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 CafĂ©?

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!!!!