My Rankings: Disney World Parks

Since I'm going to work in Disney World at the end of August, I thought I would rank the parks in order of my favorite to least favorite. Now, don't get me wrong, I love all the Disney parks. I don't have a super favorite, and I don't hate any specific theme park. However, I do have a ranking in my head. It took me quite some time to actually sit down and come up with this list, and the reasons behind it, but I've finally got it down. 

The parks, at least in my mind, are as follows: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios. Now, hear me out for the reasons why: 

1. Magic Kingdom 

For me, Magic Kingdom brings back childhood memories. Magic Kingdom is the first real memory that I have of a Disney park. Seeing Cinerella's castle, and stopping dead in my tracts. Being obsessed with the different lands within the kingdom, and wanting to search further and further into them. Magic Kingdom will always hold a special place in my heart. 

2. Epcot 

Next up on my list is Epcot. Now, I know a lot of people are probably looking at this being like.. "really....Epcot?", but yes, and here's why. As I got older, I began to travel and become more interested in different cultures and different places. Epcot is a way for me to see a little bit of other cultures, without the hefty price tag that usually comes with traveling to Europe and other places abroad. I can spend hours upon hours in one country alone. Plus, now that I'm 21, I can drink around the world. Hell. Yes.

3. Animal Kingdom 

Growing up, I was a huge fan of zoos, and aquariums, and any other kind of animal-related place, so for me, Animal Kingdom (which is basically like one giant safari) is up there for me. Now, I don't really like a lot of the rides...well, they don't have too many that I can think of off of the top of my head. I do love Everest, and Kali River Rapids, as well as the cultural aspect that you get there. The reason it's third? I could probably see everything I wanted in a full day . 

4. Hollywood Studios

And last, but certainly not least, we have Hollywood Studios. Now, here me out, there are some awesome things about Hollywood Studios, aka MGM Hollywood Studios whenever I went for the first time, but it's not my favorite. I like Star Wars weekends, Hollywood Tower of Terror, and Rock and Roller-coaster, but that's really all I can think of. I've not ever really spent much time there. I'm going to give it another shot whenever I head down, but right now it's at the bottom of the barrel for me. 

And that's it! Those are Walt Disney World's parks in my personal preference order.

My Blogging Beginnings

I've been blogging, on blogger format, since about 2010. But honestly, I've been blogging on myspace, livejournal, and xanga for as long as I can remember. In all honesty, I've forgotten most of the blog names that I've had on myspace, tumblr, livejournal, and xanga. However, I remember my old blogger account like it was yesterday. 

I started it as A Day in the Life of Ria, then created Peppermints & Pixie Dust, which finally transformed into From The South, my current blog. I recently was reading some of my old blog posts on my original blog and am kind of astounded with some of the posts that I had written. 

One that really stuck out to me was around the time my last serious boyfriend and I started dating. It's written the day after my birthday, and all about holding hands. While it may bring back some memories that aren't so great, it also reminds me of the good times. I was so happy, and still am, and reading back brings back really great memories as well. 

My favorite quote, that apparently I wrote, says this: 

After the first time you hold hands with someone, comes the kissing and nicknames and all that other cute stuff. When you hold hands with someone, it’s like you’re telling them “I like you. I trust you. I’d like to show the world that you mean something to me”. Holding hands is such a small gesture with a big meaning.
It's kind of funny to me because it's still something that I believe today. I still think that holding hands is the greatest feeling in the world, granted it doesn't happen to me as much now, and that it's one of the most serious displays you can have. 

Remembering where I came from, and the people who have been along with my journey reminds me to stay true to myself. The past holds a great deal of meaning to me, and I do like to revisit it. It's crazy to see how wise I was whenever I was younger. It's odd to see how far I've come, but I couldn't be happier. 

Fashion Friday: Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider Man 2

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 & 6 

What: The Amazing Spider Man 2 

Who [Designer]: Deborah Lynn Scott: known for her costume design in Titanic 
Who [character]: Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone)  

Whenever I went see the new Spider Man movie the other night, by myself, one of the first things that sucked me in was the wardrobe. Mainly, the wardrobe of Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone). After the movie was over, and the emotions that came with the ending, my mind immediately started racing about how I could get some of the clothes in her wardrobe. 

Over the next few weeks I'm going to try and find some of the clothes she wore in the movie, and see if I can make an outfit or two out of them. I love the fact that her outfits look so sophisticated and put together all the time. She is a character that has a great head on her shoulders & knows what she wants and how to get it. 

My favorite look of the entire movie is her look in the upper right hand corner of the collage. If memory serves correctly, it's the outfit that she wore to her interview with Oxford (it is Oxford, right?). There's something about her outfits that call to me. Maybe it's the way they're all so fitted, or maybe it's the way she looks so effortlessly put together and girly. All I know is that I want to recreate these. Badly. 

The End of An Era

The last day of my internship at Oakley Plantation was interesting to say the least. One of my professors wanted to see what it was like at my internship, and the director of my internship suggested taking pictures in one of the dresses that I would wear on some days. It was so much fun, and exciting. I absolutely loved dressing up and taking pictures. Above is the outcome of that day. 

Working at Oakley Plantation in St. Francisville was an absolute dream. The people who work there were amazing, and the other girl that I interned with made it even more fun. There were days that were tiring, and stressful that's for sure, but in the end I learned so much from it. People often ask what I can do with history & anthropology degrees, but the thing is, I can do anything. Working at Oakley showed me what it was like to not only work at a state park, but a historical site, and a plantation.

Although the kind of work they do there isn't necessarily the kind of work I want to do, I now know that I can do it. One day I did some curatorial work, and fell in love with it. Although it was somewhat boring, it was more interesting than giving the tours (or so I thought). It furthered the idea that I want to work in a museum later on. 

Are You Divergent?

I was a history & anthropology major (wow does that feel weird to type out), and I've been obsessed with reading for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I used to get in trouble for staying up wayy too late past my bedtime reading books. As a punishment, my parents wouldn't send me to my room or ground me, they would take away my books.

Shortly after I graduated, I decided to pick up reading for fun again. There's something about being able to choose your own books to read that's so liberating. For the last four years, I've been told what to read, when to read it, how many pages, what book, what genre, etc. Finally, after graduating, I'm able to choose what I want to read.

With all of the books being turned into movies lately, I decided I should probably start with those books. First on my list: Divergent. The main reason that I chose it was because it's a dystopic novel that focuses on a post apocalyptic society. The premise: You get to choose what faction you're in, after a certain age, as long as you pass the initiation test. The book follows Tris and her group of friends, as well as her instructor Four.

Now, keep in mind that I'm a quick reader, but this book only took me about five hours (total) to finish. It was a quick and easy read, which I really enjoyed. I found that once I started the book, it was impossible for me to put down. Now, I haven't read the second (or third) book of the trilogy, and I've heard that the first book was the best and it went down hill from there. However, I can't really comment on that.

I found the story to be really easy to follow, and really enticing. I wanted to know more about the characters, and even small background characters. I found myself wondering what faction I may be in, certainly not Dauntless. Would I be Divergent? I would recommend the book if you're looking for something non-taxing, and easy to read. If you love Dystopian novels, like myself, you should also definitely pick it up!

Overcoming My Fears: One at a Time

I read somewhere the other day (real concrete, I know) a quote about fears that really stuck with me. I haven't a clue where I heard it, but this is what it said: 
People aren't afraid of heights, they are afraid of the fall. They are not afraid of the dark, they are afraid of what's in it. 
There was more to the quote, but this is the part that sticks out the most to me. You see, there are so many things that I'm 'afraid' of. I'm afraid of being alone, doing things by myself, the dark, heights, flying. The list goes on, and on; honestly, I could sit here for hours and just list things that scare me. But that's not the point of this post. 

The point of this post is to say that I'm overcoming these fears. I'm facing them head on, one at a time. To prove to myself that I can do this, that fear doesn't have to hold me back. 

On Sunday, I decided to conquer the first one of these fears: doing things alone. I had just gotten back from Cocodrie, and my dad was still at the camp. Since I was home alone, I decided to bite the bullet and just go. Originally, I wanted to see Divergent but I read the wrong time and missed the only showing that day. Instead, I had to come up with a different movie to see. So The Amazing Spider-Man 2 it was.

I decided to go to the neighborhood theater (best decision ever), by myself, at 9:20 at night to see a movie. You see, I live in a nice neighborhood, it's not super fancy, but it's in the good part of time. I had no reason to be nervous/freaking out, but I was. I got up the nerve and left 30 minutes ahead of time, even though it takes me a literal five minutes to get there. 

By getting there early, I was able to keep my anxiety a little bit at bay. I ordered my single movie ticket, got popcorn and a coke, and walked to the theater. I was the first person there, obviously, so I could pick any seat that I wanted. Top row, middle seat. Perfect. Then, I waited. Five minutes before the movie started other people came in, and I have to admit that I was relieved. 

I sat through the entire movie, without freaking out, and enjoyed it. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually enjoyed going to the movies by myself. Now that I've done this, I feel as if I can do anything...but let's just take it one step at a time right now.

Down to the End of the World

There's this small place at the end of the world, or you know. . . the end of Louisiana, called Cocodrie. It's possibly my favorite place in the entire world. I've mentioned it many times, such as when I talked about playlists that bring back memoriestalking about my Mardi Gras weekend (away from Nola)mentioned in my 'things you need to know' post, and even a look back at 2012 [wow...was this a blast from the past or what; definitely brought back some memories]. 

While I've spoken of it a few times, I've never really talked about it in depth. It's hard to say why I love it so much, and I don't know if I could ever do it justice. Maybe I haven't spoken about it because it's just such a personal place to me, or maybe it's because I don't even know how to begin to describe it. 

To many people, it's just an old fishing camp. They probably wouldn't see anything special in such a run down, tiny place, but I do. You see, I've never brought a friend there, or more importantly, I've never bought a boyfriend there. It's my little place at the end of the world, and I don't want to share it. 

Whenever Elliot broke up with me, I hid for quite some time. At school, I threw myself into school work and being busy, but at home was a completely different story. Not long after we broke up, my dad proposed a trip to the camp. While it didn't fix the hurt that I was going through, it helped. There was a peace to being by the water that calmed my heart, and my head. 

Now, it's not so much about going to gain relief from the breakup (since I'm quite single -- and will probably stay that way for a little bit), but to gain relief from myself. You're probably reading that being like...homegirl, what? But let me break it down for you: during the week, I'm going, going, going. It's 0 to 100 in .05 seconds. Then the weekend hits, and I stop, and every thought that I have since then comes back to me. Going to the camp cuts me off from reality. I don't look at my phone, or computer, or anything else. I just sit and fish, read, talk with my family, or sing along to the songs playing on the radio. 

I've never felt so free anywhere else, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

So, What Exactly IS Attractions?

So now that you know a little about my program, it's time to talk about my role. I was chosen to work Attractions for Fall 2014 at Walt Disney World (are you tired of hearing me say that yet?). Attractions falls under the operations section of roles. 

Basically, according to Disney, operations basically means that you're operating rides/shows/attractions, and ensuring that the guests are ready for the shows. There are so many different places that I can be working, and I won't know until check in day what park I'm placed at. I won't even find out the attraction I'm placed at until training starts. 

Honestly, I have no clue where I could even get placed. When I was doing my phone interview, we didn't really focus on Attractions. Though I guess she liked my answer enough because I ended up with it! I really want to work somewhere with a lot of guest interaction, and I would love to work at some of the bigger attractions. 

I'm not really 'park biased' but I would love to work at Magic Kingdom because that's one of my favorite parks. I would love to work one of the mountains (Space, Splash, Big Thunder, & Everest), Rock & Roller Coaster, or Haunted Mansion.The  only attractions I DO NOT want to work is It's A Small World, or The Carousel of Progress. But to be completely honest, I feel like I'll be happy wherever I'm placed. I mean, I'm going to work for DISNEY WORLD!

My DCP Journey: Finding Roommies

I knew the second I was accepted that I didn't want to go in doing random roommates. I wanted to feel secure in my apartment, and that started with finding people to room with. I knew I wanted to live in the 21+ apartment, because if I want to drink a beer in my apartment, I'm going to drink a beer. The easiest way for me to find roommates was by joining the August 4th arrival group and start from there. I also joined the DCP Greeks group because I figured that would be easy to find roommates too. 

I wanted to room with people who were like me, and I wanted to know we'd get along (hopefully) beforehand. I went through a couple of girls roommate surveys, and filled out my own, and then facebooked a few different people. I ended up finding one roommate, and she and I started our search for the other four. 

We found a group of two girls, who we loved, and then two other girls who we fell in love with as well. Literally a few hours after joining the group and finding my roommate, we already had four other girls we wanted to room with. We've been chatting/facebooking the entire time since. We all seem to get along really well, and now it's just a waiting game. We're hoping for Chatham or Patterson for our apartments. 

Is it time yet? Because I'm so ready. 


March 12, a day I will forever remember quite vividly. I woke up that morning really early because I had an Italian quiz to study for. In your last semester, it was important for me to keep my grades up, which thankfully I did. Right before I was about to take the quiz, I decided to look through my email really quickly. This ended up being SUCH a bad decision for me because I couldn't focus on the quiz whenever it came time to take it. I ended up being ACCEPTED to Attractions for Fall 2014! As soon as I finished the test I walked out the room with my phone to try and get as much information as possible. 

I ended up finding that my role was attractions, and that the first step was for me to submit my program fees, then I could select a date for arrival, and then I would have to provide them with additional information. I couldn't pay my arrival fees until I got home because I didn't have my wallet on me, but you can bet that the second I got home I paid my fees. 

When thinking about selecting a date, I knew that I wanted to be there as soon as possible. August 4th was the first available date, so I didn't hesitate to choose it. I was absolutely giddy when I found out. I went onto the Facebook page later that day and saw that a wave of Attractions acceptances came out. I joined the August 4th Arrivals Facebook page, Fall/Advantage 2014 - Attractions page, and the DCP Running Page. I was giddy and couldn't wait. The first thing I wanted to do? Look for roommates, but more on that next time. 

My DCP Journey: You've Been Pended

On March 4th, I received the email that I had been dreading all along: You've been pended. I was a little bit relieved, but scared at the same time. What if I didn't get it? What if I did get it, but got a role I didn't really want? But what if I didn't get it? When I hopped onto the Disney Facebook page, I saw that a wave of pending had gone out, and a ton of people had been pended. 

Someone had emailed recruitment asking about what was going on, and basically what they said was that they had so many people applying, they had to pend people because they didn't want to make a rash decision. This kind of comforted me, but at the same time it didn't. Basically the only reason that they pended people was because they were nearing the 3 week deadline, and they had to do something. 

While I didn't want them to make a rash decision, I really wanted to just know. I've heard horror stories of people being pended up until the final date and then being NLICd (no longer in consideration). I didn't want to be one of those people, I wanted to know damnit! In my mind, I just blew it off and tried to concentrate on my homework and studies...though that didn't really work. 

I ended up checking the Facebook page obsessively, and seeing different waves of people getting their acceptances. Lifeguards, Merchandise, Quick Service, Full Service, Vacation Planners, and Main Operations were some of the first people to get their acceptances. I can't say that I was too jealous, because those roles weren't the roles that I wanted. But at the same time, I was jealous of people already knowing. But then, I just waited some more...

My DCP Application Process: The Phone Based Interview

To be completely honest, this is the part of my application process that I was completely dreading. It didn't matter how much research that I did, I never felt ready. The day before the interview, and even the day of the interview I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't concentrate on anything but Disney (has anything really changed?), and I was so nervous that I was going to answer the questions wrong. 

I had looked up questions for my specific role, as well as some of the general questions, and filled them out. Answered them as honestly and creatively as I could, and tried to just tell myself to calm down. There were so many people who had done the interview before I did, and I was SO jealous. I just wanted to get it over with. 

The day of the interview, the second that I got out of class, I hightailed it to my house as quick as I could. I locked myself into my room at home and just started watching YouTube videos about a bunch of different subjects, almost all dealing with Disney World. Then came the waiting period. They can call you either 30 minutes before your scheduled time, or 30 minutes after your scheduled time. I made sure that my phone was charged completely and on loud so that when it rang I heard it. 

My interviewer ended up calling at the exact time that I had scheduled, which was a huge relief for me. They say that you're supposed to smile when you are talking, which I did, as well as staying in one place (which I didn't do) and speak as clearly as possible. The second she called me I got so nervous that I started PACING around my room...literally circles, trying to calm myself down. It ended up being fine, and I thought that I did alright. Not great, but not awful.

She asked me about how I would handle certain situations, and if I was okay with certain work situations. She then asked me questions about my top roles, which I said were: BBB (the bippity boppity boutique), attractions, photopass, recreation, and merchandise. She only asked me questions about BBB, Attractions, and PhotoPass, thank goodness or we would have been there all day. After asking me specific questions about the roles, she then asked me if I would be okay working Quick Service, or Custodial. Although I had a little bit of hesitation, in the end I agreed. In all honesty, I just wanted to be on the program, I didn't really care what role I received.

At the end you could ask the interviewer any questions, which is actually really encouraged. I ended up asking about how she got her start with Disney, if you could work with Run Disney while you were down there, and something else that I can't really remember right now...A lot of people take this time to request parks, but honestly I didn't want to. I want to be surprised, and I figure Disney will place me in a spot that's the best for me, and I want to be surprised. 

Later that evening I received the "Thank you for interviewing" email that you normally receive after the phone interview process. They say it'll take about 2-3 weeks before they'll get back to you and let you know your status. So after that email, I just waited.... 

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