Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And Now, the Most Dangerous Part of our Journey: The Return to Civilization

Today was my last day of work! Granted, I am now a CT (casual temporary) or Seasonal cast member, but I am done with my college program. And what an amazing time. Right now I'm packing up my car and then I drive home tomorrow morning. Fear not, I have more posts to come to cover the past like three months I haven't posted anything.

Speaking of which, if anyone has any questions or requests for topics, please post in the comments!
Sunday, May 1, 2011

Typical Shift: PACing!

Parade Audience Control shifts are some of the most fun shifts I've worked while I've been down here. You get fantastic interaction with the guests, and get to be outside for all the action (not we get to watch it- our job is to watch the guests, not the parade).

Well seeing as I have worked a shift or two and definitely couldn't have done so if I hadn't gotten the proper instructions from Natasha on how to do it, I thought I'd pass along the knowledge. Since this is online, I'm going to try to use as much discretion as possible while still being helpful. I hope you understand. : )

First of all, for those of us who do not go to Magic Kingdom costuming on a regular basis, CHECK THE HOURS! I didn't get to work the first shift I signed up for simply because costuming was closed! On top of that, I forgot my stinking nametag. Stupid me. The second go round was much more successful. I had my costume (if you need help finding it, ask one of the costumers- they'll point you in the right direction), I had my nametag, and I was ready to go!

Now take the bus from West Clock - be sure you have your ID- and go to stairway #17 (I think). You should see people in costume heading that way, so if all else fails, follow them! Head towards the firehouse, and you'll clock in upstairs. Make sure you get there early enough to find your way and also get a seat for the meeting.

There will be tons of people who do PAC full time. They're going to toss around a ton of terms that you are completely unfamiliar with. Then everyone is assigned to a station, which will be in a pre-designated spot, and you'll have to locate your group and leader and go find one of those fun light up blue light sabers (good luck finding one that works, though). Follow your leader to your station, and listen to instructions. Answer questions from guests. Play light saber with kids. Get goosebumps from seeing "just married" couples. Get tears in your eyes from couples celebrating huge anniversaries. Joke with guests. Tell people that the park exit is under the train station, and yes, food is allowed on the monorails. Wish them a happy evening. Parade. Wishes. Remember why you applied to work for Disney.

Well I'll be. It's the Blue Fairy. <-- After you work a PAC shift, you will know why this is significant. Be prepared to have an amazing time. Yes, you will have guests who are angry that they can't stand there. Yes, you might get bypass (ugh). But you will also have guests sincerely thank you for your help.

One day while working an afternoon PAC shift, I was assigned to stand in a spot directly in front of the castle (score!). Later, my leader came over and asked me to assist a couple he had met. The woman was in a wheelchair, and wanted to watch Dream Along with Mickey, as well as the afternoon parade. The couple was from Canada, and they were down in Florida celebrating their 30 year anniversary. They were one of the sweetest couples I have ever met, and spending the afternoon with them was an experience that will stick with me forever. As they were leaving after the parade, she asked for a picture with me. She looks down at the camera after we'd posed, and she says "This picture is now my favorite souvenir from this trip. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon."

It's experiences like meeting that couple that make working at Disney incredible. It's something you can't possible describe the depth of; you have to experience it for yourself. I hope you have many wonderful PAC shifts!
 

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