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.

Now for the hard part… April 30, 2011

This post will go through the service training week. They say it’s a series of the three different types of shifts you could work – an AM, a Mid and a PM. However, due to classroom sessions around your AM and PM, it feels like you work three Mids in a row. And it’s hard work.


Sunday 24th – AM Shift

So today was a very very early start to a busy, tiring week. I was on my way to work at around 7:30am, to have a class before we actually started on the floor serving. It’s really quite strange to be at work before even the managers are! Anyway, Kim was our trainer for the class, and she gave us lots of information about how the week would go, service standards, allergies and all sorts. Chef Tony even came out to talk to us, and both Phil and I had to spiel the menu to him. They went pretty well, but my spiels still need a bit of work.

Once I actually got on the floor, things went well there too. It was quiet (I know, having assigned, what the restaurant looks like when it’s quiet) and I was in Dart room being trained by Kim (Phil had Ray), so it was a nice easy way to get me going. There’s stuff that I still need to work on, but I can be overly critical of myself at times, and it was all stuff that will improve with time.

I finished work at around 4:30, and came home and did a load of washing, then Terri and I decided to re-arrange our room. The rest of the evening was spent with Anna, Jane and Shirley coming over for chinese, films and much girly chatter! 😀 It was exactly what I needed to take my mind off the stress of training.

Monday 25th – Mid Shift

We didn’t have a class, as such, today. We just started off our day tasting all the wines, trying to learn all the flavours of them. And then we started on the floor. I was trained by Becky today, doing the am in section 307, and the pm in Love. During our break we tasted and spieled all the appetisers. I had to deal with an 11 and an 8 top in the pm. I still haven’t had a table with an allergy, or been double sat… I don’t feel like I’ve been pushed as far as I could be. I did get a shoutout table, but didn’t actually manage to give them a shoutout, as their desserts went out during the fireworks. All in all, another good day, but I still feel like I could be pushed further.

Tuesday 26th – PM Shift

So, much as I was working a PM Shift on the floor today, I was still at work at about the same time as the AMs. This was for another classroom session with Kim, over in the training trailer. We basically went through bar stuff and generally made sure everything was going well and addressing any concerns Phil and I had. Then we headed back to the Rose & Crown to taste and spiel the desserts and practice opening bottles of wine. Then onto the floor!

I spent my shift in section 508 with Lady Sarah. Everyone says 508 is a nasty section, but I was doing alright for the most part. I got double sat, which was fine, and one of them was an allergy (finally!). Everything was going really well until the assigner (who was also in training) accidentally sat me again, making it a triple seat! (I didn’t have drinks out on either of the first two tables yet, although I had taken the drinks orders). This threw me totally off and it took me a while to get back on track, Lady Sarah even had to step in. I eventually did get back on top, and everything went perfectly!

It was also extra magic hours tonight, so I got sat one more table after fireworks (being KD – Kitchen Duty, meant that Phil and I had to stay on). This table decided that they were happy and wanted to spend quite some time over dinner. So they were the very last table to leave the restaurant, at 11:20pm. We’d already had the kitchen checked by management and were all ready to go home apart from bussing and sweeping that last table! So, after banking out, I finally left at 11:40pm. Yuk.

Wednesday 27th

Today was a lovely day off work. I slept in, which I really really needed. Terri and I went to Panera bread for some brunch, and then I met up with Teddy to go out to some random shops he knew of. He wanted to buy some new shorts, and I just fancied getting out and about. I did end up buying some shampoo though! Then we came home, Teddy went off to meet some other friends, and I came home so I could look at my wine and scotch flavours. Terri was a pm, so she didn’t get home until quite late.

Thursday 28th – Test Day
So yet again I was working an AM shift, but had to be at work a lot earlier for classroom business. So off to the training hut with Becky, where she ran through a few last bits and pieces before Phil and I sat down for our written test. This was basically a test of our knowledge to make sure we were confident with everything before hitting the floor. Both of us passed, I even got 199/200! (Go me! Grrr at that one scotch flavour) Then it was time for our shift, including our practical tests.

My shift seemed to be going alright. Not too great, but not too bad either. Then my test table got sat… I started off alright, my greeting and my spiel were fine, and then I got told the chefs weren’t around (the test table always has an “allergy”) and my nerves just went to pot. Everything fell apart, and the rest of the shift just went horribly, really. Needless to say, I failed, as did Phil. However, we do both have a 2nd chance (but no more than that).

I pretty much fell apart, and Terri had to come upstairs to find me and calm me down. Eventually, I was feeling a little more normal, and Terri took me home to change and get some dinner. We decided upon O’hanas, at the Polynesian, invited a few people along, and went there with Shirley. O’hanas was very very yummy, and I had a really good night, which was exactly the detox I needed after the mental blow of the morning.

Terri and I each had a cocktail with a glow-cube in, which was awesome. But what was even more awesome was the magic we made for a small child! This little boy came over to our table, leading Grandma by the hand. He came up and pointed at our drinks saying “Blue! Blue!”. She apologised to us, saying that he just wanted to show her the glowing drinks. We thought this was so cute, that we asked our waiter if we could buy a glow-cube for the small boy (we saw which table they went back to). The whole family came over to us afterwards and thanked us on three separate occasions! It was truly magical.

After eating, the three of us went down to the beach, having bought another round of very yummy drinks, to watch wishes. Wishes was amazing, as usual, and I made the obvious wish… that I would pass my service test. Once wishes was over, we were just hanging out on the beach, and Shirley decided to make a sand angel! It was so funny! This then prompted various things being written and drawn in the sand including “I <3 Jon" (with a heart, not those symbols), Our names, and then I wrote "I will pass". Motivation is the key after all! We eventually ran out of steam (and were taking up a lot of space with our writing), so decided it was about time we headed home. Especially as we were planning on getting up uber early to watch the royal wedding on tv!

Friday 29th – Wedding Day

I was actually off today, but still ended up going into work. So Terri and I set our alarms early so that we could wake up and watch Kate and William get married on tv. We’d moved our tv into the bedroom so that we didn’t really have to move. Once the ceremony was over, we were out the door and on our way to epcot (at 7:30am) for a big UK photo in commemoration of the wedding. This was fine for some people, who were working AM shifts (like Terri), but thankfully I wasn’t the only crazy person who’d come into work stupidly early on my day off.

We did have some time to kill between taking the photo and the AMs starting work, so a massive group of us (about 21 people) went off to future world to go on Soarin and Test Track! Then it was all back to the UK pavilion for a back stage street party with free shepherds pie and slices of cake. By then, our group had shrunk a little bit, but there were still a few of us, people who were off or had PM shifts later on, so we carried on round world showcase.

We went into France, had a browse, and went and saw their little show, “Illuminations of France”. Then we carried on round, some people stopped off for photos with characters, until we eventually got to Italy, where we decided lunch was in order. Managed to get a walk-in table for 9 people at Via Napoli, which was good fun, and also good luck. Lunch was very yummy, and afterwards we kept on round to Mexico. We had a couple of people with us who’d never been inside Mexico before!

After Mexico, the people with PM shifts went off to work, a couple of people went home, and some others off to Mission Space. None of these options really inspired me, so I went off on my own for a bit. I had a lovely chat with the lady selling Hawaiian Lei Flowers for Flower and Garden, then walked up to Mousegear and the Innoventions areas. I was basically just killing time until I thought Terri would be done from her PM shift so we could go home together. So I walked back to the UK to see if she had. Turned out she hadn’t, so I watched Riyad do some of a Tea-Tour (very funny – he skips!), and also watched British Invasion while I was waiting. She eventually got out, so we came home, spent some time relaxing and hanging out, then she went out. I had a bath, updated my blog with my food running week stuff, and then got an early night after my uber early morning.

Saturday 30th – Back to Training

So, to continue my service training, the managers had decided that I would basically stay on the schedule that Scheduling had given me, and I’d just be paired up with a Trainer on each day. So I got in this morning, as a 10:45 AM (instead of an 11:30 one), to find out that I wouldn’t have a trainer until 11:30. So I just helped out with setting up the restaurant, along with all the other 10:45 AM servers. Then we had pre-meal at 11:30, I found out that Becky would be training me, and I would be in 303 section. Personally, I don’t feel like today helped me in any way, I didn’t improve at all, and I was just going through the motions really. I guess my head just wasn’t in it though, which it hopefully will be tomorrow.

After work, I came home and Terri and I went out to the Outlet Mall for some dinner. Then we had a wander round some of the shops. Terri found a lovely top, then she bought my birthday present (also a lovely top) as she won’t actually be here when it’s my birthday. And then I found myself a cute new skirt, so I’m pretty happy with tonights findings. We also picked up some accessories for the Spring Formal on Monday night, and a jewelery holder for our bedroom. All in all, a good haul.

And now, for bed. I’m a Mid tomorrow. No idea who’ll be training me, but at least I don’t have to open the restaurant again.

And that’s basically my service week. It went down the drain a bit at the end, but I have another chance, and I have more training over the next few days. My re-test is on Tuesday, as is Phil’s (he failed too), so fingers crossed for then. For now though, Good Night.

x

 

Can I see your pins please? April 7, 2011

I decided I needed a bit of a lazy start to my day today. So I spent most of my morning and a fair bit of my afternoon at home, chilling out and chatting to Jon on skype. I eventually decided that I really should go out, as Taylor isn’t in the US for very long, so I popped over to Hollywood Studios to meet up with her, her mum and their friends. We did a little pin trading (which is new-ish thing for me – it’s great fun!) before deciding we were hungry and it was dinner time. So we left Hollywood Studios and hopped on a boat to the Swan & Dolphin, where we ended up at Il Mulino New York Trattoria for dinner. It’s a lovely Italian place, and the food was great! For anyone who likes Italian, I recommend heading there.

After dinner, we all headed up to Magic Kingdom (they were staying at the Contemporary) for a bit more park wandering and pin trading. There was a lot of pin trading though! It’s surprising how much you can get in a few short hours… I started and completed one hidden Mickey set, and I’m one pin short of completing a second. I need to somehow aquire a lot more trader pins though, that’s my problem. To eBay!!!

Anyway, now I’m home, and much as I’ve had an amazing day, I start work earlier than I thought I did tomorrow, so I really need to be sleeping now.

Vikki
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Friendly faces! April 6, 2011

Today I went to Seaworld!!! 😀 It was amazing! A friend of mine from the UK, Taylor, is in Florida this week visiting friends and family, me being one of the friends. So we decided to go to Seaworld as I hadn’t been yet, and it would be a bit different from all the Disney/Universal that she has and will be doing this week.

I had such a good day hanging out with Taylor. I didn’t realise it, but I do miss spending time with a lot of my UK friends. For anyone who’s reading this… I miss you guys!

Anyway, onto the day… it got rather hot, so it was quite nice to be in and out of the shade and dipping hands into the water to feel the rays and dolphins and stuff. We saw both the Dolphin and the Killer Whale shows (the later of which is changing soon, so I’ll be going back!) We only rode one of the roller coasters, Kraken, and spent the majority of our day visiting all the different animals.

We left at about 5pm, and found a bus to Disney. We decided to stay on right until Magic Kingdom, and spent the rest of our evening there. We mostly just wandered around and looked at things, thought about going on some rides until we looked at wait times and thought better of it. We did go to see the Country Bear Jamboree, which was rather amusing. I hadn’t done it before, hence wanting to. I giggled, so that’s always a good sign.

And now, I’m really tired, as I was up early this morning for Seaworld. So I’m off to sleep.

Vikki
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Assigner Breaking fail. March 13, 2011

I Put in for an ER today. Didn’t get due to having to break the assigner. I wasn’t best impressed at that, but I still left 20min early after assigner break. So I went up to Wilderness Lodge, took photos of everything (it’s a very pretty place), then to MK to meet with Terri and Anna. We stayed late for Wishes, which was at 10pm. Wasted time by doing laugh floor, haunted mansion, grabbed dinner at Tomorrowland Terrace (same yummy chicken burger as at Golden Outpost!). Also did Small World and Philharmagic. We came home after wishes to find the French girls were watching Princess Diaries – so we joined them. And now it’s time for bed. A good day in the end, even if I didn’t get my ER.

Vikki
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No Training on Day Three. March 7, 2011

I was meant to be training again today… Opening chippy, I think. I had a 10:45 start, at least, and that’s usually training chippy open. However, I believe I was meant to be training Adam, a guy who self termed in his first few days. So I clocked into CDS, which then told me to enjoy my training shift! I found that very bizarre. Then, when I hit CDS again at 11am, I picked up opening greeter. All very strange, but fine by me! 😀

Terri was assigning again, so we had a good little double team going, and I was having fun. Then I had my silly little 15min break, and came back to seating. It wasn’t too busy, so I managed to make myself busy around and about. I finished nice and early today, at 5:45, and as I had a change of clothes with me, I decided I’d try for dinner in Magic Kingdom again!

So off I trundled to the monorail, found my way to Magic Kingdom and wandered up to the Plaza Restaurant. They took me in on a 10-15min wait, and my pager buzzed in about 2 minutes. 😀 I was rather happy at that. The food was amazing, I had a chicken burger and chips (proper thick chips, not fries), and a brownie sundae, and I couldn’t eat all of it. The service, however, was a little disappointing, but the food made up for it.

I thought I was going to miss wishes though, as it was about 7:55 by the time I finished. However, the Magic Memories and You show hadn’t started, and I was rather confused by this. It usually starts 15minutes before wishes. So I checked my Epcot tell-a-cast and found, to my surprise, that MK was open until midnight, and wishes was at 9pm, not 8!!! 😀 This made me a very happy girlie. 😀

So, I came out of my lovely dinner, truly stuffed, and decided to browse the shops to kill time. I watched the glass maker for a bit, while he finished off a new design of Mickey. I watched a bit of the parade, even though it was far too cold to stand outside. I basically just wasted time before the light show and wishes. I found a spot slap bang in the middle of the street and enjoyed the show! It wasn’t even that busy! I had a large clear space around me, and I had a great view of the fireworks. I always love wishes, it makes me so happy and hopeful and all squee inside. 😛

And now I’m home, and Terri has gone out, and I don’t know what time she’ll be home! All in all, a good day was had. And now, I sleep… I’m opening again tomorrow!

Vikki
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Jumping all over the place! March 4, 2011

Today has been a lot of fun, I’ve been all over the place. Started my day off quite late, but I went to magic kingdom. Tried to find some lunch, but it was actually rather busy. Plaza Restaurant was fully booked, Liberty Tree Inn had closed to change between lunch and dinner menus, so I kept walking round to a little quick service stand called Golden Oak Outpost. I got myself a chicken sandwich, and it was the best chicken sandwich I’ve had in a while! The chicken was twice the size of the bun! The salad and dressing was really tasty too.

After that, I went to browse the shops for a bit. I’d watched the parade while eating lunch, which was awesome, but I didn’t really fancy doing any attractions today. The shops at MK are always worth a browse though.

My next stop was Downtown Disney. Mostly, I just wanted to check out the lego store, as usual. I had fun browsing the other shops there too. The magnet store is always a bit of a laugh too. By this time it was about 6:30pm, and I was meeting Terri after she finished work at 8, in epcot. So off to the buses for me.

I caught the first bus there, which happened to be going to Old Key West. From Downtown, you always have to transfer via a resort to get to the parks. So I went to Old Key West, and waited there for the next bus to epcot. It started raining while I was there. It had been trying to rain all day. Thankfully, it stopped again by the time I got to epcot.

So I found Terri, waited for her to finish work and get changed, then went to find some dinner. We decided upon Tutto Italia, but they had no space. After much wandering and indecisiveness, we eventually went to China’s quick service place, even though I’ve been there before. It was just as good as the last time.

After that it’d started raining again, so we stopped off at the Rose and Crown for takeaway dessert before coming back home.

And now i’m here, and we’re just chilling out, and eating our yummy chocolate scotch cakes. Tomorrow, I think i’m training someone on seating, which will be fun as I’ll get to do magic moment with them in the evening!

For now, I bid you goodbye!

Vikki.
x

 

When you wish upon a star… February 22, 2011

I think I’m cursed on beer cart. Last week, when I went to open up, I had no power to the front side of beer cart, and as such I had no till, no cooler, and thus no beer. Today, when I went to open beer cart, the till had decided it didn’t want anyone to sign on!!! Fun times. Annie (Area manager) and Michael (covering GT who can’t do most of the stuff GTs should be doing!) managed to get Annie working on the till… but being Area manager she couldn’t exactly stand there serving beer all day… and then they got me working!

So now, Annie and I are the only people who can actually sign onto Beer cart. Hopefully, they’ll have this fixed by tomorrow, as I’m not in until 2pm! It also meant that other people have been using my number during today. Of course, if there were any problems with the bank out, no one can be held responsible!!!

The rest of my work day went pretty smoothly though. Once I’d been broken off of Beer cart that is. CDS was being really silly, and I got my break an hour later than I should have! Fun times. After that I Assigned for an hour while Jane went on her break, and then I spent the remaining hour of my shift seating.

Once I finished work, I had decided I wanted to see Wishes. So I made my way to Magic Kingdom, where I met Terri, and stopped at a really good viewing spot, and we made our wishes to the fireworks! Then we hopped on a bus to Caribbean Beach (after a little discussion of where to go) and grabbed dinner at Old Port Royal Food Court. There’s a really nice selection there, and I’m sure pretty much everyone in a party would find something they like. I enjoyed the pasta I got, and Terri enjoyed her mini-pizza.

After that, it was pretty much time for home, chilling, blog posting, and now bed. I have a lie in tomorrow! I’m so happy about it. I woke up this morning and just thought “I’m bored of opens.” For now though, ttfn!

Vikki
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7pm I hate thee! February 2, 2011

Today, I have officially been in Florida for 3 months! That’s 1/4 of my program already done (eek!), although I’ve completed more than 25% of my Restaurant Challenge, so I’m well on my way towards completion, which makes me happy. In celebration of our three month anniversary, my arrival group went for Breakfast at Trail’s End Restaurant over at Fort Wilderness Campground. This did of course mean that I had to get up at 6:30 to catch a 7:23am bus over to Fort Wilderness. Once there, we had to catch another bus to the other end of the resort where Trail’s End was located.

Breakfast was a standard Disney buffet affair, complete with Mickey Waffles! Their version of Eggs Benedict was rather yummy and interesting too (no, I’m not quite sure what was in it, so I can’t tell you!)Not all of our arrival group came along, Dawn had only just got back from Vegas quite late the night before (she’d gone to see Cher for her Birthday) and Callum slept in. Sophie met us after breakfast as we were heading to a boat to Magic Kingdom. Jen and I had to get to work quite early, so a quick hop over to MK, then monorail to the TTC and again to Epcot, and the mornings celebrations were over.

Work was pretty good today. Lunch was quite quiet, and assigning was easy. Dinner was fine, until I let in too many walk ins for around about 7pm. I need to learn that most of my 7pm reservations *will* turn up, and to start saving tables for them sooner!!! But I got out of it in the end, and everyone got sat, and everything was great.

However, I am now totally knackered by both the early morning and the long day of assigning. So I shall bid you all night night, and sleep well!

Until tomorrow,
Vikki
x

 

A stitch in time saves 9! February 1, 2011

Ok, so firstly I apologise for not having posted in about a week. Secondly, I apologise for the mammoth size this post is going to end up being. I’ll break it up as if I was posting each day though, just to make things a little easier (both from a you reading it point, and a me remembering each day and writing it point!).

Monday Jan 24th
Today I had my service class over at Disney Uni. This meant getting up at some silly early hour to be over there for 8am ready to start! It was a pretty cool day actually. In the morning, we went over the Service basics and why Disney service is so much better than the average competitor. The afternoon was focused on wines, what wine Disney sells, different types, and so on. I learnt a fair bit, and it was all very interesting, especially about how wine is made, and how the flavour can change so easily.

We finished class at 5pm, after which I walked over to Cast connection, just to have a browse and see if any of the Christmas stock had found it’s way over there yet. The one thing I really wanted wasn’t there, so I came away empty handed. That night, I was feeling a bit all over the place. Really excited about Jon coming to visit, but also really not in the mood to pack a suitcase to stay in a hotel. I ended up doing very little, just hanging out with Terri in the end.

Tuesday Jan 25th
Today I was working an opening shift. But I was really wanting to extend my shift, and felt quite uneasy in the morning that they wouldn’t let me. You see, I was currently sat on 33 hours for this week, and I needed to extend to 36 hours so that I could give away my 6 hour Saturday shift (when Jon was here) without dropping under 30 hours (a visa regulation). As it turned out, I was in luck…

There was a massive thunderstorm on the way, we even had tornado warnings. Leah (who was assigning on Tuesday) has a massive phobia of storms, so as soon as Jack (the manager) said that a storm WILL happen, she turned round and said “I’m going home” Which was great, as I got to extend and get my extra hours!!!

Working during a thunderstorm is really rather fun. As an assigner you have two challenges… firstly, very few people are around and wanting tables, so you have issues filling servers up; secondly, when you do have people on your waiting list, guests aren’t willing to leave and head into the rain, so you have no tables becoming available. I somehow found a happy medium, and we had sheltered areas where people could wait until tables were available. Jack had sent loads of servers home as well, so I managed to keep the servers pretty busy most of the night. I did, however, seat the last table at 8:10pm. We usually seat the last table just before 9pm. It was crazy!!! Illuminations still went off though, the storm had almost passed over by then. 😀

Then I had a bit of bad news. Even though I’d extended to gain enough hours to give away my Saturday shift, I couldn’t sort it out there and then, I still had to submit it through the hub before I could take it to the managers. Argh. So I went home, packed my suitcase, and went to bed feeling rather annoyed.

Wednesday Jan 26th
My original plan for today involved me getting to the airport to meet Jon there. As it turned out, I still had to go into work (to sort out the Saturday give away nonsense), so I wasn’t going to make it out in time to get to the airport. Instead, I headed to work, suitcase in tow, spent the day on Chippie tills, and left as quickly as I could. I think it might’ve been one of my quickest bank-outs yet! Of course, as it turned out, I still couldn’t sort out giving my Saturday away, as it would’ve put anyone else onto a 6th day of work, and therefore overtime, and as such, the managers couldn’t approve it. Instead, Yelitza promised me that she’d ER me as soon as I came back from my class on Saturday.

Once work was over, I changed, grabbed my case, and ran to the guest buses at the front of the park. From there, I got a bus to All Star Sports, and sat and waited for Jon. I think that must’ve been the longest 30min I’ve waited in quite some time. But eventually, his bus arrived, and I was in his arms again!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaay! I won’t go into the little details, but once we had checked in and were settled and had freshened up, we decided to go to Downtown Disney for some dinner.

Raglan Road is YUMMY!!! It’s also amazing fun, with the live music and the Irish dancers, and just general yay! I will happily go there again. 😀

We were both rather tired after that though, so we headed back to the hotel and went to bed. Thursday was going to be an early morning, after all…

Thursday Jan 27th
Today was Magic Kingdom day! We had breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace, and I got to finally meet Piglet!!! Crystal Palace is a buffet style character breakfast with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. Tigger surprised me as I wasn’t paying attention when he came round, and he just tapped me on the shoulder from behind! It was so funny! The whole experience put us into a great mood for the day though, getting us well and truly into the Disney Spirit!

We did so much, even met up with Terri and Dan for a bit to do some things. Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, (Splash Mountain was closed, otherwise we would’ve done it), Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel, It’s a Small World, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Mad Tea Party Teacups, Stitches Great Escape, Mike’s Laugh Floor, The Carousel of Progress, Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin (which Jon beat me at!), Space Mountain, and even the Hall of Presidents. We did a bit of shopping in the afternoon (I even managed to get the thing I was looking for in Cast Connection!), saw all the parades, the new “Magic, Memories and You” Light show, and Wishes. It really was a fully packed day.

By the time we headed back after Wishes, we were rather worn out, so grabbed dinner at the All Star Sports QSR, then went back to our room.

Friday Jan 28th
Friday was a bit of an odd day. Jon and I wanted to see Cirque de Soleil at DownTown Disney. The only way to get decent tickets at cast prices is to be at the box office at 11am on the day you want to go. So Today, we headed to DTD for 11am just to get tickets! After that, Terri, Dan, Jon and I all headed into Epcot as we had a lunch reservation with Riyad at Via Napoli.

Via Napoli is a very yummy Pizza restaurant within the Italian Pavilion. The pizza’s there range in size from not-quite-big-enough to just-too-big-for-two to far-too-big-for-it’s-own-good!!! *giggle* It was very very yummy though, and highly enjoyed by all present. After that, Terri Dan and Riyad went off to do the UK Kim Possible mission (which I will do at some point!) and Jon and I walked round to Boardwalk and got a bus back to DTD. We had some time to kill, so we decided to make Potato Heads!!! This is way more fun than it should be. The Toy Store in DTD (called Once Upon A Toy) has a big pick-and-mix of Mr Potato Head parts. They sell these at a set price for as many as you can fit inside a box. Put it this way, Jon and I came away with more than our monies worth!!! I will be going back to fill a box with just parts though, without a potato body! (Yes, this is allowed – we asked.)

Anyway, two amazing potatoes later (mine is now sat on the dining table), we slowly made our way down to West-Side and Cirque de Soleil. The show was something else. I LOVED it so so so much. There’s very little plot to the show, but it’s more about showing off the talents of some very amazing people than anything else. I’d happily go and watch it again!

After the show, Jon and I popped into DisneyQuest (as I had free entry as part of my Holiday Celebration thingie) and had some fun in there before heading back to the hotel and dinner at All Star Music – just a short walk from AS Sports.

Saturday Jan 29th
Today was the day I had to work :S Thankfully, I didn’t have to work for long. Jon and I made our way to Epcot, then I left him to have some fun alone while I went to my Safety Class at 11. I was all done by 12:30, back at the Rose & Crown, and granted my ER. 😀 So it didn’t intrude too much into our day. As Jon had done Epcot in previous years, and wasn’t that interested in Future World, we spent most of the afternoon in World Showcase.

We had lunch in Morocco at Restaurant Marrakesh. The food was rather nice, although I preferred what Jon had to what I had! The music was really cool, and there was even a belly dancer to keep you entertained while you were waiting for your dinner. It really is quite a large restaurant though, so I’m glad I keep sending people there when we don’t have space at the R&C.

After Lunch I took Jon to Japan. There is one thing in Japan that I’ve been wanting to show him since I saw it in my first week here! You can pick your own pearl!!! 😀 So we went and did that, picked an oyster shell together, and got a lovely 7 1/4″ pearl! Not quite sure what we’re going to do with it yet, we need to have a think about that. It was such a lovely experience though, and made all the more special because of how long I’ve been wanting to take Jon there. We had a browse round the rest of the Japanese pavilion then moved onto the rest of the world. We looked at most pavilions, went on Maelstrom in Norway, bought me some hand-exercise ball thingies from China, went on the Three Caballeros Boat Tour ride in Mexico, and generally hung out around the world until dinner time.

For dinner, Terri and I had planned Reservations at the Garden Grill, without Jon and Dan knowing where we were going. Garden Grill is another character restaurant, with Chip & Dale, Mickey & Pluto. It’s a family dining type of dinner, with a set menu. They bring large plates of a bit of everything, and you help yourselves… like a Sunday Roast back home 😀 If you want any more of anything in particular, you just ask your server! It’s a set price too, so you can eat as much or as little as you like. It was really rather yummy!

There was, however, one more thing we needed to do whilst in Epcot. And that was to see Illuminations. So all four of us made sure not to fill ourselves totally at the Garden Grill, and we headed back to the Rose and Crown to have desserts and get a table with Firework Viewing. 😀 I’d already stopped by and spoken to Jane (the assigner for that day) to let her know we would be there later on. She found us a perfect table, and Jon and Dan saw Illuminations for the first time from one of the best viewing points on the lake. 😀 It made me so happy to see my Jon so happy 😀

After Illuminations, it was time to head back to the hotel again. Jon and I weren’t that tired, so we thought we’d try out the Arcade there. (Jon is a massive fan of ticket redemption arcades! Helps that we live near to Weston) As it turns out, it’s quite a nice little arcade, and every resort has one, and once you’ve bought a card in one, it works in all the others! On the way heading over to it though (we’d stopped off at our room) we met some amazing guests! It was two lads, probably in their late-teens. They were semi-dressed like pirates, eye patch and bandana type thing, and one was holding an amazing pirate map. It really was quite a piece of artwork! As it turned out, the treasure they were hunting – the big red X on the map – was actually the ice machine! But they made us laugh, and we thought it was really cool.

Sunday Jan 30th
For some reason, I wasn’t feeling very well that night and as such, I didn’t sleep well. I was still feeling rather rough, and oh so very tired on Sunday. We still went over to Hollywood studios though, as we’d originally planned. First thing we did was pick up fast passes for Toy Story’s Midway Mania. It was only 9:30am when we got there (park opened at 9am)… there was already a 45min wait for the ride, and the fast passes we got were for 12:35! By the time we’d picked up our fast passes, the wait time had gone up to 60min. It’s a very popular ride, is Midway Mania!

Anyway, we were rather hungry as we’d come out without any breakfast, so we went over to Fairfax Fair and each grabbed a Breakfast Muffin. It was a rather good muffin! The rest of the day was a little subdued though, due to my funny tummy, but we still did a fair amount of stuff. Including the Great Movie Ride, Sounds Dangerous, Indiana Jones Stunt show, and Muppet Vision 3D. For lunch, we had a reservation at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. I like the concept of this place, but it somehow just doesn’t work for a dining location. You spend more time watching the cheesy Sci-Fi Film trailers than you do on your food, and you really can’t have a decent conversation. I must say though, it was one of the most hushed restaurants I’ve ever been in!

After lunch we made use of our Fast Passes to Midway Mania! Now I realise why everyone loves this ride. It’s like a 3D virtual arcade game, and it’s SO much fun! I suddenly know why people are willing to wait 120min (and yes – this was the wait time when we came out) to get on it! It’s one I will definitely be trying to get onto again, and often! By this point, I was feeling even more tired due to my lack of sleep, so we were thinking about maybe heading back to the hotel, but instead decided to do the Backlot Tour. Somehow, Jon and I got picked to be volunteers. For anyone who’s seen the Backlot tour, I will only say that I was the Engineer… I was rather more awake afterwards! For anyone that hasn’t, I won’t spoil it for you! But I highly suggest you volunteer!!!

We still decided to come back to the hotel afterwards though. I got a couple of hours nap, which did me a world of good, and Jon spent some more time in the arcade, winning a silly number of tickets!!! Jon has seen Fantasmic before, so he didn’t mind about missing out on it this time around. It just means we’ll be making even more of an effort to see it in June.

Once I’d had my nap, we had a think about dinner, and decided to try out a QSR in another resort. We’d used up all our Table Service entitlements on our dining plan, but still had 2 Quick Service each to use up – one was going to be breakfast the next morning. So we had a browse through my little dining book and decided upon Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian. It had quite a simple selection, but a nice one none-the-less.

So we hopped onto a Magic Kingdom bus, then got the boat over to the Polynesian. I love getting boats around Disney, they’re always so lovely, and feel a little bit different! Once at the Poly, we grabbed dinner, which was yum, ate, then went and sat on the beach. We’d somehow timed things almost perfectly to see Wishes from the beach! I never realised quite how far behind the castle the fireworks actually go off from, or how high they really go! I guess that’s the joy of perspective! It really is a romantic thing to do though, watching Wishes with your partner from the beach at the Polynesian. It’s a memory that will stay with me for a very long time. :)

We came back to Magic Kingdom by monorail, stopping off at the Grand Floridian on the way, so I could show Jon just how lovely it is (and he agreed that it really is!). Once at MK, we transferred back to a bus, then came home to snuggle up and watch a film together. I was still feeling a little off and tired, and a snuggle night was just what we both needed, especially as it would be our last night together.

Monday Jan 31st
We took our time getting up and packing away our things, checking out and depositing our luggage with the holding people at the front of the resort, before taking a leisurely wander down to All Star Movies for Brunch. The menu at each of the All Star QSRs is identical, but Movies is clearly much more modern, with TV screens displaying it’s menu instead of just boards, along with other things.

Once we’d eaten, we slowly walked back to AS Sports, and went back to the Arcade room! Jon was so close to getting enough tickets for the highest valued things there, so we decided to go for it, get enough tickets, and have some fun doing so! So I now have a very cool, coloured, glowing, ball light thing sat in my room. 😀 I Love it! By this time it was pretty much time for the bus to the Airport. So we picked up Jon’s luggage and waited. About 15min later, we got on our bus and headed off to Orlando International.

Needless to say, neither of us wanted him to leave, and it all got very emotional, and I took forever trying to find a way back home (lynx buses are NOT fast, nor is going to DTD, transferring to a guest bus to AS Sports, picking up luggage, and getting a cast bus back to housing!) But eventually, I got home, stayed there for the rest of the night… Jon got home in the early hours of the morning, and all is well.

Tuesday Feb 1st
And so we get to Today. Today has been a very strange day. Firstly, I woke up feeling as if Jon had never visited. :S I went to work, as normal, feeling rather off. I was on Chippie tills today, which was ok, apart from the fact that I was only on the till for an hour before I had to leave for a Basics Class. The class was ok, going over the service basics again, supposedly inspiring us to do a job we should already be doing. Then back to work to task for 15min before going on my break. Then I got to go back onto my till until close.

It felt just far too easy to slip back into doing everything, and it really is as if Jon was never here. I’m leading two separate lives right now, and he is not a part of one of them. It feels so strange to bounce back and forth between them, but I guess it’s back to my non-Jon life for another 4 months for now.

And that life will start back up with a 3 month anniversary breakfast tomorrow morning! My entire arrival group (plus Terri, as she doesn’t have an arrival group) will be heading off to Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness for 8:30am for breakfast! It’ll be fun, although the early morning is going to make tomorrow interesting for me, as I’m assigning when I get into work. I don’t start as early as some of the others though, so I should easily get there on time.

Either way, early morning means I should really be sleeping.
Thank you for getting to the end of this epic post, I apologise again, and I hope it won’t happen again!

Vikki
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Magic! January 6, 2011

This post is coming to you from Magic Kingdom!! From Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe in fact! Which is proving to be yummy although I don’t have much of an appetite right now, due to being ill. I’m just generally having a lazy, wandering day off, meandering round MK, and watching the world go by! I’ll be heading into Epcot later to meet up with Terri after work for dinner, then there’s a group of us from the UK going out to Cowboys tonight, as a leaving do for Terri (not my roommate) and Damion. It should be a lot of fun!

As for now, I’m off to wander MK some more!

Vikki
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