Walt Disney World ICP - Days 10 to 12 - On the Job Training - 12-14th June 2013

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 10 - OJT Training Day 1 - 12th June 2013
Today was my first day of On the Job Training. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet but I will be working on Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel and Mickey’s Philharmagic which is a 10-minute 4D show staring Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Minnie, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Ariel and many other Disney characters and the best songs from each film. It's genuinely a really good show and I think a hidden gem at Disney World. Justine was my trainer and she was great, I was training with a girl from Hong Kong too.

One of my attractions!

We started work bright and early at 7am and it was short 6 hour shift. I was shattered by the end of that shift. No it wasn’t a long shift at all, BUT it was all the information that was being bombarded - we worked mainly on the Carousel today and we were taught how to set it up in the morning and how to run it in normal operation. Incredibly it can all be run by just one person which makes sense but isn’t very efficient at all and can be a bit lonely. Luckily though, the way the job works with rotations you are never stuck for longer than 45 minutes in a single position.

As well as learning through practice, it was reinforced by reading the “OG” - the Operating Guide - which was very, very long and boring at over 100 pages just for the Carousel. Fortunately we didn’t read it all today, unfortunately that meant I’d have to look read it on other days. We also got given red little "Earning my ears" tags to put on our nametags so that guests were aware we were in training and therefore wouldn't know the answer to everything.

It was a good day but very exhausting. I was invited to go out to the parks in the afternoon but opted to stay in and go to the gym instead.

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 11 - OJT Training Day 2 - 13th June 2013
Work today started even earlier - at 6am because there were Extra Magic Hours on in the morning. We spent most of the day at Mickey’s Philarmagic, going from opening to learning all about the spiels we had to do in the theatre, to the evacuation procedures and I got to see the humungous projector room backstage which was an awesome geek-out moment with all the film, the lights and the huge Donald Audio-Animatronic. I thought it was great seeing how it all worked and it made more sense when we were taught about why certain things could go wrong and lead the attraction to go 101 - or down.

Post-program update: Having spoken to other Cast Members no one else has been inside that projector room so I felt really honoured that Justine took the time to take us up there.

I had lunch after work and went into Magic Kingdom, seeing Juliette and Emma (two UK ICPs) working at the front gate. The plan was to meet Blair in the park around 2pm. I wandered up Main Street slowly, enjoying the atmosphere and had a Pineapple Float Dole Whip in Adventureland. It was really nice, but so big that it could be shared between two - and I don’t think I like pineapple THAT much. The juice at the bottom of the float was delicious! I think I must have queued at least 20 minutes for this dole whip.

I went onto the Swiss Family Treehouse which was interesting to see but is definitely a B-ticket attraction. Then I watched the 3 o’clock parade and I was surprised at how few people were watching it at the start at Town Square. I got a great spot just 10 minutes before it started.

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade
Blair had texted me saying he had met our flatmate Kevin with his friend Courtney on the bus so all four of us ended up spending the day together which was cool as it’s always cool to meet new people. Blair brought sunscreen as I asked - I needed this badly! I got a locker to store my bag in, which was free for Cast Members with a $5 deposit.

We got a Fastpass for Jungle Cruise, experienced Country Bear Jamboree (never again), and did the new interactive pirate’s adventure game (it was fun but not earth-shattering). We then rode Jungle Cruise and had possibly one of the worst skippers ever who had no enthusiasm at all. That whole ride depends on the skipper and it was so disappointing after having seen some really good ones on YouTube.

We then went to Casey’s Corner for an early dinner and I had a hot dog meal - it was a tiny hot dog and there were huge terrifying pelican like birds snapping away and flying over everyone’s food - it was absolutely disgusting that Disney clearly does nothing about these. However, people do feed them and so encourage them to come back. There were also little ducklings waddling around my feet which were cute but aren’t really what you want when eating.

We then went on Space Mountain, which was really fun but rough - it was a 60 minute wait. It was interesting to see how different it is to the Paris version. This one actually felt dangerous but I much prefer the Parisian one. The queue here was better themed but very tedious. They had recently installed interactive screens, but these should be later in the queue, not where they are. At the moment you play with the screens for about half the journey and then the most boring bit where you queue in switchbacks, back and forth there is nothing to do. The theming in the loading area was cool too.

Space Mountain at Walt Disney World
We then rode astro-orbiter which was interesting. It’s cool that it’s on top of the Peoplemover so you get a great view - I and Kevin had to squeeze to one of the spaceships. Both of us are over 6 foot tall so we had to squeeze in so tightly that the seatbelt would hardly go round us and I could barely reach the lever to steer the ship. This was not safe at all. It was hilarious but way too close for comfort. I ended up with marks in my knees from then hitting the front of the car. It was very fast, lots of fun but way too cramped.

Then we went on the PeopleMover which was a nice relaxing break, and then went to Stitch’s Great Escape. There’s such potential there, they’ve got cool animatronics but the ride’s not great, but it’s not as bad as people make it out to be.

Then as I reapplied sunscreen I realised that I was already very burnt - it’s so easy to burn.

We went round to Fantasyland, rode Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid. I really like this ride - it’s just so well done and an example of how dark rides can still work to this day. It was a walk-on too which was great.

Under the Sea ride - great songs!
Image: ABC Local

I went to eat again as the earlier food hadn't filled me or Blair up - it was chicken nuggets and chips at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. The nuggets weren’t great to be honest. But they had some nice-looking pasta options there.

We saw Wishes from next to the carousel which was an absolutely incredible view that I’ll get to experience quite often. It’s very different to the view from the castle front, but just as good if not better. I would recommend seeing them from the hub the first time though.

This will soon become a daily sight.
It was so cool seeing the fireworks that close. Tomorrow I have a closing training shift and I’ll get to do this again.

Then we rode Haunted Mansion, walked to Contemporary, got the bus home and called it a day.

Walt Disney World ICP - Day 12 - On the Job Training Day 3 - 14th June 2013
Today I worked on updating this blog for a few hours in the morning, as work didn't start today until the afternoon. I did my laundry which for any future ICPs wondering is $1 per load to clean and $1 to dry. I even got to sleep in until 10am today - what a luxury!

Today during training we were practising closing the attractions so we learnt how to close both the carousel and Philarmagic at night and were told about modified loading procedures from 9PM for the carousel because of fireworks testing. We also learnt about the restricted guest flow before and after the fireworks and how to time the shows correctly so that the last show starts at 11PM. It was a fairly long shift from 16:30 to 01:00 but it was necessary - as tomorrow it is assessment time!

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