Thursday, July 22, 2010

In Which I Join The Pirates League

Again, my posts have been lacking, but I've been busy with a number of things the past week, the least of which is not Canoe Races of the World. That was originally my planned post for tonight (since it's my day off and I usually have time to post something) but I've had a change of plans.

Today we went to the park to celebrate one of my friend's birthday. She doesn't really like celebrating her birthday, but we decided to go to the Pirates League, which is like the Bibiddi Bobiddi Boutique. Only instead of princess makeovers they do pirate makeovers. Sarah loves pirates, so we convinced her to do this one thing at least.

I was a little nervous since usually the people doing the makeovers are kids and we are obviously not children. But despite my nervousness I'm glad I went because we had so much fun (and by the way, it's wayyyy cheaper than the Boutique too).

First up when you arrive they have you choose the face makeup you want. There's six different styles, and I choose "Empress" which is the pirate princess style. Yes, I have a repressed inner princess and I like sparkle. So even when being made over as a pirate I choose the glitter. Then they bring you into the League and have you roll two dice. The numbers on the dice are combined with your birthday month to give you your pirate name. I was Anne Calicocash, Sarah got Bettie Shipmonk, and Kristin was Kat Squidcheese.

Next they bring you into the studio where they do the makeovers. I snapped a picture really quick while the stations against one wall were empty. I ended up getting that one in the middle right there for mine:
he detailing here is amazing. Just like everything Disney does really. There was pirate themed decorations all over the place, and the cast is really good about staying in character. I want to work this store so bad. Plus, there's pirate music playing all the time, which was awesome. This was what was on the wall above the styling stations:

In other words, plenty to look at while you're waiting your turn. But it's not super busy either (unlike the Boutique) so we got in really fast.

Then came the actual makeover. We each got a pirate temporary tattoo on our sword hands, the makeup effect of our choice, and some other pirate accessories. Since I was the empress I got bright green eyeshadow, rouged cheeks, hot pink nail polish, bright pink lip gloss, a crown jewel sticker for my cheek, one silver pirate earring, and lots and lots of glitter. To top off the look I got a reversible pink pirate bandanna, complete with a pink pirate eye patch (which helped hold the bandanna in place because my hair is HUGE). We then each took the pirate oath and became an official member of the "crew".

Next was a visit to the Bosun's station, where we got our sheaths and official pirate swords and a short lesson in swordplay (i.e. don't hit anyone with your sword or they will hit you back, move it slow so you don't stab yourself, etc.). Then we got let into the secret treasure room where we had a photo shoot (I didn't end up getting the portraits, which were extra) and then receiving our official Pirate's League exclusive pirate coin medallions.

It was super fun. We spent the next few hours trundling around the park, and having lots of fun. And to finish off the post, I'll share a photo of the finished product:


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Monday, July 12, 2010

More Goings On

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It's been quite the roller coaster around here for the last few days (no pun intended). I've been very busy with work, and have also been trying to catch up on sleep in my few free hours. So here's what's been going on since my last post.

Friday morning our water got shut off for three hours. Complex wide. So that meant no cooking, showering, or even flushing. So rather than deal with the problem, I got up early Friday morning and went to Panera for breakfast. We have Panera back home, and I LOVE it. I was so excited during my last program when I discovered that we drove past a Panera on the way home every night. So now I always wave hello and dream about cinnamon chip scones and sourdough bread bowls as the bus drives by. Yum.

Anyway, by the time I got back home the water was on, and it was time for me to get ready for work. So that's what happened Friday. Saturday I started work at 3:00, and since I didn't get to sleep until 3:00 a.m. the night before I slept in a bit. The rest of the day was spent getting ready for our cleaning inspection, which was today. All because yesterday (Sunday) I had church plush an 11 hour shift so I couldn't do the cleaning then.

And then this morning was get up early again to try and spot clean anything that's gotten dirty since Saturday before inspections. But we passed inspections (I was afraid we might not for a second because my roommates waited until 3:00 a.m. last night to do any cleaning) so that's all over with for now.

Work has been work as usual. I was stock yesterday, which are fast becoming my least favorite shifts. Not so much because I mind stocking as they are very loooooong shifts. You also don't get a lot of guest interaction, which I kind of miss too. I did have this cute little two year old who decided she was my new best friend and was "helping" me straighten the key chains by taking them off the hooks and handing them back to me. She was adorable, and she made my night.

I did the Pooh store yesterday, so I've now stocked all four locations at least once. And speaking of locations, our Info booth is now gone. They are expanding the construction around the Winnie the Pooh ride and Info was one of the casualties. So it's now gone for good, which makes me kind of sad because that was my favorite outdoor location. I loved trading pins, answering questions, and handing out buttons there, which you don't really get the chance to do in any other location.

It's also kind of sad for a historical reason too. For those of you who are old enough to remember them, the park used to sell tickets (A-E) that you would use to get on the rides. Our info booth was the last of the original park ticket booths from the opening in 1971. I really hope that they didn't demolish it and saved it for a museum somewhere or something.

Anyway, I need to go catch a bus for work, so that's it for me now!

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Dapper Dans

So yesterday I ran over to Magic Kingdom really quick (ha! there's no such thing as really quick at MK) to check on something in the collectibles shop. On my way back out I stopped to watch the famous Dapper Dans of Main Street. For those of you who don't know who they are, the Dapper Dans is the barbershop quartet that occasionally performs during the day on Main Street. They're really good and fun to watch, but usually I don't have time to stop. But yesterday I did, and I was glad I did.

The Dapper Dans are great at singing (of course) but I also love the banter they've got going on back and forth. I wish I had brought my video camera, but of course the one day I don't have it is the day I want it. Ah well. Anyway, they had a few jokes I really want to remember, so I'm transcribing them for you here. It was much funnier in person, but hopefully you'll get a few laughs out of these.

The conversation went something like this:

Dapper Dan 1 (I don't know any of their names except Tom, who's the green one on the end): Hey!
All: What?
Dapper Dan 1: What do you call a cow with two legs?
All: What do you call a cow with two legs?
Dapper Dan 1: Lean beef.

Dapper Dan 2: Hey!
All: What?
Dapper Dan 2: What do you call a cow with no legs?
All: What do you call a cow with no legs?
Dapper Dan 2: Ground beef.

Dapper Dan 3: Hey!
All: What?
Dapper Dan 3: What do you call a cow that's just given birth?
All: What do you call a cow that's just given birth?
Dapper Dan 3: Decaffeinated. [Say it out loud, you'll get it]

Tom (Dapper Dan 4): Hey!
All: What?
Tom: What do you call it when you're in milk up to here (holds hand to forehead)?
All: What do you call it when you're in milk up to there?
Tom: Pasteurized. [Say it out loud again]

(After several groans from the crowd after the last joke);
Dapper Dan 2: Hey Tom!
Tom: What?
Dapper Dan 2: Is it true the Irish are known for their great wit?
Tom (proudly): Yes, it is true that the Irish are known for their great wit.
Dapper Dan 3: Yeah, you're only half-Irish aren't you?


And after that I had to leave so I didn't hear anymore. So anyway, if you ever get the chance, stop by to see the Dapper Dan on Main Street. You'll hear some great music and they can be a riot to watch.

Have a Disney-related question about the parks, movies, or even about me? Check out the Ask A Cast Member feature and send in your questions!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Glitter, Duke, THE GLITTER!

Happy 4th of July to everyone. Yes, I know I'm a day late, but the 4th happens to be one of the busiest days at Magic Kingdom. So I was working all day, and then managed to get off just before the fireworks. So a friend and I tried to head over to the Hub to see them from in front of the castle, but we got stuck at Liberty Square. Oh well, we enjoyed them anyway.

But as far as work goes, it was busy. I mean really, really, really busy. We reached capacity sometime between 4:00 and 6:00, which would have happened earlier except it was drizzling all day. Lines were HUGE. Even in Fantasyland. It's a small world had a 40 minute wait and Peter Pan had a 70 minute wait. And those were just the two I happened to see.

And me... I was stocking the Princess store. It was my first time stocking that location, and although that store is always busy, it was almost ridiculous how crowded it got in there. I couldn't even get people to move out of the way so I could put stuff on the shelves. It was insane. There were two of us stocking in there yesterday and even then it looked like a bomb had hit the store.

For my readers who've never been to the parks and been in a store of this kind, I'll give you a quick rundown. We sell princess merchandise of all kinds. One side of the store is dedicated to toys, dolls, frames, books, etc. while the other side is all of the dress up merchandise: the dresses, wigs, shoes, crowns, gloves, and other assorted accessories for each princess.

And if you haven't seen the princess dresses we sell at the parks, let me tell you they are very, very glittery. And to add even more to the glitter, we do a magical moment where we "pixie dust" little princesses (and their families too) by sprinkling superfine glitter in their hair so they can make a wish. So I was already glittery from the stupid dresses. And then one of my fellow cast members ambushed me with pixie dust, so I had glitter ALL OVER. It even got under my shirt, heavens knows how...

And if you don't believe me about the glitter, I'll leave it at this final image. The stockroom upstairs for this store is pretty much just dresses. Everything else has to be brought up from the downstairs stockroom in our dumbwaiter. So there's probably about 200 dresses of assorted sizes hanging on two racks along the walls that are perpendicular to each other. In the corner where these two racks overlap is the portion of floor where excess glitter and pixie dust get swept out of the way during the day. The glitter on the floor here is 1/4"-1/2" deep. No joke. It looks like very sparkly sand. And that's just from what falls off the dresses. Lots more of it stays stuck to them. Or gets on me when I'm stocking them apparently.

Three more fun things from my shift yesterday:

1. About 3:00 we got this family who had a little girl and a baby boy in a stroller. About every minute or so the kid in the stroller would shout "NO!" at the top of his lungs. Just randomly. Not in response to anything. His parents just ignored him, so I assume he'd been doing it for awhile. I think somebody had just learned a new word.

2. There was a mother who really wanted to buy her little girl (she looked like she was maybe 2 or even a little younger) a Belle dress. But the girl wasn't having any of it. So Mom finally grabbed her and (literally) shoved her in the Belle dress. And of course the girl started screaming bloody murder. So one of my coworkers brought her a mirror and as soon as she saw her reflection she stopped screaming. She stayed perfectly happy until they left the store.

3. A little girl and her big sister were walking through the store when she tripped and fell. And although I don't think she really hurt anything, she started crying buckets. Her mom knelt down to see if she was okay, and as Mom hugger her, little sister caught sight of the princess barbies over Mom's shoulder. The tears instantly ceased and she skipped over to the toys perfectly fine. Mom just rolled her eyes and apologized for her little drama queen. We gave her some pixie dust and sent her on her way happy as a clam.

So that's it for me today. I hope you had a safe holiday!

Oh, and for those who are wondering about the title of this post, it's a sort of parody from this Popsicle commercial I always used to see as a kid:

Don't know why, but it seemed to fit the glitter (in my head anyway). And I love you can find stuff like this on YouTube...

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Favorite Question Ever (Not)

Just a short post today, since although it is my day off I'm still really busy. Okay, so yesterday was my day off too, but I ended up playing at Downtown Disney with a few friends (went and saw Eclipse and did some shopping, another post on that later maybe) so today I have to catch up on all the chores. Like laundry, etc. Bleh.

Tuesday was my second stock shift, and I learned the second fundamental rule of stocking: Whenever you are actually doing something you will get asked a question. Whenever you have nothing to do, everyone will go out of their way to ignore you. Ah well, life goes on I suppose.

And which question did I get the most on Tuesday? Well, it's one I've gotten with increased frequency over the past week or so. I've gotten some stupid questions before, but I think this one takes the cake. It goes something like this:

Guest: Do you work here?

I mean, really? Really? I'll admit I like my costume, but I certainly don't wear it just for fun. Oh, and the name tag might be a dead giveaway as well. And how about the fact that I'm using a register? They don't let just anyone use those you know!

Okay, rant over. And here's one more question I've gotten a lot lately:

Guest: Speak Spanish?
Me: No, I'm sorry, I don't speak Spanish.
Guest: (Proceeds to ask their question in Spanish anyway).

And there you have it. Until next time, have a great day everyone!

Have a Disney-related question about the parks, movies, or even about me? Check out the Ask A Cast Member feature and send in your questions!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A New Shift

So yesterday was my first stocking shift. I was really nervous because I wasn't sure I knew how to do everything, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. As stocker you're not only responsible for keeping the store stocked and looking nice, but when it's time to close, you are responsible for EVERYTHING getting done correctly before closing the store. It's a little nerve wracking. It was a little brutal too (12 hour shift) but I survived okay.

But I can report that I successfully learned the number one rule of stocking:

Wherever you need to get to a guest will be standing in the way. ALWAYS.

And the tour groups are the worst with this. We have a lot from Brazil right now, and they always stash stuff they want to buy "later" in the most random places. Um... this is Disney. It looks messy where you've put it, and trust me, it won't be there if/when you come back for it. Because we can't have messy at Disney!

Anyway, in other news, I found out this morning that our apartment has been harboring a colony of spiders. Eeek! The two things I can't stand are snakes and spiders, so this really grosses me out. Luckily Pest Control came by to take care of it today, but I still hope I don't imagine things crawling up my legs when I'm sleeping tonight.

Have a Disney-related question about the parks, movies, or even about me? Check out the Ask A Cast Member feature and send in your questions!

Monday, June 21, 2010

When Things Go Wrong (2010) Edition

So something interesting happened at work yesterday. About halfway through the Nightastic fireworks the show suddenly stopped. They hadn't been doing the castle pyrotechnics for a few minutes, but then the show just randomly stopped altogether. About 30 minutes later it resumed, first doing all the castle pyro that hadn't gone off before and then catching up to the big fireworks for the last section of the show.

So of course when something like this happens, every cast member gets tons of questions about what happened. And as a merchandise cast member, I usually have no idea. So my answer is usually along the lines of "I have no idea, but you can try asking one of the fireworks people standing over there. But they probably won't tell you anyway because it's a trade secret."

But rumors always get spread around too. Because the fireworks people do tell our managers why they stopped. So the rumor going around is that the show was stopped because of a guest call.

For those of you who haven't seen the new show, there's a part that makes it look like the castle just got hit with a bunch of fireworks. They're really more like glorified smoke bombs, but the effect is nice. Anyway, supposedly a guest called the fire department and reported that the castle was on fire. So the show had to be stopped while they went in and made sure nothing was burning. No idea if this rumor is true, but it's interesting to think about anyway.

In other news, there was an absolutely gigantic spider hanging from one of the carts yesterday too. I pretty much started freaking out, especially when it was moving towards me. Luckily there was a guy standing there at the time. He grabbed the spider and threw it into the bushes, for which I was enormously grateful.

Have a Disney-related question about the parks, movies, or even about me? Check out the Ask A Cast Member feature and send in your questions!
Have a Disney-related question about the parks, movies, or even about me? Check out the Ask A Cast Member feature and send in your questions!