Hey there, hi there, hello there! My life has recently gone 0 to 100 real fast and I *finally* have time to catch you all up on my magical journey. Take a seat, grab some popcorn, and relax because this is going to be a long one!
So the past two weeks, friends and family have been bombarding me with questions of how everything is going down here in Florida with my new job. For those of you who are out of the loop, I just started working for the mouse here at the Walt Disney World Resort. I am a merchandise cast member in Magic Kingdom in Adventureland and Liberty Square, and I basically get paid to have fun. But there’s a little more to it than just that, so let’s talk Disney.
Friday, August 4th: It was the day I have been waiting for since I left Orlando, aka the day I returned to this beautiful land of sunshine. My mom and I landed in MCO bright and early Friday morning and I immediately re-acclimated myself to this wild but wonderful climate. We moved all of my boxes of semi-useless stuff out of my storage unit and prepared for my upcoming check in day. But of course we had to squeeze in some Disney in my first day back in Orlando, so we headed to Disney Springs to eat in a giant pineapple, aka Bongo’s Cuban Grill.
Saturday, August 5th: Day two hit hard as we became tourists for a little while. We headed over to the Orlando Eye to visit Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and surrounding gimmicky shops. That evening we went shopping (again) at the Orlando Premium Outlets located nearby my future apartments before getting rained out.
Sunday, August 6th: My last day with my mom before check in day I wanted to show her all my favorite less talked about spots of Orlando. In the afternoon, we headed to Downtown Orlando in the Lake Eola area and were surprised with their weekly farmers market set up in full swing. We walked around the lake and checked out all the booths set up. The City Beautiful never ceases to amaze me. After that, we went to Winter Park (to shop some more) and eat dinner before heading back to our hotel to prepare for my big move.
Watch my first Pre-Check in Adventures here!
Monday, August 7th: Okay this is where life gets exciting. Monday was my check-in day for the Disney College Program. After eating breakfast with my future roommate, we headed over to our housing complex so I could start my adventure. I headed to the clubhouse where I was handed a program guide, as well as got my photo taken for my housing ID. I then got my key and found my apartment. While we were blessed with the lofted ceilings of the third floor, It wasn’t too fun to move into at noon on a ninety degree day. Especially when an uninvited visitor, Mr. Cockroach, decided he want to help us unpack. After loosing my mind at least seven times throughout the move-in process, I headed to what Disney calls “Casting” for fill out I-9 documents, get fingerprinted, and all that fun stuff. It was a pretty mellow afternoon after that. We finished unpacking and decorating our rooms and then exchanged roommate gifts that we made for each other. I am living with a total of six girls so I’m super grateful for a spacious apartment (despite the fact that I have to share a bathroom with 4 of them)
Tuesday, August 8th: Another uneventful day, because until we go through training, we don’t have access to the parks. On this day I did all of my grocery shopping as well as purchased a super ugly pair of shoes for work (only to find out I need to buy another pair in addition). It was a very laid back day and then that evening, a few of us headed to Disney Springs to compete (and embarrass ourselves) in a dance battle.
Watch my first two days of my program here!
Wednesday, August 9th: Okay Wednesday was super cool because I was able to experience my first ever character dining experience. Two roommates and I went to Tratoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and were able to dine and hang out with Rapunzel, Ariel, Prince Eric, and Flynn Rider for breakfast. It was my first dose of Disney magic sine coming here and was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. The characters were so friendly and some that you can’t normally meet in the parks. After that I decided I needed to go to the parks, and since I have an annual pass, I headed over to ride The Great Movie Ride for one of the last times. I went by myself, but honestly it’s really peaceful to hang out at the parks alone. After that I walked over to Epcot to meet Becky and we rode Ellen’s Universe of Energy one last time. Because that didn’t take too long, we spontaneously decided to go to Pandora, the World of Avatar at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I could experience it for the first time. It was incredible and I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but Flight of Passage, their new ride, was absolutely insane and worth the two and a half hour wait with a dead cell phone, and I don’t really say that about much.
Watch my character experience and park hopping here!
Thursday, August 10th: On Thursday, all of my roommates and I were off, so we decided to explore around some of the resorts and try out the infamous kitchen sink. We started at the monorail resorts aka the Polynesian Village Resort, The Grand Floridian, and the Contemporary. While at the Poly, we enjoyed dole whips before the heat melted them and hung out on the beach. After heading over to the Grand Floridian, we stopped in the Disney Wedding Pavilion and it was the most beautiful thing in the world, probably. We then headed over to the Boardwalk and the Beach Club to devour the kitchen sink. If you haven’t heard about the kitchen sink, it’s 8 scoops of ice cream, every topping they have (except peanuts bc ya girl’s allergic), and a WHOLE CAN of whipped cream. News flash, we didn’t defeat it. That night we headed to our first welcome event and hung out with hundreds of other kids that arrived this week as well and it was a ton of fun!
Watch our resort hopping experience here!
Friday, August 11th: The day I officially became a cast member for the Walt Disney World Company. Friday was my first day of work called Traditions. Traditions is the orientation that all cast member go through that explains the heritage and traditions of the Walt Disney Company and how that have become as large of a company they are today. It was really incredible to see that side of the magic and was something I’ve been waiting to experience for years. Mickey hand delivered my name tag to me and everything became real. During Traditions we were taken into Magic Kingdom so I got to see the castle for the first time as a cast member! After a magical morning, I met Emily at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian for dinner! It was my first time seeing her all summer so we caught up and watched the fireworks and I got to show off my super cool apartment to her!
Saturday, August 12th: I slept and slept and slept and then decided I needed to get my butt over to Hollywood Studios to ride Great Movie Ride one last time. After saying my sad goodbye, we headed over to Magic Kingdom to watch Happily Ever After for my *official* first time and it was magical as heck but mostly because a couple in front of us got ENGAGED during “You’ll Be In My Heart” and it was crazy wonderful.
Watch my Welcome Event, Traditions, and Happily Ever vlog here!
Sunday, August 13th: Sunday was my first day of training! I had Welcome to Operations where we learned about all the safety procedures behind our guest service. Following that I had Welcome to Merchandise which offered more in depth information for my role. It wasn’t the most exciting day because it was all classroom training, but I got paid to sit in the AC for 6 hours and listen to Disney music, so I’m not complaining.
Monday, August 14th: This was such an exciting day. Monday was my first day of on the job training, which meant I actually got to go to Magic Kingdom for work! We met at MK Costuming which, which is a huge warehouse full of all the costumes for cast member for the whole park. It was super overwhelming, but also extremely cool to see all the outfits hung up in lines. My location is actually made up of seven different shops and stands, so I have a total of six costumes. Trying them on took absolutely forever, two hours to be exact, but I finally found all my sizes, and am so excited to transform into different characters everyday at work. After that we took a tour of all of our locations, and I even got my pirate name! (Sarah Treasurehound, for those who care)My locations are Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, Memento Mori’s, Pirate’s Bazaar, Agrabah Bazaar, Bwana Bob’s, Glow Carts, and Squeeze Breeze carts! I also have the opportunity to work Halloween parties and Christmas parties, which I have never attended before! The first one is this coming Friday, and I will be working at Memento Mori’s (the Haunted Mansion gift shop), and I could not think of a better place to work that shift!
Tuesday, August 15th: On Tuesday I had my second day of classroom training, Welcome to Merchantainment, where we trained on the registers. Merchantainment is a combination of merchandise and entertainment because no matter what role we play, we are all entertainers. I learned that I will have four different personas to play depending on my location and my introverted self is a little bit nervous about acting, yet I’m hoping it will open me up and prepare me for a dream role in guest relations! After class I walked over to Magic Kingdom, where I met Emily, Nicole, and Becky to play for a few hours before our dinner reservation at Hoop de Doo Revue. Hoop de Doo is a dinner show at Fort Wilderness that was insanely fun. What could be better than all you can eat mashed potatoes? After that I met some new friends at Hollywood Studios to watch Fantasmic before heading home to crash.
Wednesday, August 16th: My day off! Casey, my roommate, and I both had the day off, so we went to Typhoon Lagoon for the morning. It was both of our first times there, so we had so much fun exploring the park. It was a beautiful and extremely hot, so I was so glad we had a giant water park at our disposal. I also checked out some of the merchandise shops there and decided I definitely want to pick up shifts there in the future!
Thursday, August 17th: Today was another day full of magic! It was another training day, but this one was a complete walking tour of Magic Kingdom. We came up into the park before it even opened, and were able to experience it before it was full of guests. We spent four hours walking around all the lands, learning fun facts and important information to tell the guests if they have questions. We even were able to ride Haunted Mansion, and get paid for it too!
And now we are finally (kinda) caught up. After this weekend off, my schedule will be picking up a ton, but I’m excited to begin working in all my locations and trying all my new costumes (pictures to follow). My first non-training shift is Monday and I’m super nervous, but also really excited! I’ll continue to keep up with my vlogs and my blogs and all the social medias!
Thanks for following along!