July, 2012

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26th Jul 2012

Money, money, money

I have had a fairly chilled out week but the whole week has a lot of money related activities!

On my days off I spent most of the time just chilling out and enjoying the fact that I had 2 days off in a row but on the Monday I went over to Disney University to go to Partners Federal Credit Union (Disney’s own bank/building society) to open an account to help manage all of my money over here. This was the first opportunity I had to go as it was the first weekday that I had off and Partners is only open office hours Monday to Friday. Opening the account was pretty easy – all I needed was my passport, Disney ID, housing ID and social security number, but it took ages. I was in there for more than an hour and a half, it was not a difficult process there are just a lot of steps and it is not very efficient. My advice to anyone looking to open an account is to not be in a hurry to go anywhere! They do print your debit card then and there though so you are good to go as soon as you walk out. All I had to do was change my bank details on the HUB and my next paycheck will go straight in there instead of on to my paycard. They even transferred the balance on my paycard in to my new account.

On Tuesday I was back to work and the week started with a stocker shift followed by Beer Cart which was a nice easy start to the week. On Thursday I was Assigning which was a bit weird as I never assign Thursdays and as I discovered they are really quiet days which was not too bad although we did not do great numbers as we thought a storm was coming late in the evening and we cut walk ins a bit early – of course it never rained!

Friday and Saturday were my first GT shifts on my own. They went OK although it is really nerve-racking at times to know that you are responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in cash. I really enjoyed it though and hopefully I will get a few more scheduled in the coming weeks. They are nice shifts because they don’t start until 4pm which gives you most of the day to get stuff done, the only downside is that you are never back at housing before 12.30 at the earliest which is a pain as you are too late to go out. This week that meant I could not go to Cowboys on Saturday which I was pretty gutted about – next week maybe!

I was off again Sunday and Monday and both days were spent mostly chilling around the Commons as the heat and the late night shifts had taken it out of me a bit. I did get to meet with some Disney managers on the Monday though which was a nice chance to pick their brains about life, the universe and everything. It is nice to know that friends and managers from my previous programs still think about me and try and help me out where they can – Disney friends really are friends for life! I also got to spend some time in Magic Kingdom where I finally got to see the Rainy Day Cavalcade which is the replacement for the 3 O’Clock parade when there is rain (but not lightning) in the area. The characters come out in the Main Street vehicles wearing their rain gear and carrying umbrellas to a rain themed musical score. It is pretty rare to see it given the weather requirements but it was fun to go to the parks and actually see something new – given that I am coming up to a cumulative year of working for WDW that is pretty rare these days.

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16th Jul 2012

A quiet (ish) week in Orlando

We got through 4th July week in one piece and everyone expected it to start getting really busy  as summer vacations around the world began but it has actually been a really quiet week possibly because of how the 4th fell and possibly because with Test Track closed Epcot is not as busy as it normally would be but either way it has been pretty slow at work.

Sunday was my day off and after a very nice lie-in Lesley and I went to Hollywood Studios to find pretty long waits for the major rides and thousands of Brazilian Tour Groups. I don’t think I have explained the tour groups before but during July and August large groups of South American teenagers come over on organised trips to Disney and usually wear matching brightly coloured T-shirts. They tend to move in big groups and make a lot of noise which can make them a bit of a nuisance on occasion especially when you are trying to get around the parks nice and quickly. We managed a few of the minor rides including the Great Movie Ride and we watched the Lights, Motors, Action show before we came back to the Commons to help Sam move her stuff in to her new one-bedroom apartment. In the evening I went to HOB with Sam, Lesley, Jaci and Emily which turned in to a bit of a drunken night after Sam gave us shots of 100% proof alcohol before we left – much fun was had by all though and I actually felt surprisingly good the next morning!

On Monday I was back training in Chippy where it was once again really slow and quiet but my trainees were on their third day so they had pretty much got the hang of it by this point. Sian and Lesley asked if I wanted to go to MK after work which seemed like a nice plan. Unfortunately we did not get out of closing Chippy until almost 10 which meant I had to run to get changed and missed the last monorail so had to get the bus meaning I missed Wishes and got to MK just in time to eat some food and ride Pirates and Space Mountain before the park closed.

Tuesday I was meant to be training Chippy again but I instead got moved over to Podium for a fairly standard seating shift where I spent most of the time bussing tables for Janet. After work I got home and was knackered and hungry but I could not summon up the energy to walk over to McDonalds to get food. Luckily Sam text that she was going over there and did anyone want a lift from the Commons – lifesaver! We got takeaway and went to Emily’s to eat it while we discussed plans for trips during August. We agreed a date and I put a request to get the time off which was of course denied so we shall see what happens – the others put requests in too so we will have to wait and see what works out. It is hard to get time off on podium but once the others are in to service it should be much easier for them to switch their shifts around because they have less scheduling restrictions.

On Wednesday night Sam was hosting a little party to celebrate moving in to her new apartment but I was on my final GT training shift which meant I did not get out of work until Midnight so I only caught the last hour or so. Sam insisted that I have two more of the 100% proof shots as soon as I arrived so I fairly quickly caught up with their drunken antics. Having finished my 3 training shifts though means I am now officially a trained GT at the Rose & Crown and hopefully I should get a shift or two in the near future. It is nice to be able to do something different although I don’t want to do it too often as the midnight/1am finishes are not great for a social life.

On Thursday I had a lovely AM Beer Cart shift. Those shifts are great as they are just 7 hours and you spend the first hour setting up the cart and then you get a 45 minute break and you usually bank out around 5 meaning you have a pretty easy day. In the evening Emily had planned a little party for the new arrivals (or the new new new newbies as they seem to be being called) – it was really nice to get to meet them before they get in to the pavilion although looking at the schedule it does not look like I am going to be training many of them thanks to lots of Assigner shifts. I really hope we keep doing meet and greets like those for the new arrivals as I hope it makes arriving in the pavilion a little bit easier if there are a few friendly faces around.

Friday was my standard Assigning shift which all went a bit pear-shaped late in the evening when I ended up a Server down due to injury which pulled the numbers for the evening down a bit. I hate not making the budget when I am assigning even though it is often not my fault. When I got home I was knackered and ended up just crawling in to bed and sleeping.

Yesterday I was back on seating again but I actually spent most of the day greeting (my favourite position on podium) and I had some really lovely guests who chatted for ages. When we are quiet we have plenty of time to talk to guests which is nice. One guest even offered that I could stay with them in upstate New York if I ever visited. Another guest told me I was the nicest Cast Member they had met in Disney which brightened up my day. After work I came home and chilled out for a while before heading to Cowboys with a nice contingent of the UK. I think I am falling in love with Cowboys, it is just so chilled out and fun although I am going to have to give it a miss next week as I am working too late to get there.

I finally have a 5 day week next week so I have 2 days off in a row now, looking forward to some nice chill out time and the chance to finally do some proper shopping and tidying of my room.

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