Sunday, February 27, 2011

I left my apartment at 4:15 AM today

I am exhaussttttttttttteeeeeeeeedd. Was planning on posting something but I am too tired to do anything tonight. Got some post ideas for near future. Sorry for sentence fragments.
Friday, February 18, 2011

VoluntEARing

The other day, Natasha and I signed up to volunteer, and it was SO much fun! Every Wednesday and Sunday, a group of CP's drive out to Give Kids the World, an organization that hosts children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. They house the families in villas and provide the kids with the opportunity to have the most amazing week of their life. Wednesday was "Kids' Night Out," where we take the kids to go play and have dinner for a few hours, so the parents can relax while we're having fun.

As a recreation major, babysitter, and employee of the largest family vacation destination in the world, I've had plenty of access to children, however the situation was obviously still delicate, and I was a bit nervous going into it. What if I said the wrong thing? What if I couldn't think of anything to say at all? However, I had such a great time, and I definitely would recommend this to everyone!

The day began with Natasha and I meeting up at the Commons, where you drive over as a group. However, when we went to check-in, we found out that they had signed us up for the wrong day! We just had to wait and hope someone wouldn't show up. Luckily, there were just enough open spots, and we got our t-shirts and headed to the van.

When we got to the village, I was just amazed. It is like they took a kid's vision of a perfect world and created it for these children. After a quick orientation, we headed over to Amberville, the gaming area. They had a mini-golf course, arcade, tvs, and this awesome train set. There weren't actually enough kids signed up for everyone to have a buddy, so Natasha and I ended up helping set up for dinner.

We went back to round up the group when we ran into a family with three kids who wanted to join up with us, so Natasha and I got to have buddies! We headed back to dinner and then to "Village Idol," where the kids and their buddies can show off their dancing and singing skills. It was soooo cute and you could tell everyone was having a great time.

I had so much fun and will definitely be signing up for some more volunteering events!

P.S. The next day we ended up running into the family at Hollywood Studios!! Crazy!!
Thursday, February 10, 2011

You Wanna Be On Top?







Yesterday, Kristina and I attended an open call for face character auditions! Neither of us made it, but that's probably a good thing. Kristina would really love to be a performer someday (hopefully as Belle), and I wanted to see what auditions were like, so we headed over to the Animal Kingdom Rehearsal Facility after a day at Epcot.

I know some of you are probably interested in the auditioning process because at some point, you're going to consider what it would be like to a princess or something. I did... briefly. Then I remembered that I don't really like children, acting, or being uncomfortably dressed up. I would much rather be friends with Goofy or something where I could be a little less dressy and a little more... goofy? Sorry, couldn't think of a better word : )

Anyways, here's how the day went: There were two "auditions": one at nine and one at six. Check in begins an hour before auditions start, so we got there around 4:45. There were already about 100 girls in line. Since we'd been walking around a park, we went and changed (which later proved to be unnecessary), and by the time we came out, another 100 had lined up. We ended up being #s 203 and 204 out of 250. Turns out there were another 500 in the morning audition, so out of around 750 girls, only about 30 were pulled to go to the second round. I wish I could tell you more about that part, but I wasn't one of the 30.

So you stand in line, get your height measured (mine was right on target), write your name on the check-in sheet, get a sticker with your number on it, and wait for your group to be called. They take you in groups of 50, so we were the last group to be called. We lined up, were taken down a hallway, and told to go into a room with a large mirror. You stand in lines of ten, they play music, and you smile at the person at the front, who will write down notes about what they see, I guess. Or maybe they're drawing rainbows and unicorns, who knows. Basically you wait for a long time for something that takes less than five minutes... a lot like going on a ride at Disney, haha.

In other news, I have officially earned my ears and taken off my ribbon. Yay!!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Edumacation

So now for the Learning part of "Living, Learning, and Earning!"

For the classes, you register within two weeks of your check-in date at the Education center at Vista Way. There are usually two options of either a morning or afternoon class, but they are all for four hours, and could be on any day of the week (m-f). Mine is 8:30-12:30, which is nice because I'm done early... except for the fact that I am scheduled every week for a pm shift on class days, so my Mondays are quite long.

You take your class in one of the classrooms at either Vista or Patterson, which is totally convenient. Well, it's better than having to trek out to Disney University.

For my class, which is Advanced Studies in Hospitality Management, the majority of our grade comes from a business plan that we work on throughout the course of the program. For the most part, I believe I will enjoy this class a lot.  I'm taking it with one of my roommates and it's a topic that I find very interesting, especially considering I'd like to work in the field of hospitality someday. However, you choose your group on the first day and you are randomly assigned the topic that you will base this major assignment off of. I understand that the course material has to be thoroughly approved by Disney Legal, but I feel like there are a few things that they could improve upon.

I did not create this blog to be a diatribe or a forum for my complaints. I want it to be a document of my experience working in FSFB so that other people interested in this role can understand a little more about it. Because of this, and because the internet can be a nasty place when unleashed, I am not going to go into the personal details of my teacher or any of my classmates.

However I will say one thing about my personal feelings towards the instructor. From what I currently understand of her, I do not believe that she is the most qualified person for the position. She has no experience either teaching or even in the hospitality field. She has been in the position for a number of years, and yet I still felt like she was unsure of herself. I won't say any more than that so that her privacy is respected, however I can't help but be disappointed. When I read other's experiences with their classes, they had teachers from the tops of their fields who had a passion for their subjects as well as for the company. The only reason she gave for taking the position was so that she could have regular hours.

I hope this doesn't discourage anyone from taking the classes! This is just my one experience, and the collegiate classes are much different from the exploration series and professional development series. I'll keep you updated with how the class goes!
Friday, February 4, 2011

Waking Sleeping Beauty

Hey all! Things are still going magically, of course. I'd LIKE to be able to post about how I am done with my training. I'd LIKE to be able to talk about how wonderful it is to not have that pesky ribbon on my nametag. However, after nearly a month of training, I still am not able to do so. Kona Cafe apparently has the most thorough training process on Disney property. While other people have been official non-trainees for weeks, I am still earning those ears. Oooooh well.

This week has been crazy! I've had three coffee bar shifts, which means three 4 am wake up calls and three mornings where I have to leave the house before 5am. Not cool. However, coffee bar is awesome (once I'm awake enough to appreciate it). It is so much fun! I have my own space and am in charge of the little coffee world. And people at Disney, they like their coffee. It takes a lot to deal with children dragging you around the park for twelve hours. Parents, we salute you. Now buy some five dollar coffee. Just kiddles. Wow, I'm sorry. I will never say kiddles again. That was horrible.

I will leave you with this: if you have the opportunity to see the documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty,"  DO IT! It is an amazing film that talks about the revitalization and rebirth of the Animation department of Walt Disney Studios during the 1980's. It shows how the films we grew up with came to be and how those years shaped the company to be what it is now. The Eisner era is really one of the most interesting times in Disney history and I've always loved learning about it. Believe me, you won't regret it!
 

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