EvilQueen1937's DIBB Photo Blogs


I went to Cast Connections and it was AMAZING!

I woke up early after my roommates alarm went off at 7. I only had five hours sleep and my feet still hurt from MK but I was raring to go! Taylor, one of my housemates, drove us to Cast Connections. It was a huge warehouse and the first and largest room was full of discontinued Disney stock from the parks. I got a pair of silver Tinkerbell earrings for about $7 and a sorcerer Mickey for $5 - I had been wanting to buy one of these anyway but they are $20 in the park! I also got some Mickey Mouse bobbles for my plaits which were from Shanghai Disney and only cost $1!

There were loads of props and old equipment from the parks in the next room which you could literally buy for a couple of dollars. We aren't allowed to take photos inside and have to show our IDs to get in, but it was really cool! There was also another room which was selling off slightly damaged park stock for dirt cheap. I found the HM snowglobe that the CM told me about yesterday, and it was only $10! It costs over $40 in the parks. I really love it, and all that is wrong with it is that the bat has snapped off the top. But it's also strapped down with sticky tape onto the side so it will only take me two minutes to fix it and it will be good as new! I'm really going to need another suitcase the way I'm going... 😂



We got to Hollywood Studios at about 1 ish and had lunch before visiting some attractions. Back in 2016 when we visited, we found there wasn't much to do in HS, particularly since they shut down the Backlot Tour and other classic attractions. Obviously, Toy Story Land will be opening in a matter of days but until then, there's not much to do! We spent the day watching shows really.

Oooh whilst I'm thinking about it, select CMs get a preview of Toy Story Land! Because I'm so new I missed the deadline to apply but my roommates are all going and I'm very jealous! When it opens, there is two weeks of block out dates for CMs where we can't get back into HS for free, hence why I went today, although I didn't get chance to go on the Rock N Roller Coaster.

I have an adorable story for you all from when we went on the Tower of Terror. It said there was an 85 minute wait but we had nothing else to do so I got in line whilst Taylor quickly nipped to the toilet. I was stood next to a man and his four year old son, who was asking how fast the ride was and if it was scary. I decided to join in the conversation, telling him that TofT was one of my favourite rides and that he was going to love it. Before I knew it, I was engaged in a full blown conversation with the little boy and his dad about the ride. It was the boy's first time in WDW and I could tell he was excited. He showed me his immitation of Donald Duck, his favourite character, and I have to say I was really impressed! It was scarily realistic, and when the boy realised my genuine surprise he quacked his way right to the front of the ride! Taylor and I talked with his dad about what they should do next, and since the boy was a huge Star Wars fan, I told him he needed to go and train to be a Jedi! We talked all the way to the front of the ride, then the father asked us if we wanted to ride with him and his son as a group of four. It was absolutely amazing watching the kid's face when we got on, and he was in hysterics when we got off! It really made my day meeting them and I hope the little boy managed to find Donald Duck to show him his quack!



Taylor and I couldn't decide whether we wanted something sweet or savoury to snack on, so we got both. But don't worry, we shared! We began with a classic Mickey pretzel, then I tried my first funnel cake! It was weird (and very big) but I quite liked it!



We went to watch the Fantasmic show, and I swear I forget how good it is every time. The park was shutting at 9:30pm so we were a bit sneaky and left the show early and absolutely legged it towards the Rock N Roller Coaster. Just as we got there, the digital clock hit 9:30 and we weren't allowed on! Ten seconds earlier and we would have made it!

So yeah, less to say today since it was my first day off and was pretty much a standard park visit. It feels weird that I've written two reports in one day, since I had to do the one from yesterday, this morning! I'm up at 7:30am as I have to be at the Magic Kingdom costuming department for 9:30 to get kitted out for the Emporium! Apparently the training I will do tomorrow is really fun do stay tuned!

Night night 😁


Ocean Florida


I hope you will all forgive me for being late for yesterday's post, it was an incredibly busy day and I didn't get home until 2am so I went straight to bed!

Yesterday morning we started our training. It began at 7:30am so I had to be up at 5:30, to get the bus at 6:30. I was so tired! We had something called "operations" in the morning, which was like a universal training for all cast members. There really wasn't much to say about this even though it lasted a good five hours. It was very tedious and people were literally falling asleep during it! It was all very important information though so I'll try and give a brief outline.

We went into yet more detail about the four keys, particularly safety. Disney are really big on their health and safety policies so our training was very thorough. We had to watch videos about various crisis situations and what to do if they occurred, and also had to do an interactive video training session on the correct way to lift and move etc in order to avoid injury. It wasn't the most interesting of stuff, and 5 hours was a long time to be cooped up in a classroom, especially after getting up at 5:30! But I appreciate the importance of what we learned and I have renewed respect for Disney and the cast members because I now see just how far they go to ensure the safety of the guests!

We got a 15 minute break in the middle. This is probably the most exciting bit of my morning 😂 at various places all over WDW there are cast member merch shops called "Company D". There is one at Disney uni so I visited during my break! They sell exclusive merch just for cast members, and I found a lanyard for my CM ID with a Chatham Square pin which I HAD to get! I also got the luggage label, and the lot cost me just over $5!

We also got a lunch break of 30 minutes but I spent it queuing in the cantine. There were literally no veggie options by the time I got to the front so I ended up with a little fruit parfait thing, which didn't fill me up at all so I was starving.

After lunch, we moved on from Operations which was five hours, to a merchandise specific training which was another two hours. This was much better and more interesting, much less serious and more disneyfied! The guy leading it was a leader at the Emporium too, so he talked about the Emporium a lot, much to my delight!

The days training finished at 2pm so I ran to the bus, hopped on, got home and quickly got changed before jumping back on the bus on my way to the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon...



I got off the CM bus at the contemporary and walked to MK from there. It was my first time using my own ID to get into a park so I was very excited! I was also on my own, as I didn't want to spend the day waiting for people to get ready and having people cancelling on me at last minute after I've waited, which has happened before, so I wanted to go by myself. I had arranged to meet a friend later so this suited me just fine!

I meandered round Main Street, taking it all in. I went in the hat shop to get my ears from Traditions embroidered with "Charlotte CEP 2018" and they told me it would be 30 minutes so I headed straight to Edy's for an ice cream! I met a lovely couple in the queue who were on their last day before flying back home to England. They asked about my program and we had a good natter, before I made my order and took my ice cream outside for the traditional castle pics! Unfortunately, the heavens opened just as I was queueing in Edy's so the sky was all grey and I was battling the rain!

I went and sat under the yellow umbrellas outside Edy's and just watched the world go by. I felt amazing and had a bit of a moment where I realised I was finally here, in my favourite place in the whole world. It was chucking it down and thundering and lightning but I didn't care, it just added to the atmosphere if I'm honest! I was literally sat on my own in the pouring rain on Main Street, eating ice cream. It was FABULOUS!



I went back to collect my hat but it wasn't ready! I was told that they weren't allowed to write "CEP" on them for some reason as it was on a list of unacceptable acronyms. No one could tell me why, and they even rang operations and they didn't know either. But they said you can literally have anything else but not CEP for Cultural Exchange Program. So I got ICP instead, for International College Programs. Very strange, but I still love my hat!



I also bought my first plush and used my 20% off merch discount for the first time! For anyone that doesn't know, I collect Disney plushies and have over 60 at home. I had asked on the Dibb for suggestions of park exclusive cuddlies and someone told me there was a Dole Whip, so I got it straight away from a shop on Main Street!



I stood by the partners statue watching the world go by and watching families take pictures. I kept offering to take them for them so they could get full family photos, and I took about 6 for different families altogether! Eventually one family returned the favour for me which was nice 😁



I love the castle so much so spent a lot of time lingering around the entrance!



I then walked to Liberty Square to go to the Haunted Mansion but the queue once again was huge because of the rain. I went inside Momento Mori again and got chatting to the CM who worked there. She told me about "Cast Connections", a huge Disney warehouse exclusively for CMs which sold slightly damaged or discontinued merch, as well as unused props from the parks! She said she got a HM snowglobe for $3 when you could but it in Momento Mori for over $40. The only thing wrong with it was that a bat had snapped off the top. If she hadn't pointed it out on the display snowglobe I wouldn't have noticed! She said she just painted over with black nail polish and it looked as good as new! I can't wait to visit Cast Connections now, I'm going to need to bring another suitcase home at this rate.

When I left the shop I thought stuff it, I'm going on HM as it's my favourite and I was dying to go on it! So here's a picture of myself with all my old friends 😂



I saw County Bear Jamboree for the first time too, it was cute but I was surprised at all the little innuendos in it!

I went on Big Thunder Mountain after that, as it had just reopened and the queue was short. But there had been some flash flooding which was disrupting it so I still queued for a good 40 minutes.

I then met my friend Rachel, one of the girls who I had stayed in a hotel with before moving into CM accommodation. She was late getting there as she fell asleep, so it was about 8pm at this point. We went on the laugh floor quickly before settling for the fireworks...



...and they were amazing! It was my first time watching the Happily Ever After show, although me and my dad had watched it live over the internet on the opening night.



We then wandered round looking for somewhere to eat, but kept getting distracted by short ride lines! We went on a lot of rides, including the HM for a second time as the 20 minute wait was too good to resist, even though it was about 10pm and we still hadn't eaten!

We also found this lovely photo spot in Fantasyland...I love this photo so much!

It was about 11:30 and the attractions closed at 12 so we legged it to Space Mountain to get on whilst the line was short. It was better than I remember and we laughed all the way around! When we got out, even though the park was open until 1am, we needed to leave as our CM bus was at 1:05 outside the Contemporary.



I had wanted to stay on Main Street to take some good photos whilst it was quiet but we were knackered and really didn't want to miss the bus! I suppose I do have two months to get these pictures 😂

I finally got to bed at 2am. I had been up for nearly 22 hours so I'm sure you can understand why it's taken me until now to update the Dibb! I woke up at 7:30 this morning as my roommate had set her alarm because she has training. It's my day off today though so I'm going to Hollywood Studios woooooo!

Thank you all for continuing to read my posts! I get my costume tomorrow so stay tuned 😁



Wow guys, WHAT A DAY! I can now announce that I am OFFICIALLY a Cast Member! Disney Traditions was amazing, and I now have all the perks of being a CM including free park admission and loads of discounts! Lots of people have headed straight to MK this afternoon but there isn't much time because the big Disney welcome event is this evening at 7:30! So I thought I'd save my energy and tell you all about my day 😁 Further updates are to follow!

***WARNING***

If you are planning on doing the program in the future then DON'T READ THIS POST! It contains Disney Traditions spoilers that you might want to keep as surprises for when you experience it yourself! Otherwise, go ahead and enjoy the read!



Right! Here we go...

So at 7:15am I caught the special coach that they had put on to take us to Disney Uni. We had a strict dress code to adhere to, and had to dress for the Florida heat but also wear formal office-type clothing. It's been stressing us CPs out for months because we had heard you could be sent home if you were wearing the wrong thing!

When we arrived we were taken into the Canteen where we waited for our class to be called. Mine was at 8:50 so I had to wait 20 minutes before I was called. We were shocked at how casual some people had dressed, as Disney make it very clear in their "Disney look" guidelines what we aren't allowed to wear. There were people in denim and trainers. Either they had blatantly ignored Disney's request or there had been a miscommunication, because they had made it VERY clear to us! I was nervous that my dress was too short but it turned out fine.



I was practically weeing with excitement by the time we were called to our classroom! We had to be scanned in with our housing ID and Disney were picking people off one by one because they weren't dressed correctly! I heard a girl being told to go home and come back better dressed, and a guy was literally handed a razor, pointed towards the nearest bathroom and told to shave off his stubble!

Anyway, I sat down with my friends and we eyed up the mysterious box in the centre of the table...



Our names came up on screen one bye one...



Here's my table! We were buzzing with excitement...



On the count of three, Sarah and Laurel, the two CMs running our session, told us to lift up the lid!



And inside were our hats! I'm going to get mine embroidered at some point!



Sarah and Laurel introduced themselves and began the session. They talked about how every single cast member, from the custodians who clean the toilets to the imagineers who design the parks all have one common goal - to create happiness!

We were bribed with rare magnets to answer questions and I answered loads! You can only get these magnets by attending Disney traditions so I was dying to collect as many as possible. I answered as much as I could but they only gave me one! The girl next to me answered loads too and she got three!!!! It's a shame, but it makes my Mickey magnet special...

We watched videos about the history of the company, and of guests finding out they are going to Disney. I teared up a few times! We went through the Four Keys in quite some detail - the phrase here is that "Safe-D begins with me!

After about two hours of work and presentations, we were given a ten minute break. We were then told that they had to assess what we had learned about the keys so far in a 500 word essay at the back of our Traditions booklet. We would be given out another booklet, with more info about the keys for us to refer to. There was some confusion about where these booklets were, and the CMs decided we would have to do something else to learn about the keys......so we went to the Magic Kingdom!!!

I have to say, they fooled me good! I genuinely thought we were going to write an essay, but thank goodness it was just a prank! We were split into two teams, and I got to name my team because I shouted my favourite character the loudest - Snow White!



We arrived back stage at the MK and I have to say, it was quite a sight! I'm not going to ruin the magic for people but trust me when I say it was amazing. I had been in the utilidors in 2016 when my family did the Keys to the Kingdom tour - but this was even better! There was a fair going on at the time, with freebies for Cast Members. Everyone we walked past was super friendly and said hello! We emerged near Casey's Corner at the bit which functions as both an onstage and backstage area, as it is opened up after the fireworks as an alternative exit for guests.

We were walked to Fantasyland and let loose for 15 minutes. We had to find an example of each of the four keys before reporting back to our leader (mine was Laurel). We then went back into the utilidors and got the bus back to Disney Uni!



We discussed what we had learned and then we were informed that because we would be creating so much happiness for guests, the Disney company wanted to create a bit of happiness for us, and a special guest was about to arrive!

Now this is primarily why I posted a spoiler warning at the beginning. I didn't know this was going to happen because I had purposely not read too much about Traditions as I didn't want to spoil it for myself. Unfortunately, a girl sat next to me blurted it out right at the beginning so it was spoiled for me right at the last minute!

Anyway, the mouse himself walked into the room with a big golden box and we all went mad! He walked directly towards me...



He got closer and closer then stood right in front of me!!!!! Of all the places that I could have chosen to sit, I certainly chose the right spot! We were asked more questions and Mickey gave out more magnets, but I was unfortunately never chosen to answer! Probably because I'd answered so much already....



That's Laurel on the left and Sarah on the right, and I don't need to tell you who is in the middle!

There was another countdown then Mickey pulled the lid off to reveal all our Cast Member badges!!!! After Mickey left, the CMs read out our badge names and we collected them one by one.



I was a bit disappointed that it didn't have a more specific location on, as was everyone else, but I'M FINALLY A CAST MEMBER!!!! It felt so amazing to be given that badge, it was as if my whole life had been leading up to that moment!



I'm sure you can tell by the grin on my face how I felt 😂

After this we also got given our blue IDs, which are basically gold dust. They are our Cast Member IDs and will get us all our discounts and access into the parks for free! I've been waiting for mine all week!



Excuse my expression here I was squinting into the sun haha!

We left soon after and we all posed to take photos outside the Uni, and nearly missed our coach as a result! The whole session lasted about four hours so it was quite lengthy, but I think we get paid for it.

The plan for most people afterwards was to go straight to MK using our passes, but by the time we got back to Chatham it was 2:30pm ish, and I have heard it takes a while to get to MK using the CM buses. The Disney Housing welcome event began at 7pm so we would only get a few hours in the park. Because I went yesterday, I decided to give it a miss just for today and instead spent some time with my housemates and skyped home to my family

I made my dad well up - again! It's becoming a bit of a habit this!!! It was also nice to spend time with my housemates as the American girls are always either in bed or at work.

I got ready for the party and headed off at 7pm. I'm here now so I'll post a final update later on before bed!



It was relatively quiet still when I arrived at the "Down By The Bayou" welcome event as everyone was queuing to see Tiana and Prince Naveen! The queue was HUGE, like literally, if you think it's a long queue to see a character in the parks, trust me when I say you ain't seen nothing! 😂 So I decided to give that bit a miss...

It took a while for the party to get into swing but the DJ was keeping people occupied. I won a prize for my bright smile and high five! It's a little Disney's International Programs keychain/stretchy thing, not sure how to describe it! But we all love a good freebie!



I was on my own at first so joined the queue to see Doctor Facilier as he is an extremely rare character and the queue was only about 20 minutes. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to get autographs or spend any real time with the characters because there were so many CMs at the party to get through, but I'm glad I got a picture!



There was also this really cool brass band on stilts marching round telling jokes and playing music. I got some of the free food and tried root beer for the first time, it's disgusting! I met my friends after an hour and a half of being on my own, as they had been stuck in the queue to see Tiana and Prince Naveen for nearly two hours.



We went and got our photos taken at the various stations. The girl in yellow is called Amy and she actually lives only ten minutes down the road from me back at home! I sat next to her in the immigration talk on Tuesday and recognised her broad accent, and we've been friends ever since!



We went to the photo booth next, and of course I picked a Madam Leota hat, since HM is my all time favourite attraction!



We got cute little printed photos of ourselves to keep, and also got a digital copy sent to my email address. I love printed photos, I always think they are such good memories! It will be going in my scrapbook 😁

Normally I don't have a problem with bugs in Orlando because Disney take such precautions to stop you from getting bitten whilst in the parks. So I've been surprised that I've been covered in bites, but only on one leg, nowhere else on my body! My right leg must be extra juicy or something, it's very strange! But tonight it was very hot and humid and I felt like I was being eaten alive. I'm dreading all the little bumps I'm going to find tomorrow, they are so itchy!

I'm all sweaty and gross so I'm going to jump in the shower and call it a night, as merchandise training begins first thing tomorrow morning and I don't want to be late! Again, it's been a pleasure having you all along with me on my adventures, I always look forward to writing my posts and seeing what everyone has commented. I know everyone will be in bed back in the UK by the time I post this so I hope you all dream of dole whips and Mickey pretzels!

Night night 😁






The Disney classroom is a bit jazzier today for our housing talk! Much more cheery than the immigration talk yesterday... there's music playing, disco lights, and the screen keeps giving us facts about Disney College Programs and inspirational quotes from Uncle Walt himself! Here's one of my favourite so far:

"Never get bored or cynical. Yesterday is a thing of the past." ~ Walt Disney

I certainly won't be getting bored on this program!



It turns out the Disney housing talk wasn't as exciting as I had thought, although it was better than the immigration talk! They just told us more scare stories about CMs who didn't follow the rules and got termed, things like that. There wasn't really much new information, but Disney are big on safety so that was basically what drove the presentation.

It finished just after 12pm, and my original plan had been to reluctantly return to Walmart to grab some tights, but another girl I met today who will be working at the Emporium said you can buy them off costuming for a couple of dollars - that will do me!

I got home, chopped up a pineapple and ate a tonne of fruit for lunch whilst I waited for my housemates to come home. Taylor, who is from Alabama, was going to get myself and my French roommate, Delphine, into the Magic Kingdom using her guest passes! However, because she starts work so early we would have to leave whenever she decided to leave. To be honest though I wasn't that bothered because I was just excited to be there once again!

I can't remember ever travelling via car to a park before, except probably when I was very young, so it was nice to see the MK sign as we drove beneath it! I also got to see how the car park works and go on one of those little train things to where the ferry/monorail is. I know I've been on one before because I've seen it on a video recording from when I was two back in '99!



That's Delphine on the left, she is from Paris and will be working in the Pirates of the Caribbean shop in MK - this was her first visit to WDW!! On the right with the grey top on is Taylor, she's from Alabama and is doing the horticulture program. She's been here a month already so has worked enough hours to earn park passes which she very generously let us use today, as well as driving us there and back!

I asked if we could get the boat over so that we got the proper view of the castle as we approached. Taylor filmed as I re-enacted the video from 1999 that shows me waddling towards the ferry shouting "Come on Daddy, be kik!" (Be quick, to those who don't speak two year old child) I sent it to my parents and apparently made my dad cry - again!



Amazingly, we arrived just in time to see the last five minutes of the parade finishing on Main Street. I was both happy and disappointed at this - happy because I got to see some of the parade but disappointed because I couldn't walk in and soak up the usual Main Street atmosphere! It didn't stop me bursting into tears and blubbing an apology to Taylor, who by this point has been to the parks a fair few times since her arrival!



It was busy, but the castle looked magnificent as always. I didn't put much effort into my photos this time because I figured I'd have plenty of time to get great pics with my camera at a later date, and we just wanted to do as much as we could in the little time we had - Taylor wanted to be gone by 6pm.



Standard castle pic after I video-called my family to give them a live video of the Main Street atmosphere!

We went straight to Adventureland and had a look around the Swiss Family Treehouse, before going to the Pirates of the Caribbean so that we could show Delphine where she would be working. It was quite a long queue but well worth it! The heavens opened just as we came out but we just got out my poundshop brolly and went to get a Dole Whip!



Delphine had never had one before so I practically forced one upon her! Luckily she loved it! We ate as we made our way towards the Haunted Mansion at my request, since it's my all time favourite Disney attraction. Unfortunately, due to the rain there was a 75 minute wait and it wouldn't have been fair to make the others wait because we didn't have much time so I made do with visiting Momento Mori and planning my future purchases - once I have my CM discount of course!

We went to Philharmagic then the Teacups, then headed towards Tomorrowland hoping that the Space Mountain queue wouldn't be too long. It was closed! I also noticed all the Incredibles decorations everywhere and I had been after a badge for ages but never found anywhere which was giving them out.

I asked a very lovely CM who said to get them at City Hall, and then Edna Mode came driving up next to us in her little cart! I'm SO HAPPY I saw her, I first found out she would be in MK in this month's DIBBcast and she was on my Disney bucket list! Unfortunately it wasn't a meet and greet, she was just being driven round Tomorrowland waving at everyone. I told her I loved her and she said "Thank you darling" and reminded me that I'm "fabulous"!

Delphine and Taylor had both never been on the Carousel of Progress so of course, I dragged them on! By the time we got out I could tell Taylor was really running out of juice. She had been up since 3am and somehow it had got to 7:30, which was later than she promised to stay out. So I suggested we called it a night as long as I could have a peek in the Emporium and see if I could get an Incredibles badge from City Hall!



We walked back to Main Street and I had my Emporium fix. It was strange walking through and paying extra attention to the Cast Members and their costumes, as that will be me next week!

We went to City Hall but unfortunately they had run out of badges. I was really gutted as I'd been after one since I saw the Incredibles 2 on Sunday but whenever I asked somewhere, I was always directed somewhere else!

As we walked out of the park Taylor became curious about the building next door to City Hall near the exit. I can't remember the name of it now as I write but I will find out! As we walked in, there were two baskets of badges right in front of us, including the Incredibles badges! I grabbed myself one as well as a handful for the rest of our housemates as there weren't many left - I was so happy!

So you can see in the picture I managed to collect a few bits and pieces to remember the Incredibles 2 in the parks. I got the sticker first, back in Tomorrowland in the Space Mountain shop. The nice CM we had spoken to had suggested the sticker as an alternative. The card was given to us by the CM who served us at City Hall as a token apology for not having badges to give us!

And that pretty much concludes my day! The monorail back to the car park broke down so we had to wait a while, then Taylor suggested MacDonalds. She wanted something quick so that she could go straight to bed, and I just wanted a change from all the pasta I've been eating!

I had considered going to the pool when we got back but I just couldn't be bothered! I have to be up at 6 in the morning to get ready for Disney Traditions, but that shouldn't be much of a problem (thanks jetlag).

Traditions will be the best bit so far I think, it's held at the Disney University and we have to dress all formal, adhering to the strict "Disney look" dress codes to be able to attend. There, we will receive our Cast Member badges amongst other cool stuff which I will show you tomorrow!

Thanks again for reading and commenting, I've really enjoyed writing these posts and reading all the comments! Please do excuse any typos or sloppy grammar, it's really difficult to write these updates on my phone and I'm also currently laid in bed very sleepy! If you ever have any questions feel free to ask and I'll try my best to get back to you. Or if you have any cast member anecdotes, I would love to hear them!

Night night 😁



I woke up at the crack of dawn again thanks to jet lag, but I thought I'd make the most of the cool early morning so I went for a walk around the complex!

It's really lovely, all the roads are sheltered by green trees and there are squirrels everywhere! I found the pool, which is a short walk from my house. It looks lovely but I couldn't get a close look because it was before 9am and hadn't opened yet! There is a Toy Story pool party this evening though so I'm sure I'll snap some pictures then!

I had actually forgotten about the pool party, so I made the excruciating decision to put off going to MK until tomorrow as I should probably be social and get to know everyone! I'm going to have a walk to Patterson Court to pick up my Disney bank card, then go to the Commons for my immigration session. Apparently that is right next to the premium outlets so I might just have to have a mooch while I'm there!






I met up with a girl called Rebecca who I met online weeks ago, she will also be in the Emporium with me, so we decided to go to our immigration session together then go to the Premium Outlets!

We met at Patterson Court to collect our cards, which reminds me - I haven't activated mine yet! 😂 Then we walked to the Commons to the classroom where we sat through an hour long talk about our visa and various requirements that Disney and the government have to prevent us from getting terminated, or "termed" as everyone seems to call it. Apparently we have to update the government monthly on our activities, and tell them about a cultural exchange we have experienced. They also told us not to get arrested and not to drink if under 21, and other boring stuff like that. There were lots of horror stories floating around like the CM who got caught with alcohol in her room and was instantly termed, and the guy that didn't listen to a police officer on a night out when told he'd had enough to drink - he apparently got arrested and banned from working for Disney ever again!

After the talk we literally crossed the road and found ourselves at the Premium Outlets! We had read earlier today that our costumes for the Emporium require us to wear tights. I didn't bring any! I have thousands of pairs of tights (primarni specials) and could have brought some if I'd had known, but now I've got to waste my money! We struggled to find any but there was a pair for $17. I'm used to paying 4 for three pairs at Primark so there was noooooo way I was going to buy them! It's so strange, our costume is a skirt reaching the floor so why do we have to wear tights! I'm going to melt!

Rebecca decided we absolutely must have ice cream (good call!), so I got a pistachio and lemon ice cream Sunday in the food court. We swapped stories of our favourite Disney memories, mine (of course) being when I met Mickey when I was 2, as I've described in previous posts. She told me about how she booked a restaurant in MK really late in the evening so that she could watch the fire works with her mum. I can't remember which restaurant, but she said her dad had passed away not long before so they had treated themselves to a trip to WDW. She showed me a picture of Cinderella sat down at the table with herself and her mum, nattering away. Apparently she stayed for ages, and it literally made their night. We both got so choked up and were practically blubbing as we declared our love for Disney and our appreciation for cast members who go the extra mile! I'm glad I'll be working with Rebecca at the Emporium, I hope we have a lot of shifts together!

When I got back home I had intended to go straight to the pool party, but got chatting to my American roommates. They all start work at 3am so go to bed really early, at around 6pm, so I won't really see them in the mornings. We were once again talking about accents and words, and they couldn't believe it when I told them about how an accent can change just by driving ten minutes up the road in the UK. I ended up performing a one-woman show of as many British accents as I could think of! I was rubbish so in the end, we looked it up on YouTube. They couldn't believe it since the UK is so small!



And now for the most stereotypically American thing I have experienced so far!

At 7pm I made my way down to the pool, I was late after spending so long nattering! There was a huuuuuuge queue to get in, as this was an official event put on by Disney, called the "Toy Story Pool Party", and cast members from every housing complex were invited! Luckily, most of these events are held in Chatham, so I don't have far to go.

The queue moved fairly quickly, and it was very busy when inside. I looked around for anyone I knew but couldn't see my friends. We all said we would see each other there but I couldn't find anyone! It turns out they didn't get in and had to go to a pool at another complex.

I wandered round for a bit, trying to make eye contact with someone so I could start a conversation. There was a DJ doing a Toy Story quiz at the beginning, but that's the only thing I saw that was Toy Story related! There was also a massive queue for free drinks and hot dogs, but I couldn't be bothered queuing in the heat so got in the pool instead. I bobbed around and eventually got talking to two lads from the US who arrived two weeks ago.

They were called Chris and Bobby and were really nice! Chris told me he had spent some time at Newcastle University and liked to use English words like "cheers" and "rubbish". I added him on Facebook then we noticed we had a mutual friend - a boy I went to primary school with who lives just round the corner from me back in Lancashire! It turns out Chris had bumped into him on a night out in Newcastle ages ago and added him on Facebook, but we couldn't believe it, it's truly is a small world after all! (Sorry if I just put the song in your heads...)



I wore my specs because I can't see a damn thing without them. There were a lot of French CMs who arrived yesterday with me, and they were doing a lot of chanting. At first I thought it was for the world cup or something, but it turns out there were two rival universities there! They were obviously competitive, and it was so funny to watch them chant opposing songs at each other...it was like something off a film!

Things got even more surreal when they had a dance off. Yes, an actual dance off! I was in stitches, it was so funny! It was a fantastic atmosphere, there were people from all over the world there, and everyone had one thing in common - their love of Disney. I met a few people from all over the US, as well as CMs from France, China, Australia, the UK, Turkey, Ghana, literally everywhere all over the world. We were all there to meet new people and have a good time - and that we did!

The DJ played some Disney channel classics like songs from High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers. It brought out the child in me as I remembered every word and every dance move to "We're all in this together"! It finished at 9pm though which was very strange, it was like I was 13 again and had a curfew! They kicked us all out so they could clean the pool area but told us we could go back in shortly after. The people I had been hanging out with were leaving though, and I had yet to have something to eat so I decided to call it a night.

I showered and made pasta (again) before settling down to update the Dibb! I've loved reading everyone's comments, I can't believe how many people have been reading my posts and commenting, I hope you're finding my posts interesting! They'll get even better on Thursday when I become an official Cast Member, and my merchandise training starts on Friday so stay tuned!



I'm kind of late posting today's updates as it's been so hectic! It's nearly 9pm and I have just made myself some pasta so here goes...

For breakfast at the AofA I decided to be adventurous and try a "chocolate dipped strawberry cheesecake". Can I just say, if you are ever tempted by one of these in a Disney hotel, don't go there. It was awful. It was literally just cream cheese with pink colouring inside a cheap chocolate shell....yuck!

Anyway, we checked out at 10 to head to our cast member accommodation! For those of you who don't know, cast members, particularly international college program participants, can stay in special CM accommodation just outside of Disney. Each of the four have their own benefits and drawbacks - but I literally went for the cheapest room I could find out of the four of them because I want more money to spend in Disney! I'm used to living with a lot of people (12 in first year of uni, 10 in second year) and the maximum here is 8 in a house, so to be honest after my experience of university housing, I decided I could handle anything!

It was a bit of a trauma getting there, as for some reason my Uber app doesn't like my Revolut card when I try to order a taxi, but feels fine to randomly charge me $6 for no reason!

When we got to Chatham Square, my CM accommodation for the next 2 months, we had to pull our cases all the way to the other side from the entrance. This was really hard work especially in the heat, but when we reached the Onboarding station we were rewarded with our Program guides and our ICP lanyards! I was rather startled to find they took our photo for our IDs straight away - mine is awful! I was covered in sweat from pulling my suitcase and my hair was all frizzy 😂



This is my building in Chatham. I was over the moon when I saw which one it was, as it's right next to the entrance and the bus stop. Chatham is huge, so this means I won't have to walk far to get the bus to and from work!

I initially struggled to open the door as my key was dodgy (it has since been replaced) and there didn't seem to be anyone home to let me in. After 10 minutes an American girl called Joyce let me in - turns out she is one of four of my new roommates that are from the US ! They have already been here a month, but were all at work when I arrived.



I found this plate of Brownies that they had made on the counter, along with their names, the states they are from and what time they finished work. I thought this was such a lovely gesture and it really made me feel welcome!

Joyce showed me around the house, and I'm actually really pleased! I thought it would be a bit dingy since I literally chose the cheapest, but it's massive and absolutely spotless. There are 6 of us altogether, 4 from the US, one girl from Paris who arrived after me, then me of course!



So this is my bedroom, I chose the bed on the right since I was there before the French girl and I had first choice! There is tonnes of storage and we have a walk in wardrobe with lockers. According to the other girls, the person who is on the bottom bunk rarely stays here as she has a boyfriend who lives on his own house nearby. That means me and Delphine, the girl from France, pretty much have the room to ourselves!






Here's our bathroom, it's nice and big! I've found that the showers in the US are really powerful, which is a nice change from the dribble that I get from the showers at uni...



The dining room...



And the kitchen! This is the bit I'm probably most impressed with. There's SO MUCH SPACE! At uni I only get a single shelf in the fridge and freezer, and the fridges are tiny. Here, they are absolutely massive and I can pretty much have as much space as I want. We also have a dishwasher, which is a loooovely change from hand washing dishes at university!



Here is part of the living room, my housemates decorated the wall with gorgeous patterned Mickey shapes and I love it!

My housemates are all lovely. When everyone was home we all sat around and talked about ourselves and where we are from. We had a huge debate about what a 'biscuit' is. Of course, to the Americans, it's those weird dumpling/scone things, yet to us they are custard creams, digestives and ginger snaps! Apparently they call those kind of snacks 'cookies', whilst I argued that a cookie is a very specific type of biscuit! It was hilarious, and this debate went on for a good while before we moved on to the definition of a pudding!

Anyway, at 3pm I had to go and sort out my arrival documents. It didn't take very long, then a few of us decided it was time for the dreaded trip to Walmart. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and was starving but had no food, and I didn't yet have bedding to sleep on.

The buses outside Chatham are pretty regular, but the problem was that because it's move-in day, absolutely everyone wanted to go to Walmart! We missed two or three before giving up and jumping in a taxi.

I was literally horrified by Walmart and I never want to go there again if I can help it. It was absolutely massive to start with, and I didn't know where to start. I grabbed some bedding and some towels before starting my food shop. Everything was packaged and processed, and even the healthy stuff looked unhealthy. I was hoping to make corned beef hash for my American room mates but there wasn't any gravy! I decided I was going to live off pasta and got three massive jars of sauce instead. The shop cost me about $90 in total and my bags were so heavy! I waddled to the bus stop and we managed to get one pretty quickly. It took quite a while to get back because we stopped at Publix as well as the other three cm accommodation, (Vista Way, the Commons and Patterson Court). No one was around when I got back to my house, so I made pasta and decided to chill for the night! I think a lot of CMs have gone to the pool tonight but I really don't have the energy! Plus, two of the American girls have guest passes to the Disney parks and have offered me them, so I'm planning an afternoon in the Magic Kingdom tomorrow! I'm very lucky, as we don't get our passes until Thursday at Disney Traditions so most people have to wait until then! I'll be missing a pool party at Chatham but I think it's a price worth paying for the Happily Ever After fire works!



Anyway I'm going to call it a night! Thank you for everyone who has been commenting and following my adventures, I'm exhausted and still suffering from jetlag but steadily plodding along, running on Disney magic of course! Tomorrow I plan to have a gentle morning before a CM meeting at 1, then spend the afternoon and evening in the Magic Kingdom......yay!

Night night!



Today we all woke up at around 5 or 6 am thanks to our body clocks! I got up and skyped my parents then we all got ready to leave for the Polynesian. As we were walking towards the transportation at our hotel we stumbled across Max! Of course, it's father's Day so we quickly got a badge each saying "I'm celebrating CEP 2018" then we had our photo taken!



The character attendant told us we just caught Max and that Goofy was on his way so we waited a little bit longer! 😍

It was torture arriving at the Magic Kingdom and being unable to go inside...I could see the castle and it was calling to me! We are currently on the Monorail on our way to the Polynesian, very excited!!!



The Polynesian is rather gorgeous! The Grand Floridian is to my left, the Contemporary to my right, and MK directly in front! It's such a chill atmosphere, I could fall asleep...



Well. I'm absolutely stuffed and I couldn't eat another bite! The Ohana breakfast was so good, we seemed to barely make a start on all the food they put in front of us! We also got to meet Pluto, Lilo, Stitch and Mickey which was amazing! Pluto was in a lazy mood today and wouldn't do as the character attendant told him, he kept trying to lie down and wouldn't get up until someone patted him! 😂

The Polynesian resort was also beautiful, but not quite as breathtaking as the Grand Floridian. I had never been there before and wow! I'm certainly impressed! Unfortunately, even with my cast member discount I can't afford to stay there 😥

We are now on our way to Disney Springs to watch the Incredibles 2 😎



I was so tired yesterday I forgot to finish off my post!

The Incredibles 2 is AMAZING guys, you have to go and see it as soon as it comes out! I also discovered grape Fanta...the flavours in the US are so weird! I found the cinema to be a lot better than UK cinemas, with reclining seats, a huge screen and a choice of hundreds of drinks. It only cost $10 too, which I was surprised about since we went to the one on Disney Springs. The only thing that bothered me was the number of people that though it ok to talk throughout the film! It was really annoying, and people were getting up and moving around every two minutes too...I'm glad that doesn't happen back in the UK.

When we emerges from the cinema we got caught in a HUGE rain storm - and I was the only one who had brought my raincoat! 😂 Luckily, we made it back to the hotel to get changed and wait for it to finish. When the pools opened again we went down for half an hour, meeting some other girls we had met. It was quite chilly though so we didn't last long! I was too tired to do much more after that so I stayed in the room. I think we are all more than familiar with that end-of-day feeling you get after a full-on day at Disney 😂


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Park Hours - Sunday 24/06/2018

WDW & Other Florida Park Hours
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
9:00am
~to~
12:00am
Epcot
Epcot
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:30pm
Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Studios
9:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Blizzard Beach
Blizzard Beach
10:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Typhoon Lagoon
Typhoon Lagoon
10:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure
9:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Universal Studios
Universal Studios
9:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay
9:00am
~to~
9:00pm
SeaWorld
SeaWorld
9:00am
~to~
9:30pm
Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
10:00am
~to~
10:00pm
Aquatica
Aquatica
9:00am
~to~
8:00pm
Legoland
Legoland
10:00am
~to~
7:00pm
Legoland Water Park
Legoland Water Park
10:30am
~to~
6:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Extra Evening Hours Extra Late Hours for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of Florida Park Hours

Disneyland Resort Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
8:00am
~to~
12:00am
Walt Disney StudiosCalifornia Adventure 8:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
10:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of West Coast Park Hours

Disneyland Paris Park Hours
Disneyland Park
Disneyland Park
10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
11:00pm
Walt Disney StudiosDisney Studios 10:00am
Extra Morning Hours~to~
8:00pm
Extra Morning Hours Early Entry for On-Site Hotel Guests.
Full Schedule of DLP Park Hours

US Dollar Rates
Cash/Travellers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  $1.3102
M&S  $1.2813
Travelex  $1.2943
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  $1.2953
FAIRFX  $1.2970
Travelex CP  $1.2943
Updated: 14:01 24/06/2018

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Euro Rates
Cash/Travellers Cheques
Covent Garden FX  €1.1218
M&S  €1.0994
Travelex  €1.1121
Prepaid MasterCard Rates
CaxtonFX  €1.0982
FAIRFX  €1.1125
Travelex CP  €1.1121
Updated: 14:01 24/06/2018