"We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was--and always will be." 
-Hollywood Studios Dedication

Whew! Well I finally have a day off. Training has been a whirlwind of interesting times. Let me see if I can break it down for you.

Saturday: Saturday was a classroom day...and also a really bad day to be riding the CP buses. It began at 0-Dark Thirty, also called the crack of dawn and a few more unsavory names that are not appropriate for Disney films and therefore will not be typed in this blog =] 
Unfortunately it didn't seem that our bus driver wanted to wake up early either, because the bus was late. And it continued to become more late during the run as the driver waited for exceedingly longer amounts of time at each stop, before coming to the last stop, Westclock and Disney University. It was a mad dash off the bus and a scramble into Disney University but I managed to clock in with only two minutes to spare. Made it!
My Disney University course was one all Merchandise cast members have to take and it had the Seuss-ian name "Merchantainment". (See what I did there =P ) But what is Merchantainment? Well according to the big letters on the back of the classroom, it's "Merchandise" + "Entertainment" = "Merchantainment". Got it? Good! The class itself was fine. They discussed a lot of things, including Loss Prevention techniques, so on and so forth. But then for the second part of the class, we got to move over to the registers. Because this Merchantainment room was not just a classroom with chairs. It also had about 20 registers set up in rows (think computer classroom style) that were fully armed and operational--eh I mean...functioning. That morning I rang up what must've been over 30 Tigger plush toys and 10 DVDs about Walt's life. But I got to learn the basics of the registers without having to feel bad about making the guest wait for me to find the right button. How cool is that!
After Merchantainment I went to Studios and picked up my costumes, and then proceeded to wait two hours for a bus that never showed. Riiiight...

Sunday: Sunday was "On With the Show", in which they gave us a bunch of lovely things, most of which I already had because Don was very thorough. We had yet another tour of the park (Hollywood Studios), and it was SO HARD! Not because what they were saying was too difficult to understand or not interesting, nor because the park was exceedingly large (It really isn't. It's one of the smaller ones). Sunday happened to be the second to last Sunday of Star Wars weekends. So they had the Star Wars music going and characters running about and little boys dressed up like Jango Fett. It was almost too much for me to take. My fellow cast members had to keep telling me to put my nerd away. However we did get to play with some clone troopers a little. We were walking right by them when my fellow cast member Tiffany steps right up to one and sings "Stop! In the name of love!" I would've loved to see the face of the guy inside, but no such luck through those helmets. They did, however, proceed to follow her for a moment before moving on.
After our tour we went into a presentation with Wes (one of the cast members who was handling On With the Show). I will say this about all the training I've done so far. It has been entertaining. I have not met a single cast trainer who stepped up and gave a boring, monotone lecture. They've all been funny (and sometimes Disney-punny) and exceedingly well-presented. And if you didn't know this, each park has it's own vision for success. While I won't share the Hollywood Studios one with you directly, I will say that it incorporates the quote above. "We welcome you to a Hollywood that never was--and always will be." That's taken directly from the dedication plaque, from 1989, given by Michael Eisner. It tells you everything you need to know about Hollywood Studios, incorporating the parts that are historically accurate, and the few liberties that were taken. Hollywood Studios isn't an exact replica of Hollywood at any time, but rather it's an image of the glitz and glamour that people associate with Hollywood. I thought that was so cool!
After "On With the Show" I finally got to go out and enjoy Star Wars Weekend to the fullest! I got an Aurebesh nametag...
...Which I will be allowed to wear this coming weekend when it's the final Star Wars weekend of the year =( I also got an R2-D2 mickey ears hat, as well as a gift for a fellow Star Wars nerd back home who couldn't make it. I went on Star Tours (the line was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG) and even got to see James Arnold Taylor's presentation called "Obi-Wan and Beyond". I thoroughly enjoyed that part. It was actually really inspiring! I also got pictures of a few characters, including Darth Maul, Shaak Ti, some Stormtroopers, a Tusken Raider, Captain Rex, and a really distant, creepy picture of Darth Vader (paparazzi style from the bushes). To round off the evening, I got to see Hyperspace Hoopla! That was really cool, especially because I'm scheduled to work all next weekend and won't get to see it again =(

Monday: Well...this day was a bit rough. I was supposed to have my first day of training, but my trainer unfortunately called in sick. Apparently he never does that, so I hope he gets better! But it meant that I couldn't work on register. I had the option of going home, but I'd already woken up super early and rode the bus an hour to get there...so I decided to stay. I learned a lot about stocking, including how fast ice melts in the Florida sun (on a good day, it might last 20-30 minutes, on a hot day, forget it!), how NOT to turn on the water to fill up the Squeeze Breezes (those little fan squeeze bottle things), and how to put t-shirts on hangers. Not one of the most exciting days, but I got to meet a bunch of pretty cool people over at Rockin' Roller Coaster, including the lovely Peaches, who runs the stock room over there. And I still got to interact with some guests. I was taking the Ice cart out to the stand to replenish the ice when a little boy came up to me and said "Excuse me, ma'am, can I look at your pins?" So cute!!!! And really polite! I see potential in that one =) Overall I still had a good day. The training that I missed out on will be made up tomorrow, which means I get overtime this week (Yahoo!).

So that's my update for now. I'll be posting my photos from Star Wars weekend. Friday is my first Fantasmic night and it will either go really well, or be "not my favorite". Apparently it takes a certain kind of person to like Fantasmic shifts...



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