Amber Earns Her Ears

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Amber Sewell is 'earning her ears' at Disney World from the ground-up: her first experience as a Cast Member was her participation last year in Disney's CareerStart Program. Maybe you saw her at EPCOT's Electric Umbrella? If not, you'll be 'seeing' a lot of her on Disney Dispatch as she shares her stories about what it's like to be young and working for the Mouse. Amber's stories are fun, fascinating, and plain ol' fantastic. And maybe, just maybe, they'll put you on the road to earning your ears, too.

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FROM: Amber Earns Her Ears Published Mondays

And Universal Studios Too!

Amber heads over to the competition - Universal Studios Orlando and talks about their parks as well as a trip to Cocoa Beach.

The Disney College Program is a competitive, paid internship open to college students who want to spend a semester at either Disneyland or Disney World working, learning, and possibly laying the foundation for a Disney career.

After a successful stint in Disney's CareerStart Program, Amber Sewell began work in May 2011 at Disney World as part of the College Program. We'll follow her adventures every week right here...

It's been a fairly busy couple of weeks.

Whereas of late, the days have been creeping by, they have lately sped up – whether that is due to my awareness of the fact that I now have less than two months left, or I've found more to do, I'm not sure. Whatever the reason, I still can't decide whether I'm glad of it or not. Part of me is absolutely thrilled that it's almost time to return to school and start working toward something again, and part of me is still sure that there are things I'm going to leave undone.

A few months ago, I bought an annual pass to Universal Studios. Not that I actually like Universal Studios – I can't stand Spongebob or the Simpsons, I'm not really into comic book characters and I possess an unnatural loathing for Dr. Suess – but I felt, as a Harry Potter nerd, it was necessary. I haven't really had a chance to go there much, but last Monday, one of my roommates happened to get a free ticket to Universal, and wanted to use it at the Wizarding World. And who am I to refuse the company of someone who will willingly spend all day wandering the replica-streets of Hogsmeade?

Butter Beer


We woke up early to get there just after opening, and following the back-road directions I've got written down in some compartment in the car, we made our way to Universal. It was a beautiful day; clear blue skies, not too hot, but still warm enough that the shade wasn't uncomfortably chilly. We made a beeline for the Forbidden Journey, and while we had to wait a good thirty minutes in the greenhouse because the ride had broken down (it tends to do that a lot), we knew that as soon as we left the line, it would start up again, this time with a wait of an hour. After that, we spent time meandering through the crowded stores (really? did they not think that lots of people would want to buy ridiculously expensive Harry Potter merchandise?), watching the performances, and sipping butterbeer. We ate at the Three Broomsticks, watched the Ollivander's ceremony for the first time (a tad too corny for my taste; the dialogue was taken straight from the movie), and I restrained myself while she shopped away. We met up with some other Cast Members from entertainment to ride a few rides, but they left to explore the rest of Universal, while Christina and I carried on with the magic. By six in the afternoon, we had done everything, been in the stores multiple times, and our energy was flagging. After she spotted two cast members from that show Vampire Diaries and followed to ask for a photo, Christina was ready to buy all her stuff and leave.

As if that weren't enough excitement for one week, Thursday Chris and I decided to visit Cocoa Beach again. After the last trip there with Lauren and Grace, I realized how much I missed taking trips there. A chance day off together, with good weather, was a perfect excuse for a mini road trip. I woke up early that morning to drive to Universal – yet again – to pick up a ball cap from Margaritaville; I had forgotten my debit card when I went with Christina, and apparently I'm not allowed to let sun touch this red hair of mine. If I was going to spend the money on a ball cap, I wanted a Parrothead one. While I was on my way to the shop, I decided that, you know, the single rider's line for Forbidden Journey really is quite short, and Chris probably wouldn't wake up until the afternoon. So I made my way straight to Hogsmeade, yet again, and jumped in line. Once I'd had my fix of magic for the day, I stopped and bought a pumpkin juice and some exploding bon-bons, and picked up my hat on the way to my car. By then, Chris had woken up, so I went home and we prepared to take off. Lauren had sent him a gift card to Dunkin Donuts for his birthday, so our trip began with a stop there near Vista Way to pick up a dozen donuts and some coffee. The road trip did nothing but make me miss Dinosaur – this new car has no cassette player, so my iPod adapter didn't work, it didn't have the convenient change drawer next to the steering wheel that I use for change at toll booths… it just wasn't my car. But once we reached the beach, it didn't quite matter. I camped out on the sand, because it was far too chilly for me to get in the ocean, but I did get in some good reading time. Chris alternated between chasing the waves and building mediocre sand castles. At some point I dozed off, and woke up quite contentedly to a near-empty beach and the stars emerging in the sky.

Cocoa Beach


Work has been fairly consistent. I made a voyage back to the west for three days, and it was wonderful to actually work with people that I'd only been able to say hello to previously. Now, of course, I have no time over there in the foreseeable future, but I am on the lookout for shifts to pick up. I got reprimanded at work for reading at package pickup. This I have a problem with only because we are done with all of the work by nine o'clock, and have to sit in the empty room for an hour and a half more with nothing to do other than stare at the tiles on the floor. Which is perfectly fine, apparently; no one ever gets yelled at for doing nothing when everything's finished for the night. But pull out a book to read during that time, and it's interfering with work. I try not to sound bitter when I try to state my side of the argument, but it hardly ever works. My point is, that if it's perfectly fine to text or stare at each other when there's nothing to do, why is reading worse? I'm sorry that a book isn't as convenient to shove into my pocket not-so-covertly when you walk in the door, but is my reading distracting me from doing my work? No, because there's nothing more to be done than wait for someone to ring the godforsaken bell, and then it's easy enough to put the book down and go answer it. Granted, the manager had just come from confronting another Cast Member who was actually hidden away in a completely different room doing her schoolwork, and most probably had an attitude when he confronted her, but my smart-ass attitude that gets me in trouble sometimes still popped its head up. I held my tongue, though, and have made peace with the fact that it is probably likely that I will get written up for reading before I leave. And as I no longer have any desire to work for Disney again, I am perfectly fine with that.

I have a few things to look forward to soon. At the end of the week, three of the girls that I met in New York City are coming down for Universal's Harry Potter event. I, unfortunately, do not make enough money to buy the overpriced tickets (another thing, I was making twice, or three times, as much money last year; tip: don't choose merchandise if you wanna make money), but the prospect of seeing them again is absolutely wonderful. And on November 16th, I'm attending a wonderfully nerdy concert at the House of Blues. I'm a big fan of a group called Team StarKid; I'm not sure that any of you will have heard of them, but they are basically a group of university graduates, all theatre kids, who have made a variety of splendidly geeky musicals. They got popular with A Very Potter Musical, and one of their co-founders, Darren Criss, has reached mainstream popularity. I, however, am a fan simply of their musical talent, their humour, and the fact that they're just a group of nerds having the time of their lives. And their opening act is Charlene Kaye, who is a magnificent artist as well. Yes, I am attending said concert solo, but as my mother says, it's best to view it as "you have the confidence to do these things by yourself, which most people wouldn't. It's not that you're being a loser [my term for my habit of doing things by myself], but you don't need other people to have fun." Honestly, I'm just hoping I get a picture with them.

And that's really all that's goin' on. Any questions? Comments? Feel free to let me know!


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