So yes, I am very well aware that I'm no good at keeping you guys up to date on my life down here. That is because I have been ridiculously busy. So let me try and get you caught up.
When last we met, I was working at the Seas with Nemo and Friends and Turtle Talk with Crush. I very quickly became the best host that Turtle Talk has ever had, and that's because I worked my butt off in the shows. I also became very good friends with the Turtles and it was important for me to help them have a good show. The ride on the other hand drove me nuts, I have never liked those clamoblies. During the week between Christmas and New Years it was the busiest week of the year and the managers were screaming at us to run as many people through the ride as possible and I got fed up real fast. Let me also say that at that point I had worked about 12 days in a row, most of them having 10-15 hours in a day, just a few more hours than normal. So I was in no mood to get yelled at. That was pretty much my breaking point and I knew I needed out. I also made trainer at the Seas. However, I never got to train anyone. I assessed two people and made sure they checked out and could run the ride. But my first trainees were supposed to start this week and I never got that far.
This is Eddie Wilder, I call him papa turtle. He is the person I go to when I'm having a rough day or I need a pep talk on life. He's truly one of a kind. For his birthday Karly and I surprised him by decorating the green room for him.
One of my favorite memories was Epcot's 25th Anniversary. It was a truly remarkable experience. The celebration was fueled by fans who understood the importance of Epcot in Disney history. It was after all Walt's most important project, everything he did was to make money for Epcot. What you see today isn't exactly what he had in mind, but it has the same ideas behind it. As you can see, I did work that day, but it did not feel like work. It was fun all day long. There was an amazing sense of camaraderie between cast and guests. I can't even explain to you the feelings that I got that day, it will never happen again and I'm so glad I was there to experience it. As a cast member who worked that day I got a free commemorative pin and T-shirt as well as free food and Cirque du Soleil entertainment. After my shift ended I played in the park with Karly and Chad and we had so much fun. We stayed for the fireworks which had a special 4 minute tag on the end only for the 25th celebration. It poured all evening long and the fireworks were postponed, so by the time they happened the only people who were left were Cast members and guest who truly wanted to be there to celebrate. It was amazing.
I celebrated my birthday down here. That was such a great day! I spent the whole day with Karly and Chad and we played in the parks. We started at Epcot so I could have Crush sing to me, that was really all I wanted. Well Crush more than sang to me, he also chatted with me for a while and kept referring back to me. It was the best present ever! We took a birthday picture with the characters at Innoventions. Then I had some Yakitori for lunch and of course a Mickey Bar! After that we went over to Magic Kingdom and ended up with the perfect timing. We were on mainstreet for the Dapper Dans, barbershop quartet, performance and they sang Happy Birthday to me. Then I got to go meet Cinderella and that was the highlight of my day. We also went on Thunder Mountain and the railroad and just explored around the park. That evening we went over to Pleasure Island and saw Eddie (papa turtle) perform at the Comedy Warehouse. It ended up being pure luck that he was there. It was also the goodbye party for one of our managers, so we hung out with them for a while as well. Then we went to the Adventurers Club. It's this very cool live show that the audience is immersed in. I can't even describe it, but it was a lot of fun.
I got trained at Journey Into Imagination with Figment and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. It is very similar to the seas because it's a ride/show combination. But there were some differences. I enjoyed the attractions, however the people over there were not the nicest to me at first, it took a little while. I haven't been back there since New Years Eve. Here's me and Karly with Figment!
I had my first holiday's at WDW. It was an unbelievable experience. At MGM studios they had the Osbourne family spectacle of lights. The whole street was transformed into a lighted paradise. There were millions of Christmas lights that put on dancing shows. They also had snow or as we call it snoap falling from the sky. There were Christmas carols being played and all the cast members had on scarves and santa hats. It was just a great experience. My favorite was Cinderella's Castle. For the first time ever, they lit up the caslte with hundreds of sparkling lights that made it look like it was covered in shimmering ice. It was just gorgeous. I also took part in the taping of the WDW Christmas parade. The taping was actually done on December 1st. Karly and I went to the Magic Kingdom at 7am and we stood on the side of mainstreet while they taped the whole parade going by. The cameras stopped and filmed right in on my face quite a few times, so I was bummed when I didn't make it on tv. But it was just very cool to see the parade, it's one of my favorites. The Halloween parade outdoes anything I've ever seen though, it's a must see. Then we played in the park and went to go meet some princesses. We ended up having an amazing Belle who let us stay until the end of their set and take a picture with both her and Cinderella. It was a great gift.
This Christmas I sang in the Cast Choir for the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. It was one of the best experiences I've had down here. I had to squeeze in 10 rehearsals along with my 60+ hours a week and that became a challenge, but I got it done. Then performances started and I showed up for everyone I could possibly get to, it ended up being about 20. The show is a retelling of the birth of Christ by a celebrity narrator. There is a professional orchestra who accompanies all the songs led by some of the best conductors I've had the privilege of working with. The cast choir makes up a tree shape, there are about 65 of us crammed into the risers. On the sides of the stage are guest choirs from high schools in Florida and around the country, there was a Rochester, MN school one night. And it's all topped off by the fabulous Voices of Liberty, an 8 voice (usually acapella) group. It was a wonderful experience and I hope I get the chance to do it again next year. For every show I did (there were 3 a night) I got a one day park hopper ticket, so I've got quite a few just burning a hole in my pocket waiting for visitors (HINT HINT). There's me with Neil Patrick Harris of Doogie Howser fame. I'm about 2 people to his right and up a row.
If you remember I had mentioned a relationship with a guy named Chase whom I know from Turtle Talk. Well that continued to be on again off again, now we are just really good friends. I got tired of getting my heart broken. While we were together he introduced me to an improv comedy club in downtown Orlando that he performs at. It's called SAK and it's kind of a combination of Brave New Workshop and Comedy Sportz or Who's Line is it Anyway. They do a competition style improv show where they play several short games. However they also teach classes. I started volunteering there and earning SAK bucks, when I get enough of those I can use them to pay for class. I haven't been back in a couple weeks, I'm going to let things settle down first, but I really enjoy doing that. I get to sell concessions and take tickets, all that fun stuff I got so good at from basketball tournaments. I'm just waiting til they let me do the register, everyone else is so slow and I just love cash handling.
When most of you last saw me I had lost about 20 pounds since moving down, now I'm up to 45. And I've lost 34 inches, so I look a little different. This is the first week I was in Florida and then this week.
I haven't spent a whole lot of time in the parks in the recent past and that's been a bit of a drag, I really enjoy them, but I've spent so much time working and they close much earlier in the off-peak season. Yesterday though I did go to Magic Kingdom for the afternoon and I just sat on Mainstreet watching people and writing. I'm trying to modify they way we teach Turtle Talk right now so our new cast members are more successful.
The big news is that I have actually started a new job. I started this week as a concierge at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. I'm very excited about it. It is a promotion, I'm making about $1.75 more an hour. It's still not even close to where I was at the bank, but for Disney it's about as high as I can get as an hourly employee without being Office and Technical. So I'll take it. Having this job will mean that I can pick up shifts in a few places. I'll be able to work at the Seas and Image still, and once I'm trained I'll be able to pick up both concierge and front desk shifts at any resort. And I'm definitely planning on doing that. I would like to get to as many as I possibly can just for the experience, the networking, and to be able to have it on my resume. So we shall see how well that goes. There's a lot to tell about my training so far, so we'll leave that for another post. But that should get you up to date.
Today's Trivia Question: What holds in the aquarium glass in the Seas?