June, 2009

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30th Jun 2009

Attention on Thunder Train(ing) cycling will begin immediately

Again I missed a day, sorry! Must do better!

The last 2 days have had a similar theme, we started with our second trainer – Stephanie who was going to show us the more technical positions involved in running Thunder. We started with some of the opening procedures, the first day was spent walking the track and starting the various ride components as well as checking various track side equipment. Today was spent in ‘Tower’ – the control station for the attraction, both roles work together down checklists in order to start the attraction.

Yesterday we had another 101 and we got to practice evacuating a train from BZ4 which is the brakes just before the station. It was then on for another reset – we have had quite a lot of practice now and many of the people who have been there a while have said we are so lucky and many of them did not get to do a real reset until after they had been working there for several months.

Today we looked at cycling out trains which is what happens if we experience inclement weather, which is pretty common at this time of year. This is where we move trains into storage so that we can stop running trains without having to shut the mountain down which would make restarting it much, much slower.

The rest of both days has been spent working around the various load and unload as well as queue positions so that we are familiar with their responsibilities and in the case of dispatch and unload the control consoles involved. I think I have started to get the hang of how the mountain works in theory I just need to remember which doors are where and exactly the procedures used to start and stop the mountain. Luckily on Thursday night after close we have the chance to run around the mountain and get to know it a little better and I still have 2 more days of practice before my assessment on Thursday.

Yesterday evening I was meant to go to EPCOT with Alice but unfortunately they messed up her schedule, so that she was in until 10pm instead of the 4.30 she had originally been told, and could not come – I had forgotten how rubbish some of the scheduling is! I still went with Luke and we did a bit of Future World with really short lines – 5 mins for Mission:Space – and then watched Illuminations which unfortunately was a reduced show due to some quite high winds. But none the less a good time was had by all involved.

I have to be at MK for 6 tomorrow morning so I think it is going to be an early night for me. Thankfully, assuming I pass my assessment, my schedule for next week is all closing so I can stop these horrible early mornings!

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27th Jun 2009

The Training Continues…

OK I am being terrible about doing a daily blog but that is mainly because I have got up at 5am for the last 3 days so I need to go to bed relatively early – sorry! It will get better once I get back to classic ICP (I Close Parks…)

Yesterday was ‘For Our Guests’ which started with a tour around Tom Sawyer Island (TSI) with out trainer (Ed) pointing out all the animatronics and effects as well as taking us around the island so that we would be able to tell guests what the attraction is like. We also rode the test show of Country Bears and rode Thunder since it was 101 the day before. The majority of the rest of the day was set aside for E-Learning. I had a problem getting registered on the hub since my account had been frozen after last summer however a phone call to a very nice guy in IT sorted that out and I was off. The other 3 people in my group had loads of modules to do, I on the other hand had 3 since I had done most of them last year so did not have to repeat them. However that meant that I had to amuse myself on the hub for several hours – tedious I will tell you! We then went back upstairs to watch the ‘Celebrate’ parade which was nice. We also sorted out little things like getting Water bottles from the managers and learning the alternative exit routes from Frontierland in case we ever need to use them.

Today was my first day at BTM, my trainer was Steph who was lovely and really helpful. We started the day watching a bit of the opening procedures in Tower and then learnt how to do the queue checklist – lots to take in. By that time it was almost Park Open so we walked up to the Frontier/AdLib border to take part in the walk down – for those of you that don’t know, this is where cast members walk slowly through Frontierland towards the attractions to ensure that people don’t run and people don’t get hurt or injured. We then headed up to the training room in Splash to do a bit of the paper side of the training. After we had been in there about 10 or 15 minutes one of the Splash CMs came in and asked if we knew that Thunder was 101. Our trainer rushed us over to Thunder to watch the evac and reset procedures. This is apparently not ususally covered until day 4 or 5 of training so it was nice to see it early on. Steph took us to walk the track and then reset one of the lifts. Once we were back up, which took a while, we went back and finished the reading. After lunch we headed back to Thunder only to find that they were once again 101! Steph had wanted to teach us Greeter positions and Fastpass Distribution but could only do distribution while we were 101. We hung around at Fastpass for a while and then just as we were about to go 102 we headed around to the exit to practice Wheelchair Assist and Spur Exit which are 2 other positions in the rotation – once I have finished my training I will post an explanation of how it all works. Just before we were due to clock out Steph suggested we did one last ride through which we did while she pointed out all the lifts and doors that we need to know. We then hit the station and the lap bars would not open which cause a little confusion for a while, once they were open we were due to clock out so disappeared quickly just in case we went 101 again!

Tomorrow I am in at 7am which means I have to get up even earlier – BTM seems really complex at the moment but hopefully it will become more clear over the next few days, I am really excited.

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