Sunday, August 22, 2010


Today was my first day of at Animal Kingdom. I had to be at the cast Services building at 8:30am. So, in order to not be late on my first day at the park, I decided to catch the bus at Chattam at 7:00am. Therefore I had to leave Patterson at 6:45am, which meant I was waking up at 5:45am. (I honestly don't remember that last time I got up that early!)

The title for this post is DAKlamation, and that was the training session I attended today. The purpose of today was to get use to Animal Kingdom. We were also told to wear business professional clothing, so I decided on my "Safari Guide" outfit with my new brown shoes. I thought this was the perfect outfit because I felt like I was almost dressing the part. I quickly realised how wrong I was in my choice of shoes as I was walking from Patterson to Chattam. Even in that short walk I could already feel the blisters forming on my feet.

I still can't believe how hot it already is in Florida at 7:00am. By the time I made it to the bus stop I was already dripping with sweat, not a good sign for the day. So, one this I have already learned is to never trust the bus schedule. The "J" bus was suppose to get to Chattam at 7:00am, however it didn't get there until 7:05 - 7:10am. Once on the bus, it takes us about 35 minutes to get to the Animal Kingdom from our apartments. During the ride, I was able to meet some of the other CP that are going to be working in AK, too. I was really excited to find the girl I sat next to was the same religion as me, so that I kind of cool. She's going to be a driver at the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction.

The bus dropped us off and thanks to the help of a full time cast member also on the bus, all of us first timers were able to find the correct building. Those of us who opted to take the very early bus ended up being about 40 minutes early to work, which was a whole lot better than being 2 minutes late in my opinion. So we all sat in the lobby getting to know each other. It was a lot of fun finding out where people were from and where they would be working.

Our trainers for the day met us just before 8:30am to show us how to clock in using our new I.D.s, then it was off to the classroom and the beginning of a new adventure. We got an in-depth look at the history of Animal Kingdom and how it has changed since it's opening day. They showed us videos and hit us with facts and info. And then it was time to go out and explore the park. We were told that we were going on a whirlwind tour that would ONLY take 2 hours! (Don't forget that we were wearing dress clothes and heels!) But, like Traditions class, we first had to remove our name tags.

Our tour was so fast! We went into the park in one area, then we'd escape into the backstage area and reenter in a completely different location! Every now and then our trainer would stop and she would tell us important things about the area. For example I learned that the greeting in Dino Land where I'll be working is "Hi Cousins!" Each area of the park has it's own theme, message and greeting. It's so fasanating! And just like last time, there were were as a traveling as a group in professional clothing (i.e. dress shirts and long pants) in 90 something degree weather, the guests were looking at us like we were out of our minds. Who knows, maybe we were, but it's so worth it because it means I get to work here!

We actually finished our private tour of teh park ahead of schedule, so our trainers took us on the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction. We were all so excited! It was really funny, they had us get on where everyone else was getting off, so as we were driving by the loading dock all the guests were looking at us like "Why did you not get off?!" Our driver told us to smile, wave and say "Jambo!"... so we did!

If you have not be on the safari, you must go! It was so much fun and the drivers know so much about the animals. They really get you involved in the ride and the story! And the animals are so close. We caught a glimpse of the 3 month old baby elephant that was just introduced to the savanna, along with a mother groundhog and her three babies. I wish I would have had my camera with me (we had to leave all our personal belongings in the classroom), but I guess that just means I have to ride it again! Yeahhh! If you like to be bounced around, sit in the back. The whole ride it bumpy, but the back really makes you jump!

Then next big adventure was lunch in the cast member cafateria and then off to get our costumes. I was so excited when I finally saw mine, it's actually kind of cute! Its a torcuse blouse and skirt with violet stripes and a dinosar print  around the collar. We also have to wear and apron and a funky hat thingy. It's a good color on me, too, so that's an added bonus! Pictures will be coming soon. I actually have to go to work at Restaurantosaurus on Thursday in full costume, which means tomorrow (my day off) will particially be spent shopping for work shoes (black, slip on dress shoes that are flat and comfortable). At wardrobe, they were so helpful. When I left, I have 5 full sets of my costume. Wow, I'm starting to feel like an official cast member now! We waited 20 minutes for the bus to come after we clocked out and then it was another hour before I was back in my apartment for the night.

It was an exciting day, but I am beat. Time to put my feet up and get ready for bed. Hopefully this coming week brings as much excitement as today. In my opinion, this has been a great start to my Disney Adventures! Thanks for reading and coming along for this journey with me! Good night readers!

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