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Old 10-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
bellebookworm9
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"So Do You Live at Disney World?" My Eight Months as a WDWCP-1700+ Photos!

Hey! I'm Gretchen, and I spent January through August of 2012 working at Epcot. Half of that was as a college program participant, and the other half was as a seasonal cast member. Some of you may remember that I had a blog that discussed aspects of working at Disney that I was encouraged to make private. This "trip report" will only consist of things that do not relate to working.

Right now I am currently also writing a Pre-Trip Report for our upcoming December trip, which is up in the air right now due to financial issues. I'm a first year graduate student at the University of Buffalo studying for my doctorate in clinical audiology. I'm 21 years old, and I love reading, Grey's Anatomy, and Harry Potter. And of course, I love Disney and answering questions about Disney. Ask me anything!


So, how did I come to be a WDWCP? Well, in November 2010, my college announced the deactivation of my department-Communicative Disorders and Sciences. While I would be allowed to finish my degree, it really put a damper on my experience. And when my mom and I went to Disney World in October 2011, I seriously considered applying for the college program. I only needed 12 elective credits in spring 2012 to graduate, and I could either get them taking useless things like Calculus and Latin, or I could get them while working at Disney. No brainer, right?

So I applied on October 17th, had my interview on October 23rd, and was accepted to the program after nearly three long weeks of waiting, on November 11th. (11-11-11!) I was accepted for Main Entrance Operations and would be checking in to the program on January 11th. Two months from acceptance to arrival.

In the meantime, I did some prep work. First my purple postcard came.


I booked flights on Southwest (needed those two free bags!) and a one night stay in a studio at Old Key West, booked through a DVC member. I ordered some guidebooks from the school library (although I basically have the UG memorized anyway, and I never actually made it over to Universal or Sea World. I bought vacuum seal bags for the first time, and they made all the difference in the world.



And finally the day came when it was time to depart!
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23/2015-Art of Animation?? *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 10-29-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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Table of Contents
Prior to Beginning

January
January 10th-Part 1
January 10th-Part 2
January 10th-Part 3
January 10th-Part 4
January 11th & 12th
January 13th
January 15th-Part 1
January 15th-Part 2
January 15th-Part 3
January 15th-Part 4
January 16th
January 18th
January 21st
January 22nd
January 24th
January 25th-Part 1
January 25th-Part 2
January 26th
January 27th
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23/2015-Art of Animation?? *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)


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Old 10-29-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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Arrival Day!

A few days before I was supposed to leave, I fell down the stairs and hurt my knee. It was diagnosed as a sprain, and I was given painkillers and advised to rest it and ice it. But they didn't tell me I couldn't go!

January 10th came dark and early. My bags were packed and ready to go, and my mini-countdown calendar was crossed off.



Mom and I headed to the airport around 6am, stopping so I could get breakfast on the way. We parked in the long term lot, not far from the walkway to the terminal. Upon entering the airport, we found we were on the ground level near baggage claim so took the elevator upstairs and walked down to the Southwest check in counter. I printed my boarding pass and weighed my bags. My biggest suitcase was exactly 50 pounds! Then Mom and I walked towards security where I prepped to go through, then we said "See you in 30 days!" (she was coming to visit). I walked through the security queue and Mom went off to the side to watch me. There was no wait and I got right through.

Even when I have a plan I feel like an unorganized frump walking through security. I had to take my laptop out of my bag and put that in a bin, as well as my 1 quart bag of liquids. My jacket and shoes had to go through the scanner as well. Then the carry on itself. I almost forgot to take off my belt, and since it has metal grommets all the way around it that definitely would have set the detector off!

After that mess, I waved goodbye to Mom and headed for Gate 18. There weren't many people there yet so I grabbed a seat next to the window.


I tried to get myself reorganized which was quite a challenge. Then I wanted a drink and since I was traveling alone I had to take all my stuff with me. Ugh. I went across the way to Which Wich and got a bottle of apple juice. Then I came back over. I people watched, played Solitaire on my computer and listened to music. Just after 8am, we started boarding. I had boarding number A53. There were a lot of older people in wheelchairs who needed to pre-board so they took a while. Only one person was in business select (the first 15 As), so I wasn't too far back in line.

When I got on the plane I saw that the pre-boarders and the 30 or so people ahead of me had taken up a lot of the front, so I walked toward the back, and sat on the right side (facing front) window seat right on/behind the wing. The flight was completely full so I did have two other people sitting in my row. The flight was smooth and calm as always. I had a sprite and a 100 calorie pack of Honey Graham Cinnamon Roll cracker things. During the flight I listened to my iPod.

We landed about 25 minutes early, around 11. Of course, since there were so many people ahead of me I had to wait awhile to deplane. Once I got off, I called Mom and walked down the terminal before stopping in the bathroom. Then I headed towards the shuttle train and arrived in the main terminal. I had no problem finding Magical Express and when I arrived the queue was empty as usual. I've never seen it full. I was directed into line 3.


I only waited about a minute before being directed to a bus. At that point there were only three other people on the bus, two grandparents and their young grandson. We waited about 15 minutes before we left, and in that time some more people got on. The bus was about 2/3 full.

[IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6JmIeFDSfkQ/Tw4JmZ1X_**/AAAAAAAAKUQ/OHV9KJWEJc8/s800/DSCN0652.JPG[/IMG]



We were informed that there would be only two stops, at Old Key West and then Port Orleans French Quarter. Along the way I saw Characters in Flight.


Finally we were approaching the arch! And thanks to the fact that the grandpa ahead of me moved his head, I was able to get the best picture of it I've ever taken.



Just a few minutes later, I saw this sign.


As we pulled into the resort I was thinking how pretty the buildings were. Approaching the Port Cochere, there was an ambulance at the drop off point and some EMTs with a family checking out a lady's leg. A CM came running up to us and asked if the driver could just drop us off quickly in the first loop where the normal buses stop, so he did. I received my carry on and headed to check in and start the next phase of my life that would change me forever.
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23/2015-Art of Animation?? *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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Joining in! This sounds like fun! Hope you liked OKW as much as we do!
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DL - 1967 | WDW - 1973 (Orlando) | WDW - 1980 (Kissimmee) | WDW - 1985 (Kissimmee) | WDW - 1997 (Contemporary) | WDW - 2007 (Old Key West)
DVC - May2010 - OKW | Nov-Dec2010 - AKV/BWV | May2012 - BLT/VWL | Sep2012 - Aulani (30th anniversary) | Dec2012 - Aulani (DD honeymoon) | Oct2013 - BCV | Jun2014 - BWV | Oct2014 - DCL/BCV | Aug2015 - DCL Alaska | Dec2015 - BWV

The "Don't mess with the CMs/take less photos TR" Jun14 @ BWV
Oct13-BCV - MNSSHP, F&W, Wild Africa Trek
Sep12-Aulani - Sharks, horses, a submarine scooter, luau & Mickey
May12-BLT/VWL - Don't tell Mickey! It's NOT a bug's life! That's a dolphin's WHAT? Where's the ER? Is that a body? Seaworld, Discovery Cove, IoA, Space Center
Nov/Dec10-AKV/BWV - Backstage Magic Tour; V&A; Lots of pics and video
May10-OKW - DDP cost analysis; Wishes Dessert Party; Fantasmic
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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I'm along for the ride!
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #6
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I'm in! Its my dream to work at WDW!
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #7
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Great start! I want to move to Disney and work for them SO BAD! I can't wait to read about your experience.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #8
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I'm really enjoying your trip report!

Looks like you've had a great time

Can't wait to read more
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October 2013: DLRP Hotel Cheyenne
~ October 2014: WDW Art of Animation?


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Old 11-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
bellebookworm9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstickets View Post
Well....someone is a Draco Malfoy fan!

I LOVE Flaming Tree BBQ! It is perhaps my favorite QS in all of WDW. I hope the birds didn't bother you while you were eating.

We haven't seen FoTLK since 2007. Any truth to the rumor that it will close soon? I hope not...at least until we make it there next October.

Your TR is great....keep it coming!
That would be Christina. But all of us really loved Harry Potter (I never made it over to Universal and the Wizarding World, and I'm really sad about it). The birds didn't bother us at all! They were there, but never came too close. I hope FotLK isn't closing. I haven't heard that rumor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newlittleminnie View Post
I'm really enjoying your trip report!

Looks like you've had a great time

Can't wait to read more
I'm glad you're enjoying it!
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23/2015-Art of Animation?? *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 11-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #10
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I'm a Fall 2013 CP hopeful and I'm absolutely loving hearing about your experiences during your time at Disney! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyfan'08 View Post
I'm a Fall 2013 CP hopeful and I'm absolutely loving hearing about your experiences during your time at Disney! Can't wait to read more!
Good luck, I hope you get accepted! It was literally the best experience of my life.
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23/2015-Art of Animation?? *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #12
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January 16th, 2012

Monday morning, I woke up kind of late. Marissa and I needed to go to the Outlet Mall, which was literally 4 minutes from our apartment, for work shoes. After nearly getting into a fight with someone over a parking spot (we were there first ), we made our way to the Nike outlet. They had a pretty poor selection. (I needed white, no/non-contrasting logo sneakers made of a polish-able material, and Marissa needed the same in black.) Next we headed to Famous Footwear...and discovered that it was specifically for men and we needed to go to another location in the outlets for the women's shoes. We found that without too much trouble and got the shoes we needed. We also made a stop in Icing so I could look for a black headband (mine got smashed in my luggage on the plane) but I didn't find anything.

When we finished there, Marissa drove me to Epcot and dropped me off at the front of the park. This was around 1:30.



I headed straight for The Land. I was going to meet up with Michelle (a DIS friend) and her family, but they were at The Seas having lunch, so I went to Sunshine Seasons (my favorite counter service on property). The FPs for Soarin' were from 6:40-7:40pm and I wasn't planning on staying that long, and the standby line was about 75 minutes, so I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be riding that day.

I decided to step out of my comfort zone at SS and got the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, plus my old favorite of Strawberry Shortcake.



I found a seat pretty quickly and ate. The salad was different, but pretty good. I don't know if I'd get it again, but I'm glad I tried it. The shortcake was heaven as usual. I figured Michelle was still at lunch so I decided to wander and see what caught my eye. I found myself in Future World East and saw that Test Track's single rider line only had a 20 minute wait so I got in line. I was picked to take the wait time card! I've never done that before! It was definitely less than 20 minutes and soon I was outside on the track going 65 MPH.

After that was over, Michelle and family were back at the Land, so I walked back that way and we met up. Her family was so nice, and much to my surprise, I was able to ride Soarin' with them because her son has a Guest Assistance Card, so we were able to use the FP line. We were in Row C3. Definitely not the best location; it's obvious where the screen ends which kind of ruins the illusion, and it's also easier to discern the curve in the screen.

After our hang-gliding experience in California, her son was ready to go home so we said good-bye. I really enjoyed meeting you, Michelle! Then I headed over to Mission: Space.


The green side only had a 5 minute wait, and it was literally just the pre-show parts. I was engineer again, and was put in a capsule with an older couple who had never ridden before. I assured them it was fun and I think they enjoyed it.

I was getting ready to leave as well, but first I had two stops to make in World Showcase. The first was to Karamell Kuche in Germany. The line was kind of long and only one girl was working the case, but that gave me plenty of time to decide what I wanted: The Milk Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cluster. I've had it before and it was just as good this time.


Then I backtracked to Norway and Kringla Bakeri. Last time I was there I debated getting the Berry Cream Puff, but went with the school bread, so today was time for the cream puff.


I ate it when I got home and it was just okay. The berries were good, but the cream was not what I was expecting. I thought it would be sweet, like whipped cream, and it wasn't. The CM at the register was very friendly, and told me how to get backstage to go back to the CP bus that would take me home. I exited through a CM door near the Norway restrooms and found myself literally across from the building where the bus picks up. When I got to the stop, the bus was waiting. Perfect timing!

The ride home wasn't too bad, and we were the first stop. Here are the signs for the apartment complexes. First one is the complex across the street where the bus stop is and the second is my complex.

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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/15-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23/2015-Art of Animation?? *10/28-11/1, 2015-Disney Cruise Line (Magic)

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:09 AM   #13
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Another late comer here. Your experience sounds amazing so far. I wish I had done something like this when I was younger.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:54 AM   #14
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Great update and pics.

I love 50 PTC. That shake is the best.
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