Sunday, May 4, 2008


So I've got a bit to catch up on. It's been a busy past few days and I haven't had much time to update stuff. So here's what's been going on.

Thursday we went to Traditions, which is the Disney Company's basic orientation for all employees. They talk about the Disney service standards, the company history, our benefits and then the normal boring work stuff like harassment briefings and safety stuff. They call the safe program "Safe D" (say it out loud and you'll get it). Our teacher, Caroline, was a complete riot. She was great. I thought it was interesting that she works on The Great Movie Ride, since that was the ride I wanted to work, but I got attractions instead.

I also bought my first company item, a lanyard to carry my Disney ID in. We also got our first cast member pin! Yay! It was just the basic pin trading logo with the word "Traditions" underneath. But still cool. Thursday we also got our official nametags, which was very weird. Complete strangers call me by my first name now, and I'm always like "how did you know my name?!?!?!" before I realize I'm wearing a nametag.

Of course, we also got our Disney IDs (aka free ticket to the parks) on Thursday, so naturally we decided to hit the parks since we had been dying to go since we arrived in Orlando. I gathered up 5 of my 6 roommates and two other friends, and we headed off to Magic Kingdom. It was very fun, simply because we realized we could take as much time as we wanted. None of the frenzied rush that you normally get in a Disney vacation, because we have 3 months to spend here. We split into 2 groups, and my group hit the updated Haunted Mansion, the Liberty Belle boat, Pirates of the Caribbean, stopped for a quick Dole Whip (yum!), watched the parade, saw the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and then went on Space Mountain while Wishes was going on (no line that way, and we can see the fireworks another night).

Friday we had Merchantainment, which is our orientation for Merchandise alone. It was pretty much a review of Traditions for 2 hours, and then we spent the rest of the class on the computers completing online training. I was so tired that I came home and took a 4 hour nap. Then we had to run to Wal Mart for all the stuff we'd forgotten on Tuesday. Yuck. I then spent the rest of the day at home catching up on email and stuff, since we had to be at Hollywood Studios early the next day.

That was for On With The Show, which is the Hollywood Studios version of Traditions. We spent the first 3 hours doing a tour of the park, and learning some of the history/theming behind it. Did you know there is a hidden Kermit on Star Wars? Anyway, our leader was really funny. He spends Friday, Saturday, and Sunday playing a character in the park, and the rest of the time doing training. I'm not going to tell you which character (I'm supposed to preserve the magic, after all...) but I'll give you a couple of hints: very tall, heavy breathing, likes to use lightsabers. You do the math. Anyway, I'm going to have to try and see his show one of these days.

We also got 2nd Cast Member pin then. I'm really starting to like this... I also got 2 pins for knowing questions on the tour. I knew why the Carthay Circle Theater was important to Disney history, and why Splash was a significant achievement in movies. So if you don't know the answer to either of those questions, and you want to know, leave me a comment and I tell you. '

But the rest of the day was spent doing online training again. HazCom and safety and Guests with disabilities and all that. Boring end again. After that we went over to wardrobe to get our costumes. I officially have the most boring costume ever for training. White shirt, gray polyester pants, bow tie and belt. Ugh. At least it's only for 3 days...

When I got home my roommate was like "Want to go to Epcot?" So I said yes and asked which time, to which she responded "right now." Which is why I didn't update yesterday. We went and walked around in the rain for a few minutes and looked at the topiaries for this years Flower and Garden Festival. The theme for this year apparently is surfing. Speaking of which, topiaries from last years festival have ended up at the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We went on Spaceship Earth, which has been totally redone since last year and is VERY cool now. I also convinced everyone to try Test Track, and they pretty much enjoyed that too. Which make me happy since that's one of my favorite Epcot rides. We missed IllumiNations though (sad day), but I guess we can see it another time...

So today was my first official day of training. I have now found out that Hollywood Hills Merchandise specifically means the stores after Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror and working Fantasmic at night. Plus, I have a different costume for all three places. So now I have four costumes, some of which I have to have more than one a day for. Crazy.

The beginning was more online training, (but I think I'm done now) and then we took a tour of the specific stores (stock, backroom, areas, etc.). We then worked register at Coaster most of the day. We did spend some time editing the photos from Coaster, which was fun. We get to look at all the photos and delete any of them that have inappropriate actions. Flashing and such, you get the idea. It took almost an hour, but we did get to delete one of a guy picking his nose with the bird.

The other interesting thing was that we had one of the Cheetah Girls on the coaster today. I don't know which one, but it is the one with the curly hair. Totally didn't look like her in her picture. Paris Hilton also made an appearance in the park today. She's a lot shorter in real life. I couldn't see much of her face because she was standing in line for ice cream, and she had huge sunglasses on. But she didn't look like I would have expected in real life either.

So now I think I'm going to bed. If anyone is interested in seeing my training schedule, let me know and I can email it to you. You'd probably only want it if you know what time I might actually answer my phone. Suffice it to say I'll be spending most of my next days working Fantasmic! and Tower merchandise.

More updates when I actually have time!

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!