The craziest of bucket lists....

Check in is coming soon! Here is my DCP bucket list! (Scroll to bottom for details)


  • Resort hop to as many resorts as possible
  • Stay at any resort for at least one night (3/21/15, Art of Animation)
  • Go to a campfire
  • See a movie under the stars
  • Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf (Fairways, 2/14/15 Gardens, 3/8/15)

Magic Kingdom

  • Have a Dole whip (1/29/15)
  • Eat at “Be Our Guest” for dinner
  • Try the grey stuff
  • Eat at Columbia Harbor House (2/15/15)
  • Take a photo in front of Cinderella Castle (2/4/15)
  • Take a photo with a character (2/22/15)
  • Make a wish at the wishing well. (2/23/15)
  • Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin  (2/4/15)
  • Ride Haunted Mansion (2/15/15)
  • Go on Jungle Cruise (3/1/15)
  • Go on Liberty Square Riverboat
  • See Mickey’s PhilharMagic (2/15/15)
  • Go on Tomorrowland Transit Authority’s PeopleMover (2/4/15)
  • Go on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (2/4/15)
  • See Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (4/20/15)
  • See Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade (3/19/15)
  • See the Electrical Water Pageant
  • See Main Street Electrical Parade (2/22/15)
  • See Wishes (2/4/15)
  • See the Kiss Goodnight


  • Eat one thing from each county (France, 2/17/15, China 3/2/15 America, 3/27/15, Italy 4/18/15)
  • Take a photo in front of Spaceship Earth (3/1/15)
  • Take a photo with a character (2/17/15)
  • See Coral Reefs Disney Animals (2/17/15)
  • Participate in Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
  • See IllumiNations (4/18/15)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Visit the park! (I’ve never been) (2/24/15)
  • Sing in the rain (photo)
  • Take a photo with a character (2/24/15)
  • Eat at The Writer’s Stop (2/24/15)
  • Eat at 50’s Prime Time Café  (3/28/15)
  • Go on The Great Movie Ride (2/24/15)
  • See The Magic of Disney Animation
  • Draw at the Animation Station (2/24/15)
  • Go on Toy Story Midway Mania! (3/28/15)
  • See Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage (2/24/15)
  • See Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! (4/18/15)
  • See Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show (3/28/15)
  • See Voyage of The Little Mermaid (2/24/15)
  • See Fantasmic! (3/28/15)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Take a photo in front of the Tree of Life (2/5/14)
  • Take a photo with a character (2/5/15)
  • Eat at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes
  • Go to Conservation Station (3/1/15)
  • Go on DINOSAUR (2/5/15)
  • Walk the Discovery Island Trails  (3/1/15)
  • See It’s Tough to Be a Bug (2/5/15)
  • Go on Kali River Rapids
  • Go on Kilimanjaro Safaris (2/5/15)
  • Take the Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Walk the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
  • Go on the Wildlife Express Train (3/1/15)
  • See Festival of the Lion King (3/1/15)
  • See Finding Nemo - The Musical 
  • See Flights of Wonder

Downtown Disney

  • Eat at Earl of Sandwich

Disney’s BoardWalk

  • Visit! (I’ve never been) (1/31/15)
  • Eat at BoardWalk Bakery

Typhoon Lagoon

  • Go the the park! (I’ve never been)

Blizzard Beach

  • Go to the park!
  • Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

DCP Opportunities

  • Go to housing events (First one, 2/5/15)
  • Go to Company D (3/1/15)
  • Go to Cast Connection (4/13/15)
  • Go to Mickey’s Retreat
  • Do a backstage tour
  • Go to a networking event (3/24/15)
  • Create a magical moment (2/14/15)


  • Any pin (1/26/15)
  • A new pillow pet (2/3/15)
  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Cards (Magic Kingdom) (2/24/15)


  • Go to any park once alone  (2/17/15, Magic Kingdom)
  • Ride a roller coaster in any park. (I never have) (2/4/15, Space Mountain)
  • Disney bound (2/24/15)
  • Get a button (2/11/15)

Items that are italicized are ones that are at the top of my list! 

anonymous asked:

How would you fix Epcot's future world? Curious. I like your brainstorming.

Thanks!  And thanks for the cool question!

1.  I’d embrace its non-fictional subject matter.

I imagine most EPCOT geeks would be on board with me, here.  Eisner’s route of apologizing for how “boring” non-fic is with “cool” post-modernism undercuts the source material, underestimates the audience, and ages poorly.  (Obviously, Iger’s route of replacing it with fiction is detestable to anyone who cares about this sort of thing.)

2.  I’d enforce an all-ages, approachable tone.

EPCOT Center was perhaps the most ambitious work of location art ever produced, but I think that went to Imagineering’s head.  Their magnificent park had the best of intentions, but often came across as the teacher’s pet mumbling to himself.  Even the buzzword they used to describe their approach, “edutainment,” shows how clumsy they were at this sort of thing.

I’d veer closer to the tone of Bill Bryson’s a Short History of Nearly Everything.  If you haven’t read it, the gist is that Bryson laments how it seemed like his old science textbooks, “wanted to keep the good stuff secret by making all of it soberly unfathomable”–and here, he might as well be name-dropping the original Universe of Energy–so he wrote a book that boils complicated subjects like astronomy, oceanography, and particle physics down into a simple, pleasant read.

It’s accessible, funny in a way that doesn’t overshadow the material, and great at making the wondrous feel wonderful.  That sort of tone would win over the audience, protect the good stuff from being changed, and set a precedent for more good stuff to be added.

3.  I’d avoid futurism within attractions.

Predicting the future is especially hard in theme parks, because the future gets updated waaaaay faster than parks do.  I lament the destruction of Horizons as much as the next EPCOT geek, but if it still existed, it would feel reeeeally dated.  We’d be able to appreciate the ride as a work of location art, but not as an exhibit about innovation and future technologies.

Instead, I’d focus on the past and present.  Both of these already work well in Future World:  Spaceship Earth shows us the history of communication and leaves the door open for wherever we might be going next, and Living with the Land shows us how stuff works and what we’re working on now.

These approaches age well, they provide Imagineers with a firm approach that’ll prevent wishy-washy silliness like Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and perhaps most importantly, instead of showing the audience the future, they get the audience excited about the future.  I believe that should be the main experiential goal of EPCOT.

4.  I’d build upon the cultural association with musea.

When Animal Kingdom opened, they promoted it with the buzzword, “Nahtazu” (pronounced “not-a-zoo”).  It was a load of hot nonsense that deserved to die quicker than it did.

When I hype up that park to first-timers, I explain that, “It’s the coolest zoo you’ve ever seen, and also, there are rides,” and y’know what?  They love it.  Show ‘em Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pangani, Maharaja, and all of the assorted animal pens, and everything that comes after that is a bonus.  You can even get ‘em stoked about Chester ‘n Hester’s Dino-rama with this approach (if you’re twisted enough).

I’d use the same approach with EPCOT.  “It’s a museum by way of a theme park.”  Why craft an awkward term like “edutainment” when you could just tap into how much people already like musea?

This is more than a semantic notion; it’s a branding idea.  I’d push EPCOT as the Walt Disney Company’s educational branch.  All that cool conservation funding they’ve got Animal Kingdom doing, I’d push for education at EPCOT, and I’d make sure the Lotus Logo is on the giant check at the press event.

The ultimate goal would be to franchise more EPCOTs elsewhere.  NYCOT?  UKCOT?  OzCOT?  Show the world that location art is a fun tool for education, and that this medium can be more than spinning teacups and Frozen meet-and-greets.

5.  I’d do a shameful bit of Armchair Imagineering.

There definitely isn’t the space or resources to pull off the following ideas, but in this hypothetical, I have free reign, right?

I’d transplant the Carousel of Progress over to EPCOT, and make it the first attraction after entering the park.  Not only does it introduce EPCOT’s themes really well, but it also encapulsates them better than any single Future World pavilion does. Plus, walking out of that theater and into Future World would be a killer reveal.

Also, I’d transplant it’s a small world to the entrance of the World Showcase.  Walt’s “prayer for peace” would flourish better as the nexus between education and multiculturalism than in a land dedicated to fantasy, and the childish architecture would juxtapose meaningfully with the realism of the pavilions.

6.  #JusticeForFigment

The Imagination Pavilion’s ride would be re-designed strictly in the spirit of the original.  Figment is not an asshole antagonist who hates us; he’s a charismatic co-narrator and audience surrogate.

Eric Idle’s out.  He’ll have to content himself with merely (coasting upon the success / cheapening the legacy) of Monty Python.

Dreamscapes are in.  A celebration of the Arts that’s not afraid to get dark or let abstraction overtake the characters (and us).  This would be a chance to go nuts with that trippy style where everything’s just sorta floating in a void, like in small world or Adventures Thru Inner Space, and you don’t get many of those on a scale like this.

And once that’s done, I’d hunt down the Suits who mandated Journey into Your Imagination and I’d…I dunno…hex them so that they get heat rash for a few hours or they step on LEGOS or they have an underwhelming experience the next time they visit their favorite restaurant.  Those guys suck.

Return from Pangani...

I wrote this about days ago but couldn’t post it until now, so after I post this I will write another blog with updates! :)

So this past weekend us Tanzania Peace Corps Trainees (plus 6-8 Current Volunteers) went to Pangani for vacation. I have not heard of any other Peace Corps countries letting their Trainees go on vacation, so it’s pretty sweet that we did! We stayed at an extremely nice resort for like 50% off because the woman who runs the resort is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and loves having us come every year.

We had tons of fun eating wonderful food that wasn’t simply rice and beans and ugali (oops I have yet o mention ugali. You should google it to learn more, but it is a Tanzanian staple. It’s basically boiled cornmeal, lol. You normally use your fingers to scoop some up, roll it into a ball in your hand, then use the ball to scoop up some beans or mchicha (veggies, most of the time it’s spinach) then eat it. My family lets me eat with a spoon, bless them). Anyway, yes we were eating wonderful food, and swimming in the pool as well as the Indian Ocean constantly, and at night we played drinking games and spent way too much money at their bar. Like I mentioned before, my bed was on the balcony and it was glorious waking up every morning to the ocean. I fortunately escapes any jellyfish stings, wasp stings, and broken toes this weekend! There was a wasp’s nest located outside the house I stayed in, so we had to sprint in and out to try and avoid them attacking. Poor Taniquey got a wasp sting to her face! Then later she got stung four times on her arms.

So we returned home Sunday by bus. We all crammed into two buses, and please keep in mind that the roads here are definitely not all paved…and it had rained! Oh boy. So it took us 3 hours to get home, and was such a complicated trip. I was on the bigger bus, so when we reached a hill that was muddy, we all had to get off the bus, and our bus driver all the sudden accelerated (with us in the road, in front of him) and we all had to scatter and leap off the road. Imagine 20 wazungu scattering from an accelerating bus! Hahaha, hilarious. It was scary though…. He successfully made it up, so we had to walk up the hill and get back on the bus. The smaller bus made it up the hill fine without having the people get off, but then a short while later we reached another hill where they had to get off. I was in the very back of the bus, smooshed in with 4 other guys and my stuff sitting on top of me, and since we were the last to try and get off, our bus driver just started driving before we could. So we got to race up the muddy hill on a huge bus. It was like a roller coaster, so we cheered and kept our hands up the whole time. Once we reached the top we were like “Let’s do it again! Again!” hahaha. The rest of our bus trip back was just a repeat of that… The bus sliding around the muddy road (pretty scary, actually) and us sweating ballz in the bus.

When I got home, it was like 8:30 p.m. And Maria’s mama escorted me there after I walked Maria home (which I was grateful for because I was afraid of snakes in the bushes), and my family was asleep! Which makes me wonder if they only stay up later when I am there? Hmm I don’t know. But my mama came outside to let me in, and she stayed up a little so she could wait for me to use the choo, lol. I’m lucky because she doesn’t normally do this – many other girls have to be escorted by their mamas if they want to use the choo at any time during the night. Rarely when my mama wakes up from hearing me leave the house for the choo, she’ll get up and wait.

On the subject of transportation here…. it’s pretty insane. We mainly use daladalas, and they are basically vans that become “clown cars.” An insane amount of people will fit into them. You try and sit if there’s a seat, but if not then you just stand, holding on to the seats and trying not to fall onto people. Also because we are white they will try to swindle us… yesterday Jamesy and I went to Tanga and fortunately he speaks way better Swahili than me, so when people tried to swindle us he could reason with them. With his help I was able to get a soccer ball for a couple thousand shillings cheaper. Though it is true that I need to practice doing that myself!

Next week is Tanique’s birthday, so James and Maria are going to come over to my house and my mama’s going to help us bake her a cake. On Sunday we’re going to Tanga, so I’m going to navigate around to find a good supermarket and get ingredients for a chocolate fudge cake. The Peace Corps gave us awesome cook books that are specific in finding ingredients here and using a jiko (stove) and oven made out of charcoal and two sufurias (pots) and rocks. I’m also going to get ingredients to make my family french toast, because they want me to make them some Marekani chakula (American food) and I really want french toast :) (thanks for getting me hooked, Larissa!)

On Thursday we find out where we Shadow, which I’m very very excited for!! Khalid said he thinks our CBT group might be scattered throughout Dodoma, but who knows. I really hope I get to shadow a Health volunteer so I can get some ideas for the future. Also, next Friday I’ll find out where I’m being placed!!!! I’m soooo eager to find out, my gosh. I am also extremely nervous for the first three months at site…it’s going to be so challenging. I’m definitely going to bring a bottle of wine and some chocolate for that first night. And I might make sure my phone’s charged so I can call my mommy if I freak out! Haha. I laugh but it’s true – I’m gonna freak out.

I’ve realized that I haven’t put up very much Swahili for you guys, so I’ll come up with some simple sentences that I actually say a lot lol.

Mambo! Jina langu ni Caitlin, lakini ninaitwa Cate. Ninatoka Marekani, jimbo la Kalifonia. Mimi ni voluntia wa afya kwa Peace Corps. Ninakaa familia wa Masawe. Ninapenda wali na kabechi sana. Sipendi pikipiki. Jana, nilienda Tanga na Jamesy. Tulienda banki na tulikula chakula. Jumamosi, nina jaribio.

Okay it is kind of hard coming up with stuff without being told what I need to talk about lmao. But I basically introduced myself, said where I’m staying, said I like rice and cabbage, I don’t like motorcycles (they almost run me over constantly), and yesterday James and I went to Tanga, and on Saturday I have a test.

I have been doing well in Swahili… I got a B+ on my first big test, but we’ll see how I do on Saturday because it is a speaking test. I have to practice explaining how to cook wali, but I am pretty confident in explaining my family (whether it’s my American family or Tanzanian family).

I have tons of ideas floating around my head about what I want to do in my village. My first three months will be dedicated to integration and getting to know everyone, and getting a feel for living here. After IST (In-Service Training) they’ll give us new manuals the current volunteers have made us with instructions on lessons we can do (so awesome, thanks guys!) so I’m pretty excited about that. I really want to get involved with youth groups – I would absolutely love to work with separate boys and girls groups and develop good rapport with them so they can feel comfortable talking to me about subjects that are taboo here, especially sex. Many women villagers here do not use pads for their periods because they are expensive, so they wrap kangas (kind of like a skirt) around them like a diaper to function as a pad. If that’s the case in my village then I would love to have a class with them where we sew our own pads. Ah, so cool! Also I am extremely interested in setting up a girl’s youth week where different volunteers in my region bring some girls from their schools and we have a whole week together, kind of like camp. I suck at trying to explain this, but it sounds like tons of work but awesome.

I think it’s obvious that I typed this all up before logging on to post it! :) Seeee Laz, I can learn. Hope this is tons more information that’s interesting to you guys! I’ll be going to Tanga again on Sunday, like I mentioned, so I will go on the internet there. I would love to hear some of your voices soon (Elnora, Laz, Larissa) so set up a time with my mom and have her text me the time and CALL ME! :) Love you all.

P.s. In case you’re wondering it is a torrential downpoor outside my house. Soooooo loouuuud on my tin roof!!!!!!