Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Well so much has happened since the last month, I got a call near on 3 weeks ago asking if I was prepared to accept an October start date onboard the Disney Dream, without hesitation I accepted. Considering I was initially advised that I would most likely be offered a January / Feb start date, they were now offering me a date which was 26 days away - So many thoughts ran through my mind, mainly the fact I still didn't even hold a US visa (Thankfully that was already booked in for 4 days after the phone call).
Being the anxious person I am, I do not enjoy Visa day, this was my third time I've applied for US visas and you would think the stress levels would reduce each time, but no - It's quite the opposite for me. Thankfully i always book an early appointment so i don't have too much time to stress, although I go through my paperwork countless times to make sure its all there (even though i KNOW it is). The process itself this time was relatively pain free, and even ended up being offered an extra 5 year US visitor visa, so given that my C1/D Crew visa is valid for 5 years I will not have to go to the embassy for another visa for 5 years (hooray). On a funny (albeit stressful) not, do not have a USB in your wallet when you enter the embassy, let alone two of them haha. - We'll save that story for another day.

The last three weeks have been a blur, I was warned that Disney Cruise Line usually send out your flight details only a few days before your flight, again as a stressful person this is not ideal for me. Thankfully I got them nearly a week ago and am thrilled with the flight - its a 26 hour trip, which is as direct as you can get from Aus to Orlando.
Over these weeks, I should have been getting excited/ nervous / prepared for my life onboard the cruise ship, yet I seem to not be able to get my mind off the fact I get to spend 4 full days in Orlando (2 of which are training days) where I will be able to see my Disney friends, I can't even find the words to express how happy I am to go back to the place where I was SO happy to be surrounded once again by some amazing friends - Having this on my mind has been great too because its deterred my from over thinking the fact I will be spending 6 months onboard a ship, with no day off until April - You'd think with those stats I'd be questioning my decision to accept this role, but NO, I know that this is exactly the right adventure for me at this exact time.

This time next week and I'll be in Orlando, So the next 5 days I guess I should get my act together and start packing - As a serial overpacker - this task is going to be the most difficult part of the application process, If you could see how tiny the wardrobe storage is on board you'd understand why - but at the end of the day, I am Loren and I WILL over pack - "Certain as the sun, rising in the east"


Saturday, September 3, 2011

6 months of pure bliss.

Wow, where to begin. I didnt update this blog throughout my time at Walt Disney World, because A) I was too busy making the most of my time there and B) I forgot about this blog. 

My 6 months working at DisneyWorld were the most amazing, exciting, incredible months of my life and apart from some of the "costumes" I had to wear, I loved every second of it.
When I arrived I was assign to a "Show Presenter" role at Disney Epcot park, I was to present a interactive show called "StormStruck" infront of a live audience a number of times per day, I was initially anxious about this role as public speaking isnt my ideal role, nor was the 8 solid days of training to learn a 24 page script. I did the job as best I could but I knew it wasn't where I was best suited, or where I could give my all my and shine in my role and if I were to be working at DisneyWorld then I wanted to be in a role where I had the chance to make magic for those around me, and at Epcot I didn't feel I had that option so with quite a fight and some major convincing I was able to switch jobs to a Merchandise Hostess position at Disney's Hollywood Studios and from day 1 I knew it was the perfect fit for me... Actually day 1 of training was quite amusing, I was told to wear business attire (Black dress) for my training, excpet when I got there I was given my costume (uniform) to wear, a sheer white shirt and black shorts that looked like a skirt.. anyhoo, lets just say a see through white shirt wasnt the best look for my first day. I met my managers and some of the cast members from my new area, everyone seemed really friendly and extremely welcoming. And 6 months on, I can honestly say Studios was my second home. I didnt just make incredible friends, but I made friends who I love dearly and consider them family.

I could spend hours writing about my time at Disney, but no words could ever express my true gratitude for all that has able to experience, I have made some amazing lifelong friends from around the world and those friendships alone made everything seem okay, they even made finishing at 2am fun.

How many people can say they got to play at all the Walt Disney World parks for free, my life was bliss. Whilst at work, I got paid to make magic moments for guests from around the globe, I got to work alongside people from all walks of life and on my days off I got to hang out with amazing friends from a range of different countries at our favourite places around Walt Disney World.

They say whilst you're at Disney that you live in a Disney Bubble, well lets be honest - I loved every second of that bubble so much so that half way through my program I was already looking for ways to stay within the Disney family, my only option was to extend my program for another 6 months and then return to Australia, that wasnt really what I was looking for, I wanted something which would push me further and the Disney Cruise Lines seemed like the perfect fit. I've love being out at Sea, so this to me was ideal. I started the application process and assumed it would be a relatively easy process and I was currently living in Florida and thats where the cruise line is based, well lets just say it was a long and tiring fight to contact anyone who had contacts within the cruise line. I was unable to contact them directly, and given that I was an international applicant nobody in America could help per-se. I got in contact with the Australian recruiters and sent through all the application paperwork to get the ball rolling, I had 1 skype interview whilst I was still living in Florida and was told the other interviews would be be conducted when I finished my college program and returned home...
Well long story short, 3 skype interviews later and I was offered a Merchandise Position onboard the Disney Cruise Line.
It was a stressful process but reading that email
"Congratulations!!   You have been successful in gaining a position with Disney Cruise Line" made every bit of it worthwhile.
I havent been given a departure date, and still need to get my visa but other than that I am ready to go. It was mentioned that the most likely departure date would be jan / feb 2012 to coinside with the new Disney Ship being revealed, I would be stoked to work on the new ship, but really I would be equally as stoked to work onboard any of the Disney fleet.

The memories from my time at Walt Disney World will forever be held close to my heart, and right now my hopes and dreams of a career within the Disney Cruise Lines are taking over my every waking moment. I don't know what my future holds, but if i've learnt 1 thing from my past, This time I certainly wont be letting any opportunities pass me by. My arms are wide open and Im ready for whatever challenges sea life throws my way.

What I do know is that I will be working 7 days a week, minimum 70 hours per week and I will not have a full day off for the duration on my contract (6 months) - and I couldn't be more excited about those stats if I tried.. though I'm sure that may change on my first weeks onboard.

Will try and make sure there isn't another 8 month gap between posts...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

72 hours until departure. .

This time next week I will be an official employee of Walt Disneyworld.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How many days?

I'm sorry, how many days did you say?
Put it this way... in 504 hours i WILL BE ON A PLANE to Orlando
21  days

Friends keeps asking if I am nervous? Honestly, not at all.
Anxious? Nope.
Ready? VERY.
Its funny, having spent the past few months wanting this so BAD, it just seems so natural to grab my suitcase and head for the airport.. Something about this experience just feels "Right" throughout the entire application process, I haven't once felt nervous or thought twice about it, this program is not only right for me, but its right for my RIGHT NOW. 

I have officially reach an unnatural level of Disney stalking, I feel as though I have read pretty much every Disney college program blog, every ICP related forum, stalked current applicants facebooks - yet still after reading so much I am still going over with no expectations. The common thing I've read on all these blogs is that the program is what you make it. Same as everything in life I guess, you don't get unless you give (shame more people didn't understand that theory)

Whats next? packing. argh. As a serial overpacker, I am DREADING packing for this trip, and would even contemplate paying someone good money to pack for me. On a recent 5 day trip interstate, I took enough clothes to last me months. I openly admit, packing is NOT my forte.

I'm thrilled, I'm excited, I'm ready!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


It is impossible for me to put into words just how thankful I am for the opportunities I have been given.

A series of events over the past 18 months appeared at the time, to have "gone wrong" yet without each and every one of those "disappointments / failures" I would not be in the fantastic position I am in now, I wouldn't of had the opportunity to go back to study, and I would never had of been given the chance to apply (let alone get accepted) to the amazing Disney internship I will be taking part in, in 2011.

I am a MASSIVE believer in that things happen for a reason,  This past months have really made me realise without the "downs" in life, you will never truly appreciate the "ups", 

I've never let a day go by where thank my lucky stars for the path my life has taken.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm so vain I probably think this blog is about me... OH wait, It is.

Welcome to the life of a temp worker.

So what have I done in the past two weeks you ask? Okay so you didn't ask but I shall tell anyway. I have sat at a table for 45+ hours each week studying for my diploma and reading magazines whilst security guards bring my hot chocolates and green teas – all whilst receiving a nifty hourly rate. Bizarre antics like this seem to have become the norm for me of late. Doing this temp work whilst I study and to fill in time before I leave for the states has been amusing to say the least. I've worked at some very well known companies, some awesome charities and this recent gig doing promotions for a well known magazine company (and before you think it, no I wasn't selling anything or signing anyone up for anything – If customers spent a certain amount of dollars in specific stores they would come see me for their “gift with purchase”)
I wont lie, the past 2 weeks have been brain numbingly boring, but on the other hand I can't complain about being paid to study and to keep up to date with all the trashy mags.

Whilst temping I have done some ridiculously hard jobs and far more easy (to the point where you feel guilty actually being paid to turn up to work) jobs. Regardless of the work or the company, I have met some AMAZING people along the way and been given some incredible opportunity (including a well paying 2012 position in Singapore)

The last few weeks have really given me some time to reflect of how incredibly lucky I have been of late and what an absolute blast my life has become. Not a single day passes where I do not take some time to reflect on how grateful I am for the opportunities I've been presented with.

Be it being in the right place at the right time, or luck, or even fate – call it what you like but I seem to find myself in some pretty pinch-me-so-I-can-tell-this-is-real-situations.

And YES I fully realise how vain this “blog” is, but it has been written with the intent that when this heredity Alzheimers kicks in, (in addition to the craziness of everyday life) I will have a place to look back and relive some memories and to share some classic “loren” moments with my friends near and far.

People fear all sorts of things, my biggest fear in life is forgetting moments, forgetting the spark in peoples eyes, forgetting scents, forgetting the sound of certain peoples laughs – I've made my point, I do wish there were a way I could keep each memory close to my heart forever (having said that, I am not completely delusional, and for the record there are certain laughs i'd prefer not to remember)

2010 has, without a doubt been a blur of a year, and I certainly found myself in some bizarre situations – a few standouts in no particular order

Eddie with my story in the magazine
Hoddle St Billboard
  • Seeing a billboard on Hoddle street with my picture printed all over it (still bizarre) (and the adventures that come along with this including having a story printed in a magazine, having Eddie Mcguire read the magazine and being interviewed on TripleM Brisbane)
  • The absolute whirlwind of auditioning and appearing Millionaire Hotseat (and the many many bizarre antics which have since followed since then – see point below.....)
Samuel Johnson & I
  • Being introduced to Jimmy Barnes by Eddie McGuire was kind of a surreal (screw-the-pinching-hit-with-a-baseball-bat-this-can't-actually-be-real-moment)
  • Having Samual Johnson jumped the media barriers at the 2010 Logies awards for me
  • ACTUALLY being in the media zone at the Logies awards, and to awesomely share this moment with my sister. (and furthermore being interviewed for the 7pm project)
  • Being at an event where Samuel Johnson was a few months later and having him remember me and the random barrier jumping (oh and again, actually being invited to this event)
  • Getting a backstage private tour and vip treatment at The Regent Theatre (a theatre of which I have dreamed of stepping foot on for many many years – supposable having no talent or theatre skill has stopped me) and being able to stand in the middle of the stage and daydream.
My time on Millionaire
  • Winning tickets and limo transfers to see Rhianna's concert in March 2011... Then realising I won't be in the country for it - HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS....
There is more but right now my tummy is grumbling and nose is smelling the pumpkin soup boiling - therefore my concentration has just left the building.

Maybe it was the fact that I grew up a stones throw from the Channel10 studios and almost weekly was in the audience of “Rove Live” and got to with some pretty big names (at the time) over the years including Good Charlotte, Destinys Child and.... Elmo. We were often called upon to be seat fillers for a number of channel 10 pilot screenings and shows, oh and then there is the brief period of my young days spent by Pin Oak Court where they filmed Neighbours just to get a glance of Daniel McPherson....but regardless of the "whos" and "wheres" I couldn't give two hoots about if someone is a “celebrity” or not, I just love the buzz which surrounds these events. 

Pumpkin Soup is calling.......

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Move Over Alice - Loren In Wonderland

4 Months Today
until I leave Australia and begin my time at Disneyworld.

Is it crazy to just wanted to pack up and head to the states for a 6 (possibly 12) month internship? sure a little, but oh so very Loren like.

After reading (read: obsessively reading) so many other Disney cast members blogs over the past few weeks, I thought it was only fitting to set one up myself for my friends and family to read once I begin the program.

 I first looked into doing this Disney program back in 2007 yet for some crazy reason never went through with the application process until this year, 2010, so for me having only 4 months to go is like finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Even after having heard and read so many AMAZING reviews about the program, I am attempting to go over with no expectations or preconceived ideas and to simply make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.

My flights are book, my job confirmed... I guess now I just play the waiting game.