Sunday, August 2, 2015

Disneyland: What was my job really like?

I wrote this weeks ago and am finally getting around to posting it.

So after a 5 week process of interviewing, orientation, and training I am finally actually working at Disneyland!!

Now I'll first shoot you straight. Through the orientation and training there were plenty of times that I hated it. It's awful being treated like a uneducated ignorant 18 year old. Disney employees are treated like robots that are easily replaceable. 

But I already knew that. I expected that. 

What I didn't expect????

How much I absolutely LOVED my job. 

I loved it so much! I got to stand (who knew how much your feet hurt when you stand for 10+ hours) in all different lands of Disneyland, sell ice cream bars, and be a part of thousands of guests having a magical day at Disneyland. 

I got asked all sorts of questions. I got to share all my Disneyland knowledge. It's amazing. I got to help people have a magical day at the park.

So first: what I actually did.  Before starting I thought I'd be selling churros, turkey legs, popcorn, pretzels and such.  Thank goodness that was not the case!  My job was much easier!  Well kind of.  I worked on carts that looked like this:

I only sold frozen wrapped treats, bottled drinks, bagged caramel corn, cotton candy and things like that.  I never had to handle food.  I worked on carts on Main Street, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Critter Country, and Tomorrowland.  

My job started by meeting in a back warehouse behind Splash Mountain and the Haunted Mansion.  Every shift we started with watching a 10 minute video of stretching and strength training using one of those colored rubber band things.  I wish I could find a picture of how hilarious it was watching all of these cast members in their Disneyland costume stretching.

After stretching we had role call where we went through a Disney news letter of important things everyone needed to know or be reminded of.  After they always had Disney trivia questions.  The only question I really remember was, "What is the oldest attraction in the park?"  Answer: the petrified wood in Frontierland.  

Next I was assigned a cart with a given location.   If I wasn't already in the costume for that land I had to walk the mile back to the entrance of the park where the costuming building was.  The costuming building was probably the most remarkable thing of the whole experience.  It was a huge room the size of a cultural hall filled with 27 aisle 3 levels high of different cast member costumes.  It was nuts.  They have a whole system on how to find your costume.  Then each piece of a costume had a sensor in it so when you walked out of the costume area the machine automatically sensed what you took with you and then when you turned it back into the laundry it marked it all off.

 Here is the best example I could find online of what it kind of looked like.  (But there were 3 levels of clothes on each aisle where this picture only had 2)

Anyway then I would walk the mile back to the warehouse to get started on my cart.

The system for the carts was pretty archaic to say the least.  Stockers would load the cart with all the merchandise that would be on our carts.  We would have to count out the merchandise again to make sure we have the exact amount they said.  Then we would set up our cart back stage.  After our cart was ready to go we would tie our "cash register" around our waist in the form of an apron and off we went.  We would each have to drive our cart out on stage.  The carts were not very easy to drive and you can imagine how intense it was go on stage where guests were constantly trying to get around the cart as I drove it.  It was a little nuts but when I got to my area the fun would begin.

Probably the craziest part of the whole experience was: they expected us to know the prices of 15-20 items in our cart and be able to calculate the prices in our heads.  Not kidding.  Typically it was pretty easy.  One or two ice cream bars was a piece of cake.  But here is an example of a not so rare occurrence.  A mom walks up with 4 kids and says
1 frozen banana - $4.50
1 Micky ice cream sandwich $4.75
1 Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich $5.75
2 frozen lemonades $4.25 each
3 waters $3.00 each
1 Diet Coke $3.25
1 Vitamin Water $4.00

Try doing that in your head.......... (The answer is $39.75)  It was nuts.  But always kept me on my toes.

Then at the end of the night we had to haul our cart back to the ware  house, count all our products, and make sure our monies was within $20 of our inventory.

(not to brag but the two times I did this completely on my own, I was exactly on. :) even though I would have been fine if  I was up to $20 off.

And that was my job.  Of course it was so fun to come to work early or stay late to play as well....

I'm ready to go back..............

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