Humidity Smack Down

26 Jul

Today I am missing Florida a little more than usual, call it a “home-sickness” type of feeling if you will, or maybe it’s because in the last week we have dropped 20 degrees in temperature and it feels more like mid-September than late-July outside. Whatever the reason, I began thinking about the summer I arrived in Orlando, Florida to begin my journey on The Disney College Program. (I can’t believe it’ll be three years ago in August. Where did the time go?!)  And that got me thinking about the Florida heat (not the basketball team) and how I thought I was going to DIE when I stepped out of the airport all those years ago….

Back story:

I was accepted to the Disney College Program as an intern at Walt Disney World in Florida for the Fall 2010 program which meant  I will left in August and was supposed to come home in January 2011, however I extended my program twice and managed to live at and work at Disney for an entire year. I started my program in the Quick Food and Beverage Service at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Restaurantosaurus.

I left for Florida on a Tuesday morning, and I woke up kind of sad knowing that I would soon be leaving everything I knew behind. My dad flew down with me and our flight was at 11:13am. Dad and I didn’t really have long to wait for our flight. While we were sitting at the gate waiting, across from us were two people about my age.  I couldn’t help but noticed the girl’s shoes. They were crocks with MICKEY HEAD shaped holes on top! As I looked closer, I noticed she also had a Disney name plaque on her bag. He was wearing a shirt with a bunch of vintage looking Mickeys on it. Got me wondering if they were just excited to A.) Be going to Disney on vacation or B.) Maybe they were Cast Members, too. I wish now that I would have asked. Oh, well.

Once on the plane, I started to cry again as we pulled out of the gate. I guess a wave of homesickness hit me as I thought “The next time I see this airport there could be snow on the ground.” That first time coming into the Orlando airport was kind of freaky. We were really low in the air when we passed over a major road and it looked like we were going to hit a truck! I’ll admit, I kind of freaked a bit.

Welcome to Orlando where it is 20 degrees hotter than home. I walked outside and felt like I had walked into a brick wall. It was going to take some getting use to. It took us about a half an hour to get from the airport to the Double Tree Resort at Downtown Disney where we were staying. Dad and I stayed in our room for a little bit to cool off before venturing out to find something to eat for dinner.

We had passed a McDonald’s coming to the resort and decided it wasn’t that far away, we’d walk over there. On our way, we stopped so Dad could take my picture in front of the Welcome to Walt Disney World sign.

IMG_6104

I also took pictures of the Mickey sign and the Minnie sign. Then we had to cross 5 or 6 lanes of traffic to get to our destination, the coolest McDonald’s I have ever seen. To be honest, I just liked the palm trees!

McDonald's at Downtown Disney

We decided to stay at the McDonald’s for a while because we were gross from walking there…I felt like I was dripping with sweat! And it was tiring on my lungs, I felt like I was having a harder time breathing here than back home, not good for the asthma! (But I am happy to say it didn’t take me long to acclimate to the climate and temperature change and soon found Florida to be just the right place for me health wise!)

When we headed back to the hotel, we passed a guy running and I can remember thinking that guy was NUTS! I was waiting for my skin to melt off my bones and there he was CHOOSING to elevate his internal body temperature by exercising! But good for him, and I’m sure that since he was use to the heat (I’m assuming he was, nice dark tan and all) that he knew when it was too hot for an outdoor run. But I’ll tell you what, I have never been so thankful for AC as I was when we arrived back at our room.

And then a few days later because I hadn’t been properly introduced to the Florida sun, during one of my first training classes as a Disney Cast Member I got to go out and explore Magic Kingdom in the early afternoon (i.e. when the sun is at its highest). It was a surprise to us all. Can you just picture it…30 plus brand new cast members all dressed up in business clothing (heels included) walking around Magic Kingdom. Now, let me tell you, it was exciting but uncomfortable  at the same time. It was 90 something degrees but felt more like it was 101 and there we were out in the sun! But I loved every minute of it. Here’s what I was wearing in the hot Florida sun while “melting” in Magic Kingdom on my first day….at least I looked cute!

Disney Tradition's OutfitIn the end, when I left Florida in August 2011, I barely noticed how hot is was, it just felt comfortable to me and I KNEW when it dropped below 70 degrees because I would start shivering! I knew I was going to miss the heat. When I returned home it was in the 60s and even wearing hoodies and socks, I FROZE.  As I mentioned above, it’s been almost 3 years now since I started my journey in Florida and I am still trying to re-acclimate to the cooler temperatures here in the fall and winter….and lets be honest, for a good part of our summer, too. I guess I was just meant to live in the Florida sunshine where it’s warm!


Zebra Garden
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