Thursday, 29 August 2013

Learning from the Mouse and what's next..


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Howdy howdy friends, long time no posting, and I felt the need to post a little something to jazz up this blog! So what best to talk about than what I have learned through my ICP programs and what is next in life for me?

So, let's start with exciting news, the Summer 2014 ICP applications are open, as are the 2014 CRP applications, so if you're out there thinking that all this Disney talk sounds good, head on over to www.yummyjobs.com and take a look at what there is on offer! I have a couple of friends on the old facebook over there right now doing the CRP program and watching their picture and posts come through is hard but I know they're all having a whale of a time! I would totally love to apply for the CRP, really I would, but for now I think my career may have to come first, that and I don't really know if I would be emotionally stable enough to leave for an entire year...well no that's not true, I know I could if I wanted to, but I'm not stupid enough to say that for me it would be easy, it wouldn't. But maybe the future may hold more Disney adventures, maybe not, but there will be visits, vacations and all that if not more programs. Disney has not seen the last of me...!

Anyways, back to my experiences! What did the Boss teach me? Well to be quite honest I wouldn't have thought I could ever do the whole moving country thing, so it taught me how much stronger as a person I am than what I thought, so that was a nice find. Also, I think it taught me a much greater tolerance for mess, as in living in mess, I am quite a tidy person, but have lived with some less than pristine housemates through my programs, disclaimer some of you were impeccably clean however :) I think from the programs I also learned skills like overcoming language barriers, problem solving and managing crazy long shifts on little sleep, because let's face it, you're in Disney World, what crazy person would not make the most of that?! But I guess one of the most important things I did learn was real independence, yes I'd already been at uni 2 years before doing a program and I thought, as most do, that I was really independent. Not true. At home, if a problem arose, on the phone, family, friends whoeever was at hand. In Florida, oops, time zone. Who else is there to turn to? Yeah I had lots of great friends there too, but when you get out of work at midnight and you've only known these people so long and well in all honesty, they're probably still at work too, who can you rely on. You! Now, don't get me wrong, the experience has not made me so self-reliant that I don't know when to ask for help, seek advice, lean on someone else, but it helped me to realise I can help myself more than I thought I could. Yes, you may read this and think I'm a crazy person, and well, maybe I am, but this is just a little piece of me that I thought I'd share with you guys out there, especially those of you who are considering programs!

Again,who knows, when or if I post again, so for now auf wiedersehn, sayonara, aloha and good night!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust....

Hey there peoples

Here is a Disney related post, it is in the past tense, as what I'm writing about happened months ago now of course, but it still deserves airing on the big old worldwide web :)


So, as part of my orientation during my program, we watched the video here, which was created by a family who visited Walt Disney World, there are now 3 of them in total, and I only found it by chance that one of the CMs I used to work with posted on out facebook group the newest instalment of this family's adventures in Disney World. So, it definitely sells being a CM to me over and over again and makes me want to drop everything and go back and just make people happy every day! But at the same time it also brings with it the bittersweetness of spending a significant amount of your time in the Happiest Place on earth without your nearest and dearest. Now if you're reading this blog to find out about the ICP program, do not let this comment put you off going for it. GO FOR IT! I'd love to say I'm going back again next summer, and to those of my friends who are returning, I am so happy and excited for them, but I cannot deny that I wish I was going with them again! So, as you can see, sometimes different emotions can seriously impact your life as an international CM, but overall it was the best thing I've ever done, it has changed my life immeasurably and I would not be the person I am today without the ICP, I owe Disney so much. They may have taken over my life a little and made 'normal' life comparisons difficult to accept and handle, but I don't regret one minute of my programs, I just hope that I get the chance to go and create some magic all over again.











Here's to hoping! :D Have a magical 12/12/12 everyone!!!!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Just because...

Hey there, if you are still following my blog, it has become a little barren over the last 8 weeks or so and I want to blog but I don't really have much to say to you about Disney programs at the moment other than I wish I'd been one of the lucky ones interviewing once again for a summer program this past week! I have so many friends going through their second set of interviews for, fingers crossed, their second ICP program, or should I say summer cultural experience or whatever Disney are now calling it! So anyways, also all over the tv at the moment are the Disney World adverts for a summer 2013 holiday and I want to book one so bad, the post disney depression and withdrawal symptoms are excessive and who'd known how much it could hurt a girl to leave so many people behind or simply have them scatter world-wide. Once again, as I've mentioned before in one of my blogs, be sure of two things if you accept an international program with Disney, you will have the best time of your life but your heart will be broken into lots of little tiny pieces which will scatter on that end date and yes that may mean you end up with lots of holiday destinations but it will always end in a goodbye....but don't let this put you off! I wouldn't trade either or my programs for the world or anything at all! They were the best, they certainly made me who I am today, a bit cliche I know, but I don't think that if I hadn't been a Disney CP then I couldn't do the job I'm doing on placement now, although I have to admit some of the Disney brainwashing (all for the good of the guests here, such as Disney pointing and the language used at Disney) will never ever go away and it certainly makes life here in the UK interesting when you use american words (elevator, car ride, cell phone, bathroom/restroom etc) and Disney-isms (guest, disney point, 101, 102, 'today is my friday'). 

Me making my own memories around and aboard my magic carpets! <3


Anywho, I have come across this little gem of a video on youtube, as I follow the channel anyways, it includes the wonderful onerepublic song, good life, which is used on the official Disney World adverts at the moment and to be honest, it epitomises a CP program, so here it is for you to check out if you haven't already :D


As always any questions, comments etc, let me know, until next time, have a magical day :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Holding it together...

Hey there, hi there, ho there, it isn't a Disney kinda day, back to reality once again and it's harder than ever to try and live a more normal life, Disney pops up and crops up everywhere! Not to mention how much I miss the friends that I left behind and those who left but are now not living together. Out here on placement I have none of my friends here, although new friends are only a hello away I'm sure, but still, it's much harder to be positive when the sun is nowhere to be seen and it's cold every day, it is like winter here! Take me back already! I'm already thinking of ways that I can get back there or get time to go back to visit! Somehow I will do it and get back there! In the mean time I have to hold it together and pretend I remember how to live like I live in England and bundle up warm all of the time lol. As for now I don't really have any more to say, if you have any questions or requests for posts about certain things that go on in the ICP program drop me a message and I'll root around in my memory and find the answers for you! But for now that's all folks!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Last couple of weeks across the pond...

So on Tuesday the 28th I did a spot of shopping at cast connection and then spent the early afternoon with Charlotte in MK, avoiding the rain and having a magical time, as you always do in the magic kingdom :). It wasn't a late finish as I finished work at 9.15pm but I think this was always the worst time to finish as it meant I didn't get home until about 10.30pm....then I decided it was about time I started to organise stuff and start to pack for my removal from vista on the friday... which was starting to loom like an unwelcome house guest. So I did some washing and packing and just chilled out. Wednesday was my last day working at ATT, it was so sad to leave, but I had a really bad day in roles, got my most hated roles all day, didn't even operate the main console at aladdin all day and well we also had some rain down time. But I did get to close the tiki room and I also was closing Aladdin, so I got that joy just once more. Overall it wasn't a bad day, but it was sad to say goodbye to so many people! As I closed I didn't get a chance to do anything other than work on my last day either, so that wasn't a favourite but hey ho, I still worked in the Happiest Place on Earth again this summer and it was so so worth all the heartache it's causing me now!

Thursday was my last day with all of my group of UK friends, we spent the day in MK, joined throughout the day by various friends who had to pop in and out of plans due to other commitments. I got to go back to the carpets to see those people who weren't there on my last day, got to ride again and see the tiki show one last time. I also got some amazing pictures, we also did some random things, got my memory book thing signed by them all and we had a wonderful dinner over at beaches and cream. The plan was to do the kitchen sink but we had real food instead, which was good and fun times were had, such as Amy deciding she was ham eyes and scaring a fellow brit to the point of worrying about her sanity I think. Good memories. The night ended with Wishes and crying of course, parting is such sweet sorrow lol. But we have to believe that we will see each other soon!

Friday held initial travelling to South Carolina, Hilton Head Island to visit my friend who is living and working there for the year. It took us about 6 hours on the greyhound bus to get there with a layover in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a fairly smooth ride, but was so tired, having been up late packing, and having slept really badly the night before, long travelling did not go down well with a tired Laura. But once we were there it was so nice, we stayed with Kate's friends, saw the hotel she worked at, which was  very nice, we had dinner there which was so yummy and then we went back to hers to have a big old catch up and natter about  life and what's been going on in our lives. It was so good to see her again! I hadn't seen her since February! Then we got some much needed sleep ready for the next day, we went to the beach (where I proceeded to get very sunburned), had an experience for dinner at a diner where the staff are rude to you as part if the show as Disney would say. It was fun, bit odd, but an experience nonetheless...after this Kate had to go to work so me and Sarah headed down the road for a spot of mini golf - I lost as usual - I always lose mini-golf. It was fun and we managed to get a bit of shade which was nice too, who knew it could be so hot elsewhere in the states as it is in Florida. Not to mention that there seemed to be more bugs in South Carolina than in Florida...Anyways we had fun, then we went to chill out at the apartment, we watched some movies and packed everything up again! Ready for our 1am greyhound bus to DC. The coach trip itself was reasonably uneventful, but it was so tiring and long (it took nearly 12 hours I think to get there) and we had 2 layovers which was crazy and a bit stressful really. But we finally got there about 1pm on Sunday and made our way to the hostel we were staying at. It was a great hostel, really good value, very clean, friendly staff, free wifi (had we taken a laptop) and even a free breakfast.... what more can you want. Plus it was really central so we could get almost anywhere. We did the museum of natural history on sunday afternoon and ended the day with dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, before there was a torrential rain storm which forced us to go back to the hostel to take cover, re-print my e ticket for the flight back to florida, which I had lost somehow somewhere between vista and DC...it could be anywhere, but hey its invalid now and I don't think it had anything important on it... I hope. Anyways after this we got some sleep and then the next day we were up bright and early for breakfast and then off to explore DC. We went to the space and plane museum, sneakily eating chips in their restaurant...oh dear lol and then the memorials and mall all around DC. We were also looking around the botanical gardens near the capitol. Was much fun and we also had a brief look in another museum, but Sarah's camera battery ran out so we went back to put that on charge too. We finished the day off with dinner at Nando's before collapsing into bed that night - exhausted. The following day we checked out the rest of the memorials we hadn't got around to until then, we also went to the holocaust museum, it was very sobering and very real, it was good but it made me feel really sad, which I suppose is the point, but I would recommend it if you want to learn lots about the holocaust. We also saw the white house and wandered around the momuments at night, after finding a random place to have dinner where we struggled to understand what was going on, but the food was good :D And once again we collapsed into a deep slumber, but not after having to pack everything away again for checkout the next day.

The next day we lugged our cases onto the metro (underground train - subway) over to arlington cemetery to see the tomb of the unknown soldier and the changing of the guard, before hopping back on the metro to get over to the airport for our 2 hour short haul flight to orlando. It was a short flight and it had some weird A/C going on, it kinda looked like the plane was on fire, disconcerting I know, but I survived to tell the tale :) We got back to Orlando in good time and then went and found a mears cab to take us over to the commons area so we could walk over to our friends apartment where we were staying for the next few days. We met her there and got help getting and taking our stuff to her apartment. She and the other flat mates had only just  moved in too, it is such a nice apartment, so homely even in its not-quite-finished state. We felt at home there :) That night we watched spice world, because we're cool and did some chatting and seeing lots of people, but there were a few goodbyes too :(. The next day we slept for a long time, being so tired from the travelling, then we got up and chilled around the apartment and were chatting to Mary Ann, Briana, Rachael and Amber before we went over to the outlet mall for a spot of shopping. Then we went to dinner night to see even more people and have good times, played a card game and chatted about random things, that happen on dinner night, so once again, a fairly late night. Then on Friday we were again chatting to people in the morning and having a good time, then we had our 'tea party' with Rocky, who we taught how to drink tea the english way. The day was also followed with a viewing and singalong/dance along to aladdin and then an epic kitchen sink endeavor. There were 7 of us, but we finished that beast! It was a fun night, but sad as it held even more goodbyes, there were a lot that night, but I held it together somehow. It turned into another late night as always. The next day we were heading over to boardwalk inn to stay the night and go to night of Joy, we stayed at the apartment until late afternoon, watching the holiday, because it's clearly christmas soon lol and just making the most of having our friends around. Then Briana and Rocky took us over to the boardwalk and we checked in. However this is where my composure breaks and there were a lot of tears.. I'm not ashamed but still. Then we saw our room, the boardwalk Inn is amazing! It had the best beds and furniture and decorations and it had a balcony and a garden view and just wow. Then we went off to find food and book the magical express for the next day. We ate at the ESPN club, short wait, good food, shame about the amount of sport going on lol, that is kinda the point I know, and I had never eaten in there before. So we had dinner and then went off to MK for night of joy, which was so much fun, we met up with two of our other friends Reed and Andrea for most of the night and had a whale of a time, got to seem some wonderful ATTers and ride the carpets one last time, saw some awesome performances, a real high for the end of the program. It did mean a late night though, we got back to the hotel about 2am and went straight to sleep. We had to be out of the room by 11am the next day, but we kept our bags at the front desk. It was rainy and cold-ish typically for our last day which was sad, but we did  some last minute shopping and ate breakfast and ice cream at boardwalk. It was a nice but bittersweet morning before the magical express arrived to whisk us off to the airport. Once we were on that the video typically made us sad and we were not exactly happy to be leaving. Then at the airport spot of last last minute shopping and chilling lol. We saw Manisha at the airport with her family, as they were on the same flight as us. The flight itself was uneventful to be honest, it was only 7 and a half hours, and again i cried. But then I got back to England and it was cold and miserable and yeah. My parents were late again, the satnav this time, they just can't make it there on time lol. Then more tears before a long car ride home, where I slept.

 And that's about it I guess, the end of my magical summer 2012 and the second college program. Maybe I'll blog some more later but for now TTFN!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Downtown Orlando, Vera Bradley and graduation..

Hey hey

It's been a while, I know, I'm sorry, but life has got me carried away and now I'm too busy mourning the end of my second ICP program... Anyways, carrying on where I left off last time, here is a run down of what's been going on in my life. So on August 9th, I went to downtown orlando for the first time, we didn't stay  too long, but it was nicer than I expected, I much preferred it to Miami, if I'm honest. We went there, had lunch at a non-chain greek restaurant which was really nice, but as always servings were massive and I was stuffed! The next plan was to feed the ducks some lettuce, which had been car-baked, however we ran out of time and the lettuce was left unloved. This was then followed by hanging out with friends, listening to the song from music and lyrics known as pop, goes my heart, painting my toe nails a lovely shade of purple, not my finger nails as purple is so not disney look... In the evening it was dinner night, although I was still stuffed, the night held chatter and complaints, there was fun, but it was over quite early and off home I went. Friday I was working but after work I just spent a bit of time hanging out in MK on my own, I'd never done it before and it is weird, being in a park on your own, but it was fine and it was better than coming home and doing nothing at all. Which was what I did saturday and sunday after work lol (washing and then a movie night respectively) however a girl needs to rest sometimes.

Monday the 13th was my next day off, I spent this with Marissa at universal. It was great to see her as I hadn't been able to see her much this summer. We went on lots of rides, including rip ride rockit where we used the hidden playlist and I listened to Madonna, Vogue, by randomly selecting a number, was hilarious. We also saw the horror makeup show, dodged a storm, went on the water slide that I didn't know existed near ET, oh yeah we did ET too, and men in black, and spider man, and dragon challenge, and cat in the hat and carouseusell, and doctor dooms fear fall and the accelertron and the mummy and we ate ben and jerry's ice cream, which I didn't even know you could get there, mmm cinnamon cereal flavour and chocolate nougat flavour was so good, we ate this whilst watcthing the nightime show celebrating universals 100 year anniversary. Lunch was eaten at flannagans (i think) the irish pub/restaurant). It was so good and so cheap really for table service, it's a mix of american and irish food stuffs and you even get soda bread to start with, so I would highly reccomnend it! All in all it was an amazing day!

Tuesday held a new experience for me, I went to a shop called Vera Bradley and bought a new bag, it was the first time I'd been there and I was surrounded by so many pretty bags, I did settle on my favourite pretty quick and no surprises about its colour, it was obviously blue lol due my obsession with the colour...it's a little unhealthy, or borderline. I went there with Trista and we hung out there checking the other shops out too, we had lunch there and starbucks, my first white chocolate mocha (not too impressed) before I went to epcot with Alix in the afternoon, we weren't there too long, but we had fun getting confused why we went to the land for no reason, amazed at the line there was to go on the figment ride and dodging yet another thunderstorm. The evening held community life church over at discovery palms, was a short night, most people left early, but as always was good to be there. Wednesday was a lovely little skype date, potentially the last time my skype was actually working too....

Thursday was my graduation and yes I still had to work it, I even got called in an hour early.. I did manage to swap my shift though, so I finished at 6.30pm instead of 8.15pm, so I got there for the last hour, got my ears, my gift and certificate and even had time to get my picture with mickey and minnie and see work mates. After this we bundled off to MK to watch wishes together, but we all ended up splitting off, so didn't watch it together anyway. Grad was fun, but nowhere near as fun as last grad, bear in mind however that last year I was there from the beginning and I'd actually had the whole day off, we did 3/4 parks, and stayed together the whole day, which was magical in itself. The friday held an early shift followed by a trip to DTD for shopping and relaxing and a spot of dinner at cookes of dublin. It was nice to be there for  a little while considering how much I saw the place last summer!

On Saturday, making the most of life, me, sarah and eilidh went to MK before we all started work, we had fun but as time was limited we didn't get too much done. We were already reminiscing about our program 2 weeks before the end! Sunday held a trip to church, followed by booking flights back to FL from DC, it was challenging to get them but now we can actually get back, that is as long as this hurricane goes away...Monday I worked and then went to an epic girls night filled with revelations and friendship, we even introduced our american friends to el nombre, hilarious! Tuesday I was off and went to DHS and then to epcot with Sarah and Alix, it involved a long line for toy story midway mania, some interesting drawing in animation, some alcoholic coffee in norway and a figment filled adventure, amongst other things. We then went over to community life church and it was our last tuesday there so it was so sad and really hard to leave. Then I ended up going to denny's (my first time) with some friends late at night (got home about 2.45am) but it was fun, there was much banter, youtube videos and just funny times - there were even mean girls quotes..

Wednesday was my last day off and it was a cold, cold day, yet we still went to blizzard beach. That was me, Ami and Manisha, after the time for tea party (where I just missed out on meeting Mr Penguin from Mary Poppins!). We did all the good things, not summit plummit lol, and got freezing on the lazy river thing. We warmed up with hot chocolate after we were all dried off. After this I went to see the Lion King at the Yacht and Beach Club with some friends, it was supposed to be on the beach, but due to the storm, we watched in inside, it was still good :D

Thursday was work, I called home but that was about it. Friday I had a wander down to publix with Rachel, just because, got some nice bread, but tried not to buy much due my imminent removal from vista way :( It was nice to hang out, I followed this with a mini nap before work as I closed at 1.45am, and was tasking from my last break until park close, crazy... Saturday, after an 8.15hr turnaround I did a lovely shift at work, followed by a few hours in MK with Heather and her friend, eating dole whip, riding the carpets, terrorising sarah and seeing the carousel of progress. Then I moved onto Boardwalk for a night at jellyrolls with Alix, Ami and Charlotte, was so good all over again, in fact some of the music was better this time! Ami requested bohemian rhapsody and they played it, it was soo good :D but it meant and still means that I am totally exhausted as the last two days all I have done is work, it's so sad. I did 13 hrs and 15 mins on sunday and 10.5hrs today, it's a lot. Also the tiki room opened its doors for EMH for the first time yesterday, it was so weird it being open so late! But I was obviously at greeter because it was EMH because that's where I always am! Today I started at 11.15am so there wasn't much time to sleep after getting home at 2.30am, so coffee had to keep me going and I'm not sure how I'm awake and still writing this right now, but it needed doing.. and now that leads me to now, this very minute, there are plans for the last few days of my program and for the travelling after but they're not for now, for now good night everyone!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Jelly rolls, and backlot tour extras...

Hello once again, welcome to another blog post, this time it's for a week and a half mainly because I worked 8 days straight and I haven't really had that much of a life, but here's a run down for you. On the 30th, we went to the Grand Floridian for lunch, then over to DTD for some shopping and finally to Port Orleans for some beignets (bucket list) and to watch Tangled on the bowling green. Was so much fun!

On the wednesday it was a lot of people's last day at work :( so after work we went to ihop for pancakes, which was so nice, but yet another late night and so sad to say good bye to so many people, work is weird now that they've all gone! Friday held my first trip to Jelly rolls after work! It was so good, they had duelling pianos and played all kinds of music, there was singing along, clapping and interactive dances to do, all in all a good night, but the a/c was so high in there I was freezing by the time we left. We also went into the dance hall to take a look around but didn't stay.

Saturday I got extended at work, so I finished at 5 rather than 2.45pm but I still went to MK with Amy and Alix for a while, we did haunted mansion, the carousel, the speedway (finally), country bear jamboree and pirates, so all in all pretty good, finally done every attraction at MK! After this went over to see Mary Ann and Claire, and we just hung out and chilled for a few hours which was good and much needed I think! Sunday was another trip to church, followed by lunch with Sarah and some travel booking (finally) we are now definitely going to South Carolina and Washington DC, NYC is still elusive, no decisions have yet been made...

Tuesday I went to grocery bingo before work, I didn't win typically but it was fun and it fulfils my cultural requirement for August so we're good as I can't go to graduation! I'm scheduled to work and there looks like there's no way I can get it off now... :( after grocery bingo had a spot of lunch before work. Today I went to DHS with Nat and was later joined by Manisha and then even later by Amy, Alix and Sarah. We did quite a few things, me and Nat were extras in the backlot tour!!! I was the captain of the ship and Nat was the engineer (i.e. the one who gets loads of water dumped on them!) it was fun and I stayed pretty dry so I was impressed really! Had an amazing coffee cupcake, got a  no strings attached form because the vending machine didn't vend my drink after I'd already paid... ate at pizza planet, finally saw Fantasmic, met lots of characters, finished my autograph book and had a blast all in all! I terrorised captain hook with the tinker bell autograph book and telling him that I'd seen a crocodile lol, it was so funny, but overall a much needed day off with lots of exciting things and friends :D

Anyways tomorrow I'm off too and going to downtown orlando with Joy and Mary Ann, so we shall see what happens there and I'll keep you posted.

TTFN :D