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26th Mar 2012

Traditions, Training and Terrible Pizza Service

On Friday we decided to have a chill-out day after our crazy day at Universal. We went to IHOP at about 10 for some Brunch and the others got a taxi to WalMart to do more shopping. I decided I didn’t need to spend any more money and thought I would walk to Crossroads to get a bus back to housing forgetting the bus only goes there in the evening. This resulted in me having to walk from Crossroads to Downtown Disney to get a bus – fail! I turned out to be not such a bad thing since the bus back from WalMart that the others were meant to get on broke down leaving them stranded at WalMart for 3 hours. When they finally got back we all went around to Craig’s apartment for some drinks and we decided to order some Pizza. Craig is in Block 28 with me which is about an 8 minute walk to security. We ordered pizza, walked up to security to wait for it and it never turned up. We forgot to bring the number with so we had to walk back to 28 to ring them back and re-order before another walk back to security to actually pick up the pizza. All-in-all 30 minutes of walking backwards and forwards and some very unhappy CRPs.

Saturday was an early start for Traditions. We got the bus to Disney University and signed in all the CRPs were in one class together will Jill and Brad facilitating. Before Traditions we had a talk from the Union about the role they play and were given the choice to sign up. I am not going to advise on whether you should or shouldn’t, that choice is yours to make. The content of Traditions has not really changed since 2009 except they have created the 4 keys to explain the principles of Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency which I am pretty sure used to be called something else. For Lunch you get to travel up to Magic Kingdom and have a little walking tour to see the 4 Keys in action and eat in backstage before returning to Disney U for more classroom work. We also got our Nametags (delivered by a special someone) and IDs making us fully fledged Cast Members. This obviously required an evening visit to a Disney Park, MK was open until Midnight so was an obvious choice. Emily, who is doing Merch, needed to go and buy work shoes for class the next day and Sarah had an early start the next day so it was just Craig, Lesley, Sian and I who ran home, got changed and dashed to Chatham to catch the A bus to MK.

The park was of course very busy but we did manage to do Mansion, grab some dinner in Pecos, watch The Magic, The Memories and You, Wishes, Philharmagic and the Main Street Electrical Parade before we decided to call it a night. We also got a change to enjoy the Tomorrowland Dance Party which looked like a lot of fun, I can’t wait to go back when it is a little less crazy.

Today we had Food & Beverage Core Training at Disney U which was an afternoon class consisting of an introduction to the types of WDW F&B Operations, some food safety training and then some eLearning courses. It is quite long and boring but you are getting paid and it is not too difficult so it is alright. I managed to avoid a couple fo the eLearning courses the others had to do since mine are still valid from 2008/2009. This meant I got out early. We also finished our HUB (Disney intranet) sign-up. The day finishes with a trip to costuming to choose some work shoes, which are provided by Disney.

This evening we were all knackered and decided to go for a quick dinner in the Food Court in premium outlets before returning to the Commons. We all have a 6am start tomorrow for an onboarding day at Epcot. I spent a bit of time at Craig’s before coming back to my apartment to write this.

I have seen my schedule online and it looks like I have Thursday and Saturday off but I am not sure how final that is at the moment. It is nice to finally be getting started with work, I can’t wait to actually get to Epcot tomorrow.

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23rd Mar 2012

Riding Dragons and Helping Superheroes at Islands of Adventure

Wednesday evening we went back to WalMart for a second trip to get food and stuff we had forgotten the first time. Corin, from the March 6th group, and her friend Ashleigh from Canada came with.

When I got back I started sorted a Wireless router for the apartment, $22 from the Front Desk which was nice and simple and means I can now blog and Skype from the apartment nice and easily. After I got online I spoke to Katie, also from March 6th, as I had been told she was in an apartment in the same block. She said a few of the UKs were around at hers so I popped down to say hi, turns out she is literally the apartment below me. It was nice to meet some more UKs especially ones I have chatted to on Facebook for the last few months.

Universal was just a little bit busy!

On Thursday morning we had agreed to meet at 10am to get a taxi to Universal. It was pretty reasonable, about $25/30 between 6 of us. We walked all the way down to Islands of Adventure through an extremely busy CityWalk, it is Spring Break at the moment so everywhere is packed. There was a pretty long wait at the ticket window, when we finally got to a window we tried to persuade them to give us Florida Resident discount based on our housing IDs, the girl tried to give it to us but after she phoned a manager she said she couldn’t so we had to get non-Florida resident passes. It was only $30 more expensive – about $290 including tax which was not too bad. That gets Merch and Food discounts and has no blackout dates. She was very pleased to be selling 6 annual passes, lots of commission I guess, but when we came to pay the system would not accept any of our cards. Turns out it was the entire park having a system problem! Thankfully we all either had cash or went to the ATM to get cash and were sorted but it took quite a long time.

We went straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and rode Dragon Challenge with a 20 minute wait. I have never been to IOA before so it was all new to me and was a lot of fun. The park was SO busy, we decided against the Forbidden Journey as they wait was very long and we wanted to do as much as we could. We wandered around for a bit before eventually getting lunch where we realised we got a discount with our annual passes (yay!). Then we rode Jurassic Park and got just wet enough to cool off nicely in the hot sun. When we rode we left our valuables in a locker outside. After the ride we grabbed everything back and were heading down to Marvel when I realised I did not have my phone! Cue a fast run back to ask them to re-open the locker, thankfully it was still there and tucked behind a corner in the locker which meant I did not see it the first time – lucky escape!

Later in the day we rode Spiderman which broke in the middle so we were allowed to re-ride as well as Dr Doom which I actually really enjoyed despite being a little terrified to start with. We finished the day with the Hulk coaster which I have to say actually hurt although it was enormous fun.

We got a taxi back to the Commons for a few chill-out hours before heading to Downtown Disney for the evening. We wandered around for a while before heading to Paradiso 37 for some drinks which was a really nice end to a very busy day.

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