15th Jul 2011

Flights booked

Today I booked my flight to Orlando. As for my ICPs I decided against Yummy Travel for no real reason other than I thought I could get a better price elsewhere. In the end it was still with STA Travel but directly with their Sheffield branch – the lovely Jess found me a great fare on Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick. I even got a free Cashcard with £10 of credit which was a nice little perk. In came out at under £400 including all the various charges which I was really quite happy about.

I had a choice of 2 flights – one at 11.15am and one at 1pm – but decided to go with the earlier flight, just in case there are problems it gives me that little bit of extra time to find an alternative route. Virgin will be a new experience for me, I have never flown with them before so I am quite excited. Although it does mean flying out of the (slightly) less nice South terminal at Gatwick airport instead of the North where I flew with British Airways but I am sure I will get over it.

I have not heard from anybody else on my date with that flight yet; it would be nice to fly with a group but I have done it before so I am not too bothered if I end up flying on my own and meeting up with people on the Orlando side. At least I know where I have to go now.

I decided to leave getting insurance for now. It is still 8 months until I leave and I am sure that prices will change. Also I would have to have paid for it now which seems a bit crazy if I don’t leave for ages. Assuming nothing changes I think I am going to go with World Nomads for my insurance. I used them in 2008 and although I did not have to make any claims they seemed OK. They are also a bit more flexible in terms of what is covered than the STA travel insurance so that if I decide to do anything slightly adventurous (Sky Diving anyone?) I will be covered. It is also extendible up to 18 months if anything changes or I decide to go travelling at the end of the program.

It is really nice to have a flight booked and it all now feels a bit more real.

In other news the Disney Parks blog today released ‘new’ renderings (they were actually released elsewhere a while ago) of the ‘Be Our Guest Restaurant’ and ‘Enchanted Tales with Belle’ that are currently under construction in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.  I am off to Loughborough tomorrow and will get a chance to see Kristen who I am sure will be more excited than me about anything to do with Belle and Prince Adam but to me they look like they are going to be fantastic experiences. I am not sure I can express in words how excited I am that I will get to see, at least, the opening of Phase 1 of New Fantasyland. They broke ground while I was on my 2009 ICP and one of my Thunder managers was involved in the project planning and it will be really nice to see the finished product.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Source: Disney Parks Blog

I am particularly intrigued about the restaurant, which is going to be quick service during the day and full service in the evening. If the other recent Imagineering projects are anything to go by it will be impeccably themed and make use of some of the latest technology to tell an amazing story. I am already mentally seeing Dining reservations being made although I don’t imagine there will be many Cast Member dining discounts there in 2012 or 2013.

That is all my news for this week – I am still working on the Bucket List and will be publishing it as soon as it is done. I hope you all have a magical weekend and for those still on the waiting list I hope that you hear back soon – I know how it feels and it is not nice.

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12th Jul 2011

The Ultimate Disney College Program Abbreviations Guide

I know in the past I have been guilty of using abbreviations on this blog without explaining what they mean. To help, here is a guide to all the abbreviations I can think of, as well as some obscure names that might not be immediately obvious. For many of these there are alternative abbreviations, these are the ones I use, other CMs may have slight variations. If you ask Catherine or David or any other Disney alums I am sure you will get a different answer!

I am sure I have missed a few (or a lot) so I will edit this list if/when I think of any more – hopefully non-CMs or new CPs/ICPs/CRPs who read this blog will find this helpful to work out what I am talking about.

The Abbreviations

ADO – Authorised Day Off

ADR – Advance Dining Reservations

AK – Animal Kingdom

AKL – Animal Kingdom Lodge

BTM – Big Thunder Mountain

CDCT – Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade

CDS – Cast Deployment System (The computer system that cast members use to clock in and out and get assigned positions)

CM – Cast Member

CP – College Program

CS – Counter-Service (Fast Food Restaurant)

CRP – Cultural Representative Program

CR – Casual Regular Cast Member (Part-Time)

CS – Chatham Square

CT – Casual Temporary (Seasonal) Cast Member

DCL – Disney Cruise Line

DHS – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park

DLR – Disneyland Resort

DLP – Disneyland Paris

DTD – Downtown Disney

DVC – Disney Vacation Club

EC – Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow – or Every Paycheck Comes on Thursday or many other unofficial versions!)

ECV – Electric Convenience Vehicle (Electric Wheelchair/Scooter)

EMH – Extra-Magic Hours (When the park opens early or close late for Disney resort guests)

ER – Early Release (Getting let off work early – unpaid – see ROS)

FantLand – Fantasyland at MK

FroLand – Frontierland at MK

FT – Full-Time Cast Member

FW – Future World at Epcot

GF – Grand Floridian Resort

GMR – Great Movie Ride at DHS

GR – Guest Relations

HM – Haunted Mansion

ICP – International College Program

Illum – Illuminations at Epcot

LMA – Lights, Motors, Action Stunt Show at DHS

MiSiCi – Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party

MK – Magic Kingdom

MSEP – Main Street Electrical Parade

PAC – Parade Audience Control

PC – Patterson Court

POP – Pop Century Resort

QSF – Quick Service Foods

RnR – Rock n Roller Coaster at DHS

ROS – Release of Shift (Let off work and paid – only available to full-time cast members and very rare)

Spectro – Spectromagic Parade

ToT – Tower of Terror at DHS

TSI – Tom Sawyer Island at MK

TT – Test Track at Epcot

TTA – Tomorrowland Transit Authority at MK

TTC  – The Transportation and Ticket Centre

TWDC  – The Walt Disney Company

UoE – Universe of Energy at Epcot

VW – Vista Way

WDW – Walt Disney World

WoD – The World of Disney Store at DTD

WS – World Showcase at Epcot

Other Hard to Get Names

Little Lake Bryan – The Area containing Mickey’s Retreat, Chatham Square, Patterson Court and the Commons

Mickey’s Retreat – A CM recreation area opposite Chatham Square

The Mouseketeria – The CM cafeteria at MK

Take5 – The CM cafeteria at DHS

The Tunnels – The Utilidors under MK

Westclock – A backstage area at MK where cast members arrive before their shifts

If you are a Disney alum and think I have missed anything important (I am sure I have!) then leave a comment below and I will add it to the list
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