"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main ... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life." -Walt Disney

This will probably be one of my last posts on this site. I now have just three more days of my College Program. So what's going on?
Well, I'm working hard. I've been working everyday for the last two weeks of my program. Christmas at Walt Disney World is insane. Anyone who has come down for the Christmas/New Year's season knows what I'm talking about. You can't take a step without almost tripping over someone. It makes it kind of hard to carry an apron of glow or navigate a couple hundred pound cart through a crowded street. In addition to this influx of people, Fantasmic! has also added a third show, every night through January 5th. That means our shifts are longer, which is nice on your paycheck, but rough on your body and confusing logistics-wise. No rest for CMs though.
If you've been following me, you'll be pleased to know that I HAVE A JOB! Since posting my last entry, I have gotten a call from Casting and as of January 9th, 2014, I will officially begin my role as a Casual Regular (Part Time) Merchandise cast member at Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom. So this will be my new home...
I'm really looking forward to this position. I will be working at the carts and outdoor shops in and around the Tiki Room and Aladdin's flying carpets, as well as in the Pirates of the Caribbean shop and I will continue to sell Glow items, but now you'll be seeing a lot more of me on Main Street, USA!
So as I near the end of my college program, my time in "The Hills" is becoming bittersweet. On one hand, I'm really looking forward to moving on to my new location and meeting new Cast Members, but as January 2nd approaches, more and more of us are starting to realize that the gang is splitting up. I've had a wonderful time in the Disney College Program, and I honestly don't think I could've asked for a better experience. Not everything was smooth, but the only way we learn and grow is through adversity. I met lots of interesting people and made friends from all over the world. Some I will continue to see, but many will be going home after the new year and to all of them I can only say, I will miss you all and I hope you have the greatest success, whether you're going back to school, moving on to another job, or just returning home to regroup and find the next great adventure.
I will likely make one more post, after my program has officially ended as a reflection. Thank you all for reading this blog. I hope that you've found it interesting, if even entertaining, but most of all I hope it's given you a glimpse into the life of a College Program Cast Member. Until then, may you have a very happy new year.
 
 

"I think it's important to have a good hard failure when you're young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you." -Walt Disney

Hello everyone, again. I left off my last post still waiting for news on the Professional Internship front. Well I've gotten news, and unfortunately I was passed over for an internship. But, like I said in the last post, I'm still committed to making the most out of my time down here, so the day after I found out about my er...lack of internship, I took my butt to Casting and applied to a few part-time positions. I applied to stay in my current role, as a Merchandise Cast Member, but I also looked at other roles, namely the role of Character Attendant. I've already been through an informal interview, so now the next step is to go before the heads of the Entertainment department and prove to them that I have what it takes to be a Blueberry (well, the other kind of blueberry). In addition to those applications, I've also spoken to my managers and expressed interest in being considered for a Casual Regular assignment here in Hollywood Hills. In short, I'm working hard to sure up my bases and make sure that once January 3rd rolls around, I still have a job.
While I am disappointed that I did not receive an offer for a Professional Internship, I also recognize that I was up against a great many other contenders, some of which who were just better qualified than I was. Maybe it just wasn't my time, or maybe God is telling me "Katie, you really aren't meant to do that.". I guess only time and more hard work will tell. Like the quote for this post says, I hope that this set back will serve to only motivate me further and perhaps even allow me to prove that I have the drive and determination to succeed. This certainly isn't the end of my Disney journey, just a "Road Closed" sign that I'll have to detour around.
It's coming up on Christmas here and you can definitely tell. Well, not by the weather. I think Florida is the only state NOT experiencing winter right now. But there are certainly more guests coming in everyday and everyone seems to be getting into the holiday spirit. I've mailed my family's Christmas presents home and my roommates and I have already set up our tiny little Christmas tree and decorated it with random things that we could find around the apartment. Here's a picture...
Isn't it pretty! I've also said goodbye to another roommate (Sammie) and welcomed in a new one (Andrea from Peru). I think we'll get along fine. She's a Lord of the Rings fan and we're going to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug tonight at a midnight premiere. Not a bad way to start off a roomies relationship.
I also we very fortunate to receive FIVE complimentary tickets to the 30th Anniversary Christmas Parade filming, starring the one, the only NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!! It was great fun, filled with cameos by many Disney friends, including this new one...
I'm only a little disappointed that I'll probably be working when the Christmas Parade airs on ABC, Christmas Day. So someone has to record it for me at home! The week of the filming I actually got to see Neil Patrick Harris not once (at the filming), but THREE times! I don't know if Hollywood Studios is his favorite park, but he visited three times during the week that he was here, and seemed to particularly like Tower of Terror. I also happened to be taking my break outside during Fantasmic when he and his family were being whisked away in their Guest Services van. To say I was a bit starstruck would be accurate. But come on, everyone says they would be totally chill until their face-to-face with someone they've only ever seen on television or on the big screen.
With less than a month to go in my program, I'm sort of in this weird flux stage. I know that I'M not going anywhere, but many of my friends are, and so I feel like I need to do as much as I can with them. We had graduation just yesterday and I got my graduation ears!
Picture
I definitely like them better than my graduation cap and sort of wish I'd had them when I graduated before! Of course they're getting embroidered. I have to say, I'm not feeling too reflective yet. I guess it's just the looming monster that is "Christmas and New Year's at Disney" keeping me focused only on what's ahead. I went to Magic Kingdom as a guest last night, probably for the last time until after the holiday season. It was just much too crowded again.
I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas (see what I did there =P) and a safe and happy New Year. My next post probably won't come until closer to my program end date, in 2014. Thank you to everyone who has been following my time on the College Program so far. I hoped you enjoyed reading my blog! Until next time...

 
 

"Somehow I can't believe there are any heights that can't 
be scaled by a man who knows the secret of 
making dreams come true." -Walt Disney

It's been brought to my attention, by me, that I've been negligent of this blog. Sorry 'bout that...
So here's what's new!
It's November! Yep, I've successfully made it through the Halloween season. It's not as big a deal in Studios because there's very little they change for Halloween. But Magic Kingdom was DECKED OUT! I'll post pictures later of it. For select days during September and October, Magic Kingdom was hosting Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a special event (which requires a special ticket). It lasts from 7pm-Midnight and there are all sorts of fun things. There's the "Boo to You" parade, as well as Hallowishes: A Grim Grinning Ghosts Spooktacular in the Sky, and lots of candy. Here's a youtube version of Hallowishes that's really good. I love the music from Hallowishes!
The event has limited tickets, so it's a great chance to enjoy the Magic Kingdom with practically no wait on just about every ride. Of course you have to dress up for it! I went as Batgirl. Again, photos to come. While my night to enjoy Not-So-Scary as a guest was at the end of September, closer to Halloween I also got to enjoy Not-So-Scary as a Cast Member. I picked up shifts at Splashdown Photos (Splash Mountain) and I also picked up a glow shift. My favorite was the Glow shift, because not only was I located right next to the carousal with a panoramic view of Hallowishes, I also got to wear the special events costume for Not-So-Scary. If there's one thing I love about picking up shifts, it's getting to wear funny costumes.
So now Halloween is over and the parks are decorated for Christmas. At Magic Kingdom, I got to see the first castle lighting. That was really exciting. Also, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights has arrived at Hollywood Studios. This coming Thursday (the 14th of November), I will be enjoying Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (think Not-So-Scary but with more holly). I realize that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but with all this Christmas around, I'm feeling very festive. A quick trip back to Pennsylvania for a weekend visit also reminded me that, while down here the warmth is lingering, winter is definitely coming, as is the end of my College Program. So what's the plan?
Recently, I have committed myself to staying down here in Florida for another seven months after January. Yep, I now have a roommate, and we've been officially approved for our apartment come January. I'm still waiting to hear about my Professional Internship (hopefully news will come sometime this week!), but I've decided that I'm just not done with Disney yet. Whether this means I continue on as a Casual Regular (part-time in Disney-speak) or as a Professional Intern, I'm sticking it out down here. The truth of the matter is, yes, my job can be difficult at times, but every time I look forwards, I can easily see myself still working for Disney. Am I drinking the Kool-Aid? You betcha! Out of my Beauty and the Beast souvenir goblet! I like the people I work with and I like what I do. On paper it might look like I'm just doing retail, but being a Disney Cast Member is so much more. For example, did you know that I also bring out smiles? Whether it's after Tower of Terror, or in the dark part with the dragon of Fantasmic, I've gotten really good at bringing out smiles. The best part of my job is that I make memories. Whatever role I end up in at Disney, I hope that I always get to continue doing that.
So that's what's new with me. To all my friends up north, I'm sending warm thoughts your way. As soon as I know about my new internship, I will let you know.