Every once in a while I get into very sentimental mood about Florida. It happens a lot when I converse with friends from Florida and start to remember things. Today I started to make a mental list of things I remembered about Pirates and some other attractions I worked at.
- Working in the dark all the time.
- Even when it was HOT outside it was freezing inside most of the time.
- Walking out of the building backwards so my glasses wouldn’t fog up.
- Brian B. and his Fanta in the mornings.
- Training a girl that was afraid of Ghost’s so they put her at the Haunted Mansion instead of Pirates (go figure).
- Doing an E-Vac with no waders so Stockton didn’t have to get in in his nice clothes.
- Splitting out more than one pair of those dang pirate pants. Ugh, they wern’t made for a girl with a booty.
- Sending the barrel from Load to Unload and back again when it was slow.
- That blasted Calypso music on the plaza.
- The unload music that was worse that Small World (I would know)
- ECV’s somehow making it into the Que.
- Eddie Murphy and that cute girl who likes ‘Big Pirate Girls’
- Joking around with Incubus and not even knowing who they were till another cast member told me.
- Tower, ahhh, sweet Tower.
- Keying the Down Ramp alone (always freaked me out)
- The time Dustin got a Wheelchair thrown at him by those dumb kids.
- In ride camera’s…. yes people we can see you.
- All the things we saw in those cameras. Ew.
- Super Pirate (need I say more)
- The Wicked Wench
- Boat wash with Tammy (ahhh those were the good ol’ days)
- The Misquito bite that I got at boat wash that made my face swell and I had to go to First Aid.
- Becoming a Master Boat Loader. 😉
- HOT, Polyester Layers, HOT
- Accidentally spieling to the entire OPS at the MK instead of the boat because I picked up the wrong Mic, then having Management tease me about it forever.
- Thinking how crazy they were to have me learn all that in only a week!
- My first go at it alone in steam, praying I didn’t blow up the boat.
- Laughing at the old guy that tried to tell me women don’t sweat. (uh, polyester, steam engine… you figure it out)
- Drinking GALLONS of water and power aid.
- That good old Whistle
- Watching the Alligator(s) from day to day.
- Watching the rehab on Big Thunder.
- Working with all the guys. (very few girls)
- Those blasted hats, ugh, it was HOT.
- Always being a little afraid that I was going to forget to put enough water in the boiler.
- Learning the art of steering… he he…
- Always feeling a little creeped out at unload.
- Pulling Stretches, man I loved that, I mean really, I LOVED that.
- Learning all the history behind the attraction during training.
- Wishing I’d been able to stay in Florida long enough to really work there a lot.
- Freaking out some kids, and not having to have a smile on your face all the time.
- Wishing sometimes I could smile more (I know, weird)
- That green Skirt, it was actually one of the most comfortable Disney Costumes I wore.
- Feeling lucky when I got to train there, I had wanted to work it since I started at Disney 5 years earlier!
- Eating my words when I was assigned there. (i’d told mom I didn’t care where I worked as long as it wasn’t It’s a Small World)
- Learning to jump out of the moving boats.
- Being told in training that we’d never have to Evacuate, that it hardly happens.
- Freaking out the first time I had to E-vac.
- Teaching a member of Management how to E-vac it the second time it happened (never say never).
- Having Maintenance start up the ride once with me STILL in the water, seeing the looks on their eyes when I walked into sight. (big oops on their part)
- Learning that the Laughing Heina’s laugh even when the other sound is off. (very creepy)
- Counting the Dolls during training so many times that I sometimes STILL count them when I ride it.
- Learning that working the ride you don’t really ever hear the music, so it’s not as bad as you think.
- The Stroller Parking (oh the nightmares)
- Always getting a workout when working at the stroller parking.
Peter Pan’s Flight
- Ah, the dumb jokes people would say when you are walking backwards at unload.
- Learning to constantly walk backwards at unload.
- Once slipping and falling in front of a few hundred guests, ya that was fun.
- Introduction of Fast Pass (ick, what a mess) I still have the first fast pass printed there.
- Doing the walk through with friends. Good times. Really neat ride to see from the ground.
Legend of the Lion King (it’s not there anymore)
- Air Conditioning and you were able to sit part of the time. So nice.
- Trying to do Lost and Found with a crappy Flashlight.
- Getting to see the show from back stage (well under the stage really)
- Thinking about how much Bryan would love it, then they changed it before he ever got to go!
- Learning which horse is Cinderella’s.
- Watching kids rush to get on the horses, you think with all the other rides they wouldn’t care about this one so much.
- Finally being able to jump on and off the moving Carousel without falling on my tush. I LOVED IT.
- Pushing the Secret button.
- Being able to work alone sometimes and just go around and around. I found it really peaceful sometimes.
- Really GREAT management.
- Burning myself over and over on that dang Hot Dog door.
- Hating it at first but then learning to LOVE the people I worked with.
- Loving it when we would get to eat at the end of the night when there was too much food. It didn’t happen often.
- Spending New Years Eve 1999 in the Kitchen, and being SO thankful for it. (yes we still got to go see the fireworks)
- Cleaning out deep fryers, ick, and gross.
- Late night closings, and then walking through the empty park after we were done. Really awesome.
AMERICAN GARDENS THEATER (Special Events)
- Still Great Management
- Making amazing friends from all around the world. I still keep in touch with many of them.
- Lord of the Dance, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
- Doing LOTD in my sleep.
- Sarah and I mocking LOTD with Brains and David (they were both dancers in the show)
- Creating a friendship with one of the dancers that has lasted almost 10 years and thousands of miles. (I always laugh when I see him on PBS)
- Sarah meeting the really cute German boy, then falling in love with the really cute German boy. (They are married now, she just had their second child and they live in Germany)
- Molly and I flashing N*SYNC (ok well not really) when they were in the VIP room looking out the window’s.
- Working the VIP rope.
- Getting to know all the crazy regulars.
- Hanging out with the manager of the dancers, and once hiding in his office when our own manager came over. (We wern’t supposed to be friends with the Management)
- Candlelight, and getting a promotion that shocked me and really made some others mad at first.
- Getting to hear Christmas music and the Christmas story for days and days.
- Hearing the Beast narrate the story. (ok it was only Robby Benson, but I got to meet him and I LOVE that movie)
- Always having a great view for the fireworks.
- Watching the Spaceship Earth go from just a huge ball, to a huge ball with a huge Mickey hand and wand and ‘2000’ written across the top.
- Did I mention all the friends I made that year, wow that was a special time.
I know this is a long blog, but I could go on for much more. I didn’t Journal a lot back then and so It’s going to be nice to print all this out and be able to keep the memories. Those years at Disney marked some big turning points in my life. Relationships started and ended there. I learned a lot of tough lessons and life changed a lot for me. Sometimes it was amazing, other times it was a mess. I had good roomies, and bad. Friends that hurt me a lot and others that helped me grow and flourish. I found some of the most amazing people there, from all walks of life. I got to see space shuttles launch. Saw and met my fair share of celebrities (like some more, and a few a lot less now). Got to live like I was on vacation for 5 years, and now I miss it almost every day. On your day’s off you would just pick a theme park to go to. Disney, Sea World, Universal… I loved them all. The best part was you didn’t have to stay if it was too crowded, you just went back another day. I remember evacuating from a hurricane and being terrified, then watching SLC of all places get hit by a Tornado on the news. Beach days with the girls, and those rainy days… I LOVED the rain. I could just sit in my apartment and listen to it storm all day.
There were bad things about Florida and Disney, yes. But I’ve learned to overpower those bad memories with all the amazing ones. I was so honored to get the chance to work there and live there. I miss it, and I was devastaded to leave so quickly and without much choice. I do wish one day I could go back but that’s not up to me entirely. We will see where the Lord takes our family.
If you actually read all this, congrats, you are done listening to the ramblings of a girl that misses her old home. I just really needed to get it all off my chest and create a lasting entry for my Journal.
Peace, Love, and Florida Memories.