Saturday, 29 December 2012

ATTENTION: Le Cellier now has a new server!

GUESS WHAT!

I am now Le Cellier's newest server! That's right! After six months, I FINALLY did it. And does it ever feel amazing!

So after studying for months, a written menu test, a lunch spiel, almost two months of food running, a dinner spiel, a weeks worth of intense training, and then a practical assessment serving a manager, a trainer, and one of the Chef's I did it!!!

To be honest, the studying was a pain, speiling was nerve racking, food running was amazing... and I really loved it... but it was long, hard and tiring hours... it was all worth it. The training went shockingly super good. I owe credit to Red River and my Evening Dining instructors Ms. Hogue and Ms. McDonald... you guys shaped us well.

Le Cellier has crazy standards. One it's a Disney restaurant... guest's expect the BEST... and by the best... I mean perfection (which isn't possible... but to them... it is). Second, Le Cellier is a signature restaurant and the second most popular restaurant on all of Disney property. Can you feel the pressure NOW?!

Anyways, at Red River college we had an Evening Dining course. It was to show us what fine dining was like, prepare us for restuarant management, and top notch industry standards. Our instructors were amazing. They were very, very particular with how we did things, and by all means I am not complaining. It helped. A LOT. They used to joke with us about how all the "nagging" would come into use one day... and boy did it ever. Throughout my training week all I could hear were their voices in my head saying "did you pre-bus your table", "are you talking to your guests professionally", and so on and so on.

Well to bring you no shock... that is exactly what my trainers were doing to me all week. "Nagging" in a nice way! By telling me what are you going to do next, what does your table need, did you do this, did you do that... you get the point.

So although training went amazingly well for me... my assessment on the other hand DID NOT! Yes I said it did not go well. AT ALL. I could not handle the pressure of being assessed by my manager, trainer and the Chef. I forgot about my other two tables and got so flustered. But guess what... I still passed! THANK YOU!

So here is to an exciting next half of my program as a server! I've reached my last advancement point in the Canadian pavilion!

Stay tuned for my next few posts about Christmas and the crazy holiday work hours.... I already tired thinking about it... Nevermind working them!

Enjoy and have a magical day!
Eileen McDonald

Thursday, 13 December 2012

I WAS in MIAMI!

Hellllllllllooooo lovely followers!

So as I mentioned in my last post, I was in MIAMI! And let me tell you... It was beautiful! Probably the best weekend of my whole program so far!

Myself and three of my close Canadian girlfriends, Laura, Aliah, and Courtney had planned this trip since September! FINALLY we did it.

We started off the weekend by meeting each other outside of our housing complex at 11 am. Aliah has a car (thank goodness!) and drove us on our crazy road trip to Miami. The drive from Florida to Miami is about 3-4 hours. We were definitely occupied with Taylor Swift's new CD RED the whole way there. .... All of us will be going to her concert in April which is coincidentally in MIAMI... so we pretty much learned every word to every single song. It was great!


Laura and Courtney


On our way there we stopped off at an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet. It was delicious! We had plenty of sushi, stir fry, desserts, etc. etc. After gaining back all our energy we continued to Miami.


The four of us!

We arrived at our destination!! We stayed at a Holiday Inn hotel right on the beach. We had an ocean view and all. It was quite the scene. Our first night there we..... took a nap...... haha.. and then went to Ocean Drive which is the main strip along the beach. This strip was exactly how they show Miami in the movies. Restaurants, bars, and music EVERYWHERE. We went to a restaurant called Mango's that one of our friends, JC, recommended. They had live music and dancers performing all whole night long, we had great seats right up front! I ordered shrimp tacos... the seafood was SO fresh. It was so delicious.

Welcome to Miami!

The view from our hotel room!




The lobby.
 


Ready for our first night! In the lobby.

Me and Aliah


On Ocean Drive, Mango's!

Best Shrimp Taco's, ever!



Our lovely entertainment for the night!



To end the perfect night, we all went down to the beach in front of our hotel and talked until we were ready for bed.


Day 2 we decided on the spur of the moment we would SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS! If you know me on a personal level, I have wanted to do this pretty much since I was able to talk. I finally accomplished the top thing on my bucket list. It was the best day I have had my whole contract and one of the best days of my life. We were fortunate to go to the place we did: Dolphins Plus (in Key Largo). The place is right on the ocean. So the Dolphins aren't trapped in a pool. They have a natural swim and structured swim, which we did both. The natural swim was amazing. We swam along side the dolphins and they are free to swim as they like. In other words, they get no instructions from the trainers at this time. We were not allowed to touch the dolphins at all. Instead we would swim under water and observe them.

For the structured swim, we got the most one on one time with the dolphins I have ever heard of! We each had our own dolphin. We gave them kisses, they pushed us along the water, we danced with them, they took us for a swim, they did tricks for us etc. etc. If you see me in the pictures below... I was clearly in AWE and pure joy every second I was with them.










After that we went for a nice dinner along the beach in Key Largo. It was so surreal. We then made our way back to Miami and met with our other friends who finished their contracts with Disney. That night we all met at one of the clubs that let under 21's in, and danced the night away!

Restaurant along the beach in Key Largo!

View frrom our restaurant!


Night out! All of us girls minus 1!


Day 3 was our shopping and beach day! We woke up, and had a nice lunch on the main strip again. We went to the beach for some swimming time and then shopped the day away. It was also our last night there so we decided to have a nice dinner all together. We went to a restaurant near the hotel. And boy, did we luck out! Our server was fabulous! He gave us free desserts and entertained us the whole night. We were the last ones to leave the restaurant! It was an amazing last dinner to end the trip.


Delicous lunch!

Yummy!





Last dinner!

Time to go home! We ended our last day by going to the beach one last time.








Our matching T-shirts! We were in Miami... We had to!

Last lunch before hitting Orlando! In Fort Lauderdale - 17th Street Grill Restaurant! Apparently the best burgers in Florida... I Agree!

This trip was my first road trip ever with friends and will be in my memories for a lifetime. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!

Enjoy and have a magical day!
Eileen McDonald









Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Disney Prom/Winter Formal!

This post is about a week late.... but I was in MIAMI (which I'll be updating you about at later time).

This past Thursday, Disney had a Disney Prom/Winter Formal for all cast members to join in on. Can you say high school graduation flashback?!

My friend Cortney aka "Dillon" (from Sarnia, Canada) and I went shopping for our dresses at the outlet mall right by our complex. We then met up with a group of Canadians and headed down to the Prom.

Walking in was absolutely stunning. There were lights flashing, music blasting, characters picture booths set up in every corner, and buffets of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. What a joy!

Although the Canadians had a "Throw Out" or leaving party that night for 5 special Canadian girls, we still ended up going to the Prom for a bit and then left early to say our dreadful and repetitive goodbyes.

I believe that pictures speak louder than words so take a look at the Disney Prom below:

Enjoy and have a magical day!
Eileen McDonald

Getting ready with my roommies!
Me, Malin (Norway), Michelle (Germany), Kamilla (Norway)


First time meeting Cinderella! With the Canadians!

Mad Hatter and the Canadians

Some German friends! Cory and Flo

Steve and Mike

Cortney Dillon

Cortney, Me, Britt, Candice

Friday, 23 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Amuuuurica!

Happy Thanksgiving America! And a Happy Black Friday to all those shopaholics. Sadly... I will not be shopping tomorrow as I unfortunately work. Oh well... That's money saved up for my trip to Miami! Yes, MIAMI :) My three closest girlfriends and I are headed down to Miami next week and I can not wait. We have been planning this trip since September.

So talking about being lucky, since it is American Thanksgiving and all, I thought I'd dedicate a post to what I am thankful for.

1. Being here in Florida
2. Having an AMAZING life down here... I am sorry if that makes you jealous... he he
3. ALL the people I meet here from all over the world. Everyone is so much fun, so friendly and so open. I learn something new everyday from these people. I love everyone I meet down here.
4. My job.. I work for DISNEY... my boss is a mouse, come on!
5. How spontaneous life is down here. No plans are ever finalized till the day of... literally..
6. My family and friends back home for being so supportive
7. Red River College... would not be here today if it was not for all of my instructors

I could go on, but the list would take you forever to read.

Basically, I just want to say, I have wanted this job since the first time I heard about it at school. It was about two and a half years ago. I was so scared and timid to apply. But finally, ALAS I did it! And I am here today, having the time of my life. I never would have guessed life down here would be like this. There's so many opportunities you can take advantage of. You live with people from all over the world, you can travel all around the States, you get to go to all the Disney parks, you can see all of  Orlando's attractions, so on and so forth.

Last night, my amazing friend Aimee from Scotland and I went to Magic Kingdom and watched Wishes(the firework show in front of the castle). In my opinion, it's the most magical thing in all of Disney. It is my favorite! I remember when I first was deciding if I should apply for Disney and when I was going through the millions of interviews with them, I would always watch Wishes on youtube. Now, I am doing it live infront of the castle myself.

Ahhhh,

So clearly, I am in a happy and thankful state.

Once again,

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Eileen McDonald

Monday, 19 November 2012

My Visit Home to Friendly Manitoba!

Ahh finally a day off!

Last week I went back home to Winnipeg, Manitoba for a quick 6 day visit! Since I have been back in Florida, I have been working all day and all night to make up for my hours; so I haven't been able to make any updates!

Anyways, It was sooooo nice to be back home for a visit. I got to see my lovely family, my GODCHILD (FINALLY.. her name is Julia and she is absolutely precious) and cousins, my college, and my friends.  I realized a lot when I was down there. I realized I missed my friends and family more than I thought I would, I missed my "old" life of college and scheduled days, I realized what I wanted to do and how I need to get there, and I remembered why I wanted to come to Disney in the first place.

Being home was like realizing you have two different lives. Down here is literally like a dream! Everyday is completely spontaneous, you never have set plans till the day of. One day your working, another day you could be watching Cirque Du Soleil, taking a road trip to Miami, playing in one of the parks, hanging out with the internationals, so on and so on. I think one thing that really hit me when I was home was realizing I can always come back and things will be the same. The same people will be there... and that there is a "norm" schedule I have back in Winnipeg. But... I will never come back to the same people, the same contract, and nothing stays the same here in Disney.

I am almost half way done my contract and I have had the time of my life. I learnt SO MUCH, about everything: being independent, my job, hospitality (restaurant and tourism), people, cultures, myself, friends, relationships, how to say goodbye, how to be more spontaneous, and how to literally live each day by day. Most importantly I am learning how to take every moment as sa gift. Who really knows what will happen next (a friend could be done their contract or get terminated in a blink of an eye, etc).

SO what I want to do differently is take even more advantage of this program. I want to remember this year as much as possible and truly share what it is like living here with my followers... let's be honest, I have not been doing the greatest job.

Over the next little while you will be seeing more insiders on my blog. My first step is to let you know what housing is like down here. I have had soooo many people back home ask so many questions on what the housing is like here in Disney. So I will be making a separate page for it. Check it out! :) I also now have a twitter account that's a faster easier way of posting little updates. It's @EileenMcDonald_ feel free to follow!

Eileen McDonald