Saturday, October 19, 2013

Interview a CP: Emily (Hollywood Studios Parking)

Emily meeting Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope!
When you think of Main Entrance Operations, most would immediately think about the turnstiles and working the entrance to one of the Disney parks. However, that's not all that you can do with this role! Emily was kind enough to share about her experience during the DCP as a cast member working in Hollywood Studios parking. She loves it so much she continues to work in this role and location to this day, months after her program!

What role did you have during the DCP, and where did you work?
My role is Main Entrance Operations Parking at Hollywood Studios.

What was a typical day like at work?
A typical day at work depends on whether you work a day shift or a night shift or a double which means working all day. If you work during the day there is a lot more going on. There are about eight possible positions. You can be Auto 6 which is the pointer position of whatever row we're parking. You could be Auto 9 which is in charge of assigning buses a spot in the charter lot, AAA Diamond Parking, Sending guests to the medical lot, medical overflow, and drop offs and pick ups. Auto 7 is the pointer of traffic to whatever section of our parking lot we are parking. Fielders is another option. There are usually between one and three helping the cars park, not physically, but directing them into the correct spots. Audience Control makes sure the guests are safe while trying to get from their cars to the trams or even walking to the park. Tram Loader does as the name indicates: load the tram and make sure everyone is following the guidelines. Tram driver obviously drives the tram. Tram Spieler spiels and lets guests know important information such as where they are parked and park information. That's basically every position you can have in a rotation. 

When you start you call Auto 5, which is the coordinator, and get an assignment. You are at that assignment until someone breaks you then you call for a break time. After your break, you call Auto 5 for a new assignment. Our role is a little different because we use CDS to clock in and out, but not for assignments. If you work a night shift you are either on a tram (so driver or spieler), Auto 6 repark and you do the same as day Auto 6, but you're in the Stage parking lot and usually you don't have a fielder, or tram loader. If you work a double it just means you work all day and transition from day positions to night positions which are the same just with less people. For CP's at Hollywood Studios Parking we usually work the night shift so it's not too bad and it keeps you out of the sun for the most part. For me a typical day at work is clocking in, getting an assignment which usually is a tram unless I get Auto 6 and sometimes I get tram load. For the most part though if I work a night shift, I am on a tram (which I love).

Is this the role you originally wanted? If not, are you happy you got it?
No, this is not the role I originally wanted. I originally wanted Concierge/Front Desk at a resort because I really wanted to see what it would be like. I also thought that would be a great role to expand my communication skills and put my bilingual abilities to good use. But here at Disney that is every role. Even though it wasn't my first choice, believe it or not I am very glad I got Parking and it has definitely changed my life and made me learn a lot about myself.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts about your job?
My favorite parts are the people I work with because without them I don't know if I would enjoy my job as much. My favorite part is getting to work with my boyfriend. Yes we met in the parking lot. ;) I love being on a tram, I don't exactly know why, but I do. I like that we don't use CDS for breaks because that seems stressful to me. I like being able to add things to my spiel and the chance to sit down if you get to drive. 

My least favorite parts about my job are sometimes having to be standing in the hot sun for hours. Sometimes I hate the long hours. I really dislike Auto 9. I don't know why, maybe because it can be a little boring. I don't like tram loading after Fantasmic because I'm incapable of being mean and people really don't want to listen after a long day, they just want to go home and don't understand that we do what we do for their safety. It can get frustrating sometimes.

Emily and her roommates!
Any specific magical moment you want to share?
When I first found out I was going to be in the parking lot I was like great so much for guest interaction, but I was wrong. I still get some guest interaction so I was glad about that. I have quite a few magical moments from the last six months, but I'll share the latest and probably one of the most magical ones I've had. 

A few days ago I was spelling on the back of a tram and was kinda down because I got moved away from my boyfriend and I wasn't having a good day. So I was put to spiel which I usually love, but I was just not in the mood to be magical, but I had this huge group (I think a tour group) and they filled up the whole last cart of my tram and they saw my name tag and they just started chanting my name the entire ride. Like, "Emily, Emily..." It lifted my spirits and put me in a better mood. That was a magical moment for me. One magical moment I created was that there was a family with three kids and they all had birthday buttons on, but they weren't triplets. So they were on my tram on their way into the park and on their way out of the park. I told the entire tram to say happy birthday both times and it totally made their day. The parents thanked me and even asked me if I would be there that Wednesday because they would be coming back and they told me they hoped to see me again. It was sweet.

What made you want to do the DCP?
I don't know anyone who knows about the DCP and doesn't want to do it, honestly. Well, I first heard about the program my senior year of high school. My ex was a freshman in college and found out about it at school and told me about it and I had to find out more. Then I started college and heard about it again. I tried to go to a presentation my freshman year, but never was available at the time. Then I came to Disney for the first time ever in my life last summer and my friend was doing the program and I learned more about it and I knew I wanted to do it. Last Fall I applied as soon as the application came out and eventually finally went to a presentation on campus. I really like Disney and once I did the research I knew that it was something I couldn't pass up. Once I saw how much my friend was enjoying it, I knew it was for me.

Is there something you wish you would have known before doing your program?
I wish I would have known the importance of bringing a car. Even though there's buses I really feel like life is easier if you have a car. Yes, you make friends who have cars and if you're lucky like me, have a boyfriend with a car. It's still helpful to have your own. I did my research so I was pretty prepared and knew what to expect for the most part. I wish I knew how humid it gets here. It is definitely a big change from Wisconsin.

What advice would you give to those who are going to be participating in your role?
Anyone who is going to be in parking (especially at Hollywood Studios) the advice I can give you is be prepared to work hard with long hours standing up unless you're driving. If you're doing Advantage like I am get ready for a hot and humid summer. Always stay hydrated. If you burn easily wear sunscreen. If you don't like it at first (because some don't), don't give up. I can't think of anything else at the top of my head, but if anyone gets parking they can definitely reach out to me and I'll be glad to answer any questions.

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

First off, DO THE PROGRAM! It has changed my life and I could not be happier that I decided to do this program. You could end up like me...I like to think I found my prince charming and at Disney and I never expected that. Goes to show anything can happen. Advice I can give from personal experience is that do your research and decide when the best time for you to do the program, but make sure you do it. I say that because I didn't plan on staying here, I planned on coming back after graduation, but then after months of thinking I have decided to stay and go seasonal and will be going to school in Florida.

If you would like to contact Emily for any questions about her role or her experience during the DCP, you can find her on Twitter and Blogger!

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!

I also want to personally apologize to Emily for taking SO long to post this interview. I'm so thankful she was able to share her story, and I'm so appreciative of her support and kind words. Thank you Emily!

Have a magical day everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Sara,
    As always I love your blog and you are definitely an inspiration! Thank you for using me as one of your interviews. You have done a great job with all of them. It is totally okay that you took a while I know you are a busy woman. I am glad I could help and be part of it. If you ever need anything let me know. Good luck in all that you do. I hope you are enjoying your new school and being a cast member again. That is so cool being able to say you worked at both Disney World and Disneyland. If you ever need anything let me know, I'm happy to help. Thanks again.