Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interview a CP: Rachel (Caribbean Beach QSFB)

Some college program participants have the opportunity to work in more than one location, possibly in more than one role (after extending). Rachel had the rare opportunity to help open Disney's newest resort, Art of Animation! Here's what she had to say about her experience:

What role did you have during the DCP, and where did you work?
I started my program doing Quick Service Food and Beverage at Caribbean Beach and then later on went onto being on the opening team at Art Of Animation. Later on I had the opportunity to switch roles and then went onto working on Main Street USA at The Emporium in Magic Kingdom. 

What was a typical day like at work?
Typical day doing QSFB consisted of me waking up at 5 AM and catching the early bus to work. Clock in at 6 AM and either be in a specific area of the food court or on register or cleaning and I was usually out by 12:30 PM and had the entire day off. Something went for working at Art Of Animation and working at Magic Kingdom, was a whole different story. I usually went into work anywhere from 3 PM to 11 PM and work through the night and the latest I went home was between 4 and 6 AM. 

Is this the role you originally wanted? If not, are you happy you got it?
Starting off doing QSFB, that was the role I originally wanted because I was a culinary student. When I went onto doing merch, I originally wanted Attractions but due to health problems and restrictions I had to kiss that role goodbye. But it worked out in the end, I found out I would have worked on Splash Mountain (I hate that ride) if I did attractions. 

What are your favorite and least favorite parts about your job?
Favorite parts? Just making magic for guests. Theres honestly too many things that were my favorite.
Least favorite? Early hours, cranky guests, etc.

Any specific magical moment you want to share?
Actually this was from my very last day on my program. A family came into the Emporium looking for a warm outfit for their daughter who had an accident. I showed them their options (which was just a pair of leggings) that were in their budget range. The mother really wanted to get the sweatpants but was upset because they couldn't afford them. I went over to my leader and asked for a no strings for an outfit. Once I got the approval from my leader, I went and got the sweatpants and matching hoodie and packed them in a bag and told the family to have a good night and enjoy their vacation. I didn't think expect to see the family again but I was wrong. The husband came back at the end of the Wishes wave and came looking for me. He found me and just thanked me and gave me a huge hug. He told me that they're vacation so far was terrible and people were rude and nasty and they were getting ready to just give up and go home early. I gave him my name and he got my picture and spoke to my other leader (who didn't witness the magical moment earlier). Before he left he turned back to me and said "It's people like you that make this place a better place for people to enjoy. Thank you so much for what you did for my little girl and she will never forget this trip". Till this day I still cry when I talk about it or think about it. Its moments like those that made my job worth the year that I spent. 

What made you want to do the DCP?
Actually a classmate of mine in my baking class would not stop talking about his experience because he just came back from participating in his program. As he went on about it, I researched it more and more and decided to apply on a whim. I pended for a month and found out I was officially moving to Florida four days after Thanksgiving. 

Is there something you wish you would have known before doing your program?
I wish someone would have told me how much I would miss Disney when I left. No one prepared me for the weeks of crying because I missed seeing the busses to get to the parks, or go park hopping or even just going to hang out at the parks with friends. No one prepared me for that. 

What advice would you give to those who want to participate in your role?
Be prepared for early early mornings and late nights. 

Rachel and her friend Sabrina!
Any advice for the character performer audition? What should someone expect when they audition?
I only tried out for the characters once for Star Wars weekends and it was extremely competitive. Make sure you come looking your best beyond the Disney look book and always make sure that you smile and look like you're having fun at all times. 

What advice would you give to people who are interested in doing the DCP?
Dont second guess it, just apply. It will literally change your entire life for the better. You'll meet people from all over the world, you have the opportunity to take Disney classes and learn while you work. And who could ever say no to free admission to the parks?! Getting to live on your own is fun too and I never lived on my own before the program and I loved the peace and quiet and bonding with my roommates. But enjoy ever single moment and don't take it for granted. 

P.S: I even ran my very first 5K at Disney and it inspired me to want to run more 5ks and I hopefully will be doing my first half marathon in the future!

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 hope everyone has a magical day!

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