8th Jul 2012

A Salute to all Nations, But Mostly America

It has been a very busy couple of week. On Sunday and Monday last week I had my first days of General Teller training. The GT is responsible for all of the money in the pavilion and banks out all of the registers and servers at the end of the night. It is quite complex and has a lot of paperwork and cross-checking which I really enjoy. You are also responsible for depositing all of the takings at the end of the night which is a little nerve-racking since any discrepancy is your responsibility. I still have one more day of training to do before I am allowed to do it on my own but I really enjoyed training in the role. Both nights we just chilled in the Commons, once at Sam’s and once at Lesley’s; everyone is really tired at the moment thanks to work being pretty busy and hot most days and nights in are just nice to relax and chill out.

Tuesday was a fairly normal (by CRP standards) day with a podium shift followed by a cheeky McDonalds trip in the evening. Wednesday and Thursday I trained two different groups on first day seating. I love training first day as you are the first experience that they have in the pavilion and seater is great to train when you see the moment that the table numbers finally make sense and they are off seating on their own. Thursday night Katy, Leon, some of the newbies and I all went to TGI Fridays for dinner, it was a another really nice chilled out evening.

On Friday I was assigning again and we did OK numbers with OK guest flow. It was just a very average day really. In the evening we played Midnight Soccer on the Commons tennis court. It was fun but horribly sweaty thanks to the 90 degree temperature and 80% humidity. We all got an early night though as we were planning to be up nice and early the next day for a full day of Universal Studios.

Sam, Stacey, Lesley, G and I left pretty early on Saturday to go to Universal Studios in Sam’s car. We went straight to Harry Potter and manaegd to get on Forbidden Journey as single riders in about 20 minutes and we managed all of the major IOA rides before about 1 O’Clock. Considering it was the weekend before the 4th July it was a lot quieter than we were expecting which was a nice surprise. We went for lunch at Hard Rock which I discovered has an amazing Veggie Burger, I will definitely be back again. Our server was desperately trying to get us to say that we hated working for Disney bit he did not quite manage it! In the afternoon we went over to the main Studios and did quite a bit over there including my first ride on Rip Ride Rockit which was as good as I had been told it would be. We left pretty early and came back to the Commons with a plan to maybe meet up later but we were all so knocked out from the long day and the heat that we basically just crashed out.

On Sunday I was off again thanks to a quirk of scheduling that had both of my single days off across two weeks together. I did not do much other than shopping and laundry in the morning and then I went out to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom to do a bit of shopping and catch the parade. In the evening I was enormously tired again with all my hours at work catching up with me so I ended up getting a fairly early night.

Monday I was training Beer Cart/Stocker which is a fairly unpleasant open until close shift but thanks to a great Trainee the day went fairly quickly and we managed to get out pretty early and I spent another evening round at Lesley’s where we ordered Pizza and put the world to rights about everything that was annoying us with work and life! We also planned what we were going to do for the next few days in terms of fireworks.

On the 3rd I was on Chippy registers and put in for an ER so that I could get to MK with the others to see their fireworks. I got my ER for 6 (first of this program) and met Sam and Jaci in Epcot where we waited for Sian and Craig before getting the Monorail over to a pretty busy Magic Kingdom. When we arrived it was pretty busy and by the time we found our spot, just in front of the Plaza restaurant, it was packed. The PAC (parade audience control) guys were struggling to keep it moving but Jeff (in the video below) was keeping us all amused while he managed to keep the thousands of people at least moving at a snails pace around the nearby walkways. I picked up an extra hours shift doing what he is doing during my program in 2008 and I can honestly say that 70 odd thousand people all moving towards you is a pretty terrifying experience but he was doing a great job and kept smiling!

About an hour before the fireworks the rain arrived and it was a pretty big storm with spectacular lightning centered directly over the Magic Kingdom. We had to run to buy Ponchos and Umbrellas as none of us were prepared. In the end the fireworks were delayed an hour but when they went off they were pretty spectacular. It was great to spend the evening celebrating with most of my arrival group. After the show we went to the Contemporary to try to get the bus but unfortunately several hundred other CPs had a similar idea. We ended up getting the guest bus to Downtown Disney which took ages through the traffic and then we got a taxi from there to Commons. Despite the epic journey the fireworks were definitely worth seeing, they are amazing.

On the 4th I was stocking with Craig. It was really quiet until about 5pm when it all went a little bit crazy for a while. We worked well together as a team though and kept everything pretty well stocked throughout the night. We changed over 30 kegs and countless cases of water but it was a lot of fun and we ended up getting Four Keys Fanatic cards from Janet for our efforts.<

The fireworks were even more amazing than the Magic Kingdom ones and watching them with the whole of the pavilion was even better. We all stood on the ramp behind the kitchen and watched them from just behind the guests. For anyone that has not seen them the sky is filled with Red, White and Blue and the noise is deafening but I can honestly say I have never seen fireworks like them. By the end of the night fatigue was setting in though and Craig and I were a little delirious closing Beer Cart. Work was of course followed by standard McDonalds

On Thursday I was assigning all day and I had another OK day with OK numbers although a few servers were cut just before the fireworks rush which put us a little behind time for a while. At the end of my shift Joe asked if I would extend as the GT which I agreed to meaning I ended up working a 12.5 hour shift and I was pretty tired the next morning when I had to come back in again to Assign. Joe took pity on me though and gave me free food for lunch which was really nice of him. At the end of the day we though a big storm was coming so we cut the walk-ins early only for the storm to miss us meaning it was a pretty slow and rubbish end to the night.

Today I was training Chippy which was a nice relaxing end to my week as Chippy training really only requires watching the trainees to make sure they are OK with the registers and the cash and the park was so quiet that we had very few guests and a pretty easy day for everyone involved. I am very tired at the end of this Holiday week though so I think my day off tomorrow is mostly going to be spent chilling out and relaxing before yet another 6 day week. Can’t really complain though as I look out of my window at the gorgeous blue sky and enjoy the sun shining in while England has the worst Floods in years – thinking of you guys!

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