28th Mar 2012

Welcome to Epcot

Sign saying Welcome to Epcot

Monday was our onboarding day and our first day at Epcot. We had an 8:30 am start where we were met by one of our Coordinators of Training (CoT), D.J., who took us to do some more eLearning including responsible vendor (alcohol service) training and training on the MATRA POS system used by the cash registers. Once again I managed to avoid a few of the classes as they were still on my record from 2009.

For Lunch we met up with the Canadians who had done their Discovery Day (Epcot orientation) that morning. D.J. went far above and beyond telling us a few tales about previous CRP experiences and even offering to help us out if we ever found ourselves in a bit of a bind. He is a really nice guy.

After Lunch we walked over to the UK to meet with Whitnie, one of the UK F&B managers. She welcomed us to the Pavilion and took us through policies and procedures and gave a quick introduction to what is expected of us and how the next few months will look. We even got some free Fish & Chips for lunch!

After we were done for the day we all trekked back to the Commons on the C bus and got changed before dashing to Hollywood Studios for a few hours. We managed to do the new Star Tours, first time for me – very impressed and Tower of Terror. We were going to watch Fantasmic but the line, even for the late show, was insane so we decided to give it a miss. Plus we also had another 6am wake-up the next morning to consider.

Tuesday was an even earlier start at 8am for Discovery Day. This started with a presentation on the history of Epcot and then we had a walking tour of the Future World including a chance to ride Spaceship Earth. For World Showcase we transferred to a boat tour to cut the walking. It was a really interesting morning and a really nice way to learn the park, even if I did have sore feet at the end of it.

For the afternoon we were met by Anna who is the UK Pavilion CoT. She took us to Lunch and then on a tour of the UK Pavilion. It is big! I can now tell you where a lot of things are but I am pretty sure I am still going to get lost in there. We also met our other managers, Jack and Joe as well as one of our Coordinators. We finished the day with paperwork.

I am training on seating this evening with Sophie as my trainer which means I have had a really nice lie-in and I feel amazing for it – looking forward to getting started now.

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26th Mar 2012

Traditions, Training and Terrible Pizza Service

On Friday we decided to have a chill-out day after our crazy day at Universal. We went to IHOP at about 10 for some Brunch and the others got a taxi to WalMart to do more shopping. I decided I didn’t need to spend any more money and thought I would walk to Crossroads to get a bus back to housing forgetting the bus only goes there in the evening. This resulted in me having to walk from Crossroads to Downtown Disney to get a bus – fail! I turned out to be not such a bad thing since the bus back from WalMart that the others were meant to get on broke down leaving them stranded at WalMart for 3 hours. When they finally got back we all went around to Craig’s apartment for some drinks and we decided to order some Pizza. Craig is in Block 28 with me which is about an 8 minute walk to security. We ordered pizza, walked up to security to wait for it and it never turned up. We forgot to bring the number with so we had to walk back to 28 to ring them back and re-order before another walk back to security to actually pick up the pizza. All-in-all 30 minutes of walking backwards and forwards and some very unhappy CRPs.

Saturday was an early start for Traditions. We got the bus to Disney University and signed in all the CRPs were in one class together will Jill and Brad facilitating. Before Traditions we had a talk from the Union about the role they play and were given the choice to sign up. I am not going to advise on whether you should or shouldn’t, that choice is yours to make. The content of Traditions has not really changed since 2009 except they have created the 4 keys to explain the principles of Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency which I am pretty sure used to be called something else. For Lunch you get to travel up to Magic Kingdom and have a little walking tour to see the 4 Keys in action and eat in backstage before returning to Disney U for more classroom work. We also got our Nametags (delivered by a special someone) and IDs making us fully fledged Cast Members. This obviously required an evening visit to a Disney Park, MK was open until Midnight so was an obvious choice. Emily, who is doing Merch, needed to go and buy work shoes for class the next day and Sarah had an early start the next day so it was just Craig, Lesley, Sian and I who ran home, got changed and dashed to Chatham to catch the A bus to MK.

The park was of course very busy but we did manage to do Mansion, grab some dinner in Pecos, watch The Magic, The Memories and You, Wishes, Philharmagic and the Main Street Electrical Parade before we decided to call it a night. We also got a change to enjoy the Tomorrowland Dance Party which looked like a lot of fun, I can’t wait to go back when it is a little less crazy.

Today we had Food & Beverage Core Training at Disney U which was an afternoon class consisting of an introduction to the types of WDW F&B Operations, some food safety training and then some eLearning courses. It is quite long and boring but you are getting paid and it is not too difficult so it is alright. I managed to avoid a couple fo the eLearning courses the others had to do since mine are still valid from 2008/2009. This meant I got out early. We also finished our HUB (Disney intranet) sign-up. The day finishes with a trip to costuming to choose some work shoes, which are provided by Disney.

This evening we were all knackered and decided to go for a quick dinner in the Food Court in premium outlets before returning to the Commons. We all have a 6am start tomorrow for an onboarding day at Epcot. I spent a bit of time at Craig’s before coming back to my apartment to write this.

I have seen my schedule online and it looks like I have Thursday and Saturday off but I am not sure how final that is at the moment. It is nice to finally be getting started with work, I can’t wait to actually get to Epcot tomorrow.

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