Falling into Disney

Welcome to my blog! I was a participant in the Fall 2015 Disney College Program, with a role in merchandise, and extended into my same role to the spring of 2016. My goal for this blog is to share my thoughts, experiences, and tips as a cast member and your everyday Disney lover!

I chose to name my blog “Falling Into Disney” because I participated in the Fall Disney College Program. I was never one who had their sights set on having a career with The Walt Disney Company, but the opportunity “fell” into my lap, and I haven’t looked back since!

Be sure to also check out my YouTube page and Instagram, and feel free to leave comments, or send me any messages!  Thanks for visiting my blog!

 

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Goodbye Magic Kingdom?

As you might know (or if you didn’t), I’m a part-time Photopass photographer at the Magic Kingdom! It’s been almost a year now of calling the Magic Kingdom my home, and not much has changed…until now!

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Coming up in the near future (early July to be exact), I’ll be trading in one kingdom for another! After almost a year of waiting, I’ve finally received full-time status as a photographer at Animal Kingdom!

Animal Kingdom is the one park I really haven’t worked at. I had one (very short) shift a few months ago, and ironically enough, I had picked up a shift there last week before I knew I would be transferring! I’m still going to have to go through a couple of “training” days once I officially transfer, but I treated that shift like a crash course before my move really happens! I even got to work with my boss!

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One of the things I find funny is, over a year ago when I was first becoming a Photopass photographer, Animal Kingdom was my number one choice to be placed at. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I wound up at Magic Kingdom instead, and was absolutely dreading working on Main Street USA. It was the absolute last place I wanted to be, especially coming from working at a relatively smaller resort (Art of Animation). Who knew a year later, I’d consider that spunky street my home, and would be heartbroken to leave it…

The excitement and weariness keep coming in waves. I’m currently very happy working at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach this summer, and it saddens me that I won’t ever be making an “official” return to Magic Kingdom. But full time status is what I’ve been holding out for, so I’m excited to have finally gotten it! If there’s one thing about working for Disney, it’s that you really need to put in the time to work your way up. You won’t be on the fast track working for such a global company.

No matter the doubts, I’m still excited for this new chapter in my Disney career. Hopefully one day soon(er) I can make another step up the ladder, or who knows! Maybe it’s not my future to work for the mouse forever. But for now, my adventure is still out there!

Cool for the Summer

So I’ve been a Photopass Photographer for about a year now, and this summer I decided to switch things up! Now don’t worry, I’m not leaving Photopass. I am, however, abandoning the Magic Kingdom for the summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working on Main Street USA, and truly being in the center of all the magic. But after a year of it, it can become pretty taxing. I’ve also become very frustrated with Photopass. There are certain areas of Photopass that require special training, aka a “specialty.” When those spots become available you put your name on a list, and hope for the best. After a year of waiting, and putting my name on multiple lists, I’ve become quite tired of the same disappointment. So when a different kind of list dropped for the summer, I pounced at the chance. So where will I be keeping cool this summer?

None other than the Disney Waterparks! Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard beach will be my homes for the summer! So now not only have I worked at all four main Disney Parks and Disney Springs, now I’ve worked at both waterparks too!

I’m definitely excited for the change of scenery and change of pace this summer. After the frustration of still not being selected for any specialties, I needed to escape the kingdom for awhile. I’m hoping this time away will be a good refresher for me as a Photopass Photographer.

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So come splash with me in the waterparks this summer!

I Still Exist!

Look! I’m still here! My last post was all about stress, and a lack of any posting. Yet, here I am, several months later, still without a blog post. I have’t forgotten about my blog or my YouTube channel, I have thought about it, had a couple of flickering ideas, but none of them have caught fire. I go in waves where I’m proud of my Youtube channel and blog, and then another where I feel really embarrassed by it.

I’m still working as a Photopass Photographer in the Magic Kingdom, and I’m actually coming up on my “official” one-year anniversary with the company! I’ll also be temporarily transferred to the waterparks for the summer! As much as I love Photopass, I’ve feeling a little bit in a rut with work. I still have not been trained in any specialties, so I’ve been feeling really disheartened. I’m looking forward to a little change of pace and scenery for the summer!

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again. I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things. I’m going to start with my blog, and try and go from there. So don’t worry, I still exist!

Stress.

So I’ve been away from both my blog and YouTube for awhile now…and honestly there isn’t a real reason for it. I’m stressed. I’m feeling uninspired. I’m feeling alone. I’m scared of what the future holds. But there is always one quote I cling to in the down times:

“Life is like a book, some chapters are better than others.”

Simple, and to the point. I may be having a hard time now, but I’ll get past it, and move onto the next.

Right now I’m just thankful for the very few friends here, and I’ve been trying to work on strengthening those relationships. I’m doing my best to not sit alone at home, and going out and doing things. Even if it is by myself sometimes. Occasionally I just need to get out of the house. So today I took myself out shopping, and had dinner with a friend.

It isn’t always easy, and sometimes things get put on the back burner, but you just got to keep on, keepin’ on. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things.

 

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016!

Would it really be fall in Walt Disney World if you didn’t go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? I think not.

Until I started working for the Walt Disney Company, I had never attended a halloween party. Nor did I really know anything about them…So last year as a Disney College Program participant, I attended my first party! It was more than anything I had ever anticipated, so this year I made sure I was going again!

The first step after buying a ticket, was deciding on a costume for this year! Last year I went with my roommate Laura, and we were Woody and Buzz from Toy Story! So this year I wanted to mix it up. I was going to be attending the party with my friends Michelle and Ashley, so that made for a grand total of 3 people. Since one of our favorite rides to go on is the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, it was only fitting we go as them!

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Since it’s still rather hot out (and we were on a budget), we decided to go for more of a “Disney Bound” type of look, opposed to an all out costume. And since we went that route, we weren’t even entirely sure people would understand who we were trying to represent! Since I was representing Donald Duck, I was the most recognizable. But to our surprise, people really loved our costumes! Some cast members even said they’d never seen anyone go as the Three Caballeros! It felt really good to feel a little unique at such a major Halloween party.

And since we were the Three Caballeros, who else would we meet other than the #1 duck himself?

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Donald was so cute when he saw us in line, he was blowing us kisses and drawing hearts in the air! Daisy even got a little jealous…Then when it was finally our turn to meet them he ran right up to us! We had such a fun meet and greet with them.

Thankfully it only rained very briefly right at the start of our party, unlike last year when it had rained almost the entire time! We spent a lot of time meeting characters, so once we were done with that we watched the Hallowishes Fireworks. We also decided to watch the 2nd parade, and the final Hocus Pocus show at midnight!

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This party was just as fun as last year’s! And since I now work in Magic Kingdom, I also get to work that Halloween parties! So that means I still get to see the fireworks and shows on a weekly basis! If you’re ever on the fence about attending a Not So Scary Halloween Party, I would highly recommend it!

Am I a “Professional” Photographer?

Since I am now mostly settled into my role as a Photopass Photographer, one thing I’ve come to notice is how guests will often refer to me as a “professional.” And that, is something that baffles me every time.

I’ll be positioning a family, or having them pose for a fun, creative shot, or they’ll even be just walking by wanting a photo, and they will say things like “Oh, let the professional do it” or “She’s the professional, she knows what’s best,” that kind of thing.

According to Google’s definition of “professional” it is: someone engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. So technically, under that definition, I am a professional. I am paid by Disney to take photos for guests. I also have a degree in art, where I took several photography courses. Therefore, under that definition, I suppose I would be considered a professional.

But for whatever reason, I can’t get over the mental hump of being referred to as such.  It’s not that I don’t feel that I know what I’m doing. I think it mostly comes from the way guests so openly refer to me as that, before I ever even thought of myself that way.

For now I’m just going with the flow. I am absolutely loving my role as a Photopass Photographer, and now that I am trained with characters, I’m having in more fun. Professional or not, teamwork makes the dream work!

The Start of Something New…

The only good way to title this blog post, was to quote High School Musical. Because, for me, becoming a Photopass Photographer, truly is the start of something new.

Sure, I have a degree in Art from The University of Iowa, and I’ve taken a few photography courses here and there. But I’ve never been what a tourist or some other folks might refer to as a “professional photographer.” And to be quite honest, I’m not sure I can consider myself as such. But being a Disney Photopass Photographer, to most guests, that’s just what I am to them. Which to me, is crazy talk.

Being a “professional” or not aside, my new job is unlike any other I’ve had. My first ever job was as a waitress at a local restaurant. Then I bounced from retail to retail, while also being a rock climbing instructor for 2 years in college. So this job, is truly the start of something new, and I couldn’t be happier.

I am only a little over 2 weeks into my new role, and I cannot express enough how thankful I am to my new Magic Kingdom family. Every cast member I’ve met, Photopass and other roles alike, have been so welcoming and helpful. I was so nervous going from working in a resort for a year to the intimidating Magic Kingdom, leaving my Art of Animation family (my DAARlings), and taking on a brand new, outdoor role.

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The first time I was on Main Street by myself outside of my core training, was fantastic, but extremely exhausting. I definitely took for granted how grueling it is being outside in the heat for 8+ hours.

I got position at the entrance in front of the Train Station, and wow, was it hot. There was not a speck of shade in sight, and as someone who wasn’t used to the heat, I was struggling. I had forgotten my hat, so the sun was just beating down on me, and I was going through my water fast. But this is where a handful of Main Entrance Operations and Security Cast Members went above and beyond, to help me through the heat. We had never met before, much less even had a passing-by conversation. But a Main Entrance cast member came up to me with a damp towel to put on my forehead and neck, which she did so periodically throughout the few hours I was stationed there. A security cast member even came by to refill my water bottle with cold water. They didn’t know me, they weren’t in my line of business, but they went out of their way to help a cast member who was earning their ears and struggling with the heat. For that, I am beyond grateful. Not to mention every Photopass cast member I’ve met has taken the time to introduce themselves, and offer me any help if I might need it.

I’m slowly getting adjusted to the high heat and my location as time passes, but I am so thankful to have had such a warm welcome into the Magic Kingdom. I’m really looking forward to this new adventure!