In the past three years, I have helped people understand how the fastpass+ system works, opened up a brand new food and beverage location and now I am helping families drive race cars. It has been a long journey. I have moved a lot and lost relationships. Each day I strive to be better and look for better opportunities. I’m lucky that I have a family that supports me and many friends I can count on.
Author Archives: Amanda Lynn Whiteman
So this year my Christmas list didn’t have much on it. I only really wanted a full time job (sorry Santa but you can’t even help with that), printer and a portable charger for electronics because my phone tends to run out of battery when I’m out and about. The last two I don’t even care about as much because I can just buy them myself. Well I got a phone call today that would change my life. See earlier I had gotten a call about having to park over at Epcot from December 23-December 30 due to high potential park attendance. They did this to us earlier this year during Star Wars weekends but apparently didn’t really need to. It was kind of fun because once we were parked, we would board a bus that then took us over to Hollywood Studios, well you got to bond with your co-workers on the bus (the semi fun part). So I got another phone call and it was about a transfer if I was still interested. I had been offered the position of fastpass+ kiosk at Magic Kingdom full time! Needless to say, I took it and I was over the moon happy! I could barely contain my happy tears as the nice lady from casting finished up the call. I was happy, crying, couldn’t breathe from happiness and it was just an overwhelming of finally something good came out of my patience!
Turns out my managers were right. I got snatched up by the New Year for full time. I think I would of preferred character attendant but I can always reapply for that at a later date. The nice thing about the position I took is that it’s been in existence since like October of this year. So it is a brand new team that is still building and I get to be a part of it! Best part is, the transfer takes effective on Monday Decemember 23 which is only a few days away! I got one Christmas present I wanted and it was the most important one! I’m just over the moon happy for this wonderful opportunity!
So I completely forgot to mention that I participated in a RunDisney event last month. I had signed up for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler. It was my first event ever that would involve running/walking. As the event approached, I got more nervous by the day. I did think that it was mistake signing up for it and did think about not doing it all. But I did it because the money I spent on the race was non-refundable. I had been lazy and not really trained at all for it. I wanted to but I didn’t just really do it for some reason.
When the day finally came for race packet pick up and the actual race, I decided that my main goal was to just finish the race. I did the race by myself and I happen to make some friends during the race. Disney put on an amazing event and I’m glad I did it even through all of the pain I was in for days after.
Once we arrived at the start of the race at Disney’s Hollywood Studios there was a dj who was playing really good music and getting everyone to dance. Of course he was a bellhop from The Hollywood Tower Hotel and playing music from the lobby of the hotel. They also had placed many backdrops so the runners could take pictures with them pre-race. They also had snacks and drinks available as well but it’s recommended not to eat close to race time, we were within a couple hours of race time. Port-o-potty’s were also available along with water. Once we were in our corrals and being moved to the starting line, they had the star spangled banner sung, talked about other events coming up and music playing of course. With the start of every corral there were fireworks and a small introduction about running into the Twilight Zone.
They had on course entertainment like djs, character meet and greets, Halloween decorations and special performers. When we got to the Animal Kingdom autoplaza (where you pay the parking fee), they had out the performers of Festival of the Lion King greeting and cheering us on. They had out various villains throughout the course like the Old Hag from Snow White, Dr. Facilier/Shadow Man from Princess and the Frog, Grave Diggers from the Boo to You Parade along with Haunted Mansion Ghosts from the same parade, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, the three head Hyena’s from Lion King, Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and Stitch was also out. At the start of the race we were told that there would be a baseball game going on at ESPN Wide World of Sports and when we got to the baseball field, all of the players had been zapped from the field and a weird machine was placed on the field. The game announcer said that some aliens had done it. I bet I know who one of the aliens was that was responsible for it. I didn’t stop at any of the meet and greets because I was already going slow and didn’t want to get swept off course.
The race went by really fast because I got more encouraged as the miles passed by. Right before Animal Kingdom, I found this group of women that were encouraging each other and decided to keep up with them. I also chose them because we were in the same corral and I thought if I kept up with them that I would be right about on pace. When I had finally reached the finish line and got my lovely medal, I cried because I was so happy for completing it and wasn’t sure if I could do it. We got a whole bunch of goodies at the end to help refuel our bodies and I found somewhere to sit and relax to make sure I was okay to move on. I didn’t want to be taken to the medical tent for post race sickness.
After the race they had the Villains Bash which was the post race party but I didn’t stay long because it was like 1 or 2 in the morning and I had to be at work at 10 am and the only thing I really wanted to do was ride Tower of Terror but that was like a 40 minute wait and I didn’t feel like waiting that long. They had a ton of bars available which was not good for the runners. They a dj in front of the hat and various villains roaming the park.
I had finished the race in 3:00:35 which is right about where I wanted to be. I wanted to do it under 3 hours but that’s okay. At least I can aim for a better time next year. I do plan on doing it again until I can’t improve my time anymore.
Picture 1-My bib, shirt, pin, bag claim sticker and the running pouch I bought
Picture 2- One of the backdrops they had available
Picture 3- My medal
Picture 4- The pre-race dj
Picture 5- Another backdrop that was available
All right so it has been a few months. (Sorry I’m still new to this whole blogging deal.)
In May I got a part time transfer to showkeeping in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It has been a blast working in Studios. I am so glad I decided to take the transfer. My co-workers are awesome and we have a blast while working. My leaders are also awesome! Even though we have gotten changes in leadership, they are all very nice and willing to work with you as much as possible for anything you may need.
I have made a ton of new friends in attractions, entertainment along with food and beverage. I have found out that I like working conventions. Conventions is where a company spends money to keep either part of the park open for a couple hours or the whole park open for a couple of hours. They usually have a dj that plays really awesome music that you can sing or dance too. They are usually very easy to work. I also love working Fantasmic which is the nighttime entertainment at Studios. In Fantasmic, you follow Mickey through a dream to fight the forces of evil when his dream turns into an over whelming nightmare. It has characters, music, laser lighting, scenes from Disney movies and fireworks.
I did get transferred to full time housekeeping but that didn’t turn out to be a strength for me so they sent back to Studios which was fine. I have put in for other roles which includes a new one for the fastpass+ kiosks throughout the parks and I also put in for character attendant.
For character attendant, most folks have to have an interview before being put on the wait list. I had my interview for that a couple days ago and it went really good. The interviewer said that I am a really good candidate for the position and said I am in consideration for a second interview. I told one of my managers how my interview went and he’s guessing that I might be gone before thanksgiving which is what I am hoping for. I have my fingers crossed that it will happen quickly. I am going to work with my managers to see if I can scheduled to shadow a character attendant for a day to help prepare for a second interview.
So that’s pretty much it for now.
TTFN, Ta Ta For Now
My program ended on Jan 4, 2013. I was sad to say “see ya real soon” to my roommates and the friends that I have made but we know that we all have to go our separate ways for now for various reasons like finishing school so they can come back if they like. I am still in Florida working for Disney. I am seasonal now in the same role at the same location. I do have an interview coming up in two weeks (Jan 30, 2013) to see if another role wants me to join their ranks or not. I really hope they do since it is full time role and I would be back up to 40 hours a week (hopefully). I have also gotten two pay rate increases since the ending of my program which has helped very much.
My boyfriend had an interview with Disney at the beginning of the month and he got hired. He’ll be he with me in a week or so starting his adventure with Disney which we are both excited about because we’ll finally be in the same state as each other. We have been long distance from the start and now we finally won’t be long distance anymore.
I am very excited for the upcoming changes in my life and my boyfriends life.
I have been here for over two months now. I am having a blast! My roommates are awesome and we get along just fine. I have gotten into a normal routine with work and with my days off. I have started my second week of classes which are awesome!! I am taking Exploring Guest Service and Exploring Disney Heritage. I am doing my best to take full advantage of the program. I went to the College Program Alumni Speaker Series: Entertainment. It is a panel of professionals in a certain line of business or from across property then we can ask questions at the end as a group then they go to a station so we can talk to them as individuals. It is a great way to network at CPASS and the classes.I have gotten one Great Service Fanatic card for going on a fire safety watch at Art of Animation and I have another Great Service Fanatic card on the way for giving a bag of towels to the Food and Beverage cast members so they could close down a beverage station.
My managers are awesome and they love me. They have made points disappear for me and are there for me no matter what. When I applied to professional internships, my cp manager ran me through two mock interviews and told me what I did great along with what I could improve on. She also gave me tips and advice on how to ace the interview. Unfortunately I have been put into No Longer In Consideration for all of my professional internships but my Adventures by Disney application is still open.
I have officially checked into my program. I am somewhat settled into my apartment and I am getting along with my roommates so far. The check in process took like an hour to get through then I had an hour and a halfish to myself, so I decided to move all of my stuff into the apartment which took like 20 minutes or so. Then I started to get settled in a bit then we had to leave to go to casting to find out our work location (some more specific then others like Magic Kingdom: Fantasyland or Pop Century) then we went over how we should look, finished up some paperwork and got a background check done then a briefing on classes. After that we could head back to our apartments or could get food. We were also given stickers that said our location and when we have traditions. We also got our first two days of training schedule. It was a two hourish process at casting which was horrible. Lots of standing that day, not two mention most of us got up at 4 or 5 am that day. My advice for check in day is to wear comfortable shoes because of the standing and walking with the lack of sitting.
I had my welcome housing meeting today and it was awesome. We were welcomed with a club atmosphere including lights and fog machines then we did the wave. Not to the mention the guy that was doing the presentation was good looking but was full of jokes. It has been an interesting couple of days. I can’t wait for more adventures.