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

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 Cruise (a.k.a Le Pays de Contes de Fees) and noticed that the whole rotating platform and the bridge was covered in ice. We had to 'debacher les bateaux' which is remove the covers off 15 of them, get rid of all the ice, hoover all the water off the boats that had managed to get wet and eventually I think we only opened a few minutes late despite all the ice. I don't actually know if we opened on-time, as by about 11am I was off for lunch.

After that I went to practice Dispatch and Grouper at Casey. Dispatch (a.k.a the control booths) are fiendishly difficult to operate as as well as launching the train, you have to open and close doors, keep your hand on the emergency-stop button in case anyone goes over the yellow exit line, open and close the restraint bars, look at other Cast Members' hand signals, answer the phone, note down any disabled passengers getting on, log breaks and take the numbers on the photocell which tell us how many visitors we have. We also of course need to know ALL the emergency procedures.

I also did Grouper, the person who greets the guests and asks them how many there are - this would be simple if all the carriages had four people, but no. The first has 2 people and the other 8 have 4 people - so 34 people in total, in practise getting that many people on a train is nigh on impossible. We also have to observe the Unload Cast Member who checks whether there are any disabled guests getting on through the exit and asks to reserve a carriage for them. In theory a very easy job but you will come across an awkward number of people such as 5 where you have to put them as a 3 and a 2. You also come across numbers such as 30 once in a while when the train is already half full.

A variety of languages are used by about 80-90% is French, a bit of English and some Italian and German too. Hand signals for numbers are universal though. Sometimes you'll tell people to stand by gate number 1 and they will go to a different gate which can slow down loading, but by the end of the day I had started to get the hang of it. You have to be very, very quick as you're trying to get as many people dispatched as possible - 32 if you can in under a minute and get them all in position.

Occasionally, people who have been told or noticed that the rows are of two people maximum sit in threes and the bars lock, so you have to make the signal to open the bar, then tell them they can't sit in a three - every bar unlocks on the train and therefore the unload has to start all over again. Annoying. Grouper at Casey is in my opinion the most stressful of any of the 6 positions on the two rides but it can be lots fo fun too.

Can't remember doing any of the parks this day - maybe "it's a small word: celebration" and Space Mountain but I honestly can't remember.

Read Day 4

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