Saturday, November 21, 2009

The One where I turned 24!


I still cannot believe I'm 24. 23 was young 20s. 24 is mid 20s. Oh Lord. Anyways, you may or may not know that I traditionally like to make a big deal about my birthday. Growing up, I always had big parties. In college, it was a little less intense but I still tried to get as many friends together as possible for dinner or something.

This year was a little different. All I wanted to do this year was go see my favorite duo (Mark & James) play some tunes and have some dinner with my girls.  That was the one and only plan. I had no other plans for the day other than relax, get dolled up, see Mark & James. Well about 3pm, I found out Mark & James were sick and not playing that night. My reaction: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Insert really sad face. I haven't really heard them play since May and I had been looking forward to my bday/seeing them for weeks. Not cool.

But I couldn't just sit home on my birthday, that's not how I roll. So I asked Michelle if she wanted to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Being the awesome friend that she is, she said yes. The others couldn't go for various reasons, but it's all good, Michelle and I know how to have fun together!

Having never been to the Christmas Party, I was very excited to go! I wasn't planning on going due to my ode to making financially smart choices but that all goes out the window on my birthday. For those of you that don't know, the Christmas Party is a a separate ticket event that even cast members can't go to for free. There is a different parade, different fireworks, characters in different outfits (which sounds least exciting but is actually my favorite part), different shows, free cocoa and cookies and it snows tiny soap bubbles on mainstreet USA. The crowds are also lighter at the Christmas party, making lines much much shorter on just about everything.

My one and only goal was to meet Prince Charming, a feat pretty much impossible to accomplish in the parks on a normal day. So imagine my delight when we get into the Princess tent (home of Belle, Cinderella, and Aurora normally) and see not only Prince Charming, but Prince Philip (Sleeping Beauty's beau) there too!! Oh my word, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I nerd out over meeting rare characters general, the fact that they happen to be Princes in this instance simply added to the fun.  Also, fun fact, all of the Princes (Erik, Aladdin, Charming 1 and 2) are in the 3 o clock parade but Prince Philip is not-so I think I was doubly excited to meet him since I'd barely even ever seen him before!

So anyways, the best line of the night had to of come from Prince Philip. Michelle and I were clearly too excited to be there and the photographer was trying to take our picture but we kept talking, I apologized for being unable to focus and without skipping a beat, Prince Philip goes "Well it's a good thing your camera can focus at least!" Hi-lar-ious! The whole line laughed it was spot on! Prince Charming had like no personality whatsoever but I think he was probably just weirded out over the 2 overly excited adults (with no children in their group) fawning over him, so I can't really blame him.

One of my favorite moments of the night was when we went to go get some cocoa and cookies at a Restaurant called Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square. I was walking in and the greeter said hi and turned inside and walked quickly over to her fellow cast members. I just figured she's probably a CP who thought of something funny to tell her friends, right?! Sooo wrong! Soon, every cast member in the place starts clapping. I'm confused but then they start singing happy birthday. You would think I would realize they were singing to me but since I'm used to being a cast member, and not on the receiving end of the magic these days, it took me a second to realize they were singing to ME! It totally made my night, it's the little things in life, right?

The only other bummer of the night was that my flip flop broke. So incredibly sad since they were like my trusty park-going flip flops but Michelle literally gave me the shoes off her feet so I could walk to buy some new ones. All in all though, it was a memorable and festive birthday. I'd be lying if I still didn't wish I had gotten to see Mark & James instead, but that just wasn't in the stars for the night and that's cool with me. =)

P.S. The best present I could ever ask for is my friends and family taking time to wish me a happy birthday. Being away from home is hard a lot of times and having friends scattered around the country makes me miss everyone so much. But I felt so loved with all the calls, texts, messages etc. I have the best friends and family a girl could ask for.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The One with random thoughts

  • I'm the type of person who likes to get stuff done. I'm thinking that my personality isn't going to jive well in a large company where change, no matter how big or small, has to be approved by the many levels of the hierarchy. Just a thought. Not one I'm going to act on anytime soon, but a thought nonetheless.

  • Taylor Swift deserved Entertainer of the Year, but was it just me or did it look like she was trying to cry cuz she thought she should cry not because she actually wanted to cry? The shocked look IS getting a little old, but I do love that she is humble.  

  • This time of year I usually get to thinking about what sort of trouble I can stir up. Why you ask? Because when the calendar flips my age one number higher, as it will next week, I can blame my recklessness on my young age. To this day, I have never actually stirred up trouble though. I just think about it. No actual ideas come to mind though because let's be honest, I'm a good girl who freaks out and thinks the police are after her because she went the wrong way down a one way into an apartment complex.

  • I'm getting old! In ten years, I'm gonna be that girl (woman!? lol) at concerts that everyone thinks is someone's mom who is trying to be cool. I can't wait! Seriously. 

  • I need to study the world map so when I ask someone where they are from for a survey (which is often!), I don't have to ask what continent that is on. LOL. But seriously, if someone told you they were from Ireland Island, Bermuda would you not be a little confused? Is that Ireland? Is that Bermuda?! What is going on? I get schooled in geography on a regular basis and it has to stop.

  • Anyways, I told you this was going to be random. This is what happens when I can't sleep, I don't want to journal and I can't talk to Michelle cuz she's already sleeping! Night folks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The one about my first week! -Warning all about Disney!

I just finished my first official post-training week as a research specialist at the world's most famous theme park, and wow, do I have some stories for you all! If you're a little fuzzy as to what I do all day, I'll break it down for you. Yesterday, I asked 130 people for their zip code and if I could scan their park ticket. 10% of those people asked me why and looked very concerned-they are the same people who probably wear aluminum foil on their heads to make sure the government isn't reading their thoughts.

After I get zip codes, I collect emails in various ways so people can do a survey at home. 10% of the people ask me if I'm going to sell their email. In this instance, I don't blame them for asking actually but Disney doesn't spam so we're all good.

Then I survey people about every little last detail about their vacation and/or their experience at the Magic Kingdom.

The rest of my time is spent building up courage to approach more people so I can meet my survey quota and not get fired. I have to read the surveys verbatim so I wouldn't be surprised if someday a kid kicks me in the shin thinking I'm an animatronic robot like he saw on the Pirates ride or the Carousel of Progress, or pretty much any other Disney attraction because I do in fact sound robotic from time to time.

Anyways, I just have to say, Americans by and large are probably the most rude guests of all. Every time I talk to a guest from another country, they are so polite and say please and thank you. They reject me less when I ask them to take a survey and if they do they are all "Sorry, I'm in a terrible hurry, or I would" meanwhile Americans go "No!" and give you the "you're a waste of space" look (no lie, they do, it's like the look you give your shoe when you step on a piece of gum). I will give the American population the benefit of the doubt because they make up the majority of people I talk to so chances are greater I'll run into a rude one from time to time. And there are so many more nice ones than rude ones I suppose!

For example, I talked to the sweetest girl the other day whose dream it is to work at Disney World. She's old enough to and even moved here to do so, but is too scared to apply because she's heard some people say it ruins the magic or is not as fun as one would think. We had a great talk about it and I told her that I had the same fear and that if anything, it's just more magical, and it'll only be fun if you have the right attitude. I personally love seeing Cinderella get pop in the cafeteria and Prince Charming checking his email in the learning center, I think it's a cool/weird job perk (yes, I am a nerd, I know). I didn't tell her those example specifically because that wouldn't be keeping the magic for her but she'll see it when she's a cast member, which I'm sure she will be one day.

I had the cutest moment with a little boy riding the train the other day too. Where I do most of my work is the courtyard from the gates into the Magic Kingdom to the train station. When it's pulling into the station, the train overlooks the courtyard and a little boy, about 6, was waving at people in the courtyard but no one was waving back because no one was looking up there! But I saw him so I waved and smiled back and he got the biggest smile on his face and his wave became 10 times more enthusiastic. It honestly could have been a Disney commercial the moment was so precious.

Yesterday, a guest approached me asking for any tips I had because it was his first time to Disney World.   I started by telling him to get a first visit pin at Guest Relations then asked him if there was anything specific he wanted tips on. He then tells me he has a Walt Disney World app on his iPhone. He showed me the app and honestly, fast forward 10 years, everyone has a phone w/apps and Disney World requires 10,000 less cast members because people don't need as much help anymore, that's how good that app was! It knew everything, including wait times on rides, which I can't fathom how it knew! Think of a question you would want to know about the Magic Kingdom- it knows the answer! He even had a Magic Kingdom GPS app that told us exactly where we were standing, so I didn't even need to tell him where Guest Relations was, because he already knew by looking at the MK GPS!

Everyday I run into people that love telling me their Disney stories. I just have to hold onto positive and forget about the rude people who yell at me for my surveys being too long (yeah, that happened!) while in the meantime, never forgetting that this job is only temporary and something else will come along in time!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The One about my Other Blog

Just a quick little FYI - I started a 2nd blog about all things music. Instead of explaining it here, I'll let you read my intro blog there...


What can I say? I guess I like to write.

And not much else is new from my last post. I got a hair cut that no one will notice. I got a cute new pair of shoes. I'm wearing them tomorrow to the concert, get excited, there will be pictures!!! Talk about a CLIFF HANGER, wow, how do you guys handle the intensity of my blog!??!!? =)

 NIGHT ALL!! Unless you're not reading this at night...then I hope you have a good morning/afternoon/day/evening/dusk/twilight/whatever

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The One with the Fairies

I've been in Orlando for a little over a week and I just have to say, I am absolutely LOVING it. I feel like I have a life again! My car is fixed (for now, there may be an A/C issue that I am trying not to think about) and my eye is almost back to the 80% it was at before (I can't say it's back to 100% since it wasn't 100% or I wouldn't have been wearing contacts and wouldn't have gotten an eye infection in the first place, make sense? lol)

My job is interesting to say the least. I survey people ALL DAY LONG.....I haven't done it yet, but I will next week. So far I've only completed training. It might get a little old, but I didn't go to college to be a surveyor so I know it's only a temporary job. Whether I stay in the role for 3 months or 3 years, we'll just have to wait and see. Everyone at my new job seems so nice, I'm excited to get to know them!

Today, I went to the Magic Kingdom with my friend Garrett, who I used to work with at the Emporium. We had a blast meeting Princess Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and The Frog. They were fun characters to meet (I'll add pics later!) They did this really cool show on the Riverboat in Frontierland/Liberty Square. Very fun. We also got to meet the new boy fairy/keeper of the pixie dust, Terence!! He's in the Tinker Bell movie (voiced by Jesse McCartney, just an FYI) and for a fairy, he was pretty masculine if you ask me. It was cute, lol. In case you care, there are 6 fairies you can meet at the Magic Kingdom but only 3 are out at a time. I had met Tinker Bell (who is always there), Rosetta, Iredessa and Silevermist but never Fawn or Terence (because he is BRAND NEW) and you never know who you're gonna get to meet so needless to say I was pretty excited to arrive in Pixie Hollow (via pixie dust obviously) and see Fawn, Tink and Terence =) They were a riot too! Tink noticed Garrett has a tattoo of Peter Pan on his leg and FREAKED OUT saying Peter was trapped on his leg and she didn't want to be trapped there too because she was once trapped in a lantern and she really hated it haha. I have to appreciate a clever quick-witted character when I see one!

This week I also got to go see my favorite band from Florida, Mark & James. I first heard them when they opened for Jon McLaughlin and I've loved them ever since. They were playing an acoustic set at a restaurant in town so we went to check it out. We arrived to catch the tail end of a song, then they took a break. Not long after, a band started playing REALLY LOUD next door, making it impossible to hear Mark & James acoustically. Picture a really sad looking Allie right about here. James comes over (he knew we were there to see them, cuz let's be real, I didn't travel across town for the food that's for sure) and did like the nicest thing ever and offered to play a song of my choice in a quieter part of the place on the other side of the building. Without boring you all with all the details (like I did with the fairies, ha, sorry!), we'll just say it was one of the best times ever, being serenaded with one of my fave songs. =) I've never wanted a band to succeed more than them. If you haven't checked them out yet, what are you waiting for?!

Anyways, I have the next couple of days off, so I'm gonna relax, run some errands and figure out a way to convince myself not to be afraid of approaching people for a survey. Wednesday night is the White Tie Affair concert that I'm BEYOND excited for! I saw them open for Lady Gaga earlier this year, and now they're headlining and we have a meet-n-greet afterwards so that should be interesting!! I wonder if Sean-P will remember meeting me in line for Goofy and Pluto at Animal Kingdom haha. We'll see.

Bonus Features:
1) On my last day of training, I was walking through Tomorrowland and a bird pooped right on my head. It was SO disgusting. Apparently, it's a sign of good luck to come, but somehow I doubt it.
2) I'm SO glad the Vikings beat the Packers today! I scowled at every single person I saw wearing Packer gear today at the Magic Kingdom haha I'm kidding but I certainly didn't high-five them!
3) I'm currently listening to James Morrison
4) Ever since playing Rock Band w/ Charlie in Georgia, I really want to own it and play like ALL THE TIME. Thanks a lot Charlie! lol