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14th Apr 2013

Fantastic February & March Madness on the Disney CRP

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It has been 3 months since my last confession… Sorry readers, CRP life has a habit of catching up with you and not letting you go!

Today I leave Orlando at the end of my program – it has been an incredible year and I can honestly say I have made friends and memories that will hopefully last a long time. I can’t possibly hope to include everything that has happened in the last few months in a single post but I am going to include the major highlights. I will be writing another post about the whole year in the next few days when I have time to get settled back home and look back on my whole year.

I will admit that up until February I made a note in my Calendar of what I did each day to make writing this a little easier – I seem to have forgotten to do that so I am piecing this together a little!

IMG_4495I left off at the end of January… That week one of my days off was spent at WonderWorks on International Drive which I must admit would not have been my first choice but was actually a lot of fun – we were there for over 3 hours! It has loads of weird exhibits and a bubble room where you get to try and stand inside a bubble! Needless to say a lot of fun was had by all!

The next week we went to Hard Rock at Universal to see the magician’s Penn and Teller – I have always wanted to see them live and I must say I was not disappointed  Although I had seen a few of the acts before there was quite a bit of new stuff and going with a load of UKs of course made the whole thing more fun.

I worked 6 day weeks for the next couple of weeks as I picked up shifts from people so it was all a bit crazy but my friend Alice from my 2009 program came to visit and we spent most of the day reliving good times and exploring Magic Kingdom and Epcot before she had to leave and I spent the evening with the December arrival group having Dinner at the Rose & Crown – It was really nice to spend time with everyone just chilling out.

The week later my Parents were here so I spent 3 days staying in Coronado Springs which was absolutely lovely – I got to take them all over the parks as well as eating in 2 Signature restaurants. But before the arrived monday night Lads was a Lasses takeover – I don’t want to give too much away but if you ever get to go to a Lads/Lasses takeover do it! They have been some of the best nights of my program and being fed mysterious pink alcohol by Kim will be an enduring memory of my program – in a very good way! While they were here I also rented a car – It is a godsend having a car, the busses are generally OK but they take ages to get anywhere and if you decide to do something last minute you can wait 45 minutes for a bus before you can even start going anywhere. I am going to write an advice post on renting a car with some tips for this as well.

IMG_4663The end of that week was my Birthday. On the Saturday night I of course went to Cowboys which I must admit got a little messy but it was lovely to spend my birthday with all of my friends. It was also the March 6thers last so they did their last song as well which made for a really nice night. The next day, my actual birthday, I went to MK with Emma Spears where we did all the usual stuff and we discovered Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom which is a game that you play all around MK trying to defeat villains using spell cards that you can collect and buy. We did not entirely understand what we were doing a lot of the time but it was fun and kind of addictive - we have definitely been back since to collect more cards and play again. In the evening I had made reservations at 50s Prime Time which was awesome, I had originally planned to go out after but after a day in the parks and feeling a little delicate from the night before I decided to get an early night.

IMG_4961That Wednesday was G’s arrival group’s last day but it was also the day that I found out that there had been a mistake in my program extension and it had not been processed – as far as they were concerned I was leaving in 2 weeks. Cue a lot of arguing and phone calls and emails and 60 hours of waiting before it was all finally straightened out – it was a very stressful few days before it was all resolved. On Wednesday before I knew what was happening I decided to go to Fantasmic with Alex and Tom just in case it was going to be my last one. We ended up sitting in the very front row and I got some absolutely amazing photos – in the end it wasn’t my last but if it had been I would have been very happy.

IMG_2652The next couple of weeks I decided to make the most of the end of my program and go out and do as much as possible. I went out on a lot of nights out with some really good friends. March 7th was our graduation. Our group and the 2 after all graduated together which was nice as we often don’t see that much of each other. Graduation itself was the standard photos with the characters and free food. Afterwards we went to watch Wishes and then went to watch Hoop Dee Doo (again) at Fort Wilderness. The show was good and our server was a lot better than the last time – we definitely had a few drinks each this time! Afterwards I went out to Sun On The Beach (SOB) where there was plenty of drama to keep the whole pavilion entertained!

The following week it felt like everything started to come to an end – Monday was my arrival group’s last Lads and Lasses which was a really nice sendoff – I definitely shed a few tears. It was very weird for them to all be leaving and me to be staying. On Wednesday Emma and I went to Fort Wilderness where we rented one of the Speedracer boats – it was loads of fun and only came to about $20. We got to go all around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, something I had never done before… it was awesome. I also showed Emma where you can see River Country, the old Water Park at Fort Wilderness – Disney Keeno moment right there.

IMG_5423That Thursday I organised another big outing for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian – it was definitely my most successful of the year, if I say so myself! There were 18 of us and we got photos and filled ourselves up before heading out for a day of fun in the parks where Bryony took me to see a load of shows including the Lion King at AK which is one of my favourites.

The next week I went to Mickey’s Backyard Barbecue with Alex and Bryony which is a barbecue buffet at Fort Wilderness. The food was awesome, the show not so much. But we did get a pretty awesome discount and we managed to make it over to Magic Kingdom for the parade and pixie dust for the girls.

That weekend was my ‘offical’ last – As I extended I was leaving by myself and there was an arrival group the week before. In order to not bore people with last everything two weeks in a row we agreed I would do everything a week early. Last Cowboys was awesome, with plenty of tears and last Lads, held at Mark’s house was really nice with more of a house party feel than a crazy party. It was a really nice sendoff.

And that was the end of March… that just left me with a couple of weeks left before I returned home to the UK :-(. All that in another post to come!

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29th Aug 2009

Thoughts on the end of a 2nd Disney ICP

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I am currently sitting on BA2036 returning to London after another 2 and a half months of work at the Walt Disney World Resort. Looking back at my blog I have realised that the last few weeks have not exactly been great blog-wise – I do apologise – my last few weeks of work were 6 day weeks and I worked in excess of 60 hours a week. I can’t deny that this was hard work and at times I had less than 4 hours sleep between shifts. My paychecks have however been a lot better than last year and despite spending over $200 on a night at the Contemporary I am still coming home with over $700 and 1 more paycheck yet to come – another summer that will just about pay for itself.

The last few days have been a lot of fun. On Wednesday before my last shift I got up at around 6am and headed to Chatham security with my luggage. I had planned to call a cab but when I got out there was one sitting right there. As we were about to pull away a CRP in a AKL costume came running up and asked for a cab number from the driver – she had missed the bus – he suggested we shared the cab since AKL and All Star are just around the corner from each other. I did not mind, it made the cab cheaper for both of us and I was not really in a hurry. I checked in and left my bags and headed to MK to watch Welcome Show before I started my 10.45 shift. I played around on Main Street for a while before going backstage to change. My last shift was pretty uneventful, no downtimes, no evacs, nothing of note. But that was fine – I was just happy to be finished. I had to dash back to Chatham to hand in my ID and Key before 8pm when the Front Desk closed – I got there with 30 minutes to spare! After that I needed another cab back to All Star Movies since I could not use Transportation now that I had handed in my ID. I called for one and it came pretty quickly. I went to my room in All Star and I literally collapsed on the bed – I was exhausted. I had just worked 8 days straight with little-to-no sleep most nights. I sat in my room, plugged in my laptop, turned on the TV and ordered room service Pizza. I had loads of trouble getting online but eventually a call to Guest Relations sorted it all out and in the end I got it for free! I love ‘Immediate Service Recovery’!

The next morning I got up early to have my bags sent over to the Contemporary while I went to the studios in time for opening. I did Coaster 3 times and Tower once and then realised that there was really not anything else I wanted to do. I then went over to MK to see all the Thunder people for one last time and do loads of shopping for presents at the Emporium – after watching CDCT which was a non-stop approaching inclement weather version I headed to the Contemporary as I once again realised there was nothing I really wanted to do. It is definitely time to go home when you realised that you have done everything you want to do – this makes me happy – I am leaving contented.

Upon arrival at the Contemporary my Key to the World card would not let me in my room so I went down to the Front Desk for a replacement which also did not work! To cut a long story short 7 cards and 2 engineers later they gave me an override Key Card which let me get in and out of my room. At about 8 I went over to the GF to meet Alice and her boyfriend so that we could watch Wishes from their MK-view room. Much fun was had although it was sad to say goodbye to Alice and know that it could be months until I see her again. It was then back to the Contemporary for the most amazing night’s sleep I have had in quite a long time. If I ever have the cash I am coming to WDW as a guest and stay at the Contemp for a week!

This morning I got up and went over to MK for some last-minute gifts for my sister and one last ride on Thunder. It was the DME to the airport. I bumped into Luke and Rachel as well as one of my Managers in the Departure Lounge which was a really nice way to end the whole experience.

To conclude this blog and sum up the summer – It has been fun, it has been hard, I have met some amazing people and at least in part it lived up to my expectations. Was it better than the first time? It was certainly different, which was better is hard to say – work was better last time but I have made much closer friends this time around. As with everything to do with the Disney ICP there are pros and cons but in my mind the pros for this summer definitely outweigh the cons…

From the mid-Atlantic on the way home from the ‘Place Where Dreams Come True’, this is Dan Winer, signing off from ICP #2…

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