My Disney Adventure Starts Now!
I started off my adventure with a short visit to my Dad’s place in Ontario. I got to see the Culliford family, play some board games, eat some great Ontario meals, and just relax before the big move to Orlando.
The morning of my flight, my Dad drove me to the Buffalo airport. There, I scoped out any individuals around my age who were travelling alone to see if they might be in my program, and that was quite obvious considering most of the passengers consisted of families and couples. I ended up finding Karina, and we chatted for a bit before getting on the plane. When I arrived in Orlando airport, Karina was joined by two other girls, Bianca and Christina, and we all got to know each other on the shuttle bus to our housing complexes.
Finally, we arrived at Vista Way, the main housing complex for Disney college program participants. We hopped off the shuttle and were greeted by a few friendly coordinators, who fed us home-baked cookies, fruits, granola bars, and had us watch an introductory video. We received our housing paperwork and key, and split up as each of us was individually taken to our new homes.
I was taken to a six person apartment, and all my roommates were here since January, so they all know each other, and the program, really well. I’m living with two girls from Puerto Rico, one from South Korea, and two from the US. They of course aren’t as thrilled to be here as I am, since they’ve had four months to explore. After that, I hit up the local Walmart for some much needed groceries, then head to bed.
Day two: We had a late start to the day, so I decided to hit up the gym and pool in my housing complex. It was great, but I’m like the palest person here, so I got a few looks by the pool. After that, it was orientation day one at the housing complexes down the road. I met up with Christina and a few other Canadians and we headed on over to do some paperwork. After paperwork, we were led into a huge lecture room, complete with a rave. I repeat, a RAVE. I kid you not. Disney was like, “How can we make this boring safety housing rules talk fun? Let’s entice them with Disney song remixes, projections with fun cartoons, strobe lights, fog machine, and get them to dance within the first five minutes of the presentation!”
You know you’re gonna have a good time when you start orientation week with a rave.
After telling us all the safety housing rules and the like, myself and Christina decided to check out Downtown Disney, a free section of the park that includes street performances, stores, food, move theatres, bowling alleys, lakes, hot air balloon, you name it. I decided to invite any other Canadians in our program to meet at my favourite restaurant there, Cookes of Dublin, a fish and chips delight. There we met up with four other girls, and had a blast. We roamed around the downtown area, checking out performances and stores. THEN. Oh, my readers, THEN we found the DANCE PARTY.
I know, I know. Raves, then dance parties? What is this? I am serious here. Every night, Downtown Disney has a section outside the stores where there is a live DJ set up with strobe lights and loud speakers, ready to start a dance party. There is a dance circle and everything, and those who dance in the circle (to every song from Jackson 5 to Beyonce), and has the slickest moves, will get chosen by the DJ to dance in the circle alone for everyone to see. He also taught us the Thriller dance, and we even attempted our own Downtown Disney Harlem Shake. It was epic. He ended the night with a few terrible puns and a dance-off. It was amazing.
Day three consisted of more paperwork and another orientation day. They told me my hair was too many shades of blonde, and I had to dye it to fit the “Disney Look” by the next day’s orientation. So off I went to the salon, and now I’m one shade of blonde! I like it, but the unexpected expense was not pleasant.
And now we come to day four of my adventure, in which I had to get up at 6am for a morning “Traditions” class at Disney University. That’s right, they have a building on site specifically for Traditions class and education. Once there, I was checked over once more for the Disney Look (they thanked me for fixing my hair), and then sat in comfy chairs to watch company policy videos and speeches. In the middle of the class, we got to tour the underground tunnels beneath Magic Kingdom! I can’t reveal too much information about the backstage area, but it was simply magical. We then headed back to our classroom. Towards the end of the class, the boss himself, the big M, Mickey Mouse came for a visit! What other job can you get paid to train, and in the middle of the training day you get to interact with Mickey Mouse?!?! It was incredible. Then they finally gave us our official Disney name tags and passes, to get us into…THE PARKS.
Business attire while touring Magic Kingdom for training day!
My class ended by 12:30pm, and a bunch of us decided it only made sense to head straight to Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day. Hoo boy, was I pumped! We got in, and went straight to SpaceMountain, one of the more beloved and popular rides. With it being the month of May, there really aren’t that many tourists, so our line waits were pretty short. We ended up checking out New Fantasyland, the newest expansion of the park. We got onto a bunch of great rides, but then I decided to go off on my own to wait in line to meet Merida, the princess from Brave! I waited in line for an hour (she is the most popular character to meet, as she was just inducted to the Royal Court), and chatted with two fellow College Program girls in front of me. Finally, I got to meet the Scottish Princess herself. It was great!
“Stay Brave” – Merida
I then wandered about the park by myself. Eventually I met up with my friends again, and this time the girls from the afternoon Traditions class joined us. We got dinner, and by that time everyone was lining up for the start of the fireworks and parade. There was absolutely NO ONE waiting for rides, so we took full advantage of it! Finally, we stopped to check out the fireworks, and proceeded to head on home.
Sorry this was such a long post, I just haven’t had much time to blog at all! It’s been crazy, hectic, tiring, and exciting, but now I’m preparing for my character training. I found out I’m friends with Winnie the Pooh, and I’m so very glad I’ll be able to work with him all summer! Next post will include my adventures in training, and my very first Star Wars Weekend!