Sunday, February 26, 2012


Remember... Dreams Come True!
I wish… I could go to the ball!

I’m wishing, someday my prince will come!

 I wish! Oh, I wish I could a part of that world!

I wish we’d never have to grow up. Off to Neverland! Ha ha!

Look, Jiminy! Someday, I wish, I could be a real boy!

Genie, I wish for your freedom!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perfect Day

If I had a perfect day in Disney World, it would be this:

Early character breakfast at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian.
Over to Animal Kingdom:
Grab a fastpass for Expedition Everest
Go on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and say hi to Hobbes and Rajah, my favorite tigers.
See the Festival of the Lion King

Lunch at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, preferably a table by the window, like where I ate with my parents.

Head over to Hollywood Studios, say hi to Mr. Incredible, and Sorcerer Mickey; ride Rockin' Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror.

Walk over to Epcot:
Wander around the World Showcase, talk to the cute foreign CPs
Get a Grand Mariner slush in France
See the candy artist in Japan and the players in the UK
Get some creme brulee from the French patissere
Meet Aladdin and Jasmine in Morocco, and Belle, Aurora and Marie in France
Go to Turtle Talk with Crush

Monorail it over to Magic Kingdom!
Go on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the teacups, Snow White's Scary Adventure, Philharmagic, Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo, and the Carousel.
Eat dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table
Run over to Adventureland and get a pineapple-vanilla Dole Whip
Run to Main Street and watch Wishes by the ice cream shop
Go on Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and watch Philharmagic again before going on one last ride on Winnie the Pooh. Walk to the park entrance through the castle, take a boat over to the Polynesian, walk on the beach before going to bed.

Best day ever, and completely improbable.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time, Part 2

 In Toy Story Playland at the Studios
 Meeting Captain Jack Sparrow!
 Giving Captain Jack Sparrow a kiss!
 My favorite window in the castle. Except for maybe Phillip battling Dragon Maleficent.
 I worked there in Disney World!
 Meeting my favorite Princess. The line was an hour wait, and you only met one. Poorly planned system, Disneyland Paris.
 Snow White blowing kisses at the Stars and Cars parade
 Rubbing Aladdin's magic lamp
 Meeting Flynn Rider while in line to meet Rapunzel!
 He asked me what I had done that day, and I told him that I had kissed Jack Sparrow. Flynn asked if he could have one too, and I happily obliged.
 Meeting Rapunzel!
A goodbye hug. January 7 was magical!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Packing List

This list is everything and anything you may need in your apartment for the Disney College Program! Note: Does not include clothing as it is more useful to make personal packing lists for clothing.

- Comforter
- Sheet Set x 2 (Twin, NOT twin XL! Make sure pillow cases are included!)
- Throw blanket/pillows (optional)
- Pillows
- Mattress Cover
- Decorations and Personal Items (just make sure everything complies with housing rules, especially for inspections!)
- Lamp (I suggest a small one that fits on your nightstand)
- Alarm clock
- Hangers
- Laundry Basket
- Lock (for lockers)
- TV & DVD player

- Shower Curtain
- Shower Curtain Rings
- Bath Rug
- Air Freshener
- Bath Towels (2)
- Hand Towels and Washcloths
- Soap

- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Hair Care Products (including brush, hair ties/headbands, bobby pins hair dryer, straightener, curling iron)
- First Aid Kit
- Sunscreen!!
- Shampoo, Conditioner, body wash, face wash
- Deodorant
- Q-tips
- Makeup
- Chapstick
- Razors & Shaving Cream
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Perfume
- Bug Spray
- Toilet Paper
- Loofah

Kitchen/Living Room
- Dish Towels (2-4)
- Pot Holders
- Tupperware Containers
- Ziploc Bags (snack size, sandwich size, quart size and gallon size)
- Napkins
- Paper Towels
- Refillable Water Bottle
- Coffee Maker and filters
- Toaster
- Blender
- Dish Soap
- Dish Sponges

- Clorox Wipes, Windex, Magic Erasers
- Kitchen Trash Bags
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner

- Laptop/Computer
- Power Cord
- Digital Camera and Power Cord/Batteries/Charger and Extra Memory Cards
- Cell Phone & Charger
- Headphones
- Surge Protector (2-3)
- Wireless Router (go in with roommates on this)
- Ethernet Cable (back up for wireless router)

- Backpack
- Notebooks & Folders
- Pens & Pencils
- Stapler & Staples
- Check-In Paperwork (helps to keep in folders)
- Passport, drivers license, birth certificate
- Umbrella and raincoat
- Reusable Shopping Bags (for groceries)


Female Guidelines

Hair Confinement and Accessories
In keeping with the Disney Look and costume theming, the following guidelines for hair accessories apply:
Accessories no larger than one inch (approximately 2.5 cm) wide (approximately 2.5 cm) wide and four inches (approximately 10 cm) long are acceptable. Headbands, hair ribbons, or hair ties are acceptable, provided that they are no wider than one inch (2.5 cm).

Accessories must be a neutral color (silver, gold, tortoiseshell, black, clear or pearl) or a solid color that matches the costume.

No more than three small accessories may be worn at once.

The only hats and sun visors that may be worn are those issued by Costuming as part of the costume. Check with Costuming for the proper positioning of the hat.

Rings, earrings and a classic business-style wristwatch are permitted.

Necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets are not permitted. A medical-alert necklace, bracelet or ankle bracelet is acceptable.

Earrings must be a simple, matched pair in gold, silver or a color that blends with the costume. One earring in each ear is permitted. Earrings may be clip-on or pierced, post, hoop or dangle and must be worn on the bottom of the earlobe. Earrings may not exceed the size of a quarter.

Only one ring on each hand is permitted, with the exception of a wedding set. A ring may be worn on any finger.

The required shoes for a costumed area differ based on the role and the theming of the costume. Before buying work shoes or hosiery, cast members should check with their leaders to ensure proper style and color. It is recommended that cast members wear slip-resistant rubber-soled shoes in all areas as a safety precaution. Approved shoes and socks are required the first day in costume. Cast members are responsible for guaranteeing that shoes are kept clean, polished and in good repair at all times.

For areas requiring a dress shoe or athletic shoe, shoes must be solid in color with no contrasting logos or markings and made of a polishable material such as leather. In certain limited areas, other styles of shoes may be required. For specific guidelines, please check with the local Costuming area.

Check-In Day Tips

Steps to Disney: Check-In Day DO’s, DON’T’s & More!

Where do I stay?
The night before check-in can sometimes be more stressful than the actual check-in day itself. Many people find a hard time with a hotel to stay in before having to wake up super early to get in line to meet up with their possible roommates. I recommend staying in the Sunspree resort across from Vista Way. A lot of people who are checking into the program stay there. Many CPs like to meet in the lobby or by the pool the night before to get to know everyone.

How early should I get in line?
As early as humanly possibly! I got in line an hour before check-in and was surprised that I got the apartment I wanted. There were a lot people in front of me and my roommate and I heard a lot of them wanted Chatham. We were hoping for a 4 bedroom apartment in Chatham. If you care at all where you want to stay, and want to have a high chance of getting a room on the bottom floor; I say get there at least an hour to an hour and a half early. If you already know who you want to room with and have in your apartment, you will need to stay in line with them to be sure the pairing goes through without any problems.

What do I need to bring with me for check-in? Should I wear formal attire for it, or save my formal attire for Traditions?
You need to bring your on-boarding paper work and a form of ID. Read over your information again before you leave home because I think you need one more thing. I wouldn’t wear formal attire. I mean, you can dress business casual, but I would save your formal attire for Traditions. All you will be doing the first day is standing in line in front of Vista Way and walk through the Casting Building. DO NOT WEAR HEELS on your first day because you WILL regret it

The first part of check-in a typical routine where you stand in line and are given your program guides. Here’s a picture so you can get a general idea of what they will like:

The guides are different for every program, so don’t be shocked when you get a different one. The program guide has a list of rules that MUST be followed otherwise you will face termination. Follow the rules, stay with the company. Ignore the rules, you will get terminated. Simple. The program guides offers maps and phone numbers for Vista Way, The Commons, Chatham Square & Patterson Court, along with a list of apartments and extensions for the rooms.

You will walk into the clubhouse in Vista where you will go table to table and speak to a program supervisor/Cast Member.

The first table is will be where you request your apartment and number of rooms. You can give the person helping you your request and they will try to accommodate you. If you have roommates in line with you they must stay in line with you. Tell the person at each table that the person you are with is going to be your roommate, or your apartment mate. The CM will then give you the key to your apartment before continuing on to the next table.

The next table will ask you for your car information for those of you who will be driving. If you have no transportation, just stay with your roommate until both of you are ready to proceed to the next and final station.

The final station is where your apartment ID will be shot. You will get your apartment ID shortly after and then you can meet your family in the waiting area.Your shoulders have to be covered for the picture.

Congratulations! You finished the first step of the check-in process! :)

You will then be given about two hours to start moving in. I would do this as soon as you can that way you get get groceries and not have to worry about doing it all later. I would have your bed made, clothes put away, and all your bathroom stuff put away before meeting the bus to Casting. If you have enough time you can definitely unpack more.

The busses that you will then take will drive to Casting for your criminal background check. You will also talk to a CM about your look to get Disney Look Approved. If the CM sees any fault about your hair, etc, you will be asked to get your hair colored before you start training, among other things.

You will then be asked a series of background checks before proceeding to the next room. The final room is where you will be assigned where you will be working and you will be given a packet about the Disney guidelines.

The Casting Center takes about an hour to two hours to walk through, so be sure you tell whoever is going to help you move in that you may be awhile. You will also be given a chart of what your costume will look like and how many of them you need to get.

My recommendation before starting the program is that you purchase two pairs of shoes. When I was accepted as PhotoPass Photographer in 2010 I asked around what color shoes I needed to purchase. White. I bought two pairs and broke them in before my arrival. Why do I suggest two? That way when the one pair gets destroyed you won’t have to purchase another.

Second Step: Done

Thirdly, you will have about two more hours to get some grocery shopping done. Walmart is minutes away from the complexes and offers a lot of deals on foods. Publix is much closer, but is more expensive. Buy what you need, not what you want to snack on. One of my helpful hints to those of you reading this is to stock on shower and frozen food items, etc. You will be surprised how a large bottle of shampoo will last you. Mark your name on everything when you get back to your apartment and put your food in the cabinets as soon as possible.

Third Step: Done

Orientation is the last step that you will do on check-in day. Orientation is held in the Commons Clubhouse. The CMs there will remind you of the rules, events, and helpful tips and insight throughout the orientation. You will have the chance to ask specific questions yourself. Orientation is about a two hour presentation that will cover what I said previously and more. You will then have the rest of your day to spend in Downtown Disney or to finish unpacking.


More CP Tips

You can’t decorate the walls except for one bulletin board, so bring one of those- or wait until you get down here to get one. And buy a huge one! They never say there’s a limit on size so some people got the biggest boards possible.

Have a plan with food. Our room put our initials on any food we wanted to be ours only, and the blank food was “community”.

TAKE OUT YOUR TRASH. It only takes a second, don’t let it get full and continue to pile on top of it. Your visitors will judge you.

Set a rule in your apartment about noise- how late can people come over? And if they can come over anytime, do they have to stay in your room or is the living area okay as long as you’re quiet?

If you have a lot of stuff to bring, just remember you can always buy things for your room once you get down here!...Me and my roommate each got a lamp so if one person was trying to sleep, and the other was staying up, the main light didn’t have to be on… An electrical outlet, and a white board to write notes about our whereabouts to each other that we had just leaning against our mirror on our dresser.

The place comes with a dresser to share, two nightstands, two beds (in each room).

With food, buy things that make sense! And that can go together. My favorite things were the steamers vegetables to use as a side dish to chicken, or other meals. I made a lot of the frozen meals that you just throw into a skillet, and usually those were made for two so I could save some for later! PACK YOUR LUNCH. Trust me, you’ll save so much money. Imagining paying for lunch each time five days a week? Yeah it’s crazy.

Source 1

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Living the Disney World life

The first night I worked Wishes in 2010, the fireworks show, I was on the castle ramps. I saw a proposal happen less than a foot away from me. It was decidedly magical.

I have one ride to do at Epcot- Test Track.
I conquered all of Hollywood Studios. I just need to ride the new version of Star Tours!
I have 2 rides left at Magic Kingdom-Splash Mountain, and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
I have one ride left at Animal Kingdom-Kali River Rapids.

I've swing danced with Goofy, met every princess, danced with Woody, cried at the Lion King show every time, taught little girls the princess wave and the princess stance, moms have hugged me, little girls have hugged me, I've been on every rollercoaster at Disney World, I've seen giraffes less than a foot away from me, I've seen baby elephants and kissed Donald Duck. I ate at all 28 booths during the Food and Wine Festival, and made friends in the UK pavilion. I wore shorts and a t-shirt on Thanksgiving because it was 80 degrees and sunny. I cried when I met Belle for the first time, went swimming at 1am in October at the pool, played in the ocean in September, sang along to Sweet Caroline at Jellyrolls, saw a double rainbow at the Boardwalk, discovered the best sandwich at Earl of Sandwich, rode Winnie the Pooh 3 times during work one night, and watched Holiday Wishes at the white sand beach at the Polynesian while eating a pineapple and vanilla Dole Whip.

Pure magic.

Good quotes from guests: At the teacups, mother to daughter: "Honey, stop spinning that teacup right now!"

A little boy: "Mommy! Look! Bubbles!"
His mom to me: "This is the most excited he's been all day."

An older man: "What's that tree?"
Me: "It's the Hundred Acre woods!"
Older man: "Oh...that would make sense, seeing as we're outside Winnie the Pooh."

Me: "Come on, folks! Please keep moving in as far as you can! As far as you can! Make friends with the people next to you! It's a minute and 30 seconds until the next ride! Shortest wait you'll have all day! Please keep moving all the way down! All the way down, thank you! Hey buddy, can I get a high five? What a beautiful dress, Princess! Folks, keep moving all the way down, thank you!"

My first College Program

Here I am, Anna.

Let's go back to last August, waiting to go to Disney World for my 2010 college program after a delightful summer of working at the Big Dipper ice cream store.

I was super excited!
So excited to leave on that jet plane! I got there after 16 hours of flights and airports (Helena to Salt Lake; Salt Lake to Las Vegas; Las Vegas to Atlanta; Atlanta to Orlando), and headed to check in at Vista Way. This was taken on August 11, 2010:
So, so tired. But I got free balloons! And walked outside into pouring rain. I didn't have an umbrella.
I was not as prepared as Totoro.

I learned I would be in Fantasyland! This meant nothing to me, having never been to Disney. But I tried to play it off.
I found I would be working on Winnie the Pooh, the teacups and Snow White's Scary Adventure.
Good stuff.

I did a little dance when I first saw Cinderella's castle.
I became a stroller guru, knowing where every stroller lock was, and moving them, sometimes 2 at a time to the wall where they were supposed to be parked.
It was...the best part of the job?

No, the best part of the job was making people happy. "You haven't ridden Peter Pan yet? But it's your birthday! How 'bout going on the ride with no wait?"; walking the family over to the ride and sending them up the fastpass or wheelchair line with almost no wait for the ride. Giving kids stickers and seeing them smile. The emotional hugs from the mothers. The adorable hugs from children who couldn't reach any higher than my legs-so that's where they hugged me. Telling families where to find their favorite character. Getting paid to watch the fireworks almost every night. Riding the carousel with my coworkers 3 times in a row after the park had closed one night. Calling little girls 'Princess' and seeing them smile. Asking little boys if they were a knight, or a prince. Asking them if they were a dragon-slayer. Pushing buttons to make the rides work. Getting high fives every day from strangers. Waving, when people actually waved back.
It made me feel all bouncy like Tigger on the good days.

On the bad days, well, they were really bad. Getting soaked in the rain at 11pm on Christmas and dealing with an abandoned baby at the teacups. Guests yelling at me, telling me that they would get me fired for telling them that the park was closed for the night. Working until midnight on Thanksgiving. The woman who complained to Guest Relations about me for not getting her on the ride fast enough. The parents who accused me of stealing their strollers because it had been moved. The night I had to spend 6 and a half hours JUST moving strollers in an unfamiliar area in Fantasyland. The mother who called me a bitch in front of her children. Getting rained on one night and not being able to get my poncho from my locker because we were understaffed. My work shoes were squelchy for 2 days afterward. Not making enough money to buy another pair of work shoes because my original ones had holes in the soles. Getting yelled at because one of the rides broke down. Working on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Years.
The job sometimes made me cry.
A lot of times, it felt like people were laughing at me.
But really, all I could do was wait it out, take some deep breath, and put on a smile.
And eventually, it would get a lot better.
I made some really fantastic friends, who are going to be in my life forever.
"You and me, we're in a club now."
I hope I can pass on that same 'grape soda pin' feeling.

I flew home on January 7, 2011. But it wasn't leaving forever. It was as Mickey says, "See ya real soon!" In fact, I'll be back on May 21, 2012! I can't wait!

30 Day Disney Challenge

Here we go!

Day #1- Your favorite character
: Ever? Probably Tigger.
Day #2 -Your favorite princess
: Belle, hands down
Day #3- Your favorite heroine
: Esmeralda, from Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Day #4- Your favorite prince
: Tie between Eric and Aladdin.
Day #5- Your favorite hero

 Prince Philip, from Sleeping Beauty. He slays a dragon, I don't think you can get more heroic than that.
Day #6- Your favorite animal
: Lions. Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Nala...they're so ferociously impressive.
Day #7- Your favorite sidekick
: Dory, from Finding Nemo. Or the Genie from Aladdin.
Day #8- Your favorite villain
: Jafar from Aladdin. He's badass and turns into a snake. Also, he gets his comeuppance in the end. Or Frollo, from Hunchback of Notre Dame. He's just sickeningly evil, and sings a song called 'Hellfire'.
Day #9- Your favorite original character (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, etc.)
: Goofy, because he was my favorite to meet at the parks.
Day #10- Your favorite song: According to my itunes, it's a tie between 'Can I have this dance' from HSM3 and 'God Help the Outcasts' from Hunchback. Without itunes, I'd say either 'Strangers like me' from Tarzan, 'I'll make a man out of you' from Mulan, or 'Feed the Birds' from Mary Poppins.

Day #11- Your favorite love song: Oh man. 'Once Upon a Dream' from Sleeping Beauty. 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin. 'Kiss the Girl' from Little Mermaid. 'Beauty and the Beast'. 'Bella Notte' from Lady and the Tramp. 'Can you feel the love tonight' from The Lion King. 'You'll be in my heart' from Tarzan

Day #12- Your favorite villain song: 'Hellfire', from Hunchback of Notre Dame. The animation, the's fantastic. Or 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' from Little Mermaid.

Day #13- Your least favorite song
: 'Someday my Prince will come' from Snow White. I hate the message of just waiting for a guy to come.

Day #14- Your favorite kiss
: That's just unfair. All of them.

Day #15- The first movie you saw
: Either Aladdin or Mary Poppins.

Day #16- Your favorite classic 
Classic Cartoon or Feature: Um. The one where Minnie bakes Mickey a cake? The one that played in Toontown all the time?

Day #17- Your least favorite classic
: Pinocchio. I tried to watch it again before I went to Disney and fell asleep, like always.

Day #18- Your favorite Pixar film: Up! "Adventure is out there!"
Day #19- Your least favorite Pixar film
: Cars
Day #20- Favorite sequel
: The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, or Beauty and the Beast: Enchanted Christmas.
Day #21- An overrated movie
: Toy Story 2, purely because of that crap villain, Stinky Pete.
Day #22- An underrated movie: Sword in the Stone. Merlin is bitchin'. I re-watched it over the summer before I went to Disney. It's absurdly delightful. Also, The Great Mouse Detective!
Day #23- A movie that makes you laugh
: Hercules or Princess and the Frog.
Day #24- A movie that makes you cry
: Up! Several times throughout the movie.
Day #25- Your favorite scene from your favorite movie
: Belle and the Beast's dance.
Day #26- Saddest death
: Mufasa

Day #27- Your favorite quote: "A dream is a wish your heart makes."

Day #28- Your favorite theme park
: Can I mash them all together? Magic Kingdom that has everything, plus Festival of the Lion King and Expedition Everest from Animal Kingdom, the World Showcase from Epcot, and Toy Story Mania from Hollywood Studios? Fantastic.

Day #29- Your favorite theme attraction: Tie between Expedition Everest, Jungle Cruise, and Philharmagic.

Day #30- Your favorite theme park show: Festival of the Lion King, of course.