Thursday, January 26, 2012

Welcome to Entertainment! A Creative Title for a Long Class

Today marks the end of day 2 of my training experience, and day 4 of my Disney College Program adventure!

The day started pretty similarly to Traditions the day before, with a 7am bus to Disney University for my 8:30am-5pm orientation. Since Disney Photopass technically falls under Entertainment, I was in the Entertainment Core class (called "Welcome to Entertainment") with a lot of the new performers who will be in the parks' shows and parades. We had to wear business dress again, which mean I broke out another professional dress with a cardigan, tights (which I ended up having to take off because they were outside of "Disney Look" -- oops!) and flats.

The Welcome to Entertainment class was extremely similar in set-up to Traditions. There were about two dozen of us in the class, and we sat through a number of presentations about safety, the ins and outs of entertainment and guidelines for Disney service. We were in a classroom for most of the morning, where we learned about some company secrets for providing great show and entertainment, we reviewed the some of the material we covered in Traditions, and we learned about safety to great extent.

After all of the presentations, we were off to the Magic Kingdom (!!) for a lunch break, an extensive tour of the backstage entertainment portion of the park and we even had the opportunity to watch the castle show, Dream Along with Mickey, with the guests! It was a great  break in the middle of the day from the extensive information being thrown at us. Dream Along with Mickey was amazing, very similar to how I remembered it being when I saw it as a guest in 2010.

But instead of focusing on the show, I found myself watching the guests' reactions and what the Photopass photographers were doing while the show was going on. There was one little girl who was sitting on her dad's shoulders, dressed up exactly like Princess Aurora, who got so excited when she came on stage that she started shrieking and crying from joy. It was so exciting for me to see the joy that the simplest things, like a character or a daily show, can bring to our guests. As a Photopass photographer, it will be my job to take candid pictures of these moments so guests can treasure these memories forever - so exciting, right?!

After Dream Along with Mickey, it was back to Disney University to learn our schedules for our role training, get registered on the corporate Disney site where we can view our schedules and other timely information, and do some online training to get us on our way! My training starts tomorrow, I train on Saturday, and then I have off Sunday and Monday - and I train/work from Tuesday through Saturday! It'll be a busy week ahead!

Online training took forever, but I commend Disney for making it as interesting as it could be with the dull information on hand that needs to be learned. Before I knew it, my shift was over and it was off to costuming to pick up my costume that I need for tomorrow's training. After walking over to the costuming building, I found out that the leader from my entertainment core class was incorrect, and that they didn't have my costume in the building I was in! Instead, it could be found in three other buildings all around property...but the cast member working didn't know the bus schedule or how to get to any other building.

Panicking, I found out that my costume would be at the Animal Kingdom wardrobe building, which (luckily for me) I had to be at tomorrow morning for training anyway. I'm told that costuming opens at 6am, so I should try to get there between 6:30 and 7am so I will then be on time for my 9am shift. Phew, one thing done! Only one other problem to tackle... I didn't have the necessary shoes for my costume, and they aren't provided for me. Oh no! I had to find some way to get to Walmart so I could pick up appropriate shoes before my shift in the morning.

Upset, and almost on the edge of a nervous breakdown, I got on the bus to my apartment, frantically trying to figure out how I was going to get my shoes in time since I don't have a car. I tried everything I could think of... I called my roommate to see if she had any ideas, I asked everyone I had met if they had a car, I even posted on the DCP facebook page inquiring about a ride to Walmart. No luck.

I got off at my apartment and came to terms with the only option left... I would have to take a cab to and from Walmart. 30 minutes, and 13 dollars later, I made it to Walmart. As I went inside to pick up my shoes, I soon discovered that they were all out of the shoes I needed in women's sizes and the only shoes that would work had...velcro on them. Yes, VELCRO. Well, desparate times call for desparate measures, so I picked up the Velcro shoes in my size and started making my way up to the counter to check out... when I passed the men's shoe department. Well, I figured that shoes couldn't get worse than the ones I had in my hands, so I stopped in and - to my surprise - managed to find a pair that would work with my guidelines!

Now, I have a pair of men's shoes and a pair of women's velcro shoes - and I'm not sure which ones will work for Disney since there are many details that need to be just right. I decided to buy them both, just to be on the safe side. Another 30 minutes, and 13 more dollars later, I made it back to my apartment - shoes in hand.
What a long day - it started at 5:45am and ended shortly after 9pm after I had finished with Walmart and everything. I am exhausted. Since I have to pick up my costume tomorrow, it's going to be another early one (starting at 5am), so we'll see how it goes! Hopefully much smoother than today.

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