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!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Boo To You.....and You and You and You


This is an odd "ghostly" picture I took during the Boo To You parade.

I am pleasantly surprised about the amount of participation I had in the most recent theme poll. I put up the poll a couple weeks ago to choose this week’s theme and the whole time “The Future has Arrived” and “Let’s Go on an Adventure” were neck and neck. They were still tied at five o’clock today when I made the decision to hold those themes for next week and start a poll that just has those two as the option and do a different theme for this week. Then while I was writing the new article I saw that another vote was put in for “Future” and so I scraped what I was doing and started a new article for “Future” until……..yes, not even twenty minutes later a vote was put in for “Adventure.” So then I made my decision and here it is.

This week’s theme is “Holidays Part 1: Halloween.” Then next week I will do “The Future has Arrived Today.” And then finally, the following week will be “Let’s Go on an Adventure.” And then we will what happens from there on.

With Halloween inching closer and closer, I thought this week would be a good week to talk about holidays while you are in the program. Almost every family in the world has traditions during the different holidays. It could be something as big as throwing an annual Halloween or Christmas party or as small as maybe doing an Easter egg hunt or making special cakes on Valentines’ day. It could be that every year your family decorates the Christmas tree together or maybe you all go out to dinner on New Year’s Eve. Whatever it is, you have probably already realized that chances are this will be the first year you won’t be involved. Disney World is open every day and 85% of the time, College Program participants will be given those days (that’s just what happens). This week I will be discussing the many ways you can celebrate and enjoy the holidays. I am feeling great about this week because I feel this will all be information you will be happy to know. So until tomorrow….

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My First Day and My First Magic Moment 2-2!


This is one of my favorite picture from the upstairs of my old restaurant looking out onto Tom Sawyer's Island.

First of all, my response to this video is that there are no such thing as ghosts.
Secondly. Why can’t we get this or something like this at Disney World?

And now the uh….."epic".....conclusion to My fist day of work and my first magical moment. Enjoy!

I walked back out to the counter area, the place that I would be living for the better part of five-ish months. I say five-ish because I did spend about a month and a half at EPCOT working the Food and Wine festival but that’s a whole other story for a different day. The first thing I noticed about the counter area was that it wasn’t very big so I found myself sharing an area roughly four feet by maybe twenty feet with about seven other people. I was told to only concern myself with handing out trays of food, as I would not be trained to man the soda fountains until the next day. I could only wonder what intricacies and skills it could require to man one of these stations that I wouldn’t be allowed to work it for another twenty four hours. Whatever. So focused on the task at hand and went into overdrive as it was the lunch rush. It was a fairly easy job to do. First I took an order receipt from the printer next to the apple crisps and looked over what’s on the ticket. I then proceeded to grab the corresponding tray and completed the order with the proper drinks, deserts, and side items the order called for. Finally I would call out the order number and the guests would get their food. Rinse, Wash, and Repeat. It was actually pretty fun, like a video game you would play on an educational website. At one point drink filler at station one was called away for a moment and I was told to fill drink orders while she was away. So much for training……but again it was pretty straight forward. An order appears on the screen, you grab the appropriate sized cup, pour the drink, fill the order, and move on to the next. Again just Rinse, Wash, and Repeat. Now I can’t say anything about other jobs outside of Disney World because truth be told I have never held a “common” job before this but even though I was simply moving food from point A to point B, I loved it. I got a real feeling of satisfaction when I would ask a guest how their day was going or what their favorite ride was so far and they would go on for ten minutes about everything they had done that day. Maybe it was because they were excited or maybe it was because they were talking about Disney but I loved listening to them and asking them, “and then what happened?” Anyways, to continue the story, there was only fifteen minutes left in my job and I had yet to perform my first magical moment for a guest. Just then I saw one of my fellow cast members from Brazil give a little girl with a Disney birthday pin a chocolate cake because it was her birthday. Apparently that’s one of the things we did as a magical moment (but apparently we stopped doing it towards the end of my program). So now I was keeping my eyes open for a birthday pin but with three minutes left for my day I worried that I wouldn’t be able to give one on my first day. And then I saw him. There was a little boy coming up at one of the stations that I wasn’t working at and I grabbed a cake and rushed to that station. And when the little boy reached the counter I gave him the cake and wished him a “happy Birthday!” When my shift was over I was grabbed by my trainer again and she congratulated me on a successful first day on the job. And truth be told, I gave myself a little pat on the pack and knew……this is going to be a pretty wild ride. As Mr. Toad would say, “We’re merrily merrily merrily on our way to nowhere in particular.”

I had a magical first day and I hope that those of you who are planning to do the program will have as an enjoyable first day and as an amazing of a program as I did.

And until next time.....

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

My First Day and First Magic Moment 1 of 2!


First of all a piece of advice. As I write this I kick myslef for not having kept any sort of blog or journal during my program. I do remeber just about all of the details, I don't have any sort sense of time during this entry. I believe on my first day I went from 10:30 until 4:30. So just note to yourself that it is a good idea to keep a journal or something. And now I present part 1 of my first day. Enjoy.......

I was told to report to a particular white bench underneath the Magic Kingdom, I arrived there an hour beforehand just in case. And as I sat there, I watched the other new Cast Members coming and going. They were all wearing the costumes of their new work location and all with the same look of fear and excitement. Then it was my turn. A lady approached me, dressed from head to toe like Betsy Ross. She asked me, “Are you John?” I looked down at my chest to make sure I was wearing a name tag that said John ( I was) and I looked back up and said, “Yes.” I stood up and I followed her down the rabbit hole known as the Utilidors. We went down two hallways and found ourselves in front of an elevator. We got in the elevator and it took us up to a patio behind the restaurant where I met a few of my would be fellow Cast members. Then my trainer, who was an extremely nice lady, gave me the rundown of the restaurant and handed me a packet which gave a background of the restaurant, Cast Member guidelines, the menu, and a list of what’s inside all of the food items we sell. I was told to know it well. We then went inside the restaurant and instantly, everyone of my senses were put to work. I could smell fish and fires frying. There were a lot of dishes clanging and orders being filled. I saw both Cast Members dressed in 1700’s garb mingling with Cast Members wearing their cooking outfits. It was a little over whelming but I quickly gained my bearings. I was brought out to the counter area for all of ten seconds where I met the rest of the people I would be working with for the next seven months. We then proceeded out to the dining area, up a flight of stairs, and into a back area where I met the area manager (again one of the nicest people I’ve ever met). Then before I knew it I was being whisked down another set of stairs and I found myself once more in the patio area by the elevator where they had a small selection of the menu items for me to sample. The fish, chicken, and Mac n cheese were the best. When I finished, another girl grabbed me and told me she would be helping me with the next phase of my training and that for the last two hours of my shift I would be at the counter filling orders. This was the moment I had been waiting for. It was game time!

To be continued tomorrow…….

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Everyone has a Magic Moment


I was originally going to post a list of different locations around Disney World and what magical moments they provide. But alas the list I compiled is on my laptop in my dorm and well......I'm not at my dorm room. So I will be posting that list on Saturday or Sunday as a bonus post and today I have a couple links to check out where Disney fans have posted their favorite magic moments. Check them out and feel good.


Magic Moments

Mgmcinnis' flickr page of Magic Moments

Do you have a Magical Moment you want to share? Leave a coment below with your favorite Magical Moment.

Tomorrow I have one of my favorite articles up to this point. I am going to walk you through my first day of work at the Magic Kingdom and the first Magis Moment I preformed as a Disney Cast stay tuned.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Magic is Inside All of Us


Today we are talking about creating very simple and basic but definetly worth it Magical Moments. The following are three examples of how, on your days off in the park, you can make fellow guest's experiences that much more magical. For your convenience I have also included what not to do along with them.

Do: Take a guest’s picture- One of the only downsides to modern day cameras is that someone in the party has to take the picture. This is where you come in. If you see a family in front of Cinderella’s Castle or anywhere else ask them if you can take the picture for them. Although they will probably forget you five minutes later, you can take solace in the fact that you just made one of their cherished family moments that much more complete

Don’t: Take a guest’s picture- I cannot emphasize enough just how creepy it is to follow guests around taking their picture……without them knowing

Do: Enjoy the splendors of Pin Trading- Disney struck the Magic gold mine when in 1999 they started the Pin Trading trend in the parks. And this is a trend that you should consider jumping aboard when you head on down to Disney. Not only is it a fun thing to collect but it also encourages guests interaction. I can’t tell you how many conversations I struck up with other guests on my days off that start with them wanting to trade and ends with us riding Splash Mountain together. It’s fun for everyone.

Don’t: Enjoy the splendors of Pin Trading- There is something about the innocence of a child that is, in it’s purest form, Magical. This unfortunately, however, makes pin trading with kids a tough thing to do because their idea of value is not determined on monetary or rarity scale but rather what they like the best. So if they like one of those incredibly common and inexpensive “Disney Cutties” pins, then they would be willing to trade a rare limited edition pin without a second thought. Please do not take advantage of this. In fact, this was particularly difficult when I was on the clock because a Cast Member can’t refuse a trade. So what I would do is trade with the kid but then give the mother or father the rare pin and tell the parents to encourage the kids to continue to pin trade but to explain that some pins are more “special” than others.

Do: Give away your Fast Pass: Now I’m not saying that you should spend your days off standing in front of E-ticket attractions constantly getting Fast Passes to hand out. However remember that you are going to be at Disney World for several months and the guests are there for about three to five days. So if you and your friends are enjoying the park and you have, let’s say fast passes for Test Track, when it’s time for you to report for the passes take a quick look at the stand by line. If you see a particularly long line consider giving one of the families your fast passes. They will appreciate it and you can continue to enjoy the park knowing that you just made their vacation.

Don’t: Give away your Fast Pass: I know I wrote “Give Away Fast Passes” but what I actually mean is “Don’t: Sell Your Fast Passes.” Believe it or not I saw a gentleman outside of Soarin selling his two Fast Passes and what’s worse that someone bought them for ten dollars. That is one of the biggest ways to cheapen the magic of Walt Disney World and a quick way to get yourself kicked out of the parks.

So take some of these things to heart when you are enjoying one of your days off. Also don't forget to check out the contest I posted yesterday and submit your entry.

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Magic and My First Contest!


I talked briefly of creating Magic yesterday I think before you consider how you can make magic for the guests, you should just sit back and think for of the magic Disney has made for you. Let’s face, if you are reading this then chances are Disney has had an impact on your life. Today I am talking about a special type of moment…..the moment that you realize, “I’m at Walt Disney World.” This moment can come from getting your tickets, passing through the property gates for the first time, checking into your hotel and seeing Disney everywhere, or your first step on Main Street of the vacation. These moments have become almost necessary in keeping up the magic of Disney everytime you go to the parks.

Here are two of mine

My first moment that I know “I’m at Disney World” doesn’t even occur on Disney property. When we drive up to Disney we get on the highway before mile marker one and we know that it’s a straight shot north until mile marker 249. This is the exit onto Osceola Parkway which is a road that shoots right into Disney World. Well when I was young my parents were surprising us with a trip to Disney World and they didn’t tell us until we were actually in the EPCOT parking lot. But when we were getting off at the 249 exit my dad turned back to us since we were constantly asking where we were going (let’s face it, three hours in a car as a little kid feels like two weeks). And he started with a serious face but then changed it to a smile and said “We’re here. Kids were going to Weiner World.” We of course believed him and thought we were going to a hotdog theme park……Oh…..Boy. And from then on that exit serves as both a reminder of a great vacation and a landmark that tells me that we’re there.

I live about three and a half hours south of the parks and because of this our family tends to leave for a Disney vacation in the afternoon so that we will arrive at night and get settled. This means that our park experience starts the following morning and 99% of the time, we start at Animal Kingdom. What’s the ride we do first? Nope not Expedition Everest. Why would you say Triceratops Spin……I mean no not Triceratops Spin. The answer is Dinosaur. There is something complete about this ride experience that starts as soon as I enter the building and I’m met with the scientific ramblings of well…….Bill Nye the Science Guy. I then enter the theater where I am greeted what is arguably the second best preshow video in all the parks. The doors open up. I round a corner and as soon I step out onto the loading area and I watch the cars fill up and head out, I am filled with every emotion my body can hit me with. One near death experience and an Iguanadon later, I know that I am at Disney World.

Now It's Your Turn

I have told you two my “I’m at Disney World” moments and now I want to know what’s yours. What is the moment that fills you with joy and makes you scream “I’m at Disney World?” In fact let’s make this more interesting. Leave your moment in the comment box below before October 31 at 11:59 P.M. and I will pick one entry at rondom to win…..something. I don’t know what yet and it probably won’t be anything big but it’ll be something and let’s face it, a prize is prize. So just leave your moment in the comment box below and as always….

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wrapped Up In pixie Dust!


Look I completed a puzzle ...a couple years ago.

First of all, today is going to be a relatively short post because I just came back from the most amazing Monday Night Football game I have ever seen and my brain is going haywire. That being said I am "uber" excited about some of the articles I have planned and prepared for this week.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am always on disney forums and I always try to find a new Disney blog or vlog to enjoy. And when I reviewed all these different medias, there is one common factor that makes me proud to have had the chance to have done the College Program and makes me that much more excited to do it again. The one common trait that I see is......"I want to help the guests" "I want to make their time at Disney World or Disneyland as magical as possible." This is not a sentiment you will normally find working at other parks because this is a tradition Walt Disney established back when he started his animation studio and when he opened Disneyland in 1955. It's such an amazing tradition of service that is in it's truest essence, the greatest feeling of all.

It's the feeling of:

-Satisfaction you get when you trade pins with a little kid

-Joy inside when you witness a little four year old's first encounter with Mickey Mouse and he runs up and hugs him like an old friend

-Excitment on a guests face when recommend your favorite place to eat

- Rush you get when a guest says thank you

That is why this week is MAGICAL MOMENTS WEEK. This week I will be sharing a couple of my cast member stories, a top five list of how to carry these traits over when you are a guest in the park, and a few other articles relating to what you can do as a cast member to make a guest's vacation truly......well, MAGICAL.

Have a wait.

Have a Magical Day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

What do you know?


First of all as the first themed week is coming to a close I am feeling good about how the blog flows and I will definetly continue this format and so starting tomorrow I am putting up a poll where you can vote on the theme that I will cover in two weeks as I already have a theme picked out for next week. Well on with the show.......

Who did what to whom when? Where was what built why? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood? Alright so that last question is slightly irrelevant (unless of course you are an avid fan of woodchucks and or random knowledge in which case let me apologize for…..whatever). Anyways my point is we are always asking questions and gaining more information. But what has this knowledge gotten you or how have you been able to use this knowledge?

Let me say first however, when you get to the site I recommend you sign up and join the community if you haven’t already. WDW Radio is an amazing site started by one of the front runners of the online Disney “fan club” age, Lou Mongello. He has written two WDW Trivia books, hosts his own podcast (go onto Itunes right now and subscribe to WDW Radio……and while you’re there also check out Inside the Magic, another good podcast), started the WDW Radio forums (originally WDW Trivia forums), hosts different Disney meets, and started his own charity that supports Make-A-Wish and helps children go to Disney World.
Today I present you with four links to different areas of the site and I highly recommend you check them all out. And remember, Knowledge is Power.

General Disney Trivia
Disney World/ General Disney Crossword Puzzles
Disney Trivia Quizzes
And the link to his charity

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

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now I'm the king of the swingers oh, the jungle VIP


What do John Lassetter and Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson have in common? No this is not a joke and there’s no witty punch line (though boy howdy there’s some potential there). Anyways they both worked at a Disney Park before they became famous. In fact Disney Parks has really amassed an interesting list that reads as a real Who’s Who of the entertainment world. To see a small list of some of these past Cast Members turned media super stars check out this link .

I say this because when you start your College Program, you are embarking on a journey with amazing possibilities on the horizon. The Disney Company has more branches to it than the Tree of Life. If you are interested in television, movies, art, ect. You can try to follow your Program with a Professional Internship at the Disney Studios or Imagineering. If hospitality or management is you thing then you can look at the many Internships at the many Disney Parks…….around the world. Honestly, whatever your major is there is a perfect internship or position out there for you with Disney. But in order to give yourself the chance to pursue a successful career it comes down to determination and “wanting it” more than anyone else. Take advantage of the different classes, seminars, and other miscellaneous networking opportunities that the College program can provide you. If you sell yourself as the best Cast Member, then maybe you could be the next John Lassetter or Steve Martin or something even better.

I leave you today with three quotes from Walt Disney that I hope will inspire you to dream big and do well.

“If you can dream it, you can do it"

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

"All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them"

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Whatchu Talkin About.......Woody?


Seldom, if ever, an event comes along that forces me to drop everything that I am working on and throw all of my focus on “it.” Alright, so it’s really not all that rare for me (I’m very much a focus……oh wait there’s a shiny thing sort of person). Anyways this time it was an event so epic, so monumental that I was able to sacrifice three hours and ten dollars (that I don’t really have to spend) to attend. That’s right, I’m referring to a Toy Story 1 and 2 Double Feature…….in 3D.

Disney and Pixar did an amazing job polishing up these classic films and rendering them in 3D and it has me extremely excited for both the Princess and the Frog and Toy Story 3……….in 3D. But this article isn’t a review of the movie because how would that fit into the WHO ARE YOU WEEK, honestly. No, instead I want to introduce you to the "who would say that" moment of at least this week. So I went to the 7:30 screening of this movie with a couple of friends of mine and Toy Story had already finished and we were just getting to the end of Toy Story 2. Wait first let me say that there is a potential spoiler ahead and if you haven’t seen Toy Story 2 yet then ……well continue reading this anyways because if you haven’t seen it after ten years then chances are you weren’t planning on watching it anyways and I say shame on you and I ban you from my blog (On a serious note though if you really haven’t seen it yet please don’t stop reading my blog because I only have like nine followers so I can’t afford to lose any). ANYWAYS, we were at the part where Woody and the gang just sent Stinky Pete packing and they were on the tarmac chasing down the plane to save Jesse. And my friend blurts out without thinking, “there’s no way they would be able to just run around on the air strip without security stopping them.” HOLD UP. So the fact that they are living, breathing, talking toys doesn’t raise a red flag and the fact that said toys could keep up with a plane while riding on a fabric toy horse doesn’t raise one either. But the fact that Woody and Buzz weren’t stopped by security for being a potential terrorist does…….well. I guess all I can say is kudos to John Lassetter and company, you have one believer.

Any hoo. That’s all. Again if you haven’t yet seen the Double Feature in theaters I highly recommend you check it out in the next couple of days while it is in theaters. And as always…….

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Who Who, Who Who


HELLO: My Name is…..

As a continuation of WHO ARE YOU WEEK we look at two ways to meet many guests and cast members during your program or vacation. These are two separate ideas that unfortunately I wasn’t able to take advantage of or utilize when I was doing my program so I suggest yall consider looking into doing one or both of these.

For Cast Members
Purchase a medium sized notebook. Make sure it is something small enough that you can carry around with you everywhere you go. Now every time you meet a new CP, ICP, or Cast Member you hit it off with take down their name, where they are from, and their email address (mostly because you will find a lot of people either don’t have a phone or have a throw away phone). This is a good thing to keep track of for three reasons. The first is that it allows you to keep track of everybody that you meet because you will meet a lot of people. The second is that it allows you to keep in touch with your friends when your program is over. And third, it would be neat to be able to look back at it ten years from now and see all these people from all these countries and know that you were a part of something big.

For Guests
I heard this tip on one of the Disney podcasts a while back and after I heard it I started kicking myself for not thinking about it. First purchase one of the Disney autograph books which can be picked up at just about any gift shop (if you can’t find a gift shop within arm’s reach then chances are you are not at Disney World). Then when it’s your day off take it with you as you explore the park and whenever you are in line for a ride, shopping in the stores, or just meandering, ask random guests to sign your autograph books. It’s a neat way to meet new people and learn a little bit about where they are from. Plus at the end of your program you will have a cool souvenir with guest signatures from around the world (the real world….not the Disney World).

Oh and I'm in that picture above from back when I was......12?

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

Monday, October 5, 2009

Who Are You? Who Am I?


I said last week that this week I will be starting my themed weeks and I came up with and wrote down seventy themed week ideas. Why seventy you ask? The answer is quite simple……I dunno that’s just what I came up with. Then I came up with a really complicated and technical scientific method to pick from random what the first ever theme would. Alright, so I picked the theme out of a hat (that’s as scientific as it gets for a business major). So without further ado, the theme for the week is….


Today I want to talk about creating a niche for yourself. What I mean by this is, do you want to be the anonymous Cast Member that pointed the guest to Rock n Rollercoaster or the Cast Member that that was able to not only point to RnR but also told them the best time to ride it as well as suggestions for what to do after? Do you want to be the Cast Member that sold the guest a turkey leg and bottle of water or the Cast Member that made the sale but also made the guest laugh so hard that said water shoots from the guests nose (but hopefully not on you)? If you answered any of these questions……then you didn’t realize that they were rhetorical but I applaud the effort. But yes you want to stand out and make the extra effort because although the guests will always remember how much fun the rides were and how good the food was, they will also remember how helpful or how charming a particular Cast Member was and how they made their experience more Magical.

Here a few the type of Cast Members that guest appreciate. Is this you?

The “funny” one- You are the person who knows that you don’t have to be a Jungle Cruise Skipper to make guests laugh and have fun. You can make something as simple as selling french fries or loading guests onto Spaceship Earth a fun experience for both the guests and your fellow Cast Members. The first thought that comes to your mind is “Make ‘em laugh.”

The ”Disney Trivia” one- You are the person who knows when every attraction and restaurant was built, who designed it, who sponsored it, and how much it cost to build. Your brain knows nothing but Disney and you are ready with an interesting fact about anywhere whenever you can find a guest interested to listen. There is no question that you love to hear more than “What’s that?”

The ”nice” one- “Have a magical day” and “How may I help you” are the only things that seem to come from your mouth. You are concerned for the guest’s well being and by gosh by golly you’re going to help them. You are first person to offer to take a family’s picture and the last person to refuse to to fulfill a guest’s needs. Kudos for you if this is who you are

The “let me let you in on a little secret” one- You are the person who will tell the guest where the best place to see Illuminations from or how best to approach the parks based on crowd capacity. You thrive off of the pleasure the guests give when they feel as though you just let them in on the biggest secret in Disney World even if what you told them was which bathroom has the best toilet paper (it’s the Grand Floridian by the way).

As you finish reading think about this: What kind of Cast Member do I want to be? It doesn’t have to be one of the ones above but what kind of Cast Member do you want to be known as?

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

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pardon Our Pixie Dust

For those of you tuning in for the TOP FIVE list I am sorry to tell you that there is not one this week. Why? I am working hard to improve the quality of my articles which I feel could be better and I am working on getting everything set for the new format change (plus school is keeping me pretty busy). But I have already written the articles for next week and they are really top notch so stay tuned. Today however I thought I would give a couple of the quick bullet points about the changing format of my blog and a look at what’s in store for the coming weeks. Let’s do this:

-Each week will have a theme and so each article for that week will have to do, one way or another, with the week’s theme

-I am keeping the general format of the articles but I not going to follow it to the tee…….they’re more like “guidelines” anyways

-I hope to get my readers involved more so if you come up with a question that you want answered, an idea for an article or week theme you want me to cover, or just any thoughts in general post them in the comment section of any of my posts and I will see about following through with them

-I am hoping to start a recurring Q&A section where I interview some of my friends that did work or are still working at some of the cooler attractions, shows, restaurants, ect.

-And depending on how you and your vehicle hold up we may even choose to throw a few surprise tests! Ummmm surprise tests?

-Some of the upcoming themed weeks include Boo To You, Bon Apetite, There’s No Place Like Home, Live Together or Die Alone (It’s a LOST reference and not something morbid, trust me) and many more. In fact I have compiled a list of close to seventy themes that I could try and play with. And again, if you have any ideas for themes you would like to see just tell me and I will try to work it in.

Now here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz.

The Monorail (EASY)
1 M-I-C-K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E
2 Jiminy Cricket
3 Two

You Must Be This Tall to Ride (MEDIUM)
4 The Haunted Mansion and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
5 Mission Space and Dinosaur
6 The Commons

The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness (Hard)
7 Mickey’s Starland and Mickey’s Birthdayland
8 Walter Cronkite
9 28 sets of stairs

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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I know what Disney is Celebrating!


First of all I want to wish a Happy 38th Birthday to the Magic Kingdom and a Happy 27th Birthday to EPCOT.

Secondly that there will be a new format to this blog starting next week and I am excited about the potential and the possibilities that this new format will allow me. I will release details about this change on either Saturday or Sunday.

Thirdly I found myself laughing hysterically about a D23 video I had not yet seen and to watch it click on the link.

Because of the birthdays of the two parks I have a quiz to test your Disney World and Cast Member knowledge. There are a total of 999 uhhh……I mean 9 questions of increasing difficulty. I will be posting the answers in tomorrow’s post. So without further ado let’s do this.

The Monorail (EASY)

1 Finish the song: Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me, ______ _____ !

2 And Now Presenting: Who is the host of the Magic Kingdom nighttime fireworks show, Wishes?

3 Cast Member question: The cast member point consists of at least how many fingers?

You Must Be This Tall to Ride (MEDIUM)

4 Gone but not forgotten: What two attractions have a tribute to Mr. James Thaddeus Toad (aka Mr. Toad)

5 I know you: What two attractions feature actors that are currently on a CSI show?

6 Cast Member question: What is the name of the Disney housing complex that only International College Program students that work at EPCOT can stay at?

The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness (Hard)

7 Back in the Day: Before it was Mickey’s Toontown Fair, what two temporary lands occupied that area?

8 Speak Clearly: Who was the narrator of Spaceship Earth after it reopened from it’s first renovation in 1986?

9 Cast Member question: How many sets of stairs are there from the Utilidors in the Magic Kingdom into the park?

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