Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top 5 Hollywood Studios Attractions

5. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Okay, I've decided there's really no point in me doing a long winded descriptions of each attraction, haha. But I will give you my opinions and maybe a few tips. This show is a lot of fun! The stunts are impressive and the show itself is very funny. Enjoyable for adults and kids a like. If you want to be a part of the show then make sure you come about twenty minutes before showtime. They just might pick you.

Also I suggest trying to sit in the middle section (to do this you probably need to be there about fifteen minutes before show time.) Don't worry once you sit down you can leave and go get a snack (as long as you have someone to save your seat). Coming fifteen minutes before showtime may sound like a drag, but it's a great time to rest. The theater is shaded and usually cooler than a few other places. So I suggest showing up early with a cold drink and a pretzel. Relax and enjoy some (much needed) time to slow down.

4. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

The Rockin' Roller Coaster is my dad's favorite ride in all of Disney World. He thinks it's the coolest ride in all of the Disney. I remember the first time we rode it. We were waiting in the queue and there was a "limo" waiting to be launched. Dad looked away for a split second and when he turned around it was gone. His eyes went wide and he grinned like he just knew he was going to enjoy this coaster. And he was right. Every time we go as a family this is the ride he wants to ride over and over again. I love it too, of course. I think the Aerosmith pre-show is a lot of fun. The ride itself is amazing though.

My advice: be sure to keep your eyes and ears open on this one. There are fun neon signs and Aerosmith music pumping to the beat of your zooming ride. Also, have a couple of bottles of water handy while you're waiting in line. The Florida heat can be brutal and this line can be long. If you're group's not opposed to riding separately you there is a single riders line. That line usually moves faster, and don't forget that there's always the option of Fastpass.

3. Hollywood Tower of Terror

The Tower of Terror...this ride opened when I was in about third grade and I remember the ads like it was yesterday. I thought if I ever went to Disney World then no force on Earth would ever get me to ride that thing. Turns out I was wrong. There was a force that could get me to ride it. I call her Aunt Donna. When I was fifteen and finally go to go to Disney World, she and my Uncle Wayne and my mom were the first people to ride Tower of Terror with me. It was a lot of fun, but I remember being terrified. The picture they took as we fell was of myself and my aunt Donna looking at each other and screaming bloody murder.

It's a can't miss attraction at Hollywood Studios for both the attraction itself and it's amazingly detailed themeing. Here's a tip: If you're a hidden Mickey seeker you'll find at least one as you enter the Hollywood Tower Hotel's lobby. Keep a sharp eye out. It's there.

This queue is not too bad. It's shaded by trees for the most part, but having water on hand is always a good idea in Florida. Also look for a graceful statue while your waiting in the outdoor section of the queue. Watch her and then tell me what you see. I believe I've seen her blink, but I could be wrong.

2. Toy Story Mania

Before the relaunch of Star Tours this was the newest addition to Hollywood Studios. It's a blast, and definitely something for the whole family. It's so interactive that you sometimes forget it's a ride at all. And unlike some "shoot 'em up" attractions, such as Space Ranger Spin or Men In Black Alien Attack, you can actually feel where to aim. The shooting mechanism feels as though you are actually launching something and gives you greater control. Definitely easier for little ones to use.

This line can be long so I suggest getting a fast pass for this one as soon as you enter the park. Fastpasses go quick. They're extremely worth it for this attraction as this line is almost always over thirty minutes. Another tip, for those guests without little ones, is to hit this ride as you're leaving the park. The sign may say 25 minutes, but more than likely it will be a shorter wait than that. And, as a guest at the parks, you're able to get in line for a ride until the very minute before the park closes. Once you're in line they have to let you ride.

1. Fantasmic

Fantasmic was my favorite nighttime show as a teen. I hadn't quite come to appreciate IllumiNations yet and I thought I was a bit old for Wishes, but Fantasmic was exciting and so much more than a display of lasers and fireworks. This was a show with a very real story and actors. Fantasmic is still one of the most exciting night time shows in the World.

This show is only performed about every other night now. Be sure to look up the show times schedule before you leave for your trip and plan ahead for this show. It's can't miss. Also if you plan on seeing the first of the two shows be sure to get in line at least half an hour early (preferably more). That's the most crowded show on any given Fantasmic night. I suggest going to the second show if you're sans young children. It's less crowded and a bit easier to get into. I also suggest getting a snacks to take with you just before you get in line. More than likely you'll be in line for a while. You can always get more snacks once you're seated (they have concessions inside the theater).

Also (a tip I learned the hard way), if you're seeing the show anytime from late November to January be sure to bring a blanket. Believe it or not, it can be down right cold in Florida. If you don't bring a blanket, a hat, or gloves you'll be buying them because you won't be able to stand sitting in the cold with out them. Trust me.

Honorable Mention:

Muppet Vision 3D

Muppet Vision receives an honorable mention because it is pure family fun. Every one will enjoy it. The pre-show is just as good as the actual show so definitely don't miss that. Also, this attraction usually has a short wait so it's great for people who need to kill time in between Fastpasses. Don't forget to visit the Muppet store as you leave. Be sure to look around and up, you'll see actual sets and props from Muppet Movies through out the store.

The Can't Miss Seasonal Attraction:

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

While I was on my College Program I visited these lights often. There were an amazing sight to behold. There were every where. So, when my parents came to visit I just knew I had to take them to see them as well. They were the Christmas event that my dad was the most impressed with in all of Disney World (and we went to the Christmas Party). This is definitely something you have to do if you're visiting the resort around the holidays. It's included with the price of your Hollywood Studios ticket so there's no extra fee to view it. Buy your self a cookie and some hot cocoa and take a stroll through these dazzling lights. You won't forget it. It will truly make your holidays much much brighter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Return of the Top 5!

So I haven't done a Top 5 list in a really long time and I used to do them all the time on this blog. So I thought I would do a few that I did before I left. Because they have definitely changed since then. The first one I'm going to do is my top 5 Disney World attractions over all and maybe after then I'll break it down park by park.

5. Living with the Land Boat Ride

I know not many people have this one in their top 5, but I've always been odd. Why stop now? There's just something about this attraction that I love! I think it's the greenhouse with all the awesome and interesting vegetables and plants. And then to see the innovations in agriculture is just absolutely intriguing to me. Plus I love to see the different shapes they've planted the different colors of lettuce in. (Look for that next time if you never have before). Also really interesting to me was the little plastic cases they grew certain plants in (melons, pumpkins, etc.) that would help it form the shape of a Mickey head. Plus I LOVE those Tomato Trees and the nine pound lemons! They're amazing!

It also feels so very classic Disney too. There's the really amazing beginning of the attraction with all the simulations of different environments, and then the super dramatic ending is always fun! Haha. Definitely check it out if you haven't before. It's worth at least one ride for normal people. But if you're a Disney freak like me you might want to ride several times over. ;) And don't worry about wasting valuable time! I never waited in line more than 5 minutes!

You'll find it in the lower levels of The Land pavilion at Epcot. It's on the opposite end from Soarin'. You know, that attraction with the insane wait time that everyone else will be walking toward.

4. Spaceship Earth

Yes, inside that great big white sphere is a ride. An epic ride through time and space where you watch the dawn of civilization and technology unfold. And all of it narrated by Dame Judi Dench.

How can you not love Spaceship Earth? It's got everything you need in a classic Disney attraction. Animatronics? Yep, it's got 'em. (Including one with a shabby beard that's passed out in his garage. He creeps me out every time. He's supposed to be asleep, but to me he just looks dead.) Dramatic narration that keeps you interested? Yep, it's got that too. Insane details and breathtaking scenes? Definitely has those. Classic campy Disney humor? Of course!

Spaceship Earth is the first attraction guests come across when they enter the park and I think it's the perfect start for any day at Epcot. It's sets the tone not just for Future World but for the World Showcase too. It's a must do for anyone visiting Epcot.

3. The Carousel of Progress

This attraction is the epitome of classic Disney. Originally created for the World's Fair by Walt Disney himself the Carousel of Progress has a long and impressive history with the Disney company. It was updated sometime in the early 1990s so the end is a bit dated, but in my opinion that makes it so much more fun! The Carousel of Progress takes you through important time periods in America. You follow John and his family through the years and see how technology changed within the American household. There's an amazing song that goes with it that I always sing along with. Each time period is set in a different season or on a different holiday.

It's full of all the things you expect from Walt's time with Disney. Animatronics, family fun, campy humor, nostalgia, and a certain respect for older technology that you don't find much anymore.

As a bonus this attraction is inside an air conditioned rotating theater. It's worth a ride if only to rest your feet and sit in the cool air. But don't fall asleep! This is a quality attraction that deserves to be properly enjoyed. You might just come away with a few inside jokes! Just ask my old room mate Michelle! Better yet you'll come away singing (and believing) "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow."

2. Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain is the perfect coaster for the whole family. It's exciting but still a little tame. It swerves and dips unexpectedly but doesn't cause that tell-tale tummy flip. Plus there's the added bonus of a cute story about a sinking mine. Don't worry you won't get drenched on this one! But there a few tiny splashes of water here and there. They're more refreshing than inconvenient.

The last time I rode Big Thunder there was a little boy behind us with her mother and his grandfather. It was his very firs "big kid coaster". He was nervous before we got on the attraction. But after the ride was over he was the most precious thing ever. He could not get over just how much fun Big Thunder Mountain was. He ran up to his grandmother and made sure to brag about how brave and strong he was for surviving his first "real" coaster.

That moment seemed to sum up why I love Big Thunder. It's just thrilling enough without causing any real discomfort. Most people can ride this one without difficulty. Which means there are more opportunities for memories to be made on this attraction. Make sure you stop by and hitch a ride on that crazy mine train! You'll love it!

1. Splash Mountain

I can't deny that Splash Mountain is my favorite Disney World attraction. I can't seem to ride it enough (I also can't seem to find people who don't mind getting wet more than two times in a day so I don't get to ride it as often as some of the other rides). This is a wonderful ride that's also perfect for family fun.

There's an adorable story that follow Brer Rabbit. He's a sneaky little guy who tends to get in a lot of trouble. You follow him on his adventures through his little "village" full of other adorable creatures (make sure to look out for more "Brer" names. The details on this ride are fantastic.) then down to his "Laughing Place", and then you follow him as he's finally caught by Brer Bear and Brer Fox. Then it's down, down, down into the briar patch. Interestingly enough, it's not the actual drop that gets you wet or even the splash that follows it. No, you're sure to get soaked long before you ever get to the big drop. I won't tell you where, though. That will ruin the surprise.

Don't be afraid to sing along if you know the songs featured in the ride (and believe me you'll know at least one). Also if you're all alone and it's late at night, don't be afraid to scream really loud at every little drop. Somehow, it makes the ride ten times more enjoyable.

And there you go. Those are my current top 5. Definately different from what they were before I left for my college program. Enjoy!

Make sure you visit these attractions if you're planning to visit Disney World any time soon!

The Waiting Game...

So when I applied for the College Program last year I only waited eleven days after my interview to find out I was accepted. Just eleven days. I was very lucky, and I'm realizing that even more right now. Haha.

Right now I'm waiting to hear back about the PI's. May 1st is fast approaching and I'm starting to get nervous. I'm not getting my hopes up, and I'm applying for everything that I can find that I'm qualified for. I have 18 days until graduation and I really want to have a job soon after that. I want to start earning and saving money pretty immediately after I graduate.

Also I talked to some of my CP friends and old roomies and we've decided we're going to try and start a reunion tradition. We're aiming to meet up around late October/Early November for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, and in order to do this I need money. Which means I need a job. So I'm going through an application frenzy amidst trying to finish my assignments for my classes and start preparing for final exams (and then on top of all of that is actual graduation cermony plans).

I'm crazy busy and I feel like I just might lose my mind. Haha. But I'm buckling down and staying on top of things. I actually don't have a lot left to do this time around. I've been working hard this year to not procrastinate and stay organized, and that's really starting to pay off for me. So while I have overwhelming moments, generally I'm not extremely overloaded.

Also they got our cap and gowns in at the University bookstore today. I'm picking mine up tomorrow once my money transfers so I can pay for it. It's really starting to hit me that this is the end of my college career. I'm about to enter real life and I barely feel prepared.

I just have to have faith that it will all work out, and I'll find something absolutely perfect for me. Or at least find a way to truly strike out on my own. :D

As for when I'll hear back about the PI's...I was told May 1st, but I was browsing Kristin's old blog (A Journey into My Imagination) and she was told the same thing but didn't hear back until May 11th. So, really, anything is possible. More than likely I won't know anything until exams start or possibly even until after I've already graduated. I'm just taking it day by day and trying very hard not to put all my eggs in one basket. I'm still worried that it's a bad sign that I haven't been contacted for a follow up or second interview at all. Some positions don't do second interviews, but some do. So I'm a little worried about that. But we'll see.

Keep crossing your fingers for me! I'm hoping for the best (while still keeping my eyes peeled for other opportunities).

That's all for today, folks! I'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Short Update

I've gotten some comments on here over the last few weeks that have been very encouraging! Thank you so much, everyone!

Good luck to everyone getting ready for their programs! I'm so excited for all of you!

I just wanted to post something to tell you guys what's going on with me right now. Right now, I'm gearing up for exams (and graduation). I'm working on a lot of final projects and papers, and just trying to make it through to May 7th when I will hopefully graduate.

I haven't heard anything from Disney yet, which I'm taking as a good sign. I know of a few people that have gotten turned down recently. I have for sure been turned down for both the marketing PI's I applied for. Which is fine. But as far as I can tell I'm still in the running for the Graphic Design one and the Creative Solutions one. We'll see what happens.

Keep crossing your fingers for me!

Also I'm going to try to put together some more vlogs this weekend. I have more footage so I really should. :)

And now for the obligatory Disney World Photo:

Me, Michelle, Bethany, and the Mad Hatter at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Words of Wisdom


I am going to be doing the DCP starting in August I'm so so excited..I'll be in merchandise! I'm a little nervous too though, about the hectic nature of the hours and the fact that I'm still trying to find a roommate. Do you have any words of wisdom? :)

Thank you!


Congratulations! I remember that horrible waiting period between getting in and actually going. It was torture. I couldn't focus on anything other than the dream of being at Disney World for five months. In terms of words of wisdom let me see what I can tell you...

Let's start with roommates. I know how stressful that can be. For a bit I didn't think I'd be able to find one, but the biggest tip I can give you is to use Facebook to your advantage. Join the Facebook group for your program and talk to people. Get to know the people who will be on your program, and if you do that someone will stand out to you. You'll make a connection with someone and before you know it you'll have a roommate. That's what happened with me and lots of other people that I know.

But if all else fails don't be afraid of a roommate you don't know. I knew lots of people who didn't meet their roommates until they moved in and they ended up being the best of friends. And if the roommate thing turns out badly they are more than willing to help you anyway they can. I had friends that were able to move to a different apartment due to roommate situations. Believe me, if it's just too bad for you to stand they will help you.

Now, let's talk about your role. Merchandise. Merchandise is great role. It can be stressful, but only if you let it. Most of the time I had a great time at work. The people I worked with became some of my best friends while I was there. You see them a lot and so they sort of become your family. If you work as best you can, and make sure to be patient and pleasant with the guests you will have no problem. The technical aspects of the job are not hard, and Disney's training is handled very well. You'll go in knowing basically what you need to do, and the things you won't know will be easy to figure out.

As for hours, in the Fall there are only a few weeks that I experienced with truly hectic hours. The week of Christmas was very busy and I had lots of hours to work that week, and the week of New Years was down right insane. But it's usually never more than you can handle. You will always have at least one day off a week, and they were always give you a decent amount of hours between shifts. If they ever don't do those things then don't be afraid to have a talk with your manager. That's what they are there for. Now, if you work at Epcot be aware that you'll have busy weeks when the other parks don't. Epcot hosts the International Food & Wine Festival in the fall and it will be crowded. This is a favorite event for season pass holders and locals. During Food & Wine if you work the World Showcase you'll have plenty of hours. Not so many that you feel like you're constantly working like around Christmas and New Years, but enough that you'll really look forward to getting your paycheck every week.

Overall, I'd say there's really nothing to be nervous about. There will always be someone to help you, and when there's not somehow things always work out. That's the magic of Disney. Things somehow always work out.

Just make sure to maintain a positive outlook and show everyone at your location that you're willing to work. As long as you do that then they will be more than happy to help you out when you really need it. Proving that you're willing to do your best no matter what the task goes a long way with managers.

But make sure you take advantage of everything you can during your off time too! Don't be afraid to go places by yourself! Just because no one else has the same days off as you does not mean you can't go to the parks. Take a camera and play with photography in the parks. Try different foods. Meet characters. Do as much as you possibly can and I promise you you will have an excellent time on your program.

Congratulations, be safe, and have fun! You'll make memories you'll never forget and friends that you'll never lose. Enjoy every moment.

And that's all the wisdom I have for you. I hope that answered some of your questions and eased your nerves a bit! Thanks for visiting my little blog! I appreciate it!