Sunday, July 24, 2011

College Program Graduate!

Hey all!

Well it's official! I graduated the college program! (should probably celebrate the fact that I didn't get terminated seen as you breathe too hard and get terminated here... haha) Anyway, I went to our college program graduation to get my certificate and Mickey Mouse graduation ears as well as take pictures with the VIP characters! (mickey, minnie, pluto, goofy, chip, dale, donald and daisy). We ended our day taking the stereotypical graduation pictures in front of the castle in magic kingdom and was an all around fabulous day. It was one of those trips to magic kingdom where I realized how happy and grateful I've been to be here for the past 7 months. It's crazy to think that I've dreamt of doing this for 12 years, and now it's coming to an end. Now that I'm in parades and shows I'm so incredibly happy performing here for this company. I get up everyday to go to work, PERFORMING. Anyone who knows me can imagine how much I'm loving it.

Got to see Pisseri again for a night because he happened to have a week long conference for the enemy in Universal hah. It feels awesome to have someone to perform for in the parades! :-)

I have my last day of dinomite today!! Gotta live it up!

I posted a video of me doing hoedown to my facebook page for anyone who is interested in seeing it! Yeehawwww

Only 17 more days here, I've gotta take advantage of every minute!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

long awaited update!

Hello All! So sorry I've been MIA, Harry Potter took precedents of my time for the past 2 weeks! Any spare time I had, (which is few and far between these days) was spent re-reading the 7th Harry Potter book, followed by the midnight premiere which was outstanding.

I've been LOVING doing DEP (Disney's Electrical Parade). It's a ton of fun and a hugeee workout. After making the mistake of giving 110% on my first parade two weeks ago, I've found the proper pace to dance at. I've now officially been all four colored fairies (blue, orange, pink, purple) and love every second of it. I love the fact that I see the same people at the parade each night we perform, so it's like our own little family. I've made a ton of new friends (all similar to my theatrical personality) and it's been so so great to have a break from hanging out with my "friends" doing sets in the sun.

After finding my groove from experiencing the first few parades, there was one parade last week that plastered a smile to my face. There were numerous brazilian tour groups in the audience of a 9:00 parade and when we got to the castle hub (the circle around the castle) there were a million camera flashes going off at once. I honestly felt like a famous person throwing out the first pitch at a world series game. It was literally one of the coolest feelings that all of these people were nonstop taking pictures of everything we were doing. Crazy to know that I'll forever be in random families photo albums now forever!

I had my first week of hoedown this past week! Hoedown is the flashmob in frontierland that spontaneously begins with guests unknowing and all around. It's been awesome to be dressed as a frontierland cast member and pretend not to know anything about the random other cast members (entertainment dressed as food and beverage, attractions and merchandise) all around us. Yeehaw!

My friend Meghan and I treated ourselves to Ohana's at the Polynesian resort this past week as well. We ate with the Boss Man, (mickey mouse himself) and some of his friends. It was really nice to be treated like a guest :-)

Old news, but the 4th of July fireworks were actually the best I've seen in my 20 years of living. They were "perimeter fireworks" all around the Magic Kingdom property. They were red, white and blue and STILL choreographed to the american music, although they were special event fireworks! Literally blew my mind, I didn't know where to look in the sky! Sure beat Westport's fireworks.. haha

We're coming down to the wire with my last few weeks here :-( I can't believe how fast the 7 months flew, but lots to look forward to before I leave! And I have a feeling I might just be back here...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Parade Debut :-)

Well after 5 months of waiting for performing in parades and shows, I performed in my first parade last Saturday July 2nd! I was so excited the entire week, but I'd have to say I was a little bit more nervous than I was excited. I had never stepped foot on the parade route before, because we practiced the parade in training dancing around the parade building outside. I was also nervous because the 4 of us fairies begin the entire parade! So we are the "pacers" (whatever that means... hah) and there is nothing in front of us to follow or lead the way.

When I had to clock in to begin work, I went to cosmotology for the first time (eeee :-D ) and was given a bag of makeup for the fairies to use for each parade, FOR ME TO KEEP! The cosmotologists showed us how to apply our obnoxiously bright colored makeup and handed me my blue wig. After my makeup and wig were on I had to be checked by a cosmotologist before I could leave to head over to the parade building. 

I got into costume with the other fairies and it felt so real. The other 100+ people in the parade had done the show for weeks or months before and I definitely felt like "the new girl". I was rather lost at where to go and what to do, but people were definitely friendly and willing to help me out. 

It's 8:55pm and the parade is about to start in 5 minutes. We go to the "chute" at 5 minutes til, and wait there until the gates open and the parade begins. Because I was so nervous, and so excited and it was my first parade ever, I gave it all I got! 5 minutes into the 30 minute parade, we reached mainstreet and I was huffing and puffing. We're all tired and sweaty, but I honestly felt like I was going to throw up at least 4 times during the parade route. We're told to tell a captain and they'll take us off route, but I definitely didn't want to be that new girl that didn't make it through her first parade so I stuck it out and finished it off. In between the first and second parade I spoke to a staging specialist about how I was so surprised to be that tired and how I was giving 110% of my energy to this parade in which she responds, "oh hunny, no no no, you give 60% or you wont make it through 1 parade." ... oops. 

I changed my energy a little bit for the second parade and it was 1,000% better!! This one was actually such an incredible feeling to be performing for thousands of people taking pictures and filming me. It's strange to know that I'll be in people's home videos for years to come! It was also an incredible feeling dancing down mainstreet with nothing in our way. I've never walked on mainstreet before with no crowds and it was thrilling to be able to begin the parade and have an empty street waiting for us to dance down it. It ended up being an incredible night and I'm so happy to officially be a part of shows and parades! 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Well after two days of training to be a Page Fairy (the rehearsal kicked my butt), I'm officially approved to be in Disney's Electrical Parade! What this means is it will soon show up on my schedule, but until then I can try to pick shifts up so I can get started sooner. Because I was approved in Hoedown and DEP (Disney's Electrical Parade), I will most likely be scheduled 3:30pm-12:30am being scheduled in both. Photos to come asap!!

Page Fairies are the 4 fairies that begin the entire parade in front of Tinkerbell's float. A lot of pressure is held on us because the entire pace of the parade is in our hands! We wear bright colored unitards, elf like boots, a bright colored matching pixie cut wig, a cute hat, and of course are bedazzled in lights. We also hold a lantern which does wonders for the biceps in that 37 minute parade route haha (photo below is what the costume will look like)

The training was a ton of fun and I can't tell you how fabulous it was to be acting girly since all of my other "friends" are boys. The choreography is adorable and dainty and I had a huge smile plastered to my face that I was actually learning a parade! The second day of training was the approval day, where a staging manager comes to approve the girls to be scheduled DEP. He was extreeeeemely intimidating and pointed out what each one of us were doing wrong (at this point we had all been up since 5am and done about 4 parades around the parade building... we were very much so exhausted) We hammed up our faces and used every last bit of energy to be as perfect as possible for this man that was making me feel certain I wouldn't get approved. But sure enough the staging specialist reinforced how wonderful we all were doing and we all got approved :-) All the hard work paid off. I definitely didn't think the choreography would be that strenuous, but after 37 minutes of doing it, (for about 5 hours) it's definitely more challenging than I thought it would be.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

starwars weekend blew my mind

Well for the final starwars weekend, I finally had the time to go check out the shenanigans. It was actually so so impressive and I had a ton of fun! I've only seen the first two movies and would say that I enjoyed them... but I'm by no means a starwars freak like many of the people I witnessed this weekend! I met darth maul and was actually very very intimidated. He had striking orange eyes, and was making creepy noises in my face. The fact that I was affected by his creepiness says something!! We then went to the "hyberspace hoopla" which was a dance party with all of the starwars characters. It was actually hilarious seeing "the good guys" dance off vs. "the bad guys" to the billboard hits.

My family came to visit again! This time just Dad, Jeff and Sammi came to Disney and we had such a great time in the sweltering heat. We spent the day at Islands of Adventure so Dad could experience the Harry Potter park and it definitely "pushed his limits" in ride intensity. He was still blown away though, as everyone is by the insanely advanced technology on that ride! The next day we park hopped in all of the parks, of course checked out starwars weekend, and ended the day with center view seats of Fantasmic! I was blown away that C3PO actually spoke to us, he was rather conversational actually. So so so cool. I actually happened to move apartments, to a different, bigger and cleaner apartment, so it was really beneficial and helpful to have my Dad there to help us move. Thanks dad :-) On Sunday, they came to the Animal Kingdom to see me perform as a Dino Mite Girl! Struggling to withstand the heat, they were all such troopers letting the DJ pick on them, as well as dance and jump around in the FL humidity! It was a ton of fun to be a party motivator to get my own family to join in! Next time they come to disney i'll be in the electrical parade and hoedown!!

I AM OFFICIALLY A WALT DISNEY WORLD DANCER! I got approved in "Hoedown Happening" after a 4:30am rehearsal in the park so we can practice formations without guests there. It's a  flashmob in frontierland in the magic kingdom that spontaneously happens unannounced during the day. I've literally never been up for the day that early in my entire life. It was not fun on my body to be working that hard at 5:30 in the morning. It was a really awesome experience to get to practice in the park as the sun was rising and the third shift cast members were working through the night. There was no water in splash mountain which was a really strange sight and made the plunge down the mountain look way less intense than it truly is. It was also so interesting to see numerous trucks and vans parked along the streets of frontierland getting the park ready for guests that morning. 

I'm actually home for the weekend for fathers day and it's incredible to have home cooked meals, my own comfy bed and my two puppies :-) I'll be back soon Mickey, and I have training for the electrical parade this friday! Here are some extra magical moments that were captured of my good friend Pooh bear :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dino Mite Girl

Well I'm back with some dino mite updates!! I had my first 3 days as part of the dino mite crew and it was so incredibly fun. Essentially we act as party motivators (I compare it to bat mitzvah dancers on crack because it's disney... although no one has even heard of a bat mitzvah here because I'm the only jew in walt disney world...) but it's a ton of fun. There are 2 girls a day and we're on set for 30 minutes at a time. It definitely gets insanely hot jumping around for 30 minutes, but it's so so nice to not have any "friends" a couple days of the week in the summer sun. Pictured below is our lovely DJ dino mite truck and some of the crowds dancing with the dino mite girls!

Last night I was hanging out with Pooh Bear in crystal palace and Pooh was asked to take part in a proposal!! I was supposed to be his friend when this happened, but unfortunately he missed it by about 3 minutes... Pooh Bear was so excited because he was asked specifically to be standing right there when he popped the question, but he got cold feet and unfortunately pooh bear had to have a 'smackeral' of honey before he asked her to marry him.

Kristen and Lee Bollert came to visit this weekend!! It was fabulous to see them and be a guest for the weekend at disney! We started our morning eating at 1900 Park Fare in the grand floridian, and got to meet Alice and the Madhatter, Pooh and Tigger, and Mary Poppins! So proud of kristen that she almost gave the characters a hug... 21 years old and still a little frightened by them. We spent the morning after breakfast at animal kingdom, took a quick break for a shower then off to epcot to have dinner in France! The food and dessert were so yummy, "as was our waiter." The next day we spent in magic kingdom and got there early enough in the morning to see the welcome show where the characters open the park! It was so incredible to have a touch of home and see them, thanks for coming guys :-)

I GOT MY SCHEDULE FOR THE NEXT WEEK AND I HAVE HOEDOWN TRAINING YAYYYY! The only catch is it's at 4:30am... this way we can practice in the park when there aren't guests there.. dear godddd so early.

I auditioned to be a face character for HongKong Disneyland today. Thank goodness for mom and dad's sake I wasn't pulled! it was definitely fun to pretend to be the different princesses at the audition though :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer Music Enhancement training and MORE :-)

This past monday I had my first day and only training for "Summer Music Enhancement." Essentially, I'm 1 of the 10 girls that are being trained for this event. It's a DJ'd summer event in animal kingdom, specifically dinoland, USA. I'm a "Dino Mite Girl." Each day, 2 of the 10 girls act as "party motivators" to the crowds, and assisting to the DJ. I feel sooo lucky to be one of the ten girls, and I get to be me!!! (I don't have to be "friends" with people in the HOT summer humid weather)

Our training consisted of how the dance party will run, in addition to learning numerous line dances like the cha cha slide, electric slide, and of course since this is Disney we're talking about... Hannah Montana's Hoedown Throwdown and the Ice Cream Freeze. Our DJ is set up on his adventure truck which we lead into Dinoland on route 498 (the road in dinoland... named after the opening month and year that animal kingdom was opened.. april 1998). We had our rehearsal backstage of the park in the 94 degree weather for 5 hours... chuggin my infamous wisconsin water bottle is an enormous understatement.

Our costumes are a lot better than expected actually!! No heinous short sleeve (actual length to your elbow..) button down, animal printed shirt like we had all anticipated. We're lucky enough to be wearing TANK TOPS! I repeat... TANK TOPS! Disney is allowing us to wear 3 inch spandex blue and red tank tops, high top white sneakers, and printed shorts. We can't forget our jungle hat! We are in animal kingdom after all! So I should be doing this two to three times a week for the entire summer!

I also received a veryyyy surprising phone call this morning. A woman called me who's in charge of training and rehearsals inquiring why I had requested off for June 24th and 25th. (I was originally going home to CT for the weekend) She was wondering because they are planning on training me in Disney's Electrical Parade!!!! as a dancer!!! with real choreography!! I was absolutely ecstatic as I've been waiting for this since January. And as excited as I was for the summer music enhancement Dino mite girl, I was still hoping for training in a show or parade. I'm going to be trained to be a "Page Fairy" which are the girls who begin the parade in front of tinkerbelle's float. In addition, the cast of the electrical parade also are in a show called "Hoedown." This is essentially a flash mob that takes place in Frontierland. Both actual dancer positions which im SOOOO excited about I cant even express it in words.

Just a constant smile thats all I can say! FINALLYYYYY! :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pixar and Star Wars Weekend

This past weekend was Pixar's 25th anniversary so there was a special event at Epcot to represent all of the pixar movies. I was asked to hang out with my new friend Emile from Ratatouie, but we were only friends for this one weekend. He was so so cute and fat and I really loved the change, and to get to hang out with him!

Star Wars weekend starts this Friday May 20th for continuous weekends throughout June. The premier of the new star tours ride is this Friday and rumor has it that George Lucas is coming to open the ride, and reveal himself because he'll be in disguise as a Storm Trooper. The new star tours ride was redone to have 56 different variation endings, with different characters and journeys. The ride is a 4D simulation and it was actually awesome. A real star wars fan would appreciate it much more than I do... but nonetheless it was still a really cool new ride.

BIG NEWS BIG NEWS!!!!!!! I finnnnnally got training/rehearsal on my schedule for something called "Summer Music Enhancement." I have a 6 hour rehearsal next Monday and am absolutely ecstatic. I've been waiting anxiously each saturday for the schedules to come out since January and it finally showed up! I've asked the Magic Kingdom duty base and managers what Summer Music Enhancement is, but since it's a summer event taking place at Animal Kingdom no one knows many details about it. I've heard it's a DJ'd event with choreography and I'll be a "mover" dancing as myself (thank goddd with the summer heat). I'll post when I know more about it! For now, I'm too too excited :-)

Everyone who was here just for the Spring semester is leaving! It'll be interesting to have new college program interns training and starting their first few days on the program. It's crazy to think that the semester flew by so quickly and that my program originally was supposed to end this past Friday before they asked me to extend! I've met some awesome people since i've been down here and it has definitely been sad to say goodbye :-(

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A touch of home :)

This past week Laura and Jenn Murchie came to visit the happiest place on earth. It was absolutely phenomenal having them here, and of course they brought the touch of home I've missed! We spent the week celebrating laura's birthday (3 months late) at hollywood studios, magic kingdom, epcot and animal kingdom and they got to experience hogwarts!

We got to eat and play in a very familiar spot, Crystal Palace. It was so much fun to have dinner with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet and actually experience the other side of the magic as a Guest! Eeyore recognized me which actually made my night :-) They got some special pictures with pooh bear when they went to go meet him in animal kingdom.We ended the week leaving the Murchie's in awe over the attention to detail and Disney magic in every park.

In other news, I have a new friend! His name is Handy Manny and he's a construction worker who has his own show on Disney Jr. He has an awesome outfit he wears and a very intricate signature. I really loved hanging out with him!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Healy Family visits! :)

Hello all!! I'm so sorry i've been so bad... it's been a long month of early early early wake up calls, (idk how people can get up before the sun rises once we're real people out of college...) 

Anyway, since it's been so long I have a bunch to report! I was in my first paradeee! wooooo. I was a spare at animal kingdom which means i can be pulled for anything they need me to do. This day I hung out with some friends chip and dale (was sooo excited to hang out with them because i've only been hanging around pooh bear recently and I miss my chipmunk friends). I was pulled to hold the banner at the end of Mickey's jammin' jungle expedition parade at 3:45pm. Although I'm probably the lamest aspect of being in a parade I was ecstatic to even be walking in one. I wore the most HEINOUS outfit to look like a jungle explorer, all in the theming of course! I stood at the end of the parade with another banner holder right behind Mickey Mouse's float. It was 90 degrees and a 37 minute parade, it definitely takes a lot out of you and I was just walking and waving. It's so weird to think that I'm in a ton of random tourist's photo albums and video coverage from their trip to disney. I love that the entire time I was beaming and am still star struck by Mickey's float in front of me, I honestly couldn't be happier. I can't even imagine how happy I am when I finally do get trained... (cough disney... i've been waiting patiently now for a good 3 months...)

The family I babysit (practically my own family) came down for a visit over their spring break (oh. my. god. crowded. cranky. sweaty. complaining. guests. EVERYWHERE!) It was incredible to see the Healy's and a nice touch of home! I found them at the crystal palace where they had lunch with pooh bear and his friends. The girls had quite the special experience with Pooh bear that day, it seemed like Pooh was enjoying himself as well! We spent the next day at animal kingdom and watched the wishes fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian to get around $80 park admission just to see the fireworks.

I've had a tonnnn of early morning shifts at the grand floridian breakfast which has been causing me to get up daily at 5am.. its definitely brutal but somewhat nice that I get to have the rest of my day. 

I have my last Disney marketing class tomorrow until I get to graduate from this course. More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Selikoff's visit!

Hey everyone! Sorry it's been a while, it's definitely difficult to juggle work, visitors, sleeping (if i happen to get the chance to do so) and homework.. (zero time for that as well)

Well while I was gone my family came to visit! It was absolutely fabulous having them here as this is the place for families after all. We went to studios and epcot in one day, where my family dined at Garden Grill with Chip, Dale, Pluto and the boss man himself, Mickey Mouse. My family loved the all you can eat buffet but I'd have to say their favorite part of the meal was hanging out with Chip, for some reason they favored him over the other characters!

The second day we spent in the Magic Kingdom hitting everything we possibly could in one day. I figured since my family was here it was acceptable to be a tourist wearing mouse ears and a mickey shirt. Unfortunately there were record breaking temperatures for FL in early April of 92 degrees both days... a little too hot for theme parks, and that's speaking in terms of wearing street clothes. Can't even imagine having to had work that weekend... We ended the night at Tony's italian restaurant themed after Lady and the Tramp, and watched Wishes light up the sky. The fireworks are hands down my favorite part of disney :-)

Last week after all the awaited years, I went to Blizzard Beach water park! Best themed park in my opinion about how a freak snow storm hit central FL but of course the warm weather came back and turned all of the snow into the water park. As scared as I was, I gathered up the courage to slide down summit plummet, a 120 foot practically vertical slide with speeds up to 60mph on your back. (they should warn you about the potential wedgie). I wish I could tell you about it, but I was SO nervous and it all happened so fast that I barely remember doing it at all. Now that I got the first time and nerves out of the way I'll have to go back so I can actually enjoy it!

That's all for now until next week!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

made a new "friend"

Wellllll, I got remeasured and am now officially 5'3.5" meaning I can make some new friends! I am officially a good friend of Pooh bear now :-) and got to hang out with him yesterday for the first time. I was with him for 11.5 hours (hooray for being paid time and a half for overtimeee) at the crystal palace where I was thrown into the zoo that the restaurant tends to be. Pooh bear got a little lost (almost as if he was blind...) when he first went out to greet the guests having lunch, as he wasn't very familiar with the restaurant... at all. He might have bumped into a few tables and wasn't a happy pooh bear... but as the day went on he learned his way around and started to love it! 

In other news, I forgot to mention Amy Fitzgerald came to visit me and had a great time with dale at the dance party! It was so so so great to see her and catch up about school, chio and the magic of disney.

Last week my roommate and I went to typhoon lagoon (first time ever) and swam with sharks. I had a major freakout to say the least. 1. There was no separation between the sharks, sting rays and sea life and the guests floating on top of the water (we couldn't kick our feet to attract their attention). 2. We were using snorkels in which I always think water is going to get stuck in my mask and I will choke and that will be the end of me. I was hyperventilating in the water and swam so fast across the other side I forgot to even notice any of the sealife under the water. I felt like I had someone sitting on my chest for a good 15 minutes after getting out of the water. I will neeeeever do that again, but at least I can say I did it now!

After being here for almost 2 months, I finnnnnnally met Mickey and Minnie! My roommate Jess recommended we meet them because she's very good friends with them herself. I hadn't seen them since I met them when I was 5 years old in Mickey's toontown (may it rest in peace), and I was probably as excited now as I was back then. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

well look who dropped by for a visit!

After 8 years of anticipating plans to go to disney together, the weekend finally came! Mike Pisseri and I took full advantage of our free admission into the parks as we hit up all 4 parks in two days (disney record in my book). The first night we grabbed dinner in Epcot in the UK and had great seats to watch the firework show, illuminations. We were so close that ashes from the fireworks were sprinkled all over our clothes and hair and a hugee piece landed on our table, for the scrapbook of course! Never would have guessed I'd be having drinks with my former teacher.

We started our second day at 7:45am with extra magic hours at studios (never have I ever been to a park so early as to see the rope be cut and crowds sprint into the park) and headed straight for Midway Mania - the semi new toy story ride. Being with the man who might as well be Walt Disney himself, I got slaughtered, TWICE, with not a chance at redemption (or maybe so on the buzz lightyear ride...)

Off we went to animal kingdom to hit up the most popular rides there. Big mistake in deciding to wear jean shorts as we were the token seats to get DRENCHED on the river rapids... It was fun to experience Disney with another person who can quote the pre and post show script like I can... "next time you check into a deserted hotel on the west side of hollywood..." (tower of terror)  "oh and seat belts, use them." (dinosaur).

I was taught where 3 hidden mickeys were on numerous rides in addition to hearing countless fun facts about everything and anything disney. We stayed at Magic Kingdom until 12:30am that evening after sitting front row in Splash Mountain and finally getting my revenge by beating Pisseri in Buzz. Known from one of his most famous quotes, ya can't win em all...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Disney Character Event - St Patty's Day Parade

Well I was finally in a parade!! (although it's not a true disney parade...) I was cast in a DCE - disney character event which could consist of special events such as weddings, celebrity visits or companies that request specific disney accommodations. I got a call from casting for this DCE for st patty's day as a parade performer in Hollywood Studios after hours. It's great to have the opportunity to do something a bit different too.

The thing about the Disney company is they tell you abbbsolutely nothing in advance (if you already hadn't noticed from the lack of parade knowledge I know). I arrived there clueless and surprisingly found my way  to the green room. We wore the most adorable green sparkly costumes in addition to a red wig, eyelashes, airbrush shamrock on my cheek, shamrock earrings, light up ring, knee high tights, green booty shorts and character heels. Not to mention my parents, Jamie and Josh didn't recognize who the girl picture below was!

They told us to line up for the parade route after hearing instructions to just walk and wave. It was so much fun to just smile and occasionally throw in the princess wave as US bank conference attendees snap pictures of the parade along the way. I'm still anxiously waiting real Disney Parades, I had my orientation but still no training on my schedule! :-(

In other news from the Selikoff house, Lexi had three more puppies!!! Two boys and a girl: Little J, Tigger and Minnie :-)