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Showing posts from December, 2011

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 11 (26th Dec)

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Today I started at 10.30am. After getting changed, I saw Mickey on a golf cart being driven around from one park to another which was kind of cute and funny. Didn't expect to see that the first thing in the morning. Apparently today is not a bank holiday so the buses run on normal timetables and not on Sunday timetables...something I didn't know and I may have informed some people wrongly...oops! The 31st is also not a bank holiday. I saw the parade floats for Star and Cars [or as me and Eilidh think 'Stars in Cars' would be a more appropriate name] being driven around with no characters at around 2:20pm. There were 44,000 people in the park today. [We got told the day after there were actually 53,000+ people this day] and it was horrendously packed, just as we'd anticipated for Boxing Day. It was a 45 minute queue for Casey Junior today with both trains running and Storybook had a 30 minute wait. Wow! Lots and lots of SAPs today (disabled people) due to the

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 10 (25th Dec) - It's CHRISTMAS!

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Well, so today was Christmas day and how do you know when you work at Disney? Christmas decorations? No, those have been up since November 8th. Christmas music? Nope, nov 8th too. Christmas parades? Nope, same as above. As staff you know it's Christmas as in the briefing room we had FREE FOOD AND DRINKS! WOOP! I had a hot chocolate and some nice croissant-style treats too as well as some chocolate. Isn't it just the most magical place to work on Christmas day? As it was Christmas day I started a tad bit later at 10.30am and when I got there I was told that Casey Junior had gone 101 just 2 minutes after opening. Oh dear. Nice present everyone. Briefing had said that there were going to be 38,000 people in Disneyland Park that day which was probably going to be the lowest attendance of the busy part of the Christmas season. My family were in the park and they got to see me in my nice (ahem) costume and they had a nice ride on Casey Junior while I was in the control

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 9 (24th Dec) - Jour off

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I've finally fixed the dates now on these blog posts. But for now "on y va." This was my first day off in what has felt like AGES. I took the opportunity to sleep in till 11am and just as I woke up. Francesca, Stefano, Jamie and Alwyn too were all in the kitchen and we all had beans on toast with an egg too. Mmmmm. Thanks guys! I went to give Jamie his ID as he had forgotten it, then I hopped on the RER to val d'europe and waited for my mum, dad and brother which was nice. We went to Auchan to buy food and then checked in to the Adagio hotel which is much nicer than the reviews online made it sound. Nice having a kitchen and being able to cook food as opposed to always eating processed food out. Went to Disney village and there was a little stage where they got everyone dancing. We wandered around the shops too. I went to buy some batteries for the camera which my parents had brought and got a huge (sarcasm alert) 10% off these batteries. About 7 euros for 8

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 8 (23rd Dec) - It's raining, it's pouring.

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Today we had a VIP at storybook, I didn't know this one either. Being a late start I had to "bacher les bateaux" with the others at the end of the day. Guest interaction really is the thing that keeps you going in a job like this. Asking how their day has been, what rides they've done, whether they've seen any princes or princesses, etc. or just waving at the last carriage. It really makes you smile and happy on the inside knowing that guests are enjoying themselves. This evening me, Andrew and Eilidh went to Disneyland Park (I say that as if we had the option to go to the studios but that closes at 7pm everyday) and rode Phantom Manor, Big thunder mountain and Captain EO (which was much better than I remember - probably because we talked through the shameless Kodak ad and then the "making of" pre-show). It was now raining LOADS and I mean LOADS. Eilidh very kindly leant me her hat... after I had been whining for a while. In an effort to stay d

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 8 (23 Dec) - Il y a personne!

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Today was good. Got to work and the first thing I said was “il y a personne” but literally no-one. Not a single person in the queue line in the morning. We also had a VIP today, some radio personality apparently in France. Thibaud said I wouldn’t have heard of them and I hadn’t..I can’t even remember their name, maybe Claire? I saw the parade service bus backstage today which brings all the characters to the floats. I also realised today that the costuming building that you used to see in the old Studio Tram Tour was actually real so you did in fact get a look backstage at Disney for real, then again it was completely irrelevant to the “Studio Tram Tour” name and experience.  At 7, or should I say at 19h as they say in French, I met Andrew at Imaginations. I think on this day me and Andrew went on Big Thunder Mountain and then on Pirates though I’m not 100% sure. After we took a look around the Newport Bay Club Hotel which is nice but not as nice as the Disneyland, ha

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 7 (22 Dec) - Alone...

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Today was my first day “Alone”... by that I mean that there was no-one there to guide me anymore after my whole two and a half days of training. To be fair it was a pretty standard day - no 101s (attraction temporairement fermee) at all. I noticed that we have quite a lot of disabled guests with cards both at Casey and at Storybook. It’s more annoying on Storybook as the boats have to stop for everyone but that’s the nature of the ride. Today I also fully understood the idea of “la capacite” the max/ideal capacity per hour of the attraction - essentially there is some sort of monetary bonus attached to the attraction which can process the most guests per hour by being the most efficient with points also available for courtesy. I will assume that I won’t be seeing any bonus in my paycheck we have much too many disabled guests on our rides compared to some others - again it is not their fault but the competition shall not be won by us by numbers, however in terms of courtesy the t

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 6 - Paris, Paris, Paris!

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Today was an interesting one. I was meant to meet Andrew to go to the studios but he wanted to be there for around 10am, I wanted to be there for around midday so I met him then and we queued for Crush’s Coaster...65 minutes. The time did go very quickly to be fair and soon we went surfin’ the Australian Current. It wasn’t as fast as I remember it being, nor did it spin as much but it was still a very very good ride. Defo one of my faves in the Studios park. I should note that this was my day off and I wasn’t just skipping work - same with Andrew. We went to see Animagique, Andrew for the second time that day. I absolutely LOVE that show. It’s my favourite show in the parks. I love Crush's coaster too by the way! After I showed Andrew the Baloo building backstage as he wanted to see it so we got on the navette “wanna baloo” and got off - as we walked in I noticed that Jessica 2 was open. The discounted staff shop. We probably spent about 20 minutes in here even th

Working at Disneyland - Day 5 - Last Day of training & Test

Well today was a pretty standard day really just going through the last things that I hadn’t talked about, this time with Guillaume as Raffa was off. The day was leading towards the test at the end which Disney have called a “Check Out” - I had heard it was 250 questions and thought that it was a joke, well...the test lasted 3 hours in total and was lots of talking and pretending to press buttons. If I got something wrong, it was explained correctly but a lot of the questions were not the most important anyway such as “what does the greeter do?” “what is the ride based on?” but of course others such as the evacuation procedures and start up were more important. I passed the check out with Noora asking the questions so tomorrow I’m ready to be a fully fledged Cast Member. I think this might have been the night I properly met Francesca, a girl who has English parents but lives in France so has near perfect English with only a slight accent. What a character. Loud to say the l

Working at Disneyland - Day 4 - Training: Day 2

Today was a very, very cold day. Lots of ice everywhere, so much so that in the morning while running for the bus I slipped and fell in front of some girl (-_-). Got backstage eventually, got changed and had breakfast and arrived within the 5 minute late grace period, so was technically on time. Today was very, very icy as I was saying. The platform on Storybook was a death trap with people making jokes about being able to host Mickey's Winter Wonderland on there instead of on the ice rink in the theatre (oh how drole). Casey wasn't much better as the trains wouldn't move very far and were making a horrible noise, eventually they got stuck and then moved back into the garage. We waited for maintenance until about 11am ish when we tried again, by which time they were now going round fine as most of the ice had melted. I did a tour a pied [walking tour] looking for any stray items and checking the emergency exits. I then did dispatch (in the control booth) most of the da

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 3 - Training - 18th December 2011

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So Day 3 was a bit of a strange one, yesterday during orientation I had met some of team I'd be working with on Casey Jnr/Storybook, they were all very nice and I had also met Marine (french girl) who was also on a CDD contract [fixed-term] for Christmas. Also forgot to mention yesterday we got to try on our costume - it actually looks pretty nice: As it's winter we also wear a blazer on top which is purple and also very nice. All these layers to keep us warm as well as gloves and under gloves too. When it rains though we wear a horrible yellow raincoat. Everyone at work knew my name because they were betting on whether I was Portuguese or Italian. Actual bets of food and money as well - haha. Most thought I was Italian, wrong! So the day started at 8.30am with Raffa training me, I was told  I'd have a test in three days (or in Disney franglais "Un Check-out" - this joining other franglais words used such as "le sweeping"). We got to Storybook C

Working at Disneyland - Day 2 - Traditions and Orientation - 17th December 2011

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The second day was an early start - 8.30am if I remember correctly and it was meant to be the day of Traditions where we learned about The Walt Disney Company and its values and then Orientation would be the day after. Well, as we only had a two-and-a-bit-week contract they weren't going to use two days for this, so Traditions was shortened to a single video of about 5 minutes about the parks, and then we did most of the Orientation day. This included learning about our Cast Member discounts (which included 30% off Disney merch until Dec 21st), Jessica 2 (the discounted item shop - old or damaged items), how to use our locker (a PITA the first time few times you use it), day to day life and some more. Then we did a backstage tour of the park and an onstage tour as well, got our IDs and nametags (a VERY EXCITING MOMENT) and then were left to do whatever we wanted. We were told that it was forbidden to take photos backstage so the photo on the left is the one and only you'l

Working at Disneyland - Day 1 - Arrival - 16th December 2011

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An early start to the day saw me going to St. Pancras station and getting on the direct Eurostar service to Disneyland Paris. I planned to meet Eilidh (pronounced Ay-lee or Hailey without the H), a girl I met on photomagique's forum, there. Through security and I sent a text, turned out she was already there. We met and started talking, a little while later we got on the train only a carriage apart. When the train had crossed into France we met up in the buffet carriage and talked for about an hour and after that about 20 minutes later we were at Marne-la-vallee! Once there we got the RER to Val d'Europe which was just a couple of minutes. This should now have been the simple part - getting to the Fantasia building / Batiment Fantasia - since I had studied the map and had seen it on Google maps. Unfortunately we went out the wrong exit at the station and ended up spending 15-20 extra minutes getting to the building but we eventually got there. After about 3 hours of filli

Joining university societies better than a course?

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As some of you may know I'm studying Broadcast Journalism at the University of Leeds. As well as this I've signed up to the three media societies - Leeds Student (newspaper), Leeds Student Radio and Leeds student: TV (LSTV).  I've had a huge amount of fun over the past ten weeks at these societies, doing everything from reading the news, to investigating and interviewing people, running around doing supermarket sweep for the radio, doing links for LSTV, being a cameraman and writing articles. All very practical stuff. All stuff which is relevant to the course. And I guess that's where the question comes from: Can joining a university's societies be better than a course? Of course this will depend on your definition of better - does better mean more practical skills or does better mean being more professional or does better mean having a greater appreciation of the media? If it means the latter then the course is extremely useful - you learn about th

The Road to Disneyland Paris: Less than 2 weeks to go

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Hi everyone, So my work contract was sent off and Disney has got back to me with a confirmation email along with some repeated details of what to do on the first day which is useful. As a new Cast Member I will be attending Traditions and Orientation which means I do not contact my area of work directly. I will get more info about my first actual day of work when I arrive or by email on or before the 10th December. I still have until Monday the 5th to back out if I wish so there's no huge pressure - but after booking travel and hotels for my family, I don't think so. Plus of course, I am massively looking forward to this. A list of documents to bring was attached: Signed contract Signed housing contract Map to Fantasia (housing) building. ID card + 2 copies Travel refund form plus originals of tickets Bank account number - IBAN Vaccination book and/or health records Black shoes and black socks So very, very soon I shall be in Paris! A bientot!