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Year in Review and Days Off

I’ve not done a year in review before, so I’m going by a few templates of other bloggers!

Life in General

2014 was a huge year for me. The biggest thing being that I finished my Disney International Program and returned home to New Zealand, starting a new job. There were ups and downs, with the ups being Disney and the downs being leaving Disney. But that’s not to say there’s not the good things about being back home.

 

Travel

Obviously, travel was a huge part of 2014 for me, because most of it was spent overseas. Once I finished in Orlando I went to visit my brother in Guelph, Ontario, just outside of Toronto.

 

I also went to New York City with my friend Courtney and managed to see pretty much everything I wanted to in the course of a few days, crossing off a lot from my bucket list, including seeing Wicked on Broadway!

I also went to Los Angeles again and had a fantastic time catching up with another friend before heading home.

Finally, back in New Zealand, I went to Hobbiton with Courtney and Chelsea; something I’d been wanting to do ever since I saw the first Lord of the Rings film!

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Exploring hobbiton! #hobbiton #newzealand

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Hobbies

2014 wasn’t such a huge year for my usual hobbies of cosplay, gaming and reading. Mainly because I tried to make the most of my remaining time in Orlando by doing all the things, instead of playing games and cosplaying characters that would be there later. I aim to change this in 2015, with costumes and reading being high on my priorities. More about the reading part in another blog post shortly…

Gaming

Like I said above, there wasn’t too many games I played in 2014, but I did manage to finish the WindWaker HD and Mario Kart 8 when I was visiting my brother and I started Twilight Princess for the first time. Having a WiiU when I got back helped kickstart my gaming bug again. Once I got back, I also got back into Star Trek Online and now I have a Federation and Romulan character.

I really want to start a gaming blog, but I have way too much on my online to-do list, so we’ll see…

Days Off

I managed to meet up today with a good friend of mine who will be returning to Japan soon. We went to high school and university together, but we haven’t seen each other in about three years. A bunch of high school and uni friends met up over the holidays and it was so nice to see everyone again after so long.

I’ve been going out with my parents a bit into Frankton for coffee. Queenstown has really expanded in the time I’ve been away, but it’s nice to see our favourite coffee shop/restaurant still here after a while. It’s a Thai restaurant open for lunch and dinner. They do the most divine BBQ pork buns and doughnuts!

I went to see the final Hobbit film again today (and now have bookmarked all the fix-it fic for reading tonight!) and went for a walk after we got home to try out some settings on my new camera.

The golden hour doesn’t really hit until about 9.30pm for us at the moment due to our location on earth and daylight savings time. So while I really want to get out there during that time, it’s not really feasible when most of my family have work early the next day.

The dog followed me most of the way home! Such a cutie.

I took my Thorin figurine out for an adventure. My mum got him for me when the first Hobbit film came out to match the Lord of the Rings figurines I had from when I was younger and the original films came out. I tried taking my Legolas one out with him, but the wind was too strong and he kept falling over. Damn elvish waifishness.

Now that the crazy busy time at work seems to be coming to an end, I hope to be posting a little bit more. See ya soon!

Disney, Tutorial, USA

International College Program Series: Interviews

I’m going to cover some tips for your interview if you’re applying for the Disney International Program, or College Program. My experience was with a personal interview for the program.

As I understand it, for the domestic College Program you sign up online and then there’s a phone interview afterwards. For the most part, with the international program, the recruiters travel to a city, do a presentation and then interview the applicants after. My interview was in Dunedin, New Zealand.

For that year, because of the Christchurch earthquake, there was no presentation at Canterbury Uni, so everyone from Christchurch traveled to Dunedin for their interview, making it more packed than usual.

Jeni Masden is the recruiter for Australia/New Zealand. She started by presenting about the program and talking about what you do, what your pay rate is and the types of roles you may get.

She does emphasise that this is not a job you save in. I cannot stress that enough. I will get paid around USD$6,000 this year, which is technically below the poverty line. However, your housing has fairly decent rent, and if you use the CP busses, your transport to work, Walmart and the Mall is free.

So keep that in mind and don’t be like many people who spend a whole lot of money sorting visas and everything to get here and then leave, disgusted with the “pittance” we’re paid. The most expensive two-week holiday ever.

My interview was the next day at 10.00am at Otago University. Because I went to a tourism college, we all wore our uniform suits to the presentation (we all looked like either flight attendants or travel agents) and then again to the interview the next day. I’m not sure if they normally do the interviews the same day or not, so it’s probably best you dress up for both just in case.

For the interview I wore a flower in my hair. Nothing over the top, but noticeable. I wanted my interviewer to be able to look at my resume after I left and remember something about me, because they had a lot of people to see.

It’s handy if you have an “about me” spiel ready to go. I have one for every job interview I go to, because the first question nine times out of ten is “so, [INSERT NAME HERE], tell me about yourself.” They’re not actually interested. They just want to see how you’ll respond “off the cuff”. So have a practiced speech around 20 seconds about you. It can be where you grew up, what you studied and what your hobbies are, which gives them your personal and educational or professional background and then a little insight as to who you are. For example, mine is something like…

I was born in Sydney, Australia and my family moved to Queenstown, New Zealand when I was sixteen. I studied Japanese at Otago University and Tourism at Sir George Seymour College. I enjoy travel, writing and art and discovering new things.

So have a practice at home. Get friends to ask you at random times “tell me about yourself” until you can remember a few points without it sounding like a recording. For the application form, I ticked every box available for jobs. I really didn’t care what role I did for a year; I just wanted to go.

If you’re enthusiastic about one role in particular, tell them! My recruiter seemed keen on me doing lifeguarding. Which, let me tell you, you do not want your child’s life in my hands. Ever. But I told him that it would be a new challenge for me and I loved challenges. As it turns out, I got Merch and Vacation Planning, which was great.

Just be yourself at the interview. This is probably one of the only interviews where you can’t be too bubbly, so if that’s you, don’t tone it down! Disney is all about the pixie dust and magic for everyone, so the more pixie dust you throw around, the more fun you’ll have!

Take a copy of your CV. They probably already have one that you gave them yesterday, but it’s always good to have a backup.

After the interview, you’ll have to wait a while to get a reply. I remember mine being at least a month before I heard anything. I’m not sure if they contact you to say you didn’t get in or not, but pretty much everyone gets their emails at the same time.

Once you get that acceptance email, start your paperwork! And remember to reply to their email accepting their offer! Your journey has started!

Harry Potter, USA

Waiting at Universal Studios

So after being turned away TWICE at the Universal Gate were waiting outside the gates to Universal Studios for Diagon Alley!

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At 5.45 they opened the turnstiles and let everyone in. We snaked around the Simpsons and MIB area to where they had a standby line. We’re currently now waiting inside the kings cross station area.

Harry Potter, USA

Diagon Alley Opening: Pre-Preparation

We’re getting ready for Diagon Alley’s big opening; Lizzie’s going to drop myself and Bec off at Universal early, then join us once the parking garage opens (we heard around 5am).

We went to go and get supplies for our camp out at Walmart. I’m super excited!

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As you can see, healthy eating is one of our top priorities.

Harry Potter, USA

Soft opening for Diagon Alley??

Lizzie as I hear whisperings that they were going to open Diagon Alley for guests today so we’ve made our way over to Universal Studios to have a look.

It rained hard.

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Nevertheless, we decided to wait it out with our umbrellas and ponchos. Sure enough the storm cell passed, but then a team member came out to tell us that there was no chance Diagon Alley would be opening today.

So, instead we made our way to Hogsmeade. They’ve opened a bypass from the Sinbad adventure themed area I’m never quite sure of to the Jurassic Park area, which I’m assuming is in preparation for the 8th with people unable or unwilling to go the madness of Hogsmeade.

But this bypass offers a beautiful view of Hogwarts Castle.

 

We also found an abandoned queue line, apparently.

 

 

Despite riding Forbidden Journey twice, I still wasn’t dry, so we got popcorn and say outside the Three Broomsticks. I still can’t believe that this is something I can just do on my day off. With my program end date looming on the horizon, the urge to do EVERYTHING NOW OMG is getting bigger and bigger.

NOT LONG TILL DIAGON ALLEY GUYS!!!