Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On With The Show!

So today I'm trying something new...

Today is my first shift working at Hollywood Studios! I'll be performing in the role of "generic untrained special events guide."

To be honest, I have no idea what that entails, but I'm so excited to find out! It's been a goal of mine to pick up shifts in each of the four parks, and now I will be able to knock another park off that list (having obviously worked a time or two in Magic Kingdom c-: ).

Credit





Speaking of trying new things, this past Saturday I did another shift that was completely new to me. Each year, Disney hosts a special event for two nights in September called Night of Joy. They have popular Christian bands and artists come out to perform at three stages set up around Magic Kingdom. This is a ticketed event after hours, and with special events comes a need for extra help on hand. Luckily for a certain seasonal cast member, that meant more hours towards my 150!

I picked up a Magic Kingdom Outdoor Foods shift from 8 pm - 2 am (eeek!). This was the latest I'd ever worked for a Disney shift, but it honestly didn't feel that late to me. ODF is responsible for most of the carts and stands you see around the parks. They serve popcorn, drinks, ice cream, and other assorted goodies. Towards the end of my shift I was talking with one of the supervisors, and she was explaining how they staff all those carts and keep track of it all. It really is amazing all the work that goes into selling everyone's favorite snacks!

The work was not necessarily difficult, just fast paced. You had to quickly learn and remember which bin a  certain ice cream was in, how to make the popcorn without burning it (which I did the first time I made a batch. OOPS!), and when to refill certain items. Honestly, the part I liked least about ODF is the drinks cooler. Think about how cold and refreshing your drink is when you purchase one from a stand. Think about how cold the ice water must be to keep it that temperature. Now think about dunking your arm into that ice water over and over again to get drinks all night. Brrrrr!

Credit
I really loved working my first outdoor foods shift. The folks who work and lead ODF are such a fun bunch, and I would definitely pick up there again if given the opportunity!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm here!!

I'm here!!

After meeting a friend for lunch at Downtown Disney, I settled into my hotel and unpacked.

I've got a late night shift tonight for Night of Joy, so I'm going to rest for a bit then head out to start what will be two weeks of magical fun amazingness and also probably a lot of work.

TTFN!
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Want So Much More Than They've Got Planned

So in 1 day, 10 hours, and 9 minutes I will start out my roadtrip to head back down to Disney for two weeks of magic and fun!

If you are already a cast member you (hopefully) know that every Sunday,  our schedules are released for the following week. If you're not already a cast member, now you know, too. So this past Sunday, I couldn't wait until my schedule came out for my first week down there... except there wasn't anything on my schedule. Big problem. Later on in the morning, my schedule was updated, but it only had one 6 hour shift on it.

Since the deadline for the 150 hour requirement is September 29, I can't afford to go lax on my hours. Next year I plan on stacking my hours at the beginning of the fiscal year, but last year I was so burnt out from my program initially and then school that it was difficult to get many hours in at first.

Anyways, so what do you do when you need hours but don't have any shifts on your schedule? Part-timers and Full-timers have a bit more flexibility and more options, such as the Additional Hours Sign Up, but we seasonal folk have to be smart about the few options that are available to us.

First of all, contact your leaders and area managers. Talk to them and express that you would like to work extra hours if possible. They're the ones who scheduled you, so it's highly possible that your work location simply doesn't have a great business need for that week. However, communicating with your leaders is always the best thing you can do in any work situation to keep them aware of your needs.

The Extra Hours Hotline (named so because it was once an actual phone hotline but is now just a module online) is a great resource. This allows leaders across property to post if they need extra help that week. This is where you find PAC shifts and is a great way to cross train! However, it is unreliable and you have to be on your game because shifts go quickly!

Finally, contact people you've worked with. Ask around for shifts that someone might want to give away. There are always people who want to play around with their schedule or have a day off- and you never know, you might be helping them out just as much as they're helping you out!

That's it for today! I'm finishing up packing and getting everything all set for the big trip!!
Monday, August 13, 2012

Countdown

I'm back! And soon, I will really be back...

That's right, I'm going to be spending a full TWO WEEKS down in Orlando working for the mouse again! I haven't written much about seasonal status, so I plan on putting out a few posts while I'm down there to share my experiences as a CT cast member.

I am beyond excited and SO ready to get down there and get to work.

Until then...

27 days!!
Monday, February 6, 2012

Epilogue

Hello!

It's been a while. Just thought I'd let y'all know what exactly has happened in my life in the nine months since my program. 

Graduation & Other Srs Bsns
I graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Education. I majored in Recreation and Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Hospitality and Travel, and am now putting my learning to good use as a front desk agent at a major hotel brand. 



Disney Work News 
I am still a seasonal cast member with Disney, and every chance I can get I pick up a shift down in Orlando. There are only a few things in my way, like a full time schedule, an 8 hour drive, and the loss of my flight privileges. Then, of course, there's the fact that hotels cost money in Orlando, so basically any money I make just goes into travel expenses. : ( I'm still trying to figure out how to balance everything and make my seasonal status work, and of course upping the hours from 40/year to 150/year will definitely make it more difficult to maintain, but staying seasonal and keeping that status as a cast member is really important to me. I plan on coming back to the company full time in the future, and I feel like staying seasonal and maintaining those contacts will help keep me on the radar. 

Disney Fun News
Since May, I have traveled back to Disney twice. Once in November, the week of Thanksgiving, and just last week! For the November trip, I had signed up for some hours during those days, and since Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year, my leaders gave me hours for all three days I was down there. That trip was a little hectic, because my id was expired but access control was closed so I couldn't clock in and I had to get to costuming before 7 am and I ended up going the wrong way on 417 for 20 miles and I was freaking out about not remembering any of my training and okay, maybe it was more than a little hectic, but I ended up having a GREAT time. It was so wonderful to see my leaders and co-workers and friends again, and it made me more confident in my decision to stay as a seasonal cast member.

Some photos of our November trip:

Disney is beautiful at Christmastime :)

We had our first turkey leg! 

We traveled around Epcot... in mom's pocket. She accidentally filmed us for two hours on her iPhone going around Epcot after this picture was taken. It was fun to go back and watch it afterwards!

Jessie met Mickey for the first time <3


The January trip was a horse of a different color. First of all, the whole trip was centered around checking in Natasha's baby brother Trey (AKA Brother In Law to be AKA BIL AKA Dilly Willy Williams... don't ask me about the last one, I only take credit for the first two) to the College Program! Trey is doing a Spring Advantage program in a Quick Service Food & Beverage role, and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to a) visit Disney and b) see some of my favorite people in the world! It was so cool to be back  a year after our program began and reminisce on all the amazing memories from our program.


We spent a day in the parks


Scoped out Bil's new work location

Went Mini Golfing (and fishing?)

Took a nap on our favorite face couch 

Ate at 'Ohana

 And re-experienced the magic of Disney World :)

Can't wait to go back! <3

Oh, by the way, if you're interested in experiencing our trip in multimedia, we also made a stellar music video!








 

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