Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh Boy


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

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

A Muppet Christmas Carol.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Interrupt This Broadcast to Say.....

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

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bigger the Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Time


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

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

Magic Kingdom

1 Space Mountain
2 Haunted Mansion
3 Spalsh Mountain

1 Spaceship Earth
2 Universe of Energy
3 Test Track

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

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Prayer.....sort of


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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