Thunder from Downunder I

June 15, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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They may look harmless and innocent, but please, do not let their angelic, semi-tanned (minus me who clearly matches the wood top) appearances fool you. They came from all over Australia; Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane with only one thing in mind. With their powers combine they were an indestructible partying, booze-consuming, and adventure-hungry force… a force that Carlos was not mentally prepared for.

CHAPTER 1
~ The Arrival ~

It was a sweltering summers evening here in Orlando; much like the one we are currently experiencing here tonight. All the Aussies had arrived safe and sound to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Check-in went as smooth as one could hope. The resort was nice enough; comfortable beds, an adequate bathroom for Gavin to beautify himself in and a nice pool with a water slide, that’s right, a water slide. Moving on up in the world, people!

It could not have been more than five or so hours after arriving that the bright-eyed, eager youth of Australia began begging and pleading with me to introduce them to the cheapness that is American alcohol. They didn’t have to ask me twice. After all, who was I to deny them of such a privilege?
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CHAPTER 2
~ Ale House ~

It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t nervous. I felt comfortable enough but I knew I was taking a risk by crossing cultural boundaries. I mean, it just didn’t seem fair introducing a country that is quite capable and at ease of drinking anyone and everyone under the table (this is just one of many Australian stereotypes, but one we stand by; one we are truly and wholeheartedly proud of) with a bunch of piss-weak Americans. I thought long and hard about this. I figured that at worst, we would just sacrifice Nicole; our one drink wonder, and that would make us even. This made  sense in my head. All seemed fair again. Enough delaying, bring on the buckets and pitchers.

Pitcher after pitcher after pitcher was consumed. It was a marvelous sight; the Australians and the Americans mingling together as if we were united as one (under the rulings of her majesty, the Queen, of course). Beer got the party started until shots just added a whole new definition to crossing boundaries. The saying ‘beer before liquor, never been sicker’, was completely blown out the window tonight. We were all just bouncing off the walls like one big happy drunken family that had just been reunited after twenty odd years of being lost at sea.  The alcohol slowly yet surely began to work its magic. Speech became difficult and the right words seemed somewhat troublesome to get out. Conversation quickly took a turn for the worse. Well, maybe not so much for the worse, but enough to send Gavin into a table-hitting ball of laughter and for me to fall to the floor while simultaneously hysterically laughing and crying at the one time. See, even when I’ve had too much to drink I can still multi-task. I should add that to my resume. This is where true love begins to blossom between Aussie Nicole and American Carlos. Will cupid pull through for the sake of us all?

When the night ends with the purchase of three shots and five beers as well as food for $25 and two car loads in a bar parking lot harmoniously screaming out a drunken rendition of Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way‘ (while Carlos makes it his duty to mount me in the front seat, of Bryan’s car), you know you’ve had a good night (and perhaps too much to drink). This almost brought a tear to my eye. I felt at ease with my decision to introduce my Aussies to my Americans.
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CHAPTER 3
~ Magic Kingdom ~

A new, sober day. To be honest with you, I’m not quite sure how I got myself out of bed this morning. Today would be the first of four Disney park days.  Magic Kingdom is the only dry park on Disney property and just as well after our  ‘welcome to America‘ Ale House adventure last night.

Would it be Magic Kingdom without a cliched jump in front of Cinderella’s Castle photo? Yes, we do range from ages 19  – 25. Don’t you be judging now…

Magic Kingdom really is the place where dreams come true. No matter how old you are here, there is always that brief moment where you revert back to your childhood and let the kid inside of you come out and get excited. Now, whether you express this sense of excitement or not is totally up to you, but don’t go being in denial about it; it happens to the best of us. I dropped the tough girl persona within minutes of stepping foot into the Magic Kingdom almost one year ago to this day. And since we are being honest, yes, yes I did download ‘Celebrate You‘ by Corbin Bleu, the pre-tune to the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and yes, maybe I do sing along and dance to it in front of my mirror when my room mate isn’t home!
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lo·sing ones shit (sht)
Vulgar slang
(verb)

1. The act of meeting Mickey and Minnie for the first time.
.. .. … .I’m going to lose my shit when I see Mickey and Minnie.
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Today was Gavin’s day to, as he’d loosely refer to it as, ‘lose his shit‘. This is a very simple process for one Gavin Thomas. It involved presenting him with either Mickey or Minnie Mouse. The two of them simultaneously would clearly be sensory overload for the young Mr. Thomas so it was much to my delight when we stumbled upon Mickey’s House and were greeted by the two of them in a separate building out back, possibly Mickey’s garage? I think Mickey and Minnie’s secret rendezvous meeting point seemed to be the more appropriate answer; these two were out of control all over every one. It was something like out of a reality TV show titled Minnie Gone Wild. I’m not sure what side of the bed Miss. Minnie woke up on this morning (or if she mistakenly popped a few of Mickey’s Viagra pills), but she was rather touchy feely; throwing kisses out left right and center then dashing mischief glances over toward Mickey in hopes to see him jealous after she’d smooch it up with all the boys. She was all about the hand action; hugging, poking, tickling, hands around everyone’s waist. Mickey could do nothing more than silently suffer and accept the fact that his girl was feeling rather whore-ish on this pleasant summers day. Who would have thought Minnie had a frisky side to her; definitely not me. All this hot Minnie action was, no doubt, causing Gavin to experience heart palpitations like no other. He shoved his camera into my hands while mumbling a quick ‘Oh my God’ under his breath and leaped toward Mickey for a long, loving embrace. Gavin had officially lost his shit.

I had not had my photo taken with Mickey or Minnie for some time now so I figured since we’d waited in line, I may as well take advantage of this situation (and of Minnie). The anticipation and all that sexual tension that was floating around the room proved to be all too much for the Aussies, because after all of this, we got wet. Very wet.  That’s right, we rode Splash Mountain and got drenched from head to toe. Not what you were thinking, right? Dirty buggers.

Our night at Magic Kingdom ended with a big bang. I can’t say I’m surprised if you suspect that Minnie had something to do with this, but fortunately for Mickey’s sanity and the longevity of Disney World, you are wrong. Get your mind out of the gutter, people. I’m talking about the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular! Since arriving at Disney World last year, Wishes has quite possibly been my favorite thing ever apart from the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor so I was ecstatic to be sharing this treat with my Aussies. This would be the last time that I’d be seeing Wishes as it is going on hiatus over the Summer and being replaced with the Pirates and Princesses Fireworks Spectacular. Knowing this, I felt a teeny tiny bit sad, but also eager and excited to experience what was to come. The lights around the park dim and a sweet, innocent little voice begins reciting the lyrics to Star Light, Star Bright as the first round of fireworks shoot their way up into the dark night sky. Pretty sure the Aussies are at a loss for words and I’m quite confident that Gavin is  discretely having one of his little moments. Oh Wishes, how I will miss you and the lingering memory of the extended Wishes Holidays Spectacular that I will hold ever so dearly in my mind. Somewhere between Wishes ending and us trying to exit Magic Kingdom through a stampede of guests, we ended up at Steak ‘n’ Shake. Today was a good day.

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CHAPTER 3
~ Let it Rain ~

Tonight, as promised, we had made plans to venture out to club Rain. Now, I will begin by being honest with you straight up. I really do not remember much from this night. It may or may not have something to do with the self-consumption of two shots and six beers in a short period of time; I’m just saying, this may have something to do with it. I can quite confidently tell you that the night began by pre-gaming with my Aussie and American boys (and girls).

From here, I can also confidently report to you that we made it into Rain, despite being somewhat tipsy at the door. I remember lots of dancing and drinking; Bryan handing me drink after drink. At one point I remember our Aussie and American crew completely owning the stage but the rest of it is just a blur; a blur of fun, none the less. Somewhere along the line, it ended up looking like the hot mess below.

I don’t know how we made it out, or how I ended up in Ali’s car, but what I do know is that I was ecstatic to hear that we were making a 3am Maccas run. Late night (early morning) Maccas runs are possibly one of my favorite things to do when drunk. Nothing makes you feel better upon waking up that next morning knowing that you devoured a McNugget Meal  only hours earlier and passed out on a full stomach. A good night was had by all, except for maybe Nicole who’s empty heart beat only for Carlos and perhaps Brendon who had been approached by another male and asked how much his services would cost. We got home somewhere between the hours of 3 and 4am. We needed to be up at 8am for another day of debauchery. This was going to prove to be quite the task, especially since Gavin was no where to be found.
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~TO BE CONTINUED~

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Parental Unit Arrival

June 4, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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Mum cried when she saw me at Orlando airport. That was to be expected. I am rather miss-able so I can’t say that I blame her. It would be impossible filling the void I left when I moved away way back in June of 2009. I can’t imagine what it would be like not having all that extra laundry to wash and iron, no special dinners to cook, one less bed to make and bedroom to clean… really, I can tell why she had those tears rolling down her cheeks when we hugged for the first time in ten months. Yep, she missed me! We were like one big happy family again, minus Darren and Chris…

I had only one objective while mum and dad were in town, and that was to show them the time of their lives; after all, they had done a pretty neat job putting up with me for the last 24 years, so I felt as though this was my one chance to give back and show my appreciation, and that, I think I successfully did (well, at least that is what they led me to believe).

Mum and dad stayed at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. This resort is mainly used for Disney Vacation Club members but non members are also able to make reservations there. Apart from the Grand Floridian, I had not yet had the chance to check out any of Disney’s other Deluxe Resorts; Saratoga Springs fell under this deluxe category and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The grounds of the resort were absolutely gorgeous and perfect to a tee.

We had the basic studio room which was simply adorable. There was a double bed, a fold out couch bed, balcony, bathroom and a cute little kitchenette which kept mum extremely happy. Both mum and dad were very impressed with the room, as was I. If this was  just the basic studio room, then the one, two and three bedroom options must be ridiculously amazing!

The Turf Club Bar & Grill restaurant at the Saratoga Springs Resort also deserves a notable mention. We ate here on two separate occasions, both times for dinner and the service and food were exceptional! I should also mention that on neither occasion did we have reservations, but they managed to seat us extremely quickly, even on Mother’s Day! On our first night Claude was our host and on the second night, Linda was our hostess. Both were amazing and very accommodating to any of our requests. The food was amongst the best I’ve had at any on-property restaurant whether it be Disney owned or third party. I recommend the Onion Rings for appetizers and the New York Strip Steak for main. it was incredibly delicious.  The Angus Chuck Burger was also one of the best I have yet to find anywhere at Disney!

With my complimentary admissions, I was able to get mum and dad into all four parks for free which was pretty awesome. We did Epcot for mum and dads 30th Wedding Anniversary…

Magic Kingdom so mum could feel like a little girl again…

Animal Kingdom for Mother’s Day and because they mentioned something about wanting another baby…

And Hollywood Studios because no Disney trip would be complete without it…

Our mornings were early, our days, long, and our nights, late, but we had so much to fit into the ten shorts days that mum and dad would be  with me at Disney before embarking on the rest of their big U.S.A. adventure. The humidity had arrived just in time and although the temperature only hit the low 90’s, on our day at Epcot, with the humidity taken into account, the temperature sweltered to a lovely 103 Fahrenheit. Despite this ridiculous heat, Epcot was by far their favorite of all four parks. At the time the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival was still on so the garden beds were looking all pretty and more colorful than usual; of course this made dad love it all the more.

Ten days went by way too fast, and before I knew it, mum and dad were off to New York City. Although their time here with me was short, I am so happy that they enjoyed themselves. I know they’ve never really had the opportunity to travel and  see all the amazing things that I’ve been blessed enough to see so I felt a sense of happiness knowing that after all these years of raising my brothers and I, that they could finally go on an adventure of their own, on their own without us being burden on them. I loved seeing dad get caught up and lost in how amazingly beautiful Epcot is and I loved the genuine look of excitement on mums face when she got to meet Mickey and Minnie and how she’d wave and high-five the characters as they went down Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom during the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade.

I’m glad that after all these years, mum and dad finally understand why I love it here in the U.S.A. and at Disney so much and I hope, that even for a short moment while here, they could revert back to their childhood and get lost in the most happiest place on earth; Disney World.

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~ MORE OF MAY MAYHEM TO COME ~


Graduating Disney Style

June 4, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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Neglect:

  1. disregard: lack of attention and due care
  2. leave undone or leave out
  3. the state of something that has been unused and neglected
  4. fail: fail to do something; leave something undone
  5. fail to attend to
  6. what I did to my blog during the month of May

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I have said it before and I will say it again, sorry! No, really, I am; from the bottom of my butt (because, lets face it, my butt is way bigger than my heart, haha, get it? Anyone? I really crack myself up!) To my hundreds of loyal readers and adoring fans, I have left you blog-less for over a month now. I cannot begin to imagine how you went on with your daily lives while I ran around like a headless chook trying to cram more action into 31 days than any human should ever try and do!

Let’s see, first up, there was my graduation from the Disney International College Program. I found this relatively odd since they made me graduate two and a half months prior to my program end date. What happens if I get terminated in my remaining six weeks? I already have the certificate to prove that I have successfully completed my internship with Disney. I almost feel inclined to do a nudie run through Main Street, Magic Kingdom during the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade with my Disney I.D. lanyard around my neck while screaming, “Fools! You already gave me my certificate of completion…”  Now, that would be a magical moment right there if I have ever seen one! Now, let’s not forget to mention my Mickey graduation ears… Without those little bad boys I would never be taken seriously! So glad I was able to pick myself up a pair.

I waited in line for an hour in the scorching hot Florida sun to get a photo with these two.  One bloody hour! Who do they think they are anyway? Really!? Well, to answer my own question, yes, really, because, despite the fact that the person inside the Mickey and Minnie costume may very well be a friend or possibly even my neighbor, I still get pee-my-pants excited when I get to give Mickey a kiss and give a big bear-like hug to Minnie! Yes, I know, I am a loser. Shut it.

Graduation was a fun day… it would have been extra fun if it was actually relatively close to my departure date though. That nudie run is definitely something to keep in mind.

Nudie run aside, it was time to get serious; well, as serious as you can be when you have a wondering imagination like mine and have a mouse as your boss. Why such seriousness, you ask? Well, that very next day mum and dad were making the treacherous journey over from Australia to come and visit me. One would think they were coming over with hopes that maybe after having to fend for myself in a whole new country for ten months that one may have slightly grown up and matured? Ehh, high expectations…
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~ TO BE CONTINUED ~


So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Good Bye…

April 15, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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Every few months the one disadvantage of the Disney College Program comes around. Someone’s internship comes to an end and it is time for them to go back home and for us to say farewell.

Unfortunately, this time, it just so happens to be one of my close friends, Jung 😦

Here’s some photos from our last outing all together at the Magic Kingdom…

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 1, 2009

Discounted Cast Member tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom? Hell yeah! Sunday was pretty much the only available day from then until Christmas that I’d have free to attend this event, so there really was no hesitation or second thoughts about it.

I’d heard mixed opinions about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party but the negatives weren’t enough to hold me back. I was beyond excited for this night, so much so that I even went out and bought an adorable Minnie Santa hat with ears and a bow; so cute. Whether I looked ridiculous or not is a matter of opinion, but hey, it kept my head warm… at least that’s my claim.

Entrance into Magic Kingdom

The front of Magic Kingdom had been decorated for Christmas and decked out with wreaths and lights, it looked so pretty. Upon stepping foot into the Magic Kingdom, my eyes were instantly drawn to Main Street. I’d looked down Main Street many times before and seen Cinderella’s Castle at the very end, but I’d never seen it look as beautiful as it did tonight. The Castle was sparkling and glistening in the nights sky. It had been completely draped in fairy lights to give it that frosted, icy look. It was truly spectacular. I was blown away by its beauty. I walked down Main Street with my eyes glued to the Castle at all times. I was so attracted to it that it took me a good few minutes to realise that it was snowing down Main Street, fake snow, but still snow none the less. Quite the sight if I may say so myself. I continued to make my way towards the Castle to admire its beauty up close.

Me looking cute in my Minnie Santa hat in front of Cinderella's Castle

One of our friends, Liz,  is a performer in the Christmas stage show that they present at Cinderella’s Castle so we went to watch her do her thing. The show was so cute and a lot of fun and really put me in the Christmas mood. I was bopping around to all the Christmas carols while admiring the gorgeous costumes they all got to wear.

After the show was over Liz had told us to meet her at the side of Cinderella’s Castle because she had arranged a meet and greet for us! I was soooooo excited. This made the night even more amazing than it already was. Bryan and I headed over there and waited until someone came to get us. A few of the cast came out as well as Mickey and Minnie! Lots of other performers also had their families there to see them.

Bryan and I with Liz and a few of her performer friends

Mickey and Minnie; so cute!

Next up was the Wishes Fireworks Spectacular, Christmas style! I’d never seen the normal Wishes before but I had heard the Christmas one was a heap better so I was super excited and pumped up.

My hot chocolate and my cookie!

Before the fireworks show began, it started getting a little chilly outside so we decided to take advantage of the several stations giving out hot chocolate and cookies to the guests. I’m not a huge fan of cookies, but this one was delicious! It was covered in colourful sprinkles and seemed to just melt in my mouth. The hot chocolate was super great and really hit the spot. There were marshmallows in there to make it taste extra good! Bryan had bought a whole heap of candy canes along with him and was telling me how he likes to break up a candy cane and put it into his hot chocolate. He said that you stir it around and wait for it to melt and then the hot chocolate has a peppermint twist to it. This sounded delicious so I gave it a try, and, sure enough, it worked and my hot chocolate tasted DELICIOUS! It was pretty much a mouth-gasm. So, so good. I highly recommend it!

We returned back to Cinderella’s Castle and secured our spot to view the Wishes Christmas Fireworks show from. A voice came over the sound system informing us that all the lights throughout the Magic Kingdom would be dimmed in order for guests to view the fireworks show… and then, it began…

Speechless. Hands down possibly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen before in my life. It was definitely the highlight of my time here to date. It was spectacularly beautiful. The castle lit up in different colours, the fireworks shooting out over the top, the Christmas Carols playing; it was just… lost for words. It really was something. There was a couple in front of me hugging and kissing while this was all going on. The family to my right had their arms all interlocked and were hugging. For a brief second I got sad again thinking about how I wont be home for Christmas but watching the amazingness that is the Wishes Christmas Fireworks Spectacular made all if this OK.

There was just one thing left to do… make our way over to view the Christmas Parade which two of our friends were performing in. We secured our spot and sat down while waiting for it to begin. Sure enough, another two hot chocolates with marshmallows and candy canes were consumed. Mmmmm 🙂 The parade was all sorts of cute fun. I saw my favourites; The Beast and Belle and Aladdin; Winnie the Pooh and friends and of course, Mickey and Minnie… oh, and how could I forget… Santa!

Sadly, this brought our night to an end. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was such an amazing night and I wish we could have stayed there forever! It really was something special and I will never, ever forget it. It’s one of those things that will stay with me for life. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you get your butt over there to check it out. It’s on select nights throughout December and runs from 7pm until midnight. Pleaseeee, do yourself a favour and go! You wont be disappointed 🙂

Bryan and I before leaving. This is a one of the professional Photo Pass photos.

xo


Happy Birthday Walt Disney World!

October 1, 2009

October 1, 1971 marked the official opening of the
Walt Disney World Resort and Magic Kingdom