Exiting the Circus

July 15, 2010


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Location:
Orlando, Florida, USA
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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-









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Thunder from Downunder II

June 17, 2010

Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
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CHAPTER 4
~ Nicole’s Coming of Age~

I was amazed with how energetic and awake I felt after running on only four hours of sleep. I was out the front of Animal Kingdom  bright-eyed and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Aussies at 10am. I did, however take a much needed detour to the food and beverage stand to purchase a Vitamin Water which I downed in 0.092 seconds to help ease my mild dehydration from last nights insane bevy intake.

Today was Nicole’s 25th Birthday and we had an epic day lined up to celebrate. In order for the celebration to begin though, Nicole would need to be present. It would probably be nice if Gavin made an appearance too since him and Nic go way back. I do not have my glasses on but upon straining my pretty hazel eyes, I see what seems to be a herd of sheep approaching. This would make sense since we are at the Animal Kingdom and all, but, oh, no, wait, that’s just Brendon; our token New Zealander that pretends to be Australian. I hear that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. I’m delighted to see that Nicole is right up there behind him, oh, and what do we have here, a Gavin. Nice of you to join us… Sleep well, did we Mr. Thomas?

We head over to Guest Relations. I force Nicole to wear a birthday pin and for the rest of us to wear ‘I’m Celebrating‘ pins. Unfortunately for Nicole, I am celebrating her oldness. She glances over at me, unamused. I pretend to be oblivious as I mischievously continue chuckling at my awesomeness.

Today we figured we would get wet before visiting Mickey and Minnie. If she saw we were wet before meeting her then she wouldn’t have to waste any of her precious time flirting and teasing. We gently place our butts down on the Kali River Rapids ride and strap ourselves in. Judging by the name of the ride, I predict the mere rapid or two ahead.

In a stern yet serious voice, I warn the Aussies that there is a slight (extreme) possibility we would end up completely soaked from head to toe and everything in between (yes, I am subtly referring to soggy butt crack). I though this would be enough for them to take me seriously. I guess I should never assume, especially after an epic night of heavy drinking.  We disembark our raft a wee bit heavier than when we hopped on. Fastest weight gain of my life. Chafe much? This calls for a whirlwind ride on Expedition Everest to dry off.

Upon entering the Festival of the Lion King, we take a quick detour to our right. We wait in line for some time to meet Mickey.  This isn’t just any old Mickey though, this is Safari Mickey, all decked out in his safari gear. I’m not too sure if this is a fortunate or unfortunate event, but it’s that time of the day again where Gavin loses his shit. No one has a mirror on them so we are unsure if we still look like drowned sewer rats. I ponder this thought for a moment; Mickey… Mouse… Wet Aussies… Drowned Sewer Rats… Mice… Rats = Family. Perfect! Now, if only I had a piece of cheese to offer at this family reunion; I hate showing up empty handed. Despite my entire backside dripping wet, we still take a cute family portrait.

It’s reaching park close. My clothes are still damp and I’m pretty sure I smell of wet cat. I worry that my Eau de Wet Cat will soon start attracting the male Cheetahs and Lions on the Kilimanjaro Jungle Safari. We go our separate ways to wash up and plan to meet back at Downtown Disney soon after for Nicole’s birthday dinner.
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CHAPTER 5
~ Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue~

I had only heard good things from friends whom had previously attended, so I was expecting utter amazingness at its best for tonight’s birthday dinner celebration. The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is an old fashioned dinner show that includes foot-stomping music, nostalgic comedy and an all you can eat dinner buffet at the Pioneer Hall in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

We arrive early and line up to have a group photo taken. We know this is going to be another money-maker, but the photo is too cute to turn down.

The dinner show is hosted in a western-feel dance hall and brought to life through the use of wild west music, singing, dancing and cheesy yet hilarious comedy provided by Claire de Lune, Johnny Ringo, Dolly Drew, Six Bits Slocum, Flora Long and Jim Handy. Good thing Brendon and I both wore plaid.

We were booked in for Category 1 seating. Our table was only a few meters from the stage and smack bang in the middle of the hall. We had a great view. A Cast Member came around to take our drink orders. Unlimited beer, wine and sangria were on the drink menu; amazing! I ordered myself a beer. In between all the singing, dancing and crowd participation, Cast Members brought out a countrified feast of all-you-can-eat fried chicken, smoked BBQ pork ribs, vegetables, baked beans and freshly baked corn bread. The food was absolutely delicious and went down a treat with my five glasses of beer.

At times, I think I speak on behalf of the four girls at our table when I say I had a hard time swallowing my food. We were all distracted by the super hotness that was the lead male character. He could square dance around me any day. It was much to our delight when he approached Nicole for her birthday and started dancing around our table. I think I almost choked on a chicken bone. It would have been a lovely last sight to see. While us girls were busy trying to pick our jaws up off the table from admiring this handsome character and his extremely tight blue leggings, Brendon had found a love interest of his own in the show. When the mood seemed right, Brendon would flash a wink over in her direction and attempt to seduce her with the tiger like rollings of his tongue.

The cast do a tremendous job staying in character and playing the part although sometimes going off script and adding an extra bit of hilarity to it all. Crowd participation is encouraged throughout the show making it all the more enjoyable.

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Dessert was strawberry shortcake which is shared between you and your neighbor. It was scrumptiously delectable and I wish I had more of if to devour right this minute. While still consuming this little bit of heaven, the cast came through to each table handing out old fashioned washboards and encouraging everyone to make as much noise as possible on it with their spoon. It wasn’t the most pleasant of noises but it was damn right fun. Every one picked up their napkins and swung them up above their heads for the grand finale, and just like that, it was over.
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CHAPTER 6
~ The Nip Slip ~

nip slip
Vulgar slang (verb)

……..1. A  wardrobe  malfunction  leading  to  the  indecent  exposure
………….
of  intimate  parts.
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2. When  a nipple slips  out  of  an  article of clothing, partially or
.…… ……fully, and is noticed by someone else.
……..3. Something that happened to Nicole at Typhoon Lagoon.

It was a scorching 98º Fahrenheit out at Lake Buena Vista today. It could only be assumed that Typhoon Lagoon would be endlessly busy with hot and bothered guests trying to cool off from the sizzling Florida sun. Little did they know and to their surprise,  today (and for today only) they would get more than just the price of their admission ticket. Today, Thursday May 20, 2010, an innocent little boy, myself  and the other ten million billion guests enjoying the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool would fall victim to Nicole’s right breast <insert Jaws music here>.

The waves come crashing toward us with quite a temper. Each one seemed more tumultuous than the one before. I was standing in the middle of the wave pool; the water level sitting just above my shoulders. The others swam ahead to depths much greater than their own. I felt comfortable here. My feet were still firmly on the pool floor. I assess my immediate surroundings making sure I would not crash into any annoying little children as I catch the next wave back to shore. All is clear.

A tremor is sent through the pool. I look up ahead. A behemoth roaring wave is gushing towards me, taking with it everything in its path. I position my body facing forward in free-style position with my head still turned behind me. Timing is everything. I take a deep breath and throw my head down. The monstrosity of a wave knocks my body around and takes me for a ride back toward the pool shore.

The water level is much lower here than where I was previously standing. Before rising, I make sure my boobs are still in my bikini top. I would be horrified if I ever stood up and they were just hanging all out for the world to see. I find my feet and stand up. The water level is now at my waist. It takes me a second or two to shake the water out from my noes and ears before I begin scoping my surroundings for my Aussies. Brendon; check, Gavin; check, Nicole… AHHHHHHHHH!

I am engulfed by a fierce case of laughter. I am laughing so hard I can hardly find the time to breathe so that I don’t suffocate. I try to get the right words out but all I manage to do is just point. Nicole glances over to see what all the commotion is about. She sees that I am pointing in her direction. I am still a hysterical ball of laughter struggling to breathe and talk. She appears confused for a second until she feels slightly aroused by a breeze rushing over a part of her that is meant to be covered up. She looks down. Her right boob is hanging out of her bikini top. Nicole’s mouth drops. The life guard on duty catches a glimpse and begins to giggle. Right at that moment, a small child, no more than nine years of age surfaces from beneath the water right up beside Nicole. To his horror, upon removing his fogged-up goggles, the first thing he sees is Nicole’s breast. His mouth drops open too. Nicole immediately begins to shove her boob back into her swim suit. The poor child has just lost his first shred of innocence in a wave pool at Disney World. If only he had an underwater camera with him; now that would make for an awesome show-and-tell story when he returns to school.

I manage to contain myself just as Gavin and Brendon make it back to us so I can tell them what they missed out on. I feel they are somewhat relieved that they didn’t experience the torment of Nicole’s boob. We all laugh at Nicole’s expense.

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~TO BE CONTINUED~


Ho, Ho, Ho!

December 14, 2009

Headed to Downtown Disney this afternoon to have our photo taken with the one and only, Mr. Santa Claus. I hope the 85ºF heat in the middle of December didn’t bother him. Totally using my free Photo Pass on this bad boy…

Sometimes it gets tough being this cute.

Only 11 days left until Christmas. Hope you’ve been good!


Spectacle Of Dancing Lights 2009

November 20, 2009

Oh, how convenient that Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” just started playing on my Pandora Radio Christmas list. Boooo. No, I wont be home for Christmas, and yes, this is my first time ever being away from my family and home for Christmas. I can deal with this no problems, but every time this song plays I get a little bit sad, just a teeny weeny bit because…

  • I have no Christmas tree to set up and no stocking to hang.
  • There will be no Cookie glaring up at the shiny Christmas ornaments with his little brain ticking away and wanting nothing more than to jump into the tree and attack the ornaments.
  • There will be none of Mum’s amazing roast pork and Nana’s delicious turkey.
  • There will be no big family gathering over Christmas Day lunch while Bing Crosby’s Christmas CD is playing in the background.
  • And the biggest disappointment of them all, (not that I’m materialistic or anything) is that I will have no Christmas presents waiting under the tree for me when I wake up on Christmas morning <insert sad face here>.

A typical Christmas at my home back in Australia

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights @ Hollywood Studios

So, feeling a bit down about this, a few Cirque mates (who are also spending their first Christmas away from their families) and I were feeling rather Christmasy on Monday night. We decided to head down to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and check out the ‘Spectacle of Dancing Lights’. I’d heard about this from other Disney Cast Members and the hype surrounding it, so I was extremely excited to get down there and check it out,  especially since Australia doesn’t really go all out with the Christmas lights… and besides, I’m a sucker for Christmas!

OH. MY. GOD. is all that comes to mind. I could not believe my eyes! The set up was INSANE! Sooooo pretty. I don’t think I’d ever seen anything so amazing before in my life! Not one single wall went to waste, there were lights absolutely every where. I stood there kind of dumbfounded for the first few minutes. I’m pretty sure Mike has a video of me running around with my mouth wide open and all you can hear me saying is “Woahhhh!” I was like a five year old let loose in a candy store. I felt so happy at that exact moment in time… until “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” started playing over the sound system haha.

You’re probably wondering where the ‘dancing’ part comes into all of this, right? Right. Well, every 10 to 15 minutes, a Christmas carol comes blasting over the sound system and the lights start dancing to the beat of the song. As if the non-dancing lights weren’t already good enough, the dancing lights come along and kick the non-dancing lights right in the butt! Ouch. This is just all too much for me. I must look like the biggest tool ever to grace this planet as I walk around in awe with my mouth hanging open. Again, I feel like a six year old allowed to stay up all night and watch TV instead of going to bed at 8pm. So, so pretty. Nothing tops this. I start to feel a little bit OK about missing Christmas in Australia; just a little bit.

I could post a plethora of photos and videos from this event, but not a single one will do this spectacle justice. Do yourself a favour and get your butt down to Hollywood Studios from now until July 4, 2010 to check this out. You will not be disappointed!

Hollywood Studios closed at 8pm so we had to get moving. We were all still in a very Christmasy mood so we headed over to the AMC at Downtown Disney and went to see Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol‘ in 3D. Two thumbs up. Amazinggggg. I’m so glad we picked the 3D session and not the regular viewing because this movie just looked so phenomenal in 3D. I found it rather amusing how much they made Colin Firth’s character look like him and Jim Carrey did a sensational job voicing many of the characters. Although this may seem like a children’s movie, I think it was rather creepy at parts, enough to scare little kids!

What a great start to the holiday season 🙂


My Belly Fits The World… What’s Your Specialty?

November 3, 2009

Today was the day I tested the extreme limits of my stomach… more specifically, my stomachs stretch-ability to fit abnormal amounts of food into it. Before exiting my apartment this morning, I had a one-on-one chat with my tummy informing it that it had to be on its best behaviour today when un-human-like portions of food would be sent over for acidic break-down. My belly seemed to obey these orders and for this, I am extremely grateful and proud. More so grateful that I was able to make it back to my apartment at the end of the day without getting sick from the over-consumption of delectable delicacies.

What on earth am I talking about? I hear you ask. Well, today, Countess ChiChi and myself headed to the 2009 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival to eat the world one last time before it comes to a sad and untimely ending on November 8.  Today was indeed a magical culinary adventure which involved myself, my mouth and my stomach… Oh, and how could I forget, the wonderful Countess ChiChi.

EPCOT Food & Wine Festival 2009

I’d reveal Countess ChiChi’s identity but I have been threatened by the Countess herself, that if, and I quote… “post that picture of me looking like a disheveled mess in that red Fez then it’s on like Donkey Kong. Not a threat that would hold up in a court of law, just saying ;)”.  As eager as you all are to have me reveal the Countess’ identity, I’d rather survive and continue blogging for you all. Apoligies go out to my thousands of adoring fans, I can undestand your disappointment with me right now.

Beef Empanada from Rio de Janeiro

First stop Argentina. Beaunos Aires to be precise. I ordered the Beef Empanada with Tomato Salsa. Under normal circumstances (ie. Back in Australia), I would never even consider sampling this sort of culinary treat, but having encountered the amazingness that is an Empanada at Bongo’s Cafe (Downtown Disney – Westside) previously, I knew that my tastebuds were in for a celebration. Tastebud party in my mouth, everyone’s invited! Mmmm delicious. At this moment, my stomach felt like it was at one of those coin-operated window strip shows; it was only just getting teased… I had yet to pay more for the deliciousness to continue.

Next up; Ni hao Zhong Guo… “Lynda, dude, what the hell, it’s like you’re speaking a completely different language!?!” It’s because I am, fool! Hello, China! Shanghai, if I recall correctly. Again, not extremely big on Chinese food and I’m not one to sample foods I am not familiar with, but when Countess ChiChi informed me that the Pork Pot Stickers at the Shanghai kiosk were similar to that of dim sims, I was all over those babies like a fat kid on cake.

Pork Pot Stickers from Shanghai

Pork Pot Stickers from Shanghai, China

Considering I am pretty much one of the fussiest people ever to grace the planet Earth, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed my Pork Pot Sticker. I’d never consumed one before so I really had nothing to compare these too, but they were delicious none the less. Note: The chop sticks were strategically placed there by Countess ChiChi to enhance the quality of the image. I used my fingers to eat. So lady like, I know.

Grilled Lamb Chop, Red Wine Sauce & Murray River Sea Salt from Melbourne

Now, I know I’ve blogged about this bloody lamp chop at least two times before, but I can’t help but spread the word on how amazing it is, seriously, do yourself a favour and head to the Melbourne, Australia kiosk! Lamb is rare here in the USA, so to be able to visit EPCOT and easily purchase something I love so dearly and have come to appreciate so much more now that it’s so hard for me to find is a nice privilege. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, the Grilled Lamb Chop with Red Wine Sauce and Murrary River Sea Salt goes down a treat and is absolutely delectable. It gets the two thumbs up from me, mate!

By this point, my belly was starting to feel quite the bit full, but it remembered that deal we made prior to departing for EPCOT. It was going to be true to its word. Good belly. With this being said, off we went to England to sample some English cuisine. Walking towards England I couldn’t help but dart my eyes toward the “Traditional Fish & Chips” sign hanging by the English Pub. I had been craving Aussie style fish and chips for some time now, and knew the Brits did fish and chips pretty similar to how we do it Downunder, so the Countess and I stopped and shared a serving of Traditional Fish and Chips.

Traditional Fish & Chips in England

Now, the fish was no Aussie flake, but it was rather tasty, the best I’ve sampled so far in the USA. The chips, well, the chips were AMAZING. They were actual thick cut chips, none of this french fries crap. Hot, salty, thick cut chips. Can you please pass me a napkin so I can mop up my drool. Thank you. Scrumptious and rather filling. My belly was feeling quite content at this point in time. You’d think by now that I’d maybe be full, well, yes, I was semi-full, but was I about to stop eating? Hell no! The world is my oyster. Om nom nom nom.

epcotWe made a quick stop by Mexico to pick up a Churro, which, let me tell you, is like sex on a stick. Absolutely scrumptious in every way possible. Crispy, sugary and cinnamony on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside; heaven. From Italy I picked myself up a Primavera. I’ve blogged about this slushy drink before, but to refresh your memory, it is an ice mix of strawberry, banana and peach. It is so full of flavour and extremely refreshing in the Florida heat. I gulped that baby down like it was going out of fashion! Ahhh, brain freeze!

Chocolate dipped strawberries from Goofy's Candy Company

It was time to give my poor, helpless belly a deserving yet short break. The Countess and I had successfully eaten our way around the world at EPCOT so we decided to depart and hit up Downtown Disney. ChiChi had never been to Downtown Disney before so I was excited to show her around and let her indulge in my 40% merchandise discount which she was quick to accept and take advantage of. After a short stint of shopping, we treated our taste buds to chocolate dipped strawberries from Goofy’s Candy Company and a wonderfully pleasant dinner at Portobello Restaurant at Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island.

I’m retiring my tummy for the day, it deserves it.


Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!

October 24, 2009
lacone

Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba

So, in case you are a wee bit slow and haven’t yet gathered that I work for Disney at Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba in Orlando, Florida, here is a reminder: Hi, my name is Lynda and I work at Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba. Phew. Glad we got that cleared up.

The dude to the far right in the photo is my favourite performer in the La Nouba production. He is one of four Les Cons who pretty much appear throughout the entire one hour and forty minute show and are guaranteed to make you laugh one way or another. When I usher upstairs in Curtain C, he always comes through and we have an enjoyable short chat which usually begins with him mocking my Aussie-ness by saying “G’day mate!” in his Polish accent.

When I first started at Cirque a few months back and he found out that I was Aussie, he told me that one of the Power Track performers was actually from Australia, so since then, it has been my mission to meet her.

Power Track performers - Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba

Power Track performers - Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba

Today, my mission was finally conquered… it only took about three months… not bad hey! (Gheeez, Lynda, could you have possibly taken any longer?!?)

I bumped into her out the back of Cirque and we had a nice Aussie chat! I love meeting and talking to Australians here, they’re all so laid back and relaxed so there was never an awkward silence in the conversation, it just kept flowing. She’s a Brissy girl but has been living in the U.S. for the last eight years. After hearing this, I was surprised that her Aussie accent was still so noticeable, although she seemed surprised when I told her that! We chatted for a good five to ten minutes but then she had to go and warm up for the 6pm show. I’m super glad we got the chance to meet and chat, she was so sweet… but then again, most of us Aussie’s are 😉 haha.


“Can I See You In My Office Please?…”

October 9, 2009

Really? I’ve only been here for a whole twelve minutes!!! What the heck sort of trouble could I cause in such a short time span that is deemed “can I see you in my office” worthy?!?! *craps pants*

Those seven little words are never usually a good thing, so you can just imagine the frantic mode of panic my heart flipped into when my manager announced it to me in front of everyone in the box office today at Cirque. I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat and within a matter of seconds, I had played out every possible scenario from the last few days that may have served as  “can I see you in my office” worthy. The only thing I could think of was maybe laughing too loud… that, or corrupting the poor, innocent Chinese girl. Haha.

To panic, or not to panic? That is the question.

To panic, or not to panic? That is the question.

I guess my manager saw me freak out a little and enter managers’-office-panic-mode because her next line was the wonderfully relieving, “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble.” *un-craps pants* Phew. My heart beat and blood pressure returned to normal and I felt a wave of relief pass over me, although now, I was just plain confused. If she had just left it at “can I see you in my office?” I would have just assumed I was getting into trouble for something; what? I don’t know. But at least I knew it was something. However, as soon as she followed “can I see you in my office?” up with “don’t worry, you’re not in trouble” I had absolutely no idea why she’d want me in there, so at this point in time, I was extremely confused. Again, I started playing out non-trouble related scenarios in my head from the last few days. Ahhhh I couldn’t pin point any! PANIC!? YES? NO? PANIC? MAYBE!?!  PANIC! YES, AHHHHH!

I jumped off my seat and slowly made my way over to her office…

“Lynda! I just wanted to say thank you for *Saturday night. You were amazing and handled everything extremely well!”

So, this is what relief feels like! Haha. I was so happy to know I was being rewarded for my good efforts. After working 8.5 years in the same job before coming to Orlando and busting my ass and never getting anything in return, I finally felt like what I was doing had meaning and was being recognised. She held out three DVD’s, all Disney, of course, and told me to pick one. EEEE how exciting… Enchanted, Wall-E or The Incredibles… How could I reject the cuteness that is Wall-E???

Ummm, guys, that was a rhetorical question… YOU CAN’T! Wall-E it is 🙂 Along with the DVD was a personalised thank you card which said…

“Lynda, great job Saturday night. Thanks for all your hard work.”

This just made my day. Too sweet. I wasn’t expecting anything in return so to receive the DVD and the card was just amazing. Made me feel all happy inside… so happy I wanted to do my happy dance… but I restrained myself, it was tough, but I managed! Haha.

Today was a good day 🙂

Wall-E and Thank You card from my manager :-)

Wall-E and Thank You card from my manager 🙂

*Saturday night: Last Saturday during the 9pm performance of our Cirque do Soleil, La Nouba show, there were some major technical difficulties and malfunctions which resulted in the show being cut short and the Power Track act being skipped. Many guests were pissed off by this and gathered at the box office after the show to complain. Long story short, we had to offer a whole bunch of free ‘welcome back‘ tickets. It was utter chaos!!!