Living right next door to Walt Disney World, you have so many opportunities. One of these opportunities that I'm quite wary of is meeting characters. Now, here at Disney there are two different 'classifications' of characters, if you will. There are face characters, and fur characters. The difference between the two is a bit obvious, however the biggest part is that the face characters can speak to you and the fur characters don't.
Now, me being the person that I am, I'm kind of wary of meeting the characters. Quite honestly, meeting the fur characters creeps me out a little bit because they don't really speak. It's a thing that I have - I'm terrified of Dolls & Clowns & Ventriloquist Dummies - so I'm not too sure how I feel about meeting the fur characters - even after meeting a few. I'll probably go out of my way and meet a few more, because why wouldn't I.
However meeting the face characters is a lot less awkward for me. They speak to you and make sure that you feel comfortable. So far I've met both Ariel and Tinkerbell and they were absolutely precious. I've run into Snow White, Belle, and Rapunzel in passing, who were also amazing. Meeting Jack & Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas was an amazing experience, and something that I'm so glad that I did at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Luckily my friends have been amazingly supportive of meeting the characters - fur, or face - and will do whichever I please. I'm going to make it my mission to meet every character that I can while I'm down here, because let's be honest, when else could I do this? Some people wait for years to be able to meet Mickey Mouse, and I could go see the boss man any day before work, if I wanted to.
Working at Disney World there are a lot of interesting questions that I get asked, as I'm sure a lot of other people get asked as well. There are some questions that I get on a daily basis that I somewhat laugh at a little bit. Now a lot of these questions are definitely Epcot/Innoventions/my ride based because that's where I'm based.There are really only two questions that I always find super amusing, regardless what time of the day it is.
The one question I get asked the most often that I find really amusing is "How the hell do I get out of the park?" HA! Actually, you just look for the big golf ball and that'll lead you to the quickest way out. I can understand the question if you're in the back of the park, but when you're right in the front of the park I don't really understand. Plus, there is only one way in and out of the park.
Two: Where is [insert any ride name here]? Usually, they're standing right in front of it, especially if they're asking the question to the person at the front of the ride.
There are other questions that aren't as amusing really, but they're quite necessary. On a daily basis I answer the questions: Where's the nearest restroom, where's the closest place to buy a coke, how long is the wait, is there a fast pass for this ride, where can you find [insert ride name here], and what time does the park close.
I love having guest interaction all day every day. Even when it gets to be a little much, it's still my favorite part of the job that I have. If I didn't have the guest interaction, and the option to make a difference in people's vacations, than I don't think that I would enjoy my days at work as much as I do.
Well, you see....back in August when we first got down here, I decided to buy a Universal season pass. It was possibly the best and worst decision I've ever simultaneously made. You see, I hadn't ever been to Universal and the closest thing that I got to looking it up was watching YouTube videos that it was included in. So when my roommate Sarah was talking about buying a Universal pass, I jumped at the chance.
The best thing about actually owning a season pass is the fact I can just go to the park for four hours a day if I want to and leave and not actually feel bad about leaving so soon. Plus, the pass that I did doesn't require me to pay for parking. So I'm not spending $17 on parking every single time that I go out there as well.
The easiest way to describe Universal is honestly to say it's enormous. Like my roommate Sarah and I spent four hours on one side of the park and barely covered anything. Then the next time we went, we spent five ours on the other side and still barely covered anything. I don't understand how people can be expected to spend one day there, either at both sides of the park or just one side of the park, and accomplish everything that Universal has to offer.
My roommate Sarah and I actually went on September 1st, and RODE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS. Which, if you're a true Harry Potter fan, you know that September 1st is the day that all the students go back to school. It was only fitting that we rode the train back to Hogwarts that day.
Funny story, so I texted my mom & my dad & sister when I got there a picture of the castle. My mom's response? That doesn't look like Cinderella's Castle...well, that's because it's not... but okay! My dad? Huh, where are you? And my little sister: OMG NO WAY TAKE ME THERE. Well, at least someone got it.
Otherwise, I'm not really sure what to say about Universal because it's absolutely crazy and I haven't really spent that much time there. So the next time we go, I'll definitely write an update because holy hell there's so much to do.
That song could probably be the theme song to our apartment - we're always talking about getting away from Disney on our days off when we have nothing to do. Let's go to the beach, let's go to Universal, let's go to Sea World, let's get out of here for a day, let's go pumpkin picking, let's just do something. All statements that have been previously said in our apartment.
Well, one day my roommate Mads and I finally decided to act on it and go to Cocoa Beach. It was about an hour and a half drive since we avoided the toll roads. The drive wasn't that bad though, once you got out of Kissimmiee (the city next to Orlando). It was actually really pretty, and kind of interesting since there were cows EVERYWHERE. Mads was reminiscing about how the landscape reminded her of where she went to college, and I was just laughing about how flat everything was and how scarce the trees were.
Once we got into the city where Cocoa Beach is located, we rolled the windows down and began blaring our music. Instantly we were put in a better mood. I've always said that I was born to be by the water somewhere, and the change in my mood instantly reflected that. I swear the second I get by any body of water I feel instantly at peace.
We had stopped earlier for some healthy snacks and water, so when we got to the public parking we just parked and ran out to the beach. The beach here was a lot different than what I was used to - it had black sand, not white - and the water wasn't really clear. But we didn't really care about either of those things.
We sat on the beach and read our books, played in the water, and walked up and down the shore. Honestly it was the perfect day away from the parks and all the touristy areas. We've wanted to get out more and more, and I think that going to the beach just made it so that we have to go back.
Living in Orlando, Florida there are a lot of opportunities to do things that are very 'touristy.' In fact, it's quite hard to get away from the touristy areas sometimes. However, there was a bunch of stuff that is located in Orlando that a lot of people have done as children that I haven't done yet. For example, Sea World.
However, ever since I watched the documentary Blackfish (the controversial movie about Sea World and the way in which they treat their animals) I've been debating on going or not going. You see, going to Sea World is something that I've wanted to do since I was a little kid. I've never gone, and now living in Orlando, it's just too easy to go.
My roommates want to go, and so I keep thinking "Why Not?" but then again I think about the harm that was done to the animals. So basically I think what's going to happen is I'll probably go to Sea World once - just to see what my childhood was missing. Then never go again. My roommates who have been talk about it and how much they loved it as a child. I've never done any research on the park, or what's there so I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting myself into. If I do actually end up going to the park, I'll definitely report back on how it was.