(no subject)
DISNEY - epcot
I've been back working for Disney for about 2 weeks now. Officially, that is, as in 'on stage'. I got through the week where you sign your life away and then go to Traditions, which has changed slightly and now Mickey comes to visit in person!

Getting back to the Rose and Crown felt very surreal at first. Same place, different faces. But I'm getting to know lot of them now and getting along with them all well.

Started on chippy, wearing the god awful hat, and found out that a lot of people seem to quite enjoy being in there. I don't get it. I don't remember anyone liking chippy. Again - surreal.

Podium week was fun. Like my last week all over again!

Took of my ears and now can be fully fledged, though I'm training on beer cart this coming week and then getting to assign again. I'm still hoping to take pre-service by the end of the month and try to push to get in sooner. We have a lot of newbies, podium is going to be stacked and they want people to get into service. I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to go for it if people want to hang back! We'll see.

My interest has also been noted in training to be GT, but that will be dependent on when I go into service, but at least that interest also means I'll get to have a proper chat with management about it. So long as I'm in service for Candlelight I'll be happy. If I extend, I'll still get a full year in service and that's a good thing.

Still haven't been to Animal Kingdom. No idea why not. Actually, I suppose it's because Studios is next door to Epcot, Epcot is where I work... and MK is where you go to 'properly' do disney. Universal and IOA pass is already bought.

I haven't gone near sea world yet though. Not sure when I will, actually. Also not sure if it's worth getting the annual pass for it as I just don't spend a lot of time there, but then... bands, brew and bbq in the spring.... if they get good acts and I get the time to go see them then it might be worth it. And I'll get in the odd trip down to Tampa to go to Busch Gardens. Still undecided on the effort to go through to Legoland though!

DISNEY - stitch lick
These days, everyone has to go to Vista Way to 'check in' and find out where you'll be living. It seems everyone I know is in The Commons.... except for me. I'm in Patterson Court. The upside to this is that it's a newer complex and still quite shiny, and I'm in a 1 bedroom apartment which means I only have 1 roommate to get to know. Said roommate I have still to meet as she hasn't been around since I moved in. I'm assuming she's traveling somewhere.... all I know is that she's french, going by the costumes hanging in the wardrobe. And by that I mean the little Eifel Towers on the neckerchief give it away :p

It took two car loads to get everything here, and I still need to pick up a few things at home in the next couple of days. I'll remember to get everything eventually! But I'm pretty stocked up for the main part as after getting settled in, K and I went to Wallmart for a little shop :)

Then last night we decided to take a trip to Downtown Disney to start us off. T, K and I went to Wolfgang Puck's for dinner and then to Ghirardeli (sp?) for the free chocolate and had a bit of a wander around. We didn't really go in anywhere, we were just soaking up the Disney atmosphere.... immersion therapy! But just a little bit at a time...

Today was the welcome session. The freezing cold room at the Commons (memories...) we sat in hasn't changed a bit. We signed our lives away as per usual, and got read the riot act over how to behave in the housing complex. Then they throw in some prizes for questions - I got one. Of course, I thought I'd be nice and give others a change to get their hands up quick but not K, she walked off with three prizes!

We then had to take a trip to Vista on the bus to get our housing ID cards, so I have that now. I think everything is pretty much sorted. We're now free until Traditions on Saturday. I swear last time we didn't get this much off.... I remember going to Universal on the Friday, because it was our first free day. Yet this time, I have Thursday AND Friday off. Not complaining! I've got plans :)

Looking forward to next week though with Discovery Day (yay for rides and *ahem* special things). Of course, I'll be back in THAT costume soon enough too (shoot me now -_-). Will be back in the Rose and Crown before I know it!

Let's see if how things work just come flooding back.... of course, I'm still not happy that they changed the floorplan. 513 is a 4-top! Insane!!

(no subject)
DISNEY - stitch lick
I'm in Florida.

I go to find out about my apartment next week, this week I have renewed my license and bought a car!

I'll update again next week once things are rolling again. All I've done so far this week is start the process of signing my life away. Get to continue that next week!

Everyone who is traveling this weekend and through to Tuesday, have a safe flight!

(no subject)
DISNEY - mickey fantasmic
I leave for Orlando in less than a week so right now I'm doing all the little things I need to get organised. Packing is going reasonably well, I also had to sort out bank stuff, tax stuff, as well as sorting out my PAF, emailing yummy with insurance and flight info and everything else. I've also been doing silly little things like getting photos of where I'm from for putting in my pouch at work. Tourists love that kind of thing! So I went for a hike up a local landmark last week and took pictures from the summit overlooking the town. And I've got some from the winter time as well when we werein a blanket of white which I shall use by December!

Have also been looking online for where i want to go buy a car. I have my eye on a couple from a dealership and so far, every day I check, the two I like are still on their online inventory.

Four more days of work here and it's dragging along. I don't think I'm 'excited' in the true sense of the word. I'm not hyper and jumping up and down about going, but I am looking forward to it and the change of lifestyle again. On top of that I just want it to hurry up and get here because I want to get the travelling bit and arrival over and done with so I can start settling in out there. The 'wind down' aspect of being here for the next few days is the bit I can't be bothered with!

Suitcase is packed. I managed to fit everything in without sitting on it and it's currently below the weight limit. Thinking abuot chucking in a few cans of beans and sausages though.... ;)

(no subject)
DISNEY - rock n roller
Since we're now just under a month before start date, I've been getting a lot more email from Disney about transport on arrival etc. Most of which I can ignore since I'm doing my own thing based on experience.

The important email did come through though which is the Program Assessment Fee that has to be paid. They send you out a code and password to use when paying the $100 dollars to them (that has to be paid by card).

It's best to get this paid in good time. I'm about to sort mine out and print the receipt to take with me.

The money for it goes towards the parties etc that they put on for you while there... the pool parties etc. Though they aren't really worth going to a lot of the time, I do remember having a great time at the Thanksgiving dinner at the Commons and they do throw a formal party at Christmas. If you can attend (work shifts permitting) it's a fun one.

The great thing about these disney cast parties is that you'll meet the characters in costumes that you won't see them wearing in the park. e.g. your graduation when you meet them in robes, and they wear formal wear to the Christmas do too! Even if all you do is turn up to meet Mickey and Minnie and grab some free food, you may as well!

(no subject)
DISNEY - mickey fantasmic
The visa trip was very smooth. Despite taking everything i'd ever been given with my name on it (bronze swimming certificate, anyone?!) they required very little.

I arrived half an hour in advance of my appointment to queue to get into the queue to get in. They give you a plastic bag for anything you have with you (though you aren't allowed to bring in phones, electronics or large bags) so I didn't have much apart from my documents. Then you go through metal detectors like in an airport.

You walk around the building and in the door where your appointment letter is scanned and you are given a number. it was very reminiscent of the end of beetlejuice if you ask me!

Once you are called (I took about 30 minutes to get called) you go to a window where they take and check your documents. you then have to sit down again and wait to be called a second time for the interview.

Another 30-40 minutes later I was called. I was prepared for proper questions but all they asked was 'What are you planning to do when in America?' I said i'd be a cultural rep at disney, working at epcot at the restaurantin the UK pavilion. 'what's the name of the restaurant?' The Rose and Crown.


'Okay, you're approved.'

That was it! Quick and painless. Surprisingly quick for the London embassy but I'd put that down to the fact that they start at 8am and my apointment was for 8.30am... bet they pile up during the day. So if you are still to make an appointment and you plan to be in London in plenty of time, I suggest going for an early one. it then leaves you free to either go home, or go enjoy the sights and a show! (which is what I did. kinda. cos I went up to BBC Elstree for the afternoon....)

After your meeting, you have to go to the desk to sort out delivery of your passport back to you. it costs abuot 15 pounds and they will only take cards (NO CASH). It takes about a week for the secure guys to bring it to you. You can pay for it to come in a timeslot but they are a bit rubbish (9-1 or 1-5) so I didn't think it was worth it.

In the end, I was out when mine originally arrived. I had checked the tracking info but somehow thought it was dueon the thursday not the friday so was off on the wrong day. only realised halfway through thursday too when I logged on to check the tracking info!)

It's easy to rearrange, it's an automated phone line but very easy to go through. I got it a week later instead on my next day off. No problems!

With that in my hands now, I've been trying to organise the last few bits and pieces. I let disney and yummy know all my travel info. I've been changing things with the bank, I've been trying to organise my phone contract, paying things off etc.

One thing I will recommend that yummy doesn't is to fill out the P85 tax for for the HMRC. It's the Leaving the UK form and if you want to get any tax back from them it has to be filled in (and a P86 when you come home). Considering the single person's allowance etc, you could be due money back for the tax year here! Download it from online or call to get it done. It is important, and I plan on actually emailing yummy and letting them know about it too.

I've also signed up with fairfx and loaded up a prepaid card so that I'm not carrying loads of cash out with me. And it's much better than travellers cheques. Highly recommend it. If anyone wants to sign up too, let me know cos I can get us discounts through the referal scheme.

3 weeks to go!

Visa trip sorted!
DISNEY - rock n roller
I've been in the quiet phase recently where not much happens until you get closer to going.

Nearer the beginning of May, Yummy Jobs got in touch with me needing more information for my visa petition. Because I'd been out before, they wanted copies of my last visa and my SSC. The good thing about being asked for them was that I knew that my petition was starting to be processed, which meant I could try and keep track of timescales.

On Saturday I received the info through the post. My mind is pretty blank from what happened the first time I ever did this, lol.

Looking at the I-797 form, I was the only one listed to go to Belfast. I presume, because that's where I went last time. The letter from Disney is a bit silly. It gives you the Visa website and says to find the Embassy you want to go to and look up details on what to do next. I suppose it's a standard letter they send to all nationalities, but I don't see why they can't just say 'here's the phone number to call' instead.

Anyway, hunted the website, found the London Embassy, found the number and its extortionate rates, and called to make my appointment. I made a mistake immediately and had to reschedule it too, which was very simple. They had times from 4 days away and ahead from that. I picked the end of the month though since I'm combining it with a holiday to London to get my money's worth!

I asked whether I had to go to Belfast as Disney seemed to specify it on my letter. The girl on the phone asked if there was a reason why Disney would make me go to a specific one from their end because as far as the Embassy was concerned, they don't mind where you go. I figured there really isn't. I'm sure last time I was told to go to London but changed it to Belfast when I asked back then.

I'm also pretty sure the MRV cost has gone up. it's $150 dollars for the fee. And then there's the usual warning not to get any papercuts before your trip as they take fingerprints. And also remember you can't take anything in with you apart from yourself and the paperwork you need. I'm all prepared to leave everything but my wallet in a security box at the hotel (not that I take valuables with me in the first place, it'll just be my phone really!)

One thing i do have to ask about is the fact I'm going out early. A week early to be precise. I'm sure people have done it for years, going out a good few days in advance to have time to get over jetlag etc. The I-797 says on it that it's to start on the 14th August, with my start date the 16th. My flight is the 9th.

I can't find stuff from last time, but the visa has an issue date on it and an end date. I'm hoping because the visa issue date is from when you take your embassy trip, that so long as you don't take the piss then immigration will let me through then because I want to have my week holiday and my time to buy my car etc etc.

Also, I have tickets for Rascal Flatts on the 19th August. yay! It's the friday night and I THINK that's the day off you get that week. Arrive and settle in Tuesday, Sign your life away Wednesday, Social Secuirty Thursday, off friday, Traditions Saturday, off Sunday... Monday Discovery Day, Tuesday computer training day... then you start after that but still get two days off somewhere in there... I think. Dodgy memory, would have to look through old blog entries to find out for sure!

I've also got a 5k race that dad and I are thinking of doing on the Saturday before which is the 13th...

I've got a lot to do once it hits July too.

Wait for my passport to come back to me (hopefully everything gets approved with no problems!)
Change my bank account to something really basic for while I'm away
Sort out my phone contract (cancel or not renew and change to PAYG or whatever and I need to give a month's notice on it)
Make appointment at DMV to renew drivers' license.
Car hunting!
Final payment for all my cards here etc so I can go away debt free!

Plus in July we're having a disney reunion, which is kinda fun as it's about 3 weeks before I go out again. So I'll see all my friends from last time before making the new ones!

Flights and insurancc - done!
DISNEY - park cinders and charming
I'm in the middle of a long spell of nothing, as is normal when getting a Disney contract!

I got my pack from yummy jobs back in August, but there's nothing else I do with them until the visa now and that won't be until about June time, I think.

In the meantime, I finally organised flights and insurance. I went through STA travel in order to save the 10% on te insurance, and the flights did work out a lot cheaper too. I did the same as before and only bought a 1 way flight. Maybe that is more expensive in the long run, but disney give you the money back for the flight out so the cost isn't a huge issue as, knowing I get it back, it just means Disney have to give me a little more for it!

That's what I did last time and, in the end, I made a little bit of money on it because of the time of year I was flying (my flight back was cheaper than my flight out). Fingers crossed that happens again. I debated getting a return but I can't be bothered with the hassle of changing dates on it (possibly more than once) and then Disney will only pay the half of it for the flight out regardless so you know you're only getting one flight paid for (and not, possible, one and a bit if you can be jammy!)

Jill at STA was really good with me and I asked loads of questions all the time in a bit of an anal way, but I'm always wary with flights.

So I'm going with Delta, a week before my contract begins, via Paris. So I have an hour to kill in 'gay Paris' and a wodge of old Euros I may spend on random rubbish!

Doubt I'll update again until the visa trip comes closer.

One other minor thing - I have now registered for the WDW marathon in January. Need to remember to request a back to back and some AM shifts for that weekend!

A new contract!
DISNEY - epcot
I have copied over all of my old entries from my 2007/08 Disney Diary.

I lost sight of it once I was there and the last 6 months didn't have much in it! Reading back was quite fun though and I was also able to work out dates and length of time for some things that happened.

But now we start the process again!

While on holiday in March I heard rumours from the Rose and Crown servers that repeaters would be allowed to go out. When I came home I was already in the process of looking for a new job and on a whim (just as in 2006) I phoned Yummy jobs and Jason and I had a lovely conversation (he remembered me too!) and I was told I could apply.

I had been worried that having been out before would be a disadvantage but I was assured that it shouldn't be, but I would have to prove why a second year would be beneficial.

I then began to make it through the 'rounds' and survived the phone interview cull to make a trip to London for the face2face interviews. We sat and watched as Valerie once more showed us how wondrful it would be to work for Disney (:P) and then headed into our pairs. I was with Chris, who was the only other person there who had been out before. Turns out he started about a month after I originally left!

A month later I got the email. Almost scared myself though as they've changed the layout of them... I remember not even having to open my email before to know I got it as I could see the first line that said 'congratulations'. This time I could see it started with a 'thank you for applying' and braced myself for the rejection, only to open it to a nice surprise!

So I'm going again. August 16th start date. I will once more try to extend while out, and I hope to get into service sooner than before (2 months) and a lot of other bits and pieces I should be able to fall back into as I already know how things work (car etc).

I also aim to attend things at Disney U and get more into the disney community and also plan on running in the WDW marathon in January.

In the meantime... I have received my disney pack, and begun to get the emails from disney as well as the usual from Yummy. Most other things are still a while off before I need to worry. I'll try and update as I did last time though with all of that stuff too though!

(no subject)
DISNEY - epcot

I no longer work for Walt Disney World.

Well, I haven't for a week or so now. Doesn't feel like it though.

And as sucky as the job is (slave labour camp? anyone?) I really miss it. And the money, natch. And the people though. But eventually all of my best friends would have left me. I don't know how Lady Sarah does it, really don't. The turnover is the depressing thing sometimes!

At least I know I;ll see all my good friends again and be keeping in touch with them :)


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