Frozen: Is It Time To Let It Go?

Frozen has completely taken over the world. Anna and Elsa are household names. Frozen has glided to the top of the ‘Best Disney Movies Ever’ list and stayed there, frozen in place. (See what I did there?)

Frozen

Photo found via Pinterest

Social networking sites have launched complicated theories of all kinds: the King was designed to look like Walt Disney! Else is a symbol for depression! Rapunzel is Anna and Elsa’s cousin! The shipwreck from the Little Mermaid is the sunken ship where the King and Queen died!

Frozen

Photo found via Pinterest on amythegeek.tumblr.com

One of the more complicated theories states that although the ship bearing the King and Queen sunk, they escaped onto an island and had another child, Tarzan, before dying at the hands of a tiger. So that would mean Tarzan and Anna and Elsa are…siblings? The theories are piling up, and YouTube is about to explode into frozen fractals all around as fan after fan uploads videos covering, “Let It Go.” (The best Let It Go video I have ever found is here.) I heard that song on the radio yesterday. The real actual Today’s Hits radio station in Orlando was playing Let It Go.

 

Now as darling as the movie is, where is all the hype coming from? It’s not dying down. In fact, it appears to be growing. A Broadway production is in the works. Disney parks are selling out of Frozen merchandise faster than anyone thought possible. (And this I know from a Cast Member friend who works in the merchandise warehouses.)

 

I walk into Magic Kingdom or stroll down the Boardwalk and no longer do I see little Snow Whites and Cinderellas twirling their skirts. No, I see more Anna and Elsas than anything. The sisters have positively exploded into Disney frenzy, beaming from their own float in the new Festival of Fantasy Parade, waving at adoring crowds. (Side note: best parade ever invented.)

 

Now as some of you may be aware, Anna and Elsa’s meet-and-greets happened at Epcot in the Norway pavilion, which I though was brilliant, bringing the crowds to Epcot (where few dare venture on their vacation because its viewed as less kid-oriented. Which is not true. But I digress.) However, as of Easter Sunday, Anna and Elsa will be premiering at Magic Kingdom. They may as well just move into Cinderella Castle–add some ice crystals and rename this place Arendelle, am I right? Not only that, the Fastpass Plus to meet Anna and Elsa is filled up and sold out until June. June!

 

Frozen

Photo found via Pinterest.

 

I love Frozen as much as the next Disneyhead, but can someone explain where the madness is stemming from? I adored the movie, and I’ll sing Love Is An Open Door with my Cast Members in the kitchen all day long. In fact, I’ll burst into random spouts of, “Let It Go!” when the situation is begging for it.

Someone: “It’s not a big deal! Will you please just let it go?”

*Me, poking my head around the corner.*

“Did someone say… let it go?”

Them: Oh, no.

Me: “LET IT GOOO, LET IT GOOOOO!!! CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMOREEEEE!”

Still, I think the extent to which it has exploded is unbelievable. Yes, it’s catchy. It teaches girls that sometimes its not about being kissed by a prince. And Olaf is the best sidekick invented since the seven dwarves. But why is this avalanche of Frozen madness only gaining traction? Can someone explain? Or maybe I should just… …let it go.

Anchors Awednesday!

Tonight. Was. Crazy.

Here’s the thing about working at Disney World: everyone else’s holidays are my busiest workdays. Its part of the pixie-dusted package. Twelve hour Christmas shifts? Better get used to it. Insanity on New Years Eve? Typical. And don’t even think about requesting any other major holidays off. Forget about it.

But tonight was different. It was a Wednesday. In March. No particular holiday, unless you count the steady influx of Spring Breakers that have been meandering into the parks lately. We were only expected to get about 45,000 park visitors tonight. (In other words, a slow night.)

However, Columbia Harbour House opened its doors midmorning as usual, our purposely-crooked shutters yawning at the typically empty streets of Liberty Square… and was flooded with a gush of hungry guests. Clamoring for salmon and fried shrimp, they emptied our coolers and fryers as if we Shipmates had left chum in the water.

Broccoli salads flew off the shelves in their Styrofoam saucers, salmon hissed frantically on the searing hot grill and kitchen clatter rose to a roar while the printers vomited tickets onto the line, as if we were trying to host our own ticker tape parade right there in the kitchen.

Why? No one knew. Midweek, no particular event occurring, and yet we had a record breaking night that matched New Years Eve of 2011. Perhaps it was because the cast of ABC’s The Middle filmed an episode in the parks today. (Celebrities are cool. Tina Fey was at the Haunted Mansion the other day. Neil Patrick Harris likes to eat at Harbour House, and we all try to pretend its not a big deal BUT IT TOTALLY IS.)

Either way, when we shut our doors for the evening, the managers walked around to high-five us all and let us eat the leftover cobblers as we took a breather and patted ourselves on the backs.

An unusually insane Wednesday, but it ended with free food, lots of camaraderie and an epic rendition of ABBA’s ‘Take A Chance On Me’ as we cleaned and shut down.

One thing I can say for sure: work at Walt Disney World is never dull.

Ten Second Transport to Downtown Disney

As I type, I’m waiting on a friend for a lunch date at Downtown Disney’s Earl of Sandwich. It’s my day off (yay!) and it’s a stunningly gorgeous day out–75 degrees and hardly humid. The perfect day.

Vacationing guests are milling about, hardly in a hurry to do anything but find somewhere to stop for ice cream.

A woman sings along with her daughter to The Little Mermaid playing over the speakers.

Families pose in front of the large Frozen window display, arms posed like Elsa, as if ready to blast icy crystals of magic into the perfectly sunny Florida weather.

Eating a soft pretzel as I mill about (ignoring the orange plastic Wetzels Pretzels passes off as “cheese”) I pass the construction area near the World of Disney store. The door is open, revealing lots of dirt, cement and men in hard hats. Months from now, Starbucks will stand in its place. Score!

I pass the T-Rex restaurant where the giant fish tank gave new meaning to the term “Disney Springs” a few days ago. The infamous leaking fish tank is big news in the Cast Member circle, for reasons not entirely clear to me.

In short, today is slow and relaxed, peaceful and sunny.

Elton John serenades the guests over the speakers with the reverberating sounds of The Circle of Life as a child drops his ice cream… and is immediately handed another, free of charge.

Even if your Wednesday isn’t as pixie dusted with good Florida sunshine, I hope at least it comes close! Have a magical day!

The Sorry Experiment

I use three words at work. “Sorry!” “Excuse me!” and “Broccoli!”

Out of these three words, “Broccoli!” is the most demanding, “Excuse me!” is the least frequent and “Sorry!” is used a like a comma. I sandwich “Sorry!” between words without a second thought.

Columbia Harbour House has a very small kitchen. It’s quaint and tiny and requires a good deal of agility to dodge. Were I the size of Tinker Bell, it would far easier for me to fit between heavy trays, rolling carts and countless stainless-steel surfaces. As a result, everyone is always up in other people’s space, squeezing between narrow entrances and bumping around the cooler like old-fashioned bumper cars. “Sorry,” has become a phrase used more often than any other.

I am the most guilty of using it as a filler. Even things I don’t have to be sorry for I apologize for without thought. Finally, a fellow kitchen Cast Member told me, “Don’t worry about it! There’s no need to be sorry!”

He wasn’t mean about it, but he was forward. And he was right. I didn’t need to be sorry. Neither did half of the cast, as we bumped around and slid through tight spaces, throwing “Sorry!” into the air as if it were as common as change.

So, on one of my ten-hour days, I made a very conscious effort to stop saying sorry. I opened yesterday, and was able to begin my day apology-free. I was prepared to shut my inner doormat down and stop begging forgiveness, as well as opening my ears to notice just how often everyone else said it.

I didn’t last ten minutes.

“Can I trade you carts?” one of the Front-of- House Cast Member asked. “I need it to carry the condiments and this is usually the cart I use.”

My cart was laden with materials for opening the grill, but I said, “Sure, go ahead!”

I began to unload my stuff while the Cast Member stood by patiently. “Sorry,” I apologized after I had unloaded it all and rolled the cart towards her.

“No problem!” she said breezily and rolled off.

Sorry: one. Erin: zero.

Why was I sorry? I hadn’t done anything wrong! It was just a filler, something to say when there wasn’t another good phrase to use.

I kept my jaw clenched against the word all day, but still succeeded in letting eleven “Sorry!” words escape. Eleven! And that was a good day.

The kindly man running the dish pit was guilty of it as well. I’d squeak through a small opening between carts and the dishwasher and he’d apologize, as if it were his fault for putting the massive dishwasher in my path.

“Don’t worry about it!” I found myself exclaiming, then turning around and apologizing to whoever happened to bump into me next. Someone even ran into me with a rolling cart and I apologized.

Why? I wasn’t in the way. I didn’t need to apologize. It wasn’t my fault.

This is something I’ve been trying to cease. I shouldn’t be sorry. The only thing I should apologize for is my overuse of the word!

I have a relatively short shift today, and I don’t even have to wonder how many times the word is going to leave my mouth. Today’s experiment will consist of my utilizing up to five exclamations of “Sorry!” and leaving it at that.

I don’t mean to say that I’m not sorry about anything. I just need to use the word more sincerely. I’m demeaning the phrase, and it must stop for the sake of my vernacular.

Wish me luck! I’m hoping I won’t have anything to be sorry about today. And even if there is, I plan on keeping my sorry mouth shut.

 

Also, on a separate note, Tina Fey was spotted at the Haunted Mansion yesterday. That’s right–I was within a half-mile radius of Tina Fey. (Its times like this I wish I weren’t strictly a backstage Cast Member. I hardly ever get to see the guests, and it kills me.)

If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.