You must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. -Gusteau, Ratatouille
Week two of my Disney College Program has come to a close and like the first week, I. Am. Loving it! In this recap, I’ll explain what I did throughout the week, how my first couple days of training were as well as introduce a new segment into my weekly updates called “Better Late Than Never” or BLTN for acronym sake. Hope you enjoy week two of my journey!
To start off, I’ll explain what I did in all my free time last week. To anyones surprise, I spent it doing two things: going by the pool to catch some sun or going to the parks to ride the rides I’ve only been able to do once a year. My first two “fun goals” I guess I’ll call them for now was to a. get dark and b. go to the parks as much as I possibly can. As we stand here today, I have developed some decent tan lines and have been to the parks nine times. So far, there is a two-way tie atop the leader board with being to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom three times. We’ll see how that is shaken up net week.
With that said, this past week I began training for my position. It started Saturday with my “On with the show” training in which I went to Hollywood Studios and took a tour of the entire park and learned the history of its attractions and history of the park itself. It was a pleasant time as I was there for the rope drop of when the park officially opens and got to go into places that I have never been able to before.
At the conclusion of the tour and going over some safety protocols, I then went to try on and received my costume. For those who don’t know, at Disney, they’re not called uniforms, they’re called costumes. Why? Because we’re putting on a show everyday and time you come into the parks and for any show, you know that you have costumes.
The next day and through Tuesday, I began training for my role. I started off working at Rosie’s the first two days, in which I helped make burgers, burger set-ups, fries and chicken nuggets. In addition, I learned how to put together meals and learn the system that puts Disney and its food options above and beyond any other theme park in the world. Not to brag too much, but it’s kind of great working at a place that is quicker than a McDonald’s, Chipotle and even a Jimmy Johns. (I still love you Jimmy, but just keeping it real and honest)
The next day, I worked in the front of the store and got out there giving the orders to our guests as well as started taking orders. If there’s one thing that’s going to take me some time, it’s going to get use to the register. But, I know within a short time, I’ll get the hang of it and will feel comfortable with it.
The next day, I went over to Fairfax, which is our Mexican-style location, located right next to our ice cream shop on Sunset. My trainer told me that this was the hardest location because of all the different options and ingredients that went into each entree, but by the end of the day, I was very smooth with it. I got more time in on the register, met a lot of people that were from Ohio and pointed out my name-tag and got to make fajita platters and a ton of chicken/pork bowls.
Luckily for me, the past three days, I basically have had one-on-one training because I’m on a different schedule than everyone else currently training. After the first day, the trainer (who I also had for my third day) ended the day off saying I am going to be fine and am picking up things very quick and well and that I shouldn’t worry. Needless to say, that was the confidence booster I needed and every since her telling me that, I’ve felt more and more comfortable as the hours have gone on. Up next, I have three more days of training, with an off day in between and then my assessment and I’ll be good to go!
Up next, it’s time to introduce a new segment to my blog called “Better Late Than Never.” Since I was born, my family vacations have always been to a Disney park. Majority of the time to Disney World, but, and this may be a surprise to many, but I haven’t done everything at Disney despite going there 18 times. I guess really it’ll always be like that since Disney is always changing, thanks to all the imagination still in this world, and as a result, they keep adding and taking things away as time goes on.
However, this week, I go to check off a couple of first time things for me. For starters, I got the pleasure of visiting Toy Story Land for the first time and went on both of the new attractions they have within it. The Swirling Saucers attraction was nice and very nice from a theming perspective and is the perfect ride to take your kids on. For Slinky Dog Dash, it was the newest rollercoaster that I have been on at the park and loved every second of it. The highlight of going on the ride though is that it gives you a clear view into Disney’s newest expansion, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Easy to say, next time I go on the ride, I’ll have my phone in my hand with a video going to share.
Another first time thing I did was stayed in Animal Kingdom past 4-5 p.m. Not as sought after in terms of excitement, but in all the times I have been down to Disney, AK has been a place that we would get to early, but never really stay all that long at. It was nice being in the atmosphere at that time of the day and even got to go to the Festival of the Lion King show for the first time as well. Which, if you’re a a Lion King fan, I suggest checking that out. Definitely a must do if a fan.
That last, first thing I did this past week though, was able to see the new transportation system that Disney is opening this fall; in action. The new Disney Skyliner is a system that’ll take you to the sky that can take you to Epcot and Hollywood Studios as well as all the nearby resort hotels in the area. As many may or may not know, in addition to my family being part of the DVC, I’m also a shareholder with the Disney company. Being in the parks this whole week, I really got to enjoy them from a business standpoint and is the way I carry myself in the parks now. I’m no longer just a Disney fan when in the parks, I’m a shareholder and like to see when things are going the way they are supposed to.
Highlight of the Week
This weeks HOTW goes to my fraternity brother Thomas and his awesome family. Without knowing or giving a heads up, last Thursday, I was looking through snapchat stories and saw that he had entered Disney Property. After sliding up, he told me him and his family were heading to Magic Kingdom for the day. Being that I had nothing to do and was in the midst of having some time off, I got myself ready and joined him in the park. For the first time in my life, I explored the wonders of Disney with someone other than my family. For something that had been on my bucket list for the longest of times (which was to go to Disney World with my friends) I was happy to share that experience with not only a friend, a brother, but a fellow guy from Chicago.
To Thomas, thank you for letting me tag along all day and BIG thanks to your incredible family for making me the honorary 14th member of your crew for the day. I had an incredible time and felt so welcomed and loved meeting and talking to everyone. That day with you and your family is an experience I will never forget and happy I got to share it with you. That being said, I’m sad I wasn’t able to meet up with you guys again on your trip, but hope your stay was great and your time in the parks and what not were magical. When I get home from all of this, best believe I’m hitting you up.
P.S. thanks for getting me through all the fast pass lines too. I still can’t put together how you did it, but damn, it was nice cheating the system there.
Stay tuned for a week 3 recap to come mid-week next week. To all those who read this, thank you so much and I appreciate your support!