It's been quite a while since my last blog post and I apologize. I've come to realize that it seems to be at the major times in my life that I turn to sharing what is going on in my life.
Tomorrow morning marks the start with my new role at The Walt Disney Company as a Group Sales Development & Integration Specialist (CR). Yeah. Fancy huh? Basically I'll be taking calls from interested Guests to book Disney weddings, conventions, and other corporate events. I'm excited to gain more guest experience, but less excited about that "CR" part.
So Disney has an interesting structure when it comes to employment. Instead of just calling something part-time or full-time, they instead use different terms to specify what type of part-time or full-time cast member you are. Without getting too technical, I'm a "Casual Regular" meaning I am part-time but there is no set end date for my position. Which is monumental to me as I have not been in a job that has not had an end date since I worked at my local grocery store back home in high school. On the other hand, its part-time. Meaning I'm going to be struggling to pick up hours else where to support myself. I've already told myself that I would give it 6 months to try out and see how difficult it is to live off of and then decide from there.
But to get back to where I've been these past 8 months, it truly has been amazing. I've gotten to be a part of a team that I never would have guessed I would have fit in. I'm leaving this team with more growth and friends then I would have thought of months ago. I've enjoyed learning from my leader and taking the skills to my next role. My favorite part of the role has been representing The Walt Disney Company when I traveled into the parks. I'm looking forward to whatever is next!
I suppose it has been a little while since my previous post. At least has only been an 8 month gap and not a whole year from my old site. A lot has been going on in my life and I'd like to recap on what has happened as well as plans for this website moving forward.
In May, I received my B.A. in Electronic Media and joined the High Point University class of 2014 as a college grad! I was ecstatic to be done and luckily everything fell into place the last month of my academic career. I had been applying for multiple professional internships with The Walt Disney Company (see giant graphic above). After a few rounds of interviews I was lucky enough to be signed on as the Disney Gift Card Projects professional intern. My position began mid August so I had a bit of a gap from graduation to my start of employment that I need to account for here.
My move to Florida happened just days after my graduation and am literally behind Cinderella's castle. Every night at 10pm my house is hit by the distant boom of the Wishes fireworks show and Mickey is basically my next door neighbor. I love the location but living near all the tourism makes it difficult to find normal necessities and it is a 30 minute drive to get anything I need for the house. To provide for myself for the summer, I turned to a company I didn't think I would ever be employed at. But, I'm glad I did and the experience was interesting to say the least.
Since I still needed to provide for myself for the summer and Disney would not hire me for another part time position, I decided that I would work for Universal Studios and actually became a Chef at the Three Broomsticks restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WW). There were some serious differences between working for these two competing Entertainment companies, but also similarities. Both companies strive on being a part of the show and my position at the WW had me wearing a "tea" stained name tag as opposed to the regular white name-tag because it fit the appearance guidelines set forth by J.K. Rowling. As well as the fact that I was paid to take an eight hour class all about the universe of Harry Potter and received a "wizard certificate". As for actually being a chef, my experience was a little lackluster. As a "chef" all I mainly did was bring food out of the ovens and create the plates that were already predetermined. But it was still fascinating to see all aspects of the theme park industry, even if I have no interest of going back.
Back with the mouse
Beginning in August I started working as the Professional Projects Intern with Disney Gift Card Services, Inc. It has been an amazing experience to be a part of the team and learn about the vast world of gift cards. My role has me working in the logistics business with our 3rd party vendors but also on various special projects such as many technology and creative projects. I hope my experience with the team will broaden my skill set so that I may be more versatile in my roles in the future.
I began my trip to Florida in late August where I last left you all. It was three day trip and boy was it fun being crammed in a compact car with two other people and basically my whole life. Frankly, I’m just happy my car made it down here without dying on the side of the road with the Geary family sitting on the hood wondering if that car looked like a tow truck or a pickup truck.
I started the Disney College Program on a Monday morning at 5 in the morning. Technically check-in wasen’t until 8 or 9 but when we arrived at the front gate we still saw 30 people in front of us waiting to get in. Since housing was first come first serve I don’t blame them but I let my roommate stay back at his hotel and sleep in.
The move-in day was fast paced and one minute you’re filling out an insurance form and next a camera is flashing in your face for an ID badge. I also had never been background checked and finger printed so that was an interesting yet awkward experience.
After the rustle and bustle of check-in day we had a couple of days to get settled in and then we started to train with all the other CPs and then slowly got weened off into our specific locations.
I’m currently a cast member at Zone 1 of Downtown Disney (Tren-D, Team Mickey, Bridge Cart) and I can honestly say it is better than what I expected. I’ll be talking about my job, roommates, events, and living expenses more in the coming months when I can hopefully keep this blog going and keep ranting.
See ya in a few!
Over the past week I traveled to Connecticut to visit a few friends from school. We stopped by Lake Compounce which is a small family owned theme park behind an industrial park. I loved the park and fully enjoyed the wooden coaster running through the mountains.
What I was most shocked to see was that all of the drinks at this park came with park admission and any park guest could get unlimited cups of their favorite soft drink. I didn’t think the corporate meatheads at coca cola or pepsi would ever sign off on this.
Anyway I’m getting ready to go to Disney World and I’ll share more with you about it later!
Sorry I knew it was only a matter of time before my time management would mess up and my regular scheduled blog posting would just be screwed. But I’ll make up for it and come out with a new one today and Thursday.
Last week I picked up my sister from a summer camp that she had been at for three weeks participating in biking, canoeing, and hiking. The camp is called Merrowvista and is located in Ossipee NH. For years I traveled to this camp and went on many adventures with a group of 9 kids who I grew up with and still am in contact today. However instead of rambling for paragraphs about this camp, which I could, I instead will be talking about the final trip I went on called Voyageur.
Nah I didn’t play rugby. That photo of the group on the front page is my camp group but the rugbys take on a much greater meaning. But more on that in a bit. The voyageur trip is known as the 2nd to last trip (last for me since I hated hiking for the following year) where your group would be taking a ferry to Nova Scotia, Canada and bike along the coast for 14-16 days. Over the course of these two weeks our group traveled 538 miles along the lower peninsula and taking in the sites the province had to offer.
The Nova Scotian coast was beautiful but for once I was mostly focused on what the trip meant and that after 8 years of doing minor trips this trip had become somewhat of a right of passage. Now I’m sick of the “loss of innocence” crap english teachers repeat so thats not what I’m trying to say. But throughout the years of bonding with this group I’d learned so much about myself and the world around me that it was overwhelming to think that it was coming to an end.
I’m sure I’ll do another blog post in the future about the sights of the trip when I’m feeling nostalgic, but for now I just want to say that camp Merrowvista really was in a way my Hogwarts. Yeah thats a harry potter reference. Foreshadowing...
The rugbys themselves were given to us on the last night back in camp at what is called Grand Council. Grand Council is a ceremony where family and the community are brought together around a fire to share in what had happened in those three weeks. The rugby color’s are a surprise to the current voyageurs and are handed down by past voyageurs in the audience or by those at camp. The idea behind them is that no matter how far we travel, when we are brought together the lines of the rugbys connect symbolizing the bonds we had created. It sounds really cheesy but it couldn’t be more true.
I’ll admit standing up when they asked those who had been to the camp a decade made me feel very old. But seeing faces of my group now leaders of the younger campers made me proud to wear my old rugby. It also made me incredibly jealous of the 2011 Voyageurs as they received their rugby’s. (Even though the colors were so ugly)
So when I watched my sister at her council I just thought I can’t wait for the day she is waiting for me to pass down her rugby.
I’m on vacation. Away from the 9-5 desk job and actually stretching my legs in the vacation state of Maine. Even though I’m on vacation sadly I still have to deal with the outside world including my Psych final coming up this weekend. I don’t mind writing this blog as I stare over the balcony of the house we rented.
My dad seems to like spending his hours at home shopping for lake houses for the annual trip. It’s strange enough that us Geary’s travel with the Leary’s every year, but the usual location my father works out is equally as scary. In the past we’ve gone to a campground called Papoose pond every year for a good 18 years and the following year we stayed at a house on Old Orchard Beach... at least we thought it was a house... the condition was more of an overpriced run down shack.
This year however we decided to head to northern Maine and for a while I doubted the house even existed due to the fact that the house owner only answered our emails every 3 weeks and kept avoiding the question of what the address was. But when we pulled up to the brand new log house I think both families were surprised.
So far the place has an amazing view, fully furnished kitchen, 3 bathrooms, and a TV thats bigger than the one at home. Theres plenty to do in the area and I’m sure its going to be an action packed week.
So its over?...Really? I sound like Radcliffe talking to J.K. Rowling. I haden’t seen a Harry Potter film in theatres since the Order of the Pheonix and I’m glad I saved the best for last. I went Sunday because I knew any other day of the weekend would be insane (yeah I missed the midnight sales) and it was decently crowded in the 2D theatre. My friend had only seen up to Goblet of Fire so I’m sure trying to figure out what the hell was going on was fun for him.
I hate 3D, what does it do? The picture is in focus on the “3D Object” okay. That’s worth extra money. Sunday was the 2D day and I’m really glad I chose to see it that way. Overall the movie itself was by far my favorite Potter film because I’m more biased to the action/special effects aspect of the movie and after the wizard fight in Order of the Pheonix I was dying for more. I won’t give spoilers since some of you haven’t seen it, which is terrible, but I will say I was very impressed with the ending (I only read up to Half Blood Prince so sew me). At the end of it though I was longing for more. I didn’t want the screen to pan out.
Tuesday I decided that I would fork up the extra cash and go see it in IMAX 3D... there was no IMAX 2D. My sister and I had already seen it so we knew we’d be talking about some of it and just enjoying the added effect of the bigger screen and sound. For once in my cinematic life I HIGHLY recommend seeing this film in IMAX 3D. The sound and sights alone make it worth while as the castle explodes and the theatre shakes you truly almost grab your seat. The 3D was annoying and not needed but the experience I had was very satisfactory. So if you can do it I definately recommend forking out the...$17 to....wait. $17? For a movie?! Well I’ll save that over pricing for another rant blog post.
As for the future with potter all we can do is...
Happy 4th everyone! Hope you enjoyed your barbecue, the beach, or my personal favorite fireworks. Sadly its back to work after the long weekend and after the yard is littered with leftovers from what looks like an exploded piñata. Of course watching the spectacle some of the chinese-imported glossy tube fireworks is well worth the cleanup required afterwords. Living in the state of Massachusetts of course means that fireworks are prohibited and not sold.
However, it really is convenient to live next to states that do allow them. I myself didn’t purchase the color assorted cases of a pyromaniacs fantasy, but chipped in some cash for my friends to take the drive and pick up the cases. Phantom Fireworks is so interesting in the fact that it is by all means a grocery store, but instead of the shelves stocked with store brand food products, its filled with different shapes and sizes of fireworks that always seem to be a little too stingy with the fuse.
I’m not sure why but this reminded me of the Family Guy episode where Peter is trapped without a passport and goes to find the “black market”. As a joke the black market is a grocery store where the shelves are filled with fake IDs and guns. The show jokes about this sort of thing but is it really too far off to think that guns could be sold in a grocery store when explosives are?
Anyway I definitely recommend Phantom Fireworks for the avid lover of fireworks and the passive participant who is happy with the simple sparkler and pop rocks.
Big surprise my second blog post is about Disney. But come on were you expecting any different from me?
I was thinking of what my next topic could be while listening to a few Disney podcasts passing time at work and also to get through the awful silence that I can’t stand. Plus there was no way I was turning on the radio and listening to Rolling in the Deep 50,000 times. I remembered probably the best experience I’ve had in a Disney park with my family in 2007.
Months before the trip I remember my Dad being overly enthusiastic about buying these hard tickets to the Pirate and Princess party at the Magic Kingdom. He began shopping for crazy pirate costumes and accessories. By the time August rolled around we had a family full of pirates goods and didn’t know what to expect.
The day we arrived we checked in at the Polynesian resort, across the lagoon from the park, that evening the event was going on but our tickets weren’t for two days from then. We grabbed dinner and to our surprise the fireworks could be seen from our hotel and the audio was being pumped through speakers lining the beach. Which was by far the most amazing fireworks display I had ever seen (video above).
On the night of the party we left the hotel and rode the monorail a few hours early because we were having dinner on main street. I bet it was quite the site to see a family of pirates get on the monorail train. While we waited inside the Crystal Palace on main street I remember children from other tables staring at us wide-eyed because they saw a family of pirates eating dinner. I’ll never forget a young teen approaching me and asking “what is it like to work for Disney?” This brought a smile to my face and throughout the night I felt like a Disney cast member.
May be a bit of a sentimental tail but the overall event was the best I had been to at Disney to date. Unfortunately they have not brought it back since that year. I’d still trade anything to walk down main street in my pirate costume.
Below you’ll find a podcast from 2007 by a very talented and entertaining producer of the Meandering Mouse. So if video’s aren’t your thing I highly recommend listening to this recording as it includes audio from the event and the fireworks mentioned above.
A Blog? Really Ryan? Yes this is what it has come to. I’m writing a blog to spare the people around me the random babble I’ll go on about and to pass the time instead of losing my mind.
Of course passing the time seems to be a necessity at my desk job for the summer. Don’t get me wrong, the 9-5 cubicle lifestyle is perfect for some people. Those people probably having the basic personality of a bee in a hive. But it is definately not for me.
During my years working at the grocery store it was better even to stand behind a cash register for 5 or 6 hours at a time because at least I had social interaction and although my verbal dialogue was limited to “paper or plastic?” I still found it bearable to put on that Mckinnon’s Butchery apron and bite the bullet during the warm summer months supplying the average man’s grill with any PETA supporters’ worst nightmare.
But I guess a job is a job and spending 6 months at an amusement park won’t be so bad once I get there. As for this blog, not sure when I’ll be updating it and if it will be a regular thing. But check back because Ranting Thoughts with Geary is definately not done ranting.