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Unread 9 Jul 18, 03:08 PM  
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Having Dinner with Goofy
EvilQueen1937's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 18
Location: Lancashire, England
Cast Member Charlotte (Disney's CEP 2018!) Days 19-22

Hello everyone, long time no see! Again, there hasn't been much to report as it's just been business as usual and I haven't had much play time as I've been so tired! My shifts have been late ones and I've not been up to much else, so I'm going to squish the past four days into one Dibb post if you'll forgive me! I'll be writing about Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with today being Monday, my day off! I'm going to the Animal Kingdom soon but wanted a chilled morning to start.

So! I spent Thursday morning at the pool with my friend Rachel, who I had spent the evening nattering to the night before. It was very warm that day and the pool was so cool and lovely, and there was hardly anyone there so we were able to have a good natter! Rachel is a Custodial Cast Member at ESPN so she was telling me all about her training and how work was going. It was great to have a catch up for a couple of hours before my hectic shift!

I found a little frog in the pool at one point and it looked like it couldn't get out so I picked him up and moved him to a more frog-friendly location. He was really cute and was quite happy sat on my hand while I gazed upon him with wonder, before setting him down in the bushes next to a nearby pond. I later found another little froggie who was slightly bigger and was sat in a similar position to the first! Turns out there's loads of frogs by our pool 😂 Anyway, I left her alone initially but after a couple of other CMs started prodding her with a coke bottle I decided it was time to relocate her to where the first froggie was in the hopes that I'd spark a new froggie romance and they'd have lots of tadpole babies in the pond that I chose for them.

Anyway, enough about frogs! 😂

Thursday evening was my first shift not on training! I didn't take of my "earning my ears" ribbon though because I get the impression guests are nicer to you if they think you're still training. I tell you what though, I had a great shift!

I can't remember what time I started but I began the afternoon as a "sales ambassador" in zone 2, which is where all the homeware is in the Emporium. I was given an IPad and I basically got to walk round talking to guests and looking stuff up on my tablet. It was a lot of fun as I kind of got to do what I wanted, and I also had my second magical moment!

I got talking to a Brazilian couple who asked me if there were any baby giraffe plush anywhere. Those of you who have been to WDW recently, do you remember those little baby Disney charactersl plush that are wrapped in a little blanket? Well this couple was after a giraffe, which my IPad told me you could only get in the Animal Kingdom!

Anyway, I apologised to them because we didn't have the giraffe and asked them when they were leaving. They were unfortunately leaving the next day, so I apologised again and asked them who they were shopping for. The woman pointed to her belly and told me that they were shopping for their new baby! They had just found out they were expecting a little girl and had named her Alice, and their Disney trip was in celebration of the event! Apparently they were collection giraffe merch because that's how they were going to decorate her room. I told them to wait there, and I went and grabbed them two "I'm celebrating" badges, where I wrote "Baby Alice" and drew a little Minnie Mouse on each. They were ever so grateful and really lovely, and I wasn't sure if Disney had a way to order the giraffe and have it sent to their home, so I went to get another CM. Unfortunately it wasn't possible, but that CM did a "no strings attached" for the couple which allowed them to pick any of the other baby plush out from our collection. They were overwhelmed and really grateful, so I pointed them towards the plush zone and went about my own business. A few minutes later I saw them in the queue for the registers, they had picked out a cute baby Dumbo plush! I said goodbye and wished them luck, and again, went about my business.

Later on, another cast member came up to me and asked if I had been the one to help out the pregnant couple. Apparently they had complimented me to that cast member when they were checking out at the register, so the CM was going to tell my leader what I had done so that I could earn a "grape soda"!

Now the "grape soda" system is a way for cast members to recognise each other for great things that they have done. They stay on your record with Disney and are seen as evidence to show how you have been using the four keys. Hearing that I was going to get one on my first day out of training set me off grinning like a Cheshire cat for the rest of the night! I checked the Hub later on and it hadn't been updated yet, but I did find two other grape sodas! One was off the very friendly CM who I had been next to when I was on the registers later that afternoon, who was thanking me for the way I handled the rush after the fireworks.

Once the Emporium had closed, I was assigned the job of "cash wrap" with my friend Ellie who is also a new CM. We had both never done it before so it's a bit silly that they put two newbies together, as we spent a lot of the night wondering what on earth to do. It turns out we had to restock all the registers with things like bags and receipt rolls, which sounds simple enough until you realise there are 35 registers in the Emporium and the stuff for Cash Wrap is scattered throughout the utilidors! It took us forever, and we ended up leaving work really late as a result because no one had trained us in this so we had to work it out as we went. I finally got home to bed at 3am and I was exhausted!

Unlucky for me, my roommate's alarm then woke me up at 8am. She was very loud getting ready again and seemed to think that because I was now awake, she no longer needed to be quiet! Just as I thought I heard her leaving, I heard a boy come into the house and they proceeded to settle in the living room with the telly on loud, talking French very loudly and not even trying to be quiet. It was only 9am ish by this point and I had only 5 hours sleep, so I was absolutely furious. I gave them a few minutes to quieten down then went out and asked them to be quiet, explaining that I had only got to bed at 3am. Ten minutes later, yet ANOTHER boy arrived at my house and sat down. They were watching a world cup game and were being very loud. I thought this so rude, as neither myself nor my other housemates had any warning that boys were coming round to our house, and if we had, I would have reminded Delphine that I work late and don't want disturbing in the morning! It really wasn't fair of her to make so much noise when she knew I was in bed, and it set me up to be exhausted for the rest of the day.

I used my time to do all my washing, and it's so cheap to use the launderette! I'm used to paying 2.50 for a wash and 2 for a dry back at uni. Here it is $1.25 for a wash and $1.25 for a dry! Delphine and the French boys redeemed themselves a bit by feeding me peanut M&Ms as I waited for my washing. Then the most hilariously awkward thing happened...

I was sat in the armchair and the boys got up to leave. Suddenly, one of them leaned down towards me and tried to kiss me and I freaked out and shrunk down into my chair away from him! Only after I did this did I remember that French people say goodbye by kissing each other on the cheeks, and Delphine and the two lads were in stitches whilst I bumbled an apology and explained that in England, it isn't normal for a boy to suddenly try to kiss a girl like that, or anyone for that matter! I was frightened that they'd think I was being rude by refusing the kisses but they just laughed, so I soon found the funny side and laughed along with them. I suppose it's all part of the cultural exchange bit of our program! 😂

I went to work later that afternoon and had another good shift.

I'm a very crafty kind of person, and in my spare time I love to draw, paint, crochet, sew, all kinds of things, and I've been really missing having something like that to do. I'd been working on a really difficult cross stitch for 18 months and stupidly left it on the train back in October, and had been waiting to get to Disney so I could buy one of the pretty ones with my CM discount. However, they no longer do them, much to my disappointment.

Taylor, my roommate from Alabama, told me we would take a trip to "Hobby Lobby" so that I could buy a new cross stitch! I snapped her hand off at the offer and we went early Saturday morning before I had work in the evening. Hobby lobby is basically the American Hobbycraft, and I found this beautiful cross stitch for $34, and it reminds me of the Carousel behind Cinderella's castle! I also picked up another smaller one which was just as cute, and was a pile of teacups with a little bird sat on top. I knew it would be about $50 but the cross stitch patterns were cheaper than ones I've found back at home so I was willing to pay the price, especially for the hours upon hours of fun I get out of them! However, when we got to the till, Taylor announced that some had a 40% off coupon that I could use, so I ended up getting both for $33 much to my delight!

Taylor took me to a restaurant called "Cheddars" after we left Hobby Lobby. I decided it was safer to order an appetizer as my meal since the portions are so huge. And here it is pictured, it was enough to feed the five thousand and that was only a starter! It was a spinach and cheese dip thing with salsa and sour cream. It was nice, but felt like a heart attack on a plate. They also kept bringing me refills of my drink which I didn't want.

I ended up leaving the place kind of disgusted, even though the food was decent enough. I'm starting to feel a bit yuck because of the diet here in WDW, I'm craving fresh food and stuff that isn't processed and fatty. I miss Warburton's medium white sliced bread, as all the bread here is stodgy and sweet and disgusting. And I miss getting my full fat milk delivered in a glass bottle from the local farm. Milk is my favourite drink EVER and the stuff you buy in supermarkets here just tastes processed and rubbish. The milk I got said it would last until the end of July - milk is NOT supposed to last that long!

You can only get stuff in massive portions here too, and it knocks me sick at how unhealthy it is, let alone how wasteful. At Cheddars, I didn't ask for a refill so it annoyed me that they brought them anyway because I knew I wouldn't drink them, and ended up taking in a lot more sugar than I wanted to just so they wouldn't go to waste.

I miss being able to go to a little cafe or locally owned restaurant for food which is fresh and made with love, not mass produced and greasy like it is here. I've been asking around to see if there's any locally owned restaurants nearby and there isn't a single one. I'm surrounded by chain businesses which is probably why I can't get a decent meal!

I'm struggling to cook for myself in the kitchen too due to the lack of kitchen equipment and the fact that I'm not here long enough to make it worth investing in anything. At uni I eat loads of soup, as it is healthy and filling as well as easy to make! But here, I don't have a blender or the seasoning I would need, and I don't want to buy a tub of herbs just to use it once or twice and throw it away.

It's got to the point where I'm hungry but I don't look forward to meal times. I'm sure you guys are all familiar with the way Disney food makes you feel after you've been eating it for a couple of weeks. I don't mind things like ice cream and dole whips, as they are nice treats. But in terms of actual meals, I'm really struggling. I don't each much meat so I'd never go to a steakhouse or a grill. And food is just weird here! At Cheddars, Taylor got a "fried sandwich" which looked like turkey and ham stuffed inside the crust of a baguette. It had sugar on top and came with raspberry jam, rather weirdly. It also came with a greasy looking salad and a coissant on top. I felt sick just looking at it!

I've noticed a difference in my body, not that I've put on weight but that I feel yucky all the time. It ain't pretty whenever I go to the loo and I feel like I need a good food cleanse! Never thought I'd miss British food so much, I'd kill for a nice buttery crumpet in the morning or a plate of spag bol that doesn't taste like it's going to give you disabetes for tea.

If anyone has any advice or any suggestions for healthier places to eat or buy food, please do let me know as I'm really suffering! My poor body really isn't coping with the diet here, and I know I'm not the only one! Several of my friends have been getting sick and we think it's because of the strange diet so I want to avoid that at all costs! 😂

I don't really have any pics for the last few days so here's an example of some good food here in the US! I love oreros and I love pistachio so here's a match made in heaven that I found! 😂

Anyway, my shift later that Saturday was the shift from hell. There are six zones in the Emporium, zone 6 being the one next to Casey's Corner that sells adult clothing. I got assigned to the register right in the corner next to Casey's, which is infamously known as the "time out" zone because of how isolated it was. I was all on my own, and all the awkward guests decided to come to me that day. There was no one around for me to ask for help and I wasn't allowed to leave my zone - it was horrendous and I felt like crying!

The worse family that I server was a Portuguese family who didn't speak a word of English. They bought a lot of stuff, including two Mickey trophies, a mug and a glass photoframe. The mum indicated that she wanted them wrapping, which I would normally do anyway because we don't want things to break. However, the items were all from zone 1 riiiiiight at the other end of the store, so I had nothing to wrap it with in zone 6. There were no other CMs around for me to help, and the woman couldn't understand me when I said I could wrap it but I would have to walk all the way to the other end of the store so it would take a while. She got confused when I did the transaction at the till but just set the item's aside, and was starting to get frustrated with me. I tried my best but what else could I have done if she doesn't speak English! I gestured for them to follow me and carried her purchases towards zone 1.

Now, getting from A-B in the Emporium is difficult enough as a guest, but when you are a CM you can't get anywhere without being interrupted twenty times. It didn't seem to matter to guests that I was clearly dealing with a particular family, but I was asked for my pins, I was asked for different sizes in a shirt, I was asked what time the parade was... honestly, it was so frustrating at how rude some guests are when you are clearly not in a position to help them. Sometimes I will literally be serving at a register and someone will skip the line and ask to see my pins, or ask me to scan an item to find the price. It's unbelievable really!

Anyway, we eventually completed the long trek to the other side of the store and I began wrapping the items for the family. But the mum continued to look confused and kept counting up her receipt. I sweated and prayed I hadn't messed up at all, and another CM called Emily saw my struggle and came to my rescue like an angel sent down from heaven. She helped me package the items, and fetched another CM who spoke Spanish in the hopes that there could be some middle ground between us at the Portuguese family. After a good half an hour dealing with them, they finally left and I went back to my time out zone, only to find that it had started raining outside and there was a sudden rush to buy ponchos! I'd had some earlier, but I turned round and all the adult sizes had mysteriously disappeared - I hadn't even sold any yet so another sneaky CM had obviously pinched them instead of going to the stock room. Of course, that meant another lengthy trip to the other end of the store. I apologises profusely to the couple who I was serving, and thankfully they were more than understanding as they could see how flustered I was! I was gone a good ten minutes trying to locate these flipping ponchos, and was super aware that I had left my zone and that people were waiting. I couldn't find them at first but another CM helped me, so I carried the huge heavy box of ponchos riiiiiight through the store again, through the crowds of people sheltering from the rain, back to my zone where the grateful guests told me to calm down and take a breather as they didn't mind waiting. Thank heavens they were so lovely, as I could have very easily got rude guests who were annoyed by the wait.

When I got bumped onto my break j was shaking and ready to burst into tears from the stress. I'd been completely on my own, fresh out of training and it had been horrible. I decided if I got put there again after my break I would say something to my coordinator, as it really wasn't fair on me or the guests that I should be abandoned right in the deep end like that. If I was placed literally anywhere else in the store I had been fine, but I was all by myself in the worst of locations.

A little later on, (when I was on a normal register instead of the horrible lonely one!) I accidentally put the receipt roll in the till the wrong way after I was shown by a fellow newbie, who also got it wrong. As a result, the receipts for a family didn't print out and I had to call a coordinator. It was really awkward whilst I made them wait, I nattered to them but they didn't say much back. Eventually I decided that desperate times called for desperate measures, and I waved the two children over. Now you're really not supposed to do this, but it was all I could think of when put on the spot!

I asked them if they collected pins, which they didn't, so I decided they could pick their first pins off my lanyard. The little girl couldn't find one she liked so I told her about how you can trade them with any cast member, so she could pick one anyway then trade it for one she liked better. The little boy picked a pin which I had literally just traded with a man from Honk Kong, who gave it me brand new and still in the packet! I told the boy it was special and that no one else in the park would have it as it's all the way from China, and that seemed to do the trick and perked the whole family up as they thanked me for my kindness. The coordinator brought them a new receipt and I said goodbye. Just after, my leader (who is basically the manager and the most important person I get to deal with) came over to talk to me. I initially freaked out and asked if I was in trouble, but I just laughed at me and told me that it was actually time for my bump out! I'm so glad that everyone has a good sense of humour, I've not met a single horrible cast member yet and they were all really supportive when I told them about the horrible shift that I'd had!

Yesterday's shift was much better, and I got to be Sales Ambassador again. (yay!) I overheard a family looking at mugs and recognised their accents so asked where they were from. They were from Manchester! I spent the best part of twenty minutes with them nattering, both myself and the family saying how good it is to hear a familiar accent.

I was on Alex and Ani after that, which are expensive designer bracelets and you apparently have to have eyes in the back of your head as they go missing a lot...

Anyway, that concludes my write up! It's been a difficult few days due to my lack of sleep, food cravings and difficult shifts at work. But please know that I am still having an absolute ball! I love the Emporium and I was thinking the other day, that it's probably the most glamorous and fun shop to work in in the whole world. I'm very lucky to be here and am reluctant even to trade shifts for another location because I love it so much! I love being in the heart of all the action and even though you do get the odd difficult guest, the vast majority are absolutely lovely and the magical moments that I have witnessed make all the stress very much worth while!

So yeah, comment with any questions or any food suggestions you might have - I'm off to the Animal Kingdom with someone I haven't met yet but spoke to extensively before arriving in Florida, so it will be nice to finally meet her!

Also, good luck to England, I can see that we are doing well and although I hate football, I'm kind of disappointed that I'm not able to join in with all the festivities going on in celebration of them doing well! Football's coming home guyyysss!

Have a great day!

Cast Member at the Emporium, Main Street, Magic Kingdom
Summer 2018

Remember, you're the one who can fill the world with sunshine!
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Unread 9 Jul 18, 03:52 PM  
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Omg look at that little froggy !

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Unread 9 Jul 18, 04:04 PM  
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I know what you mean about the food. I get fed up as well!
Regarding bread, buy Italian style, its the closest to ours.
Food wise, what about pasta meals? So many options if have a bag of pasta.
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Unread 9 Jul 18, 04:23 PM  
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Try Sweet Tomatoes if you get the chance, lovely fresh salads, pasta etc. Publix do really nice cooked chicken, and salad boxes which you could do baked potatoes with.
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Unread 9 Jul 18, 04:28 PM  
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Unread 9 Jul 18, 05:29 PM  
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I'm fortunate in that I get to speak to Charlotte every day and lovingly hear about all her trials & tribulations first hand (she loves a good moan amongst all the good stuff!). There's an amusing little story that happened recently that she somehow omitted above...

She's been getting a LOT of attention from Americans because of her broad Lancashire (Haslingden!) accent and has touched on this once or twice in her reports. Well, she was at work recently when a disabled guest in a wheelchair basically just asked her to talk to him (without reciprocating any conversation) because he loved how she spoke! BTW, she now does a wicked impersonation of various American accents!
I live for that moment of walking into the Magic Kingdom for the first time each trip and the feeling of being home.

My daughter Charlotte's daily life as a Disney Cast Member in MK Summer 2018 blogged on theDIBB - CLICK ME!
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Unread 9 Jul 18, 05:48 PM  
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I would second Sweet Tomatoes if you're craving some veg, it's really cheap too. Or maybe some sushi in Epcot would be something a bit fresher Loving hearing about life as a CM so thanks for writing.

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Unread 9 Jul 18, 06:18 PM  
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I am so loving this report Charlotte - well done

How I laughed at the French kissing 😃

And I would also agree with a visit to sweet tomatoes. Its an all you can eat buffet of salads, soups, baked potatoes etc.
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