Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day off!

Ok, so I took too many awesome pictures today to just share one, so you can step through the day with me.  After teaching a violin lesson to a mariachi (and learning my first mariachi tune in return) and grocery shopping, I went over to the Studios with Andrea, my roommate.  She had to work at five.  Those of you in the know can tell that her shift was at the ice cream cart at Tower of Terror, which I rode twice because you can't pass up a 13 minute wait.

After, I looked for Avery at the Dockside Cafe, but to no avail.

I saw that I had just missed the boat to Epcot, so I had to wait for the hour boat.  I did not ride anything after the studios, but I did walk through to take pictures of the Food and Wine stuff that has been newly set up.

Pretty pretty Spaceship Earth

Then I went to the Poly for dinner,

as I had my heart set on sashimi.  They have a sashimi plate, with salmon, tuna, and chef's choice (yellowfin today) and it was all on a bed of seaweed salad.  Delicious, and 20% off.

Then I went to the Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes, so that I could compare it to HalloWishes tomorrow.  I had a unique perspective for the first half of the show, as there were two of those Mickey-inside a bigger balloon-balloons in front of me.

I stood close to the Crystal Palace on the walkway.  Finale!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The internet is working for the moment, yay!  A quick update before it goes out again...this is the sign at our exit on the way to work.  I had to drive today because the bus was full, but this is from when I was on the bus before...

So I realized while trying to get this online last night that I didn't take any pictures on Saturday.  I worked, but I did buy a fun new pin at Company D for Halloween, so I'll have to take a picture of that and put it here.  It features two of my favorite characters, plus it's cast exclusive!

And then on Friday, we had our first rainy/grey day.

Ok, it actually wasn't nearly that gross looking out.  The lens just kept fogging up and even wiping it off I couldn't keep it clear long enough to take a shot.  After wandering around a bit though, I was able to take a picture of the front of our apartment.  This is looking at our living room window.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Boo to You!

So I didn't get to take any pictures again today - I had another nice shift where I got to watch Illuminations, and I saw lots of pretty things along the way, but no camera on me.  The gross thing the last few days has been the love bugs - they are disgusting and should all die.  I was so upset when I first started seeing them the day we went to Blizzard Beach. My coworker Olivia was taking great delight in destroying them today.  Anyway, it was payday and I did something fun with some of the money - I bought a ticket to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!  I only had one day left that I wasn't working and could still get the cast discount.  This way if I don't get to see it when Mom and Dad are out, at least I didn't miss it, and I'd always be happy to go again!  The ticket looks like a regular park ticket (Minnie on the front of mine) but at least the back shows that it's something special!

OK, so I've been trying since the Daily Show about 3 hours ago to get this one, not terribly impressive photo to load, and our internet truly truly sucks something serious, so I finally have to give up.  I'll load the picture tomorrow, perhaps...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today I was just working, and as always there were many beautiful times, like the sunset and Illuminations (I love working that 9:15 shift), and actually I had a really close up view of the globe today.  Of course, I wasn't able to take any pictures, and I didn't manage to take any at all today, so here's a shot of the busses that I took yesterday.  This is what I see every day when I head out, either to work or the parks.

I was being quiet last night, as my roommate is sick, so I didn't add anything.  I had an unplanned exciting day - I signed up for a heritage class at Disney University, but because of a fun quirk of the Disney system, I showed up for class 3 hours early.  That however meant that I had time for lunch with my sister, which I had to originally turn down.  I had to cut through the Utilidor system to get out to the Contemporary, which I ran to in my little mickey mouse flats and just caught the bus to downtown.  I had a delicious salad at Wolfgang Pucks before heading back to the Magic Kingdom - so even the day that I didn't think I would go to a park I still walked through Main Street twice!  I got back to Disney University in plenty of time to stop at Company D there and make a purchase - they have different items available!  The class was an hour long, and I knew most of the information, but there were some new tidbits and I was particularly happy with the room decoration!

Then I got to go to Cast Connection.  I got a lot of fun things there - I was so impressed at what was available.  I'm going to have to go and dig through the sunglasses bin soon - mine are not in great shape, and you can't beat 50 cents.  I spent quite a bit of time there, and was very pleased with my purchases.  Yay!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I didn't post a picture last night because I actually didn't take any pictures yesterday.  I saw some cool stuff, but only while I was in costume, so no pics.  However, here was from my first purchase on my Disney visa - it was a big one, so I'm super excited about it!

Then today I took a lot of awesome shots.  Here's the one I'm most proud of tho, since it was out of the moving TTA and at night too!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It was another really pretty sunset tonight - it was even prettier by the time I was on the bus, but I couldn't get a clear picture of that.  This was while I was waiting on the bus to take me home.
I got to eat at the new Mexican restaurant tonight - La Hacienda de San Angel, and it was amazing.  One of my coworkers had the same idea that I did, so we headed down there after we got off work and were able to time it out just right to see Illuminations through the window.  Here's my delicious Ensalada de espinacas

And here's the the view we had out the window

And here's a really cool shot of the globe

Night all!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I only took 78 pictures today - for shame!  Haley and I went to Epcot, because I wanted to check out the new Mexico restaurants that opened.  I think I'm going to go in tomorrow and have dinner after my first day of real work - just the spinach salad so I can stay on plan, although the rest of the dishes looked amazing!  The opening coincided with La Dia de Independencia !Viva Mexico! (I don't know how to do the upside down ! on here...) and there were appropriate flags up.

Then we went to the Studios to catch Fantasmic and met Avery there.  FYI to Disney, having it only twice a week makes the park miserable.  There were too many people for that park to handle, and the line and seating was just insane.  However, we did all enjoy ourselves, and I got a few good pictures, even from the seats we had.  The snake didn't move tonight, but John Smith did get to swing, and I got some cool pics of Sorcerer Mickey!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I took over 100 pictures today - this morning Haley, Andrea and I went to Blizzard Beach, then we went resort hopping - I've never been to Coronado Springs before, so lots of pictures of that.  We then did the monorail hotels, starting at the Contemporary.  We hopped the monorail to the Poly, and then walked the beach past Luau Cove to the GF.  We stopped at the wedding pavilion on our way - I definitely want to get married there now.  It is breathtaking.  This is Haley (Andrea is slightly out of frame to the left) as we headed there.

Everyone enjoyed the Grand Floridian too, but they agreed that the Polynesian is their kind of hotel.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roommate is asleep, so quick update, but I hope to flesh out some of the other sparse ones in the next few days.  I bought the cutest dress tonight at Trend-D, and it was 50% off to start and then 20% cast discount on top of that.  Score!  However, didn't take a picture yet, so here's the more exciting news for today - I got my ears (figuratively, not literally) I got to take off my little red ribbon and I'm a real cast member.  I have my first shift on Friday where I'll work just like any of the other captains/deckhands.  Yay!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our internet is terrible...

So I haven't been able to update for awhile, both because I've been working crazy hours and I'm still exhausted and also because the internet here truly blows.  However, I had some excellent days off and a good day at work the last two days.  Here in reverse order, so it still looks like the other posts...

Today we had a get-together for the College Program people at the Odyssey, which we were scheduled for (got paid for) yay!  I was excited that we were in there, since I haven't been in the front part before, and I was excited about getting to meet the management team, except we actually met Bill Cockrell yesterday and no one from our area was there in person today.  It was not particularly interesting.  We got candy, which I didn't partake in, but our table won a cool little item - Spaceship Earths for my earbuds!  I'll be stylin on the bus now!

Monday was super exciting - we had a huge lightning storm that kept the boats from running for a whole hour.  We got to watch Illuminations highlighted by lightning from our dock at the Yacht and Beach Club lighthouse.  It was beautiful and would have made for amazing pictures, if I weren't in costume and not allowed to have my camera on me.  So instead, here's our mascot Barbie.  Not sure her story, she just showed up and hung out on Thursday over the time clock at the IG.

I did have a lovely discussion with a couple while we waited out the storm.  They were going to watch Fantasmic, but we obviously didn't make it, and it would have been canceled anyway.

The day before (Saturday) I got in a few hours at Epcot before I went to Celine and Tom's wonderful housewarming.  I caught the mariachis twice, since the employee entrance is right around there.  They all seem like great guys, and I may have accidentally stumbled into some mariachi lessons.  One of the violinists found out I played after the second show and asked me to play something right there, so of course I couldn't remember anything.  I'm planning on giving him a call tho - I should learn something new and fun!

On Friday night many of my roommates wanted to head out, so we went over to CityWalk at the competition...shouldn't have closed PI or we wouldn't have to.

Sigh...all the signage is still there, including a drink kiosk. Saw it today.

Anywho, my roommates are a lot of fun, as evidenced here by Haley dancing in front of the Bob Marley statue.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I was going to type a lot tonight, particularly the whole route that we have to take, with all of the details that I need to remember, but I have to get up early tomorrow to take my roommate grocery shopping so I'm just posting a picture.  The sunset was really pretty when I went on break.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Roommate sleeping, so not much typing.

Did not take good pictures today (only 4) but this one still excites me - it's my first purchase at Company D!  It's where I will be spending a significant portion of my paycheck.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This morning there was another CP guy in training, as well as a manager, so we were all on a boat together until we could get an extra one running.  I got to stand watch on the back of the boat as Erica took the boat out of harbor - what a cool view.  We watched them train for awhile, then spent some time practicing port docks before break.  After, we had our own boat so we went out on the Studios run to practice for real.  The main difficulty is staying out of everyone else's way so that we don't mess up the normal flow, because it's down to a science.  We then came in for lunch.  Two days ago I had a picture of the boat in the elbow - today I put it in there myself!  That was the only rough landing I had today, and it was probably the worst so far, but it was because of some misdirection - I was doing the right thing and would have been fine otherwise.  After lunch we went out to the resort loop and followed a boat, docking exactly like they did.  Erica went on the way out, and I got to practice my first spiel, and then I drove on the way back and then did the first half right away on our second trip.  I had totally great dockings everywhere, and in fact a few that warranted an A+ appraisal!  Then, we got silly on the way back.  I was hamming it up on the spieling, so then we got to hear some of Captain Don's A material - very funny.  When we got back it was time to clock out, and the rains came.  I brought things to change into, and we finally have lockers over at the International Gateway, so I changed there and headed right back out on the boats.  I got to the Studios at about 5:10, and went to ride Star Tours right away.  The park was dead, so I walked on and got to stick behind and ride it again.  I managed to get a few more pictures of things that I missed, although I'm sure there are many details that I missed.  There was a guy with a nice camera and tripod set up - in fact, a whole collection of geeks were present, which was good because there was almost no one riding.  I went back out because I was feeling urpy so I saw Muppet Vision 3D and then wandered to Sunset to visit my roommate.  I finally found her down by RnRC - apparently she's floating all down Sunset, not just at the Dockside Diner.  I rode Tower of Terror because it had a short wait, then I meandered back to Star Tours, taking time to get water and trying to walk slow.  Then I realized that I could probably get a second ride in if I went then, so I went on and got to stay for the very last ride (open to the public).  I finally got a pretty good picture of Rex too.

I headed outside and noticed cast members gathered, so I thought I could sneak into the special last ride, but found out that it was just for people who worked in the immediate area, so I headed out to the bus.  I was too wiped to make dinner, but I found out that Chick-Fil-A makes a chicken salad!  Yay!  I also figured out today why I've been so exhausted: my schedule seems easier than everyone elses' but I've been physically and mentally done every afternoon.  I realized today that I was physically willing the boat to stop at the dock just right!   I'm not sure why I think I can will a 66 foot boat into submission, so I'm going to work on relaxing that.  Tomorrow should be interesting, as it will be the first time we have to drive in the dark, and we'll have to bring the boats back after Illuminations.  Another exhausting day, I'm sure.

Monday, September 6, 2010

After work I went over to the Studios, because yesterday morning and today the dock manager mentioned that Star Tours is closing for refurb on Wednesday and won't be open again until 2011.  Here's one of the robots ("droid" copyright Lucasfilms, apparently, who knew?) in the queue of Star Tours, which I'm now planning on catching one more time tomorrow before it's rehabed with a totally new 3D film.  I believe the new one will be particularly hard on the motion sickness, so I don't anticipate it being one that I do very often.  Trivia: this was a bird in the America Sings attraction, some of whom still have their skin and you can still see in Splash Mountain (the geese).

And of course our favorite droid...plus the prattling one.

I'll be back to it tomorrow too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

So today I was training to drive the Friendship boats, starting at 7am, which meant I had to catch the 6:17 bus to Epcot to be on time!  Not at all my favorite part of the day, but I was jazzed about starting so it made it easier.  I made the bus, and no problems with delays, and I met my fellow boatmate Erica who also lives in Vista.  We made it inside to the break room by 6:30 (I even dropped off a shirt to be laundered in the nifty scan system) and then met most of the Sunday crew.  Our trainer, Don, came to grab us at 10 til and we headed into the dry dock.  Since I'm new, I don't know how much I can disclose, and I specifically didn't take any pictures until we were onstage, so I'll just mention that we were first out on the World Showcase Lagoon way before the park was open, about 7:15.  This is where I first got to drive, and made several successful dockings...I did so well right away that I didn't get to practice much more in the lagoon!  We put the boat in the elbow (the area right outside of France across from the International Gateway) and went to lunch.  Here's the boat in the elbow.

Then later in the afternoon we went out on the studios run. I got to drive on the way back, and while I felt confident driving, I was not so good docking when there wasn't a guide rail.  I have to remember tho that this is the first time I have ever driven a boat, unless you count those little Water Mice they have around property here.  I did the whole run back to Epcot without destroying anything, without running into anything, doing the correct horn beeps and radio signals - I just wasn't close enough to the dock.  I wished that I had more time to practice and get it perfect, but I realized when I got back to the office that the world was a little wobbly - even when I got home after my shift I found that I felt like I was on a boat when I lay down, so I had to have a hand on the wall as I fell asleep.  Soon enough I'll feel confident having people on board - I think that will happen in the next few days.  Wish me luck!  Also, if you're in the area the next few days and see an empty boat go by, it's probably us out training again, and it's ok to laugh if you see us sitting out in the middle of a lake spinning in circles.  Our boat's steering is really cool that way - there is no rudder, so we can turn in a complete circle no problem!  Also, I have a new appreciation for the amount of training that goes into each job in Walt Disney World. I know that it's frustrating to see an empty boat go by without anyone in it, but it turns out that you wouldn't want to be in the boat if you could...we had quite a few rough docks!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Today was my long day of training, but it was a lot of fun.  I spent some time in the classroom first, and then we headed out into Epcot.  After a tour we came back, and it was time for costuming.  I get a special costume for when I'm out on the boats.  I look like a cruise director, which is so far the favorite costume among my roommates.  We have some pretty hideous costumes here.

Taken by Haley tonight before I went to my sister's house.  That's Chrisy in the corner laughing.  I have to be in this, Disney Look ready, to catch the 6:17 bus tomorrow morning for more training, so I am heading to bed super early!  I hope the Trek Triathlon tomorrow doesn't mess up our busses too much, I don't want to be late on the first day out on the boats.

Friday, September 3, 2010

So Haley, one of my apartment-mates who also did not work today, wanted to go explore the other two parks today, so we started off at Animal Kingdom about noon.  We went on the safari, where we saw not only the baby elephant

but the white rhino baby too.  We walked the Pangani Forest Trail so Haley could take pictures of the gorillas, and they were posing for me as always, in both enclosures.

Then we headed over to Everest, Dinosaur!, and then grabbed lunch at Pizzafari.  I understand now why my sister always hated eating in Animal Kingdom...not particularly veggie friendly, and really no healthy choices.  After that we headed out to Magic Kingdom, where we hit up the big rides, and met up with another apartment-mate Chrisy who was done with work.  We're back home early since all of us have to work at 8 am tomorrow.  I finally start training! Hooray!

Hoping to organize my room tonight too...and sleep early.  I have to be up early enough to be Disney Look ready and on the bus at about 7:20...

I did update Wednesday for those who want more description...and one more picture.
Need to go to bed so I don't bother my roommate, but here's us after we got into our first park with our ids.

And here's a pretty picture of Spaceship Earth.  I love the color it gets when the sun is setting - and the sunset was gorgeous tonight.

Then we went to MK for the Electrical Light Parade and Wishes.  I was going to spend tomorrow getting more organized, but my roommie who is off tomorrow too wants "to go play."  She had never been to a Disney park, but I think she got bitten by the bug.  An early convert!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

OMG am I tired, but what a great day.  I have been up for 19 hours, and I slept for probably 5 before that.  We had to be on the bus for traditions at 6:45, so that meant I had to be up at 5:45, not to get dressed, but to put on my cover-up makeup and get the stupid glass piercing retainers in, and it turns out make a quick fake hem in my dress pants.  Yay sewing skills!  I also had to sew the bottom of my shirt shut, because it pulls open and doesn't look good.  I had to work hard last night to find a professional outfit that didn't look bad on me, and I had to spend this morning making this one look good.  In my aim to only include things that I was ok machine washing, I didn't pick very good outfits...

We got to Disney University (yay!) and went inside where we were separated into smaller groups.  One  of my apartment-mates, Laura, was in my group, which was nice.  We went up, and before they gave us our cast ids we got the once over.  My name had a little tick mark next to it, so I got a second once over, but she didn't say anything, so I'm hoping I was ok. We went into a conference room that had an amazing mural on both walls (I don't know if anyone else's room looked like that) but I found my favorite little friend in the far corner.

The classroom parts will not be particularly interesting to relay, but the coolest part was getting to go into the Utilidor system underneath the Magic Kingdom.  No pictures, because it's not allowed, but it was awesome getting to go there.  The best part was when we left the system and came out onto Main Street - it was a magical moment for me!  We proceeded to Liberty Square, and when I saw the wait for the Haunted Mansion was 5 minutes, I knew I had to come back after I was done.  I had promised my roommate Avery that I would take her shopping, so we did that first, but then I headed out to the Magic Kingdom to celebrate the occasion.  My pass didn't actually work (oops!) but the gate attendant let me in anyway, and I made it in right at 5pm.  First time I've seen the flag retreat ceremony.  I was very moved by it.

And guess what time it is?  It's Halloween time!

I rode tons of rides before it was time for the fireworks at 9pm (no parade) - I wandered in right before and got a great spot with a nice rail to lean on.  I was surprised that they were back to Wishes already - I'm glad I came out this summer to see the special summer fireworks. Last picture is one for my sister...Wishes (Kaboom)...the frowny face!