Sunday, March 16, 2014

Random Pictures From When I Worked in Disney

After I worked in Disney, I lived with my grandparents for 8 months until I went to Wright State University.  Then I moved out.  All of my memorabilia was left in my old bedroom.

In 2007, my grandma fell and broke her leg.  Family had to sort through all of her possessions and my memorabilia had to be moved into my house.  

I've gone through some of the memorabilia from time to time when nostaliga hits me.  However, I only go through the top layer of the trunk/box it is located in.  Today I dug down all the way down to the bottom.  Boy did I find a treasure.  

This is my friend Molly.  We both worked for Soundstage Restaurant.  Unfortunately we lost track of each other.  I've thought of her from time to time.  Today I contacted her and we spoke for an hour.  It was as though no time had passed.

These next 6 pictures are of the Vista Way Complex

The Clubhouse's Hot Tub

The Clubhouse's pool

The Clubhouse and ATM (People are standing in front of the ATM.)

Another View of the Clubhouse

Tennis Court

Parking Lot, Building, and Mail Boxes

The next pictures are my apartment building.  I lived in 802 and of the laundry room in my building.  As you will see, the laundry was actually in the walkway area. Near where you will see stairs was where the pay phone was.  If I wanted to call home, I either had to call collect or use a phone card from a pay phone.  We had a phone in our apartment but it was for local calls only.  I actually found a note that my grandma sent me.  She had included a phone card so I could call my mom on her birthday.

This is from the Cast Celebration.  We got a discount on merchandise during a certain time period.  They also had special events for Cast Members during the holidays.  One was taking a picture.  Hubby did not particularly like my hair style when he saw this picture.

I got my favorite Pumbaa stuffed animal while in Walt Disney World.  I still have it to this day.

These all of the students from my college who participated in the college program.  I'm in the far back, right corner right next to the flag.  The young man who was right in front of me is Joe from Traditions.  He also flew home on the same flight as me.

A Flock of Seagulls

No I'm not talking about the 80's group:

Last Friday, I was doing my arrival duty (yes I said duty) which is greeting the walkers and car riders.  Suddenly the students were rushing into the building or just staring at the sky.  At least 20 or so sea gulls were circling the teacher/visitor parking lot.

Students were scared they were going to hurt them.  Or they were confused on why the birds were circling the parking lot.  I wish I had a picture of some of their expressions.  

I had to reassure them that unless they were holding food or were food, the gulls would leave them alone.  They are aggressive but it's when they are see food and trying to get the food.

Those sea gulls were on a mission.  They were hungry.  Now the question, why were they by my school.  We have bodies of water about five miles away or the Great Miami River is ten miles away.  We hadn't had a big rain so there was no puddles.

I'm guessing they were migrating to the Great Lakes because it was a whole bunch of them.

Also on Friday, I saw five deer by the entrance of the drive way to the school's complex on my way into work.  Then on my way home, I saw a group of Air Force soldiers doing tactical training in the local university woods.  

The sea gulls.  Not all of them were in the air.  Some were over the building and others were on the ground.  I didn't want to get any of the students' faces in the picture so I just took a picture of the gulls in the air.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chocolate Rocks?!?

This year I have a fifth grade group, sixth grade group, and a science/social studies group.

During the time I have the fifth and sixth grade group, I teach them reading, English (language arts), and math.

My science and social studies group has only 3 students.  These 3 students do not take the same standardized test that my other 11 do so that's why I teach them science and social studies.

We have been learning about the rock cycle and different types of rocks this quarter so I told them we would make rocks out of chocolate.  They have been waiting patiently or not so patiently for this opportunity.  :)

So on Friday I finally brought in the materials for this project.

For the igneous rocks (rocks that form from heat - molten rock - lava), we discussed/reviewed how the Earth is hot below the crust and is made of plates.  These plates come together (converge) and either form mountains or volcanoes or cause earthquakes.  We discussed how the lava flows out of the volcano and then cools.  Depending on fast or slow it cools, grains will either be large and visible or small and not visible.  Granite versus basalt and pumice

For the sedimentary rocks (rocks that form from pressure), we discussed/reviewed how sediment falls into bodies of water.  These pieces of sediment fall to the bottom of the body of water.  Pressure from the water causes them to sink into the sand/mud that is at the bottom of the body of water.  Over time those pieces of sediment will cement together to form sedimentary rocks.  Fossils are an example of sedimentary rock.

The chocolate by it's self are the igneous rocks.  The chocolate with all the sprinkles are the sedimentary rocks.  One of my students went a little overboard with the sprinkles.

Igneous rocks:

Stars of the project:
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • microwavable bowl
  • spoon
  • chocolate chips (I used 1/4 c. for 3 kids.)


  1. Discuss what is needed for igneous rocks to form.
  2. Melt the chocolate.  (I did for 1 min. and then stirred until it was melted.  If it is not melted, heat it up in 30 second intervals.)
  3. Drop it onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  4. Allow to harden.
  5. Eat.

Sedimentary rocks:

  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • microwavable bowl
  • spoon
  • Some sort of sediment (I used sprinkles.)
  • chocolate chips (I used 1/4 c. for 3 kids.)


  1. Discuss what is needed for sedimentary rocks to form.
  2. Melt the chocolate. (I did for 1 min. and then stirred until it was melted.  If it is not melted, heat it up in 30 second intervals.)
  3. Spread a thin layer of chocolate on the parchment lined cookie sheet.  (That layer is the sand/mud at the bottom of a body of water.)
  4. Sprinkle your sediment over the thin layer of chocolate.
  5. Press down the sediment down with a bottom of a spoon.  (If your kid is anything like my students, you may need to add a little bit more chocolate.)
  6. Allow to harden.
  7. Eat
I also had my students help clean up after we were finished.  I covered the chocolate rocks with parchment paper and we are going to eat them on Monday.  I'm lucky I have a lot of cabinet space in my room because we put the cookie sheet in there so it's safe.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Roommates part 1

After that first week at Disney, I started the work-free time cycle. As I posted in a previous blog post, I was assigned to work at Soundstage Restaurant in Disney MGM Studios. I also worked at 2 other places but I'll save that for a different blog post.

I was fortunate to live with Internationals and one American in apt. 802 at Vista Way.

Lisa was from England. She lived in the area close to where my grandpa was stationed during World War I I. We shared a bedroom but I didn't know a lot about her. One thing I do remember is her drinking tea and eating biscuits. What I didn't know was that biscuits a sort of cookie. She left in mid December to go home. When she left, she left her clock with big numbers on it. I grabbed it up and still have it to this day.

Allesandro was from Roma, Italy. We did not get along at all. She thought I was a lazy American who relied too much on microwave. I do have a story about her. We wanted to return a corded phone but didn't know where the phone was from. We ended up at Target (my first time there).  They ended up allowing us to return the phone. While there Alessandro found a bikini in the clearance area. Once we got home, she tried it on and lifted her arms. Hairy armpit alert. Grossed me out as a person who cannot stand to have even a little bit of armpit hair (I know TMI).  Cultural shock. She moved out Thanksgiving weekend.

Kim was from Bentonville, Arkansas. She is another one I don't know much about. She did not spend much time in the apartment. (Her hometown is known for being Walmart's headquarters.)

After Lisa moved out I got another roommate. She was from China. I don't remember her name but do know it began with X.  She was in her late 20's and married with a son. China does not allow International Cast Members come over to the USA unless they are married and with achild because they will be more willing to return to China. Her husband was in Japan teaching English. Her son was with her parents. She spoke fast. Conversations that might take us 30 minutes might take her 5 minutes.

X bought lots of fresh veggies and a 20 p pound bag of rice. Her fresh veggies took over the fridge. Cultural Shock because we certainly didn't cook like that.

Until next time what you'll meet Celine and Sandra - thetwo roommates who I spent a lot of time with,

Monday, March 3, 2014

My First Week in Disney

So now that I was home, what was I going to do.  None of my roommates were home but somehow I figured out where my bedroom was going to be.  I was in the middle bedroom with Lisa who was from England.

First I unpacked (ok I might have unpacked because I was too excited) and then went out and made new friends.

Somehow in those first few days down there, I found myself in the backstage area of Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  I had a security guard almost not allow me into the backstage area of Magic Kingdom because I had not been Traditions (orientation) yet.  I did not have my Disney ID at that point.  The person I was with assured him that he was going to take me straight to the public's area of Magic Kingdom.

I also found out I was going to be working at Disney-MGM Studios at Soundstage Restaurant.  (It's now the Playhouse Disney Show near the Little Mermaid show.)  I had wanted to work at the dinosaur on Echo Lake.  

Then I had Traditions which was our orientation.  They gave out little plastic figurines of different Disney characters when you answered questions correctly.  I got one for calling Disney MGM Studios by it's full name.

I remember them telling us to make every guests' experience Magical.  They played Beauty and the Beasts' "Be Our Guest."  That's how we were treat the guests.

Then we went incognito and pretend to be guests visiting the park.  I was paired up with another college program student from Sinclair and one from Wright State.  Joe and I are about the same height and Bob was six foot tall.  We decided Joe and I were Bob's parents.  It was one of those "You had to be there moments."

We visited the the Polynesian, monorail, Grand Floridian, rode on a small boat across the lake, and then into the Magic Kingdom.  While at the Grand Floridian, we got to see a bride getting ready for her wedding.  So cool!

After Traditions, I met up with my manager at Soundstage Restaurant.  And I got my work schedule.

This was me trying to figure out how much I was going to make for that week.  I must have been making $5.60 an hour and was going to work for 38 and a half hours.  

My adventure was just beginning. 

To be continued . . . 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's Like Going Home

Everyone in my family is excited that we are going to Disney at the end of this month.  For me, it's a different excitement.  Disney is where I discovered myself when I was only 20 years old.  Disney is home away from home.  

How can Disney be home away from home?  

For the first 3 years of my college education, I attended Sinclair Community College.  They are partnered up with the Disney College Program.  My mom went to campus one day to meet with the Cooperative Education director who was attended the church my grandparents were members of.  She saw the signs for the program and told me to interview.  Thanks, mom.  That was the best advice you could have given me.

In March or April of '95, I interviewed.  Everyone had 2 interviews - one group and one over the phone.  Then they would send you out a rejection or an acceptance letter.  My letter never came.  I was so worried.  Finally about a week before my 20th birthday, a beat up (US Postal System) envelope came.

It was huge and thick.  (If it was now, I would probably have 10 million pics of it.)   I was going to be going to Disney that September to work there.  We were so excited that we forgot our dog, Dusty, in the yard when we left to go to the grocery store.  Luckily when Grandpa drove back, he was standing on the back porch waiting patiently.

This was May so four months was going to go slow but quickly.  I had to make travel plans and get things in order.

Finally it was September.  I left the day after my sister's 18th birthday.  My grandma in Pennsylvania called and tried to convince my mom not to let me go because I will introduced to evil stuff.  We laughed it off and finally it was September 5.  (Oh and I was still packing the night before I left for the trip.)

I flew out of Dayton to Orlando with a stop in Atlanta.  It was my second time flying alone and about the third time flying.  

Once I go to Orlando, I had to collect all my belongings from baggage claim.  Carry it on my own, get the shuttle, and then ride to my new home for 4 months.  I can remember the driver paying at the tollbooth.  I might have been on a toll road before but didn't remember having to pay to drive on a road.

Finally we were at Vista Way.  I got my apartment assignment.  Apartment 802 was going to be new home for 4 months.  My new roommates were from France, England, Italy, Norway, and Arkansas.

I was home.

To be continued . . .