The Disney Adventure

The Disney Adventure
The Cinderella Castle!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Oh my goodness. I have so much to tell you and so little time! This might just be a quick one and I'll take more time tomorrow to upload lots of photos and give more details. So, where to start. We are so busy. We did over 700 check ins today and are operating at 102% capacity. Yaaaa. Busy. Which means things sometimes go wrong and whenever things go wrong, guests just love to come yell at us. So I spent parts of my 12 hour shift today just getting yelled at. Which I don't mind. I know it's not my fault and if yelling makes someone feel better they might as well yell at me, and then I can try to fix it. Which is often easy. Sometimes the guests just want to be listened to. I understand. I still love my job, even when I'm getting yelled at. Oh, and Bruce Willis is on property right now. He was in Magic Kingdom today and was in Animal Kingdom yesterday. Pretty cool. We get a lot of celebrities in Animal Kingdom Lodge because of the animals. It's the only resort of it's kind in the US. Oh speaking of the resort, I have pictures of it to post, but I'll do that all tomorrow. I will post a picture today of the space shuttle launch. Kind of. We watched it, I caught a picture of the smoke trail that it made. It was really cloudy out so unfortunately the picture isn't great but it was really neat to see. Apparently this mission is the last one for that particular ship so I'm really happy I got to see it!

So you can just see the white smoke trail in the middle of the photo. Very anticlimactic, I know, but the important thing is that I saw it! We were up on the sixth floor concierge balcony and I also got a really cool photo of the view from up there.
So that's just a little preview of my resort and the view. Oh maybe I'll also put in the photo of the cool things the housekeepers do with the towels!
How cute is that!? Mickey!! The housekeepers actually all go to a class that teaches them how to make all kinds of things. They can make bunnies and swans and ducks and a lot of really cool things. On that note, I need to head to bed, it's about that time, I have to be up and back at the lodge at 8am. More tomorrow, I'll put up the rest of the photos from the resort!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Service Fanatic

So things are good. I love my job. I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable and competent, which is nice. It's a pretty steep learning curve moving to a brand new place and working front desk. Not only do you have to get to know a whole new city, and a whole new operating system, but you have to do it fast and be able to tell everyone else anything they want to know. It's Disney, people pay to come here and be happy, and if you have a Disney nametag on they expect you to know/fix/deal with everything. The Disney nametag is an amazing little thing. It makes people trust you with EVERYTHING...their money, their luggage, their children, it's unreal. And if anything goes wrong, we also get to hear about it and make it better. The really nice thing about my resort is that we are given the power to fix things, if we think the guest deserves a dollar amount credited to their account, we can just do it. If we want to send up chocolates and a cheese plate to a guest, we can do it. It's really cool.

We here at Disney have four service basics. They are drilled into our heads during training and even on the job we get randomly grilled by supervisors. They were designed as a simple, concise way to wrap up exactly what is expected from the cast members. If we do really well in one or more of those service basics, it's possible for another cast member or even a guest, to write us a 'Service Fanatic' card. It's a really neat system. It rewards you for doing a good job and it also gets you entered to win a prize of some kind, money or a better parking spot. I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what the prizes are but there are definitely prizes. I LOVE prizes. And I love being told I'm doing a good job. It really makes me want to work harder and continue doing a good job. So I got one of these the other day and took a photo with my phone so I could put it up here. Sorry if the quality isn't great.

You get the picture! They're neat. I like them.

My marketing class starts next week. Very exciting. Technically I don't get any credit for this class from Camosun, but it's free and I think it'll be really interesting because lets face it, Disney are marketing geniuses. It also gives me a chance to network with more people in Disney who know more than me, and who may have some good connections. The marketing prof has been sending out emails on our Disney education website and he sounds really interesting. I'm really excited.

Oh, also. I'm taking a certificate program online through Harvard. Disney and Harvard have paired up and Harvard offers us 6 different online certificate programs. These have no cost to me and I'll be able to put Harvard on my resume. I might do a few, we'll see. So the way it works is that there's 9 required components to each certificate and you do them all online at your own pace and then send all your work to Harvard. I chose the 'Global Business' certificate. It looks really interesting. Anyhow, it's late and I have to get some internship applications done! fun! bye!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Professional Internships

I just came from a seminar about Disney Professional Internships. I'm so excited. I really want one. I never want to leave! There's so many amazing opportunities here. They have choices of around 20 different job areas and there's a few that I would really enjoy doing. Marketing and sales perhaps, or imagineering, or human relations, or guest relations. Oh I'm just full of Disney Magic today! If you're interested in the Disney Internship Programs or someone you know is, go to (or click that link). They have so many jobs. Ones you wouldn't think of too. Like engineering, zoology, animal science, chemistry and way way more. I'm on information overload right now. I'm going to get all my applications in tonight, better sooner than later!!! The only teensy weensy little problem is the chance that immigration won't let me stay. I'm not sure how likely that is, but it's always a possibility I guess. I've just emailed the co-ordinator of UCR and hopefully he'll have more answers for me. As long as I have a J-1 visa I'm allowed to stay and work here. And as long as a US school sponsors me I can get a J-1 visa. Soooooo as long as UCR will say ok, I should be eligible for a professional internship. Or else I just need to marry an American.

Happy Tuesday!

Corporate analysis is SUCH a cool class. it's really amazing to see where the Walt Disney Company started out and how it's progressed and grown. It's unreal, in just over 75 years it's grown to such a globally dominating force. One of the things I find really interesting is how the company as an entity has had to grow and change not only in response to the economy but also in response to the cast members. This is a MASSIVE company. There are so many facets to it. There are entire departments devoted to things like developing and maintaining the Disney Look, cast housing, costuming, and the list goes on and on and on!! Something else that I am experiencing currently is how Disney deals with difficult cast members in the housing side of things. Conflict resolution is something that can be very difficult especially when you have thousands of cast members living in close quarters. I live in a 3 bedroom apartment with 5 other girls. 3 rooms and 3 bathrooms. 4 of my housemates are amazing and wonderful and I love them. We have one that's a little bit off, without going into unnecessary detail, our difficulties with our one roommate have escalated and I had to call the housing program people today to arrange a meeting. It's really cool, they have a whole department that deals with housing issues and they were very understanding. They've scheduled a meeting for us on Thursday and hopefully we will be able to figure something out. When there's a problem in your home it affects all of the your life outside the home and no one should have to feel uncomfortable in their home. When you have thousands of strangers living in housing complexes together, things are bound to go wrong. It will be very interesting to see what the housing meeting is like and what they suggest for us to be able to solve our conflict. This kind of situation is really important to acknowledge, I think. We all tend to want to gloss over the uncomfortable things and focus on the happy shiny things. This is nice most of the time but we also have to understand and admit that things do go wrong from time to time and we need to be able to deal with them productively.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I just realized that not everyone knows who Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is to begin with so I thought I should give a little background in case that last post really confused you! Oswald was Walt's first cartoon creation. It did not start with Mickey. Oswald was the star of Walt's first cartoons and in the 1920's he lost the rights to him through a contract issue. So really it's a good thing that he lost Oswald because if he hadn't he would never have gone on to draw Mickey!!
That's Oswald!!! Also, another interesting tidbit; Walt wanted to call his mouse character 'Mortimer Mouse'. He would have, except that his wife Lily said that was ridiculous and no one wanted to see a cartoon about a mouse named Mortimer. She preferred Mickey. And so Mickey Mouse was officially named!

Corporate Analysis

I just came from my corporate analysis class. I think I love that class more every week. Today we talked about the last 75 years of Disney history. It's REALLY interesting. I think it makes me feel much more invested as a cast member to know the company's history. I feel more dedicated to upholding Walt's vision of Disney World having learnt more about his life and the life of the company. It will be really interesting when we start comparing the Walt Disney Company with other companies. I'm a really big fan of Bob Iger. For someone who just took over as president of the company, he's really dedicated to the company's history. Ever since Walt lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in the 20's, he'd tried and tried to get Oswald back from Universal. It never happened. In 2006, Bob got Oswald back. Things like that really show Bob's dedication to Walt's legacy, and I like that.

I also like how Disney has their own front desk operation system. Have I mentioned that? I think I may have in passing, but I'd like to mention more about it. Last year, Disney decided they were tired of using the same operation systems as every other resort and they created their very own front desk operating system. It's called Lilo. Yes, like Lilo and Stich. It's totally exclusive to Disney and it's SO cool. The really neat thing that I don't think I've mentioned yet is how Lilo co-operates with The Hub. The Hub is our Disney intranet. It has all the information we as cast members need to function day-to-day. On The Hub we can view our schedules, request time off, book hotel rooms, and check out what's going on all over Disney property. It also links with Lilo when you're working at the front desk. I can use Lilo to send requests to housekeeping to send a guest more towels, or laundry detergent. Obviously not everyone can access those parts of The Hub, someone in merchandise, for instance, won't have the same access to certain areas that I do being at front desk. It's really neat.

Oh, I also need to mention how much I love my job. My resorts are SO COOL!! Everyone there is wonderful. I get along so well with everyone already. And in the tunnels below the resorts, cast members zip around on special bikes, and even segeways. I don't get a segeway because I don't need ro spend much time zipping around in the tunnels between the resorts, but some cast do get to use them and it's pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Well that's all I really have for now. I have some lovely photos from our last few days in the parks but I haven't uploaded them yet and right now I have to run to work!!! More later!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

First Official Shift

Well yesterday was my first official shift in the resort. I'm supposed to have 5 shifts on front desk with a trainer before I'm on my own and then go back for concierge training. Well yesterday morning, I waited where I was supposed to for my trainer. 40 mins later one of the managers came down to get me and explained that my trainer had called out sick. So he didn't really know what to do with me. So he introduced me to the back office cast and left me with them for a bit. This was really amazing because back office does EVERYTHING. The front desk staff in Disney resorts don't even answer phones. Back office re-arranges rooms, assigns rooms, takes care of all the problems. Really just runs the hotel. Back office is somewhere near 2 positions higher than what I was hired for so it was a really neat opportunity for me to see what they do. Then I went to the front desk where I had a trainer that already had a trainee, so he helped me with my first check in and then I pretty much got to work alone. It was really cool. I learn better if I'm thrown right into things anyway so I really liked that. I received much praise for my work yesterday and that made me happy! I just adore all the people that I work with, everyone is sooo much fun. I really think that I'm going to like it here! I went for a nice workout this morning and now I'm off to work again. Hopefully my trainer is there today, if not, I'm sure I'll have another adventurous day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Big Day!

Well I've been training and training and training. And now I finally get to have my first day in my resort!!! Very exciting. I saw the resort the other day when I went to pick up my costume and it's stunning!!! I love it. So I do front desk shifts in both the resorts (Kidani Village and Jambo House) before I go back for concierge training. Also very exciting. I do have a trainer for my first few front desk shifts, they don't just unleash me upon the front desk, so that's comforting. But I'm still nervous! It feels like it's going to be a great day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Collegiate Class

We just got back from our first collegiate class! I love it!! Our prof is soooo entertaining and wonderful! And the content is super interesting. All about corporate culture and the history of Disney and what other corporations are up to. It's going to be 11 weeks of magic, I just know it. We have the rest of the day off, so we're going to MK (Magic Kingdom) to explore. Stay tuned for photos!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Best Homework Ever

As a Concierge cast member, it is my responsibility to know the parks backwards and forwards. What better way to become an expert than seeing and doing everything in all of the parks?! Just as a side note, today is my fourth consecutive day spending time one or more of the parks, I've been going after training every day. So Linds and I had a day off today and we spent it in Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I adore Disney's Hollywood Studios, I absolutely love how it looks like Los Angeles. It has some of my favorite rides (The Hollywood Tower of Terror, Toy Story Midway Mania, and The Rock'n Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith) and the stores are full of really fantastic Disney merchandise. Something that I'm really noticing in all the parks is how amazing the attention to detail is. Whichever park you're in or ride you're on, nothing is left undone. Every detail has been seen to, and it really enhances the experience. As does the attitude of the cast. Every cast member acts and dresses as if they are part of the ride. If you're on the Tower of Terror, all the cast are dressed as bell-hops and behave as if they are working in a very high class LA hotel. At the Toy Story Midway Mania ride, the cast are dressed as toys and also refer to the guests as toys when they enter and exit the ride; it really makes you feel like you're in  giant toy box, which is the premise of the ride! Disney is SO dedicated to the show and as I'm discovering, the Disney trainers really instill that dedication into all of the cast members. At the concierge desk, not only do I have a costume, but I even have a special greeting that is used only in my park, so the show goes on not just at the attractions, but anywhere you go within a Disney park. As you travel through any of the parks, it's remarkable how almost every person is either wearing or carrying a piece of Disney merchandise. Disney really has marketing down to a science. I can't wait to learn about their marketing philosophies!! Speaking of learning, tomorrow we have our first Corporate Analysis class. Very exciting. Can't wait! We took some video of our adventures today, click HERE to see it! And I'll put a few photos up as well!! Enjoy!!

This is the evening show 'Illuminations' that runs every night in Epcot's World Showcase. The building you see is part of the entrance-way to the China part of the Showcase.

Disney's Hollywood Studios has some really lovely stores. As you know, the villains are my favorite!!

As you walk down towards the Toy Story Midway Mania ride, the street is lined with giant toys, making it seem as though the guest has been shrunk down to the size of a child's toy!!

We had a chance to visit with a few of our favorite Disney characters from the movie Monsters Inc. That's Mike Wazowski on the left with Linds and I'm getting a big hug from Sulley!

Disney's Hollywood Studios is home to this fantastic New York City scene, used in many movies. Yup, the buildings in the very back are not real. Well, they're really painted walls, but not real buildings! The ones in the foreground are actual buildings.

At the GM Test Track, after the main ride, you can check out some exciting things that GM is working on!

The famous Sorceror's hat that symbolizes Disney's Hollywood Studios!

One of my very favorite rides!!

Add caption

We had to try on some mouse ear hats! It just had to be done!

This is in the Mexico pavillion in Epcot! Lovely!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

So much learning

This will be a short one because I'm really tired, and need some sleep. It's been a long few days, lots of things to learn in training class and then I've been spending the evening in the parks trying to figure out where I am, and ride all the attractions so that I can advise my guests! I know what you're thinking, 'ooohhh tough work, going to Disney World.' And you're right, I'm living the dream! However, there really is a lot to learn before my first onstage shifts and Disney puts a lot of trust and confidence in their concierge staff so I have a very high performance standard to maintain. I went to Epcot after work tonight and I LOVED it. There are some seriously amazing rides. The ride based on Finding Nemo is actually backed by a massive working aquarium with dolphins and all kinds of things. And the Soarin' ride is so cool, it's as if you are para-sailing through multiple beautiful settings, the chairs actually twist and make you feel like you're flying. I feel as if it's really important for me to ride all the rides. Even the ones I wouldn't necessarily choose to ride, it's important that I am able to advise families of exactly what those rides are like, and the more passionate I am about the park, the easier it will be to make magic moments for my guests. The Illumination firework event, which happens every night, was AMAZING!! I look a really neat picture that I'll put up soon! Anyhow, I'm beat, definitely time for some rest!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Disney Geek

Just a sidebar. I'm pretty sure that all of my classmates have discovered that I'm a huge Disney geek. For once at least it's paying off, but still, when my professor asked if anyone knew what EPCOT stood for and I yelled it out immediately, not just because I know, but because I think it's the coolest thing ever, that totally blew my cover. Secrets out, I'm a nerd. 

Oh, in case you didn't know, it's Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. True story.

Training Day

Today was training day 1! There's a LOT of training for my position. I'm in classes with other people from my program who are concierge and front desk. At this point all of us CP's (college program students) and ICP's (international college program, like me!) are divided up into groups by what position we are cast in. Oh, sidebar, I should fill you in on the Disney Language. Yes, I said Disney Language, capital D, capital L. There's a different language here, based upon the idea that we are all part of the the Disney show. We are not employees, we are cast members. We aren't at work, we are on stage, or back stage. We don't wear uniforms, we have costumes. We don't have customers, we have guests. It's pretty neat, it really helps to develop the corporate culture that makes Disney a fantastic place to work. So, now you'll know what I'm talking about when I say these things.

Moving along, where was I? Oh right, groups, casting. Got it. So, I'm in training with the other front office staff, just as the lifeguards are in training with the other lifeguards, etc. You get the picture. So, concierge is a very involved job. I have 4 days of training (8 hour days) at Disney University, today being day one. Then I have one day off and I begin my training within the resort, just front desk to start with, because I need to be able to function in both the front desk and concierge positions. Also next week, my Corporate Analysis class begins at Disney University. Big week!! At least all of us Canadians are in the same class, that makes me VERY happy. So then after 5 training shifts on the front desk, I go back to Disney University to train more specifically for concierge. So then I have another 3 days of training at the University and THEN, I begin my concierge position. LOTS of training. Which is great because I need to learn everything about not just Disney World, but also Orlando and the US in general. I felt really well prepared at class today, as you all know, I've been a Disney junkie since day one, so when our trainers went into detail about our resorts, I was very ready and already knew what they were talking about. That felt good, I love being prepared. I also got some work shoes today. Which is great because I really needed them, and I start work soon.

Oh, AND I have the best homework ever. Today they told us to get into the parks as much as possible to really get to know our surroundings. As a Concierge, I need to know everything about all the resorts, parks, and attractions, not just the one I'm working in. So tomorrow, Linds and I are doing some studying. The best kind of studying. Playing in Disney World!! And by playing I mean analyzing the park and making mental notes so as to be the best Concierge I can be! As they keep telling us, 'We Make Magic Moments!' I feel magically enhanced already!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Disney Traditions

So today was my Disney Traditions class, which is pretty cool. It's a class that's all about the Disney history and what they expect from us as cast members. We also got our nametags and Disney badges that let us get into the parks for FREE!!! Yay parks! It was really cool to learn all about the disney history, I'm getting really excited to get working!! Training starts tomorrow!! And then my first official day of work is next Tuesday!!
The inside of the training room

My new nametag!!

The name tag cases!!

West Hollywood

A few fun things that we did in LA, we went to the Roosevelt Hotel *click to see video* which was a favorite of Marilyn Monroe, whom  I adore (as I'm sure you already know) and many other celebrities. We also visited the wax museum!!!!
The Matrix, wax museum style!

Would you like a box of chocolate?

One of my top 3 favorite directors!!

My idol in wax. Not a great likeness, but an A for effort!!

AMAZING movie theatre in West Hollywood

The famous Roosevelt Hotel

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Sometimes I stop and realize that the next six months is going to change my life forever....

even just the two weeks in California (click for video link) have made an impact on who I am...I can't wait  see what happens next........


So, after 3 days of me trying to make something awesome happen, I almost made it happen. Whether or not it's awesome, at least you can see what's going on here. This video is a little preview of my room, the staff recreation area (Mickey's Retreat) and some of my friends trying to pass their lifeguard tests. Just a sidebar, in each complex, we have a pool, jacuzzi, tennis court, etc. However, these are for staff ONLY. Even if you sign in a visitor, they can't use these areas. However, when we sign in visitors, we can bring them to Mickey's Retreat, where we can take paddle boats out onto the lake, swim in the pool, play ping pong or volleyball. And this lovely staff retreat is only moments away from my apartment! YES!! Check it out!!
Disney Tour!!!


So after the Chek 6 interview, I did a little email interview for the Nexus newspaper, which is the Camosun College school newspaper. You can check it out by clicking this link right here: Nexus Article I know you want to see the photos from Universal Studiios and hear about my Disney training and see my staff accom, but for now, I'm on Christian's computer in the boys's house so I can't do any of that. We had a long day of paperwork, which I'll explain later, right now we're just cooking dinner after an hour of beach volleyball (there's courts in our staff accom) and I'm borrowing a computer. When I get home I'll work on some details! But this is just a little note!! Check out the article!!