Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh Boy


Whenever you go someplace new or you find yourself in uncharted territories, you try to cling to something familiar. This becomes especially true during the holidays. Everybody has their own set of traditions that makes their particular celebrations unique…….special…..magical. My family, for instance, gets so into Christmas that we could write encyclopedias of “How-to-Holidays.” Every year we sit together and assemble our twelve foot tall artificial Christmas tree. One of my older sisters and my mother then proceeds to stream the balconies in the family room with garland, berries, and lights while the rest of us start to decorate the tree. Once all of that is complete, Christmas is officially underway and we all try to find things to do.

My brother and I attempt to light the outside of the house without blowing a fuse (we are 0-7, but we’ll get I tone day), my sisters put up wreaths and accents and what not, and my mom makes different holiday cookies making our house smell like a bakery. From there we all enjoy the season. We play games, watch the various Christmas specials (CSI:NY’s was particularly nice this year), and we enjoy not really having anything to do. Then on Christmas Eve we all sit together and watch what is arguably the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Any guesses? No, it’s not Miracle on 34th street or It’s a Wonderful Life. No, it’s not the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause. Fine I’ll tell you already. The greatest Christmas movie of all time is……

A Muppet Christmas Carol.

That’s right, every year we sit together and watch as Gonzo the Great….er….I mean Charles Dickens and his rat friend follow Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge on his story of redemption. It is as funny and witty as it is heartwarming. It really is the greatest Christmas movie of all time (sorry Bill Murray’s Scrooged, it’s just not at it’s level). And from there, we enjoy a good night sleep. When Christmas morning comes, we open presents and enjoy both a great Breakfast and later a great Dinner. Now there is a point to me sharing all this. You see, while on your program you are going to miss out on Holidays with you family, whether it’s Easter and 4th of July for Spring Advantage or Christmas and Thanksgiving for Fall advantage. And that’s a real shame, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

You see, just about everybody else in the program is in the same boat as you. Sure, some people will be able to give away enough shifts around a holiday to go home and celebrate with family but I don’t recommend this because A)It’s a neat experience to work on a major holiday because all the guests seem to be in a better mood than usual (if that’s possible) and B)You are ditching you D-Fam at a time when they don’t have family there also. No. It is important that you all stay and find ways to incorporate (even if it’s just the smallest thing)some of your holiday traditions and to make it a special and unique holiday. My apartment didn’t go all out and get a tree or lights or anything but we did hang what little seasonal items we had and made our apartment look festive during this time. And you know what I did Christmas Eve? That’s right, I rented Muppet’s Christmas Carol from the learning center and put it on for the roommates that were at the apartment. The next day, the chefs made some food and we all just had a great time.

Now to conclude, I know many of you are doing Spring and Spring Advantage and you may not see how this applies to your programs but I say this. Consider the message provided during Disney’s current promotion, “What Will you Celebrate?” In everything you do, Celebrate you. This means, there is always a reason to show off traditions, have a party (or small gathering), and enjoy yourselves because it all comes down to one thing……you are at Disney with fellow Disney enthusiasts (not to be confused with the ever popular Gnome enthusiasts). If you’re there for the summer, celebrate a Christmas in July. I don’t know. That’s all I have to say on this December 18th at 8:22 in in the morning. Have a great holidays and as always…..

Have a Zip-A-dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!!

If you guys haven't picked up on the hint yet, go out to your local DVD store and pick up a Muppet's Christmas Carol.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Interrupt This Broadcast to Say.....

Little more than a week ago I started my Yes…We’re Related week, then put out two posts, and then disappeared. During that time I went into commando mode to get all of our house’s Christmas decorations up, go Christmas shopping, and get the house ready for my sisters’ arrivals from across the country. Needless to say, I didn’t get any posts out. And I have missed putting them out because I feel out of touch right now. But now that the dust has settled, I am returning with a bang. From now until January 1st, I am hoping to post at least one blog a day. I have written a couple of great articles for the coming weeks. They will be a fusion of family and holiday posts because the two really go hand in hand. I have a DVD review coming up, holidays at the hotels, holidays at the park, and so much more. All of this starts tonight so look forward to it. Also, Sunday, I am getting back to the Best Attraction at Disney World with Round 1 of both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks as I hope you guys are as well. Have a Happy Holidays and as always……

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bigger the Better

Pizza Planet....but is it worth the line?

It feels great to be an only child at Disney World. You get to choose what you want to do when you want to do it. You want to go on Space Mountain now? Go for it. Dinner for you and you parents at San Angel Inn? Make the reservations. That’s right, I love nothing more than being…um….umm…..okay, who am I kidding? I am not, nor have I ever been an only child. In fact the only things I know about being an only child, come from interpreting cave paintings and legends passed down through out the tribe. No, I am one of five. So when we all go to Disney World it really becomes a challenge to involve everybody in one thing, especially since with the parents we are a total of seven people. That means we can’t all fit in one Test Track picture and coming to a decision of what to do next becomes a battle to rival even the Greatest World War II battle. But you know what……I wouldn’t have It any other way. So today, I bring you my list of top three (or so) attractions for those with a larger family at Disney. Enjoy!

3. Great Movie Ride and Universe of Energy- These two rides make the list simply for row capacity. Depending on how….what’s the word I’m looking for….”ambitious,” we’re going with ambitious. Depending on how ambitious your vehicle loader on the Great Movie Ride is, each row can fit anywhere from 5-10 people (you get so close to each other that the stranger next can technically no longer be called a stranger afterwards). As for Universe of Energy, I can’t even fathom the capacity of those Coliseum sized rows because how often are any of them ever full. Even though I don’t know row size, think of this, “Each show has a maximum capacity of 500 people.”

2. Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, and Dinosaur- I know what you’re thinking, “Whoa! What kind of an answer is that? You have three rides there. Count them, three. One-two-three. It’s bad enough your last answer had two selections. You’re a cheater cheater pumpkin eater.” Well I say trust Columbus that we won’t fall of the edge of the earth. Consider what these rides all have in common. If the answer that you came up with is “They all have the letter ‘O’ in them” then you are right. Not the attribute that I was trying to get at but right none the less. No, the feature that these three rides have is that they are the only three rides at Disney World that are capable of producing a ride picture for a family of 7+. In fact, Tower of Terror takes a picture of 21 people, Splash Mountain is capable of anywhere from 8-12 (depending on how many people you fit in a row), and Dinosaur has a capacity of 12. So think about that next time you guys want to buy the picture.

1. Kali River Rapids- One of the greatest things about being at Disney World with your family is the bonding. You all enjoy each other’s presence (or at least tolerate it) and it’s a great experience for everybody. But there is one ride at Disney that dares to threaten this family truce and pits everybody against each other. That ride is Kali River Rapids. What starts off with twelve members of your family enjoying a peaceful ride through an Asian jungle, quickly turns into the world’s biggest game of Russian roulette. As soon as you hit the clearing with the burning trees, you are doing everything within your extremely limited power to ensure that anybody’s side of the raft goes down the falls backwards…..except for yours. Fear turns to pandemonium turns to angry screaming of “lean that way” so that it is good ol’ Uncle Al and Auntie Ann that are met with a fifteen foot tall wall of water instead of you. Have fun!

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Time


Today's is going to be a short post as I am preparing for my economic fianl tomorrow. This week, as all but two of my classes are over, I will be returning to my five posts a week schedule so I am excited about that. Using my scientific tie-breaking techniques, this will be Yes....We're Related Week where I will be focusing on family and Disney World (because you can't really enjoy one without the other). This will include the best things to do, facts to impress your siblings, your Disney family, featured College Program blog of the week, and much much more.

This week will be an off week for the "Best Attraction at Disney World" competition as I figure out how I want to set up Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. I do however have the results of the final preliminary round for Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. The following six rides will represent their respective parks in the final tournament. I was surprised by some of the results from this past week but that's a good thing because it shows the great diversity amongst Disney fans (R.I.P. Journey into Imagination, maybe next time). So here we go:

Magic Kingdom

1 Space Mountain
2 Haunted Mansion
3 Spalsh Mountain

1 Spaceship Earth
2 Universe of Energy
3 Test Track

So stay tuned, because we are going to have a great week ahead of us.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Classes Part 1....I Know, Finally!

Am I a Dinsaur or an Ice Cream stand.....or Both?

I know I haven’t been following my normal posting schedule but that is because I am in the middle of finals and as we all know, you can’t get a good job at Disney if you don’t graduate so yeah… Today, I am finally (I know finally) going to start what will be a two part “Starter Kit” for the classes. In the next two blog posts, I will try to give you everything you need to know about taking classes at the Disney College Program. Now just keep in mind that I obviously couldn’t have taken every class offered so a lot of the information that I will provide comes from a combination of my experience, different websites and message boards, and friends that also took classes. Today I am going to explain the three types of classes you can take. Enjoy!

Welcome to your Disney College Program Classes Starter Kit: Part 1. This is everything you need to know about the classes provided while on your program. Let’s begin.

First it is important to understand that all the classes provided by Disney on the College Program fall into three separate categories. Each category provides a completely different and unique learning experience. They are:

Professional Development Courses- Although there are only four classes in this category, these classes are a lot more major specific. The majors that the different classes look at are Entertainment, Finance, Security, and Engineering. In these courses, the teachers explain you’re the majors as they apply to jobs at the Walt Disney World Resort (i.e Ride Engineering and Disney Security).

Recommended Course- I didn’t take any of these but I have to say that getting a new look at the Disney rides seems really cool. And for those of you into Entertainment, it seems as though having an in depth look at the shows would be pretty fascinating.

Collegiate Courses- There are eight of these courses provided and they will be the closest to a normal college course (book or text book, essay writing, tests, etc.). Now although you may not think these classes to be the most interesting sounding or you don’t want a class that is so work heavy, keep in mind that these are the classes that would be best to help your in future career.

Recommended Course: Marketing You- Learn how to make a strong resume, present yourself well to employers, and network effectively

Exploratory Classes- I wish that I had known more about these classes when I did my program because, personally, these classes sound AWESOME. There are five different classes in this set that range from exploring Leadership to Marketing and even Guest Service at the Disney World resort. These classes promise interactive learning experiences taught by many of the experts that Disney has in their various fields. There are no test or quizzes in these classes.

Recommended Class- I have to say that the “Exploring Guest Service at Walt Disney World” class sounds like an amazing opportunity considering the fact that Guest Service is really the cornerstone of the Walt Disney Company.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day D-Fam!!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Prayer.....sort of


We had our Send Off party today which was a smashing success. We had a Q&A, We played Disney World Trivia, and we just had an all around good time.

Today I have a prayer that you can say while on you College Program. Just remember, this is all in good fun and I hope you guys enjoy it.

Heavenly father, at this time of the year it is important that we reflect on the blessings we have been, well, blessed with.

Firstly, we thank you for our acceptance letter because if we didn’t get one we would have to be at school this semester or worse…..working at (fill in the blank).

We thank you for the amazing Disney ID that gets us into the park because otherwise we might have to spend our time playing Monopoly or Mouse Trap and dare I say it… with each other *SHUDDERS*.

We thank you for the roommate with the car because without them, we might have to wait for the bus like everybody else. And for those who don’t have a roommate with a car, we thank you for American Coach because well… beats hitch hiking to work everyday.

We thank you for the Disney look because although it prevents us from having hair with three shades of green or tattoos like a prison inmate, it does mean that Disney will continue to do our costume laundry for us.

We thank you lord for the free Guest passes and their ability to make old acquaintances suddenly reappear (“Hey, how’s it going? Remember me? I hear you are working at Disney World now. Oh yeah, I’m going to be in Orlando next week. Do you want to meet at the Magic Kingdom? Wait, shoot I don’t have any money. Do you want to get me into the park? Thanks…umm..umm….You.).

We thank you for having a Chef for a roommate because although the extent of our cooking skills end at Top Ramen and Easy Mac, you can always mooch a good meal from these fine people.

We thank you for Dole Whip Floats. (What? I don’t have anything else to say about that. They’re amazing.)

We thank you for Cast Member lingo because well it’s fun using it with those who don’t know it. (I was enjoying My Weekend at MK riding the HM when one of the AA’s caused a 904 and a CP CM had to 103 it. TRANSLATION: I was enjoying my Tuesday off at the Magic Kingdom riding the Haunted Mansion when one of the Audio Animatronics caused a fire and a College Program Cast Member had to shut down the attraction. Yes indeed!)

Finally, we thank you for our fellow workplace Cast Members, without whom we couldn’t give away the sixteen hour shift that we should be at right now. And we pray that they take our thirteen hour shift next week as well.

For these blessings, as well as those we did not mention, we say thank you.


This is a pretty entertaining video that I found when I first did my College Program. Enjoy!

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Festivus for the Restivus!



But I’m back!

I still plan on doing the post about the classes this week and what we are thankful for in the College Program and Disney World in general. So for this week once again there will be no theme, however……you guys will be voting for next week’s theme so have fun with that. This month I want to do a week devoted to Christmas (or the holidays), I want to do a week focusing on the final days leading up to your arrival in Orlando because let's face's almost that time, and finally, I want to do a family week discussing tips for when they come down (or up) and family in general because it is just that time of the year. So I think we have three good ones to choose from. And speaking of voting…..

Today we see the final preliminary matches for both EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom. Pirates of the Caribbean returns this week against the Haunted Mansion in this week’s Magic Kingdom featured match. EPCOT’s featured match pits the two thrill rides at EPCOT. By luck of the draw, Splash Mountain and Spaceship Earth both earn a BYE for the week and with that they will be a part of the final twelve tournament.


It’s a Small World vs. Space Mountain
Haunted Mansion vs. Pirates of the Caribbean
Mission Space vs. Test Track
Journey into your Imagination vs. Universe of Energy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

At Home, No Picture Album

No blog post yesterday because I had class all day and then I drove home for the thanksgiving weekend.

Now although I write this post with the Fall and Fall Advantage participants in mind, I think it can also apply to those of you in the Spring and Spring Advantage programs for a holiday like Easter. Enjoy!

As we prepare for tomorrow’s feast, I can’t help but think back to my Thanksgiving dinner while on the college program where my roommates and I enjoyed a great meal and had a chance to gather together for the first time in a long time. There’s something unique about Thanksgiving that really lends it to the lifestyle of the College Program more than any other Holiday. I think it’s the sheer simplicity of it. During Halloween you have to worry about jack-o-lanterns and costumes. For Christmas, it doesn’t feel right unless there’s a tree of some sort, some lights strung here and there, and ol’ Bing Crosby crooning about that White Christmas just like the one he used to know. But the only things you need for that perfect Thanksgiving is some decent food and some good people. So here are some of my tips to a great Thanksgiving at Vista or Chatham or where ever you may live.

-Meat but not a Turkey. I know that a lot of you are thinking to yourselves, “Boy you must be out of your mind. I always have turkey on Thanksgiving and this year is no different.” And that’s fine but there are some things you should consider. First of all, no matter the size of the turkey, I guarantee it’ll need more room than you have in your freezer. Secondly, turkeys can wind up costing you a pretty penny and let’s face it, that’s money you probably just don’t have (especially with Christmas coming up). And third, unless you plan on buying one pre cooked (again a pricey option), you are going to invest time in the kitchen that could be better spent in the parks if it’s your day off and if it’s not your day off then chances are you won’t have the time to make the turkey. No, I suggest going with some kind of roast (I prefer pork roast). You can pick up I good sized roast that will feed close to eight people at WallMart for about $13-$18. You can look up a good rub online (which can be as simple as some brown sugar, salt, and Italian seasoning) and just throw the thing into the oven for as little time as an hour and half.

-Simple Sides and a Desert. Don’t worry about emulating that seven course meal your mom, grandma, and just about every other maternal figure in your life seems to cook up at Thanksgiving time. Choose maybe two sides and a veggie and remember instant is your friend. You can make instant mashed potatoes in about ten minutes (too plain, add some herbs and make it your own). For a second item I suggest picking up about two packages of Hawaiian rolls because they taste amazing and they heat up real fast. Throw a bag of frozen corn into the microwave and you are in business. For desert, all you have to do is pick up one of the pecan pies (I prefer pecan over pumpkin) from the bakery for a couple of dollars. There you go, instant Thanksgiving meal.

-Potluck. This is a second option if you don’t feel like preparing all the stuff on your own. Set up a potluck dinner for Thanksgiving evening so that as many people can come as possible and just tell those who want to come to bring a dish. In the end, Thanksgiving comes down to having a great time with those you call your friends and family and if you can pull off a potluck with about 10-20 people, I think it could prove to be one of those moments that sticks with you for a while (at least until Christmas when you host the twenty thousand dollar blow out party).

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A New Week. A New Set of Possibilities!


I can’t express in words how good I feel right now people. I’m pulling an A in History of Civilization, I got an extra post out on Saturday because inspiration struck me so hard that it’s going to leave a bruise, and I’m feeling optimistic about this week. This week, if it’s any surprise to my fellow American friends, is Give Thanks Week. We are going to talk about the classes offered during the College Program because we are thankful that we aren’t taking classes at our own college. We are going to talk about a great way to spend Thanksgiving for those of you doing the Fall and Fall Advantage 2010 program. I’m going to have a top ten list of things we are thankful for at the Walt Disney World Resort. And as always, there are going to be some surprises thrown here and there. Today we also have Round 2 of Magic Kingdom and Round 1 of EPCOT for the “Best Ride at Disney World” contest. And last but by no means least I have a video that I want each and everyone of you to watch. Seriously, if there is one link that I ever post on my blog that you must click on it’s this one. It’s a video I found on the web a little while ago made by a Disney World fan that ties in with this week’s theme and answers the question, “What makes Disney so special. So let’s have a great week my because although I haven’t met a single one of you guys, I’m thankful this Thanksgiving for my Disney Family. God Bless!

The link to the video, watch it and add it to your favorite pages!

At the end of Magic Kingdom: Round 1 we have nine rides remaining which means eight rides will battle it out this week and one ride will get a BYE until Round 3. Because it won with 100% of the vote, Pirates of the Caribbean takes the BYE for this week. Now because there are only four matches in the Magic Kingdom, I’m going to start EPCOT: Round 1 today as well. The featured matches of the week include a clash of two Disney Mountains and a battle between two of EPCOT’s powerhouse E-Ticket attractions. Happy voting!

Magic Kingdom: Round 2
Mad Tea Party vs. It’s a Small World
Peter Pan’s Flight vs. Splash Mountain
Haunted Mansion vs. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

EPCOT: Round 1
Spaceship Earth vs. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
La Gran Fiesta Tour vs. Universe of Energy
Journey into Your Imagination vs. Maelstrom
Mission Space vs. Living with the Land

Featured Matches
Space Mountain vs. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Test Track vs. Soarin

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Extra Weekend Post

My room at Vista Way on move out day!

I know it's not a weekday but I was sitting at my desk looking at some of the Roommate surveys and I decided to write this. If you come by a survey that looks like this, it should probably raise a few red flags in your mind. It's all for fun so Enjoy the "Suspicious roommate survey"!

1. Name?

2. Age?

3. Where are you from?

4. Which Program are you doing?

5. Role?

6. Can you cheat a polygraph machine while under pressure?

7. What’s your favorite Disney park?

8. I enjoy music A LOT (LOL) and I think music sounds the best if played at full volume through quality speakers at four in the morning. What’s your favorite type of music?

9. I love sports. My favorite sport is running. If you saw me running away from an apartment building with a TV in my hands, would you help me?

10. Do you mind if I spontaneously redecorate the room from time to time so when you come home from a sixteen hour shift at 3 in the morning you are completely disoriented?

11. I’m going to have a lot of friends over all the time so that it feels like you have fifteen roommates and not seven, is that okay with you?

12. I don’t know how to cook but I’m going to teach myself through trial and error. Do you own a cell phone that we can use when we need to call the fire department?

13. Who’s your favorite Disney Character?

14. I don’t actually like Disney or Disney World, I just needed an excuse to get away from college for a while. You cool with that?

15. The cops, NSA, CIA, and other various government task forces might come knocking on the door asking if a “Senor (Senorita) Jones” lives there. So are you cool with not sleeping through a complete night? Are you cool with lying to government agency (It’s only a little white lie and the most they can get you with is a minor felony)?

16. What’s your favorite Disney movie?

WOW! I think we are going to make great roomies. Until then, have a Magical day!

I also thought to myself, "Gosh, the surveys that are out there don't really relect what a guy would ask if he were looking for a roommate." So I have written the complete male roommate survey. Enjoy!

1. Name:
2. Over or Under 21:
3. Are You Brining the TV:
Cool Bro

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Food for Thought


LEGOS + Disney =

It’s important to understand your grocery options while you are on the college program because unless you are planning to blow every cent you make on fast food, you are going to have to have a well stocked kitchen. Now when you get there, there will be three places you can pick these up.
- You can get there via a special bus that leaves on the hour (or half hour) from the living complexes
- The they have a great grocery section and since it’s Walmart, you can pick up any other miscellaneous items you may need (Cleaning supplies, Clothes, Electronics)
-Conveniently open 24 hours
-Some of the most reasonable prices you will find

-The bus that goes to Walmart makes a stop at Publix first. You can also walk there from Chatham and Patterson
-It is the major chain grocery store in Florida and so you will find just about any food item you would need. It also has a great deli and a great bakery.
-Store hours: 7-10
-The prices are moderate but they do tend to have a lot of “buy one get one free” sales that makes it a great option

-There is one within walking distance of Vista Way and another one within walking distance of Chatham and Patterson (next to Publix)
-It doesn’t have a great selection (2-3 aisles of food) and you should only go there for last second items
-It is conveniently open 24 hours a day which does make it pretty convenient if you worked a late shift
-Very expensive for moderate quality items (again, last resort)

Something else to consider is that all the resorts have a store with a little mart in them. Now although this may not seem like a feasible option at first, keep in mind that you do get a cast discount at these store that make the prices look pretty good. This can be a convenient option for those of you that are marking at one of the hotels or one of the parks that have a resort within walking distance. I personally favored the market on the concourse level of the Contemporary resort and store on the corner of the Boardwalk next to the Bicycle rentals.

It seems in life that the only thing we as people want are answers. But the fact of the matter is, the questions that we ask are far more important. For example what if someone tells you that the answer is “7” and that’s it. Well it means nothing unless you know why you were looking for the number seven. Maybe you wanted to know “What is the square root of 49?” or “How many Harry Potter books were written?” or even “What was the name of the movie Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman made together back in 1995?” My point is this; you guys have decided to partake in the Disney College Program because you have figured out already that the answer you are looking for is in fact the “Disney College Program,” but what is the question you were asking in the first place. Was it “I want to work in Disney so how do I get my foot in the door?” or was it “I need a break from college so what is my best option?” So when you have a moment, just take a little time to think about it and try to figure out the one question that answers why the Disney College Program.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Life Just Flashed Before My Eyes


Hello my Disney Family. Today I came across this video and I really think it conveys the meaning EPCOT’s World Showcase… just enjoy it already.

I friend recently asked me what the scariest moment of my College Program was. Was it my first day of work? Was it riding Tower of Terror for the first time (I’ve never been a fan of heights but my fellow Cp’s pressured me into riding it for the first time thus officially marking the moment I had finally ridden every ride at WDW)? Was it experiencing my first angry guest? And I had to tell him no. The scariest moment of my whole program actually came two days before my program had ended… the Magic Kingdom. For those of you doing the math at home let me make it easy for you, I was in the dead center of Main Street on New Year’s Eve minutes before midnight. I was watching the New Year’s countdown and fireworks display on Main Street which was an absolutely amazing experience. They had big fireworks, fireworks that formed shapes, and even fireworks that 360ed around the park. It was an awe inspiring presentation that only Disney could put on and I was enjoying it with close to 70,000 of my closest friends.

Then all of a sudden the show was over and the crowd started moving towards the Monorail and the Ferry. I however made the mistake of thinking that I was headed in the opposite direction to Liberty Square and my way home. It is at this point in the game that I believe I have the right to coin the word “Mufasa-ed” because I’m fairly certain that is the only word to described what occurred for the next ten minutes. Like the pack of wildebeests that descended upon James Earl Jones in lion form, the guests devoured me and it seemed the like the more I tried to move towards that sparkling castle, the farther away I got. And just before I thought it was never going to end and I would be forced to walk home from the Contemporary, it was over. I looked around and all I could was a Main Street covered in plastic New Year’s hats (given out at the entrance) and a handful of janitors preparing to pick up said hats. After I caught my breath, gathered my bearings, and assured myself that I still had all of my body parts, I made a promise to myself that in the future I’m going to watch all firework shows from the Tomorrowland Noodle Terrace. And that lead me to two pieces of advice to commit to memory for your College Program:

1. The Tomorrowland Noodle Terrace is the best non-crowded place to watch the fireworks if you want to see the castle. If you don’t need to see the castle during the show then I suggest standing at that large area of Tomorrowland between the Carousel of Progress and Space Mountain because there’s rarely anybody over there and the view is great

2. Never try to go against the flow of a massive crowd of guests unless you have a death wish (or you can do the snake move pretty well). Instead…..remember that chances are, any set of stores you encounter are all connected (i.e. The Emporium) and it is better to break off from the crowd at one of the edges and just cut through the stores.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yes......That's a VMK picture


Fly Me to the Moon
Let me sing among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter or Mars
-Bart Howard

Today I just want to talk about an revelation I made when thinking about my previous College Program and now.

Believe it or not, I didn’t realize just how big of an online community there was of CPers and future CPers when I did my College Program. My connection to those who were going to share the same experience that I was for the next seven months was limited to a single message board. But now, as I look to embark on the journey yet again, I look around and it seems as though everybody has a blog or vlog and everybody’s a part of at least twenty message boards dedicated to the experience. They (and when I mean they, I am obviously also referring to you guys) are doing things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing like roommate notifications and meeting everybody months before your program begins so that when you guys actually do meet for the first time, it feels like you guys have known each other forever.

I remember, the only thing I knew about my roommate was that he was going to be a guy ( and I only assumed that because I am a guy and it only made sense) and those few people that I met during the orientation were the limit of the people that I knew. And I’m not saying that what I did was a bad thing or detrimental to my experience because I didn’t connect with people before I started. I’m just saying that I am really impressed with the connections that the Cpers are making now. In a small way, it reminds me of the part in Spaceship Earth (before the recent rehab) where you are going down backwards and you see the people chatting amongst one another, sharing their good news, and creating that real sense of hope and happiness and then it shows the futuristic city with the fiber optics above glowing, showing where everybody is connecting with each other. It all just inspires a sense of optimism and I think in some way, shape, or form you all understand that.

I think that it’s that optimism, enthusiasm, and passion (for Disney) that sets those in the College program aside from anybody else getting ready for another kind of internship anywhere. So stay connected. Make it a goal to find three new College Program blogs a week and leave at least one comment on their blog to spark that enthusiastic conversation. Whether it’s, how you can’t wait to ride the refurbished Space Mountain or you want to invite them to see Illuminations during your first week with you and your new extended Disney family (that’s what you will now know your new College Program friends as……in fact, as of right now you are all members of my Disney Family whether you like it or not). I know I was thrilled to wake up this morning, check my blog and see how many people voted and talked about what ride they think should win because you guys let your passion for Disney show. Enjoy the message boards, enjoy the other media advantages in front you, and keep on keeping on.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day my new Disney Family!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

50th Post......Awesome

My "Magic" Mouse Ears for drawing the Attractions

Ladies and Gentlemen, today I have a couple of treats for you guys. First, I present a new interactive game for the Purple Folder. I also found a couple of Disney videos from Youtube that caught my eyes that should get everyone in the holiday (yes, the magical two months of Christmas)spirit. "Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. And for a brief moment, you have been among the many passengers of.....The Purple Folder!" (oh, that felt good!)

I mentioned yesterday that I was excited about today’s post and I still am. We are going to be running a “Best Ride at Disney World” tournament. This is what will happen. Today I wrote all of the rides in the Magic Kingdom (with the exception of the Liberty Bell and the WDW Railroad) down on slips of paper. I then proceeded to draw the slips out of my "magic Mouse Ears one at a time and created a single elimination tournament based on the order they were drawn. Now it is up to you guys to vote for your favorite attractions and the rides with the most votes by next Monday will go onto next week’s round. Then next week I draw the remaining attractions again and (because of the way the numbers work) one attraction will end up with a BYE. After we have the final three we will then go onto EPCOT and then Hollywood Studios and finally Animal Kingdom. The last couple attractions from each park will end up in one final tournament and the last ride standing will be pronounced the “Best Attraction at Disney World”……and umm….well that should be good enough. So let’s have some fun with this. Cast your votes and as always, have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Here's a list of this week's mathups:

Magic Kingdom: Round 1

1. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin vs. Astro Orbiter
2. Magic Carpets of Aladdin vs. It's a Small World
3. Splash Mountain vs. Goofy's Barnstormer
4. Snow White's Scary Adventure vs. Mad Tea Party
5. Pirates of the Caribbean vs. Indy Speedway
6. Peter Pan's Flight vs. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
7. Dumbo the Flying Elephant vs. The Haunted Mansion
8. Tomorrowland Transit Authority vs. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Featured Matchup of the Week

Space Mountain vs. The Jungle Cruise


The Emporium from "Attractions Magazine"

It's a Small World Holiday Commercial

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Am.......Different!


This is a new day and all is good with the world!

One of the followers of the blog known as the Purple Folder asked if I could talk about classes you can take during the Disney College Program. And I will…..eventually. That article is going to take a little bit of time (not too much though) just because there are so many classes you can take and I want to try to cover it all in one post. So look forward to seeing that maybe next week.

There will be no theme for this week. Instead I am working on something very AWESOME. So AWSOME in fact I’m not even going to tell you guys what it is until tomorrow when I will be starting it. It will then go on for this first week and then off and on for the next couple of weeks. This is something that I am really excited about and I hope it will be something that you will all enjoy. And if you don’t well……I don’t know. But for now, a hint. Hmmmm…..a hint? Okay, I’ve got it! “NCAA BB MM.” Okay? Figure it out and stay tuned for tomorrow when you find out that the fun is only starting.

And if you feel like you didn’t get your Disney fix for the day, I give you three great links to tide you over until tomorrow.

Everybody (or most everybody) has played 20 Q. Well this site allows you to see if you can stump the computer....Disney style. Just choose your language and then choose the Disney themed game and have fun.

This next link will take you to my old roommate's new vlog. He will be doing the Spring 2010 Advatage Program and although he is still getting used to vlogging, he is really energetic and he knows alot about the social aspects of the program. So check him out.

And this last one I've only just started to explore but it seems like a neat Disney nedia site

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

We're Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA...


I’m feeling pretty excited. I submitted a budget for our “Disney College Program Alumni Association” club and if we get it approved, we will be able to have a Disney Movie Night at our school where we will screen a Disney movie, play Disney trivia, and donate all proceeds to the Make a Wish foundation. The gears are turning.

Today I present you with three reminders that will hopefully help you during your College Program. These were just a couple things that we covered when we were talking about the actual work aspect of the program during our past Offer Session. I pulled these out specifically because I really think they were a good representation of, at least, my time in the program. Enjoy!

Always Keep Your Cool- Although Disney World is the place where dreams come true, you will face some of your worst nightmares at work. You will face kids who can’t seem to hold their lunches, rides breaking down, or guests who (for whatever reason) seem to complain about everything. And it is up to you to keep the pixie dust flowing and the wheels of magic turning. You have to be able to brush off the little (or really big) things that happen because when, let’s say a guest slips and injures themselves, the last thing they and guests around them want to see is you screaming and barking orders while running around panicking. Breathe, remember your code words (i.e. Alpha Unit and Protein Spill), and handle the situation with the coolness of Dean Martin (man I have to get less dated references).

Remember there is only one Mickey Mouse- It’s pretty self explanatory. Most guests come to Disney World and immediately buy into the Magic that Disney has to offer. There are however, those guests that, for whatever reason, want to know every little secret Disney has offer regardless of whether it ruins the magic or not. The prime example that they will give you is one of the favorite guest questions, “How many Mickey Mouses (Mickey Mice?) are there in all the parks at any given time?” And the answer plain and simple is….there’s only one Mickey. “Oh come on, I just came back from Animal Kingdom where I saw Mickey but then I came here to the Magic Kingdom and he’s sitting on a float in the parade. So tell me, if there’s only one Mickey then how do you explain that.” Well it’s obvious; he drove his car back here just in time for the parade. And this is just one example. You will hear every question from “What’s the deal with the cable coming from the castle into Tomorrowland? (Well Prince Charming needs his ESPN)” to “Be it true that everybody that works at the Magic Kingdom lives underground?” (Hand to God, someone asked me that once…..okay minus the Be it true, I just think that sounds more fancy) And it is up to you to “know” the answers to those questions at any given moment but remember, whatever you say is canon so yeah…

All it takes is one hug- Now I said a couple posts back that every day is going to be more magical than the next and that’s true….for the most part. But like every rule, there’s an exception and sometimes you will just have one of those days where it seems like everything just keeps piling on. Whether you are working attractions and your ride broke down and you have to tell all the guests that are in line that they have to turn around and leave. Or you are working custodial on Main Street after Wishes and the street is littered with stale popcorn and other miscellaneous pieces of trash. Some days might just flat out stink and there is no bright spot on the horizon. But then it happens. A random guest will say something like “Thank You for all that you do.” Or a little kid that you just gave a sticker to will hug you and all of a sudden you know that everything you had to deal with that day was worth it just to have that moment of appreciation.

Keep Moving Forward People……

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

North, South, East, or West....An Adventurer's Life is Best!


The reason I didn’t have a post yesterday was because I was having computer issues. There was a strange beeping noise filling my room and by the time I got to the keyboard and typed in the number sequence (4-8-15-16-23-42) it was too late. There was a computerized female voice yelling “SYSTEM FAILURE” at me, the sky turned purple and then white, and the next thing I knew I was waking up naked in a forest on some mysterious island. Needless to say because of all that I wasn’t able to get post up. Either that or our school’s internet was out and so I didn’t have any internet access. Either way I will be posting on Saturday as well. So yeah…..

47. That’s the number of square miles of land that make up the Walt Disney World resort. That’s twice the size of Manhattan. With four theme parks, two water parks, a downtown district, and 25 hotels, the Walt Disney World is the largest vacation resort in the world. And you know what? It will all belong to you. That’s right, when you get your pass to the world (your I.D.), you will have access to everything within those beautiful purple gates. But one of the things that I noticed on my program was that many of the CPers that were on four month and seven month programs would not visit any of the resorts saying, “Why would I want to go walk around a hotel when I could be riding Space Mountain or Living With the Land (hey it has its own special fan base)?” And that’s a real shame because some of the neatest things at Disney can be found in the resorts. Here are a few of my favorite resorts and what I enjoy doing:

Polynesian/Fort Wilderness Camp Grounds- I mention these two together for one reason….they both have amazing dinner shows (and you get discounted tickets). But if you wanted a suggestion as to which one, I would probably recommend the Hoop Dee Do Revue at the camp grounds primarily because I enjoy the food (chuck wagon style) a little bit more than at Spirit of Aloha (though the pork at Ohana’s is AMAZING). They both feature great shows as well. Obviously Hoop Dee Do Revue is a western themed dinner show full of slap stick comedy and great cowboy songs while Spirit of Aloha features hula dancers and fire twirlers. You can’t go wrong either way.

Saratoga Springs- Are you a runner? No. A jogger? No. How about a walking enthusiast? Okay fine, if your answers to these were no then you can go on to the next one but if you do enjoy throwing on those running shoes and going out, then this is the place for you. Located conveniently within walking distance to Disney’s Downtown area (literally like a fifty foot path drops you right in the middle of the action), the Saratoga Springs resorts offers both long path ways and all the peace and tranquility you can use. Personally I am not much of a runner but I did get dragged here by a few of my “Can Do Attitude” friends and I have to admit it wasn’t terrible (again, I am not a fan of running so that’s high praise coming from me). The place is large enough that you are not back tracking. It is a visually appealing resort and best of all it has a lot of benches (again, not a runner). Plus when all is said and done you can cool off at Downtown Disney where you can also catch a bus back to Vista or Chatham. (Great Fact: Downtown Disney is the closest Disney attraction to the housing complexes, keep that tidbit in mind when you are trying to figure out where the complexes are.)

Contemporary Resort- All I really want to say about this place is that I came here often to grab a newspaper and a pastry before I walked into the Magic Kingdom (or after a shift). (Great Fact: If you are working at the Magic Kingdom and you need to catch the bus back home at night, it is so much easier to change into street clothes and catch the monorail to the TTC and get on the bus home from there. You will learn quick that at around closing time, you could watch three or four Vista buses fill up behind the Magic Kingdom before you get a chance to get on one)

Boardwalk- I feel as though I had to save Boardwalk for last because it is by far my favorite Disney resort. Located conveniently within walking distance to the back entrance to EPCOT, the Boardwalk resort has the look and feel of a turn of the century seaside well….Boardwalk. It houses an impressive array of shops and restaurants. You can watch football games on the ESPN Club’s 200+ televisions, enjoy an Ice Cream cone (or awesome milkshake) from the bakery, or enjoy some great music at one of the Boardwalk’s two dance clubs. But what was my favorite thing to do? Well I think first I should remind those of you at home that I worked the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT and most of the time I worked closing shifts. That meant that by the time I got off work everything was closed except, that’s right, the Boardwalk. I would walk the path from France, through the gate and onto that wooden pier almost every night. The Boardwalk would be lit beautifully with turn of the century music playing. Even on the hottest days, the weather always seemed to be perfect. I would grab a slice of pizza and an orange soda from the Spoodle’s To-Go window and eat it by the water while I watched the Guests come and go to wherever it is they were going. And I would just sit there for a couple hours. Not a care in the world. There truly is nothing like it anywhere. (Great Facts: The Boardwalk really does come alive at night so if it is your first time going there, definitely see it for the first time at night)

This post is getting kind of long so I may do a continuation on another day but really, the one thing I want you to pull from this is that there is more to do at Disney than riding Splash Mountain or enjoying the Hall of Presidents (again, special group of fans).

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

That was a LOST reference at the very beginning.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marching Along We're Adventurers


I found two links over the weekend that have actually gotten me pretty excited.
- This first link is a very short video taken now that with the construction walls down at Space Mountain.

- This second link is actually a really neat site that provides the design and instructions to help you build your own model of any one of the Haunted Mansions from the various Disney parks. I can’t wait to make one of them.

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 10, I am working my first Disney College Program event at my school as an official Campus Rep. We are having an offer party for those who applied for the College Program and their parents so they can ask any questions before they accept their invitation (and of course those who have already accepted their invite). I’m pretty excited. It should be interesting to hear what kind of questions they can come up with.

This week’s theme is Let’s Go on an Adventure. I have been waiting to do this one since I first put it on the poll. I will be discussing new ways to explore the parks, provide a few tips for bettering yourself on the program, and of course I will be exploring a whole new level of tom-foolery (or John-foolery, whatever). So I will be ending this completely random Monday post with one of my favorite Jungle Cruise jokes:

To speed things up, we ask that you tell the loaders -- the men who will be helping you into the boats -- how many there are in your party. For instance, if there are four people in your party, say "Hi, Mr. Smiling Boat Loader, there are four people in my party..." and he will save you four seats. If there are eight people in your party, say " Hi, Mr. Smiling Boat Loader, there are eight people in my party..." and he will save you four seats.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Oh Yeah!


I know I talked last week about the power Disney music has over emotions. As I sit at my desk writing this post in my dorm room at who knows what time, I find myself drawing inspiration for this post from a musical combination of Soarin’, the Magic Kingdom entrance medley, and a whole array of park music. And I love it. I could listen to Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah on a loop all day.

When I write my papers for English and I find myself hitting a wall, I will turn on the Spectromagic theme and throw a racquetball against my wall until something comes to me (not sure if my roommate appreciates the racquetball though). The song Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho is probably my favorite song to listen to when I need to cheer myself up.

Now you guys are probably wondering where I’m going with this but trust me there will be a point eventually. There is truly magic afoot at Disney and although most of you…..who am I kidding……all of you who have been accepted into the program or who are waiting to apply for the program are so excited that I’m not sure if there’s even a word strong enough to describe. I know I couldn’t put into words how excited I was to be living and working at the place where some of my happiest memories were created.

The crazy thing is, that feeling that you have now is nothing compared to when you are actually there. Every day you spend on your program is going to feel even more amazing than the next (it’s just what Disney does best). Before you know it, your program will be over because seven months will have felt like seven weeks (rough average) and you will be back at college or the next phase of your life wondering what next.

Thoughts of second college programs and Professional Internships and Campus Reps will be filling your head like visions of sugar plums on Christmas Eve. That’s why I say, during your program, make sure you take advantage of every opportunity and appreciate the magic that is sparked up by working at Disney World.

When you work at Disney World, you are becoming the Disney music in a way to many of the guests. It doesn’t matter if you are the pirate that’s helping the guests set sail into the Spanish Main (Caribbean) or the waitress on wheels that is immersing the guests into the world of classic Sci-Fi drive-ins. It doesn’t matter if you are creating magic through nostalgia for the returning guests or introducing a whole new generation of guests to the magic of Tinkerbell and Mickey Mouse. That’s why I say you are the music. The same euphoria that I get from listening to Spectromagic or Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah is the same that the guests get when you do well….whatever it is you do at Disney.

Remember, your program will come and go and you want to make sure that you did whatever you could do make it special for you, for the guests, and hopefully for the park itself. Walt Disney was mainly referring to the foliage at Disneyland when he said but I like to think the same could be said about the introduction of the new cast members and the uniqueness they bring to the table. That’s all I have to say. I’m sorry if this post seemed like a lot of rambling but really, it’s all I have to say for today. So I’m going to put on the Space Mountain theme, pull by Bagel Bites out o the oven, and wish you all a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!

Here are the answers to yesterday’s trivia questions. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post then I suggest you check out the questions before reading the answers. It’s a lot more fun that way. Enjoy!

1. Horizons stood where Mission Space stands now and it was a proposed sequel to the Carousel of Progress. In fact there were several renditions of Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow that played throughout the ride.

2. On the Tomorrowland Transit Authority it is the model city you see when you enter the first tunnel.

3. Bill Nye is the narrator in the “old wing” at the Dino Institute while Ellen provides the voice For Dory in the Seas with Nemo and Friends.

4. Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

5. Your party from Saturn has arrived. Please give them a “ring.”

6. Lyndon B. Johnson

7. Sunny Eclipse

8. In order: World of Motion, Universe of Energy, Communicore (think pre-Innoventions), Spaceship Earth, The Land, The Living Seas

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Test! A Test!


Today I bring to you another quiz, this one incorporating the week's theme: The Future Has Arrived. The following questions will test your knowledge of both the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland as well as EPCOT's Futureworld. Enjoy!

1. What EPCOT attraction stood where Mission Space stands now? And what attraction was this attraction a proposed sequel to?

2. In what attraction can you see a model of one of the original plans for EPCOT?

3. Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ellen (just Ellen) star in the current version of Universe of Energy in EPCOT. What other attraction does Bill Nye provide his voice for? What other attraction does Ellen provide her voice for?

4. What attraction now stands where, in 1972, stood the Eastern Airlines sponsored “If You Had Wings?”

5. Before the most recent update to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority the narration was informing that Mr. Tom Morrow’s party had arrived from what planet?

6. In Test Track, your vehicle narrowly avoids hitting a semi-truck before you approach the crash test. The person sitting in the driver’s seat is actually a cut out of which former American president?

7. What is the name of the intergalactic lounge singing alien that performs daily at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café?

8. Attractions in Futureworld at EPCOT used to be given unique logos that could be found on signs to identify these attractions. How many of the following rides or attractions can you identify by their original logos. (Hint: There are a couple extinct attractions as well)


Keep a weather eye on the horizon and as always...

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Water Water Everywhere but Not a Drop to Drink- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In the Disney produced sequel to the new Cameron Diaz movie “The Box,” a strapped for cash couple will be given a box with a button. If they press the button they will be rewarded with a briefcase containing one million dollars but someone somewhere they don’t know will be forced to ride It’s A Small World for the rest of their life. Egads!

I know that this doesn’t really fit in with the week’s theme but it has become warmer and warmer every year (scientists say global warming but I still think it has something to do with highly intelligent penguins…..but who knows). That being said, today I want to cover “staying cool” on your program. Enjoy!

Ah November has arrived. It’s the time when the leaves start falling from the trees, the air becomes crisp and cool, and you can finally pull out that jacket that you bought on sale last July. Yep it’s the magical time of year that you can ummm…I mean you can…okay who am I kidding. The closest Disney World central Florida gets to a fall/winter season is maybe dropping down to 55 degrees for a whole day. When on your program, whether its during the Spring or the Fall, you will notice that there are only two seasons in central Florida; Summer and Post-Summer (they are pretty much the same thing except one has more rain).

-Shorts… lots of shorts
-Any kind of swimsuit (doesn’t matter if its one piece, two piece, forty piece…..whatever)
-An Electric Fan (nothing big, just something to keep by the bedside……Im not kidding when I say it gets HOT)
-Don’t girls wear summer dresses or something like that…..yeah if you’re a girl then probably want some of those (I don’t know…Im a guy…..but the girls seemed to wear a lot of dresses)
-Weather control machine with death-ray attachment…..if there’s no death-ray then just forget the whole thing

In all seriousness though, it is important that on your program you try to stay cool because Florida really can be dangerously hot. Heat exhaustion and dehydration can hit you fast and hard and trust….its not fun. Make sure when you are enjoying the parks you carry some water with you at all times and make sure you dress appropriately (that means that if it is over 100 degrees, then your expensive down winter jacket is probably a no-no). Keep in mind that there are pools at every housing complex as well as fully air conditioned lounges and computer labs. Well, that’s all I have to say about that. Tomorrow, I have an exciting article on…..something. I wont say what it is right now, only that I had a great time when I started writing it. So yeah…..

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Future World......its like a completely different Tomorrowland


Have you gone to the Haunted Mansion in hopes of becoming the 1000 ghoulish ghost only to be turned away because you didn’t bring your Death Certificate? Fear not, now you can procure your own Haunted Mansion death certificate. Just click on the link below….and hurry, they’ve been Dying to meet you!

Alright so first of all, I realized that I never mentioned this in my blog before but about a week ago I interviewed for a Campus Rep position at my school and well…….I totally got it. That’s right, so although I am still waiting for my official ID to come in, I am a Disney Cast Member once again….so that’s that.

Top Four things to do in Future World besides riding the rides and playing in Innoventions

4. Play the Games in SSE- This may or may not come as a surprise to many of you but I am a kid. Sure I have a couple of years under my belt in college and okay, its already been a year since left the status of “teenager” behind me. At Disney World those don’t matter because I am a kid and I enjoy playing games. This is why the games at the end of Spaceship Earth made this list. I love exiting the ride and immediately running to the 3D skeleton game or the Neighborhood energy game with my friends and just have fun. In fact one time, my roommate Cong and I spent almost two hours playing the energy game because we saw two little kids get the highest score possible and we were determined to do the same or die trying… took us a while but we did it. Point is, they are ADDICTIVE.

3. Stare at Fish- Did you know, when I was younger, I was afraid to be too close to the fish tanks at the Living Seas because I was afraid the glass would break? True story. But today I enjoy following up my ride through the “Big Blue World” with a walk from fish tank to fish tank in the Living Seas…..and yes I insist on calling it the Living Seas just as I still call the park MGM Studios… meh. But seriously, if you are looking for a great place to kick back and relax in Future World, you probably can’t do any better than the Living Seas. From the fluid and fitting ambient music to the benches looking right into the Dolphin tank, the Seas provides an atmosphere that is as inviting as it is alive. If that doesn’t do it for you then you can always check out Turtle Talk with Crush, one of the most tubular technological advances Disney has ever made. But honestly, how could anybody get bored starring at……fish?

2. Get a Soda (Pop for you people from the north) from Club Cool- Do I really need to spend time explain this….fine, here’s the math…… College Student (You) + Free = No Brainer…….I just miss the frozen caveman

1. Picture Time- Sure, everybody loves getting their picture taken in front of Cinderella’s Castle or shaking hand with Mickey Mouse and that’s all fine and dandy but to me, some of the best places to get you picture taken at Disney World are in Future World. Here are a few of my preferred spots and time.

-Mission Space, next to the Giant Red Orb at dusk
- Spaceship Earth from behind the fountain (Bonus points if you hold a cup in the right position, you can make Spaceship Earth look like a scoop of ice cream in the cup)
-The Dancing Fountains outside of Honey I Shrunk the Audience and snap right when the water in above your head (Ninja reflex picture timing required)
- Next to the fountain of nations at night just as it is shooting water up
- The cars at the Test Track post show…..duh
- At night, standing on top of the timeline of inventors in Future World East (really neat lit up)
I’m sure there are much more that I am missing but hey…..its my list.

May you all have an enjoyable evening and a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why not us?


First of all, if you were wondering what to ask Santa for Christmas, ask for the red monorail door.

Second, two posts today? Can anyone say "King of the Lab!" (Bones is an awesome show)

I think back to a comment I made to one of the campus reps from up north who was talking about how he was preparing for four Professional Internship interviews. I asked him, jokingly, “Have you told Iger yet that to be on his toes because you are gunning for his job?” or something to that effect. At the time I was joking but looking back on it….why not? Why don’t we hold onto that over the top thinking, its not necessarily to much of a stretch? “Somebody” has to be the next president of the Walt Disney Company…..why not me, why not you? Many of you are getting ready to experience the Disney Company on a whole new level…..a professional level. Who knows what new doors the Disney College Program will open for you? A College Program could lead to a full time job or a Professional Internship which could lead to some managerial position and from there its just a ladder climb straight up. Hey, somebody has to fill the seat in the president’s office, why not one of us? All I know is that one day I’m going to be president of the Walt Disney Company and when I am…..who knows. Dream big, dream really big, dream in widescreen (thank you Ellen’s Universe of Energy). For the future has arrived and its up to you to blaze the road it travels on.

To close, I recall a drive to Disney back when I was about seven and I told my mom with all the truth and sincerity of a young dreamer’s dreams “When I grow up, I’m going to live in Cinderella’s Castle!” Three things you look for when buying a house…..location, location, and location.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

First of all I just want to take a moment to thank the twelve subscribers I have right now. I expected to have maybe one subscriber total by this point and I have twelve times that. You Guys Rock!

I will be posting my real weekly post later tonight but this explains sort of what happened to the end of last week.

So I just finished a week with several tests, quizzes, and a 10+ page research paper to write. After all was said and done, for the first time ever, I went to write my blog post and I felt well...uninspired. I don’t know why because the one thing I look forward to everyday is writing on my blog. For whatever reason all I could do was stare at a blank white screen while nothing came to me. However, when Friday night came along I went to a Halloween party with some good friends and we started talking Disney. It was at that point that the weight of the whole week lifted off my shoulders in a giant whoosh (it could have been a swoosh, I’m not sure). And to quote a Muppet, a thought had cerebral cortexed into my cranium. I was once again inspired and I went home that night and I just started to write…a lot. So starting this week, tonight, we will experience THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED WEEK 1.5 because I wasn’t able to finish it last week. I have some great tips for the College Program and for your time in the parks as well as a few other surprises here and there. I recall a couple of posts in the past where I said that although you can have fun, remember that you are there to work…..I think I was wrong. It’s true that you have to work and do your job right in but the key is to have fun. You are there to have fun helping guests and enjoying the splendor and magic that is Walt Disney World. I leave you today with a quote from one of my all time favorite Disney World attractions:

One little spark of inspiration,
Is at the heart of all creation.
Right at the start of everything that's new,
One little spark lights up for you

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's here.....or at least almost here


Today’s post is short but only because I am working on finishing my ten page paper on the Protestant Reformation for Friday so I can have my teacher look over it before next week. Tomorrow and Friday will be full posts I assure you.

I talked on Monday about Disney owning a time machine and then I told you that in reality they don’t have a time machine but rather a show that allows you to look into the “future.” So is time travel possible? The answer of course is yes and I just so happen to have the ability. How did I get this ability? I purchased it from the back of a comic book ad four proofs of purchase and $5.95 shipping and handling. In hindsight not one of my more financially sound moves. Where was I…oh right time travel. So I can use this ability on anybody anywhere. For example, I am currently using this power on you. As you read this, I am moving you second by second closer to your departure date for the Disney College Program. By now you are roughly anywhere from ten to fifty seconds (I say fifty so as to not let the slower readers feel bad) closer to that much anticipated date. Alright so it’s not a very practical gift and I probably should have gone with the X-ray glasses but you all get my point. Every second that elapses is another second closer you are to your Disney experience. And the question that you must ask yourself is, “Am I ready?” Have you started working on your Disney preparedness checklist? Do you know what you need to bring or how to get squared away at school? These are the things you must be considering now because the program will be here before you know and you probably don’t want to be like myself who waited until 10 p.m. the night before to start packing (it was an interesting evening though). That’s all I have to say for today so good day……I SAID GOODDAY! (I’m sorry, I’ve been watching WAY today much Newsradio lately)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just a dream away


The first thing I want to say, since it’s on ABC, how awesome was the Firefly reference on Castle yesterday (it kinda gave me chills)? If you have never seen Firefly before then after you finish this post, I suggest you click on this link ( and watch at least the first five episodes. And if you haven’t seen Castle then I suggest you check it out every Monday night on ABC because it is one of the wittiest shows on TV right now.

It probably comes to no surprise to any of you that I love Disney and Disney music (and if it does well….SURPRISE!). Now although the park music is my favorite Disney music, there are complete Disney soundtracks that I find amazing. I think Hercules has the best soundtrack of the animated films with Mulan as a close second and believe it or not, I think Holes has the best live action soundtrack (it’s a great CD, check it out). I think Someday My Prince Will Come, as played by Myles Davis, and When You Wish Upon a Star, as sung by Louis Armstrong, are my favorite individual songs. Disney music just seems to possess the gift of stirring up amazing emotions inside all of us. Pop some popcorn or if your in college and like me can't afford popcorn then boil some Ramen and actually if your like me and you can't afford Ramen then graba bowl and pretend and enjoy my tale for today:

Around the country, high school seniors go on class trips that can be anything from ski trips Colorado to a class picnic in the park. In Florida we have an event called Grad Night where on particular nights, most of the senior classes from around the state enjoy an evening at the Magic Kingdom from about 8pm-4am *my times could be a little off). This is a great opportunity to ride the rides with minimal waits and enjoy the parks with your friends as a last HOORAH before you all go your separate ways. So that’s what we did. We arrived at about 9: 30, entered the parks, and walked side by side down Main Street USA (oh that Magic Kingdom in the Sky).Now as the seasoned Disney veteran my friends looked to me for what we should do first, so I lead the way and we hit up the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. The funny thing about Pirates was that Disney was so afraid students would leave the boats that they had cast members stationed in the ride sets every couple of feet, hiding in the shadows. After hitting a lot of the quick attractions we met up with more friends and all got in line for Splash Mountain. It was in this line that I had a moment that to this day still gives me chills thinking about it. We had just gotten to the part of the queue where you are standing next to the train station (which was abandoned because it is not operational on Grad Nights) when we heard and saw the first of the night’s fireworks exploding in the air. Now I should also mention that during Grad Night they don’t play the different land’s area music but rather current pop, rock, and rap (clean of course) and what should start playing but the new song by the All American Rejects, “The Future Has Arrived.” It was like a moment out of a cheesy high school movie: The park was dark and my friends and I were all together for one of the last times huddled trying to watch the fireworks coming up from the Castle from behind the train station while listening to how the future had arrived today. This is what I mean when I said Disney music has the power to stir up such great emotions and create great memories.

So as you plan for the arrival of you future whether it is the Disney College Program, another semester of school, or something that you know not of but you know it’s coming try to think about what kind of memories you have and what kind of memories you want to make. And enjoy a Disney song or to along the way because you never know what magic lies behind it. I would add another cheesy cliché but I’m kind of tapped out so until tomorrow……

Have a Great Big Beautiful Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond!!! (oh another good cliché)

Monday, October 26, 2009

We have to go Back to the Future......or we can just wait.


First of all an interesting thing happened, I came up with two intros for today's post as I was writing this blog and since I couldn't figure out which to use, I just decided to include both (organized chaos I assure you).

Secondly I know I said that I would put up my thoughts on Spring holidays over the weekend and well.....I didn't. But it's for a good reason I assure you. I am trying to compose as good of a list as I can and since this holidays don't occur until the Spring (unless theirs a memo I didn't get, which is likely because no one tells me anything) then I have time to make as good of a list as I can.

And finally, those locked coordinates. *ACCESS GRANTED* We're in! Enjoy "THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED" week

Did you know that Walt Disney World has a time machine? Well they don’t, so if you answered “yes” then you are a liar liar and I think it’s a safe bet that your pants are currently on fire (if they are then you probably want to put them out). Okay they don’t have a time machine but they do have the next best thing, Walt Disney presents the Carousel of Progress. That’s right, step into the gear patterned building and take a trip through the 1900’s from gas lamps to electricity and all the way into the future with the high tech……car phones? Sure the attraction’s climactic futuristic scene is probably the future of twenty years ago (although we still don’t have voice activated ovens) but it’s still interesting none the less.

I thought Meet the Robinsons was a great movie. The story was interesting, the sight gags were funny (Todayland), and Disney really hit the lesson of “Keep Moving Forward” out of the park. Of course I am mentioning the movie because this week’s theme is “The Future Has Arrived” which you know, if you are a Disney fan I’m sure most of you, was both a song and another theme from the movie. It is a very “Disney” concept in the fact that from the time Walt opened the animation studio and even today in the parks and movies that came from the studio he really seemed to believe that the future had and was constantly within his reach. And now, several years into the new millennium, this heavy baton is passed onto current cast members and future cast members as I know many of you hope to be. If you don’t think you can shoulder this responsibility and you wish to opt out then you can sign up for mission control training in the advanced training lab just ask any member of the ISTC crew as for the rest of you report for your preflight briefing. It’s report time. But seriously, as a Disney Cast Member, it is an interesting feeling to be a part of a group that is truly writing both history and the future as it travels along this, our Spaceship Earth. (Oh snap, two EPCOT references in one post. Say what!)

Now I want to give you a look at the week ahead but to be honest I haven’t really thought that far ahead. So we’ll be playing it by ear but I assure you, it will be an interesting week.

Enjoy and have a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Strange Short Post today

I decided to go home for the weekend and because I didn't have access to my computer until about ten minutes ago, today is going to be an intro for tomorrows post (I know it's mind blowing, but let it sink in).

Today's post is sponsored by the letter "Y" as in "Y am I wide awake at at 1:34 in the morning?"

So it was brought my attention that there are actually people out there doing the Spring and Spring Advantage programs. This means that instead of missing out on the traditions of the smaller holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, they are missing out on such heavy hittters as St. Patty's Day and Valentine's Day (and possibly Chinchila Day, I'm still not clear as to what day that falls on). Now, because I did my program from May to January, everything I say from here on out is hypothetical; meaning this is what I would assume would be the best way to approach the holidays during your program. Why celebrate them? Why is the year of "What will you celebrate" after all. So check it out tomorrow: How to celebrate the Spring holidays on the program at Disney.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Whenever strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls

That is one strange looking pumpkin.....the FDA should probably check it out.

And now presenting: The continuing adventures of "Yesterday's Post" epic!

Step 2: Party or Par-tay... I’ve heard it both ways. (Psych reference y’all)

Around Halloween time you will see two types of parties emerge: Costume Parties and Costume Parties. I know what you guys are thinking, “The Purple Folder is the greatest blog ever!” What do you mean that’s not what you were thinking? Oh, you want to know what I mean by Costume Party and Costume Party. Okay then here we go:

- Costume Party #1: This is your run of the mill costume party. I know somebody has to throw a party in order for there to be one but it would probably behoove you to “go” to one of the parties instead of being the one throwing the party. I say this because a little shindig with you and your closest friends will instantly turn into you and a hundred of your closest friends. Well whatever you decide to do, these parties are awesome. A lot of the time Cper’s will make a costume with whatever they have as opposed to buying one. A good example of this was my roommate Tom who went as Phantom Mickey and he wore his Mickey Mouse Groom’s top hat, his Mickey gloves, a cheap black masquerade mask, all black clothes, and a black bed sheet as a cape (It was pretty spiffy). You get to meet a lot of people and if done correctly, you can get your entire Halloween fill in just one arty (I know I did).

- Costume Party #2: These are an interesting “Disney” twist on a costume party and of course I’m talking about a party where everybody wear’s their work costumes. I am only going to mention this party because you will come across them and you should probably think before you go to one. Now if it is just a small gathering, then it is fine and it could really be a lot of fun. I would caution you to not go to one where there are a lot of people at for this one reason…..THOSE COSTUMES ARE BLOODY EXPENSIVE. When I say expensive I mean expensive. Disney uses their own custom fabrics and colors (and you will learn about all this when you get there), in fact I can’t confirm this but I heard that the full Tower of Terror costume is worth a couple thousand dollars all together (It’s insane). I think my costume all together was relatively cheap but I still wouldn’t have wanted to pay for any piece of it. And you will be charged for anything that is lost, stolen, or ruined. Again, these parties can be fun but think before you go.

Step 3: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

You may ask me, “John, Why would I want to pay twenty some dollars (remember you get a discount) to be in the Magic Kingdom for a couple hours when at any other time of day I can get in for free?” If you have never been to MNSSHP before then you probably wouldn’t understand how special it really is (and if you have then I say shame on you for asking). The quick overview of it is the Magic Kingdom park is open from 7 pm until Midnight. It is a limited guest hard ticket event so the park is no where nearly as crowded as it would be during the day and you can walk onto every ride. The park is all decked out with Mickey ghosts, crazy pumpkins, and a ton of fog machines. Everybody is encouraged to wear costumes and they have special trick-or-treat stations throughout the park where you walk up with your bag and well… get candy. There are dance stations spread throughout the park with their own themed dance parties as well as free face painting stations where well……you get your face painted (pretty straight forward I think). The event also boasts the amazing Boo-To-You (the gravediggers in the parade are worth the price of admission, they are amazing) parade and the special Hallo-Wishes firework display. All in all it’s an amazing event where you and your friends can get dressed up and enjoy a very disneyfied (another word I’m coining) Halloween. My only warning is this: don’t over expose yourself to the Boo-To-You theme as it holds the same hypnotic powers as It’s a Small World. Once you hear it, it will never leave your head (I still sing it out loud from time to time when I’m not thinking).

Have a Zip-A-Dee-BOO-Dah-Day!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dead Men Tell No chnaces are I'm not dead and that's a good thing.

Today and tomorrow I will be going over my three steps to having an enjoyable Halloween and fall seasons. Now I am aware that quite a few of my readers (I have readers, WHOA) are doing the Spring sessions and as such you may feel that you can't get something out of this, but I say try to pull out the ideas of celebrating the seasons. Also, on Friday I will talk about the best ways to celbrate those "smaller" holidays that fall in the Spring session so....yea. Enjoy!

Step 1: Be Festive
Before I continue I feel it is necessary for me to provide this disclaimer:


The first thing to consider is that simplicity will out. What I mean is that you probably don’t want to go cobweb crazy and you probably shouldn’t be turning your apartment into a haunted house. I say this because it can get real old real fast and after a twelve hour shift, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with Halloween ho-ha everywhere (or maybe you do, I don’t know). In fact, I recommend you decorate for the fall and not for Halloween. Some things consider include:

- Candles: For whatever reason, our apartment always seemed to smell stale. Our initial solution to this problem was sticking dryer sheets in the air vents which actually worked pretty well. Then one day in early October I was at Walmart with two of my roommates and they were having a sale on seasonal candles and we figured it couldn’t hurt to try so we bought four Glade Apple Cinnamon candles. We lit them as soon as we got home and there was a considerable difference after just ten minutes and so we kept at least one candle lit at all times. It felt good to come home from work or the parks everyday and be instantly hit with the smell of fall. To be honest I think this was the biggest key to getting into the Holiday spirit for me.

- Decorations: Again, we didn’t go overboard when it came to decorations. Thinking back on it, we only had about five pieces of fall décor around our apartment (granted we lived in Vista Way so we didn’t have a big place to begin with). Now again, we didn’t have anything specifically Halloween because we figured it would be good to have something for the season that would work well for Halloween but that we could also keep up for Thanksgiving and all (anything to make out apartment look better). We picked up a couple of small autumny (I’m coining that word) centerpiece items for our kitchen table, counter, and desk. Again, just simple autumn leaves and twig things we picked up on the cheap at Wallgreens. Then we also picked up two of those cinnamon brooms that they sell at Publix (local grocery store) that we hung up on our wall which both looked good and added to that autumn smell.

- Candy: When I say candy what I mean is a lot of candy. There is nothing better about Halloween then the day after Halloween when you are looking at the piles of “fun sized” candy that you still have around. We always had a bowl of some kind of candy going at all times. And we are not talking about a little cereal bowl with a couple Almond Joys and some Twix in it. NO! We had a huge bowl that you would see cooks preparing bulk salad in filled to the brim with everything from Skittles to Reeses and everything in between. Hey, either go big or don’t go at all.

And again these are just a few of the things you could do to bring Halloween and the season to you and your apartment. Tomorrow we will take a look at Step 2 and 3 which include the best ways to do a costume party and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-BOO-Dah-Day!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Phantom of the.....Megaplex?

The Tower of Terror!

First of did you see that title? I know, awesome Disney Channel original movie reference. Man I'm good.

I had an incredibly strange evening.....

I saw a sign yesterday about this ghost "expert" that was coming to do a presentation at out school. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "THERE ARE NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS!" Why did I go then? I guess it's like a dinner show....minus the food. So she started off with this hour long presentation where she showed a bunch of slides of pictures that she and her friends had taken on their "ghost hunts." Apparently every blurry spot on every picture anybody has ever taken is some kind of spook or spector. After the presentation, we were all lead to the school's theater where we were told to get in touch with the spirits and I did hear something.....the kid fooling around with his skateboard in front of me. We were then told to explore every aspect of the theater and report back in a half hour with anything that we saw or discovered. Some people took the time to climb the cat walk and get on the roof, while others hid in different rooms trying to scare anybody that would pass by them. Me? I took this opportunity to creep up behind unsuspecting students and recite my favorite lines from the Haunted Mansion i nthe creepiest voice I could muster. Hey, to each their own. We then reconvened and some of the students recounted tales of doors slamming behind them and lights flickering......hocus pocus to me. Then she asked people if they had any questions and of course I had to say something. So I stood up, flipped through my notebook as if looking for notes that I knew wouldn't be there, and finally I asked in a serious inquisitve manner, "Is it true that Grim Grinning Ghosts come out to socialize?"

I know this story has nothing to do with the College Program but I just wanted to share it with yall. And because it was not necessarily a Disney tale, I will be adding an extra post this week on Saturday so.....yeah. Also, don't forget the last day to enter the contest is coming up on us fast so make sure you enter to win the super ultra secret....thingie.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!