Annual Traditions

Fall-Filled week @ Disneyland

It may have happened over a month ago, and I may be super late, but it was still totally AWESOME!

After moving into an apartment with 3 of my friends after my CP it’s become sort of a family tradition for us to go to Disneyland every year now (apparently). It began in October 2016 with Celine and Brian’s first ever trip, and then as the Fall months came back around we started to get antsy to head back to the better Disney park, so we packed up our bags and headed back a little bit earlier in the year. 

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Life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between

As much as I love my job and working for Disney, the most fun that I’ve had since moving to Orlando has always been when I’m on break talking with my coworkers, the nights when I come home at 10pm and my roommates and I gather in the living room to spend time together, or my full days off. Sometimes that means just  sleeping in and reading my books, or it means going out all day to Universal, Celebration, or a new area and exploring with my friends. I did quite a bit of that as of late as I was finishing up my CP at Hollywood Studios.


Make sure to subscribe to my roommate, Hillary’s youtube channel, she’s super cute and I pop up quite a bit. Celine, Hillary, and I were all off and decided to head to Universal for a girls day, but from the title you can see that we didn’t exactly bring enough umbrellas. We ended up stopping at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor and I tried Earl Grey Lavender Ice Cream and it really does taste like tea. It’s definitely not sweet like vanilla, but I really loved it and you don’t feel so bad for eating ice cream when it tastes like tea. We planned on hitting up the water rides, but by the time the rain passed, we were already soaked. ALSO, if you stop by Madam Malkins, they carry Hermione’s Yule Ball dress, except it’s only in kids sizes…for now.

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Looking Forward

Big news

Shoutout to my beautiful roommate and friend, Celine for the cover photo for this post.

There are a few things that I don’t really post in my blogs immediately about my life. Usually it’s career related, but it is mostly because I am not even sure how things are going to play out. At one point in the Spring I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be staying here at Disney. I don’t want people to think that I absolutely 100% know what I’m going to do all the time, because I don’t. I post the good stuff because me posting about how I’m just waiting to hear is rather useless. That’s boring, nobody cares, everyone has to make those adult decisions.

The good news is, I did decide to stay at Disney. I did end up loving my roommates, I did end up finding an apartment almost immediately with 3 of my best friends (whom last minute even decided to join) and I did end up getting an extension in Photopass. At one point, I thought I was stuck and yet here I am with exactly what I wanted. What a dream!

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Universal June

When New Becomes Normal

When New Becomes Normal

When visiting the most magical place on earth every day becomes normal. And driving to my Orlando apartment becomes normal. And paying my bills every month becomes normal. When waking up without having to go to college becomes normal. When standing out in the sun for 8 hours in 100* heat index becomes normal. When smiling at every guest and waving to every princess and prince becomes normal. And only needing to make plans based around what I want to do becomes normal. When magical becomes normal.

It’s a weird experience to have been here in Orlando for almost 5 months because it feels so much longer than that. I never knew if living here for real would ever feel “normal” or if I’d always have that uneasiness about living 1200 miles from where I grew up. And when I say normal, I don’t mean to say that it becomes boring. It becomes familiar, and fun, and I feel like I’m apart of it.

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Summer Wonder – It’s Heating Up at Hollywood

It’s only been about two and a half weeks since I last posted, but I feel like life is completely different from then. Last time I was around I was heading into my last shift at Mousegear and had just moved into my apartment a few days beforehand. I was soon switching my role to Photopass at Hollywood Studios. It’s been weeks of settling in, but everything is really starting to brighten up from the unknown and worry I had at the end of May.

I started training on the 15th with a class at DU entitled “Welcome to Entertainment”. For merchandise you have a Welcome to Operations class, but Entertainment was a lot more fun because you left the classroom and were able to explore around Magic Kingdom. I won’t specify the entire day as it’s kind of a fun surprise, but it was a short class and I met some nice people that day. The next day I had my 2 core training days. We had to get our costumes before our training so myself and a friend picked out our costumes at Magic Kingdom after Welcome to Entertainment. I ended up visiting Animal Kingdom the next day because they had no shorts available at MK and it’s been sweltering. I was able to find a couple pairs.

Core training is basically the same as merchandise, only you’re obviously learning how to use the Nikon cameras instead of handling cash. I had a lot of fun with the girls in our class and the trainers those two days. We went outside our classroom to shoot and on the 2nd day visited Hollywood Studios to take shots of each other and guests to learn the photos we’d have to take on the job. In the end I was sad we all had to split up to start training at our home park. Altogether there was 3 of us heading to DHS, though there are more CPs than we had met that had classes on different days.

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One month of Magic (DCP March)

It’s crazy how much faster time is flying on my second DCP compared to my first. Granted, I did arrive a month later with pretty much the same end date, so I’m losing a month of work and experience, but I have good news!

I’ve officially decided to stay in Florida for at least the next year and have already submitted my extension application for the College Program. Eventually I want to transfer out of the CP into a PT or FT position, but as of right now I’m waiting to hear back on my extension. I applied for an extension in Photopass, Character Attendant, and Attractions along with my same role/location as merchandise at Mousegears. I will more than likely be staying at Mousegears for my extension, but I am happy to do so as many of my coworkers will be there through August and even longer and I absolutely love my location. I am still waiting to hear back on my Professional Internship applications, but I know that it may not be until May. If I am offered a PI I will definitely be taking it instead of a CP extension. Here’s to hoping! I also have more good news that I can’t really share at the moment, but SOON!

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New Equipment: Softboxes

I had a great Christmas, but there was one thing on my wishlist that I didn’t receive that I knew I immediately wanted to buy with my Christmas money and that was a set of softboxes for my photographs and videos. My mom wasn’t sure what kind of buy for me and while I had a set in mind I ended up purchasing the PBL Studio Continuous Lighting Kit 24×24″ which you can find on Amazon HERE for $93. That is actually an extremely cheap price point so I knew that these weren’t going to be the most high quality lights of all time but I really don’t need that right now for what I want.

I do want to preface this by saying that one of the softboxes came damaged and so I’m going to have to return and exchange them. I’m not sure I’ll repurchase them immediately or wait so I can have them shipped to Orlando instead of driving them down so I probably won’t have any pictures very soon using these. 

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Getting to Know: EVERYTHING (Final weeks)

What’s up! So, I was on hiatus for a little while as I was visiting some friends in Florida for a short vacation. You can check out my life update for more info on that, but I also missed a few classes while I was gone, mainly photography. We only have about 3 classes left in the semester and so our assignments have recently been piled on last minute as my professor was going to be gone for a week. For this round we had to take 6 environmental portraits as well as 3 creative portraits for our final project.

We also will be displaying our work at the tech library for voting and the winners will be displayed at our university library. Those photos were chosen from some that I had taken from this semester, if I end up getting a photo of them displayed I’ll paste that in here. Anyway, my first Enviro shots were of Lauren at work in the library, my second shots were of my brother in his gaming corner of his room where he spends probably 100% of his time, and my last shots I haven’t quite decided on what to do.  I’ll most likely pull my mom into helping me. I’ll also add the last Pixelstick shot we did right before I left on vacation. We decided to take a group shot and have one of our classmates weave in and out with the stick. We had our teacher go through and use an external flash on each of us as well. I used my 50 mm for Lauren’s photo and used a back-bounce flash and fisheye adapter on my photo of Andrew.

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Getting to Know: Pixel Sticks & High Key

This week and a bit of last week we pulled out the Pixel Stick for our class assignment. I’d heard about them before but had never seen a ton of pictures taken with one or had used one in any way so I was really excited to see what we were going to create.

Our assignment was to each come up with two different ideas and shoot them as a group and upload them to Flickr. This was really a group project because you had to set the exposure for about 10 seconds on Bulb, focus on the subjects with manual while the lights were on, THEN turn the lights off and hold down the shutter while everyone did their thing.

We also used an external flash to light the subjects after the pixel stick was moved past the background. My first idea was really just a test run, I had one of my classmates use the rainbow setting and twirl the pixel stick while they walked behind Kalie. I also had another classmate use an external flash to light her from the side. I held down the shutter and had Cam walk behind Kalie with the Pixel Stick, then after he turned away and turned off the light I had someone else set the flash off before letting off the shutter. I really didn’t know what to expect for my first try but I ended up with this:

Pixelstick Kalie

Insane huh?!

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Getting to Know: Flash

This past week in photography we have been focusing on on camera and off camera flashes, generally something I absolutely hate but came to find quite useful in certain situations such as outdoors. I don’t really use flash for much as I generally use natural light and reflectors, but in specific times of the day I see how useful they really are.

Our assignment was to take photos in a low-light situation with off-camera flash and to take some photos with an on-camera flash. I’m only going to post my on-camera photos as I feel like those came out the best. We were in a time crunch during our low-light situation and I really wasn’t able to master the off-camera flash like I wanted to.  They were all taken with a 50mm Canon Lens and I had a classmate holding a reflector off to the side.

For our weekly portrait we were supposed to take a portrait with lowlight. We decided we wanted to all try a back hairlight in the dark and me and Molly (pictured) were having a bit of a hard time figuring out settings, but I still think it’s kind of cool how it turned out!