Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bucket List Revisited

Everyone needs a Disney Bucket List. Even if you don't accomplish everything on it, it encourages you to go out and experience the parks and everything Disney has to offer. Here's mine! I have added and deleted things as we've gone along, and I probably won't get everything on it, but it's fun trying! 

  • Eat the entire Kitchen Sink... with help!

  •  Kitchen Sink
    Kitchen Sunk

  • NOM NOM 

  • Ride the monorail 

  • I do this all the time!

  • Use extra spots on my main gate pass to let someone in for free

  • Pam & Frank for their second honeymoon!

  • Have the dessert trio... but not all at once (Pineapple soft serve from Adventureland, Mickey Dilly Bar from MK, and Chocolate Banana from AK... family tradition)

  • I have done this on multiple occasions haha 

  • Pending:

  • Ride every rides and see every show and all the parades in the world at least once

  • Save some money to walk away from the program with

  • Eat in each of the World Showcase countries

  • -Mexico: Nachos
    -Norway: Potato Cake Rolls
    -Germany: Pretzel
    -Italy: Chicken Alla Tutto Italia
    -American Adventure: Cheeseburger (typical amurica)
    -France: Creme Brulee (more than once... haha)
    -United Kingdom
    Not Completed: 

  • Ride something back to back without having to wait in line

  • Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • Ride Space Mountain with the lights on

  • Pick a pearl in the Japan pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase

  • Do a backstage tour

  • Visit Disney Quest

  • Get a picture with Mickey

  • Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Typical Shift! (By Natasha)

    Here is a post by my awesome roomie and role twin Natasha! She works at Cinderella's Royal Table and is super fantastic and I am so jealous of her retro life. Here she is!

    My restaurant is located inside the Magic Kingdom... arguably the most popular park here at the Walt Disney World Resort. Because I don't have a car here, I am one of the (un)lucky that get to ride the "A" bus to work. This bus is always full and, until another bus was added to the schedule, was a nightmare to get on. To ensure that I get to work on time I need to get on the bus approximately an hour and a half before the start of my shift.
    As a seater at my location, there are two main shifts that I could work: breakfast/lunch or dinner. I almost always get scheduled dinners, but some CP's at my location get almost all breakfast/lunch shifts so it can vary. My shifts usually start at 2:45PM and end anywhere between 10:15PM and 12:15AM.
    After getting off the CP bus, I usually run inside the costuming building to pick up my costume, then catch another bus that takes me backstage. When I am changed into my costume, I go clock in. One of the things that was hard to get used to was that when working the dinner shift, you are assigned to go on your lunch break right away...I have now learned to love that and enjoy the time spent with my coworkers before we all go start in our positions :)
    When my break is over, I clock back in and get an assignment. As a seater there are quite a few assignments that I can receive: seater, seater/setter, updater, set-ups, greeter, greeter assist, or podium (I won't go into detail about each of these because I think this post is already getting pretty long!)
    In between rounds of seating, I will go down into the break room and fold napkins. In addition to the side work you are assigned at the end of the night (cleaning high chairs/boosters, lost and found, etc.) there needs to be 22 bins of napkins folded and ready for the next day. After that number is reached, you can either clock out or stay and do task work until your scheduled out time.
    After clocking out, I go change out of my costume and say a little prayer that I wont have to wait too long for the "A" bus...and that I will get an actual seat :)
    Oh! And because I hate doing posts with no pictures....here is a picture of me in front of my work location with a yummy treat :D hahahaha

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Typical Shift! (By Lisa)

    Hey guys! I recently received a request to share what a typical shift is like for me. Now, what a day is like can vary greatly for me from day to day because I have different roles within my FSFB role. Additionally, my restaurant's experience can be greatly different from another restaurant's. Therefore, I'm going to bring on a guest  poster to share about their shifts. But first, mine:

    I have a car, so that cuts back a lot on my travel time. The time of day can change how long it takes to get to work, but typically I leave about forty minutes prior to the start of my shift. This gives me ample time to drive, park, and go clock in. Depending on what kind of shift it is differs here. If it's coffee bar, I have to go set it up. If I'm assignor, I know ahead of time (usually haha) and start by pre-assigning the parties and making sure the dining room is ready. If I'm a seater or greeter, I usually just walk up to the podium and make sure there's someone available to greet guests and answer questions.

    For seating, you wait until the table's ticket pops up, you prepare the appropriate menus (adults vs. children + sushi if it's dinner), page or go find the party, and walk them in to their table. We have a spiel, as most restaurants do, but the length and tone vary greatly.

    For greeting, when a guest approaches the podium, you welcome them, answer questions, check in reservations, create new parities on the walk-in list, assign pagers, and deal with a lot of complaints. We do not have the reservation system on our computer, but many restaurants do.

    If it's a dinner shift, we have a meeting half an hour prior to opening, but breakfast is usually more relaxed and casual. Once we open, the other seaters and I will take turns bringing guests in and greeting at the podium. I personally prefer greeting guests, but I know a lot of people who prefer seating, so it's a personal thing. During the am shift, you get a 15 minute paid break and a 30 minute unpaid lunch. During the pm shift, you don't have time for such foolishness. Haha so typically for pm at the end of the night we sign a sheet saying we didn't get a break and then our paystub will reflect the change.

    If things start getting slow, someone will go fold napkins or make trays or wipe down high chairs. This is a lot easier when there are more people scheduled but sometimes you just have to make due with the people you have available, because we have to have six tubs of napkins and one cabinet of trays prepared for the meal, regardless of how many people are working.

    After the meal, we get things set up for the next shift, and go clock out! Granted this is just a typical shift and there's no such thing as typical at Disney World, however it gives you an idea at least. Toodle-oo! I'm off to have a non-typical day of fun in the parks with Natasha!
    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    A-loooooooo-ha! (Cross-Training at Ohana)

    I had such a crazy morning today! I started out at 5, opening the coffee bar. However, I was told there was a chance that the guy originally schedule for today might show up. This wouldn't be the first time something like this happened; I was just glad he didn't show until seven or so. There's nothing worse than getting to your job at 5, only to find out you could have slept in another two hours or so, haha. So the other person shows up, and I'm told that if I want, I can go over to 'Ohana to cross train for a bit. I tried not to hide my excitement, but I'm pretty sure my answer came out as"omigosh totally awesome yeah that sounds good"

    If you recall, Ohana was actually in my top three choices for work locations, so getting to cross train there (and pick up more shifts later on) is just incredibly amazingly awesomely terrific. I love working at Kona. I love the people, I love the antics, I love the diversity and flow of my shifts. However, the atmosphere at Ohana is just so much more thoroughly Disney. For one, when you walk in, Mickey is usually right there. For another, they have THE best view in the entire world. Or, rather, entire "World." From Ohana's windows, you can see the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Grand Floridian, the Main Street Train Station, and of course... CINDERELLA'S CASTLE! *magic sparkle sparkle*

    Ohana is so much different from Kona, and I love working at both for different reasons. I am so fortunate that I have had so many great opportunities in my program. If you are interested in cross-training, let your manager know as soon as possible. Tell all your managers. The more you let them know you're interested in expanding your experience, the more they'll be able to help you out. Disney is an incredible company with endless opportunities, so take advantage of it!
    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Picking Up Extra Shifts

    One thing I was interested in finding out was how much I would be able to pick up shifts at places other than my statused location. For those of you know don't know, you are typically statused to one location. This can vary based on your role from being in one location (e.g. Kona Cafe) to an entire land (e.g. outdoor foods in frontierland). Your other options for adding some diversity into your work schedule are: (a) deployment- happens by chance and work needs; (b) cross training - I'll get into this is a later post; and (c) picking up extra shifts!

    Since this is a blog about Full Service Food & Bev, I can't really speak for other roles because I don't have any experience with them. However, for me, there are actually a few different options in what I can pick up. These include other table service locations (having podium excellence training really helps), quick service shifts (they're always looking for people at the value resorts and at Magic Kingdom), bell services driving (basically driving people back and forth from the resort parking lots- requires a driving licence), and Parade Audience Control (yaaaay!!).

    I love love love PAC shifts. Their only requirements are that it won't put you into double time and that you have a role that involves heavy guest interaction. Let's face it. Every CP role has heavy guest interaction, so you should be set.  PAC shifts are so much fun! They can get really stressful, depending on where you're stationed. They can also be really boring (if you get bypass- booooo). However, every shift I've worked has been more than worth it. The parade atmosphere is generally a fun one to be around. If you don't mind herding people and answering questions, you should give it a shot sometime! I'll give a more detailed post about PAC shifts later. Until then, Happy Leif Ericson Day! A Dinger Dinger Dargon.

    Guests Say the Darndest Things

    Everyone has complaints about their job. Everyone runs into strange guests, and everyone has their frustrating days. For the most part, I love love love my job. I love the transformation of the Polynesian from night into daytime when I work the coffee shift. I love seeing the monorails pass by. I love how, if you look carefully, you can see the castle from the cash register.

    However, there are still those funny folks who say those funny things. For example, there are an insane amount of Twihard moms out there. If I had an extra dollar for every preschooler Bella I encounter, well I'm not allowed to receive extra money. Kona is a non-tipped role. Unnnlessss I say no three times, but I would never even thi... no no no, thank you!

    Anyways, here are some of my favorite questions that I am asked:

    "Where is the monorail?" (We are literally right next to the monorail)
    "My pager just went off. What does that mean?" (Well, when I said "we'll page you when your table is ready," I wasn't kidding)
    "Are there any better restaurants around here?" (I'm sorry, but would you like it if I walked into your workplace and asked if you could recommend a better place for me to go?)
    "How much time is left on this?" (I'm sorry, ma'am. It's a pager, not a ticking time bomb. We'll let you know when it's your turn.)

    This leads into some of my other favorite scenarios.

    There's the guest who has a skewed conception of time. "I have been waiting forty-five minutes and I want to be sat now!" I have a timer that shows how long you've had that pager, and it's been eight minutes. Calm down.
    There's the guest who sends their kid to do the dirty work. "Excuse me, ma'am, I was just wondering if we would be getting a table soon. I'm just so hungry. Being four is hard." *Sad puppy dog face*
    Then there are the people who don't understand that there are other people who want to eat at our restaurant, too. The people that don't understand that a quiet booth with good lighting and a comfortable temperature close to the window away from any children doesn't exist. Not in Disney World at least. Come on, people! It's Disney! The place is made for kids!

    When I encounter these crazy people, it can be easy to forget the good things. To forget that I have one of the most beautiful views on property. To forget that at 8:00 every night, Wishes is piped into the resort's sound system and if you listen hard enough, you can follow along. It can be easy to just get lost in the frustrations, but when you see a little girl light up when you call her princess, or see a couple in love celebrating their 50th anniversary, it's not so hard at all : )

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