Thursday, January 29, 2009
This is a recap of my experience of my first day back to working at WDW/Magic Kingdom since August 2008.
This past Monday I received a call from my friend saying that a fellow cast member wanted to have the day off on Tuesday (the next day). I happen to be off Tuesdays from my main job, so I said I’d do the shift and she confirmed that a manager would take care of it.
I arrived Tuesday morning around 9AM, knowing my shift wasn’t to start until 10AM. As we were walking through the tunnel on the way to Main Street, she decided that I should try to log in since Disney had been having problems with Seasonal cast members, which is what I am. As expected, I couldn’t log in, so my shift didn’t exist. We got to Main Street and my manager took care of it, but what a way to start the day!
As I walked into the turnstiles breakroom I got all kinds of stares..stares from people that I hadn’t seen since August and stares from new castmembers that thought I was “the new girl”. I didn’t really say hi to anyone at first as I was trying to figure out if I really had a shift or not. But after it was all straightened out, I went back out and before I could even say anything, one of the people that I used to talk to all the time said to me, “Have you been spending a lot of time in the sun? Your face has really broken out.” Wow, okay, thanks. Glad to be back. And to clear everything up (no pun intended), it was my chin..just a couple of marks on my chin. Some people just say things, I however am not one of those people and wouldn’t say something like that, so it took me back a bit.
On my first break, I was sitting in the break room and next thing I see are ballons bringing brought in. Well, alright then, it’s a party when I come back after 5 months. Ok, the party wasn’t for me, but it was for a co-worker whom had been a Disney employee for 30 years! And it was also her birthday. Amazing, 30 years. I could hardly complete a 6 hour shift.
After a couple of songs by the Daper Dans and a cookie, I went back out to greet some guests and spread some…magic. I was out there waiting on the ferry and resort monorail to unload, when the TTC monorail took off and a poor bird met it’s death. Wow, was that just strange to see. It wouldn’t have been twitpic of the year, but it would have been weird to get it right at that moment. One of our coordinators went and got the bird so some child wouldn’t be scared for life.
30 minutes later, a couple came in wearing Anniversary buttons. So I did the normal “Happy Anniversary!” and asked them how many years..when they said 60 I about fell over. 60 years with the same person and they were so happy and so loving. It was just too darn cute. Here he was in an electric wheelchair and she was walking and helping him. She was giving us the “secrets to a long, happy marriage” and the only thing he chimed in with was, “She trained me and I’ve been good ever since”. They honestly didn’t look like they could have been married for 60 years. It was just amazing. It’s things like that that make me want to continue to go into Disney.
And it’s things like this that makes me never want to go back: about 10 minutes after the happy couple, I was helping a father and his 5 or 6 year old daughter with their tickets. When the little girl said something to me, to which I heard “blah blah blah, wild.” So I asked her what she said…”Why is your hair so wild?” It was funny yes, but at the same time I was thinking..wow I have been “insulted” twice today. First my face is just not right and now my hair. WTF. Oh how I love life.
If you are not familar with the Orlando/Kissimmee area, you’ve probably never heard of 192. It is pretty much the tourist capital of the world. And don’t try to tell me it’s not, I live less than a mile off of it. I drive it everyday. But yeah, tickets purchased off of 192, from some shady little barn on the side of the road (oh yes, I’ve seen it..seen it daily) don’t really go over that well at the turnstiles. When the finger biometrics don’t match, when there aren’t any days left and the person says they never used the ticket — the light normally goes on in our head that the ticket is not yours. Sorry, it’s true. But you more than likely bought it on 192. So sad. Maybe guest relations can help you out. So that’s how I ended my day. Being told off by a group that didn’t purchase the tickets from an official Disney place. Love it!
Next time you go to Disney, you’ll think about this and the excitement all of the castmembers have when we are not entertaining the guests. Man, how I love my time spent working at the park.