Monday, February 27, 2012

Grocery Bingo!

So Disney College Program has all these exciting activities for us to go to, but I've always been working when they are scheduled.  I was thrilled this morning when my roommate, Kiara, mentioned she was going to Grocery Bingo tonight.  Monday and Tuesday are usually my days off, so we decided we would go.  I got there a full hour early for a good seat, and Kiara joined me a half hour later.  We got the third and fourth seats available. Heck yes.

So what is Grocery Bingo, you may ask?  It's Bingo, just instead of money or bragging rights, you win groceries!

So we start playing right at 6, and a few minutes into it, two girls scream out bingo!  The bingo caller tells us to NOT clear our boards, and the two girls' boards are checked out and okayed.  Then, the very next number they called gives ME a bingo!  So I shout BINGO as loud as my slightly sore throat would let me, and fought my way up to the desk people.  They approved my board, and the bingo caller had a quick interview with me. She asked me my name, my school, and my job. A guy recorded the entire 'interview' and then I was escorted to the back of the room, where I was handed this ridiculously amazing load of spoils.
I was under the impression that the winners got a moderately sized bag of groceries, not 3!  Here's closer views of my spoils, minus a 4 roll pack of toilet paper that has already been put to good use.

The ironic part? I went to Walmart this morning with Leslie and her mom.  But you know what? I'll take the free groceries.  I'll enjoy every bit of them. And hopefully, they will last me another month or two.  Hurray!!!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Minnie Mouse Photo Shoot

Yesterday I worked til 1:30 AM. I brought my camera along with me, and had a little photo shoot during a dead set.  Here is Town Square Theatre at Magic Kingdom, where I spend most of my days.

Special thanks to my attendant who was so willing to have a fabulous photo shoot, and thanks to my Mickey who was equally as willing. We had so much fun thinking of poses.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 24, 2012

my Brother, Nate the Great

This handsome young man turned 12 yesterday. 

I still remember waking up 12 years ago and hearing my grandparents talking on the main floor. This was when Dana and I shared a room upstairs, and we were almost finished on my room in the basement. I assumed that grandpa was here to work on the room, so you can imagine my excitement when grandma walked in and asked us if we wanted to go meet our little brother. 

Nate, I held you for hours on end. You liked to play 'snatch Courtney's glasses from her face', and you always stopped crying when I held you. 

Nate the Great is my absolute favorite brother.

I"m sorry I'm all the way across the United States for this big birthday.
I'm sorry I don't have a birthday present for you.

I love you, Naters. Of all the brothers in the world, I'm so glad you're mine.

happy birthday, Nate!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

{Love, love love}

I know I just recently did a post on how much I love my job. Sorry that this one is a more specific version of that post.

Two days ago, I was friends with Mickey at Animal Kingdom. This little 7 year old approaches me with a red notebook, and a nervous look on her face. she hands me the book, and I motion for a pen so I can sign it for her.  This is when her dad pipes up and says "the book is for you, Mickey. She's been working on it for 2 months".  So I clap my hands and motion for her to open the book up for us to look at.  She slowly opens the book and we flip through a few pages. I would have sat down and read each and every page, but due to limited interaction (she was incredibly star struck) and an extremely long line, I only took a few minutes to look at it with her.

I huged the life out of her, and sent her and her dad on their way. My attendant took the notebook and I finished off my set.  After the set ended, and I was backstage, my attendant and I took a few minutes to look at it in depth. She wrote the cutest sentences! Not to mention her adorable spelling errors.

Here's a sample of the notebook:
"Disney is a dremeing plas. Disney is a genyis, you know that rit Mickey. Oh by the way merry christmis. Disney is where my dreams com chro (true). Youre my BFF you know that rit."

So as I'm oohing and aahing over the notebook while I eat my lunch, I realize her mom had written her daughter's name and address on the first page.  Genius mom!!

Me being me, I decided to write Izabella a letter from Mickey Mouse, thanking her for her notebook present.
It's going in the mail tomorrow. I wrote it using Mickey's personal handwriting, and used my Mickey Mouse stationary.

I hope this is the Magic Moment to end all Magic Moments for this little girl.  She was so sweet, and I hope this keeps Mickey and all his magic alive for her for years to come.


Monday, February 13, 2012


Once upon a time, Disney was all into pin trading. They realized that not many people were trading pins, because they would buy pins they wanted, and didn't give away those pins for something else.
I was one of those people. I bought every single Tinkerbell pin out there, and never traded a single one.  Why would I when I liked what I already had?

So then Disney came out with Vinylmations. The twist with this was they came in a completely covered box. You had no idea which Vinylmation you were buying. Disney did this in hopes that people would trade them more than the pins were traded. Of course, some Vinylmations have a clear window in front so you know what you're buying there.

At first I didn't get them. I still don't completely get them. I hate buying things that I can't physically see. That's why I don't shop online. I'm a tangible person when it comes to shopping.

But on my first or second day of Character training, someone mentioned that people will buy the blank Vinylmations and have characters sign them. Once that idea got in my head, I could not get rid of it. So before my 40% cast discount expired, I caved and bought a mauve colored blank Vinylmation.

Here's what I (and Connor) have done to it.

I love it! There is still obvious spaces left that I will have to fill later. I am still debating if I am going to stick with fur characters, or expand into some face characters. Obviously I am not friends with some of these characters, but my new performer friends are friends with these characters, so they made it onto the Mickey.

We will see if I trust face characters enough to sign it. I've got 4 months to make up my mind...


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tips From a Character Performer

It's been over a month since I got here, and since starting work, I have put together a list of tips for a good interaction with a fur character, and tips for a good autograph from said character.

1. Approach the character head on. If there is a large group of people meeting the character, try your best to make the character aware of how many of you there are. Once he or she knows how large your party is, you can approach in a group. Doing this will ensure you don't get whacked in the face by the character, and usually means everyone will be included in the picture.

2. Some parents will encourage their little ones to stand as close as humanly possible to the character at the beginning of their interaction. With characters like Goofy and Donald, they can't see below their mouths, so kids have the ability to disappear in certain areas. If your child goes and stands really close to the character, tell them to back up a bit so they can see them.

3. If your kid punches, slaps or grabs hold of a character's face,tell them or make them let go immediately. It's not cute. It's also not good for the characters. It hurts, and the characters do not appreciate it.

4. If you have a Sharpie for the character to use to sign the autograph books, try telling the character that. Here's and example, "Here, Mickey, we have a Sharpie for you to sign with!" or simply, "Here's a Sharpie, Mickey". That way, the character knows the pen could stain their gloves or skin, and will take extra care in taking the pen from you.

5. Stop with the tiny pens! You can't be serious, people! Have you seen the character's gloves? If the pen is smaller than the palm of your hand, don't give it to a character. If the pen has a sticky gel grip, don't use it either. It gets stuck on the character's gloves and they have a hard time twisting and gripping the pen.

6. Pretty, pretty please hand the autograph books to the character open to the page you want them to sign on.   Characters don't have fingernails or fingerprints, which means turning pages is incredibly difficult for them. When characters put the palms of their hands together, then open them up like a book, they are telling you to open the dang book for them.

7. Be prepared ahead of time. Have your books open, your pens uncapped or clicked open, and your camera turned on and ready to take a picture. Always check that the camera isn't set to record.

8. Last, have fun with them! Tell a joke, do a funny pose, anything! Kids that walk up, take a picture and leave aren't taking advantage of all the training these characters have gone through.

Have a Magical day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

{Happenings at Work}

Today, a young woman got down on one knee and proposed to Donald Duck.
No joke.
And Donald was so surprised that he had no idea what to do with himself.

And on the exact same day, Donald saw two of his friends, which was very exciting for him.
But then one friend posed a question that he honestly couldn't answer.
Which was embarrassing.

And better yet, on the still same day, an adorable little girl almost fell asleep on his lap.
So incredibly precious.

Can anyone tell I love my job?

Almost every day comes with incredible moments. Some don't seem so incredible in the moment, and some just scream "isn't this amazing, Courtney! Don't you love life here?!"

Two days ago, Mickey was asked to autograph the photo of a newlywed Japanese couple. The picture had the bride and groom in their beautiful white attire, and Mickey and Minnie hugging them. They were married at the Disney Wedding Pavilion, which has the most amazing view of Cinderella's Castle, and a huge price tag. I felt so honored to be the one signing that picture. Sorry, Mickey felt honored. Let's clarify that.

Every day I meet Make A Wish children and their parents, and I just want to spend hours with these kids. Sometimes the kids I meet have disabilities, and they are so sweet! The characters are real to them, and it always gives me a fresh burst of energy. 

Most days, when my attendant says "5 minutes left, Mickey!" I don't want to end my set. I could spend hours at a time out meeting people. Granted, the sweat rolling down my back and the headgear burrowing into my scalp aren't so pleasant. But really, I can't complain. The magic moments completely make up for it.

Much love to you all!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My daddy

After almost a full month of being down here, my dad happened to have a business trip in Tampa. He decided to drive down to Orlando. He picked the Caribbean Beach Club Resort for our hotel, and my wonderful 50% off cast member discount made each night cheaper than a normal price day at the value resorts.

The resort is huge, to say the least, and the rooms were Finding Nemo themed.

It was so dang cute! And the TV case was my favorite piece in the room. I want one for my future home.
I'll just show it to you.
I love, love, love, love, love the color. love. The open cubby parts at the top, not so much, but other than that I wanted to dismantle it and put it in my backpack for later.

Wow. Tangent. So sorry

We spent the day at Animal Kingdom and had a great time checking out all the animal habitats and riding the two attractions available there.
My apartment mate, Kiara is a Kilimanjaro Safari driver, so I requested to ride on her safari. She did an amazing job! Here's an adorable picture of her in her cute little safari outfit.

We hit almost the entire park in one day. We missed the birds show and something else I can't remember now. We saw both the Finding Nemo and Festival of the Lion King shows. We saw all of Africa, Rafiki's Planet Watch and all of Asia. We were handed fast passes to Expedition Everest and walked right on the ride. We went another time and waited probably 40 minutes. To top our day off, we met a few celebrities.

Dad's on an airplane on his way home now. I miss him already. And then I go open up my backpack of things he brought for me and find a bag filled with chocolates that my mom sent me!