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!

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!

My New Role!!!

If you follow my blog, or watch my YouTube videos, you’d know I’ve been hinting at my new role! Better yet, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know! After spending 11 months in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort as a merchandise hostess and trainer, I’m moving on to a bigger kingdom! Drum roll please!

My new role is…………………….

Photopass Photographer!!!

Here’s a photo from my second day of training! They wanted us to see examples of magic shots. Since we were earning our ears, we were not allowed to take pictures of guests. So we got to be the models instead!

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Even though I’ve been a merchandise cast member for about a year now, and that was my role as a CP, Photopass  was what I had wanted ever since I applied for my college program in January of 2015. So after working through my CP, and continuing on as a seasonal cast member, I waited patiently for a transfer, hoping a spot would open up with my name on it. And lone behold, in July of 2016 it did!

As I’m writing this post, I’m currently in the midst of my training. The first day was a lot of classroom learning with a mini tour of backstage areas in Animal Kingdom. Day 2 was a touch more classroom learning, and then we were off for some touring and practice shooting of Hollywood Studios! The coming days will consist of some classes at Disney University, and then finally onto more hands-on training in my new home! The Magic Kingdom! 

I’ve been waiting so long for this next chapter, andI couldn’t be more thankful for it. I felt myself falling into a rut here in Florida, and this is a very welcome and exciting change. It can be a little over-whelming at times, but I’m ready for it.

I’ll see you real soon Magic Kingdom!