Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dressing for Disney: Epcotiversary in America (and a bit of Food & Wine Festival)

Welcome to the third installment  of Epcotiversary. Not sure what that is? Click here to read more and catch up on months past.

Speaking of months past, for those of you keeping score, John and I married in May, making this our fourth monthly Epcotiversary. But there's only two previous posts, you say? 

We celebrate our Epcotiversary on the 16th of every month. June was celebrated in Morocco. July in Mexico. August in... well, I was in California for the D23 Expo. So we skipped that month but plan to double up in the future. In fact, we planned to double up for this month, but we decided to add in some Food & Wine booths to our monthly country and figured trying to cram in two countries AND Food & Wine booths would be a bit much. So, long story short, three installments of 'Epcotiversary,' four months of marriage. Ya still with me? Ok...

When John picked 'America' out of the mug, I was a bit bummed. I mean, America is probably the least inspired in regards to food stuffs in the World Showcase. Turkey legs, burgers, a quick service steak, and funnel cakes pretty much sum up the offerings. But, the whole point of Epcotiversary is to hit every country, so carry on we must. (It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.) What did we do/eat/drink? Read on to find out. 

We parked in the front entrance of Epcot in order to hit up a few of the booths new to Food & Wine this year. (All of which I've been involved with through my new position at Buena Vista Construction Company!)  Our first stop was the Chew Lab booth, which is situated in the area where the Butterfly Garden usually resides during the Flower & Garden Festival.  Here we tried the N.Y. Strip and a glass of cabernet. The steak was cooked perfectly and all the components made it really yummy. I liked the wine, but John didn't care for it. It was served chilled, which turned him off.  Carrying on, we stopped at the Cheese Studio for some cheese fondu and sourdough bread dipper. Do I even have to tell you that this was delicious? It was. 

We had made it all the way back to Japan when the skies opened up and one of those notorious Florida rain showers kicked up. We took shelter under the pagoda next to the entrance to Mitsukoshi for what we thought would be a passing shower. Thirty minutes later, it was still sprinkling, but the park was closing within the hour, so we decided to brave the elements and head on. 

We made it to America and decided to check this one off the list by sampling a food item from the Food & Wine booth in America. Cheating? Maybe. But hell, we made up the rules for Epcotiversary, and we say it's fine. We shared the pimento cheese slider. It was tasty, but not a great value for the price. ($5 or so, two to three bites). 

It was still sprinkling so we ate quickly and continued around the World Showcase lagoon. As we circled back into Future World, Spaceship Earth and the Fountain of Nations were illuminated against a stormy sky and lookin' mighty fine. 

We slid back by the Sustainable Chew booth (right next to the Chew Lab, where we began our journey) and split the zucchini ravioli (a *great* value for the money, at $4 and change it was HUGE and was plenty to split) and the vanilla panna cotta (a *terrible* value, smaller than a shot glass at $4+ and tasted like flavorless jello. Yuck!)

Last but certainly not least was the liquid nitrogen chocolate truffle from the Chew Lab. *This* was tasty and very unique. I'd get it again; it'd be perfect on one of our hot 'autumn' days here in central Florida. 

It wouldn't be an Epcotiversary if we didn't get a couples selfie (an 'us-ie'?); here's a soggy selfie for ya. 

Thanks for reading along! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dressing for Disney: Working for the Mouse

As some of you may know, I got a job working for the Walt Disney Company just over a month ago.

I am a Secretary for Buena Vista Construction Company, which is WDW's in-house construction company. While I can't go too in depth about some aspects (perks) of the job, I can tell you that in addition to basic clerical duties and office management, I also get to be involved in many of the construction projects happening on property. And I'm sure you know about some of the really big projects in the works. :) It's sweet.

Not much more to this post other than to fill you in on my current work situation. I'm no longer working at Lilly Pulitzer, which is a bummer as I loved all the ladies I worked with and being a part of that fun, punchy brand. 

Speaking of Lilly P, I will tell you how I came about this current position working for BVCC, as it has everything to do with working at Lilly, and timing, and circumstance.

I was working the fitting rooms one Saturday morning when a nice young lady came in to try some stuff on. We got to chatting- I think she had a Disney purse or something- and she told me she worked for Disney. After talking for twenty minutes or so, she wrapped up her try-on session and was starting to leave. As she did, she mentioned her position (she is also a Secretary at BVCC) and how they were looking to hire another person to work side-by-side with her. She encouraged me to send along my resume and references, not promising anything but that she would pass them on to her boss. 

A few weeks later, I received a call to set up a phone interview (which I did in the Convention Center lobby/hallway of the Contemporary after spending the morning in Magic Kingdom). Next was an in-person interview. Then a second face to face interview. 

Fast forward to the D23 Expo. As I was standing in line for Peter Pan at Disneyland, minutes after rope drop, my phone rang. A Disney number. 

It was my recruiter, offering me the position with BVCC! Talk about magical. Getting a job offer working for the Mouse in his original house. Funny thing is, I also got the Lilly job offer while in the Magic Kingdom here in Florida just a few months prior. Crazy, huh? (Not really, it just goes to show I'm in those damn parks way too much.) 

Anyway, this made the whole D23 experience even more memorable. My buddy Keith Gluck drove down to Dland that night, and we celebrated with dinner at Steakhouse 55. More on that in my D23 Expo recap. 

This 'new' job is full time, so my park time has been limited, but that's a-ok. The experiences I'm having, the behind the scenes stuff I see, the things I'm learning and the people I'm meeting more than make up for it. I feel so fortunate to be able to work for the Walt Disney Company, and to be a part of the magic that Uncle Walt created almost 100 years ago.

Life is pretty grand, eh?