Saturday, September 03, 2005


In two mere hours my alarm is going to ring and I'll be off to the mighty Charlottetown airport. It boggles the mind.

First off, I'm giving a background to what's going on here. Way back in fabulous 1993, Papa and Mum MacPhail bestowed a trip to Walt Disney World upon their children as a Christmas present. After a couple of months of trip planning we were south bound on February 26th and got to Florida on the 27th. I actually remember these dates only due to it being my bro's birthday. To make a long story short, I developed an, ahem, slight obession with Disney. At some point in, perhaps, high school I learned that Canadians have the opportunity to be "Cultural Representitives" for a year and work in Epcot, one of Disney's park in Orlando, Florida. It crossed my mind to apply to go down as early as possible, (in this case once I hit 18,) but I put it off in favour of university and turning 21. At that time I had a job at which I was the only employee under the legal drinking as and I felt, as a result, I missed out on many social activites, (umm, like the staff parties that were held AT A BAR,) and got stuck with more than my fair share of weekend nights. I kind of put the whole thing out of my head again until I was 20 and working in Ottawa (2003) and started thinking about a few post-university opportunities. When I was back in Florida in 2004 right after finishing my last university project I was holidaying with my mum and I started to chat with some of the Canadian staff. I had already decided to go to Scotland by that point but I got kind of excited again about applying for the program. Eventually, I printed off an application at the Edinburgh library in August during one of my miserable unemployed days that was accompanied by miserable weather. However, I didn't apply right away as I eventually got a job and it kind of fell to the back of my mind. Sometime in September I sent in my application, resume and cover letter. I never heard anything back, so when I was home for Christmas I rant up the hiring agency that Disney uses for Canadian applicants to see if they ever had received my stuff in the post. They had, and they would be in touch in January for a phone interview!!!

January came and it turned out the interviews would be held in mid March in Halifax, Montreal and Toronto. Air Canada was having a seat sale that was set to end and I still hadn't had my phone interview. Eventually I booked a ticket without having my phone interview on the assumption that I would pass the phone interview and get through to the "face to face" interviews. To make a long story short, I ended up getting to bypass the phone interview stage completely! I made the long truck to Halifax from Edinburgh in March. The interview went quite well and I felt I hit it off with the interviewer quite well! Turned out we had been on the same flight from the UK to Canada and she had lived in France for many years and had worked for Disneyland Paris!

During the presentation portion of our info session (a presentation give TO us, not by us,) we were told that if we did not hear from the recruiting agency by the end of March to give them a ring. I got a little eager and crazy and called the agency a day early because of the five-hour time difference between Edinburgh and Montreal (location of the office) and commitments the next night. I found out I got in to Food and Beveridge and would have to be in Florida for September 6th!! I was rather estatic :) I even left early for work the following day so I could email everyone from the internet cafe beforehand!

Between that fabulous day in March and now I went traveling for almost six weeks in Europe (including some poking about in Scotland) and spent the summer working in Edinburgh temping and bartending. On August 24th I arrived back on PEI. It's now the wee hours in the morning of September 3rd and I am leaving for the aiport in about two hours. Insane. I'm quite sad to be leaving PEI again after such a short time, especially since I have no idea when I'll be back... I almost randomly burst into tears a couple of times tonight when out with friends but it hasn't quite hit me yet.

My 6.10am flight will take me to Ottawa where I am visiting Jeff and some other folk I know there. Sunday evening I head down to Orlando. That, I predict, is when it will "hit" me. Wow.

So down in fabulous Orlando I will, as previously mentioned, be a Canadian Cultural Representitive. I work in the food section, so initially I'll be either serving Canadian beer or scooping pop corn. I'm hoping for beer cart duty as I actually have previous experience in BOTH of those positions and far preferred bartending over scooping popcorn. (Shout out to Grand, who trained me for bartending at the Cumberland!) Eventually I should get moved into a sit-down restaurant where I can rake in the dough via tips!

Epcot, the theme park in which I will be working, is actually divided into two parts: Future World and the World Showcase. The world showcase has pavillions that represent different countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Japan, Morroco, the US, Italy, France, the UK and Canada. Each is staffed with citizens of that country, e.g., all employees in the France pavillion are from France! For housing we are all put into flats with 2 - 8 people with two people per bedroom. Sharing a room terrifies me as I have never done it before on a long-term basis, but hopefully it'll work out!

Anyway, I have a plane to catch and am leaving for the airport in two hours. I still have a few things to do (such as shower and umm, GO TO BED,) so I am off!

See you in Disney World!!!!



Anonymous said...


Just a fond farewell and best wishes/safe travels to 'America'. Haven't had time to read this blog entry yet but am sure it is as witty as past ones :) Miss you lots & lots - see you in the sun asap!


Anonymous said...

Have a great time at Disney! I know you will make the most of it. And I want a tacky postcard!:)
Keep in touch.

Jen said...

Ahhh, thanks guys!! You both will get postcards :) And this may FLOOR you, but there are MANY tacky postcards for sale here. WOW.