Cast Member Spotlight - Jack Chandler (Full Service Food and Beverage)

Cast Member Spotlight - Jack Chandler (Full Service Food and Beverage)

Name: Jack Chandler
Home Town: Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham
Hire Status: Ex-ICP, CRP 14/15
Role: Full Service Food and Beverage (F&B)
Work Location: Coral Reef, Epcot

What did your training consisting of?
After traditions and my park orientation, my training started with a lot of health and food safety in the classroom and with online work also. After completing all this, I was taken to the restaurant and was taught each area I could work in. First I was trained in stocking, this is keeping all side areas for the servers stocked up so they can serve the guests as quickly as possible. Next I was trained on seating. This is where we take the guests from the lobby and walk them to the table and distribute menus. Finally I was taught greeter. This is the first Cast Member a guest comes into contact with at the restaurant. This position requires you to check a party in and to make any notes on the reservation such as if any high chairs are required or if the family has a special request such as a seat near the tank.

What did your day to day job consist of?
My day to day job was mainly seating with covering podium to cover breaks or on some days greeting all day. It also included talking to guests and just making magic for any guests in the lobby waiting to be seated.

What did you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoyed the guest interaction the most as I got to speak to so many people who would tell me stories about their vacation or ask me questions about reservations for other restaurants. I loved being on podium and helping guests get reservations to a restaurant they may not have been able to before.

What was the worst thing about your job?
The worst thing for me was probably stocking. It was just one area I didn't enjoy and it was more to do with the fact there was so little guest interaction and thats what I enjoyed most about my role.

What magical moments did you perform and what was your favourite?
In full service its a lot more difficult to perform magic moments due to the nature of the role. One of the main moments I could do though were to surprise guests with a preferred seat by the tank. One of my favourite magic moments though was when a family were on their last day of their vacation and got stuck on Test Track due to weather and missed their FastPass for Soarin' so I gave them a 'No Strings' card so they could ride Soarin' through the FastPass entrance. They really appreciated it and just being able to make their day so much better was amazing.

What is your best guest memory?
This is one of the things that made my whole program. I was on a close and was stood at the podium talking to a couple for a good 2 hours about everything from hotels, to attractions to restaurants. They had tried to get several restaurants like Le Cellier and Be Our Guest that they couldn't reserve as they fill up quickly. So a quick look on my system and I managed to get them a reservation at Le Cellier which is the steakhouse in the Canadian pavilion. Whilst nothing was available for Be Our Guest, I told them how the best way to get in was. I also just helped them with some restaurant choices and gave them my opinion. Several days later in Magic Kingdom on my day off, I was taking a picture for another guest when that couple walked by and stopped whilst I took the picture as they recognised me! They told me how they managed to walk up to Be Our Guest and how they loved all the restaurants I recommend. It was just amazing that people remembered me out of costume and out of my home park and appreciated what I did for them.

What is your best memory overall - whether guest or not?
The above memory is probably one of my best. It just reminded me why I was there and how much I loved my job and that I felt like I was able to create magic like so many Cast Members had for my family and I in previous years.

What have you learnt whilst working on the program / at Walt Disney World?
The program gave me so much more confidence in myself, in being able to speak to people and taught me how to relax more and enjoy life and not worry, something that I struggled with at home. The program gave me a chance to just find myself.

What was the hardest thing about the program?
The hardest thing about the program was probably leaving, seriously. I loved every second of being there and wanted to continue so much. I thought it may be hard being a long way from home and just being in a different culture totally but it was great. I loved every second.

What was the best thing about the program?
There are so many amazing things about the program both work and social! I loved work as it was such an amazing role. I loved the guest interaction and loved the people I worked with. It gave me skills that no other job could do. On the social side, I made friends from around the globe, I got to try so many restaurants I wanted to and got to go into Disney on my days off, not many jobs give you that!

Any funny guest stories? 
One funny guest story I have is one day when I was on podium and a guest came up to the podium asking to make a reservation at the castle in Epcot. Well we all knew there wasn't and told her this but wondered if she meant the castle in Magic Kingdom. Nope she said, the one in Epcot. So we thought maybe she meant the princess Character Meal in Akershus in Norway. Nope, the restaurant in the castle in Epcot. Again we told her there wasn't a castle but suggested the same restaurants again. She then told us she was wrong and left still thinking she could go there. There was then a joke between us at the reef saying its the only place to make a reservation for the castle in Epcot!

Is there anything you wish you knew beforehand? 
I'm not really sure there is. I looked into it a lot and knew a lot as I wanted to be informed. I know the accommodation may not have been as amazing as they made out but it still wasn't as basic as Disneyland Paris but maybe I was lucky as I had American roommates so we had a TV, speakers etc. I just say look into it, read blogs etc and be as informed as you can be.

Would you do the program again? 
Yes definitely! I'm doing the CRP from June this year (2014) so that tells you how much I loved it!


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