Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Interview a CP: Kayla (World of Disney)

Kayla in front of her store, World of Disney!
Ever wonder what it's like to work in the largest Disney store in the world? Kayla spent time to tell us about her experience at World of Disney during her college program!

What role did you have during the DCP, and where did you work?
I was accepted into merchandise for the Spring Advantage 2011. I was placed at the World of Disney (WOD) in Downtown Disney, which is the biggest Disney store in the world! It’s over 50,000 square feet!

What was a typical day like at work?
I would know ahead of time if I was going to be on a register or if I was going to be stocking merchandise for the day. If I was on a register, the computer would tell me to go to a specific terminal or go interact with guests by passing out stickers or playing with merchandise. I would do that for a few hours, then go on break, and then get a new assignment. This would repeat until I went home.

If I was stocking, I would check where I was- and there were a lot of spots! WOD has 13 rooms, so I could be in any room or backstage organizing merchandise that needed to be put on the shelf. I also got the same amount of breaks as if I was on a register. I worked anywhere from 6 AM- 2AM for between 6-12 hours a day. I usually requested to have more hours so I worked the longer shifts for the most part and averaged 55 hours a week in the summer.

Is this the role you originally wanted? If not, are you happy you got it?
It was my third choice (actually my third choice was attractions but I messed up in my interview and said merchandise). My first choice was concierge and my second choice was the Bibbidi Bobbiti Boutique, but I didn’t meet some of the requirements. I am so happy I worked at WOD. It is my favorite place I have ever worked!

What are your favorite and least favorite parts about your job?
I loved talking to guests. Slow days (or parts of the day) were the best because I could give each guest more individualized attention. My least favorite part… well that’s a hard one. I didn’t like stocking certain rooms, especially the jewelry room. In this room specifically, there were so many products that all looked very similar it was hard to find where everything went, and it got messy very easily and very fast so it was hard to keep up on some days.

Any specific magical moment you want to share?
I remember I was checking out a family and we were talking and I found out that they had their camera stolen while they were in the parks. Luckily, security found it but all their pictures had been erased. I asked if they had used PhotoPass on their vacation and they had, so with the help of my manager we let them pick a frame out so they could keep the happy memories of their vacation. That was the first time a guest asked if she could hug me. It was magical for both of us.

What made you want to do the DCP?
I applied my very first semester of community college. I didn’t know what I wanted to major in so when I heard about the DCP I said that’s perfect! So I took some time off school and found out what I wanted to do with my life- work at Disney!

Is there something you wish you would have known before doing your program?
Yes, you really need documentation with your name on it to get your parking sticker. And there is a free car wash in Patterson, you just need to bring your own soap and sponge. I didn’t wash my car for a year because Orlando is a tourist town, there are no car washes. It’s gross.

Kayla with Mickey and Minnie during DCP graduation
What advice would you give to those who want to participate in your role?
Have fun! Pick up shifts at other locations! Since merchandise cast members can pick up shifts almost anywhere, it’s a great opportunity to meet new managers and get a change of pace from your location. I went to 7 different locations besides WOD and there were things I liked about all of them.

What advice would you give to people who are interested in doing the DCP?
Be careful, you might just want to spend the rest of your life at Disney. In all serious though, it is such a great opportunity to learn about how to work with people and how to network. All I ever heard was network-network-network, but I didn’t know how. Near the end of my program I found out that the Service Center at Vista has some great resources for this, so I would check them out.
If you can, take the Disney Exploration Classes, you learn so much and all you have to do is show up and participate and you will get so much out of it. If you can’t, take the individual classes that are offered in one 2 hour block or so if they still have them.
FOLLOW THE RULES. Is Disney strict on what they expect from you? Yes. Do they also tell you exactly what the expectations are? Yes. Don’t do stupid things and you will be fine and have the most magical time of your life.

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

I hope everyone has a magical day!

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