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Moving on.

3 Mar

This post isn’t going to be like most of my blog posts on here and actually, it might not have much to do with Disney but I feel like this all needs to be said somewhere. 

Growing up is always a difficult thing – more responsibilities, more bills, and unfortunately, more loss. When I say loss, I don’t want you to think about everyone around you dying because of old age, I mean loss as in losing things that once had a high value and/or importance in your life. 

One such casualty of growing up is losing a friendship that you expected to last forever. I’ve recently been experiencing this type of loss over the past few days and as much as I say I’m fine with it – part of me is still hurt and confused over why. 

I can’t give too many details away but this person that cut themselves out of my life entirely was one of my anchors throughout college and my transition into becoming a cast member. They would keep me grounded when I’d let my dreams or fears get the best of me, they would lend a sympathetic ear to my troubles, and most of all, they had my complete trust. I was utterly smitten with them for almost 4 years – even when the times were rough. This person and I may have been more than friends at some point but before and after, I still considered them to be my best friend. 

Why wouldn’t they be after we shared so much history: Movie nights, late night drives with a new mix cd, chats about life, adventures around town, navigating the Greek system, and even graduating together – just to name a few things.

I guess I knew all along that matters of the heart make friendships messy and complicated but I never expected it to happen to me. I guess I sensed it coming when our conversations seemed to grow shorter and shorter or when the disclosure levels weren’t matching up. I guess I was a fool for not realizing it sooner. I guess I thought you meant it when you agreed to staying friends. 

I’d be lying if I said I’m not hurt, I’d be lying if I said I’m not confused but I know I’m not lying when I say this will make me stronger. While I most likely will never get the chance to say this to their face – I wish them complete happiness in life, I wish them the best of luck. I also wish that they could have told me how they felt about everything rather than cutting me out the way that they did. 

But, like the seasons change and flow from one to the next – I know that I’m going to move on. I’m going to count my blessings. I’m going to gain so much more now that I’ve cut free from that anchor. I’m going to sail into new and uncharted territory with my sails blowing in the wind – filled with freedom, dreams, and new friendships that inspire me. 

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WELCOME HOME!

30 Oct

In my last post, I shared my excitement in moving from the parks to the resorts.

I can definitely not only say that this change has been an adventure but I’ve even encountered more instances of what it means to join a new family of cast members. From the very first day of training for my new role at DU (Disney University), I found the first set of my additions to my new Cast family. Out of our class of about 16, 4 of us were heading to the same resort! 

We all were training in our resort location around the same time so of course we became fast friends. I feel that even if we hadn’t all had classes together, I still would have had an amazing experience transitioning from the Parks to the Resorts that I now call home. Since I’m working in the Disney Vacation Club resorts, they are big on the concept of Family. In fact, on my very first day on location – I couldn’t count the amount of times I was told, “welcome home!” or even, “welcome to the family!”

They genuinely meant it too. 

I know that I have previously talked about my guest interactions from my time in the parks and honestly, I think that it’s amazing how many more stories I have to share now after just working in the resorts for just about two weeks on my own. In my experience there are guests who want to spread a little bit of pixie dust just as much as a cast member does – which can definitely make a day better. There have been at least 5 interactions that I’ve had with guests this week that remind me why I love my job and why I’m still here… and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting one of them to almost make me cry. 

While I was in training for my new role, my parents came into town to visit and we got the chance stay at Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I think it was an amazing experience to stay here as well – our room had a balcony over looking the Savannah! I don’t think I can count how many pictures I took of the animals that I got to see outside of my room everyday. The resort had recently switched over to the Magic Bands.

Getting used to the Magic Band was weird at first – particularly because I don’t normally wear a watch or bracelets so I wasn’t used to having something there. After the first few minutes of having it on, I forgot I was even wearing it. Over all, I’m really excited about this transition because it really does make it easier to keep track of everything since the Magic Band can act as your room key, fast passes, park admission…. it can even be used to charge back to the room and access a Disney Dining Plan. While my parents and I had to trouble with the technical aspects of the Magic Bands, we did notice that some of the touch points can be a little awkward to interact with. We actually found that rotating our Magic Band to the underside of our wrist helped occasionally with some of the touch points we encountered, but over all, we enjoyed them. 

During their stay, we also got the chance to try some new restaurants on property. Whenever my family visits we have our favorites that we love to visit – Olivia’s, Kona, Kouzzina, etc. This visit however we visited The Turf Club and Sanaa for the first time. Both of them were wonderful! I enjoyed the Indian Bread Service at Sanaa where I got to try naan bread with various toppings and I enjoyed the steak with a lobster fondue at The Turf Club – both were excellent and I can’t wait to visit these locations again. 

I have to get back to my laundry and errands for the day but hopefully I can update again soon. :] 

Adventure.

19 Sep

That is one word that can be found splashed all over this blog, from my URL to  various posts of mine, but what does the word adventure mean exactly?

adventure

 

According to Google, the above image is what the word adventure means. Unusual, Exciting, Hazardous, Risk, and Exploration are all words that accompany this definition. To be completely honest – all of those words can be applied to so many things and events during my adventures here in Florida and they can most definitely be applied to my future here as well.

I have so many exciting things coming up soon that I can barely contain how happy I am. I’ll be staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge with my family in October, I’ll be playing with the Magic Bands during that visit as well. We have plans to eat at some of our favorite restaurants, take in a Halloween party [if you’ve read my blog during my CP, you know just how much I love MNSSHP!], and possibly spend a day relaxing at one of the water parks. In addition to that – I am excited for my newest adventure into the world of Resorts. Ever since I started with the company I’ve been statused in a Park and as of September 29th, I’ll be making the change to being a statused Cast Member in a Resort. I can’t wait to see where this new opportunity takes me!

I’m back!

28 Aug

My roommate and I finally got Wi-fi!

That is quite a victory for both of us since we had trouble finding things to do around our apartment day in and day out with no internet or cable. I should also mention that it’s also a huge victory considering the installation took about 3 hours – our cable guy was having issues finding our main hook up.

While wi-fi is exciting, that isn’t why I decided to check in today! As I mentioned in my last post – I’m part of the team that is opening Fountain View in Epcot as quick service food and beverage location that features Starbucks products. The entire opening team has been having a great time getting used to our new location, our new coworkers, and our new products, in fact, we have had about 3 test meals so far.  Test meals are kind of like a soft opening so we have a chance to see how things work with guests whether it’s good or bad.

In my personal experience, I think that our test meals have been going really well – it has been great having the chance to interact with guests since we’ve only been interacting with the other opening team cast members for about a week and a half.  I’m incredibly excited for our opening day which is rapidly approaching! Who knew that September could feel so close and so far away at the same time? : )

Even with all of the excitement going on with my new role, I’ve been reflecting upon my previous work locations. I don’t think I can ever express my feelings about my previous locations in simple words or phrases because how can you describe something that has had such an impact on your life and who you are as a cast member and person in a few trivial words? There are days where I wake up and wish that I could be putting on my green shorts and my white top with all the colorful embroidery and fly off to Neverland with my Fantasyland family or that I could be putting on my baseball uniform and heading off to the Corner to make hot dogs with my MSN CP family.

If you notice, I use the term ‘family’ quite often to describe the other cast members that I work with because to me, that’s exactly what each and every one of them is. Working for Disney is something that not everyone can comprehend because while it is a job, it isn’t your typical job… it isn’t even your typical ‘amusement park’ job. There is always something going on at Disney – We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I understand that not every theme park is open for that amount of time but the entire resort has cast members who are working throughout the day and night to create pixie dust and magical memories for our guests. Not everyone can understand what its like to work the hours from 5 pm to 3 am running an attraction, not everyone can understand what its like to constantly be answering the same questions over and over again in a 5 minute period, and not everyone knows what its like to keep magic alive through creative storytelling. I think that I can create these deep family-like connections with my coworkers because they understand what my days at work are like, they see me on my good and not-so-good days, and most importantly, they know how to to cheer me up or keep me on track. When you spend almost a year in a location – you get to know your fellow cast members really well so it makes it that much harder to say goodbye and then you move on to a new location where you have to work on building those connections back up.

I love the fact that my new coworkers are practically like family already because we’ve already been through so much together but I can’t lie and say that I don’t miss my old coworkers. As a lot of us in my new location have said – you may not miss the job or the location in itself, but you will always miss the people.  I’m still in that stage where I miss the people I spent almost every day at work with quite a bit.

With that being said – here’s to the fabulous cast members whom I have had the honor and pleasure of working with previously, I miss you all and I can’t wait to visit you!

Helloooo there!

4 Aug

After being silent on here for almost a year, I decided that it would be fun to start blogging again. I think that this decision to blog again has to do with the fact that I want to share my memories and stories of everything that I’ve done in Florida – even if no one other than myself reads this, it’s nice to have a record of them. 

Since I’ve been gone for sometime I should probably re-introduce myself – just on the off chance that anyone is reading….

Hello, I’m Caitlin! I’m currently a full time cast member – in fact, my 1 year anniversary with the Walt Disney Company is tomorrow. I originally started this blog as a way to keep track of my memories and experiences as a Disney College Program participant. While on my program – I was a quick service food and beverage hostess in the Magic Kingdom and I enjoyed my program so much that I extended twice just so I could experience more of what the company had to offer.  

After I couldn’t extend anymore I received a full time transfer to Fantasyland Attractions where I had the chance to fly off to Neverland with a boy who didn’t want to grow up, sail around the world on the happiest cruise that ever sailed, and swim under the sea with a mermaid who had quite a collection of human stuff.

That leads me to where I am now –  I’m back to being a quick service food and beverage hostess but I’ve not only left the turn of the century and the land of fantasy but I’ve also left the wonderful kingdom that I started in. I’m currently off discovering what the future might be like in the park that most resembles Walt’s idea of an experimental prototype community of tomorrow. In fact, my current transfer has allowed me to join an opening team which is incredibly exciting. I know Disney’s decision to partner with Starbucks has had some mixed reviews among Disney bloggers and guests alike but after seeing how the heart of the turn of the century and Main Street USA is still a huge part in the re-opening of the Main Street Bakery as a Starbucks location, I’m sure most of Disney fans and guests feel better about the merge. 

I’m not only excited but incredibly proud to be part of the team that will be bringing Starbucks to Epcot – the entire training experience so far has been filled with new challenges [like steaming milk!] and bonding moments with my fellow opening team cast members. While I mentioned that it’s been a challenging training process, I love the challenges that I’ve been given and I love the happiness that comes when I accomplish them.

For example, I mentioned that steaming milk was a challenge – I’ve never had any sort of barista/coffee shop training before in my life so I had to get used to what sounds I needed to hear while steaming my milk in order to create a great latte or cappuccino. Part of the reason that I’m listing this as a challenge is because during my first few days of training I had to pour out my fair share of milk because I steamed it incorrectly or I steamed the milk too long for the style of drink I was making. My trainers patiently watched and explained what mistakes I was making and helped me work to fix them. While in training lab my cappuccinos were heavier than they were supposed to be and my lattes never had a perfect dollop of foam – I couldn’t seem to figure it out.  Yesterday during a day of training in an environment with guests, I somehow managed to not just make one light and fluffy, almost perfect cappuccino and one latte with the ideal dollop foam but I consistently was able to make these drinks while I was on the hot bar.

I know that I still have many more challenges ahead of me as my location hasn’t even opened yet, but for now I’m going to count my cappuccino and latte experiences from  yesterday as a victory to celebrate for now before I have to face my next big challenge. 

Anyway – I feel like I probably have talked more than I needed to today, hopefully I’ll find time and some more free wi-fi so I can update sooner rather than later. :]

It has been a little over 2 months…

30 Oct

Since I last posted some of my Adventures. 

I’m still having Adventures down here in Florida, which is currently experiencing some cool temperatures. By cool, I mean it’s in the 60’s. :] After I left the CP on August 3rd, I started my new role as a full time attractions hostess on August 5th in the wonderful land of Fantasy. I sail on the Happiest Cruise that ever sailed and I also fly off to Neverland with Peter on a day to day basis which can be exciting and awesome, or it can have it’s fair share of days where the magic just isn’t there. I moved in to a lovely house with some really awesome roommates – Yes, we have our moments when we don’t get along but they’re definitely a huge part of my Florida family and I love them. 

Basically, I can’t really complain about too many things about my life currently but I am trying to determine what my next step will be down here in Florida. Do I want to try out the resorts? Do I want to move to a different park? Do I want to go into Merchandise, back to foods, or try another role completely? Who knows at this point but for now, I know I have time to decide. :] 

Less than a month left…

10 Jul

It’s so weird to think that I’ve been a CP for almost a year now and I’m finally getting to that point where I have less than a month left. I don’t think that I can accurately describe all of the feelings I’m having at the moment from happiness, to fear, to anxiety, to relief and about 500 more feelings in between.

I have so much more to say but right now I need to head out and catch a bus to work…