Friday, August 9, 2013

Interview a CP: Jake (Hollywood & Blizzard Beach Custodial)

Jake (left) and some coworkers at Studios!
Jake is another one of my close friends that I made during my program. I've mentioned him before in stories with meeting characters and going to Typhoon Lagoon. I consider him one of my best friends now, and I'm pretty jealous he was able to extend his program through August. He enjoyed the program so much, he'll be applying to do the Spring 2014 term and do it all over again! Here's what he had to say about his experience:

What role did you have during the DCP, and where did you work?
My role for the Spring Program was custodial at Disney's Hollywood Studios. After I extended my program from May-August, I was transferred from Disney's Hollywood Studios to Disney's Blizzard Beach Waterpark, in the same role.

What was a typical day like at work?
At Hollywood Studios, you would get to work, clock in, grab your keys and walkie (if it was available to you),  and listen to Track Talk (a discussion we have every day from our coordinators and leaders). If you're scheduled to work restrooms, you have a partner. If you're scheduled to work streets, you are all alone! In the beginning of the program, I was always scheduled restrooms, but was soon a streets worker. Personally, I love working streets because you see and experience more. Who makes magical moments in the restroom? Seriously... I've also come to realize that guys are usually Streets more than girls since there were more guys than girls. In the restroom, you have to clean, make it smell decent, make sure your supplies are stocked, and that your trash is low. When in streets, you're basically walking around all day long! Depending in what area you are at, depends on how bored you will be all day. The park does die in certain areas later in the day, so you could either be lucky, or very unfortunate to where you'll get so bored, that you'll go in a stock closet and play on your phone until it dies, and then you realize you really are screwed! But making sure your cans are empty the end of the day, responding to your calls for BBP's (Bloodborne Pathogens), Code V (vomit), or Code H (poop) is all you really have to do. The managers and coordinators are really nice, easy going, and understanding. They will help you out with anything.

In Blizzard Beach, it was different. You clock in, grab an assignment, and do that role to the best of your ability. Depending on when you clock in, when you get your assignment, and who did what before you, is what determines your day. We use the computer system (CDS - Cast Deployment System)  to get our assignments. You could either be assigned to a position, you could be a breaker, or you could be a tasker. Rarely was I restrooms. There are only 4 restrooms in Blizzard Beach. So usually the part timers and full timers get those. If you're assigned to a position, you stay in that area, and do your job. If you're a breaker, you get an assignment, and call people over the radio to tell them to go on break, and watch over their area until they come back 15-30 minutes later. If you're tasking, your assignment is just small easy stuff all day long, usually around 15 minutes to an hour long.

The difference in custodial between DHS and Blizzard Beach:
  • At Blizzard Beach, you walk around with Pickers (the bucket is optional), while at DHS, you carry around a pan and broom.
  • At DHS, you work more hours, and stay later. At Blizzard, you work lesser or the same amount of hours, but never exceed beyond 9:30pm.
  • At Blizzard, their code for poop, is an "AFR" (Accidental Fecal Release), and if any of the codes happen on a slide or in the water, lifeguards or slide ops clean it.
Jake and his Mickey water art at Blizzard Beach!
Is this the role you originally wanted? If not, are you happy you got it?
I wanted to be in the program so badly, I took the role and said it was one of my top choices. Even though I requested Attractions and Transportation as my number one and two, I got custodial which was my number three. I wasn't really looking forward to being a custodian, but I am very happy I got the job. I enjoyed the majority of my time! No one really wants to clean, but we were actually well respected by fellow cast members and by guests, because we have the courage and ability to do something they're afraid to do.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts about your job?
My favorite:
  • I loved making magical moments or working Custodial Fantasmic Shifts! Those were the best, because you're watching the show, and barely doing the job.
  • I love working the Tower of Terror area, because even though I was not working Tower of Terror, once I entered the area, I helped make the show by playing the part. I was grumpy, I was mysterious, creepy, and I have death stares to a lot of people. Even though I looked like just an average bored custodian, inside I was happy I could help.
  • At BB, I can honestly say the only things I liked were when the international tour groups came and wore their exotic bikinis, the short hours, getting off work early, most of my coworkers, and going to the top of the mountain and feeling the breeze from the observation deck. 
My least favorite:
  • At BB, everything else!
  • At Studios, why do guests wait to leave the park and throw up on the bus? It's hard to clean inside the bus. Especially since the bus driver doesn't know crap, and throws VoBan (vomit cleaner) on it and stinks up the bus even more.
  • I hate when I'm changing the bags in a trash can, I clearly pull the trash bin out of the trash can, and yet, a guest is oblivious, and throws their trash in the trash can. Dumb guests, really. 
Any specific magical moment you want to share?
At Hollywood Studios, a little girl lost her Rapunzel doll. I found it and instead of turning it into lost and found, something told me to hold onto it. While I was walking around sweeping, a little girl was crying with her mom and as I passed by, I stopped asking if there was anything I could do to help. Her mom told me there was nothing I could do, her daughter lost her Rapunzel doll. After hearing the news, I said to myself, "Did this really just happen?" As I pulled the doll out of my pouch, the little girls face lit up! She instantly stopped crying, she showed her mom her doll and gave me the biggest hug I might have ever been given. Day made!

What made you want to do the DCP?
Jake and me at graduation!
Back when I was little, I was always fascinated by Disney. Every child was! But growing up as the youngest in my family, I experienced a lot more than my brother and sister. My moms side of the family has always been performers as long as I can remember. My cousin, Chet, did the college program around 1995. Since he did it, he's always worked for Disney. When he finished at Disney, he would work on cruise ships, move to New York for Broadway, and ultimately kept coming back to Disney. He was even one of the first people to play Crush in the Finding Nemo Musical in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I grew up knowing my cousin was a Disney performer. He is my idol and hero, and since I was little, I've always wanted to do what he has done. When he told me about the college program back when I was in 8th grade, I set my heart and goals to do the program! Time went by very slowly within those years.

Is there something you wish you would have known before doing your program?
I wish I would have known, do not get in a relationship. Especially in the beginning if the program. The rest of your program will make you miserable if you two break up. A relationship in Disney is not real. It's a fantasy. What do you do on dates? Disney parks? Fireworks? Cliche stuff! Once you leave Disney, how would you be able to compete on the other dates? You could never top them! Plus, being in a relationship, doesn't really make you enjoy work.

What advice would you give to those who are going to be participating in your role?
Try to endure the training, it's boring and you'll be miserable being taught how to clean, but when you finally finish and are on your own, you'll be happier. Also, when you're at Traditions, do not play on your phone or text someone, your phone will die and you'll never be able to charge it.

What advice would you give to people who are interested in doing the DCP?
Apply! Apply! Apply!

It'll be one of the best decisions of your life! You'll love it! You will meet some of the most amazing people of your life!

If you'd like to contact Jake about his program, his role, or anything else, you can find him on Twitter and Facebook!

If you're a current or past college program cast member and would like to share your experience, email your name and role to to participate!

No comments:

Post a Comment