My Disney Journey

This blog was a journey of my application to Walt Disney World's Cultural Representative Program, from sorting out my CV through all the interviews to a year of having a mouse for a boss! Now, watch as I try to get back to my second home.

Less than a week to go! February 6, 2014

Filed under: Home Stuff!,Preparation — Vikki @ 10:07 am

Hi all,

There’s not been a lot to post about recently, but I am getting very excited about the fact that it’s only 4 days until we fly!!!
This time next week, Jon and I will be spending the day in the Universal Parks with my awesome friend Teddy! Well, if it weren’t for the time difference anyway. In actuallity, this time next week, we’ll be asleep, as it’ll be 4:30am! Lol! But, you know what I mean.

This past week has gone so slowly though, it’s been really hard… but that’s always the same whenever you’re waiting for something really exciting. It was the same in the last week before I left for the CRP. And, to go the other way, my last week of the program went really quickly, because I didn’t want it to end! Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be heading home to our kitties, and to my Jon, but it was a great year and I’m really happy to be heading back, if only for a holiday.

While on holiday, Jon and I will be scouting out some locations for the future too. You see, we have decided that we want to get married in Walt Disney World. We’ve looked at UK venues, and checked out vendors over here, and nothing feels quite right. I have the confidence that Disney will give us the level of service that I can’t guarantee from anyone in the UK. Both of us feel at home there – Jon visited WDW before he even met me, and loves it just as much as me! Well, almost as much, I am a bit of a Disney park fangirl. πŸ˜›

The venues we want to try and get a look at are:

  • Sea Breeze Point for the ceremony site,
  • Boardwalk Ballrooms (St James Room, and Marvin Gardens) as a Reception site (this may not be possible to see),
  • Boardwalk Ballrooms (St James Room, and Marvin Gardens) as a Reception site (this may not be possible to see),
  • Boardwalk Ballrooms (St James Room, and Marvin Gardens) as a Reception site (this may not be possible to see),
  • Kouzzina’s Private Dining Room as a Reception site (also may not be possible),
  • Ariel’s as a Reception site (might not be possible to go in, but we can look through the windows!),
  • UK Lochside for a Dessert Party (I know this one pretty well, but a refresher never hurts!).

We’re probably also going to pop into Franck’s Studio, the home of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings (or at least, the show home! Their offices are elsewhere in Orlando). I don’t really have any questions for them yet, because I’ve been looking at Disney weddings for a while now, but it’ll be cool to see them. We won’t be able to book anything with them just yet, as they have very strict guidelines on how far in advance you can start holding, and then booking their venues – the furthest out being 16months before your date. We’re not looking to get married until Summer 2016, so it’s a fair way off for us yet. We’d love to get married sooner, but we want to do it right and for us that means spending a fair bit of money. So after holiday, the saving will start proper, and things should hopefully start falling into place!

It’s all very exiciting though, and I can’t wait to get back and see my friends again. πŸ˜€ I might post a timeline of our plans in the next couple of days too, so you can all see the fun we’re going to be having! Woooo!

Faith, Trust and Pixie dust to all my lovely readers!
Vikki
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Very Merry Christmas Parties! December 28, 2013

Filed under: Home Stuff!,Preparation — Vikki @ 12:30 pm

Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers out there!

Of course, I realise you are very much a minority these days. Not many people read this blog any more, but that doesn’t stop me having fun writing it.

I went back to my mum’s for Christmas, and the first night I was there I dreamt I was back in Epcot, sitting at table 513 in the Rose and Crown, about to watch Illuminations. I was very excited, as it has been a while since I was there, but when the show started, someone managed to sit infront of me. (This is actually impossible, as lower deck is far enough down that heads don’t get in the way – but this was a dream after all!) So I stood up and moved over to one side, and then Illuminations went all weird, involving football and clowns and other oddities. I was about to wander off when the new, weird stuff finished, and the proper Illuminations carried on from the point where the globe starts to drift into the lake, so I went back to my seat at 513, and saw someone else eating chocolate scotch cake. This was also odd, as R&C has stopped selling chocolate scotch cake. Just as I was about to call my waitress over to order some (having got excited by the fact there was chocolate scotch cake there – even in my dream world I knew that R&C weren’t selling it any more!), I seemed to drift out of this dream and end up in another.

I’m not sure what this craziness means about me, apart from the fact that I’m still thinking about my upcoming trip to Disney, even a few days away from Christmas!!!

Anyway, now that Christmas is out the way, I can show you the amazing hairbands I made for my niece, and intend to make a second set for myself, all thanks to these awesome patterns. I have changed and updated a couple, and intend on modifying a couple more when I make my own set. Many apologise for the fuzzyness, these were the only photos we got before wrapping them up for my niece. I’ll try and take some better ones when I make the second set.

Pocahontas

Jasmine

Very fuzzy here, I think Jasmine was trying to get away!

Aurora
Tiana

Cinderella
Alice

Ariel

This one was my niece’s favourite, but she’s big into Ariel at the moment.


Snow White

Rapunzel

Apologies for both the fuzziness and the intruding cat!


Merida

Mulan
Tinkerbell

Belle

Attack of the cat again!

So that’s what I’ve been working on for the past week. Once New Years is out of the way as well, I’ll be back in touch with my lovely friends in Florida (who I hope might read this at some point!) to get on with planning more stuff for Febrary! πŸ˜€

I hope all of your Christmases were as good as mine were (which was great, even if I am more exicited about my holiday!)

Vikki
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Long time no see! November 22, 2013

Filed under: Home Stuff!,Preparation — Vikki @ 1:11 pm

Welcome back!

I know it’s been a while since I last posted here, and apparently my brain has been deceiving me. You see, I could have sworn that I had made one last post after I got back to fair old blighty, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere! It’s not on the back up that we made when moving this website from one hosting to another, it’s not buried in the unposted drafts. I’ve even done a search to look at the history of this site on the internet, and I can’t even find it there. As such, I’ve had to conclude that my brain has lied to me for the past two years, and I never made that post!

All that, of course, just explains how stupid my brain is. It doesn’t explain why I’ve brought this website back to life. There’s a few reasons really… Firstly, it’s a great memory of my time working for the mouse (even if it did get a bit patchy towards the end!). Secondly, it’s a guide for all future applicants to the CRP. Thirdly, I’d like to try and get back in the habit of blogging again and keeping the world up to date with my future Disney plans.

You may be wondering what future Disney plans I might have. There’s a few things hidden up my sleeve for the moment, but I can happily say that Jon and I will be holidaying in Walt Disney World in Febrary!!! πŸ˜€ It’ll be the first time we’ve gone back since I finished my program and I can’t WAIT! *giggle* Not only am I excited to be back in Disney again, I’m excited to see all my friends, and to see how things have changed. There’s been a huge expansion in Magic Kingdom, which in my memory is just wooden boards with cranes and scaffolding peeking over the top. There’s also been a new Resort built, and changes to some of the restaurants and things. Magic The Memories And You (the light show on the castle prior to Wishes) has been updated to now be Celebrate The Magic. And so much more!

So for now, I will leave it at that. I will be posting more in the coming weeks with my plans for Febrary, and as other plans evolve I’ll start talking about them too!

So welcome back one and all to my ongoing journey within Walt Disney World πŸ˜€

Vikki
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Congratulations! April 29, 2011

To the future King William, and Princess Catherine… the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! Because you got married today!!! πŸ˜€ And I woke up at 5:30am to watch it.

And now I must apologise to all of my readers. These last couple of weeks have been rather crazy. They’ve been hard work, very tiring, and when I have had time off I’ve just wanted to shut my brain off and chill out. As such, I’ve not had much of a chance to really update my blog so much. What I can do, however, is give a run down of everything that I’ve been up to in one giant blog post. You see, these last two weeks have been my training for becoming a server… a week of food running and other stuff, and a week of service training, with a test on Thursday (which was actually yesterday). So, for all the future UK Food and Beverage CRPs… this blog post will prove very very useful for you, so you can get an idea of Service training (assuming it doesn’t change before you get here that is!!!)

So… lets go all the way to when I last posted. That was last Monday, when I had my food running training.


Tuesday 19th
Today was my culinary day. On your culinary day you basically become a chef. This day is very very useful for finding out how our dishes are prepared, cooked and finished, so that you can give much more accurate infomation to your guests.

I started off working in pantry, doing salads, corned beef sandwiches, desserts. Stuff that doesn’t really need cooking. Then they moved me over to the fish station. This is both the easiest and busiest station… All you do is fry the fish and chips (plus a couple of other things when needed, like the scotch eggs), and plate them up. However, we sell so much Fish and Chips that it’s quite hard to keep track of how many you need. I wasn’t on fish for very long before I helped out on ovens and grills a bit. Then I went up to the Culinary pre-meal before dinner service. After that I spent a little bit of time in Chippy with Dexter, James and Michael, where I got to drop the fish in the batter. And then I went on break.

During your break on Culinary day, they make you up a large platter of most of the entrΓ©es. Obviously, the most expensive things aren’t on there (the steak or the salmon) but it’s a really good way to try all the meals and form your own opinions on most of our stuff.

When I came back from my break, the kitchen was pretty busy, and I spent the remainder of my shift helping Jason on Ovens. He actually made me dig in quite a lot and help make a lot of stuff. Mostly seasonal vegetables (my god, we go through a lot!), but I did make an entire Salmon dish! The only thing Jason did was take it out of the oven for me. πŸ˜€ I think the Salmon will be very easy to spiel from now on! Hehe.

And then I came home. And Fell asleep pretty quickly. One last note… spending time on ovens is hot. VERY hot. You are stood very close to some very very hot ovens, a very very hot grill, and a 4 top gas cooker, which at dinner has pretty much all 4 rings lit. It was fun though, and I think I learnt a lot from this day!


Wednesday 20th
This was my bar day. I was quite looking forward to my bar day, as I used to love working on the service bar back at Zizzi. I had Gavin training me, which I think might be the main reason I didn’t enjoy this day as much as I’d hoped. His style of training just doesn’t gel with my style of learning, but he wasn’t to know this. Ah well. I did eventually get into the swing of things, and by the end of the night, I was enjoying it. Of course, by then everything had quietened down and I was just required to help clean everything. *sigh* Still, I learnt that I needed to learn my pub blends, so that’s something at least.


Thursday 21st
Today was my first tipped day!!! πŸ˜€ I was food running with Stuart, and I think the day went pretty well. We made some rather good tips, but it was hard work. I’ll never know how some people become permanent food runner, I know I could never do it.


Friday 22nd
Today was my second, and last (during training) day of food running. It was me and Anna for today (the other trainee for this week), and I think we made quite a good team.

I did have a slight annoyance at one point. I came back from my break to find we were on the verge of running out of condiments (not Anna’s fault, it’d just been busy). I said to Anna would she be ok running if I just got on with condiments and got us back up to a decent level. She said sure! I wasn’t to know that we were so low that it would take me 1.5hours to get us up to a decent level again!!! One of the servers (not going to name any names) decided to help running food, and then had a go at me because I was still doing condiments and they had to run! Well, I never asked you to run, and these condiments needed doing! Pah, some people, eh?! Heh, everything is fine between us now, of course. πŸ˜€


Saturday 23rd
Today was a day off. A very much needed one at that. I slept in, then headed off to Epcot with the intent of spieling to a manager in time for Terri to finish her shift so that we could come home together. I got in earlier than intended, so I had a browse round for a bit. Unfortunately, Terri got cut early from work as she wasn’t feeling well, so as I was heading to the UK pavilion to see a manager, I saw her coming the other way, looking like she was about to collapse! Me being the good friend that I am, forgot the idea of spieling and decided to make sure Terri got home ok.

So, back to the bus stop, where we decided that getting some food in her would help a lot, so we hopped in a taxi to sweet tomatoes. This place is very very yummy, btw… healthy too! Which makes a change for the US πŸ˜›

We had a relaxing night though, came home and watched You Got Mail. Barring the fact that the DVD player decided to die half way through, so we went out to Publix and Walgreens, both for groceries and for a new DVD player so we could finish the film! Which we did, and it was very good. πŸ˜€


And thus concludes my week of food running… I think I’ll start a new post for my week of service training, and I think I’ll write it tomorrow. There’s a fair bit involved, and I am rather tired from waking up at 5:30 this morning to watch the wedding. So I bid you good night, and This week’s blog will come tomorrow!

Vikki
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Day of Fail March 26, 2011

So I failed my pre-service test. By two and a half points. If only I had learnt my coffees!!! Yelitza (the manager) is going to be asking me a question tomorrow, and if I get it right, that’ll be my 2.5 points redeemed, and all will be well, but it’s highly frustrating. I didn’t even think about coffees! Ah well.

In other news, I also failed to sort out the postage to Jon’s birthday present, due to my phone bill getting automatically paid. So I, again, have to wait until payday, which I’m really annoyed at myself for as this should’ve been posted weeks ago. It was his birthday last Wednesday after all!!! Grrr.

Ah yes, I’ve also not done my washing today (as planned) or any cooking for the week (also as planned) and as such today has generally been a bit fail. Terri dragged me out to Panera Bread when she got home from work, which perked me up though, and then I went for a swim in the pool this evening. Met a guy called Teddy, who was a bit of a laugh, and now I’m going to sleep.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow’s question. Night

Vikki
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Room covered in Paper! March 22, 2011

Not much to say about today. I Seated, had my break, broke the assigner then came home. I had a bit of a shock when I got in. Terri has had today off, and between us, we want me to take my pre-service test on Friday. This involves me learning the entire menu. Terri has written up the whole menu, item by item, and put notes all around our room! She’s even written up a learning plan for the next few days. So while we were going over stuff and working out what I still needed to learn, we baked a cake (because we could). Pictures of these notes, covering my room, will appear shortly.

Vikki
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All Packed Up October 31, 2010

I have too much stuff. And my case(s) aren’t big enough.

Having tried to get everything into one case… and failing monumentally… I’ve decided that I’ll be taking both my suitcases to Florida with me. This does mean that my hand luggage will be a smaller bag, which is quite nice too.

In other news, the UK clocks went back last night, so for this week only, the UK is only 4 hours ahead of Florida!!! And I’ll get another extra hour next weekend! Oooh, aren’t I greedy. πŸ˜›

I also found out yesterday (much to my dismay), that my phone won’t work in America. Silly dual-band phone. So for anyone who wants to at least know that my plane has landed, and not crashed… I’m flying with Virgin, on VS0015.

I’ve no idea if I’m ready, or if I have everything. Final checks will happen on Monday… I just hope I’m good to go!

Only 50 hours until my plane takes off! Eeeek.

 

Visa Interview – Back to London! October 25, 2010

I have officially decided I hate public transport.
The only way for me to get to London, and have time to sort myself out, before 9am (oh, and not pay about £100) was to catch a bus at 4am!!! This meant leaving home at about 3:15am. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very much.

Anyways, my visa interview was actually pretty easy. It went quicker than I was expecting, and the Embassy is an amazing building, even if they do have armed guards and massive gates and loads of security.

So, I went in for 9am, went through the security building (pretty much like at an airport) and walked round to the visa entrance. There I had to wait for the receptionist to fix her printer! (It turned out she had to turn it off and on again, and that it’d been doing that for a couple of days – oh the joy of technology) So she checked me in and gave me a number, rather like when you go to a big post office. I waited a little while, then got called to a window in the main room, where I handed over all my paperwork and my passport, and they took my finger prints. Then I had to wait a little while longer, until I eventually got called to a window around the corner. There I had my visa interview. The questions were kinda silly really, more like a chat than anything else.

So you’re going to work for Disney?
What will you be doing over there?
What experience do you have for this?
And you’re the real deal, right? Born and bred British?

Very simple, but I guess the Q1 visa is an easy one to get. It’s basically to prove why I can do that job over an American… simple answer: Because I’m English!

After that, I went back out to the main hall, paid the courier people some money and was on my way out again. The Embassy had my passport, and I was due to get it back (with visa) in 3-5 days! I was all done by just after 10am. Considering I was expecting it to take up to 3 hours, I was very happy with a 1 hour wait.

So after that, I went wandering around London, eventually making my way to Hamleys (just because it’s awesome!) and waiting for my dad to arrive on his Harley πŸ˜€ We rode back to my parents place, where I spent an awesome couple of days before heading back to Bristol Friday evening.

All in all, a very simple process!

 

Change is for the good! October 13, 2010

This post is coming to you from the past… I’m writing it before I can post it for various reasons. The first and foremost being that I’m not allowed to tell anyone the following:

So, having had my interview on the 1st, I came home and got on with things. So, whilst enjoying life (knowing that I wouldn’t get any news for a few weeks), I suddenly got a phone call Thursday evening. A phone call is a phone call, you’re thinking… but no! This wasn’t just any phone call, it was a call from Nick. Nick of yummy jobs! Nick, asking me if I wanted to fly out to Florida on November 2nd!!!!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

My heart was beating so fast, and my friend (who was visiting) had to remind me to breathe! Nick said that I couldn’t tell anyone though (meaning the other applicants), hence why I can’t publish this post yet.

So anyway, it’s now the following Wednesday, and I’ve calmed down a LOT and processed everything a lot more. I’ve already booked my flight and sorted out my 4 months of Medical insurance. I’ve paid for my CRB check and sent that back to Yummy. I just hope I’ve filled it in correctly so that it can sorted sooner rather than later. They usually take 12 weeks to process, and I only have 3 after all!

I still need to book my visa appointment, which I can’t do yet as I don’t have my petition number. I also need to pay the program house assessment fee, which again I can’t do as I don’t have my applicant number! I’ve done everything I can do so far, and now I’m just waiting on other things before I can do anything else!

So, mainly, I’m just waiting on the other applicants to hear if they have places, so I can tell them my good news! Annoying thing is, Yummy have all been out of the office, in Switzerland, until today or tomorrow. So results won’t be out until tomorrow or Friday at the latest! I just want to tell them, and publish this post, and shout on my facebook. But I can’t :(

So for now, I bid you adieu, from the past. And fingers crossed I can publish this post sooner rather than later!

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust for the rest of the applicants!
Vikki
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Application form/OMG Where’s My Passport?!?!?! September 17, 2010

Hey guys!

Excitement mounting further and further. I got around to filling in Disney’s online application form last night. πŸ˜€

I tried filling it in the other day, got as far as the penultimate page, then found out I needed my passport number. So begun the hunt for my passport. Having moved house a couple of months ago, there’s still quite a few unsorted boxes, and things have been moved around a few times while trying to find homes for everything. I knew I’d seen my passport since we’d moved in, so I wasn’t worried about having left it behind, but a couple of hours later, and I still couldn’t find it!!

Eventually, we (my man and I) gave up hunting, and went to bed. I was really rather worried, as I knew I’d need to bring my passport to the interview in london, and I also know that I have 5 years left on it! I really didn’t want to have to pay £70 odd and loose out on those 5 years.

Either way, the good news is that my wonderful man found my passport the next morning. It just so happened to be in the one box I didn’t even *think* of (assumed it was full of candles). And so I filled in the wonderful online form! Starting again from the beginning, as the website won’t save mid-progress. :(

So I guess you want to know a little more about this form? It’s a very basic, job application form. Asks for personal details, info off your passport, emergency contact, basic education info (it doesn’t even go as far to ask about GCSEs and A Levels!), oh – and employment history. The only annoyance is that you have to talk about each position (work or voluntary position) in 200 characters or less!!! Thankfully, my CV is mostly in bullet points, so it wasn’t too hard for me.

So, all I need to do now is photocopy my passport and get a bank/credit card statement (one of which will be turning up in the post in a few days time!) and then I’ll have everything I need to take to the interview!

Now, before this post gets any longer, I shall bid you adieu!

Keep on dreaming!
Vikki