Archive for the ‘Disney’ Category


Posted: November 5, 2010 in Disney

My birthday month has flown past, complete with escape from the States and the collection of my 26th country visited on my 24th birthday. As usual with Disney, it’s been filled with ups and downs, many new faces and friends (as well as a new roommate.. or two) and the magic that can only be found and lived at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Anyway, for some highlights..

Disney Wonder

On the 21st of October Jon and I embarked on a three night cruise to the Bahamas, whose itinerary included a stop in Nassau (Bahamas) and Castaway Cay (Disney’s Private Island). We stayed in an outside Stateroom with a balcony at the back of the boat, and despite prior commentary as to the noise of the metal railing, I slept fairly well and enjoyed having a bigger balcony.
Nassau was interesting, and reminded me somewhat of Indonesia in that there were a lot of people who seemed to be out of a job and looking to get money through various nefarious methods. Other than that it was hot, humid and we walked to a lot of forts that only took cash that we didn’t have. But I scored a pair of $10 jandals and made Jon get himself a new pair as well.. and got some colour changing hair clips and rum cake for my birthday. That was pretty much Nassau.. pretty chill overall.

Nassau From Our Stateroom

Castaway Cay, however, was an entirely different side of the penny. As most Disney properties are, this one is kept pretty much immaculate. Davy Jones’ ship (the Flying Dutchman) is anchored not far from where the cruise ship berths and the island has its own adult’s only beach (in addition to the normal one) where we spent most of the time. In addition to this there are several places where you can get lunch, including one at the adult’s only beach. We hired some bikes and cruised around the island for a bit, went to an observation tower and got a pretty good view from up there.

Castaway Cay

We ate a lot on the cruise. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. We went to see a movie on the boat, saw a couple of shows (including Toy Story the Musical) and had a lot of fun. I even got a birthday cake on my birthday and had a score of waiters serenade me with ‘Happy Birthday’ which wasn’t as mortifying as it would have been if I’d not had a couple of drinks by then. We watched fireworks on the top deck of the ship in the middle of the ocean and I was absolutely captivated when we cast off and instead of some boring old ship’s horn it was the first seven notes of ‘when you wish upon a star’.. all in all it was simply amazing and I don’t think I could’ve wished for a better 24th birthday. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that a couple of my other friends were on the cruise with Jon and I, which Jon had kept secret from me until we got to a shopping information session and saw them sitting in the front row.

Apart from that it’s been a lot of working as per usual, and time seems to have sped up even more which worries me as I don’t think I’m quite ready to leave yet!! Hopefully things slow down a bit for the time being, as I have a lot of organising to do before I leave the country on the 21st of Jan..! And yes, people, I now have a date and time for departure from the states, and an arrival one for France. 2011 looms!!


August Does Not Exist

Posted: September 3, 2010 in Disney

So, as the title says, August does not exist. At least, it seems to me that I might have somehow blinked and missed it in the blur of Disney days that have swung past me recently. I’ve been working a lot – 10 to 12 hour days at some points – and my free time is (happily) monopolised by the boy who’s currently sitting beside me, mesmerised by his Playstation and Jameson, his dog.

For future reference I include a small segue about Jameson, who is also known as Destructo. This name is in reference to the myriad of things that he’s eaten, destroyed or simply maimed in his quest for happiness. This happiness must be fairly elusive, as he’s currently chewing on a piece of dragon (Puff, or so I called him) who died valiantly despite his label saying that he was indestructible. Long story short.. Puff is dead, long live Puff. Jameson is a 10 month old Labrador crossed with a Terrier and he is, at the moment, slightly smelly. Normally this isn’t so, but it’s been a while since his last bath and he’s probably rolled in something unsavoury.

Anyway, enough about the dog, and back to my escapades which have been limited to Universal and the occasional Disney park. My Birthday, however, is fast approaching and I’m hoping to get out of the State (hurrah!) and possibly even out of the country.. we’ll see about that one, though. Up and coming is a trip to Cape Canaveral with the boy, which I’ll hopefully document before I actually leave the country for France. Given my track record with keeping this blog up to date, it could be a slight effort to do this.

So, in short, I spend most of my time trapped in a green striped bowling shirt and horrific black pants with no back pocket operating robots or putting pigs in machines/dressing velcro frogs/helping children put themselves into their own video game/being afraid of paper-making ovens/lying to get people into UL shows. It’s not a bad job, but the people I work with make it infinitely better and I’ll surely be sad to lose them come January. Especially my training buddy Jason who is an absolutely amazing person despite the fact that we spend a lot of the time berating one another and joking about how useless the other person is. All in good fun – promise!

I’ll update again when I’ve got something other than work to document, but for now..

Disney owns me and my lovely bowling shirt.

The Great Escape

Posted: July 8, 2010 in Disney

The mind boggles at how time passes in this place. Six months ago and I was just arriving (pretty much terrified by the fact that Disney ran everything and how I signed my life away) and now I’m halfway through my program (pretty much terrified by how much I still have left to do and how little time I have left to do it all).

Lately I’ve been pretty busy with stuff on this side of the ocean – friends (so many of them who’ve seemed to pop up out of nowhere and now mean the world to me), travel (yes, I finally made it out of Orlando) and fun (there’s tons of it to be had here) – as well as things on the other side, including my enrolment papers for University next year, half of which will be taking place in France, at the Universite Paris X Nanterre. It marks another step in my life, another degree and another set of opportunities and possibilities that will be opened to me, and (rightly so) I’m mildly scared of it. But hey, life goes on and I’m trying to concentrate on living in the moment here, so let’s get you all caught up and I’ll get on with my life.

I mentioned the group of friends that’s sprung from nowhere, and it’s only right that they have the honorary mention in this blog as they’ve made everything so much better (happier, crazier, intense, wonderful etc etc) for me. So, Jonathan (sunshine, cupcake, munchkin), James (the German, hon, babe) and Mario (we’ll find you a nickname, don’t you worry) – this one’s for you.

About a week back I finally made it out of Orlando. Yes, that’s right, the non-stop travelling person hadn’t even made it out of the city until a week ago. I’ll not excuse myself as my lack of travelling has been, quite frankly, inexcusable to the nth degree, but Jon and I finally made it past the city limits and headed to St Augustine, where we toured a real American fort (once occupied by the Spanish and the British), wasted $9 on seeing and drinking from the Fountain of Youth (which didn’t make me any younger, btw) and ate at Dairy Queen. We also climbed 219 (or was it 216? I forget) stairs to the top of the St Augustine Lighthouse and admired the view (and the wasps) from the top. I can’t say I’ll ever pay to get exercise that way again, but I can say I’ve done it once and that negates any reason there might be in the foreseeable future for me to do it again. Yes, I’m still as lazy as I ever was, and no, I don’t know how Jon convinced me to climb that lighthouse. You’ll have to ask him on that one.

It's a long way up. Trust me.

Following the St Augustine trip was a day’s outing to Tampa which commenced only after Jameson (Jon’s puppy) got his toenails clipped, as he was almost Jameson Scissorhands. Following his Pawdicure we acquired breakfast and coffee, dropped the pup off home and headed to Tampa. It was an unforgivably grey day with traffic coming out the wazoo but we pressed on to our final goal of the aquarium. For $19.95 it was a mild (read: incredible) disappointment, although we did get to see otters which was probably the highlight of that day. We skulked around a bit, went through various shops and then headed home via Taco Bell under the cover of the clouds.

Somewhere in between that was July the 4th, which I survived without alien interference. Although I was working on the actual 4th I managed to see some of the fireworks (very pretty) although not the Magic Kingdom ones. Maybe some other time on that count. I’m hoping to see the New Year’s Eve ones at MK, so that should make up for it.. if I can get time off!

I’ve also found out where I’ll be transferring to from my current placement as a Lifeguard as Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. EPCOT will be welcoming me as a trainee on the Sum of All Thrills at Innoventions following my Discovery Day this Wednesday.

So, I think you’re all sufficiently caught up for the time being. I hope to come back to you with more adventures soon, but for now..

Disney owns me, but I finally got out of Orlando. Yes!!

You Know It’s A Bad Day

Posted: June 7, 2010 in Disney, Paris

Alright, so when I went through Lifeguard training in January, one of our trainers had this wonderful little saying. Basically she’d explain a scenario, and whenever she explained how the scenario could go wrong, she’d finish it with ‘and that’s a bad day..’ so, this is my little list of bad day things, which have happened (or almost happened) to me or people I know. Enjoy, and please feel free to add your own ‘You know it’s a bad day when..’ in the comments!

You know it’s a bad day when the monorail doors almost close on you.

You know it’s a bad day when you can smell a Code V/Protein Spill in your area.

You know it’s a bad day when a mother takes off her child’s lifejacket and says ‘you don’t need that anymore Billy/Bobby/Jackie etc’.

You know it’s a bad day when you slip and fall into the pool whilst on stand.

You know it’s a bad day when there are more than 5 people already on the ER (Early Release) list.

You know it’s a bad day when Ellis are around.

You know it’s a bad day when your bus doesn’t turn up until 5 minutes before your shift is due to start.

You know it’s a bad day when your bus driver starts talking about the ‘werewolf court’ he belongs to..

You know it’s a bad day when it takes you an hour to get to the Post Office.

You know it’s a bad day when you work a PM until 11.30pm, don’t get home until midnight and then the following day work an AM beginning at 8AM for which you need to get up at 6AM.

You know it’s a bad day when you can’t get a seat on the rush hour train, and you’re standing next to someone who smells like a decomposing body.

You know it’s a bad day when you have 2 presentations tomorrow, and neither of them are quite finished yet..

You know it’s a bad day when there’s a guy yelling in the metro and slamming himself against the wall, but all you’re worried about is that he’s slamming himself into the wall right in front of the exit you want to use.

To be continued!!

Cabin Fever

Posted: June 3, 2010 in Disney

So, I’m a couple of weeks out from the 6 month mark (isn’t that terrifying?!), and I have only just realised that I’ve left Orlando a total of 0 times. Yes, that’s right, zero. Nought. Zilch. None. I could lie to you all and pretend that I’ve been savouring the delights of Orlando, but that would sound exactly like the hokey that it is.

In all reality it’s quite difficult to get time off from work, and when you do it’s often only one day, or maybe two at best, and because of the hours you’re hard pressed just to get washing done on a work day let alone get your shopping out of the road.

But enough moaning, I’m living just outside the Disney World limits, I get to watch fireworks while I’m working and tonight I’m going to watch the Spectromagic parade for the first and (possibly) last time. I really shouldn’t complain, but I would just love something other than Orlando, Disneyworld and Universal Studios to blog about. That and fat Americans, of course.

I’m hoping to find something in the coming month. Sorry for being so bland, guys 😦

Disney owns me, and the Mouse is very controlling.

So.. it’s been a while. I apologise. Life has been hectic, what with changing my work place and therefore changing my work hours, and the painfully limited time that I’m not spending at work or sleeping.

For those not in the know, I’m now permanently statused at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Resort, guarding Stormalong Bay – the most amazing, sand-bottomed resort pool on property – and I’m loving it there. Being statused there means I also have to guard Boardwalk Resort’s Circus themed pool (which means staring at a clown and an elephant on crack for the entire shift) but I think I can live with that for the time being. Until the clown gets the better of me.

What gets me most about this whole thing is that I’ve been in Orlando for about 4 months now. Time truly has flown, and it seems like just yesterday that I was in the beginning stages of this whole saga, boarding my flight to Auckland from Christchurch and saying goodbye to my parents. It really is hard to believe that I’ve been in America this long (and not turned into Godzilla with all their amazingly sugary food)!

So, I haven’t really been out of Orlando since I got here (you have no idea how guilty this makes me), but I have been to an NBA match (Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers), among some really amazing other experiences. For starters the stadium was MASSIVE, there were so so so many people, and there was free face painting. Definite highlight. I’ve also been to Cirque du Soleil (which has been one of the things on my ‘must do’ list for years now) and it was every bit as good as I thought it was going to be. So far, it’s rating as one of the top things I’ve done here – I’d recommend it to anybody.

As for the future, I’m hopefully going to go see Star Wars Live in Concert some time soon (being the geek that I am), and I’m looking into taking a couple of days off and heading to Las Vegas, or maybe New Orleans. Or New York. Who knows – I have to try and get time off first!

For a quick shout out, I’d like to note that I’ve also been very lucky to have my (awesome) friend Andy down in Orlando with me – for those not in the know, we’ve been friends since I went on exchange in France, circa 2003-4 – and he’s always up for IHOP, or Taco Bell, or a quick outing to a park or two when we both have time off, which is great. He works at Planet Hollywood, which is located in the Downtown Disney district, not too far from where I live, but as it’s an operating participant, that means he has free admission to the parks, too. Thanks to his obsession with Polar Bears and the Kraken, we’ve also been to Seaworld together (right across the road from his house), although we haven’t been since our last encounter with a deluge of rain in the parking lot.. I can’t add anything to this story, as Andy made me promise not to tell anyone.. although I could skirt naming names by saying that there was girly screaming involved upon contact with puddles, and the screaming didn’t come from me..

In other news, this site is soon to gain a sister site (hopefully) when my friend Tash starts up her blog in which she will be documenting her trip to Ireland. We await it with baited breath.. 😉

Time to go get ready for work – hope you’re all taking care of yourself. Miss you heaps!

Disney owns me, and at the moment I’m strangely ok with that..

Sunny Days on the Horizon

Posted: March 16, 2010 in Disney

The rain seems to have finally dissipated, and the sun has come out to play (along with a chilly wind most of the time, but that’s ok.. it’s the sun!!). I spent a wonderful day last week guarding at Typhoon in the rain, by the end of the day my clothes were absolutely soaked through and we’d had at the most 50 people in the entire park at any given time. Basically, we spent most of the day huddling under umbrellas – if we were lucky enough to have them on the stand – looking completely and utterly miserable, and wondering exactly how sick we would be getting the next day.

In any case, it looks like the rain has taken the back seat for a time being (thank goodness!), but it could come back at any time. Nobody told me that Florida would be this cantankerous, I was promised sun and heat and thus far.. the weather really hasn’t lived up to my expectations. I guess you really can’t have your cake and eat it too.. !

Anyway, I’ve gone through a bit of a change lately in terms of workplace – I’m now deployed at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, primarily working at Stormaway bay, which is basically a little water park in itself. Everybody there’s been really nice, which is a bonus, and it’s only about a 2 minute walk to get to the break room from stand – awesome! It’s been great to get a new perspective on working as a lifeguard at one of the resorts, as it’s completely different from Typhoon. I’m wondering if I’d actually rather be at a resort than at a waterpark.. but then I remember how different they are, and that we actually get to walk around a bit (see: run, instead of walk) and there are heaps of people there, as opposed to the same 11 or so every time. Although, I have discovered that you get silly questions from guests anywhere you go. Examples:

– Where does the lazy river end? (NB: the Lazy river is a complete circle)
– Can I swim in there?
– I’m not a creeper or anything, but where do you live? (not stupid, per se, just really weird)
– Why aren’t you letting my son on this ride? (Son is right beside the measuring stick, literally towering over it)
– Is it really 8 ft deep? (after looking at the sign that says 8 ft deep water)
– Are they real sharks? (in the shark reef)

In my down time I’ve pretty much conquered all the parks, and I’m not going back to Animal Kingdom for a while, as I’ve had my fair share of animals for what very well could be this decade. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom are my current favourites, although to be fair I should give Epcot a thorough going over before I actually set my mind on loving any one park above the others.

Disney owns me, and I’m no longer phased by that fact.