Although yesterday was cold and rainy, I had the best time playing at Hollywood Studios with some of my favorite old and new coworkers!
We made The Great Movie ride so much more cute. ;)
There are many perks to being a Cast Member, and one of them is exclusive access to special events and previews. It just so happened that us DAK employees were invited to a preview of the number one grossing film of ALL TIME, Avatar! And before the movie, there was a presentation from Vice President Josh D'Amaro, iconic Imagineer Rohde, and the producer of the film Jon Landau, in which they discussed the park's future plans for the new Pandora inspired land.
This event was the coolest! Plus, we used it as our first "team building" event for us Wilderness Explorers! It was so fun to have most of the gang together, and we definitely were the funnest bunch. PLUS, there were so many FREEEBIESSSS! We each got soft drinks, huge containers of popcorn, candy, and (my favorite) Mickey shaped soft pretzels!! DAK sure knows how to spoil their Cast Members! ;)
So, the other day I was opening up Siamang (FUN FACT: which are a type of ape because they don't have tails! ;D), and I noticed what looked like film equipment by the Everest shrine area. After some internal debate, I decided it wouldn't hurt to go over and ask the Cast Member what exactly was going on. Turns out they were filming a yogurt commercial, and it was featuring some Disney Channel stars!
Now I should preface this with that it was a goal of mine during my CP to see somebody famous. I didn't care who it was; I just wanted to say I saw a celebrity. So when he told me this, I instantly got excited ha!
Anyways, so I returned to my post and kept informing guests about all the cool things siamangs do, when I saw them! They walked by with a bunch of guest relations people, but I did notice that the blonde guy was interested in the little siamangs! I also noticed they had perfect hair. Like too perfect, ha! But nonetheless, it was SUPER cool!! And I of course instantly had to brag about it on Facebook, ha!
I am not exactly sure who I saw, because I don't watch the Disney Channel. But I am fairly certain two of them were these kiddos below. Fun right?! =)
So I wish I had pictures to posts, but I just have to say that my job is the BEST! It is so much fun! Each day that I am there, I can't believe I get to spend my day "working" by talking with guests, watching animals, and hanging out in Disney. Everyday I come home with a cute/funny/amazing story. It really can't get any better than this!
PS: Tomorrow is my first official day on my own, so wish me luck!! =)
PSS: Last night, I checked another thing off my bucket list! Nicole, Alisha, and I met up with some other girls and checked out Jelly Rolls. And it was a blast! I definitely want to go back!! =)
Today was our last bit of training, and part of our "to-do list" was going to a viewing of Flights of Wonder...which was on my bucket list!! So naturally, you can see how excited I was. (Plus, the use of double exclamation marks =P)
And it was so good! I wish I could have taken photos, but I was "on-stage", which means using cellphones or cameras is prohibited. BUT, I definitely will go back and see it soon! I would really love to take my niece because I think she would get a kick out of the birds flying in and seeing all their tricks.
But YAY for my awesome team for allowing me to check something off my bucket list! Also, today was our written assessment, and I passed yippee! Tomorrow we go out in teams to shadow the current presenters and start being Wilderness Explorers ourselves. Wish us luck! =)
The last two days I have been off from work, and definitely have taken advantage of them! On Saturday, I drove to see my lovely aunt and cousin, and we had a fun-filled girls day! And today was another girls day, this time featuring some of my Wilderness Explorers (WE) coworkers and Epcot. FUN! =)
The last week has been a blur of training, meeting and greeting, and other fun newbie Cast Member activities! It has been really great to get to know my fellow Wilderness Explorers, as well as the team that will be directing us and the content we will be presenting. Although at times it has seemed a little daunting (Hello so many animal/insect/conservation facts!), I am beyond excited to be a part of the Conservation Education Presenter team!
I have learned so many interesting facts regarding the Animal programs here at DAK. Firstly, I didn't realize how premiere DAK was among the animal world. Not only is it an AZA accredited organization, it is also home to some of the top researchers and scientists in the animal world! For example, on our private Kilimanjaro Safari ride, our tour guide just casually mentioned how she was responsible for wildebeest breeding...in ALL of America. WHAT?! Haha, how cool is that?!
I also found out that the Conservation Education Presenter team is considered one of the top programs within DAK because of our high guest satisfactory ratings. In fact, they are so good that the VP of DAK commonly comes by to chat with us presenters about what we are doing. AHHH! =D
But my favorite part is how much of an influence we can have within the realm of conservation and protecting wildlife. It was reported that last semester, the presenters talked to over a MILLION people. A million! That is just so crazy! And if only 10 percent of those million people took home one of our conservation messages and actively applied it, the impact it would create is HUGE. Plus, I keep thinking to myself of how awesome all this newfound knowledge will be when I am back in the classroom. I am so excited to share everything I have and will learn during my internship with my future students. It really is inspiring!
Also, the other day I FINALLY was able to get my ID...and go into the parks, YAY!! It was a cold, but super fun day at Magical Kingdom. Plus, I randomly ran into one of my old coworkers from the Wildlife Express Train while eating at Be Our Guest. SO CRAZY/COOL! =D
First there comes Casting; then there is Traditions! Traditions is crucial (and mandatory) step in all Cast Members' lives. It's is where we begin our journey for "Working for The Mouse", and lays the foundation for becoming an A+ employee.
Although it's usually entails a long day, I actually like Traditions. You complete your first round of computer training as a whole group, learn how The Walt Disney company began, and experience what it truly takes to be a Cast Member and the impact we can have on our guests' lives.
I had completed Traditions before during my College Program, so I knew a lot of what to expect. But in Disney fashion, there were some surprises along the way - like brand new Mickey ears, YAY! However, I don't want to give away all the surprises, so I'm now tight-lipped!
On a less exciting note, did experience some hiccups today. First off, remember to bring your Traditions slip (the one they give you at Casting). It's not a huge deal if you forget it, but it directs you to what classroom you will be in, and it's just easier if you have it, ha!
Also, if you are returning to work for Disney, please remember to turn in your ID BEFORE you leave your program/internship...OR bring it back with you. If not, you will be like me and have to pay an "outstanding ID" fee, hmph. What's worse is that they didn't get my ID made in time, so now I have to rework my training schedule and yada yada yada. See, your ID is crucial for nearly everything you do - getting into the parks, getting into the theme parks, renting your costumes, etc. Luckily though I think I got it all worked out, but it's still a bunch of hoops to go through. SO, save yourself all the hoopla and remember that ID, ha!
PS: I received this beautiful postcard today from
one of my bestest best friends, who I actually met on my first CP! <3
Today I officially got hired on as a Cast Member once again! The day was long, but fun, and I loved getting to know some of my coworkers. Also, a word of advice: When your internship ends, remember to return your ID...because if not, and you come back, you will be charged $35 for a new one. -_-
BUT besides that, I am super duper excited! I have the new two days off, which will be nice. Saturday I go to Traditions, and the madness begins! =)
So, I realized I have yet to describe exactly what I am doing at Disney! This time around, I was lucky enough to get a Professional Internship, which are incredibly hard to get. In fact, for my particular internship, over 1,000 people applied and the company only took a little more than 30 - that's roughly three percent! I still cannot believe I am a part in this elite group. I just feel so lucky!
Back to the PI: It is through the Animal, Science and Environment department, and my official title is “Conservation Education Presenter.” However, what I really like to tell people is that I am a Wilderness Explorer, like from one of my all-time favorite movies UP! As a Wilderness Explorer, I get to be a DAK girl again and help guests earn their own Wilderness Explorer badges by teaching them about animals, conservation, and other ways to save the environment. So yeah, I have the coolest job ever...and I can't wait to start! Only two more days, YAY! =)
A permanent believer that "Adventure is out there" and a DAK girl for life!