Sorry this took me so long! I have worked long days and was out internet for awhile so this is long overdue!
I was temporarily without internet because the charming residents in the apartment before me stole the modem! But we reported it and maintenance so it got fixed! So far I am pretty happy here. My room mates are pretty cool, two Amandas and a Kayla. I live with the Amanda from Hawaii (she goes to school there but is from San Diego originally), Kayla and the other Amanda are in the other room and are from Scranton PA and Tennessee respectively.
So Day One Mom and I woke up and went to check in. We got there and I met Amanda, my roommate, in line, and Kayla, the one I was matched with originally was right in front of me. So we all signed in and got our beginning paperwork and spiels. I am living in a 2 bedroom in Chatham Square apartments, the one I wanted, and we got the last one there!!! So we drove over there and unloaded as the skies opened up in a massive down pour. Up three flights of stairs outside with all my stuff in the rain. Oy. But we got it done. After that I went over to casting and spent about three hours going through the place with my room mates. Station after station.... job confirmation, payroll, Disney Look check, background scan, electronic fingerprinting.... it was a lot of standing in line and waiting! But I did get to talk to other people so that was pretty cool.
On the bus back we saw a snake chasing a lizard up and down a fence! The snake intertwined itself in the chain link and was chasing the thing up and down and up and down and the lizard got away! I took pictures so you will see shortly!
We went back and unpacked more, then we all got in the cars and headed to Target. And got lost. Then got there. I got some bedding at Marshalls, blue polka dots, then we had dinner at Subway before going to Target for the rest. Amanda and I did a rubber ducky themed bathroom and we got cleaning supplies and stuff for the kitchen, placemats, doormats, a wireless router etc. Productive shopping trip! We just got home, unpacked, realized the modem was stolen and reported it, then I drove mom back to the hotel. I went to business center using the free internet to email Ryan and then home.
Richie texted me that day asking if I had heard from Ryan in the last day or so because Josh hadn't gotten back to her and she was worried with all the bombings going on in Iraq. She was wondering if TFE got called over to help or not but I told her I didn't know. I don't watch or listen to the news but everyone feels the need to inadvertently tell me anyway! Ugh.
After I emailed Ryan that morning Mom and I got breakfast and then went shopping. I got jeans that fit (surprise!) and a rain jacket since Harvey, my brother's rabbit, ate mine and we didn't notice all the holes until I unpacked it. After that I went to sign up for my free Disney class in Entertainment and it took FOREVER. I filled out the piece of paper in thirty seconds but I was there over an hour for the thing. Of course once we fill out the paper only people can go up to hand it in one table at a time then get in another line to have someone read the information back to you since college students obviously cannot read. :P Then I went to my security building and got my decal for my car and the missing items that were not on our apartment inventory. After that I had to go to a Housing meeting that took 2 hours! Basically don't have weapons, don't break anything, no drugs, no minors with alcohol, and you're fine! Somehow still that took 2 HOURS to go through. Then Mom met me and we went grocery shopping, got the starting essentials and came back and unloaded everything. Then we went and got dinner and I dropped her off at her hotel before coming home.
We are still without wireless. We got a modem now but the wrong router! So we are going to have to take it back to Target and get the right one, but at least I can plug this into the wall in the living room and use it to access the internet!
My Traditions class for training this day was long, but oddly not too bad. I learned a lot and I got my employee name tag and my pass to get into the parks for free. I also learned Disney is big in Toys for Tots come the holidays so be sure to know I will definitely be volunteering to help with that!! I took the bus back and then changed out of my business attire (black skirt and jacket with a lacy bottom purple tank top, stockings, heels, even pearls in my ears!) and met my mom and my uncle Dave for dinner. He is my favorite uncle as I have told you before so I am disappointed he and Ryan never got to meet. He said he is anxious to meet Ryan when you get back! It was a sad day for him, I don't know how much My cousin Alex, for the past two years or so he has been exploring with Mormonism. He left today for Hawaii as two girls from his church got him a ticket there and he will be there a month. Then he goes to Iowa to work a steel mill thing which will then fund his mission which is about 2 years. So my uncle was heartbroken as he has no idea when he will see Alex again, poor kid is just 19 and has been kind of lost since his parents divorced years ago. He found that family feeling in the Mormon church when his then girlfriend took him with her, and he has been in there ever since. It kind of kills my uncle sometimes, I can tell, he just feels like Alex jumped in too quick or something.
What a long day! I saw the sunrise and everything! So I got on the bus around 7:15 and I was in EPCOT and signed in by 8am. I sat through a few videos and slideshows, a lot about Walt Disney's original idea for EPCOT and the stories behind it, then some more cast need to know stuff. Then we split up into three groups and toured the park as part of our "Discovery Day" (all paid too!). It was barely 9:30am when we ventured out so the park was just opening, and the first thing we did was go on Spaceship Earth, the ride inside the giant dome that is THE symbol for EPCOT. It was still early so there was no line, we literally walked right on. It shows how man has changed throughout civilization with these amazing animatronic characters, and in the end it is that giant dome filled with stars and I felt like Ryan were there with me, stars are our thing. Stars in the night sky always make me think of him, and this night sky simulation I saw is probably like what he sees every night out there!
After that we walked around more. We went through Innoventions, where I will be working, and saw all the displays. Then we went over to Club Cool where we got to try samples of Coca Cola from all over the world. Verdict? Worst: Italy, waaaay too bitter. Best? Israel, nice and lemony! Then after that they had all of us stand in this huge circle in a courtyard and told us to wave at one another (to get used to greeting everyone we see) and then turn around outside the circle and start waving to guests. Suddenly the big booming announcer voice comes on and says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please direct your attention to FutureWorld West Courtyard and say hello to our newest cast members! Please welcome them to our Disney Family!" And everyone around was waving and even taking pictures of us and cheering, it was cool and slightly embarrassing all at once! But mostly cool. After that we got on our own boat and went around the lake and got to see all the countries in the International section.... Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Morocco, Americana, African Outpost, Japan, China, Italy, Norway, and Mexico. I think that is all of them. Each section is only employed by people who are actually from that country, it is pretty cool! They usually come here for a year long program and work as natives in their section.
Then it was back to the classroom, more videos and slides and get to know you things. Then our trainers came and got us just before noon. Mine was Ginny and only one other girl was Innoventions, her name was Sarah. Ginny took us to wardrobe to get our costume and... mine is just short of hideous. High waisted black pants in the style of what they call "mom jeans" that billow out at the hips and make anyone look wide, a belt (!), and a blue and teal green sort of wide striped vertical button down shirt worn tucked in. Coupled with all black sneakers (no mesh or suede or symbols) I look like an old man with huge hips! We are issued everything (except shoes and socks) including a matching windbreaker, winter coat (for when the time comes, as well as hat, scarf and gloves), and clear long rain jacket. Intense! Every item is scanned out with my ID and I can have five out at a time. When they get dirty I scan them back in and they get washed and repaired if need be for me and I can get more. Oh, and the pants run small, everyone has to get them in two sizes LARGER than what they are, so I am back to an 8 (x 32 length) again which was just a bummer even though I know it isn't my "real" size.
I got my locker and put that away and then Ginny took us to the employee cafeteria for lunch. Good prices and surprisingly good food too. After that we walked over to Innoventions and went through the whole building. I met managers and saw the offices and all. I found out I am a presenter in StormSurge! Which is like a 3D movie/show that is about 10 minutes long (aka 17 pages or so of memorizing) that is all me! Ginny said it was like a one woman show. I basically narrate the film as it happens, so I really cannot mess up! Eek! I don't have my script yet so we shall see how it goes. Then we went down to the basement and I did almost 3 hours of standard computer training. Ick. And not only did you have to listen and pay attention but there were mini quizzes after all the sections. I passed them all and clocked out at 4:30. I was walking back through the exhibit when I saw my dad's cousin John there (I don’t know if I mentioned he and his wife Diane retired down there and he is a bus driver and she works outside Innoventions) and my mom and Diane were in one of the exhibits! They were hanging with my mom today and got her in the park free so she could see where I worked and all. I said a quick hi to him and then went and got my costumes and got back on the bus home.
I quickly got ready and met them all at church. It was a HUGE church, less than five minutes from my apartment, but not the homey feeling of my church :( It is mainly a vacation parish, no one really is a "member" there, it is just a lot of tourists and some employees. And when the priest read the gospel he didn't read it as is, he modernized as he read which was just kind of weird to hear. We really don't do that. You read it how it is written for the gospel and use the homily to explain it and make it relevant as needed.
Anyway after that we went to Olive Garden and had a nice dinner. John and Diane are so incredibly nice, they live like ten minutes from me and know all the insider stuff around here and said I could call them for anything. John usually drives guests the late night shift (7pm-3am for example) so he is VERY familiar with all the routes around here and said if I was ever trashed and needed a ride to call at anytime. That probably will not happen but the offer was sweet all the same! After dinner Mom and I went to Target and I got my ugly black shoes... I literally had to buy men's size 7 since there was nothing in women's that fit the criteria. I then dropped Mom off at home and I got a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks as I drove on Rt 192.
I get to "sleep in" the next day. I don't have to be at work until 12:45 so I am getting on the bus around 11:45 maybe. Then I have what Ginny called the "mind stuffing" where we will get a lot of information thrown at us the first half with more computer quizzes. The second half we get Illuminations duty. Innoventions closes at 7pm everyday and if we are working closing we help set up and control the parade which is called Illuminations. It is something I remember from being 5 years old and there, a huge waterfront parade and fireworks show! I will be seeing it a lot I guess now. And I absolutely love love love fireworks so I am ok with that!
Oh! Mc messaged me that day, he got the box my family and I sent last Saturday! It hasn't even been 2 weeks yet! I have steadily sent Ryan boxes since the fourth and he has yet to get even one! :(
Today was the first day I got to hear from Ryan since Day One when he called me during move in. We kept missing one another and it was so so so so so so so sooooooo good to hear his voice. I have missed talking to him so much! He sounded so sad though, it almost broke my heart :(. I thought about him the rest of the day, especially at fireworks duty that night. He would have loved the show and I would have loved to watch it with him by my side. I know things are crazy now since I am training but hopefully I will get a more solid schedule soon and we can talk more. I felt bad the whole phone call backstage, aka where guests cannot go, was right near the ride called Test Track and the cars were zooming by every two seconds at 70 mph during the ten minute call!
Work was actually fun. My feet hurt like hell and the costume was nice and hideous, but it was cool being there! I did some more safety training stuff in the training room, but then Hugh, our trainer, took us through the exhibits and let us watch the shows and see where we work. I have yet to see STORM STRUCK! though which is where I will be! My group had Sarah from yesterday, then a girl from Honduras, one from South Korea, and one from Peru! We were quite a mix! I even got to go into the EPCOT tunnels!!!! I was so excited. The literally only run under Innoventions, so they are much smaller than the Magic Kingdom ones, but it was still cool. As we were walking around I saw Chip and Dale come down and start removing their heads and unzipping the costumes as they walked..... so strange! Especially to go up the stairs and see a fully costumed Chip and Dale waiting to go outside to interact with the guests!!!! They said hi to us, silently naturally, and as we went to leave the tunnels we saw it was POURING yet again. So Chip and Dale did the silent fist pump of victory as they got to go into the air-conditioned indoor character spot instead of the outside one in the sun!
At night I got to do Illuminations Parade duty. It was so cool. Tonight we actually got to watch the whole show so we can say we have seen it all, and we were in the best spot ever. In front of the ropes closer than anyone else!!!! Normally we do crowd control and block off areas and just make sure people aren't stupid, but tonight we just got to watch. Then my second favorite part of the day happened, the first being talking to Ryan! After the fireworks we hurried towards the entrance and stood on the big fountain that is there. We were all given Mickey Mouse stuffed glove hand things and we waved goodbye to all the guests as they left. Everyone had the biggest smiles on their faces as they waved back to us. I got high fives even from ambitious kids who jumped high enough! We all said things like, "Thanks for coming! See you again soon! Goodnight! Thanks again! Good luck finding your car in the parking lot!" It was amazing. Everyone was just so happy and replied to us with so much energy even though we all were exhausted! I hope I get to close a lot, parade duty is amazing and doing that goodbye thing would make me smile even on the worst days. Then I took the bus home and there were all the international kids on my bus! Norway, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Japan, China.... I honestly heard about six different languages on the bus alone! When I got home I then took my room mate Amanda (the one from University of Haiwaii) to Walmart... it still boggles my mind they are 24 hours down here. And it was packed! So she did her grocery shopping and I got home about twelve thirty in the morning....... the latest I had been up since moving here!
A day off!!!! Mom, Dad, and Stefan came to my apartment and I moved the rest of my stuff in and then we met Dad’s cousin who got them into Hollywood Studios (aka MGM) for free with me since my passes for guests don’t work yet. I spent the day with them there and it was cool, I love that park! I got to be in a stunt show too in the backlot studio tour! I was the Crazy deckhand who got shot at and completely soaked!
But sad news..... I went to the Indiana Jones stunt show and as we’re leaving this bitch knocked me from behind and made me drop my camera and it broke! My camera is like it is a part of me first of all, but this is the camera Ryan gave me for our anniversary. It means so much to me and I honestly cried right there in the park. It won’t work anymore. :(
When I got home though I made dinner and then my phone rang... Don’t Stop Believin! It was Ryan! That is his ringtone!!!!!! It was after six so it was late for him so I was surprised. We got to really really talk for about half an hour and it was great to hear his voice. Then he had to go, so I sadly finished dinner and then my phone rang again! He had to call me back as he wanted to talk more and I loved it. So I got over an hour to talk to him. But then when he went to say goodbye this time I kind of lost it. I honestly started crying which just came out of nowhere. I felt awful for doing it but we talked a bit more than I calmed down.
I went outside to relax a bit and breathe and I met the guys who live across the hall from me who just moved in. One is going to be Tigger in Magic Kingdom! Pretty cool. We chatted a bit then I came back in here and compiled this way too long of a post. Thanks for reading if anyone did! Tomorrow my best friend Sam is coming here and seeing the place then the family and us are going to a park to hang out. And Jess, my friend from school, is coming too! Yay!