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CRP 2012/13

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30th Apr 2013

The End

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The last 2 weeks of my Disney CRP… I decided to fill the last 2 weeks with as much as I possibly could!

On the Thursday of my last full week I booked a cabin at Fort Wilderness with Emma, Bryony, Chantelle, Kelsey and Alex. Bryony, Alex and I were all of that day and got there early to check in. We had to wait a while for a room to become available and then of course after we got in and dropped our stuff it immediately started raining. We hung around the little quick service by the pool chatting for ages before I got a message from Emma saying she got cut early because of the rain and was on her way. Once she got there we decided to rent one of the golf  buggies to get around – best decision ever! The most hilarious moments of that day were driving around – I spent about 10 minutes driving in circles over enormous potholes and alex managed to U-turn directly in front of a bus! As the weather started clearing up we went over to MK where we caught some of MiSiCi with an incredible performer who took a liking to us and was joking around for the whole parade. I took a photo but I can’t seem to find it now!

When Kelsey called to say she was on her way we went back and after some more golf cart shenanigans we got back to the cabin before going out for a buffet dinner at Trail’s End. We were originally going to go to the campfire but it was kind of cold and we had drinks back at the cabin instead. It was a lovely chilled out evening and a lovely way to see people before I left. The next morning however it was up early to train Abbie in assigning.

I can honestly say that Assigning that day was horrific and it was in no way anything to do with my trainee (She was awesome)! We had way too many reservations and they were all massive parties – in the end we ended up seating until 9.15 – needless to say nobody was very happy. The next day, my last assigning shift, I took things nice and easy bit wanting a repeat of the day before.

Monday was my actual Last Lads. I got to do my last fines, which breaking tradition I actually wrote down so I wouldn’t forget. Turns out that was a pretty good decision as I got top lad that week meaning I had quite a bit to drink before I did my fines and I would definitely have messed them up with nothing written down.

On Tuesday I had used my last floating holiday to get an extra day off and after I picked up a rental car in the morning it was mostly spent packing and then a bit of last minute outlet shopping. Packing was not as bad as I had expected and I did managed to get everything in one, very heavy, bag in the end. In the evening Emma and I went to Jiko, the signature restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge which was really nice. It is my favourite restaurant in all of WDW and it totally lived up to expectations.

Wednesday was my last day of work. I ended up helping open Chippy and then be Greeter which was nice as it gave me one last chance to do a bit of everything. There were lots of mids so not many people could get away for drinks in the pub but there was a nice group for a few drinks and we even got some food from Chef Mark. Chef Glenn and Joe both came to wish me goodbye and good luck and told me to keep in touch – I definitely plan to.

I had made a reservation at Mama Melrose, the Italian restaurant at DHS and 12 of us ended up going there for dinner. We were the table of doom with 2 allergies, 12 split checks with Cast Member discount but I kind of didn’t care anymore! After Dinner we slightly tipsily made our way back to housing to get ready for my last iBar. iBar had a really good turnout and despite promising I would not cry when I was in the middle of a circle of all my friends with them singing the Friends theme tune at me I have to admit I may have shed a few tears – it was an amazing last night out and a lovely end to my program.

On Thursday I had originally planned to just hang around most of the day but Emma text me and suggested we went to the Florida Mall instead – she might have called in to be able to do it, the little devil! We had a nice morning of just wandering around the stores – we bought a few things but it was just nice to escape the Disney bubble for a few hours. In the evening we went for my last TGIs before an early night since the next morning I had to move out of housing to Pop Century. Thursday late night was spent throwing stuff out of my apartment and packing the last bits – thankfully I had help or it would never have got done.

Friday morning I was up early – I managed to offload the TV and router to Adam at the last minute as I was worried I would have to dump them before loading up the car, dropping off my key and ID and heading out. Pop century had a room ready straight away so we dumped our stuff and were out to Animal Kingdom nice and early. We did Everest, Dinosaur and the shows before heading back for a mid-afternoon nap as we planned Fantasmic in the evening. I managed to get a last-minute reservation for 50s prime time for Dinner and we got in line early for the late Fantasmic show which meant we got almost front row in the Mickey (centre) section which gave an incredible view – another great last experience.

Saturday was always going to be Magic Kingdom from opening. Kelsey and Chantelle were joining us so we swung by the Commons to pick them up and were outside MK for the welcome show. Friends in high places in the Magic Kingdom hooked us up with free Ice Cream bars on the way in and free Fastpasses later in the day and a particularly magical Photopass CM took some amazing photos of us in front of the castle which are now printed nice and large on my wall at home. We did all of the major rides and watched MiSiCi and the parade on a hot, summery day before heading back for a mid-afternoon nap before returning for nighttime fun. We had dinner at the Plaza before watching the Main Street Electrical Parade and getting my favourite spot for Wishes (just between Casey’s and the Ice Cream Shop FYI). I again promised no tears but towards the end of Wishes I lost it. After Wishes I really just wanted to leave, I had made my peace with MK and we headed back to the resort for some more tears and a relatively early night as I had to leave at 7am.

Sunday was it, the end. I left about 7.30 to drive to the airport. It was a strange feeling to actually be leaving and not coming back. I had to pay overweight baggage of $60 which was not bad really and that was it – through security on to a plane and the journey home began.

Now 2 weeks later I am sitting in my living room reliving it all. Still looking for a new job at the moment but hopefully things will start moving on that front in the next few days. To my loyal readers who have been there for almost 2 years now – Thank you.

The number of people who asked me if I was ‘Dan@Disney’ always surprised me and I am glad to have helped in any way. If you are on the program or getting ready to go out – have the time of your life – it is only a year and it goes so fast. Don’t have anything to regret when it is over. You only live the CRP once, live it to the max.

To all the special people I left in Orlando – see you real soon and keep the magic and the banter alive.

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22nd Apr 2013

Booking Time Off on the Disney CRP

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Booking time off seems to be very confusing for people so I am going to break down the basics and explain how it all works.

What are the different types of time off?

There are 3 different types of time off – Vacation, Floating Holiday and Sick Pay. You earn each of these as the program goes on.

Vacation is earned based on the hours you have worked – you can get up to 40 hours (5 days) per calendar year. You get 8 hours of vacation for each 360 hours worked.

You get 3 days of Floating Holiday per calendar year – these are given to you on March 1st, June 1st and September 1st.

Sick Pay is earned similar to vacation – you get 8 hours for every 300 hours worked up to a total of 48 hours (6 days) per year.

If your program takes you in to a new calendar year (January) you Vacation and Sick Pay roll over but your Floating Holiday does not. Any Vacation and Sick Pay left at the end of your program will be paid to you – Floating Holiday will not. Because of this it is almost always better to use your Floating Holiday first before vacation or sick pay.

You sick pay will be used up if you call in sick but it can also be used to pick up time off. You can always check how much you have left of all 3 types on the Hub.

What about ADOs?

Authorised Days Off (ADOs) are a day off without pay. They are in addition to your vacation and sick pay. You can only take 1 in a week in addition to your RDOs (Regular Days Off). These are at the discretion of management.

When can you book time off?

Technically you cannot book vacation until you have been on the program 9 months. In reality this means you cannot get paid vacation until you have been there 9 months – you may be able to book unpaid vacation. If you put a request in as a vacation before 9 months it will be assumed to be unpaid vacation time.

Every year in November/December there is a vacation bid. At this time you can put any vacation requests in for the next year and they are considered in order of seniority (starting with the people who have been at the location the longest to the newest). This is the best time to put vacation requests in.

For each day of the year there is a vacation allowance – for example 3 people can have each day off. Once those are taken everyone else who asks will be waitlisted – unless one of those people cancels their request you are unlikely to have the time approved. In the vacation bid nobody can already have asked for the day so assuming you have fairly high seniority you have a good chance of having the time approved – you can always cancel the request later if you change your mind.

Also bear in mind all time off requests must be in the hub 2 weeks in advance, before the schedule comes out. Anything after that time will be ignored.

What about switching shifts?

You can always switch shifts to get time off but there are a few rules to stick by. You must still be being paid 30 hours of work per week (Sunday – Saturday) – this includes Floating Holiday and Vacation Pay (8 hours each).

Also any switch cannot result in a higher cost to Disney. So for example if your shift gave the other person a 6th day instead of your 5th day it would be overtime instead of straight time and cost Disney more, this request would be denied. Also anything that goes from a straight time shift (less than 8 hours) to an overtime shift (over 8 hours) would also be denied. The same if it went from someone being under 40 hours (straight time) to being over 40 hours (Overtime).

Anyone in a tipped position (Server, Bartender, Food Runner) can sign a waiver which means they do not get paid overtime and can therefore pick up shifts that would otherwise result in overtime. In a non-tipped position it is necessary to find someone who would not go in to overtime.

All of these restrictions can be overridden by management but it is not guaranteed. For urgent requests speaking to management may help.

I just want to do something on my regular days off

Your regular days off are not guaranteed. At busy times of year you may lose one and end up working 6 days a week. If you are planning something on an RDO put a request in for that week which just has your RDOs and you working every other day. If it is approved as a request on the Hub it is then guaranteed. A lot of people were caught out by this around Christmas – put the request in and get it guaranteed.

As with all my advice, please bear in mind that things do change and while this was correct for my program policies and procedures change all the time. Always speak to management before acting on any of this information.

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