17 May 2012

My Disney Experience: One Year On !

Orlando, Florida became my home for three months last year. I had the amazing opportunity of being a Cast Member at Walt Disney World Resort. Future World North merchandise at Epcot enabled me to work with some amazing people that made my experience unforgettable. Disney life lasted for just under three months from June 19th until September 2nd 2011. To be truthful I could have stayed longer....Mickey Mouse could have pulled a few strings for me but the I've got some magical memories that will be treasured forever.

From the moment I smiled through my interview at University the whole experience seemed very surreal. I got the job and couldn't believe I would be making the journey back to Orlando, Florida to work at the Walt Disney World Resort. I wasn't a tourist this time so I had to make an appointment at the American Embassy in London for my visa interview, without any problems I secured my documents to enable me to have the summer of a lifetime. I had already been fortunate enough to experience the theme parks of The Walt Disney World Resort before on more than one occasion but working rather than being on vacation proved to be very different. The sweltering Floridian weather blessed the days I spent playing in the parks meeting the character performers, especially Princess Tiana. She was my favourite! 

Looking back I can't believe that I worked at Walt Disney World Resort, cliche as it sounds I was living a dream. Working for the 'Mouse' nearly every night and day has led to been a very useful decision for future projects, lets just say other components of the experience are helping me now on my Virgin Atlantic Airways Placement. Chatham Square became my place of refuge when I could not find the willpower to smile any-more or wish a guest a magical day. Living at the Chatham Square Apartments was a truly great experience, well there were times when it drove me crazy. I was lucky enough to have a great flatmate, Chris worked in entertainment and had the coolest job in my eyes! Chris happened to be a Goofy character performer and allowed me to see some secret areas at Magic Kingdom that opened my eyes to the life behind the closed doors at Disney. Let's just say communal living in another country is not a bunch of roses at times, but all that took place became a lesson in life that I can safely say was character building. 

Spending Independence Day at Walt Disney World was amazing! I spent my afternoon at Disney's Hollywood Studios where I met with my friend and classmate Kate from university, we then made our way to the beach front at the Polynesian Beach Resort on Disney grounds to be amazed by the grand firework display. We met our other classmate Steph at the Polynesian Beach Resort where she had secured us a space on the beach to see the Independence Day fireworks. Looking back I would have to say that being there in that moment was beyond fantastic, personally If I was American I would have felt very proud for my country as it was a special moment, overall that July 4th was a special day. Another day that stands out to me was my International College Program day trip to South Beach, Miami. One thing I can say about my day in Miami was that it was quite bizarre not to hear an American accent, but now that I have lived in the Ironbound for a little while I realise that its quite common in America. So, would I sun myself on the sands of South Beach again? Well, of course I would!

Working at Future World North was a complete pleasure, on the whole it was crazy to say that I worked at the 'Happiest Place In The World.' Whether If I would be cleaning strollers, selling gifts or making a magical moment at either Gateway Gifts or Camera Center. Believe me I did have some days when I didn't want to smile but the magic of the Walt Disney World Parks is infectious so I got over my sullen mood pretty fast indeed! I must admit that it was my co-workers that made it so special. There was so many people like Ritika, Janice, Alexis and of course the fabulous Zach Airstarr, just a few of the long list that made working at Epcot that lot more special. I'll keep in contact with you guys! I promise!

It was definitely a case of international love at my department at EPCOT, I'm sure the whole of Central and South America had chose to work at my location! I had the best co-workers from places like Puerto Rico, Honduras, Dominican Republic and the good old United States of America that gave me a great insight to the beautiful people of the Americas. Who knew that my dear cosita Fiorella Sanchez once worked as a Disney intern on her International College Program! When all is said and done working at Future World North merchandise was a experience that has set me up for future projects and allowed me to meet some lovely people in a great setting. I plan to keep in touch with as many people from work as I can because I believe I have some friendships that will stand the test of time! Would I ever go back to Orlando to be a Cast Member again? No, I would not want to taint the experiences that I made first time around, plus this fish made it to New Jersey five months later for another placement.

Future World North Favourites! Don't be Strangers!

Joseph Harrison  


Khanh Dang said...

I do miss FWN a lot. But, thinking of going back there to work at strollers, I would say, "erhhh...I'm gonna think about it later." If I had no other choice, yes, I would.

Experience = first time see/face/do something. So, the second time may ruin the good impression of the first one.

However, good old days. I can tell that we rarely or least treasure the present but when we lost it, we missed it way too much.

I miss seeing you, Joe!

Hope we can get to see each other soon.


Valeria said...

Soo i finally took a look at ur blog....wow its amazing!!, its entertaining to read ur point of view on things. I know we only knew each other for a week or two, but i never for got you!! Wish i coldnsee you in the future, and keep traveling, loooove to read ur stuff!!

Joseph.Harrison said...

Thanks Valeria...It means a lot when I see that people enjoy reading my blog, purely its a hobby but hopefully something good might happen..Who Knows? Joseph

Joseph.Harrison said...

Khanh It was a time that I won't forget. Thank you for reading and I'm glad you liked it. Joseph