Thursday, July 7, 2011


This was probably one of the longest and most stressful days of my life.

It started off like this.

I got on my flight from Utah to LA (stop-over at Denver). It left late.
I was concerned I would miss my connection, so I asked the flight attendant. She did some calls and said it should be fine because it was a southwest to southwest flight and we were landing at the gate next to the one I needed to get to.

So I relaxed.
….and I shouldn’t have.

When I arrived I found out the plane had left without me! ..and it was only 10mins after the plane was scheduled to depart (and when to planes ever depart at that exact time?!). I was so upset, but I went up to the counter and asked what to do.
They said they could put me on the next flight which was in 5hours time.

But that was the least of my worries.
I was scared I would miss my international flight, since the delay only gave me 2 hours at LA – and with waiting for my bags, rushing to the next terminal, checking my bags in, going through security and finding the gate I needed, I knew would be pretty impossible.

But I was willing to run. However, that was crushed when the flight was delayed a further 3 times in Denver. Yes, I was in Denver for quite a long time. …and I eventually arrived in LA around 10.30pm, when I was meant to be there around 5.30pm. -.-

So yes, even though my friend Michael (who was willing to be on the phone with me and guide me through LAX whilst he was in NZ) had optimism, it was never going to work.

Luckily my NC friend had been very vigilantly trying to help me and had come up with some helpful (though somewhat distressing) solutions. First, I was offered (after much work) free accommodation for the night, since the next flight wasn’t for over 24hours. (argh!) Second – my NZ flight was changed to the next day (luckily they didn’t charge me or I would be SUPER upset) and my Air NZ internal flight was changed for only $15… Third – My NZ friend Michael managed to change his plans too so that we can still hang out. :)

The Denver people not only were rude to me (and they didn’t cover our luggage so it got drenched! -.-) but the LA people were rude too. ….and after all that waiting and crappy internet (thank goodness for friends to talk to) I was tired and pretty cranky.

Luckily when I eventually got to the hotel there were no issues (other than I couldn’t find my room…) and the eating place was still open for another 30mins. So I had a feast at about 1am. :P

I slept well and then I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. My Utah friends weirdly were in Cali too but couldn’t hang out. So I just chilled out and was online (freeeee internet) and read and ate (eggs Benedict!) and got my hair cut.
I wish I had had more $, otherwise I would have had a fun day in LA!
How is it that LAX doesn’t have free internet and also has a very sad amount of power plugs!? Crazy. I thought they would be more well equipped being so big.

NO more USA phone after I hop on the plane.  Sadness. I am quite fond of it.

Helpful cheap-ass hints I’ve learnt recently:

all places with fountain drinks/sodas can give you free water. :)

Helpful hint 2: be nice to people who can give you free stuff. They are less likely to do so if you insult them, even if you are angry and it’s not your fault.

Helpful hint 3 – use free internet as much as you can, because internet you have to pay for is no-where near as awesome.

This is my last written post in America (though, posted in NZ since LAX doesn’t have free internet -.-)

It has been a pleasure writing down my thoughts for you all. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope I have been of some help. …but if not I love having a written document of my year long Disney Adventure that I can look on in years to come.

I can’t stand to just stop writing since it’s kind of become a part of my life, so I have created this new blog for all ya’ll who liked my writings and want to continue to follow me and my adventures… :D

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the USA. I still love Disney. I love guests.
I have a new perspective on the world, I have new talents and memories
I have better guest service techniques and can easily tell good from bad service
I have made wonderful friends for life <3

Would I recommend the Disney ICP after all of this?
DEPENDS on the person.
Yes. With all my heart yes, is what I want to say. But, you have to know the pitfalls. You have to have a strong personality. The programme is not for everyone. You have to be okay with the pay (not there for $, for experiences), you have to be patient and open to new things. You have to LIKE Disney!

I am excited and scared for what lies ahead of me, but I know I have great friends and I am a stronger person now. I know I only have 1.5years of uni left and then I can move again.
I know that I have a passion for travel and adventure, and I will continue to dream big and explore the world.

I know I worked for an amazing company (some people don’t think so after working here because they just see the negatives). I worked for a place that inspires guests and tries to bring them happiness. I even got to create happiness for numerous people. I made magical moments and they will stay with me forever.

I am excited to help promote this once in a life time programme in NZ as a campus ambassador. Good luck to all future ICP/CPs! Take every challenge head on and every opportunity that comes your way!

Thanks for following my Disney adventure!
… that’s all folks!
See ya real soon. :) Follow my new blog!

Peace, love, Mickey!
Remember – it all started with a mouse! [and insert all other fun Disney quotes here ;) ]

p.s – I forgot to mention in the other post that I saw a chipmunk in Utah. :P
pps – my USA ph probably wont work after this evening – but I will re-activate my NZ one ASAP. Plus, I have skype ^_^

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Utah :)

Hey guys!

(I am writing 2 blogs at once because it would be unfair to clump them)

I just finished with my awesome Utah adventure. I had never been to Utah before so it was an exciting new place to explore. :)

The trip there was pretty long with the transfer at Texas (all the flights were on time even!), but I got there eventually and was SUPER excited when my Utah sis Jenn suprised me from behind! I love that girl so much. <3
Once I had my bags we went outside to meet my Utah Mom (who is seriously beautiful and should believe it) and Jenn's younger sis Bekah.

We went back to their place and then Jenn invited me to her church. Now, I can't say I had any clue what a mormon church would be like. But you know, I'm all about experiences and I thought it could be interesting. I would ave to say I looked and felt like a fish out of water. Ha. Not only did I have no idea what was happening but it probably looked like I was rude or something. What to do with the water vial I was given? How to read the music (the lines skipped and it took me a while to pick up the pattern)? How to dress properly? When to act serious? :/
But it's okay. I survived. Actually, it wasn't as intimidating as I had imagined. It was pretty relaxed, really. :) Plus, Jenn found entertainment in me, so I had a purpose. haha :P

Oh and can I just say, I wsh people would stop making fun of Mormons. Seriously, they are just normal people who have beliefs. What is wrong with that?

Later on, we went for a drive through the canyon and it was super pretty. :) Utah is a place where I am sure my Geo teachers would have a blast. So many fun landscape features!

That evening I went for a walk with Jenn and her sis Rachel. It was nice except we were toally spookd by everything after encountering a rattlesnake. ...and man I was lucky! I thought it sounded like a cicada and was quite close to stepping on it!
Let's just say, after that...I was on guard!!

4th of July in Utah was fun. We went to a super long parade to start the day. ..and I found out some interesting facts! (the things you learn whilst observing strange things! haha) An example being that scools like to show off their beauty queens. Then I found out the girls who win these competitions get scholarships! Yes, that's right! You get a scholarship for being pretty!

We were all hungry/thirsty by then and so Jenn came up with he idea of Chinese. I as thinking - Chinese is so random to do on July 4? But then I realised pretty much everything else was closed! The same for Christmas...
The Chinese was super yummy too. I really enjoyed it (the fortune cookies were seriously lame though haha). Thank you, Joe Mardesich!

The afternoon was a nice enjoyable family type thing where we just hung out. I enjoyed it :). Miss family-ness.

The next day Jenn showed me her Uni campus. It was a lot bigger than the ones in NZ, that's for sure. Oh and it had this feel about it that you see in movies. Quite cool. :P
After we picked up Jenn's sis and went to Sundance. I didn't really know what this was but I vaguely know about sundance movies and the festival...

That place is reeeeally pretty. :) It was in the mountains and super cute.

I enjoyed my clemintine drink ad this awesome raspberry slice thing too. :P

Later on that day Katherine and Joe took Jenn and I to Temple Square. It was a very calm and pretty place. I especially was entriged by the colour changing organ room.

Jenn then took me to a place called Spark. It's a place in Utah to chill out, and it has mocktails (mormons don't drink alc..or coffee, interestingly - Bri, don't faint)
Unfortunately we got the just before it closed, but we still got to have a yummy drink. :) Yes I always have thought that you don't need alcohol to make a drink good.

We drove by one of Jenn's 'friends' places and then hung out with a gil called Emily, who is a good friend of Jenn and is about to go to London for a month to study. She was realy nice. :)

The last morning Jenn and I hung out (I love listening to you sing and play the piano! ...and you are so creative. Wish I had that amount of talent!) and then it was time to go to the airport to drop me off!

It was so great to see everyone. I am super grateful and and love you all so much. <3

air attendent "do not steal"

Ok. I will write part 2 later. Maybe on the plane (in a word doc, of course. ;) )

That one is a LONG and PAINFUL and GRUMPY blog. :P


Sunday, July 3, 2011

I'm leeavin on a jet plane!

I’m leeavin’ on a jet plane July 3

Hey ya’ll. Right now it is 5.45am and I am waiting at the gate for my flight to Utah. I’m pretty tired (only had about 5hours sleep over 2 days) but pretty clam. Things have progressed without a problem so far.
Looking forward to getting on the plane and sleeping. I am hoping that all the early morning Disney shifts have taught me how to sleep sitting up (buses…). Haha
I will be happy to get back to NZ security systems though. I had to take off my belt, shoes, jacket laptop, ears, phone, watch… It was crazy. So hard to keep track of everything.
I was even asked to show the inside of my Mickey hat. :/
My carry on luggage is the same size as my “personal” bag. Hahaha. …and it’s all so heavy! I have that plus my two bags which are *just* under 50pounds (23kgs) each. So I’m carrying much more than myself in weight around!!
So excited to see my Utah friends. :) It will be cool getting to experience a 2nd 4th of July too. I’m sure I would have been scheduled to work if I stayed and that wouldn’t have been anywhere near as fun! It makes me wonder who in the world would even come into Calypso Trading Post on that day? I mean I guess non-Americans who don’t care…
I have so many things I am grateful for. Here, I posted this online, but in case anyone missed it…
I’ve had plenty of challenges during my year abroad in Florida. I’ve been frustrated a lot. But through it all I found myself growing stronger as a person. I learnt things I never knew I would. I made friends from all over the world. I got to work at a place that was designed to bring joy to people, and in turn it gave joy to me.

I learnt how to be more proactive, patient, interpretive and understanding. I now am more confident about initiating conversation. I improved my knowledge about different cultures. I learnt how to readjust my sleep schedule and manage money. I am now very observant and easily notice untidiness. I became more independent and time aware.

I even learnt how to hula hoop (Flower and Garden), open a champagne bottle (Food and Wine) identify fictional Star Wars characters (Star Wars Weekends), the value of a simple sticker and how to stand for hours on end. Not to mention I managed to adapt to all different types of weather conditions.

I tried my very best to live by the Disney Basics.
I projected a positive image and energy even when I may not have felt my best, because when I did it was reflected back to me.
I wanted to stay in character and keep Disney’s reputation in tact. I also wanted to help keep the cast and guests safe – because, of course, safety begins with me!

I wanted to be courteous and respectful to everyone, because that is good service, and it is also polite. Not to mention it makes everyone, including myself, happier because….we create happiness!
I wanted to go above and beyond. I yearned to make children smile and brighten up their day. I sought to help take away stress from parents who were tired with lots on their plate. I wanted to be proud of myself for going out of my way to help create magic.

The best part of it all though, is that I made amazing friends for life and found out more about myself along the way.

Thank you, Disney.
Thank you all the wonderful cast members and leaders I have worked with.

I am pretty sure this will forever be one of the best years of my life and I will remember it fondly.
I got to experience Disney World, I got to experience Disney’s cruise line, I got to experience Florida and travel around the country.
I’m sad to leave, but ready to spread my wings on another adventure. I’m a world traveller and I love thrills and change and exploration. Who knows where the wind will blow me next?

It’s not all over though. I am taking some of that pixie dust home. I am going to spread superior guest service wherever I go. I will continue to create happiness for people.
I may not be at Disney anymore, but Disney will forever be with me. …and you never know, I may just end up right back in the most magical place on earth again someday. Definitely as a guest. Possibly as a cast member once again.

Anyway. It’s finally time to start boarding! Bye Mickey. Bye Florida. Bye friends. I love and miss you all.

....but I’m super excited to see my NZ friends in a few days!

See ya real soon!

Last day of work!

Today was my LAST DAY as a cast member on the ICP!
It was a day I was honestly dreading. ..and yes, it was sad. Yes, I didn’t want to leave. But at the same time it ended so wonderfully that I felt satisfied and not as sad. I even was smiling, for pretty much the whole afternoon. :)

Here’s the sitch. (hehe KP – Kim Possible)
So the past few days I have been stocking at CBR. I was pretty content doing that and it was fun working with some workmates that I love. :D
I managed to do Magic Kingdom and Studios for the last time with my NC friend after my shifts. …and pack. It took a while but I think I am okay now (just. Lol.)
It was great to finish with Magic Kingdom. It was beautiful, and I really enjoyed Magic Memories and You and the firework show, Wishes. I got a little teary watching Wishes. Its so beautiful, and even though I had seen it before, since it was the last time I would see it for goodness knows how long, I appreciated it more. It was special and touching.
Of course, I had to end the theme-parks off with a thrilling type ride, and that would be Big Thunder. :)
So glad I don’t usually go to MK as a guest though. What an ordeal! Honestly. No wonder guests are frustrated and tired.
After MK we had to get the monorail (and tip guys, always get the resort one cos it also goes to the TTC!!) we had to wait for a tram thing and after all that it prolly took about an hour to get to the car! Ergh. Gross.

But onto today. I had a 6.15am shift. It went by pretty smoothly, and I enjoyed it. Nothing really unusual happened.
Then it ended….and it felt so odd. I clocked out for the last time. I said good-bye to everyone. But I felt kind of hollow inside. Like I had to properly say good-bye to everyone but couldn’t. :/ Plus, the friend who I was hoping to meet in the early morning before my bus didn’t come. So I was a little sad.
Anyway, so I went to costuming to return all my costumes (sad times). The costuming lady was kinda rude and when I was distressed that my raincoat wasn’t off my record she kept arguing with me. It made me mad. …but I have evidence with me that I retuned it all, with her name on it. So they better not attempt to charge me for anything!
Then we went back to my apartment and finished packing. Ergh. So much stuff. ….I ended up abandoning a lot of stuff. …and making a mess. Yeeeah, the cleaning people can have a whole bunch of free stuff. Haha
Then I remembered I still had a company lanyard. I felt guilty keeping it so decided to give it back. Plus it was a good excuse to see CBR and my friends again. ^-^
I am so glad I went. I mean, I felt terrible abandoning my friend whiles he waited on me. I kind of lost track of time. :/ …but it was so wonderful. I felt so much better. It was like my unfinished business got to be done.
I was so happy to say goodbye to a lot of wonderful people. I got to even join in with the dancing for the last time. That was great fun. I had the best time getting my groove on. :P
There was one thing that made my day totally and utterly complete though. My last wish was granted. I had such a wonderful afternoon enjoying the sun and the fresh air. I had amazing company and I wish it never had to end.
I won’t forget you, and if you’re reading this, you know who you are.
You make me smile. You create magic just for me. You finished off my last day perfectly ...and I appreciate it.

I get on a plane early tomorrow morning. It’s the start of a new adventure. I’m a mixed bag of emotions, really. I am excited for some things and terrified of others.
I will miss everyone SO badly. …but at least I can keep in touch.
Off to Utah!
Chat soon :)