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I’m back from a week in Orlando, and as most Orlando vacations go, I’m in desperate need of a vacation from my vacation. A trip to the Walt Disney World Resort is always totally magical, but very exhausting. We got to stay in my FAVORITE resort, the Polynesian. I always feel like I’m home when I go to stay at the Polynesian. It just has a completely different and wonderful atmosphere than the rest of the on-property hotels. Can you really beat a 24-hour yummy quick service place like Captain Cook’s right in the hotel, or a view of Cinderella’s castle while taking a dip in the pool, not to mention being right on the resort monorail line.

Also, I got in the rest of my hours for the year at Kilimanjaro Safaris! I’ve clocked in exactly 41.5 hours for 2010, which means I get my little 2011 sticker as well as all the wonderful discounts that come with it for all of next year! It’s always so weird going back to work, especially because I know maybe two people that are still working there. Also, did you know that drivers are supposed to STOP on the ride path now? Yup. Ten different times for 5 seconds each. My first day I had no idea of this (because as long as you were there within the last six months, nobody feels the need to tell you anything), and was basically on the butt of every truck in front of me. The next day I came in and finally saw the sign explaining that trucks were now supposed to stop, and I spent the next two days at work completely mortified that I had to stop my truck. Old habits sure do die hard.

The rest of the trip was very magical. One plus of going to Disney with my aunts is that you’re always at the parks by park open. I saw the welcome show at the Magic Kingdom, and practically started crying when all the characters cam riding out on the train (including Tiana and Naveen!! Eeee!!). I also got to experience Captain EO as a more sophisticated adult, since the last time I saw it I was probably about two years old, and it was absolutely marvelous. Seeing MJ preform while he was still so young was incredible. Not to mention he had an awesome t-shirt on, that I somehow resisted buying, but will most likely own if I move down to Orlando.

Although Captain EO was life-changing, there were two even more magical moments. The first was at the Living Seas, where we were lucky enough to meet Leslie. She brought us up to the top of the tanks at the Living Seas Aquarium. It was totally awesome. I love being in backstage areas. Even as a cast member, I get seriously geeked out about being places that guests are not allowed. The second happened on our first day. We had taken the bus from the Polynesian to Hollywood Studios only for me to realize that I had completely forgotten my Main Gate pass. Total bummer. I felt so awful and I was so stressed out about having to wait for a bus to come get me from Studios and then wait for another bus to come back to the Polynesian to bring me back. By that point, we would have definitely missed our breakfast reservations. Then Maria came along, she was this saint in a Transportation role in charge of deploying buses. When she couldn’t get a bus to come pick us up to bring us back to the Polynesian, she told us all to pile into her van and she was going to bring us back to our hotel to get my pass. She was a complete life-saver. And this my friends is why Disney is so incredible. No other place has guest service like that. Especially no other theme park.

I got to experience Summer Nightastic as well. This was quite fun, although none of it was really new, just a bunch of old shows and parades from past night shows. Like the fireworks from the Pirate and Princess parties and the Main Street Electrical Light Parade. I especially enjoyed watching the parade. I think I liked Eliot the dragon the best! I took video of the whole thing, I will have to post it! I’m glad they will be keeping that parade around for longer than just the summer. I like it very much and think that kids these days really should learn who these characters are.

Anyway, now I am home, wishing I was still living in a world of fantasy, but there are more important things to worry about. Like getting caught up and back on schedule with Animation Mentor. I missed last week’s Q and A as well as a Toy Story 3 Q and A. Total bummer. But life goes on. I’ve got lots of work to do this week for class, like watching last week’s lecture. And on top of that it’s like crazy birthday week with my brother’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, and one of my best friends from college’s birthday. Crazy, crazy week.

Oh, and by the way, I fianlly found me on of those Mickey Key Lime Pies. Nevermind that they didn’t actually have a little Mickey Mouse made out of whipped cream, but it just wasn’t as yummy and satisfying as I would have hoped. Le sigh. I guess I’m just a cupcake and chocolate mousse kind of girl.

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I just watched my critique from last week and my lecture for Week 4. There is always always always room for improvement. My work is seriously lacking in weight and timing. I need a LOT more practice. Ad all these animators on these lectures just make it seem so easy. Le sigh. I’ve just got to stay motivated and keep moving forward. All this talent comes from practice and experience, and really, I’m only about four months into my animation journey. These guys have been working for 10+ years. It won’t happen overnight. I just can’t get too frustrated. My first shot for this class is still going to be awesome.

My heart strings have been getting pulled more so than usual, especially in the area of Florida. Don’t ask me why. I guess after living there for five years, you sort of grow attached to a place without even realizing it. Right after waking up and having these thoughts, I realize that I’m actually going home to Orlando in just under three weeks! AND what’s even better is this article that Disney Blogs posted on Facebook right after this:

For the summer, they have NEW Mickey Key Lime Pie treats! YUMMMO!!! I can’t wait to get one of my own in a few weeks. I hope they are as yummy as they are cute! Of course this doesn’t help with me also obsessing over wanting to go back to the Florida Keys desperately…

Mickey Key Lime Pie!!

I’ve got tons of work to do this week. I’ve got to finish my first shot as well as start planning out my next shot. For now, I’m just gonna turn on some Glee and jam out whilst I get ready for work. And YOU can enjoy this terribly awesome article I found about Sharpie art!

Happy Tuesday everyone! 🙂

You may or may not know that I am absolutely in love with all things Disney. So much so, that I even took a semester off from school in 2007 to do an “internship” there (aka Disney paid me next to nothing to work 30+ hours a week). That sounds crappy, you say? Hell to the no. These seven months were some of the best of my life! Working all day and then going into the parks at night to play with all your friends. Watching fireworks almost every night. Being amongst the last of the public to ride Back to the Future at Universal Studios. FINALLY celebrating my birthday in the happiest place on earth! Winning a “free” cruise to the Bahamas. Becoming best friends with a waiter at Friday’s and convincing his manager you were married to get free drinks. I made some of my most favorite memories while on the Disney College Program. I feel like everyone should do it. As miserable as it can be, the amazing experience that comes out of it far outweighs the drama and long hours of work.

Why am I so sickeningly reminiscent all of a sudden? Well, while on my program, I worked at the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I drove an oversized truck and gave tours of our African reserve. In the reserve were zebras, elephants, lions, cheetahs, and giraffes. We had a super tall male giraffe named Asante, which is Swahili for “thanks.” And today he passed away from a serious neck injury. So so so sad 😦

If you want to read more, here is the link: Giraffe dies with broken neck

So this got me thinking of all the wonderful times I had while on my program, and I wanted to share some of them with you!

Here I am with my ill-fitting khakis costume and my truck!

Jambo everybody! Are you ready for a safari?

Just hanging out on show in costume!

Breakfast at Ohana, Ohana means family

Bryly and Kitty ❤

My hubby and I with our friends from Fridays!

Blue Man Group with some of my favs, Ry Ry, Jaclyn and Erin!

Ry Ry, my bestest friend on the program, we did everything together!

We were the second to last group of guests to ride Back to the Future before it closed!

Ry Ry and I on our cruise to the Bahamas!

We even jumped on hotel beds! haha

With the girls at graduation!

Hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane with me. I wish I could go back every day and be with my friends again working at safaris, but I know, just like Walt said, we have to keep moving forward and learn new things. I have been so blessed to have so many incredible and life-changing experiences, and I can’t wait to have so many more!

Love to all my safari friends. Kwaherini Asante, you will be missed out on the savannah. See you in two weeks.

Finally got through Week 2 Lecture. I have GOT to do something about my stupid internet. It is incredibly annoying. Really excited to learn more about these steps. I wrote a paper on them for an art history class a couple of years ago. My professor didn’t like it, because she was into classical art. And even though the class was called MODERN art, she wasn’t really into the idea of animation being considered an art form. Lame.

Bottom line is, I’m already familiar with these principles, so I’m really excited to start putting them to work!

This week’s assignment: go somewhere and sketch basic poses of people in a public place. Depending on the weather this week, I’ll either be finding a park with a bunch of people around, or I may just head to the food court of the mall. I will probably go Thursday afternoon. It will be very good times. I’m excited to bring my sketch pad out into the world. I haven’t done that in a while, and I really need to start getting into that habit, fo rillz.

I’ll put up my sketches once I’ve gotten them done. I’m gonna go clean my room in preparation for my Q&A tomorrow night. And maybe while I’m at it I can think of some good questions to ask Thea, my mentor, too!

Good night world!

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