Disney World Vacation Guidebook – DW Savers

Grab your Mouse Ears, sunscreen, and a pair of comfy shoes-you’re headed for Orlando!

Orlando is the most popular vacation destination in the world. Every year, tens of millions of people arrive by plane, car, and train to hit the theme parks, restaurants, and many other attractions of this once-rural Florida city. With so much to do and so many ways to do it, it can be easy for you-and your wallet-to get overwhelmed. But don’t worry! We are here to help.

This Disney World Savings article is the perfect way to minimize problems and maximize fun. Inside, you’ll find great tips on many of the top destinations, plus helpful information about the Orlando area. From theme parks to shopping, this is your source for vacation information for the whole family.

Disclaimer: Orlando is a constantly-changing, dynamic destination. Attractions, restaurants, rides, and more close and open throughout the year, sometimes with little to no notice. This travel guide was accurate at the time of publication and may be subject to updates throughout the year. If you have any questions or concerns about any information in this guide, please feel free to email us or call the theme parks directly.

The Walt Disney World® Resort

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, visited by millions every year. What was once a swampy patch of Florida soil is now the Walt Disney World Resort (WDW)-a massive vacation and entertainment wonderland with four main theme parks, two water parks, 23 hotels, seven golf courses (five championship and two mini), a racetrack, sports complex, ten marinas, more than 140 places to eat, and more.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that WDW offers. Let’s take the resort one world at a time so you can plan your trip, your way.

The Magic Kingdom®

You walk through the gates and there it is, like the opening scene of your very own fairy tale-a beautiful castle at the end of a picturesque village street. Welcome to Main Street USA, the beginning of your Magic Kingdom (MK) experience.

Main Street USA is where it all begins, a perfect shop- and restaurant-lined thoroughfare that leads you to the five worlds beyond. Along the Street, you will find delightful shops featuring all the Disney merchandise you can handle, plus some specialty items like hand-blown glass ornaments (with working artisans who you can watch). Guest Services is also on Main Street; remember to stop there for dining reservations (always a good idea) and information on attractions that may be down for maintenance, parade times, special events, and anything else you might need. This is also the place for stroller and wheelchair rental.

While Main Street USA is primarily thought of as the gateway to the “real” attractions, there are some great things to do here as well, especially for those times when you need a break from the crowds and the heat. Here are our Main Picks for Main Street:

Get a haircut! No, seriously-for just under $20, you can say you got your haircut at a real, old-fashioned Barber Shop. You can even include some “magical” touches, like highlights.

Send a postcard! Stop by City Hall and mail a postcard to the folks back home. It will be stamped as coming from The Magic Kingdom; mail it to yourself for an inexpensive souvenir.

Grab your ears! The Le Chapeau shop is the best place to get those iconic ears. Now you can customize the design and build your own hat, so everyone can have their own personal set.

Ride the rails! This is a great way to relax. Use the Walt Disney World Railroad to wind your way around the park or take a trip to Frontierland. It’s a particularly great way to end the day, especially if you can time it for sunset.

Main Street USA is also the place for parades. Check with guest services for parade times and types; they can change throughout the year and for special events. Remember that the best viewing spots get taken early, so stake your concrete claim and use the time to relax.

Beyond Main Street USA, five additional worlds await: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Tomorrowland. Each world has its own attractions, restaurants, and shops; let’s take them one at a time so you can plan your stops.

Adventureland: Pirates and jungle adventures are the order of the day! Explorers and swashbucklers of all ages come here for exotic entertainment, including street performers and the pirate training camp (ask a cast member where the next “class” will be). Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Enchanted Tiki Room

Jungle Cruise

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Frontierland: This Old West land is where you will want to grab your first FASTPASS tickets-send one member of your party over as soon as you arrive and get your reservation for either Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain. If it’s getting near lunchtime, hit Peco Bill’s for reasonably-priced (for a theme park) burgers. Then saddle up for these must-do’s:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Splash Mountain

Country Bear Jamboree

Liberty Square: This is one of the smaller lands but it’s also one of the most loved. There are only three attractions here, and every one of them is a definite do:

Haunted Mansion

The Hall of Presidents

Liberty Square Riverboat

Fantasyland: Currently undergoing a massive expansion that will double its size, plenty of Fantasyland is still open for fun and more will debut throughout the year. The entire place is due to be ready by 2014, so don’t be surprised by all the walls and scaffolding you may see until then.

Families with younger kids will find themselves spending a lot of time here, but older visitors can still find plenty to love. For many visitors, this land is the very essence of the Magic Kingdom; here are a few reasons why.

Mad Tea Party

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

It’s A Small World

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Under The Sea:Journey of the Little Mermaid

Ariel’s Grotto

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Tomorrowland: This is a nostalgic look at what we once thought the future would look like, with great rides and a very fun atmosphere.

Stitch’s Great Escape!

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Space Mountain

What a Character!

Throughout the entire WDW Resort are plenty of chances to meet and greet your favorite

Disney characters. While there are reservations-only places for guaranteed

meetings – such as character meals – there are also locations throughout

the resort where you can stand on line to shake hands or get a photo. For example, MK has

several specific areas set up for character greetings, including City Hall at

Town Square, the Adventureland Congoasis, and Ariel’s Grotto.

Characters are also know to make appearances near the rides associated with

them, as well as other places throughout the park. Check with Guest Services to

find out when and where your favorites will be meeting and greeting.

EPCOT®

Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow-it was Walt’s dream city, but it opened instead as the theme park known as EPCOT. If you want your vacation to include rides, technology, world cultures, and street performers, you’ve come to the right place.

While MK is heaven for little ones, EPCOT is ideal for older kids and adults, especially tech-savvy teens and ‘tweens. This park is also known for having some of the best food on Disney property, along with some of the hardest reservations to nab-if you’re heading over during a high-capacity time of year, plan accordingly by calling 1-407-WDW-DINE

EPCOT is split into two areas: Future World and the World Showcase.

Future World: This is the place for most of the rides, interactive exhibits, and constantly-changing technology. Things are nice and organized here, so it’s easy to see everything in one day. But if you want to know just the must-do’s, we’ve got the list for you.

Spaceship Earth

Soarin’

Test Track

Mission: SPACE

Journey Into Imagination with Figment

Living with the Land

World Showcase: This is the place for culture, shows, food, and a few rides. The World Showcase is a way to see some of the most famous destinations in the world without a passport.

Each country – or pavilion – features food, goods, and cast members from the country itself. Shows and movies round out the experience. The permanent World Showcase Pavilions are Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Mexico and Norway both feature boat rides – Gran Fiesta Tour featuring The Three Cabelleros and Maelstrom.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s time for the magic of the movies, Mouse-style. Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) is the WDW tribute to “the Hollywood that never was, and always will be.” this is the place for movie faves, tv greats, and three of the best thrill rides anywhere. DHS is also where you will find most of the newer Disney characters, including monsters inc and both new and classic muppets.

DHS is a well-organized, compact park, which makes it easy to do in one great day. If you find yourself with time to spare, though, be sure to see as many shows as possible; DHS is known for some of the best. and be sure to stay late for Fantasmic! It’s considered the best of the nighttime shows, and it’s the only regular park event that features the disney villains. Grab seats early, no matter what time of year, or enjoy dinners and a show by making reservations for the Fantasmic! Package at either The Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Mellrose’s Ristorante Italiano, or Hollywood & Vine.

Here is your list of absolute musts for DHS:

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Aerosmith Rock n roller coaster

The Great movie ride

Toy story mania

Indiana jones stunt spectacular show

Muppet vision 3D

Star tours

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Animal Kingdom (AK) may be the youngest of the WDW parks, but it’s popularity is right up there with its sibling amusements. This “Natazu” (say it out loud and you’ll get it) features live animals, good food, great rides, and some truly stunning architectural touches, even by Disney standards.

AK is divided into lands (like MK). Some are based on world regions, with theming and animals native to the region, and others are more imaginative. Here’s the rundown of what’s where

Oasis: Many people make the mistake of rushing through this entry point; don’t be one of them. Take your time and see miniature deer, sloths, macaws, iguanas, and more.

Discovery Island: the park’s center is dominated by artistic wonder The Tree of Life. The Tree stands 14 stories tall, is 50 feet wide, and has a carved “bark” tapestry featuring 325 different animal likenesses. Wildlife trails surround the tree as well, with viewing areas for lemurs, flamingos, red kangaroos, and massive Galapagos tortoises. Inside the tree is a theatre where you can experience It’s Tough To Be A Bug, a creepy crawly interactive movie show-it’s a park fave!

Camp Minnie Mickey: take the little ones here for small-size fun and most of AK’s character meet and greets. This is also the home for The Festival of the Lion King show, which inspired the award-winning Broadway musical.

Africa: welcome to Harambe, a beautiful African village that is your path to Kilimanjaro Safari and a ride through African animal territory. Once you descend from your safari vehicle, you exit to the Paganini Forest Exploration Trail for a look at lowland gorillas, including a magnificent 500-lb silverback male and his family. Take your time through these trails-this is one of the few places in the world where you can observe these amazing primates. After, take the little ones to Rafiki’s Planet Watch after, as a reward for their patience-they’ll love the Affection Section petting zoo.

Asia: You’ve discovered the kingdom of Anandapur, which means “place of delight.” The Imagineers did an amazing job of creating the feeling of a crumbling, archeological wonder, so be sure to keep an eye open for intricate details. Of course, that might be hard to do since your whole party will be running to get to Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Disney’s newest thrill ride. FASTPASS it for sure-this coaster is worth your entire visit. On a hot day, head next to Kali River Rapids, where the churning waters guarantee a soaking good time for all. More up-close animal viewing can be had at Maharajah Jungle Trek, including Bengal Tigers.

Dinoland U.S.A.: It might not be the best dinosaur attraction in the world, but it’s still good Disney fun. The Boneyard is a place for kids to dig, climb and slide while parents get some time to sit and watch. Then take the whole family to Dinosaur, a fun, fast-paced race against time. Finally, grab a seat for Finding Nemo-The Musical. This gorgeous, visually-stunning reimagining of the popular film is considered THE must-see show of the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

Our Tips for the WDW Parks

FASTPASS: It’s like making a reservation for your favorite WDW attraction. Just insert your admission ticket, annual pass, or resort ID, and the machine prints out a pass with the time you should return to the ride. You can’t choose your time, and you can only have one active FASTPASS at a time, but that doesn’t matter — on a busy day, it can save you hours of waiting on lines.

A FASTPASS Tip: If you miss your scheduled time, don’t worry. Your FASTPASS is good for any time after the time on your ticket.

Ride while other guests are busy: Mealtimes, parades, and fireworks often take people away from the major attractions. Ride while everyone else is distracted and you may experience far shorter wait times.

Don’t rebuy-refill! WDW has water fountains throughout the park. Bring your own water bottles (the park allows them) and refill throughout the day.

Snack to save time: Snack stands offer quick, light options for meals on the go-remember that a heavy meal is likely to slow you down, especially in hot weather.

The WDW Water Parks

Blizzard Beach

Welcome to the 66-acre ski resort of Mount Gushmore! Blizzard Beach features a white sand beach and a tropical lagoon. This is the youngest of the Disney water parks, but it’s also the most popular; in fact, it’s the most popular water park in the country. It’s got great rides for all ages, from thrills and speed to lazy and relaxing. Here are a few highlights:

Cross Country Creek

Melt Away Bay

Tike’s Peak

Teamboat Springs

Summit Plummet

Typhoon Lagoon

Slightly smaller and a bit more relaxed in both theme and thrills than Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon is WDW’s second water park. Crowds tend to be a bit smaller here, since it is the older of the two parks, but you can still expect long waits and crowded pools during high attendance times of year. Typhoon Lagoon’s waters are kept at a warm – but still refreshing – 75-80º F all year round, making this a water park of choice even in Orlando’s short winter.

The story of Typhoon Lagoon centers around Miss Tilly, a shrimp boat that ended up stuck atop volcano Mount Mayday after “the storm of storms.” On the half hour, Miss Tilly still blows her whistle, as Mount Mayday tries to dislodge the ship by sending a geyser of water straight through her and up into the air.

The most well-known attraction at Typhoon Lagoon is probably the Shark Reef. Here, you can snorkel and even scuba with live sharks (leopards and bonnetheads), as well as stingrays and assorted tropical fish. Those visitors not quite brave enough to get in the water (the sharks are not dangerous!) can view the fish via the portholes of a “sunken tanker.”

There are nine waterslides as well, running the gamut from thrills to pure laziness. Here’s the rundown on some of the favorites:

Castaway Creek

Crush ‘n’ Gusher

Gang Plank Falls

Humunga Kowabunga

Surf Pool

Sports, Shopping, and More

Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex

This is Disney’s homage to sports and the people who both play and love them. It’s a 220-acre megacomplex with a baseball stadium, ten baseball and softball fields, six basketball courts, 12 tennis courts (fully lighted), six volleyball courts (sand, of course), a track and field complex, driving range for golfers, and even two indoor roller hockey rinks. The multisport auxiliary Josten Center offers another six basketball courts, 12 more volleyball courts, and two more roller hockey rinks.

Sports fans should know that big names often make appearances here, too. The Atlanta Braves come for Spring Training every March, and the NBA, PGA, NCAA, and Harlem Globetrotters all host events and games here. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also use the Sports Complex as their training camp in July and August.

Call 407-WDW-GAME for more information, including a calendar of events and also ticket information.

DisneyQuest

This interactive, indoor theme park is the perfect choice for the tech- heads in your group or for the whole family on a rainy day. It features five levels of cutting-edge games, where virtual reality meets adventure, all with a touch of that special Disney pixie dust. Teens will LOVE it, but there is something for everyone. Don’t miss virtual versions of popular MK rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold, Virtual Jungle Cruise, CyberSpace Mountain, and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets.

CyberSpace Mountain is a particular fave, where Bill Nye the Science Guy helps you create the coaster and then lets you ride it-it’s truly a customized ride experience. Artistically-inclined guests should check out Animation Station for a crash-course in Disney-style animation. Get here at opening for the most action with least wait-afternoons and evenings here can become unbearably crowded.

Golf Disney

WDW features 99 total holes of golf, spread over six courses. There are also two mini-golf complexes, competing with similar sites all over Orlando. While big golfers in your party might want to plan big outings with their buddies (tee times can be booked 60-90 days in advance), Oak Trail is the best place to get in a quick nine holes. It’s a lovely and quiet walking course suitable for beginners, expert linksmen, or even families. There are some great challenges, notably at holes 5, 6, and 7. Other courses and mini-golf include:

Magnolia

Palm

Osprey Ridge

Lake Buena Vista

Fantasia Gardens (mini)

Fantasia Fairways (mini)

Winter Summerland (two mini courses: Winter and Summer)

And remember, spikeless golf shoes only! Sneakers or similar athletic shoes are also permitted.

Downtown Disney

If shopping, dining, and a state-of-the-art multiplex are part of your dream vacation, this is where you’ll want to spend some time. It’s split into three areas: West Side, Pleasure Island (soon to be Hyperion Wharf), and The Marketplace.

West Side has DisneyQuest and amazing dining experiences, such as Bongos Cuban Café, the House of Blues, Wolfgang Puck’s, and Planet Hollywood. There is a 24-screen AMC movie theater, featuring all your first-run needs in a beautiful art deco setting. West Side also features Cirque du Solei La Nouba, a Disney-exclusive show by the world-famous avant-garde troupe. Buy tickets early if you want to see the show – its popularity is nearly unrivaled. And new for 2013 is Splitsville, a two-floor, 30 lane bowling and entertainment complex featuring live music and great dining.

Pleasure Island was once the over-18 center of Downtown Disney, with clubs and restaurants catering to an all-adult crowd. That ended in 2008, and the area has been partially unused since. But things are changing! Disney announced plans in late 2010 to transform Pleasure Island into a brand-new shopping and dining area, Hyperion Wharf. Construction is expected to take three years; some shops and restaurants will remain open during the long renovation, including Raglan Road Irish Pub & Bar, Fuego by Sosa Cigars, Paradiso 37, and Orlando Harley-Davidson.

Disney Marketplace has great restaurants, too, notably Fulton’s Crab House for succulent seafood on a beautiful riverboat. Captain Jack’s (no connection to the Johnny Depp character) is the place for oysters and cold beer, in a casual waterfront restaurant that also has a great childrens menu. Kids will also love the Rainforest Café, where there are often live animals (mostly parrots) on display outside. Marketplace is also home to the World of Disney. No trip is complete without a visit here, though parents trying to stick to a budget might want to corral the kids once they get through the door!

Getting Around The Mouse: Transportation at the Walt Disney World® Resort

Monorail: The Walt Disney Monorail system has been in place since the park opened in 1971. It originally ran around the circumference of the Seven Seas Lagoon but was expanded in 1982 to offer monorail transport to EPCOT. If you are staying in one of the Magic Kingdom hotels

– The Contemporary, The Polynesian, or The Grand Floridian – the monorail goes right through your hotel. Everyone else picks up the monorail at either the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, or the Transportation and Ticket Center, known as the TTC.

The TTC is the central point for Disney transportation. In addition to monorails, the TTC is also where you can find Disney (and other area hotel) resort buses, ferry boats, water taxis, and a massive parking lot for cars, taxis, and buses.

Buses: Disney resort buses run to all the Disney hotels, the main parks, water parks, Downtown Disney, and the Wide World of Sports. There are dozens of buses for each location, but the routes are not always the most direct. Also, the buses can be extremely crowded at peak periods, such as opening, closing, and meal times. Be aware of time – if you are in a hurry to get somewhere, the buses may not be your best option.

Parking: While the monorails, ferry boats, water taxis, and Disney buses are complimentary, if you prefer to use your own car, the daily parking fee is $14 for cars and motorcycles, and $15 for trailers and campers. Your parking pass is good for the entire day, no matter how often you move your car. Disney Resort Hotel Guests and Annual Pass Holders do not have to pay for parking anywhere in the Walt Disney complex. It is always complimentary.

Fun for all ages

WDW attracts guests of very ages, from families with young children to retirees and spring breakers. Everyone has their own favorites, but if you’re looking for some planning help, here are our picks for the best options for the most common age groups: Kids, Teens and Adults.

Please note the following abbreviations for each park:

MK = Magic Kingdom® Park

EP = Epcot®

DHS = Disney’s Hollywood Studios™

AP = Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Park

Best for Younger Kids

Attractions: Voyage of the Little Mermaid (DHS), Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (MK), Finding Nemo: The Musical (AK), Buzz Lightyear (MK)

Eats: 50 Prime Time Café (DHS), Cosmic Ray’s (MK), Coral Reef Restaurant (EP), Toy Story Pizza Planet (DHS)

Best for Teens

Attractions: Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (DHS), Philharmagic (MK), Phantasmic (DHS), Rock n Roller Coaster (DHS), Haunted Mansion (MK), Space Mountain (MK), Splash Mountain (MK), Mission: Space (EP), Expedition Everest (AK)

Restaurants: Pecos Bills (MK), Via Napoli (EP), Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (DHS)

Best for Adults

Attractions: Muppet Vision 3-D (DHS), Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DHS), Test Track (EP), Soarin’ (EP)

Restaurants: Victoria and Albert’s (Grand Floridian Resort), California Grill (Contemporary Resort), Narcoosees (Grand Floridian Resort), Chefs du France (EP), Jiko (AK Lodge), Rose and Crown (EP), Le Cellier (EP)

We sincerely hoped you enjoyed reading our guide to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Have a great trip!

Do You Have Loyalty to the Workplace? Keep Them From Ruining Your Hard Work

Prologue

Entering the World of the Diplomats

September 9, 1977 – Security Office, Ramada Hotel

“Here is a letter for you”, Mr. Paras said while seated on a swivel chair, waving his right hand towards Poe’s direction. The former was the Chief Security of the Ramada hotel where Poe served as a House Detective. Poe was one of the few stay-in security detectives in the hotel. Their office was located at the left corner of the hotel ground floor facing the employee’s entrance.

“Oh, Thank you Sir,” he said as he entered the room and received the letter.

“This mail comes from the Embassy”, he whispered smilingly while curiously glancing on the heading.

“You’re about to leave us?” the Chief asked.

“Well, I’m just taking chances,” he answered, reading the content.

“Dear Mr. Poe,” the letter began. “We are pleased to invite you for an interview on September 10, 1977 at 8:00 am at the Embassy Chancery”.

“At last! My job application takes in!” Poe jumped for joy. “I’m so glad I can’t wait till tomorrow!” he exclaimed.

“Hey guys, I’m in for the Embassy interview tomorrow,” he proudly showed it off to his office mates in the room.

“Hey, you’ll be cool out there,” Fred commented in an approving tone.

“Yeah, I can go somewhere,” Poe replied as he cheerfully waved his hand and left the room.

John furtively grunted after he was gone.

“He’s just pushy he thinks he could make it,”

“Oh shit!,” Sofia frowned, apparently annoyed. “Just go to hell, we don’t care,” she muttered without taking away her eyes on her

typewriter. Obviously, nearly every one of his colleagues gave him a cold shoulder the whole day.

“They must be jealous,” Poe surmised.

The Embassy building was majestic in its stately location alongside the shoreline of Manila Bay. Its frontage was easily seen just a few meters away from the thoroughfare although partly covered by old acacia trees on well-maintained blue grasses. It was surrounded by high concrete and iron railings with wide vehicular and pedestrian gates as well as security concrete barriers. The gates were manned by two security guards staunchly standing in blue and white uniforms, with short firearms properly tucked in their black holsters. One of them was holding a metal detector in his right hand, ready to carry out an under chassis inspection whenever the cars check in. There was a large parking space in the medium portion of the facade which was intended for employees and official vehicles alike. Inside the lobby were two sturdy Marines in military coat and tie with brand new piercing caps and guns. A lady Receptionist was inside the booth.

“Can I help you, Sir?” she asked as Poe entered the lobby.

“I’m Mr. Poe,” he replied as he showed the appointment letter.

“Can you tell Mr. Tan I’m here?” he asked.

Mr. Tan was the Personnel Officer of the Embassy who had a hand for his interview.

“Please wait a second,” she dialed.

“Hello, Mr. Tan, Mr. Poe is here at the lobby,” she was apparently talking to Mr. Tan over the phone, her eyes fixed on him.

“Please take your seat and wait for a moment,” the Receptionist said after she hanged up.

While waiting, Poe could not help but to have a quick look at the entire lobby. The Chancery Mail Room was located at the left side near the office of the Cashier. On the right side was a large twin-door leading to the ballroom, with ornamental base and a country flag on its side. There was an expansive stairs at the left corner going to the Personnel Department, where Poe was heading for the interview.

After awhile, Mr. Tan arrived at the lobby through the stairs. He was a Filipino, about 40 years of age, with small body built and sporting a casual look. He was turning his head as if he was looking for someone – and he finally caught sight of him.

“Mr. Poe?” he asked.

“Yes Mr. Tan?” he replied as he stood up.

“Please follow me!”

Poe walked with him to the second floor until they reached the Personnel Office.

“Have a seat,” Mr. Tan began. “I’m going to give you a typing test and written exams.”

Mr. Tan went to a nearby office table and put some coffee in the cup, blended with a small amount of sugar. He also prepared a piece of pancake.

“Before we begin, please take your coffee first,” Mr. Tan said while handing him the cup of coffee and the pancake.

Poe was amazed.

“It’s great I had a coffee break while undergoing my tests,” he was talking to himself.

“I can’t find a good employer like this one!”

The interview and the written tests started on. Mr. Tan asked about Poe’s working experiences and his personal circumstances, paper exams followed.

“You have passed the interviews as well as typing and written tests.” Mr. Tan said smilingly as Poe got through with the given exams after a few hours.

“The next thing for you to do is to undergo physical examination.”

“We will see if you are physically fit to work,” Mr. Tan said as he handed him over the medical referral.

“Please present this letter to the Doctor and I’ll keep you informed with the result!”

“Thank you so much Sir!” Poe replied softly.

He opened his mouth as if to speak further but apparently, he was at a loss for words to express his gratitude.

“I can’t believe I would soon be working with the embassy,” he told himself.

Poe walked down the expansive stairs of the chancery going to the clinic clutching his medical referral. It was located at the backyard of the chancery on the second floor near the Friday club, a place for the marines to linger on during relaxing hours.

Dr. Jude, the lady physician in white uniform was in, seated on the swivel chair facing her table while apparently writing some notes. Her office was complete with medical equipment, from X-ray apparatus to what have you. There was a bed portion for the patient to lie down and to undergo examination, which was covered by a green curtain about an overhead length.

“Good morning Ma’am!” He greeted while presenting the medical referral.

“Alright, let me see.” Dr. Jude stood up and casually accepted the letter to read, while staring at him as if she was gauging his physical condition.

“Mr. Poe, it says here that you’re an applicant for the Treasury?”

“Yes Ma’am,” he replied.

“Okay, let’s start with your physical test,” Doctor Jude said as she extended her right hand towards the medical drawers above her head. She took her stethoscope and began performing all the required physical examination until everything was done.

“You’ll be notified of the result”, Dr. Jude said after Poe’s medical test.

“Thank you again, Ma’am! I’ll see you later”.

He went back to Ramada hotel at his service quarter, apparently with a heavy heart.

“I’m afraid I may not pass the medical exam,” he sighed.

It sounds as if he clings to an impossible hope.

“I have a history of pulmonary ailment when I was still a student.”

“It may be traced in the X-Ray test, I feel demoralized.”

Part 1: The Pain of Rejection

Chapter 1

A Dream to Keep on

“It has been six days since I started to pray. For almost a week I have no recourse but to pray, and I prayed really hard again and again,” he said while doing his routine inspection in the hotel.

“I hope I can get the good result.”

“Hey Poe, you got a mail from the embassy!” Fred informed him on the seventh day.

“Thank you Fred, please hand it to me!”

He was really keen to see the report.

“Oh God, please spare me! I need the job! It will change my future!” he silently begged.

He anxiously opened the letter, slowly, his hand shaking, and then he read between the lines.

The information was heartbreaking.

“Your X-Ray finding showed an undetermined activity.”

“We regret to inform you that you are not fit to work,” the letter blew up into his head.

Poe was so startled that his fingers were all thumbs and let fall a cup of coffee from his hand.

“CRASHED!” so went the sound of a broken cup.

He felt as if heaven and earth crashed on him. All along he was earnestly praying that everything would be alright, but now his hope is increasingly coming apart in his heart. He could not understand why his prayer failed.

“Did my weeping fall on deaf ears? Jesus, what shall I do now?” he groaned as he lightly shoved his fist on the table.

At 12 o’clock midnight, Poe went up again to his desired praying place at the penthouse flat.

“I must to talk to God to beseech for reconsideration,” his wits spoke. “Yes, and pigs might fly!” his inner self seemed to insinuate an impossibility.

In the middle of the night where all the lights were turned off in the penthouse, he made the sign of the Cross as he usually did.

He started praying on his knees while slowly moving around, with his arms flatly stretched sideways – eyes closed.

“My God, my Lord, I asked but I failed. Now I’m asking again!” He lamented.

He stayed on the rooftop for about three hours, and he did not refrain from praying – until he felt his hair stood on end. His desire to be heard by God was so intense that he perceived a strange flap of the wings. He was disturbed by the sound.

“Huh?… Must be an angel coming down in front of me!” he guessed. His eyes still closed.

“The angel could be announcing, my prayer has been heard.” He was imagining.

“Oh God, I feel scared I need to go now. I must leave this place at once.”

Instead of looking into the source of the flapping sound, he looked down the floor and rushed back towards downstairs.

“I’m afraid of seeing strange things.

“I’m truly nervous of what I might see.” He cried out.

Poe was not certain of himself if he could manage the sight of whatever was it on that particular time – where he was all alone

in the dim light, on the very top of the building with nothing but the sight of water tank and machinery.

“What could that be?”

“Was it a big bird?”

“Was it actually an Angel, or just a product of my imagination?” he asked himself after he arrived back to his bed quarter.

Probably, he brought this odd experience into a dream.

While sleeping he saw a man coming. With indistinct face and with a low but authoritative voice He said,

“Go find your previous employer and proceed to the Medical Unit.”

“Ask the nurse for your medical history so with whatever you need.”

“Then take it to the Embassy”.

Right after these words, Poe was awakened. He glanced at his wristwatch.

“It’s only 5 a.m. and I just slept for two hours.” He looked bleary-eyed as he fixed his eyes on his bed mates, snoring loudly. “They are deeply sleeping,” he yawned.

A few cocks scantily crowing. “COCK-A-DOODLE-DO!”

It was only him who was fully awake as his dream left a deep mark in his head.

“God has obviously shown me the road to take.”

“I have to go see the company doctor myself!” He jumped on the floor to prepare for an early bath.

Apparently, he was referring to the medical unit of the Deity Motor Corporation, his previous employer. But he knew the medical rules in the company.

“The medical record is always treated confidential. It is hardly given to anyone without due course. And little did I know what’s in store for me out there. But I think trying my best wouldn’t do me any harm,” he surmised.

Poe merely allayed his concern into remembering his dream the preceding night. It was such a divine initiative that he had to undertake once and for all. He was so desperate that he had to beg if that would be the case. He hoped that the company doctor would soon have a change of heart, and he was going to help him after all. He would really ask for all he was worth towards getting his records.

“Whatever happens, I have God’s help to fall back on,” he told himself and he prepared to go.

“So, you are applying for a job in the Embassy,” said Miss Jenny who was the resident nurse of the Deity Motors.

“Yes, Ma’am, and I need my medical records badly for comparison with the Embassy’s latest diagnosis.”

“Okay! No problem. I won’t turn you down,” she said.

“Thank you Ma’am, you’re a big help to me,” he replied.

“Please have a seat and wait till I find your file.”

“Good heavens! I never thought this would be that easy,” Poe expressed contentedly.

“My little sleep last night just turned out right. I feel so light I could fly!”

It was 8 o’clock the following day when Poe knocked at the Embassy’s Medical Office. He was tightly carrying a big brown envelope in his right hand containing his X-Ray film and other data taken from the Deity Medical Unit. Doctor Jude was already in, who opened the door.

“Good morning, doctor!” he began.

“I have here with me my medical history,” he said meekly while slightly vowing his head as a respect.

“I would like to present this to you for your further evaluation, if you please!” He slowly handed over the big brown envelope.

“I, I always go to church and pray, Ma’am.”

Unconsciously, he was trying to edge himself into Dr.Jude’s soft spot. The doctor took the brown envelope into her hand and casually laid it on her desk.

“Okay, I will see what’s in this plate later.” She was apparently referring to Poe’s X-Ray film. So far, he did not encounter any delay in the acceptance of his documents. All the while he was hopeful that the doctor might take his medical history into consideration before finally turning him down, if ever.

“I wish things would be going quite well, by and large,” he said.

At exactly one week after the submission of his medical history, Poe received a letter coming from the Embassy’s Personnel Department. It was a notice of his final medical result.

Part 2: A Break Came into Play

Chapter 2

The Miracle of Prayer

“We are pleased to inform you that you have passed the medical examination. Your employment with the Department of the Treasury shall take effect on September 22, 1977 at 7:00 am. Please report to Mr. Richard Meyer for orientation.”

“Good gracious! I’m given a chance to start out!” he exclaimed while jumping for joy. He was more enthusiastic than that of the very first day he got a call-in letter.

“Thank you Lord!” he uttered in relief.

But his sheer jubilation slowly turned into doubt. Another problem suddenly came into his mind which was undeniably true.

For one, it was already Friday afternoon and there were only four days left till Tuesday which was the start of his employment, saving Monday which was a Martial Law Day – an

official holiday. Three days were not enough to prepare for a new environment.

“Where would I stay in the City?”

“Where would I find food for my daily needs?”

“In my detective work in the hotel, I enjoy free board and lodging. I have a free quarter to stay. I could eat regularly as the ration for security personnel were simply provided by the kitchen men.”

“Of course I would have a more decent pay in the Embassy.

But how can I survive during the first month in my new job while I am broke till my first Payday?” he was talking to himself.

Both his conscious and subconscious minds were confused.

“I have nothing to get from my security agency because of so many advances I made during this month.”

“And if ever, the agency would surely hold whatever amount I have the moment they discovered that I would vacate my job for good.”

“What about my kin, my sisters? No!” he cried.

“I can’t get any help from them.”

“I know truly well they would immediately complain about their own needs the moment they sensed that I’m in dire need of money,” he sighed.

“Then where on earth shall I go?” he asked himself while staring at the sky.

Poe, again, found himself scaling his way up to the penthouse of the hotel. Just as he did before, he was crawling around the empty space with his bent knees and open arms as he did his prayer all over again. He repeatedly invoked his newest needs to God.

“Please provide me at least one month sustenance to keep me going, Lord!”

And, again, he did not refrain from praying until he felt his tears ran dry. When he sensed this, he immediately made the sign of the Cross and thereafter went down the ground floor by the stairways.

Below the last step of the stairs, he noticed a small bundle of money on the floor which was partly hidden beside the big ornamental base. It was tightly wrapped with a rubber string.

“Oh, Man! This bundle might have slipped out from the chest pocket of a guest and didn’t notice it,” he presumed as he quickly picked it up. He turned his head around to make sure no one had seen him. Then he casually hid himself in the nearby corner of the floor and curiously untied the bundle of money to count it.

“One hundred fifty nine dollars!” he exclaimed.

“This money’s good enough for my basic needs till I get my first month pay. I can still have spare cash to rent for my bed space.”

But his mind and heart were squabbling.

“Too bad you asked help from God but you were coveting the money which is not yours,” said his conscience.

“God gave me this money,” replied his brain.

“Go back and return the money to the one who owned it!”

“No! I need it to start my life anew.

Poe was confused whether he would surrender the money or keep it for himself. If he would give it back to the real owner, he would also give up his hope for a new world. Indeed, when he chanced upon the hard cash awhile ago and actually had it in his hand, his monetary problem had already been resolved.

“What if I won’t give this up?” Poe was staring at the bundle. “Of course I could go on with my new job in the embassy and chase my dreams. But if so, what would the heavens say to me? Would I be sent to the lakes of fire? I’m really confused,” he breathed.

Part 3: By Leaps and Bounds

Chapter 3

Making the Best of it

Then Poe finally decided to keep it for himself.

“God will surely understand,” he guessed.

The following Tuesday Poe arrived at the Treasury office at 6:00 a.m., about an hour ahead of time to report for his orientation. Other employees subsequently came in one by one, and Mr. Meyer, the boss, opened the treasury door at exactly 7:00 am.

“You will perform all the clerical works in the operation and you will assist Cruz in the Mail Section, Mr. Meyer pointed out in his orientation. Poe was keenly listening.

“You will also deliver volumes of checks to the Central Post Office every afternoon,” he added.

“Yes Sir, I’ll do it all with pleasure!” he nodded.

Poe had at last come into his own as an employee of the Department of the Treasury. He knew all the while that such a stepping stone would allow him to bring all his talents into play. And he was not wrong. His diligence and attention to every job details had eventually gotten excellent result.

For the span of eight months he twice got Special Achievement Award from the Treasury Department. Although he was not as extroverted as some of his colleagues he was every bit as professional and dedicated. Indeed, his introverted quiet façade was the perfect cover for his quick, analytic mind.

He was well-loved by his office mates as well as Lora, a 40 year-old married woman who was his immediate supervisor.

“You should apply for the vacancy,” Lora instructed him on one occasion.

“There was a vacant opening for a higher position in the Treasury. Rhodes gave up this job to settle abroad.”

“But Ma’am,” he objected. “Cruz has long been aspiring for Rhodes’s position. He’d resent me if he won’t get hired!”

“You just apply for the position,” Lora stressed.

“I don’t want Cruz to get promoted. I displease his performance in the Mail Room. He’s even arguing me whenever I give him some instructions,” she added.

“But Cruz has longer and better experience than mine,” Poe said.

“Why? Don’t you like the job?” Lora asked.

“I just don’t want him to get hurt,” he explained.

“Don’t you like a two-step salary increase?”

“But I’ll come out a bad guy in Cruz eyes,” he said.

“Never mind it! Just think about the opportunity first. I want you to be there. I can persuade Mr. Meyer to give you the job. I will recommend it to him!”

“But Ma’am…

“Do as I say, and stop annoying me!” she retorted and walked away. Poe was left behind scratching his head.

“Congratulations, Jeffrey Poe!” his co-employees greeted him a week after he got his promotion.

“You are now our treasury’s Check Custodian, well done, Poe,” Mr. Meyer said.

“Oh, thank you Sir. Thank you all!” He said.

“You see? I told you so!” Lora whispered on his ear.

“How about a blowout?” Vicky, the assistant supervisor, teased him while shaking his hand.

“Oh yeah, you should paint the town red!” Florence seconded in jest.

Everyone was pleased of his new position apart from Cruz, who was seated near beside the inserting machine. He was obviously disappointed to hear that his application for the vacant post did not work at all. Even more disappointed that Poe had come out a winner.

“Mr. Meyer didn’t even consider my long working years in this office.” Cruz lamented to Vicky one time.

“I know Lora was behind Poe’s promotion, and to my frustration,” he said.

“How do you say that?” Vicky asked.

“I heard her one time talking to Mr. Meyer, she was discrediting me while she was commending Poe,” Cruz stressed.

“Poe’s a hardworking employee anyway,” Vicky answered.

“And why is that? He only started working last year!” Cruz burst in anger.

“Oh, oh! Come on Cruz, there’s always a chance for everything,” she said.

“That will never happen to me as long as Poe is here!” Cruz retorted.

Poe had just come back from delivering parcels of checks at the central Post office. Unwary about the topic of conversation, he drew near Cruz and Vicky and sat down beside them.

“Hi Cruz, may I borrow the ledger of mails, please?” Poe asked Cruz, but he got an ill-mannered response.

“Better look for yourself!” Apparently, Cruz got on his nerves. He dragged his pen on the table and left Poe and Vicky in the mail room. The two registered a surprised look in their eyes as they both stood up to walk away but Cruz unexpectedly rushed back.

“FUCK YOU!” Cruz suddenly threw a right punch meant to his face.

“HEY! Poe exclaimed.

Impulsively, Poe was able to dodge the blow and thereafter twisted Cruz’s wrist in defense. The two wrestled on the floor. The chairs went flying. The glasses on the table splintered under the heavy scuffle. Volumes of delivery checks tumbled and scattered on the floor. Their office mates were taken aback.

“What the hell!” Lora yelled.

Mr. Meyer’s door burst open and he rushed into the scene. Poe impulsively released his grip and Cruz was able to dash out to the exit, blatantly abandoning the workplace without a word.

“He punched me!” he explained as he saw Mr. Meyer coming.

“I saw Cruz threw him the first punch,” Lora told Mr. Meyer. The employees help picking up the scattered pieces of checks and put back the dented chairs in their original place.

That was the last time Poe saw Cruz in the office as he failed to report for work since then. The last bit of information he heard was that Cruz was working in Saudi Arabia.

While Poe continued his work in the Treasury, he came across with the news that the Consular Section at the ground floor was in need of a new staff, and Mr. Meyer approached him one time.

“The Personnel Department told me that you applied for the Consular job,” he said.

“Yes I did Mr. Meyer.”

“Are you willing to leave your work here?” He asked.

“I’m after the greener pasture, Sir,” he meekly said.

“Well, if you leave you won’t be able to get your Christmas bonus and additional benefits. It will be forfeited and you’ll start all over again.” he warned.

“I’ll risk the possibility, Sir”

And soon Poe became a member of the workforce of the Anti-Fraud Unit, an investigative body within the Consular Department. The office was located at the ground floor of the annex building fronting the corridor and the Visa Section. Inside the carpeted office were cubicles of five investigators in a row, facing the desk of Ivy, the lady Secretary. Two adjacent rooms were occupied by the Chief and his Deputy. There was also a foreign flag in the nearby corner, and a few portrait frames on the wall.

Poe was one of five investigators who conduct office and field investigation and served as Illegal Syndicate Investigator.

He interviews visa applicants and witnesses to establish identification, legitimacy, and/or consanguinity through functioning as Screening Investigator in the Consular.

He also conducts well organized investigation in the metropolitan area and the provinces. He monitors closely a log of cases in order to assure the expeditious handling of referrals and prepares a list of cases and itinerary for provincial assignments. He has at last come to his own as a valued investigator of the consulate and at no time improving his career by leaps and bounds.

Worlds of Enchantment: Strange Tidal Islands Around the World

A tidal island is a part of land that is connected to the terrain at low tide, and during high tide, it is totally cut off from the land and turns into a genuine island. Tidal islands are frequently connected with the landmass by a manmade boulevard permitting simple access for visitors wishing to traverse, however, even these can get submerged by the sea. So dependably, check the tide times before you visit. After all, tide and time, wait for none, right?

So here’s a list of some of the world’s most gorgeous, most ethereal tidal islands, which have never failed to steal the heart of the visitor there. Try for yourself!

1. Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai

The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque situated on an islet off the bank of Mumbai. An exemplary model of Indian Islamic architecture, the dargah houses the tomb of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. This was built in 1431 by a rich Muslim merchant, who surrendered all his common belongings before embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The islet is connected to the city by a narrow thoroughfare, which is about a kilometer in length. Since this thoroughfare gets submerged in the sea during high tides, the dargah is accessible only during low tide. The thoroughfare, with the ocean on both sides, is one of the highlights of an excursion to this gorgeous place.

2. Mont Saint Michel, Normandy

Mont Saint Michel is found simply off the bank of the northern French region of Normandy. It is a little tidal island, best known for the site of the astounding Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Michel at the top of the rocky island, which is encompassed by the winding roads and convoluted architecture of the medieval town. The property incorporates a little island, which is designed according to the Mount and turned into a Norman monastery named St Michael’s Mount. The mount can pose serious risks for visitors who evade the highway and endeavor the unsafe way, over the sands, from the neighboring coast with tides that can change significantly.

3. Jindo and Modo, South Korea

Every year in the southwest of South Korea, two times, a characteristic highway opens up due to low tides, interfacing the two islands of Jindo and Modo for a period of an hour. The thoroughfare is 3 km in length, and more than 40 meters in breadth. A festival known as the Jindo Moses Miracle, dedicated to this natural wonder, is celebrated every year which is attended by enthusiasts from all around the globe.

4. Eilean Donan, Scotland

Eilean Donan is situated in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is a little tidal island associated with the mainland by a footbridge, and lies a mile apart from the town of Dornie. The island is embellished with a stunning medieval fort. In the mid thirteenth century, the first mansion was built here as a protection against the Vikings. Presently, it is a standout amongst the most shot attractions in Scotland and a prominent venue for weddings and film locales.

5. Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Sveti Stefan is a coastal resort in the western Montenegro, on the Budva Riviera. In the fifteenth century, the island was a little town, dominated majorly by fishermen. In the 1950s, the last occupants of the town were ousted, and Sveti Stefan was transformed into an exotic town-lodging. The boulevards, rooftops, walls and veneers of the structures here were very much preserved, while the insides of the buildings were changed to offer the most modern and cutting edge comforts and luxuries to the guests.

These places, are definitely a must-visit bid for travellers with a curious bent of mind. Also, if you prefer a dash of adventure during your sojourns, then a trip to one of these should be in your pipeline by now. What are you waiting for?