Get to Voting!

Dressed up as America - back in College
It's election day! And if I'm going to be completely honest with you, I had absolutely no clue what that meant before today. You see, I'm here in Disney World, I live everything Disney - if it's happening in the real world, there's probably a good chance that I have no flipping clue that it's happening. 

And then I turned on all of my social media accounts. Apparently, Louisiana is one of the places that could tip the scales in favor of one party or the other (which is super cool). So that means that every. single. person. that I know is going off about voting today. Well, as much as I would love to vote today, I'm still registered in Louisiana (because I'm not about to register in Florida when I leave soon). 

I don't know about you, but I go either one of two ways when it comes to political aspects of the United States: I'm either all about voting and I start watching the debates and reading about them three months before anything even happens, or the day to vote comes and I have no clue who anyone is and I have to have a crash course in who's who.  

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Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!




Thanks to our cast discount, my roommate Mads and I decided to go to Mickey's Not So Scary (MNSS) Halloween party. I didn't really feel like dressing up for it, and neither did she, so we just put some clothes on and went! I ended up looking like Minnie Mouse, on accident, but it was a ton of fun anyways. 



The park opened for MNSS guests at 4pm, so my roommate and I got there for opening (obviously). At 7pm, any guest who is not attending MNSS party has to leave the park. When they say by 7pm, they're not kidding. They have a ton of cast members walking around, checking your wrists for the first hour and a half/two hours. 

The wait times weren't bad at all for any of the rides. We pretty much walked onto all of the rides we wanted to do (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain). Plus, there were tons of candy spots where you could go trick-or-treating, which of course we did. By the end of the night we each had a bag (that they provided for you) 2/3 of the way full of candy. Lord knows we didn't need that much candy, but it was something fun to do. 



I'm not the biggest fan of meeting characters, so we didn't wait in line for anyone besides Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack and Sally aren't usually ever in the parks so this was really fun to get to meet them. Plus, they're Mad's favorites. They had a bunch of other characters you could meet if that's something that you're into. Plus a lot of the characters are dressed up in Halloween costumes. 

Overall, I think it was totally worth it. We were there from 4pm, until about 11:30ish. We got to see HalloWishes, the Boo to You Parade (totally worth going see for this alone), and Celebrate the Magic. We didn't really wait in line for anything, we got to see the park decorated for Halloween (so awesome), and we got tons of freaking candy. 

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My Thoughts on Meeting Characters!




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.

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Oh The Questions Guests Ask


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.

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I Bought WHAT?!



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.

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Let's Go to the Beach, Let's Go Get Away





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. 

#preach

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.

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To Go to Sea World or Not to Go to Sea World?


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. 

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Life Living "On Disney Property"





I don't know what I expected when I started living on Disney property, but it's definitely different than I thought it would be. Living on Disney property, there are a lot of rules, which I knew there would be. However, that doesn't mean that I agree with some of the rules. Now, I know what you're probably thinking: you signed a contract with Disney and with housing, you should have read it thoroughly before signing it if you didn't want to follow their rules. 


But that's not it. I don't mind the rules, for the most part. But some of them just really don't make sense to me. For example, the other day we put up 'Happy Harvest' decals in our windows along with some leaves. Two days later, security came knocking on our door telling us to take it down because hanging things in the windows, or on the balcony's was against the rules. Now, I could understand if it was something crude or even obscene. But it wasn't. It was decals that literally said "Happy Harvest". 

We're not allowed to hang anything on the walls, unless we're using 3M strips (which just got approved in August). So at first even decorating the inside of our apartment was out of the picture. We're seriously just trying to make it feel a little bit more like home while we live here, nothing too serious. We decided to finally hang up some stuff for Halloween around the end of September.


Other than that, we have it pretty easy here. Thankfully for me, we live right near Epcot (where I work - it's a literal 10-15 minute drive) so the drive isn't awful. I don't have to hop on the interstate - which is terrible at times. Plus, I live super close to two of the other apartments so when I drive people home/people drive me home it's not that far of a drive and I don't feel bad asking for a ride. 


Living with five other people in a two bedroom apartment is a little crazy at times, and I'm kind of getting tired of sharing everything so much. Sometimes I would really just love to relax in a bath (our tub doesn't have a stopper - no baths for us). Or even just sleep in my own bedroom. But trust me. I wouldn't change it at all. There's always someone at home to talk to or bitch to whenever work was rough. There's always someone to go to the parks with me, or even eat my food when I make too much -- I'm incapable of cooking for just one. It's a southern thing, my my can't do it either. 

The Most Magical Moment

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As Disney cast members, we're expected to make magical moments and make magic happen for the families that come to Disney World. Working here has given me such an appreciation for every aspect of customer service. It's also taught me that it's not just us making magic for the guests, it's also the guests making magic for the cast members. 

One night, my life was literally made for me - if I don't have any other super special guest interaction after this, it would honestly be okay. I work in a building called Innoventions and the cast of Sum of All Thrills actually works illuminations, which is Epcot's show every night.
Every night we're assigned to Illuminate, we have different positions that we're required to work. One night I was assigned to work Ropes, which meant I stand at the end of the ropes in the Fast Past reservation area and answer any questions that anyone may have. 

One family that night was from Michigan, and they had two little kids - Ava and Isaiah - who were 7 and 9. I was just chatting with the family, we bonded over the fact that my roommate is from Michigan. I literally spoke to them for about 45 minutes, one and off just chatting. It was their first time to Disney World, and they came to Epcot on their first day. They had about a week left and so I gave them as many suggests and ideas as I could. 

By the end of our conversation, I was looking at all the characters and princesses who had signed their autograph books. Isaiah came running up to me and asked me to sign his autograph book, right next to the princesses. Then Ava did the same. My heart immediately swelled as I signed my first and last name in their book next to the characters. 

I've never felt so loved, and felt like I've done my job better in my entire life. It's amazing what a lasting impact you can make on someones vacation, or even their life, by just talking to them. 

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Hannibal Buress at UCF


Before my program even started, I was looking at concerts and shows that would be in the Orlando area, just for giggles and grins. It turns out that a comedian that I fell in love with over the summer, Hannibal Buress, would be playing around the Orlando area at UCF (University of Central Florida). I didn't realize it was for their welcome week, or that it would actually be on their campus. 

Students of UCF got in for free, but those who weren't students (my roommate and I) paid $25 for a ticket, and we even got let in first. We ended up sitting on the second row from the stage, which was amazing. The first act wasn't my favorite, but Hannibal Buress was worth the money just by himself. 


He ended up coming out wearing a jumpsuit with his face on it...yes, with his face on it. He told some jokes, got some laughs, and even rapped a little bit. Overall I'd say if you have a chance to go see one of his shows, you should definitely do it. (If you like comedy of course). 

The only bad thing about the night was that it was an hour long drive to UCF, and there were tolls on the way there because silly old me forgot to tap no tolls on the way there. The way back we remembered though and didn't have to pay Florida's stupid tolls. 


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The Girls are Back in Town!


I'm so lucky that my best friend from this summer accepted a position with Disney for a professional internship in engineering. So lucky, because having her here reminds me of home all the time.

She's moved around a lot, for college and different internships, so she was used to moving around. I went to college in the same town that I grew up in, so I was definitely not used to moving around. She's served as my bit of sanity (this summer) since she's been here, and my little piece of home. 


She lives about 30 minutes away, which sucks, but it's not something we haven't dealt with before - however I am making less money and gas is crazy expensive so seeing each other is a little more complicated. 

Kelsey is one of those once in a lifetime friends - she's not afraid to tell me whenever I'm being dumb, or not looking at everything correctly. She's not afraid to tell me that I'm crazy whenever I come up with an idea that, let's be honest probably isn't that great. And she's definitely not afraid to tell me whenever she thinks I'm making a bad decision with my love life - or lack there of. She's also one of the most supportive people I know, and while she may not approve of something I do, she will always support my decisions. 

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Home is Where the Heart Is

Some of the group of friends I left

The first couple of weeks here in Orlando, I absolutely hated it. Whenever I tell people this, they're pretty much astounded. I get questions like "How could you hate it? It's the happiest place in the world?" and "Don't you know how lucky you are? Some people would kill for these opportunities!"

Trust me guys, I'm well aware. I'm aware how lucky I am to have gotten such an amazing opportunity, and I'm well aware that I'm working in the happiest place in the world. But the thing is, right before I left my maw maw (grandmother) passed away. I left literally as my family was coming together to mourn the loss of someone who had been in my life for 22 years. 

This gal followed me down ;)

Being here is amazing, but I also left so many opportunities and people back home. I had an amazing group of friends, a wonderful boyfriend, a great job, and the best family. I was an hour (max) away from New Orleans, and I never needed to use a map to get where I needed to go because I knew Baton Rouge & New Orleans like the back of my hand. 

Here in Orlando, I now had an ex-boyfriend, a small group of roommates who are my best friends here, a job that I didn't really love, and no family. I have to use my GPS to get anywhere and everywhere, and there's not a lot to do besides theme parks and tourist traps. If you do want something else, you have to drive at least half an hour. 


And then. It all changed. I started to fall in love with my roommates, and my coworkers. My job gets better and better, and I'm really starting to get good at it (though that doesn't mean I want to stay in it forever - or even the next year). My roommates have become my family. I can get to work, the grocery stores, and to play at Universal or Disney World without my GPS. 

It took a while for me to get used to it, but I'm finally happy here. It's hard for me to admit that I haven't been happy, but it was super worth taking the time and just concentrating on myself. I want to be able to put everything into this internship and just be able to experience everything that Disney has to offer - and I think I'm finally getting there. 

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On The Boardwalk, Down By The Beach




One of the first places that I ate when I got down here was Kouzzina by Cat Cora on Disney's Boardwalk. My roommate Madison and I got reservations one night at at Kouzzina by Cat Cora on the Boardwalk on a whim. We took a look at the menu before we left, and saw it was kind of expensive (for those on a college program budget, at least). 

We ended up taking the bus there, just to see how it was (and we didn't want to get lost/confused with parking). It was a super quick bus ride, and because the program had just began it wasn't too crowded. We got dropped off at the cast member area and somehow wandered our way onto the boardwalk. 


We ended up finding the restaurant no problem, and we were so early that we checked in and then decided to split a margarita at the marg stand on the boardwalk. We just sat there, talking and getting to know each other for about twenty minutes. Then the buzzer buzzed and we were seated at Kouzzina. 

We decided that we just wanted to split appetizers since it would be a lot cheaper, and a pitcher of wine. We had about 2.5/3 glasses of wine each with our appetizers. We spent about an hour there, and it was awesome. Our waitress was absolutely amazing and had a ton of recommendations for us.


After we finished eating, and drinking, we headed back down the Boardwalk, and to the bakery there. Mads has a little bit of food allergies so we had to really take a look at what we wanted to eat. We ended up splitting a desert because we were so full from dinner but it was so worth it. 

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