Saturday, April 27, 2013

Celebrating Animal Kingdom's 15th!

This past Earth Day (Monday), Sara and I decided to go to Animal Kingdom's 15th anniversary! It was loads of fun, and I'm happy I got to celebrate one of the park's major anniversaries, since they don't happen very often!

Right as we walked into the park, we grabbed our 15th anniversary pins and special edition maps they were giving away for free at the entrance. They're pretty snazzy! Unfortunately we didn't get any other 15th anniversary merch, because the line into the store was nearly two hours long! So instead, we decided to start the day with a trip down the Pengani Forest Trail because Sara and her coworkers knew someone who was doing a Professional Internship and working on the trail. We saw adorable birds, giant hippos, playful monkeys, and an adorable mother gorilla watching over her sleeping baby!

Momma gorilla watching over her baby!
When we exited the trail, we saw our roommate Sarah working the fast pass lane at Kilimanjaro Safaris, who let us through the fast pass lane because it was pretty slow and there wasn't a long line. One thing I love about the Safari is that no trip is ever the same! It's always so much fun to see all of the animals, especially the giraffes, elephants, rhinos, and lions!

After the safari we went on Everest once, and then watched Finding Nemo: The Musical for the first time! I think it's super cute, but I don't know if I really care for it all that much. The songs are pretty catchy, but it's kind of weird to see the puppeteers...and the fact that it wasn't originally a musical is a something I had to adjust to. The puppets are beautiful though! Plus, the woman who voiced Dory did an awesome job.

Sara was getting hungry so we decided to eat lunch at Pizzafari, where they were coincidentally having cookie decorating in honor of DAK's anniversary! It was super adorable. They gave us butterfly shaped sugar cookies with three different colored frostings and sprinkles! We made such a mess!

Our cookies!
We ate our deliciously colorful cookies and decided it was time to return to Everest! We ended up going on the ride ten times! New record! No matter how many times I go on that ride, the part that takes you backwards will always be so much fun! Our pictures were priceless, and I wish my phone could take better quality photos for that ride.

Such a fun day in DAK!
When we got off of Everest for our tenth and final round, we discovered in a few minutes the park was going to what did we do? Run over to Dinosaur, of course! Much like most of the afternoon, there was basically no one there! We sat down during the introduction video (we've seen it so many times already) and the cast members even though it was funny because guests were following suit and sitting down with us. A lot of people also loved our picture, which we of course went over the top for in order to look ridiculous. One man who went on the ride by himself in our car even wanted to buy the photo!

Overall it was probably the best day I've had in Animal Kingdom since I've been doing this program. Sara and I ended the night with watching Something Borrowed (one of our favorites) back in our apartment before I had to head to bed for an early morning shift the next day.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Water Park Fun!

Last week before my family arrived, I was finally able to cross off more of my bucket list: Go to both Disney water parks! Last Monday I went to Blizzard Beach with my roommates Liz and Sara. It was pretty fun! I honestly had no idea what to expect because I knew basically nothing about the park besides Summit Plummit. (No, I didn't go down Summit...didn't really feel like it at the time.) We went on a few random slides and then floated along the lazy river for a while. Afterwards we went on a few more slides (so many STAIRS!) and then decided to end the day in the wave pool, which is surprisingly shallow and pretty mellow. We were all getting really hungry so we decided to go to Steak 'n' Shake for lunch, which was REALLY good!

Me, Liz, and Sara at Blizzard Beach!
Then on Wednesday after I had my Exploring Marketing class in the early morning, I went to Typhoon Lagoon with my friend Jake. A lot of people had been telling me that Typhoon is kind of boring and Blizzard is better...but I have to disagree. I definitely like Typhoon more!

Blizzard may have some more slides, but Typhoon is just more authentically put together in my opinion. The wave pool beats everything, hands down. I've never really considered myself someone who would like wave pools, but this one is just too much fun! Typhoon's wave pool gets really deep, and the waves are HUGE! If you didn't know already, Typhoon's waves can get large enough to actually have surfing lessons inside their wave pool. (That's something I wanted to do before coming here, but honestly it's too expensive and I don't really have the time anymore haha.) What Jake and I originally did was swim out as far as we were allowed to in the deep end, and waited for the huge waves emerge so we can swim with them, instead of getting hit by the waves near the shallow end. I've never really experimented with waves like I did that day before, so it was a fun and new thing to try!

After the waves we went on Crushin' Gusher. It's pretty cool! The banana slide is the best..which is funny because I hate bananas. We also swam with the sharks and fish in the shark reef. Warning: the water is cold!! Also, I'm actually kind of scared of fish, but honestly it's a pretty chill swim. You just kind of float at the top and steadily swim across the little pool area and watch the fish and sharks and whatnot below you swim around while you breathe through a snorkel. These two giant silver fish with large square heads kind of crept around and swam a little too close to my liking at one point..but otherwise it was pretty neat!

Jake and me with Lagoona Gator!
We ended the evening tanning and goofing off in the wave pool again. We grabbed lunch in the park and I actually met someone who's from Northern California! She actually went to the college I live near! Completely small world!

Overall, the water parks are a cool way to try something different other than just going to the four main parks on your days off. If you ever do the DCP, I'd definitely take advantage of the free admission Disney allows for a short period of time! I got lucky and they extended the free admission throughout my entire program, but over the summer that's going away! Definitely take a trip to Typhoon and Blizzard if you have the time.

Oh! Right after Typhoon Jake took me to Art of Animation, where I got to see my parents!!! My family got to come and visit for four days! It was so awesome! I'll definitely have to share with you guys about it and show you some pictures. We're quite the photogenic family on the rides! ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My (Belated) Disney Birthday Vlog!

I have FINALLY uploaded my video blog about my birthday in Disney! It was loads of fun! Ate lunch in Hollywood Studios, and then went character hunting in Magic Kingdom for the first time!


Let me know what else you want to see or read in the future!

My family is actually going to be visiting this week starting tomorrow! So I might be having a quick hiatus for my little vacation :)

Have a magical week!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Apartment Inspections

One part of the DCP living experience is inspection. Inspection is when the housing staff sends a couple employees to check out your apartment and make sure that you're keeping it clean, as well as not hiding any items not allowed in the apartments (candles, drugs, alcohol if underage). You can either pass, fail, or earn the "white glove" award. If you pass, nothing really happens and you just move on with your program. If you fail, you have to pay a fee and (I believe) the housing team sends in a cleaning squad to deep clean your apartments for you. You can earn the white glove award if your apartment is 110% spotless. You get cookies and treats for everyone!

At first my roommates and I didn't really think too much about inspection, so our first round we just made sure the house was as clean as we could make it at the time without freaking out about it. A lot of us had work the day before so we didn't have too much time at home to make sure the place was spotless. We were just aiming to pass, which we did. Only one of our rooms failed because to them it looked like we hadn't vacuumed the floor, but we did. They also failed our dining room which made literally no sense because there was NOTHING in there besides the table and chairs and everything was spotless.

The second time around, this week, we were SUPER dedicated to getting that white glove award. We cleaned absolutely EVERYTHING! I've never seen the apartment so clean! Most of me and my roommates dedicated pretty much the entire day just to cleaning our apartment. I was so proud of our work! The next day comes and I'm at Animal Kingdom with Sara and my friend Jake and Sara gets a text about how inspection went while we were away. Apparently, we passed absolutely everything! However...we still didn't get the white glove award! We were furious! How could we pass absolutely everything and not get it? The inspection people even told us we were perfect and had no criticism whatsoever. I have no idea what we could've done differently to try and win that award.

I honestly wish I could give you guys advice on how to get the white glove, but as you can see I don't even know! I know plenty of my friends that live in other apartments that have earned it, but for some reason the inspection team just doesn't want to give it to apartment 5207! :P

My advice to pass your inspections though, are to simply make sure you apartment is clean. Vacuum all the floors, clean all the appliances and counters, wash mirrors, toilets, bathtubs, etc. Also make sure your garbage has nothing in it, not even trash bags. Do all of these things and you'll definitely pass!

Also, only a little less than two months of my program left! Everything is just flying by! Half of my roommates have applied to extend, and one applied to leave early because her summer school starts during our program. So basically Sara and I are the only ones in our apartment that are going to be leaving on the originally scheduled departure date. I considered extending, but I'm officially going to be transferring schools in August down in Southern California, so I want to spend summer with my family and friends back home before I make a big move again. Plus, I would've wanted a role change. Working at Cook's is fine, but I'd want to experience something different for the next few months if offered the opportunity.

My family is coming next week! I'm so excited! We'll be staying in Art of Animation in the Lion King suites!

One final note: This morning I submitted my application to be a DCP campus representative for my school! I really really want this job. If I'm accepted I'll be part of the team at my school that helps promote and answer questions about the Disney College Program to other students on campus! I was told that this job is perfect for my major (marketing), so fingers crossed! I'll keep you posted!