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.