Longing to go back to Disney

August 19, 2010

.

Location: Melbourne, Australia
.

It has been five weeks since my Internship came to an end and I stopped working for Walt Disney World.

It has been ten days since I left Orlando, FL for Las Vegas.

It has been five days since I left Las Vegas to fly back home to Melbourne, Australia.

Not a second goes by where I don’t think about my Disney family. I miss them so much. I miss everything; the friends, the freedom, the lifestyle. I wish I could go back to day one and do it all over again.

Before embarking on this journey, I used to think I knew everything about myself, but now I’m not so sure.

There are things I never thought I wanted in life, that now I want; things I thought I wanted, but now I don’t.

My time abroad has been a life-changing and eye-opening experience that I will never take for granted.

I have met so many amazing and wonderful people and am blessed to have them in my life, even if it was only for a short while.

This is the parting gift that Bryan left me with.
I haven’t been able to watch it yet without crying.

Disney College Program
July 2009 – July 2010
Best time of my life.

Part I

Part II

Advertisements

Bienvenidos a Miami

July 20, 2010


.
Location:
Miami, Florida, USA
.
There was quite the last minute hustle and bustle early Friday morning.

I woke bright and early to the chiming of my cell phone alarm. My eyes were puffy from crying the night before and my eyeliner had smudged a good 1cm radius around my eyes. I looked like a sleep-deprived Panda. I took a quick shower, packed the remainder of my things, stripped my bed down and took out the last of my trash.

Bryan would be pulling up by my apartment any minute now. I grab my things and walk towards my front door. Before flicking off the light switch on my way out I turn around and take one last look at what is now a completely empty apartment; just like the day I moved into it. The walls are stripped bare; apartment 4102 now lacks any character I had added to it to make me feel at home. So many great memories, so many smiles, so much fun; gone. I feel my eyes begin to water. I take a deep breath, turn around, and shut the door behind me. There’s no turning back now.

I place my gear in Bryan’s trunk and hop into the front seat. We make a quick stop by Housing. I reluctantly hand in my Chatham Square Housing ID and my apartment key to the front desk. Just like that, after a full twelve months of working for Disney, I am no longer a Disney Cast Member, no longer on the Disney College Program and I no longer live at Chatham Square. Good bye, Disney, it’s been a blast.

Sadness is quickly over turned. Today a bunch of my Disney friend and I are road-tripping to South Beach, Miami for a few days to have one last big group outing together. Before departure though, we have one thing left to do. What could possibly be better than Maccas for a pre-roadtrip breakfast!?! Mmmm, hash browns and a bacon, egg and cheese bagel! I’m lovin’ it.

We get into Miami Beach at around 4pm. We are staying at the Viscay Hotel on Collins Ave. Everything seemed to be completely booked out for the dates we required, and it didn’t make it any easier since we were a party of ten. This hotel is by far no where as elegant and luxurious as where we stayed a few weeks ago at The Bentley Hotel on Ocean Drive, but they had vacancy, the price was decent and it was ranked highly on trip advisor. Despite this, we are still only a three minute walk from the beach and we are right in the heart of the exuberant nightlife that South Beach offers.  We have two suites booked. The plan is to fit five in each. Upon arrival and first inspection, the rooms seem sufficient; big, spacious area, bathroom is do-able and we have a nice small kitchen space. I think we are more excited about the fact that our kitchen table is big enough to play beer pong on. The king bed is huge and able to accommodate three people, the fold out couch can accommodate another two; perfect… Or was it?

We get our luggage into the hotel. By now it is pushing 6pm and we are bloody hungry but we have to wait for Mike and Jessica to get back before we can head out for dinner. While waiting around, I get a text from Mike saying that he thinks he is standing next to LeBron James at The Bentley Hotel. Bryan tells me to text back and tell Mike to take either a photo or video. Bryan is from LeBron’s hometown so if he sees a photo, he’d definitely know if it was him or not. Mike texts back saying he is too scared because he has four big body guard-looking guys standing around him. Booo, Mike, boooo!

Mike and Jessica finally get back to our hotel and we  all decide to walk down Ocean Drive and go to  TGIFriday’s for dinner. Worst decision ever. Ocean Drive was absolutely packed with a swarm of people; not the most friendliest looking crowd you’d want to come across either. We held hands and made a human chain to get through it all together; it was tough, but we survived and in the end, we were rewarded with the deliciousness that is TGIFriday’s. I ask the waitress if she knows why Ocean Drive is insanely busy and she tells us that LeBron James is in town and everyone is trying to find him. Turns out it was him that Mike had seen after all!

We headed back to the hotel for en epic night of pre-gaming and beer pong. I can’t really tell you what happened because not even I’m too sure, but judging by the photos, lots of booze was consumed, beer pong was played, and there was some sort of weird, drunken photo shoot on our bed… I can recall bits and pieces of Bryan somersaulting across the bed a few times, one time almost crashing into a wall only to have Ali come to his rescue… the words ‘spread eagle‘ being yelled across the room… Dawin getting his drink spilled all over his jeans and then somehow everyone piling up on top of each other for a very close, lovingly group photo shoot.

After our glamor shots we ended up sitting out on Miami Beach in the pitch blackness of the night. It was so pleasant and relaxing until security came by and told us we had to get off the beach because it was closed. Boooo, way to ruin our night; party poopers! Once again, we headed back to our hotel. Everything was all well and good until we discovered a cockroach in our kitchen. I almost vomit a little in my mouth; gross. Not sure who, but someone killed it. Phew. We all regained our composure until not before too long, we discovered another cockroach by the closet. Mike freaked out, grabbed my shoe and squished it before I even realized it was my shoe in his hand. When I finally realizing my shoe had touched that thing, I may have vomit a little again in my mouth. A creepy shiver ran down my spine as I thought about a cockroach flying into my ear and laying babies in it while I tried to sleep at night. Ahhhhh! As soon as morning came, Mike and Bryan went to the front desk to complain but there was nothing they could do.

Cockroaches weren’t enough to bring us down. The next morning we get up and head to Fresh on Fifth to get  freshly made baguettes to order; delicious. From here we walk across the road and find ourselves a spot on the sand. While some wait for their lunch to settle in their belly, Ali, myself and Mike already have our clothes off and are running towards the welcoming, emerald greeny blue waters. Without even thinking, I jump right in. The water is beautiful. We form a triangle and throw the ball out to each other. Ali is terrible at aiming so I am forced to swim after the ball several times. This proves to be quite complicated as the water is extremely choppy today and the waves keep pushing the ball further towards the shore. When I eventually get out of the water, my legs feel like jelly and I can’t seem to walk in a straight line on the sand. I collapse on my towel and soak up the suns rays. Not a worry in the world; this is the definition of perfection.

I head back to the hotel a half an hour before the others do. I want to get a shower and wash my hair so it has enough time to dry before I straighten it. As I hop out of the shower, I hear it start to bucket down rain outside. I worry about the rest of the gang getting caught up in the rain storm but they make it back just in time. Everyone starts taking turns showering. While Ali is in the shower, Bryan, myself, Susan and Leila are laying out on the bed watching T.V. We hear a disturbing crunching sound coming from the air conditioning unit; similar to that of a blender blade trying to chop up thick ice cubes. Out of no where, the AC unit starts spitting out balls of ice; how wonderful! Just what we needed, a broken AC unit when it’s stinking hot outside. Bryan makes his way to front desk to complain, only this time, they relocate us to a new room.

Our new hotel room is much nicer, it’s on the corner so we have windows right around letting in plenty of light and the kitchen and bathroom are newer and nicer than the previous room. This room also proves to be cockroach free! Hooray! We settle in and head out to a Burger King Lounge for a quick dinner. Tonight’s plan is to pre-game at the hotel, then for those of us who are 21+, the night will be spent at Mansion nightclub. We’ve heard only good things about this place so we are rather excited to go there.

Entry to club Mansion is $25 which is a little steep, but at the same time, the clubs back home in Melbourne usually charge $20-$30 club entry so I can’t complain. The wait to get in isn’t all too bad. The club is separated into three parts; there is a small bar and dance floor upon entry which leads into a larger room with more bars, a roped off VIP section and the most awesome music to party to ever and then this room leads into an even bigger room that plays house and dance music. We wait here forever to get a drink then head back to the awesome music room to get our groove on until the early morning.

Sunday is check out morning. We gather our things and head towards Fort Lauderdale to grab a late breakfast at Arby’s. After Arby’s we decide to spend some time at Fort Lauderdale beach like we did last time. Fort Lauderdale beach is extremely beautiful and much more peaceful than Miami Beach. I decide to not swim this time; I don’t feel like having sand in unwanted places for the three hour drive back to Orlando.

On the drive home Bryan and I notice that Mike’s right back tire is looking a little flat. I text him to let him know he needs some air in it and he texts back saying he’s going to pull into the next rest stop to inflate it. Unfortunately, the next rest stop seems to be quite the distance away, and only two miles out from it, Bryan and I smell burned rubber, and, sure enough, Mike’s tire blows out so we all pull over. It takes a call to AAA, the State Troopers and Dawin to fix this hot mess. The jack that Mike had in his car wasn’t all that great, so once the wheel was off, the jack gave way and the car tilted and rolled backwards. Once the State Trooper arrived and lent Dawin a better jack, it went smoothly from here. Finally, after what seems like forever, we are ready to continue our journey back to Orlando.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we get in a lot later than expected. Despite this small obstacle, the trip was great fun and I’m glad we could all do this once last time before we all go our separate ways.

Next up, our cruise to the Bahamas in t-minus six days and counting!


Exiting the Circus

July 15, 2010


.
Location:
Orlando, Florida, USA
.
For the last twelve months of my life I have watched people from right around the world who have grown so close and dear to me depart as their Disney College Program experience had come to an end. As I sit here typing this from my apartment here at Chatham Square for the last time, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. The Cirque du Soleil; La Nouba soundtrack is playing in the background; certain parts triggering my mind as I run through my queues in my head. Although I really should be packing, I can’t bring myself to realize that this amazing whirlwind of a life-changing experience is about to conclude.

Last night, sadly, after one entire year of working for Walt Disney at Cirque du Soleil, my Disney College Program came to an end. It was a series of many lasts:

  • My last ride to work with Bryan; someone I have come to love so dearly
  • My last time putting on my hideous blue pants and blazer
  • My last time proudly wearing my Disney name tag
  • My last time clocking into CDS for my final shift
  • My last time laughing and joking around in the dungeon
  • My last pre-shift meeting on the stairs before first show load
  • My last time ushering a Cirque du Soleil show
  • My last time assisting Disney World guests
  • My last time calling cameras on the radio
  • My last time screaming out ‘Mop Help’ to Lalita
  • My last time working with a team of extremely amazing people from all over the world where I really feel like I belong
  • My last time clocking out of CDS to mark the end of my final shift
  • My last ride from work to Ale House to enjoy loaded fries and a few beers with my Cirque crew
  • My last ride from Ale House back to Chatham Square with friends that have become family for me while I’ve been here

My time here on the Disney College Program has been something that words can’t even describe. Twelve months ago I would never have thought I’d have grown so attached to so many people. Everyone is so different and unique and it’s quite hard to sum them up. I love each of them all dearly and each for different reasons.

If any of you happen to read this, thank you all for being you! I love you all so much and and I am going to miss you all terribly. I will definitely be back to visit, sooner rather than later.

Again, thank you, it’s been a blast.

-xoxo-










Graduating Disney Style

June 4, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
.

____________________

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

____________________

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…
.

~ TO BE CONTINUED ~


Splish Splash I Was Takin’ A Bath…

April 20, 2010

Disney mates at Animal Kingdom

… at Animal Kingdom!

The weather man could not have been more precise when he said that there was a 60% chance of precipitation forecast for Monday. The weather man being right, imagine that! Well, upon waking up it looked quite nice out; a few clouds floating about, the sun was shining and it was rather warm out so we decided to take our chances and head to Animal Kingdom for the last time before Jung leaves us on Friday.

Today was to be all about good times, friendship, plenty of photos…

AHHHH! STiTCH!

and… a celebration of new life! (Finally, now they have to let me stay in the USA, right!)

..

Until it began pouring down rain. Now, when I say rain, I don’t just mean your average little sprinkle… I mean bucket loads of rain, pouring down like crazy! It came out of no where too and was at it’s heaviest just as we jumped onto the Kilimanjaro Safari truck. I was somewhat disappointed because I love riding the safari and thought the rain would spoil the ride for the simple fact that all the animals would be hiding; seeking shelter from the hurricane-like rain but to my surprise though, it was quite the opposite!

I’ve never seen so many animals out while on safari; it was delightful! There were two hippopotamus trying to bite each others faces off in the water; all four giraffes were out and standing all together in a line which I found rather amusing; the ostriches came right up by our safari truck and were dripping wet while another was sitting by the truck route keeping its eggs warm; there was a lonely elephant slapping its trunk and head down repetitively into a pool of water trying to wash itself (in the rain… yeah, go figure) and there was some weird lama looking animal pacing back and forth; it almost looked as though it was in distress from the torrential rain. Rain was flying into the truck from all directions, there was mud all over the truck route and the safari truck and the tire trenches had become pools of water; it was almost like we were on a real African safari! Best one I’ve ever experienced at Animal Kingdom!

Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

Needless to say soon after, just like the ostriches, we too were soaking wet. I guess it didn’t help that we went on the Kali River Rapids ride and Jung and I just happened to be sitting in the two seats that took the most hits of water. My back was completely soaked! We took some time to go and watch The Lion King musical performance and saw this as an opportunity to dry off… only the AC was blasting so high we almost froze to death. A happy freezing, though, because The Lion King musical they put on at Animal Kingdom is AMAZING! Everyone was clapping away, I had my feet moving along to the Disney classics and also had my shoulders moving to the beat. It really is a phenomenal little production; if you haven’t taken the time to see it, I suggest you do!

We also took the time to see the bird show; Flights of Wonder. This is possibly one of my most favorite things to see at Animal Kingdom. Monday was the second time I had gone to see Flights of Wonder. Not sure if they ever have a different guy as the ‘tour guide”, Guano Joe, because it has been the same guy both times I have been, but he does an excellent job in playing the part and he’s quite the comedian. The 25-minute show features at least 20 species of exotic birds from right around the globe and often showcases their humorous side (yes, birds indulge in humor too!).

American Bald Eagle - simply beautiful

Of course, the day would not have been complete without encouraging (forcing) Jung to take a ride of Everest. She squeezed my hand so hard while she screamed and was on the verge of tears while I laughed and screamed simultaneously. I’m going to miss her so much 😦


So Long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehen, Good Bye…

April 15, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
.

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…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The Second Saddest Day Of My 23 Year Existence…

February 27, 2010

Today I booked my return flight back home to Australia.

August 14 2010 will be the saddest day of my life to date.

I don’t want to leave the U.S.A. or my awesome Disney family. I am happy here. This is where I am meant to be. I hope by the most random of luck that the Green Card Lottery comes through for me this year and if not…

.

WARNING: Please have anti-depressants waiting for me back home. A really big bottle of them. You guys have no idea what you are in for.

<For a more accurate image of me, please envision the above male as a female. Thank you.>