Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Universal Studios Adventure Vlog!

Whenever we feel like adventuring outside of Disney property, we love going to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is absolutely amazing!

Sara finally was able to visit these parks for the first time last week, and I was able catch it all on camera! Enjoy!

I have a question for everyone...what would YOU like to see in future videos? Sara and I have to make a video for check-in, what it's like at our jobs, and various adventures in every Disney park...but what would YOU like to see? Comment and let me know!!

Don't forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel here!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Deployment! (Part Two: Art of Animation)

When I found out I was being deployed to Art of Animation...I had mixed feelings. It was a completely different kind of resort compared to the Poly and the Floridian. Since it's a value resort (the other two are deluxe), it's a lot cheaper for guests. This means more people staying in the resort...and a bigger food court. Landscapes of Flavor is ten times the size of Captain Cook's! Like I previously mentioned, usually Captain Cook's has about ten people working either the morning or afternoon shifts, while Landscapes has at least 50 working at one time. The process of clocking in and going on break were different from the Poly and the Floridian, but easy to get used to. 

The first day at Art I found someone on the bus who was going to cast services to drop off her costume for the day since she had already worked in the morning. I asked her about where to clock in and what to do, but it was a little difficult to picture when she described the directions. While I was walking towards the food court I found someone who looked like he worked in the same location I was about to go to, so I asked and he showed me around for a bit to make sure I knew where everything was and the process and who to talk to if I needed help. (This was all while he was already clocked out by the way, such a nice guy for doing that for me!)

Once I understood the basics, a coordinator gave me my first assignment: trash. Yup. I emptied trash for three hours. I had to lug this big cart around the entire dining room and just switch out trash bags and then empty them in the disposal outside for the first half of my shift. When I got my bump-out, I learned that since my shift was only six hours, I had a 15 minute break...and that was it. Back at the Poly, we would get 30 minute breaks for 6 hour shifts, so I was pretty surprised by how short we were allowed breaks at Art. When I was done with my break at the blink of an eye, I was bussing Route 66 (Cars section) until it was time for me to clock out.
Art of Animation costume!
Needless to say, working at Art wasn't very exciting. Besides trash and bussing, the other roles I was in charge of were restocking the bakery (favorite role), and stocking the cooler (SO COLD). I got to meet a lot of people there though, especially since there were so many people working at one time.

On dining room I had more guest interaction in comparison to all the other roles. There was these two certain guests that I will always remember. They were both older men, probably in their sixties or so, said they were from the UK area (can't remember which area specifically). One of the men had never been to Disney before, and he told me it was his ultimate dream to come to this place. They had found a deal through an airline or something to be able to come here and stay for two weeks. They asked me about places to explore in Epcot, what was in the big ball in the center, and about the Flower and Garden Festival. One day one of the men was so excited because he had met so many characters throughout his trip, he showed me his autograph book. He asked me who I've met and I named off most of my characters, and he told me he really wanted to meet Peter Pan. I told him I was lucky enough to see him a few weeks ago, and told them the best time and place to find him near Adventureland. The man would always wave to me and say hi and remember my name, and it definitely made the day better to talk to the two of them and hear about their adventures. I love seeing Disney's magic making people of all ages so happy!

By the time I was done at Art, I was definitely happy to be back at the Poly. To make things even better, I was on counter my first day back! Yay! My favorite role, and I hadn't been on it in a very long time. This week has been slowly starting to get a little crazier and crazier each day with Spring break starting to come in full swing. Wishes has been moved to 10 pm so now the rush for Dole Whips on the beach has moved to later in the night. A couple nights ago I was on register and we had the biggest rush around ten minutes before the grill was supposed to close, it was so strange! When we went to cash out, the line for the graveyard shift was ridiculously out of control, so one of the original register people had to go back and help calm down the line before coming back to finish banking out. Definitely going to be bracing myself for the next few weeks. Spring break is about to make things more exciting and crazy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Deployment! (Part One: Grand Floridian)

One thing I had read about in previous QSFB blogs was deployment. Deployment is when someone is sent to work in a different location, but (usually) with the same basic role. They could be doing this because it's a slow season and need you to have enough hours, somewhere else might need you because they're understaffed, etc. Right now Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival started, so many CPs have been deployed to there, while others (like me) have been deployed to fill their positions during the festival. I have been deployed twice so far, once to the Grand Floridian, and right now to Art of Animation. Let me tell you, it's definitely a completely different experience working in different locations!

Both of my deployment experiences have been very different. You can imagine working at the Grand and Art of Animation are very different in comparison to each other. This isn't just because one is a deluxe resort while the other one is a value. The Floridian's quick service (Gasparilla Grill) was just a tiny bit bigger than Captain Cook's, while Art of Animation's food court is like ten times the size of both Gaspy's and Cook's. About ten people work at one time in Cook's, while there are nearly 50 at Art.

I personally ended up really enjoying working at Gaspy's. It's like a little family there, and all of my co-workers were really nice, helpful, and welcoming. When you're deployed, you're 100% on your own for figuring out where to get your costume, what bus to take, where to clock in, and asking for help with your job. It's definitely intimidating and stressful at first, but by around the third day you've pretty much gotten the swing of things, know most of the co-workers, and feel more comfortable. The first day they put me at window, where I took orders from guests and then gave the person in charge of fryer the order. It was pretty simple, and if a guest had a question I didn't know the answer to, I would turn to my left and the grill person could help with the answer. That's one thing about deployment I don't really like...since I'm at a new resort, I don't know the specifics about directions to help guests, or even everything on the menu. Heck, I still sometimes can't remember what's exactly on the Aloha Pork sandwich at Captain Cook's. (BBQ pulled pork, slaw, cucumber, and tomato...btw.)

The second day I was runner/busser. Runner means that I was in charge of bringing the trays of food to the guests at their table, much like a sit down restaurant. This was actually a pretty fun job, because there was a lot of guest interaction. If I'm not running an order to a table, I was greeting guests and asking if they needed any help. One day, I was about to compliment these two little's girls' matching dresses when one of them asked me if I was a princess. This made me really excited, so I told her my name actually means princess (it's true!). I then asked if she was a princess and she shyly nodded and said yes. I asked her who her favorite princess was, and she began naming basically every princess, then telling me it's so hard to choose because she loves all of them. It was so cute!

Gaspy costume!
The next few days I was mainly in charge of bussing, and then helping the runner if things got busy. It never got toooo busy though, thankfully. For about four days in a row (if I remember correctly), I had shifts that all ended at 1:30 in the needless to say by the end of that week I was pretty exhausted and ready for my days off. Overall though, I really enjoyed working at the Floridian. Made some cool new friends, and learned a lot!

Unfortunately...being deployed to Art of Animation was not as enjoyable. I'll explain more in my next post.