Friday, October 4, 2013


You may be able to tell this from reading past posts, or just from knowing me, but family is really important to me.  I wouldn't be who I am or where I am if it weren't for my family.  I will always hold them closest to my heart, and would drop everything to be anywhere for them in an instant.  Growing up you don't realize how lucky you are to see these amazing people every single day. And growing up I wished I didn't have to sometimes.  Looking back I hate to admit that, but I'm not going to pretend every day was carrot cake and pool fun.  Everyone has growing pains.  But I see so clearly how fortunate I am now that I wake up everyday without any option of seeing them.  Photos help.  Facetime helps. Phone calls help.  But it's never the same.  We will never be 5 people living under the same roof again.  And although I'm very okay with that, I do fully see the unique opportunity growing up gave us.

People often talk about their "work family" or their "friends as family" or common with CRPs and CPs, their "Florida Family."  We grow and move and change and create these bonds with people who are incredible and wonderful and we form very close friendships.  I am lucky enough to have created friendships and met people dear enough to include me in these 'families,' especially being so far from my own.

I work with some absolutely beautiful people, with huge hearts and goals, ambitions and smiles.  We have a wonderful time together, and it's good, because we also spend a ridiculous amount of time together.  We spend so much time working that we almost have two lives, our work life and our home life.  I spend more time with my colleagues than I do with my boyfriend, or my friends, combined.   I know that's the way of the world, but isn't it interesting? You spend all this time with these people, day after day, week after week - all so that you can have a little extra time and money to spend with the ones you love.  The ones you choose to spend your time with.  I'm lucky that those I'm designated to spend time with are great.  I know everyone isn't that lucky.

Florida is full of transplanted people.  Not many people I know are originally from Florida; therefore lucky enough to have their families down here as well.  Due to this, many friends circles turn into a Florida family - the people who are there for you down here.  I have some friendships that I depend on a lot, and I am so thankful for.  I can't believe the luck in finding these other people who understand me and love me just the quirky way I am.

Francel is one of the few to be a Floridian, and although his whole family isn't here now, they do get the chance to be together more often.  The love in his family radiates off all of them.  Nothing makes Francel happier than getting to hang out with his family.  And I completely understand why.  They have the strongest bond, the greatest time together and are all in love with each other, all so proud of each other, and always there for each other.  I've been blessed to be welcomed by this incredible family and I know how lucky it is to love your boyfriend's parents.  There is no way you couldn't love Francel's Mom - her joy for life is contagious.  There are no words for how amazing it feels to be a part of this family. 

Then there is our family.  Our family of two.  The beginning, the nucleus of a new family.  One surrounded in the love of all these other families, growing closer and stronger, laying down roots for our future. 

I miss my family.  I'm sure that's abundantly clear.  Everyday I know that I'm missing Clo and James growing bigger, or Carrie's latest vegan recipe.  I'm missing ice cream with Grandma and wine with Grandpa.  I'm missing life lessons with Gar and Kim and playing with the dogs with Dad. I miss everything about my Mum. 

What it comes down to is working everyday to make missing all those things, worth it.  Its pursuing my dreams.  Getting up after every misstep.  It's knowing that my family, all of my families, support me in making everything I've ever hoped for come true.  It's in making the right decision, not the easy decisions. And working hard. every. single. day.

I know not everyone has the best relationships with their families, I haven't always.  But I do know how lucky, how blessed, how special it is, to have the love and support of such incredible people.

I am so grateful for all of my families, for all of the people who take a piece of their hearts to care about me.  Thank you.  I love you.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy Anniversary

True love. I believe in it. Why? Because I see the way my grandparents look at each other even after all these years. There love for one another has been an inspiration for me for years, so much so that when I lived at home I had their pictures and wedding announcement framed on my bedside table. 
I've believed in fairy tales my whole life and always had an overacting imagination. However watching what my Grandma and Grandpa have been thorough together and done for one another, and still say all the time how they love each other more each day? You don't need fairy tales when you have the real deal unfolding in front of your eyes. 
They share so much love between the two of them, that it radiates off them and ripples through their actions towards family and friends. 
My grandparents will do anything to help their family, and I for one would not be able to follow my dreams without them. Thy inspire me in so many ways and I'm just unbelievably grateful for their support and their example of not just how to foster a lasting relationship but in how to be an outstanding person. 
Although I'm far away, you two are always in my thoughts and guiding me through my days. Happy Anniversary (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!) and here's to many more incredible years together. From coast to coast you are loved and appreciated. 

Monday, September 16, 2013


I love my job.

That's something I haven't been able to really say before.  I have loved the money from certain jobs, the people from other jobs, but this time, most of the time, I really love it.  I usually have that nagging feeling when I have jobs that I need to look for what's next and find something better.  However as a concierge I am really enjoying myself.  There are days where it's tough, and a lot of the time in the beginning I found myself never leaving work happy because I felt like I had to ask for help too often. The thing is, we are asked so many random questions about EVERYTHING all the time.  Every single day, every single guest is totally different.  I've been asked anything from the best restaurants on and off property, to secret soft opening information, to where to buy cigarettes at 2am, to where can you buy constipation medication.  My friend got asked for a 1 cent refund.  I've heard incredible stories of love and compassion, of families using this trip to bond back together after tragic events, to celebrating the adoption of their children, to reuniting after deployment.  I've seen proposals, set up numerous magical moments, and turned angry guests into want-to-be friends.  There is so much empowerment as a concierge to own situations and take the opportunity to ensure lifelong guest loyalty.  I know it's a business, and honestly I love that side of it as well.  I think the masterminds behind the marketing, the synergy between products and the understanding of low cost, high impact recovery is incredible.  Yes a lot of my job is checking guests in and booking reservations.  But I'm helping to create memories.  I'm helping to create happiness, excitement and fun.  I may be checking you in, or booking your Chef Mickey reservation, but I'm also the gateway to hopefully one of the best vacations of your life.

I work a lot.  I also am going to university full time.  I thought 'oh full time school, full time work - I got this.' But in all honesty if I wasn't so passionate about both it wouldn't be working.  It's hard.  I have to manage school with work with housework and then throw in some sort of relaxation, fitness, and lets not forget friends.  I know that it will all be worth it when I finally get my degree, and I also know that this degree won't be the last schooling I take.  I definitely see a Masters in my future; especially if my company at the time will help pay for it.

But that, in a nutshell, is the last couple months of my life.  I was a part of the pilot team in the roll out of MagicBands and MyMagic+ as a whole at DisneyWorld.  I've gotten to drive a Cadillac and purchase or create amazing gifts for numerous people.  I made a family cry from happiness with an upgraded room.  I assisted people who had an incredibly tough year, feel like kids again.  I've also seen the magic my co-cast work everyday, and the hard work and ridiculous hours they put in to create the experience.  I work with amazing cast, and throughout meeting with almost all of them by now, amazing managers.  They have been nothing but supportive and hoping to help me get ahead.  I appreciate their advice and assistance so much.

We're going to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tomorrow and I'm SUPER EXCITED.  The Halloween parade is the best one at Disney World in my opinion and I cannot wait to see those grave diggers!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kindness & Excitement

Since my last post about media sensationalism was a little heavy, this post is a lot more happy! Especially because I JUST finished my LAST EXAM!!! How exciting is that?!  I just finished my first full year at university in the states.  It was a long road to get here and without sounding full of myself, I'm pretty proud of the fact that I set a huge goal and with the help of lots of amazing people, am well on my way to accomplishing it!

I had a heavy heart last week.  Since last weekend, I have been overwhelmed with generosity and love; both for myself and for others. It started with a beautiful article I read about a Disney Cast member(s) who went above and beyond to create an amazing experience for some sweet girls who had to experience a horrible tragedy.  You can read it here:

Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook & the 3:00 o'clock Parade

It makes you believe in the good.  The good that fills this world and will always continue to be there.  There is a lot of sad and a lot of bad, but there is so much good that we cannot let ourselves lose sight of.  There is also this Youtube video that I absolutely love:

Restore your Faith in Humanity

This weekend I got to see the Director of the Mahima Care Home talk about what they do, what it's like, and the difference it is making.  The Mahima Care Home is a Kolkata-based girl rescue and rehabilitation home that addresses the grave injustice of sexual slavery, by providing a safe home for girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. This lady actually goes into the establishments with a team and the police and take young girls out of the sex trade and provide a place for them to live, be loved, be educated and feel safe.  It was really inspiring to hear and it makes you believe there are people being the change in the world.  

One of my friends accomplished something very important to her and super exciting, and we had a little get together to celebrate! You could tell how excited and happy she was, something I haven't seen in a while, and it was really great.  

Personally I've been showered with love as well.  I strolled into work last week, getting set up, looking for things in draws and turn around to all my co-workers with red and white balloons and a birthday cake!! They all sang and we had cake and I just couldn't believe it! I was so surprised!!

Two of my favourite ladies sent me packages in the mail, making me feel the love from 3000 miles away.  I haven't opened them yet though.  I also got a package from my parents! So fun!

I got to see my niece gallop like a horse around her new house, flutter like a butterfly, attempt to give me a house tour which was a lot of spinning and chin shots, and hear her say "Katie" over and over in the most amazing voice ever.  Hearing your name said by a little munchkin that you love? AMAZING.  There is little that can outdo the videos and pictures I've gotten of Clo lately.  She can carry on conversations! and runs around in her adorable little outfits.  Told me all about bumping her head.  She's so logical and has the most mischievous, glorious laugh that you can't help but smile about.  Even though the laugh came after a little hair pulling... She's incredible.  

Two of my dear friends in Florida have been planning a birthday celebration for me on Friday and Saturday, and last week they let it slip what we're doing.  We're going to be staying at the Grand Floridian CLUB LEVEL! I can't even believe it. I'm still in shock and still can't wrap my mind around it.  Then on Saturday we're going for Tea which I'm SO excited for! Saturday night my boyfriend takes over for dinner :) How incredible?  I'm in shock.

But it keeps going, because Sunday is when we leave for Miami, and Monday is our cruise! (Still can't believe that one either!!!!)  AND Disney announced both Disneyland and California Adventure are going to be open for 24 hours while we're there!!! SO I will have been able to spend 24 hours straight in both Magic Kingdom & Disneyland if I can convince Francel... Epic Disney Geek status. :D

How can your heart not be overflowing when you are ambushed with so much love from so many places?  I will mention that in there also Francel and I went to a movie.  After the movie I really wanted Menchie's.  It's frozen yougurt where you get to add your own toppings and they have lots of yummy flavours. I didn't want to recommend it though.  Francel opened my car door (how cute is that? Such a gentleman :) ) and then as he was walking to his side of the car I said to myself "ice cream ice cream ice cream."  When he got in his side he looked at me and said, 'do you want to get some ice cream?" I was in SHOCK! There is no way he heard me because i said it inside my head (and he was outside of the car ;) ).  I thought he was going to want cold stone, which is good, but super ICE CREAM whereas Menchie's is more froyo.  And what did he suggest? MENCHIES! So happy. lol.  I told him I'd been thinking about it and he said he just kind of got a craving while getting in the car.  EPIC.  Ask and you shall receive? 

Overall it's been an amazing week, I haven't even hit everything.  I attended a 40th birthday party where I only knew the birthday boy and his husband and one other person who left before me, and everyone was so nice and so inclusive! They asked all about school and work and were genuinely excited when I told them about my concierge job.  I LOVE friendly strangers! It was such a great afternoon. I also officially finished moving in to my new place, with the help of an amazing friend.  

So you can see how one week can make a huge difference.  The end of the semester relieves a lot of stress, and the overwhelming power of love has really left me nearly speechless this week.  Sometimes it's hard to not get caught up in all the hardship, in the ever changing visa information, the tragedies in the world, and the friends who weren't worth it.  However, if you just stop for a moment, you can see the love.  It's all around us. It's on the internet, it's in the last 5 minutes of the news, its on the faces of strangers and its in the incredible people who you surround yourself with.  Life is good. Especially today :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Media Sensationalism

**Note** - This blog post is not about Disney, or my happy fantastic existence in currently rainy Orlando!  Over the past semester I have been writing papers about media sensationalism for my english course.  In our final paper we are asked to make contributions to the conversation and this is part of mine. A public blog post about the topic.  I also wrote a letter to the Federal Communication Commission that oversees the media.  This post details some pretty harsh events that even I wouldn't want to read about except that I had to.  This is my official warning and advisement to skip this post if you don't want to read about school shootings, media sensationalization of murder trials, serial killers and the likes.  I'll be updating about some super exciting Disney happiness soon!!!! And it's almost my birthday! Woooo! ****

"You're going to pick a topic to write about the whole semester," my professor told us, "Ending in a 20 page paper that we'll work on throughout the term."  (She actually only said a 12 page paper, but somewhere in my mind it registered as 20 pages).

I had no idea what I could possibly write something persuasive about for that many pages.  I  finally came up with the idea of media sensationalism, based on a conversation my family had had many times about the media's portrayal of news.  I used to leave the room when my Mum put on the 5 o'clock news, because it always started with dead people.  I don't like dead people.  I don't like the thought that there are people out there who can actually murder someone, especially those who do it for sport.  Growing up on Vancouver Island we were always exposed to the Pickton Pig Farm murders - Robert Pickton murdered upwards of 26 women and scattered their bodies across his pig farm.  I hated this. I tried to block it out as much as possible.

In 1999 I was 12 years old when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot up their high school as media rushed to the scene showing the tragedy live.  I couldn't believe there were people who would do this, and became very interested in who these boys were, who their victims were and how they get to the point that they felt this was the only way.  I became consumed with the media, consumed with the tragedy.

Looking back I don't know how I was so interested, or how I could stand it.  Maybe because it was so far removed from my small town it almost didn't feel real.  It was another thing found on the internet and on the television, half way between reality and fiction.  Michael Moore created a documentary centered around this event, and I remember perfectly where I was and who I was with when we watched the film 'Elephant' a fictionalized depiction of very similar events to the Columbine shooting.  Watching Elephant is when it all hit me.  The realism was devastating and  I turned off the news for years following.

The summer of 2011 I moved to Orlando for the summer semester at Rosen College.  Little did I know the phenomenon that would occur in town surrounding a mother who was on trial for killing her daughter.  Casey Anthony's trial coverage was on every single television channel.  It had hundreds of twitter accounts created around it, numerous Facebook groups and was deemed the social media trial of the century by Time magazine.  I talked to friends who literally called in to work to camp out and try to get one of the coveted seats inside the court room.  It sickened me.  I refused to watch television and got very upset when my stanley cup hockey games were proceeded and interrupted by coverage. Casey Anthony was everywhere.  3000 miles away, my parents in Canada knew all about her case! The public outcries for her punishment, her media-conviction of guilt, the way everything seemed to stand still waiting for the actual jury decision, and the insane outbursts that followed an astonishing not-guilty verdict.  While researching for my paper I learned that in the two months after Casey Anthony's trial started she was covered in more news reports than any candidate running for the Republican Presidential nomination.  Murder sells.  More media reports were dedicated to a single death in Orlando, Florida than to who could have been the President of the United States.  The only candidiate who got more media attention was current President Barack Obama.  This astonished me.  Whether or not I think Casey Anthony is guilty or not is irrelevant.  She got off, yet because of the media coverage Casey Anthony will never be able to live a normal life - the amount of public death threats to Casey Anthony, as well as her parents who went into hiding, and the jurors who found her not-guilty - no one involved will not be drastically changed forever due to the media frenzy that drew huge ratings.  The media, and in turn the public, treated the tragic event as sport, drawing spectators, setting up tents, providing 24/7 coverage and capitalizing on the death of a two year old girl.

Researching for this paper was rough.  As you can tell by every other post in my blog, I'm a pretty chipper, Disney loving, glass half full kind of girl.  Imagine sitting for hours on end reading over and over again about brutal murders, often numerous ones by the same person, and then the copycats that created the same crimes, or similar because they saw the others in the news.  In particular this article by Josh Clark and Laurie Dove "10 Notable Copycat Killers" was example after example about deaths copied from other murders seen in the media. Criminologists have long been aware of the potential for media to foster copycat killings.  The first example is Jack the Ripper in 1912, with similar crimes taking place shortly after his in the same fashion.  It just continues on from there.  Oliver Stone was sued once for murders that took place in the same fashion as in his film Natural Born Killers, where the murderers watched the film many times over, then went and committed the same crime.  The film ironically surrounds the idea of media overexposure of violence, and is loosely based itself on teenager spree killers in the late 1950s.   I cut this part out of my final paper, however it still left an uncomfortable feeling.

I finished my initial paper with a drained heart and a drained brain.  As the semester continued, and I had to research more, write more papers, I felt surrounded by the topic.  It was hard to go to the movie theatre without having the Colorado shooting come to mind.  It all became too close to home recently when a suicide at my university was almost a dormitory shooting.  As I received alerts on my phone that main campus was closed, more news was released that it was a death, then a suicide death, then a planned attack that wasn't followed through.  I watched as my boss fed off of every update, wanting, almost needing to know more and more.  He kept a countdown to the release of the 911 call, and read stories aloud about the person who died and their history.  Throughout the day there was a constant commentary.  The boy had pulled the fire alarm and allegedly was going to shoot students as they left their rooms due to the alarm.  His roommate met him in their living room and ran back to his own room to call 911 when the gun was pointed at him.  Writings and plans were found in the students room, as well as a large amount of ammunition, other guns and bombs.  A bomb was also found in the parking garage attached to the building. It was a tragic event, that could have ended up much worse.  But it was close to home, at my own university, and seeing it play out in front of my eyes, with people I knew, affected me.

While working on a project for another class I got frustrated and needed a break.  I thought I'd take an hour, put something cheerful and easy on in the background and work on something else for a little bit. I put Glee on as I thought it would be a good background, them singing happy little songs as I made to do lists.  It was a school shooting episode. I could not believe it.

Most recently the bombing of the Boston Marathon, and the following manhunt for the second suspect who ended up being found hidden in a boat.  My friend got a tattoo two days ago from noon until about 8:30pm, and it was the only thing on the television the entire time.  I understand this coverage, the entire city was on lockdown and there were SWAT teams going door to door with all transportation shutdown.  But the stories digging into the boys history, the probing anyone who knew them for information on who they were, what they were like - why?

This is a tragic event that ended in thousands of people's lives being changed forever.  3 deaths, over 150 serious injuries, at an event that should have been celebrating the extreme dedication and hard work put into training and completing the highly competitive Boston marathon.

It makes you question society.  Question humanity.  Question why we want to gather around the television or computer and know every single fact about someone who committed a heinous crime against the world. And the coverage doesn't stop.  If you google Adam Lanza right now, the boy who 5 months ago opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School, you get over 54 million hits in less than .23 of a second. And the latest story was published only 4 days ago.  And it's centered around the killer, not the school, not the victims - the one person involved who should be forgotten.

What if the media didn't cover the killers the way they do? What if instead of plastering Adam Lanza's face all over the internet, they broadcast about the incredible teachers who hid their students to save their lives? Or they just reported on the news of today.  If you look into it there are so many heroic stories of teachers, teacher's aides, and others in the school that day who saved the lives of others; by running through the halls and shouting warnings, by hiding them, by using their bodies as shields.

This quote by Robert Ebert really drives the point home:

Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn't you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?" No, I said, I wouldn't say that. "But what about 'Basketball Diaries'?" she asked. "Doesn't that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?" The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it's unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.
The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me. I'll go out in a blaze of glory."
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

How do you sum it up better than that? It has been said that Adam Lanza saw the shooting at the shopping mall in Oregon earlier in the week in the media and it may have led him to follow through with his plans.
This article published in the aftermath of the shooting is just an example of the numerous examples of copycats.  Following the Sandy Hook School Shooting there were numerous arrests including an Indiana man who planned to light his wife on fire and shoot as many people as he could at Jane Ball Elementary.  He was arrested and 47 guns and rounds of ammunition worth over $100,000 were confiscated.  Another incident over the weekend involved a shooter opening fire at a clinic in Uruguay to imitate the Connecticut school shooting, according to the suspect’s police statement. The suspect fired three shots and was arrested on site, local media reported.  Initially, the 18-year-old shooter attended a secondary school in the western city of Paysandu, but chose to leave due to the small crowd on Saturday. After walking four more blocks, he ended up at a clinic.

The article even mentions copycats after the movie theatre shooting in Colorado:
Previously, a wave of copycat shootings followed the Aurora, Colorado, massacre, during which 12 people were killed and 58 injured at the premiere of the latest Batman film, 'The Dark Knight Rises.'
After Aurora, police arrested a man who claimed to have attended a showing of the new Batman film with a loaded gun. Police found handguns, boxes of ammunition and an illegal automatic weapon in his possession. 
What if these people never heard of Adam Lanza? What if his name wasn't publicized, as Ebert points out, and there were no nihilistic pinups for these troubled people to outdo in body count or publicity?  In K.D Haggerty's book 'Modern Serial Killers" he outlines with numerous accounts how the majority of serial killers enjoyed the media attention and celebrity status bestowed upon them.  John Wayne Gacy, who was also known as the Killer Clown [media nicknames!!], was an American killer and rapist convicted of the sexual assault and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978 in Chicago  (source).  Haggerty outlines in his book that Gacy bragged about being in forty-two books, two screenplays, one off-Broadway play, one movie and over 5,000 articles!  How does that not make you feel sick to your stomach? I can barely read past the first sentence of any of these articles about these heinous killers.
What if all public record of Gacy was erased, his name replaced by a number for legal records/court needs, but his images, these articles, everything - were gone.  What if no one knew of the Trench Coat Mafia, just that a shooting occurred and some incredible people were lost, but the killers themselves  received no attention, none of the back story, none of the family interviews or millions of google hits.  
It goes back to what Mr. Ebert points out: this anti-heroes are created, troubled people see these other killers all over the news and they think they can stick it to those they hate and be plastered all over the news.  
If we took this away would we take away copycats?  Of course there are always going to be murders, it's just the sad way of the world.  But as Haggerty points out again 'serial killings are amongst the statistically rarest forms of crime, and without the media, individuals wouldn't have the intimate familiarity with the general dynamics of killings and particular killer's actions.'  You cannot emulate someone you've never heard of.  
Lily O'Donnell's article "Adam Lanza: Continued Coverage of This Maniac will Inspire More Mass Murders" drives home the conclusion in its title.  The media treats tragedy like sporting events, all crowded around the television and wanting to know more and see more.  This brings us full circle back to the monstrosity that was the Casey Anthony trial. There is something more important than viewership - and that is lives.   The medias fixation on every little detail from photographs to 24/7 coverage, creates more of the same.  
During the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting the media was interviewing grade 2 students who had just lived through the most horrific event of their short lives and been reunited with their families.  6 and 7 year olds;  hounded by the media for sound bites for their stories.  There are more important things than ratings.  
This has been a long semester, a long journey, and I had to learn more about a topic I never wanted to than I'll ever be able to forget.  In a way I fed into what I want to prevent - I wrote yet another article outlining the actions of those I hope to be forgotten; gave them more coverage.  However it is in hopes that change can happen.  That in the future these people will be washed away, that they will disappear as quickly as they arrived - without fanfare, without celebrity, without the media digging into and displaying every detail of their lives.  If murders were kept local, or murderers were not identified or turned into pinups for like minded killers, society as a whole may feel a little more safe, and the media could focus on the news of the day, proving journalistic integrity and lives are more important than ratings.  
Is it possible for a company to put anything before their bottom line?
I have never been so glad to finish a course, and a paper in my life.  This process has changed me, through the information I won't be able to forget and the harshness of the bottom line that I can no longer ignore.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I have been crazy busy with school lately.  Pretty much just all the time school. School. School. School.

Which is good! That's what I'm here for.  However it has left my brain drained and my time gone, therefore there hasn't been much time to update the blog.

Nut shell of activity:

-I have my last day of class on Monday!! Then I have two exams on Wednesday and two exams the following Monday!
-Next weekend Francel is going to New York City for his Mum's graduation from culinary school - it's awesome!
-The weekend after that I turn 24 years old!! ahh!!
-That same weekend we leave on the Sunday for Miami because...
-Monday is our cruise!!!

Between myself and the cruise however, is a 15-20 page English paper and presentation of my findings, an english portfolio of all my work and assignments, a 4 page hand written essay on the Gap theory in service, four chapters of review and an exam in lodging! This past week I had two presentations and an extra class for my summer internship.

I am very excited to finally be done my english courses.  You have to take two classes/one year of english as part of the general eduation requirements for graduation, and I'm almost done! My professor was actually really great, very kind and helpful, but it's just not my favourite thing.  Also I chose to write about media sensationalism this semester because I thought it was a broad topic with lots of information, and it is, but it is also draining because it's very sad and hard to read sometimes.  I'm a pretty positive person, I find it hard to focus for a long time on unhappy situations.

Wednesday was a pretty stressful day, after a very stressful week, so it was exciting to just take a day and enjoy ourselves yesterday!  Francel made us breakfast before we headed to Universal Studios!!! It was super busy, but such a blast! We were able to get on most rides within 10-15 minutes, and went to both parks.  I'd been craving a ride on ET lately, so we definitely did that.  We have been watching the Back to the Future Trilogy lately so it was fun to come across Doc Brown, the dolorian and the train engine!! I have so much fun with Francel no matter what we do, it's just so relaxing and we laugh so much.  It was the best destressor and now I'm ready to study and work my butt off all weekend!!

Speaking of which, I have to get to work!! We're setting up for buybacks and graduation next week!
Once this rush is over I'll have lots more updates! I've been reading a bit about concierge lately and I'm so excited to share what I've learned!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Crunch Time!

April! Can you believe it?? This month is going to be JAM PACKED with.... HOMEWORK.  Yup, it's my last month of my semester and you know what that means. So many essays. So many projects. So many exams.  It's as if the professors decide to throw all the assignments in the last month, just to make you really work for it before those evil exams.  However once the month is over, May is going to be incredible.  So it's nose to the grindstone knowing an incredible reward is waiting at the end.

It's also my last month as a 23 year old.  I'm about to leave my early twenties and secure a spot in my mid twenties.  That's just frightening.  Life evaluation time!!!
...not right now.  We'll leave the pondering of life for May when my mind isn't crammed full of guest service quilts, service blogs, theme park projects, english papers (so many murderers in that one!), lodging tests and all that good stuff.

This month will be a bit quite on the blog as I work hard on my school work, but expect some great things to follow.  I'll keep you updated on the coolest trip ever, as well as the preparation and beginning of my College Program!!
I did get one step closer to my College Program today by meeting with my internship advisor.  I had to get a letter from her saying the program will count as internships to give to my international student advisor so that it can be added to my visa.

Oh the joys of being foreign :)

I'm really excited though either way.  My mind has been totally consumed with my family lately as well. There isn't an hour that passes that I don't miss them so immensely and wish I could be home.  I know that they strongly support me and what I'm doing, but it's times like this that the 3000 miles separating us feels like so much more.  I love you all so much!

Have a great day everyone! Stay positive! Stay focused! Stay Happy! And spread the love <3 nbsp="">

....this is my 200th post! Woooooo! A writer we'll make of me yet ;)

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Happy Easter!!!!

Hope everyone gets a little time with their families today! Mines hundreds of miles away but right beside me in heart. Love you all!

Oh and check it out... The Easter bunny stopped at our house last night!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I spent the morning wandering through the World of Disney looking for a gift for my niece who is turning two this week (yup, I'm that aunt. The always late one...). Instead of a present for Clo, I found a time warp. I hugged all the stuffed toys from when I was young, the huge Eeeyore I finally got when I became a server, the Tigger Carrie brought on pirates of the Caribbean that almost got splashed. The Flit and Meeko I got when I was 4 and set up in my bed every night. I loved my stuffed animals. I used to read them Bernstein Bear books when I was little, yup, even showed them the pictures. I thought that if I was surrounded by them at night no bad guys could get me.

Francel and I were talking about childhood toys the other day. He said he used to try and sneak up and catch them playing while he was gone. The imaginations we have are so huge, so creative and so endless. When you're a child you can create any story, game or situation imaginable and play it out with your friends and toys.

My parents never crushed my imagination. They never told me anything wasn't possible or even that Santa didn't actually go down the chimney (we didn't have a chimney, clearly it magically changed into a big fireplace when he needed). They fostered, encouraged and let us create everything and anything. I'm so incredibly thankful, much more now that I'm older and understand. I was based in reality but enabled to fly and dream.

If it weren't for my parents parenting, I would never be where I am or following my dreams. I wouldn't have the morals, the values, the deep respect for family and love, the smarts, the courage or the drive that make me who I am. Yes they sometimes whispered to each other that their 16 year old daughter should maybe want to do something other than work at Disney World, but they encouraged me to try. They never let me quit things I started, and taught me the importance of commitments. I had to fight tooth and nail to quit karate, and punished them with a year of singing lessons to get myself out of piano class.

There are things that will always make me think of my parents. Going through the hats in the Disney Store it reminds me of my father and the mad hatter shop in Disneyland in Fantasyland. Every trip we each got a hat. I'm sure it was somewhat based on sun safety, but I just loved getting to chose one! I have a range from purple princess hat to Mickey through the years and an amazing lion king one! My sister has the most adorable flower hat and my other sister rocked the Donald Duck. Who knew a hat could transport you back in time? I wonder when my parents started these traditions, if they knew the impact they would have years later.

I can't see anything Buzz Lightyear related without thinking about my Mum. She LOVES him. I had the coolest buzz toy when I was younger, but I swear she loved it even more than I did. And the ride? Forget it. No one loves shooting things on that ride more than she does! Oh, and fireworks? All my Mum.

It even extends to my Grandparents - Alice in Wonderland reminds me of my Grandma because it was one of the only rides she would go on when we were little, and I can't go on Big Thunder Mountain without thinking of my Grandpa. The announcement says to 'hold on to your hats and glasses because this heres the wildest ride in the wilderness.' My Grandpa had both, and I remember him grabbing onto both and me just giggling my little heart away.

I went into the shop looking for something for my niece, but ended up transported through my own childhood. Through the stuffed animals, the toys, the hats, the games. I was lucky enough to have one of the most blessed childhoods, and now that we're at the age where we're (aka Kim) having kids of our own (and maybe some really far away day me) I hope that we are able to create the same memories and experiences for our kids/nieces & nephews. I hope they look back one day and see how everything their parents did was to give them every possibility imaginable. My sister has started off our generation strong in the motherhood department, and it's so exciting to see where it will lead our little CloGlow!

Personally I can't wait to infiltrate their lives with so much Disney they won't know there is any other option.... Wahaha.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More Secrets

I guess they aren't really secrets when I tell you about them...

There are two things that I've been meaning to let out of the bag.  First of all a College Program announcement:

I opted out of housing for my Disney College Program.  I know that housing 'is an important part of the experience,' however I already pay rent and live in Orlando.  Therefore it didn't make sense.  For anyone interested in living outside of Disney Housing (you can't on any of the international programs) the process goes like this:

1. Pay $200 housing fee
2. Email housing (I actually had to do this twice because the first time their inbox was full - oops!)
3. Housing emailed back and asked for my candidate ID, full name, address where I would be living.
4. I responded with the needed information.
5. They approved me!  After completing my first 30 days of the program successfully I will be refunded the $200.  I also found it interesting that I don't get to check in for my program at Vista Way like everyone else, because I opted out of housing I have to check in at casting and they are going to email with further information about it.

I guess this could be considered a secret but it wasn't one of the planned ones... the reason I would be paying double rent if I lived in housing is because I'm moving in with my boyfriend!  Yup, craziness right?!  We pretty much have been co-inhabiting for a while now, and have been paying double rent and maybe going to my actual apartment once every week- two weeks so it's just not making sense financially or logically.  It's a really huge step and something we have spent a lot of time talking about.  I've never lived with a guy before, and I know we are going to have some things to figure out once everything is moved together.  I also know that everyone is different and has different opinions on living with someone before being married (I've been called old-fashioned by 4 different people around this topic!), however for us this makes the most sense and fits us the best.  I'm very excited and think it's going to be great!  It's not our ideal living situation yet, but not everything happens exactly the way you envision it when you're a little girl.  We are taking advantage of the opportunities given to us now to have a better foundation for the future :)  Exciting!  

Okay on to the actual secrets...

I signed up for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November! I'm excited and very, very nervous.  I used to run a lot, and love it.  I don't exactly love it anymore.  I more am excited for it to be over.  Not how you want to feel heading into runs that take a couple hours....

However I'm motivated by both myself and my friends who are in the race as well.  I don't have a time I'd like to run it in, except that I know the faster I finish the more I get to enjoy the Food and Wine After Party at Epcot.  I actually have a bigger goal that this race is a part of.  Don't get me wrong, this is a BIG goal! When I finished my half marathon in 2011 I said I would never do another one.  And here I am gearing up to do it again.  But there is an ultimate goal that has many, many steps along the way.  This is one of them.

Ahhh half marathon! It'll be neat to have completed two! :) I'm glad I have friends who are also training and it's kind of awesome to looking forward to activities that are based around healthiness! Who would have thought he part of the Food and Wine Festival I'm looking forward to the most is running?  The only thing that could trump it is if some certain family members come for a visit!

Secret number two...

I have an amazing boyfriend. That's not the secret.  Okay, it goes like this:

K: Hey babe have you ever been on a cruise?
F: Nope
K: We should go some day, they're so fun and you get an awesome cast member discount.
F: Oh yah? *looks up cast member cruise discounts and options*
F: Look at this one! 14 nights through the panama canal
K: WHAT! So cool!
*Look at cool destinations of cruise.  Tell friends they should all go (I should work in sales) while saying there is no way we can but maybe someday. *

*Re-look up cruise and it's gone.  Full.  Fake fantasy cruise actually gone.*

A month later....

F: Hey Babe, guess what?!
K: What?
F: We're going on a cruise!!

Yup.  he secretly looked it up hoping someone else would cancel or not pay, and magical found a spot. AND he got an unbelievable deal!!! Think two week cruise with all your food and entertainment and everything for about the same price as one night at the Grand Floridian! (Well two nights, because there are two of us!) But still...isn't that insane?!!!!

I couldn't believe him.  I can't believe him still.  I can't believe it's real.  Who just goes "Hey babe I bought you a cruise..and it's two weeks long" ?!!!?!  This guy apparently.  Have a mentioned I really love him?? lol.  We even watched the cruise DVD, and looked into all the features and things that happen and ports and I still can't believe it's real.  I don't think it'll hit me until we board in Miami and take off.

But wait, there's MORE! One of the reasons this cruise had such a crazy cast price is because it's a repositioning cruise, meaning the ship is being moved from it's winter departure port to it's summer departure port.  So it's not a roundtrip.  We leave from Miami, and dock in Los Angeles!!! Which means...yup.. PANAMA CANAL!!!

And just when you thought the world couldn't get better... My Grandparents, being the most fantastically AMAZING grandparents on the planet, gave us a resort in ANAHEIM for my birthday which means... DISNEYLAND!!!! DISNEYLAND!!! DISNEYLAND!!! Did I mention I'm going to DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!


I'm a little excited.  Also... flight from Santa Ana, Orange County to Orlando? $150 dollars.  How is this even possible? We can use Francel's main gate so we aren't paying for park tickets. It's like all the stars in all the universe aligned.

I almost forgot... The cruise leaves May 6th.  A week after my exams end for the semester.  Two days after my birthday, we arrive back a week before Francel's birthday (double birthday?).  And two days after Francel's birthday my College Program starts.  The whole thing magically fits together perfectly.

It's things like this

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


This week has been very hard.
On Monday there was a suicide in the dorms at my university's main campus.  It was in actuality a planned school shooting.  It is said in the news that the student pulled the fire alarm as he was planning to shoot students as they left the building.  The student's roommate heard the fire alarm and came out of his room where he came eye to eye with the gun, ran back into his room and called 911.  The student went into his own room and killed himself.
They found multiple guns, over 200 bullets and self made bombs in his room.  They also reportedly found a bomb in the parking garage next to the apartment tower.
This could have been horrible.  It is horrible, it's a life that's been loss that didn't need to be.  But thinking about what could have happened, what almost happened, so close to home? It's frightening.

I'm writing a paper in english right now about media sensationalism.  It's focused around school shootings and the werther effect that surrounds it, how much the media runs the story and how they always dig into the killer's life and make their names extremely well known.  As this activity unfolded I watched the exact thing I've been researching and writing about come to life.  The Orlando Sentinel was running a story "Who is _______?" digging into the student's past.  The news spread far and fast, where so that I got phone calls and texts from Canada making sure I was okay.  As I sat at work the story was followed hour by hour as new news was released about it.  In the end, it's a tragic suicide, but the effect of the could have been school shooting was everywhere.  It was too close to home.

My campus ran as usual, with some students from main campus missing morning classes due to cancelled shuttles (all of main campus was closed in the morning).  There was discussion of the events everywhere in the halls and study rooms, and to be honest, I couldn't help but look at the door each time it opened.  Death in general makes me feel uneasy.  The fact that is happened at my university, or almost happened at my university, while I was studying it, it all felt a little too close and left me a little uncomfortable.

Today we had an amazing guest speaker in my lodging class discussing Loss Prevention, Security and Safety.  The presenter was scheduled at the beginning of the semester and just so happened to fall two days after the previous mentioned events.  He discussed how he set up the security for all of universal studios then for Rosen Shingle Creek as well as Rosen College.  (Our school has some pretty cool security features!)  He did mention some of the bad things on the job though, how you react to scam artists, burns, cuts, and yes, suicides that happened at resorts he worked.  Again, it was a little too close to home.

It didn't help that we watched 3 Bones the other night that were about sexual harassment, murder and child soldiers.

So my heart has been pretty heavy this week.  And it's reinvoked fears that I've been trying to get over. When I lived in Vancouver I used to not only walk home a couple miles in the dark at night, I used to go for 5+ mile runs at night.  I just tried to step out the door to run, and I was scared. Of what? I don't know.  We live in a regular neighbourhood, with nice houses.  But I couldn't make myself go.  I don't want fear to run my life, and it usually doesn't, but perhaps this is just a week to be okay with things like that. To run in the morning, to appreciate life and to just accept things that aren't up to us.  Sometimes being a little irrational is okay, as long as you don't let it take over.  It won today, it won't win tomorrow.

It's been a rough week.  People don't always understand why I'm so affected by things that have nothing to do with me.  I don't know if it's my compassion, my ability to relate, or my happy world disposition.  I find harming others such a horrifying thought, maybe it's my inability to understand that makes it so hard to deal with.  So I deal with it the best way I can, to write a little about it, get it out of me and onto a page, and somehow that cleanses it away.  I don't forget, but it's not held as closely to my heart.

It's been a tough week.  One that makes you want to reach out and love a little harder, enjoy everything a little more and make sure each day means something.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Aftermath

Fun Fact of the day: When everything seems awesome, something is going to go wrong.

I'm really excited about the college program, but I'm a little realistic too, and it seemed to good to be true.  So I emailed international services at my university.  I was a bit worried (okay..almost had a mini melt down) when they said I had to be taking classes to be able to participate.

I don't have a scholarship for summer courses.

Que: freakout.

After a few emails back and forth I figured out I could take just the internship course, which is a one credit course and the adviser said I get to pay instate for it...soooo it seems like I'll only have to foot out an extra $100+ to work this summer.

There are 10000+ stipulations when you are going to school on a visa, I have to make the government happy, the scholarship people happy, my school happy and now soon Disney happy.
Oh, and myself :D

I also then thought I could take an internship as my fourth class in the fall....however it's only 1 credit. So I have to rework my schedule and fit in another class to make it to 12 credits, aka full time.  I get to pick my classes for the next three semester next Monday so that'll be good.  I know it's silly, but choosing classes always seems exciting to me.  This time will be a little different because a lot of the classes I have to take, especially in the spring semester are General Education classes (science, math, socials etc) and I have to do them all on the main UCF campus.  An hour from home.  At least it'll only be twice a week if I work it out correctly.

So long story short, I'm really excited to work concierge! Every time I tell someone I just get the hugest grin on my face and I feel so, so happy! Everytime I'm in lodging class learning about the PMS system and PBX and all that jazz, I get excited because it's what I'll be doing.

Those of you who know me well also know I'm obsessed with making reservations, and I've eaten at pretty much every Disney restaurant, and done a lot of the other extra neat recreation offerings so I think I'll be able to help guests out! A lot to learn, but it'll be amazing!

And I get to do Traditions again!!! I may be one of the few people excited to do it three times! Can't Wait!

In totally different news I had an amazing weekend! A bunch of friends and I participated in the Highlander IV Mud Run! It was 5km/3m with like 30 obstacles along the trail including A LOT of crawling through mud! Some people had to be pulled out with ropes! It was craziness!! I'll get some photos added! We actually already signed up for our next race in September, and I honestly am so excited for it! My thighs were killing me from yanking my legs up out of the mud, climbing over walls and all other general ninja-ry.

Sunday I made an epic dinner for Francel! Since we aren't eating out but we like to, especially at Disney, I made different courses from different restaurants!! I made Pineapple-Coconut bread from Ohana with Macadamia nut-honey butter from Kona Cafe. I've never made bread before!! It was soo yummy!
Then I did a cheese plate (France ..really i just love cheese).
Then a tomato and gin soup from Raglan Road. It was cool, it went from 2 1/2 pounds of soup!
For the main course we had Le Cellier's Filet Mignon with Mushroom risotto and a white truffle butter sauce (Francel cooked the steak, we took a 6 minute break! lol).
Next  we had double dessert! Mini chocolate Lava cakes from California Grill and...
Walt's Favourite Lemon Meringue Pie! It was soooo yummy if i do say so myself!
Francel knew I was making dinner, but didn't know it was special! I met him at the door in a dress and heels and a glass of champagne and a card that I have been saving since Canada.  He showered and got dressed up too, and we ate at the dining room tale with the fancy dishes, it felt like we went out for this crazy nice meal! It was such a fun day/evening!  Francel does a ton of incredible things for me, and with me, and I just wanted to show him how much I appreciate him in return.

I'm kind of completely in love :)

That's all for now kiddos, I'm off to make some quinoa + veggies. Yum!

Friday, March 15, 2013


This morning while having a casual Friday lay in (veggie omelets! YUM) I picked up my phone to check my messages and came across an email from Disney. I opened it and....

Dear Kate,
You have been selected to participate in the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World® Resort! This is a valuable résumé-enhancing experience for all students, and we are proud to offer this opportunity to you.
You can find out additional details regarding your offer, including your role and program season, by following the instructions below. You must complete all three steps listed below in order to fully accept your offer.
I got accepted into the College Program! We were having such a laid back morning it took me a moment to actually realize what I was reading! I freaked out and told Francel! Then I had to know what position they were offering!  I had said I would do a bunch of different roles, so I impatiently opened the email on my computer and freaked out in excitement again... 
Dear Kathryn,
Congratulations! On behalf of Disney Worldwide Services, Inc., which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we are pleased to let you know that you have been selected to participate as a/an Concierge cast member on the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World ® Resort for the Fall Advantage 2013 season. This is a valuable résumé-enhancing experience for all students, and we are excited to offer this opportunity to you! This program will allow you to gain academically-oriented work experience - the kind that provides participants in any major with the tools they need to compete effectively in today's job market.
Please review your major responsibilities below:
Responsibilities may include completing check in/check out process for concierge club-level guests by inputting and retrieving information from resort computer system; proactively greeting guests, exhibiting the expected high level of Disney show quality, often times interacting with VIP's, celebrities, and executives; creating individualized ticket packages; being comfortable in a strong sales environment; making reservations and handling any special requests from guests; handling cash and other forms of payment, including foreign currencies exchange; maintaining cleanliness of common guest living/dining areas within concierge club-level; assisting with luggage and other deliveries to guest rooms; working concierge buffet line which can include maintaining overall cleanliness of buffet area and replenishing food, washing dishes, serving alcohol, maintaining inventory of liquor, and partnering with culinary team to ensure food quantity; partnering with property VIP tour guides. 
CONCIERGE!!!! I can't quite believe it's real still! Concierge was definitely my top choice! I can't believe I'm going to be doing a Disney College Program! 
Step one was accepting the offer, then paying program fees.  I am planning on opting out of housing (that's a whole other post :) ) but still had to pay a housing fee.  Once they approve of me not living in housing, then I have to work in the program for a month, then I'll get the fees back.  There is also a $100 program fee and a $4.50 processing fee.  Bye Money! Hello Disney!
Step three was my arrival date!!
JUNE 3RD, 2013!!! I start June 3rd!!! June 3rd until January 3rd 2014!!!
I can't believe this is real!
It also will count as my internship for my degree and I'll be able to go to school during the fall still of course! It's so exciting.  I'm on cloud 9 :)
I don't get to know which resort I'll be in until my start date.  Of course I'd like a deluxe because they have club levels and I'd get to deal with the club lounge and such, but any resort will be incredible! It's just so neat to think that I'll be working for Disney somewhere other than Canada!!! I LOVE Canada (the pavilion and actual country) but as I can't be a server at Le Cells, the fact that I can work somewhere else is SOOOO COOL! And my name tag will say my university instead of my hometown.  Kind of neat! Costuming will be somewhere else! I won't have Discovery Day! Gosh, it'll be so different!
I love that I get to go to Traditions again too!!! I LOVE Traditions! It's so magical! 
So my day has been full of excitedly tell my family then friends then the world! I'm going to be a cast member again! I get to go to the parks! I'm SO excited!!!!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

My BIG Secret!

So my dear friends. I went through the Cultural Representative Program application process with you twice.  I went through the Cruise Line Interviews with you.  I went through the University of Central Florida application process with you.

I had a gut feeling about all of those. This time I don't.  That is why I am wary to discuss that I even applied.  But with success comes failure, and with failure comes lessons learned to turn those failures into successes later on.  I have not been accepted for many jobs in the past. I have been offered many jobs as well.

The closest I've ever felt to this before was when I was in the running to be one of the West Coast Trainers for Boston Pizza Corporate.  I would have traveled through Western Canada as a corporate trainer for new restaurants and revamps.  I didn't think I had a chance, but I got called for a phone interview. Then I made it to the next round.  Then the last round! I was one in three candidates left.  I had to go to a Boston Pizza and write a report on it.  I poured hours into this report.  Then I had to train the interviewers to do something in 20 minutes.  I chose to teach them the dance to Thriller.

I didn't even know the dance to Thriller. So I learned it.  And then I rocked it teaching it to them.  They were two late 20 something guys, it was intimidating, and perhaps not the right choice (their examples were 'how to put on hockey gear' and 'how to build a card house') but I thought it was interactive and fun.

I really thought I had a good chance when I was in the top three.  I was already imagining myself travelling around the provinces, teaching, learning, exploring and loving life.  I was contemplating not applying for a second Disney program if I got this job and sort of starting a life. (Crazy, I know.)

Then I got an email...that I didn't get it. I tried to justify it to myself that I wasn't really qualified anyways and that I made it way further in the process than I should have, but I was still sad.

Walt said everyone needs a good failure when they are young - hopefully this was mine and now I'm good to go.  I have this weird way of thinking that I should get whatever job I apply for because I know I can step up and perform the role amazingly - it's getting that across through my resume and interviewing that seems to be the problem.

I got through that interview failure, and I survived and am incredibly happy with how everything went even though I didn't get that job.  Plus I learned a lot in the process (besides amazing dance moves).  I learned that I can write reports and overcame my fear of public speaking/shyness by teaching a dance to men in suits.  I learned that even though I may not have gotten the job, I worked hard at trying, and as clique as that sounds, there was just someone else better suited for the position.

So where is all this going?

I applied for the Disney College Program.  I also applied for Disney Professional Internships.

Thank goodness only my family reads this or else it would be way scarier putting that out there. Oh public rejection. Hopefully we won't have to deal with you...but if we will be graceful (mostly).

Let's do the College Program first:

The Disney College Program is a Disney geeks dream.  You get to work in also ANY POSITION PROPERTY WIDE (all non-tipped of course!) and make magic for guests.  You get worked to the bone, with super long hours, and then get to go home to housing! So it's like Le Cellier...but without the restaurant, the tips or the other Canadians.

There are a variety of roles from housekeeping to hospitality to attractions to character performers to merchandise etc. and when you initially apply you rank which you are most interested in.   What made me really want to apply is that Hospitality and Concierge were on the list. CONCIERGE! Can you imagine? (Hello, dream in life being realized!) On the Disney website they pretty much NEVER have this role or front desk because the turn over is so long for part-time and full-time cast members.  Therefore I thought if I were able to get in on the College Program, we may be able to work some Disney magic afterwards.
The problem with this is that I could be offered a role in any of the jobs I listed as interested in, and they include main entrance operations, housekeeping (whoops!) and attractions.  The good thing about this is once you're in, it's easier to stay in, and I've become very talented at making a bed (ask Francel!). So if I do a program in a different role there may be a possibility to switch to a seasonal position in a role that is more relevant to my major.

Now that we have that spiel out of the is the process so far.

I applied online.

I got an email asking me to complete an online interview.

I completed the online interview. Upon completion I was invited to schedule a phone interview.

I completed my phone interview.  20 minutes ago.

It was scary. All interviews are scary.  Why? Because you are trying to sell yourself to someone who listens to thousands of college students trying to sell themselves.  You are trying to make that person see you as someone who should work for the best entertainment company in the world. That's an intense sell.

The lady (I'm a horrible person and forget her name already) was very nice and laid out how the phone cal would go.  She asked me a series of questions to start.  Of course 'Why do you want to do the college program?' was a big one, and she made reference to the fact that I had already worked at Le Cellier ('it's such a great restaurant but so hard to get in to!') Then we talked about roommates and working in the weather (good thing I already live here and did popcorn cart in August!).  She also asked me how I deal with having a ton of things to do at once and I discussed prioritizing and list making. oh dear.

She asked me what my top roles were and I said Concierge/Hospitality then Character Attendant (in my mind character attendants have to deal with a lot of anger...lines being cut off, scared children, saving characters being's like guest relations but in the field!).  She asked me what I thought the difference between concierge and hospitality (front desk) was and I was not expecting that.  I gave my best answer though, and the next question was if I was comfortable putting out food in the club levels, but then answered herself by mentioning all my food and beverage experience...I said yes to and used the example of myself being a banquet captain so I was familiar with the buffet style set up, stocking and take down.

I got asked about a time when guests were upset and I turned the situation around. I told the story about the anniversary couple that was really upset they had to wait a long time to sit, and how I was really excited for them, celebrated their anniversary, and in the end completed their pin set that they had been working on for years by presenting it with dessert. So magical.  (They actually cried and hugged me, and gave me an unreal steamboat Mickey pin, because you 'have to trade').

She asked me about how I would deal with a scared child coming up to a big character and I talked about turning the nervous energy into excited energy, talking about the character, how friendly they are, getting them down to the child's level as well, that sort of thing. Going over to the character together perhaps? I don't know, I've always been a thousand feet tall and only scared of Frolo...who has creepy fake human hands.

She then asked about my student visa and if I had a driver's license.  I think that's about it? She told me I had to wait 2-3 weeks and to continuously check my Disney Dashboard as sometimes the emails get sent to the junk mail folder.  I asked a few questions about the program and extending, and voila - it was over.

Now we wait.

As for the Professional Internships Program:

I applied for a couple of the 'College Program Alumni Only' Professional Internships.  They count the CRP as alumni too thank goodness! The roles vary quite a bit but the two I am most interested in are an International Recruiting Internship and a Guest Relations Internship.  I think everyone and their brother wants to be in Guest Relations so that will be intense, and I think international recruiting would be the coolest thing ever as I've gone through the process twice and being able to be a part of doing that for other people? UNREAL.

I applied and had my interview for those in the beginning of February so I don't remember the questions as well.  I was told (not in my interview but by others applying) that there are about 6000 applications and about 100 Professional Interns, so your chances are slim.  I don't know how true this is, but college program alumni are intense individuals, all with Disney experience and magical examples.

What I wasn't expecting in this interview was all the questions about what I was hoping to gain from the internship.  I had prepared a lot more on the side of what I could bring to them, not exactly what they could give to me, besides experience, knowledge, on the job training and that sort of thing. The interviewer was really nice though (as they always are) and I think it was a good experience.  I have plenty more opportunities to apply for PIs (until the semester after you graduate) so at least I got the chance to see what it was like if I don't get one this time.  I will admit I really want one though.

Applications just closed for the Professional Internships on March 8th (last Friday) so they have to do all the phone interviews for the people who applied recently.  Apparently the individual departments don't even start looking at resumes until about a month from now because of all the phone screen interviews and such.  So we shall see.

I'm horrible at waiting.

So there you have it. I let you in on my big secrets.  My fingers are crossed that something works out, but if it doesn't there are other places I can work until the opportunities come around again.  I can also apply for regular part-time and seasonal positions in a couple months so that's always an option as well.

Plus, there is always Universal? I would look mighty cute in that Harry Potter World wizard hat....