are just a few of the Mickeys you can find in the various lands of Magic Kingdom.

(Disclaimer: no photos belong to me. All rights belong to respective owners)

Fantasyland: Enchanted Tales with Belle

Look at the very bottom of the picture! In the center, a large piece of firewood is topped by two skinnier pieces! I’ve zoomed in to show the shape clearly.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.49.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.49.55 AM

Main Street U.S.A.: Festival of Fantasy Parade

The Festival of Fantasy Parade is my absolute favorite attraction in the Disney parks. The majesty and sheer beauty of the costumes, characters, choreography and colors make this 3 pm parade the true jewel of Disney. Each part of the parade is a spectacle, from beginning to end. If you look very closely at the end banner, you’ll see Mickey as a final “farewell!”

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.44.41 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.44.50 AM

Tomorrowland: Star Traders Shop

The Star Traders Shop has a variety of characters incorporated into the mural that covers its walls, but the most obvious and easy to recognize in the blue Mickey head that tops a building. Other Hidden Mickeys in Star Traders include Mickey Ear Hats and a stylized Stitch drawing.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.52.46 AM

Frontierland: Splash Mountain

One of my favorite rides in Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain is home to a few questionable Hidden Mickeys, as well as Br’er Fox, Br’er Bear and the mischievously curious and clever Br’er Rabbit. There’s one Hidden Mickey that is easily visible if you know where to look, though! When you emerge for the first time outside of the ride and before you take the U-Turn to the right, lookout for the water tower label “Muskrat Moonshine.” The Mickey is visible over the “s” with lack of paint.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.32.03 PM

Liberty Square: The Haunted Mansion

One of the creepier rides (even for this 20-year-old; I leave looking over my shoulder all the time!) in Magic Kingdom is home to one of the most famous and clever Hidden Mickeys! In the scene with the ghosts at the banquet hall, the last setting on the table forms a Mickey! Here’s an awesome picture someone was able to capture.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.29.57 PM

Adventureland: Bridge between Main Street U.S.A and Adventureland

There are shields posted at the bridge of the two lands, right before where Peter Pan meet-and-greets on his veranda! The heads are a bit obscure, but could definitely be considered Hidden Mickeys! The blue head is upside-down, but the white head is right side-up!

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.36.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.37.00 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.36.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.37.11 PM

I hope you enjoyed the short tour of Hidden Mickeys around the Magic Kingdom! There are hundreds of Mickeys around each park, come for yourself and see how many you can find!

Wild Ride!

So EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are actually my two least favorite parks, which is why I saved them for the end of this month. Let’s start with Epcot because it’s still better than Animal Kingdom.

So EPCOT is essentially made up of what I see as two parts: Future World and World Showcase. Future World has The Land and The Sea, where you can engage in Turtle Talk with Crush and go to a massive Aquarium or SOAR over California orange groves; it also has a bunch of science-based attractions like Mission: SPACE, Universe of Energy and Spaceship Earth! Spaceship Earth is the ride that’s inside the big EPCOT ball! Did you know that EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow?

IMG_3006So that’s kind of cool, but not my favorite in the park. I really enjoy World Showcase, a huge circle of 11 different countries and their cultures! Every cast member that works in these countries/pavilions are straight from that land! I met a wonderful girl named Yi on a trip to Walmart and learned she works at the China Pavilion! The 11 countries in World Showcase are Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom and Canada. While I absolutely love all the culture and how unique each country is, there’s not much to do except shop and eat. A few countries have (or had… RIP Maelstrom) rides, but my priority at World Showcase has always been to eat. The Flower and Garden Festival is happening at Epcot now as well, so I’m enjoying the new outdoor kitchens and pretty butterflies everywhere!

So Animal Kingdom…

It’s actually a really under-rated park! While there aren’t a lot of rides (Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR and Kali River Rapids about sum it up), it’s still a really cool park with lots to do! I would recommend getting fast passes for the rides throughout the day so you can stay and enjoy other things the parks have to offer without rushing from ride to ride! The Bug’s Life 3-D show in the Tree of Life is really cool, and you should definitely hang out around the Tree to see how many animals you can count (I’ve heard there’s upwards of 250 carved into the trunk!). There are habitats scattered around the park (I love looking at the porcupine on my way to work) and lots of meet-and-greets of characters you can’t see anywhere else! Pocahontas is always hanging out by the trails, Baloo and King Louie love Upcountry Landing, and Mickey and Minnie are always excited to meet fellow adventurers in between their treks of the hills of Mongolia and deserts of Africa!

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of myself in Animal Kingdom because the only times I’ve been there, I’ve been working until park close (which is a lot earlier than the other parks, so make sure you do Animal Kingdom in the morning!). But Animal Kingdom is a hidden gem with a huge new expansion coming in a few summers – fans of James Cameron’s Avatar should get excited! And Animal Kingdom’s pathways and floor are color coded, so you know what land you’re in!

EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are amazing, as are all Disney Parks. You will enjoy all the time you spend in Disney World, regardless of the park!

Ain’t Never Had a Job Like This

I’ll tell ya. Working for the Disney Company is just the best thing ever. Everyone is the sweetest and so helpful, answers all my questions, and is just all around magical. Magical is my new favorite adjective. It describes everything here! All my interactions with guests, all the interactions I’ve had (when I met Elsa and Anna and Rapunzel and Tink….), and every moment I spend in and out of the parks. I’m blessed with a wonderful roommates, wonderful suite-mates, and absolutely amazing friends. We spend all our time together (when we’re not working!) at the parks and we exchanged the CUTEST roommate gifts! Here’s more of my time at Magic Kingdom yesterday. I’ve been training all week so seeing some of my favorite characters was an awesome break. And I got to spend time with Jessie and Cassandra!

(Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos, all rights go to their respective owners.)

ANNA 1

She gave the warmest hugs!

ELSA 1

Elsa and I practicing our ice powers!

TINK 1

HI I LOVE YOU

ELSA 2

WARM HUGS

ANNA 3

She’s perfect:)

Have a magical rest of your night, thanks for checking in!