Hello, everyone! It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to write. As I suspected, this program is keeping me very busy, on top of dealing with homework and trying to spend as much time in the parks as possible. But I’m surviving! I am now beginning my fourth week here in Orlando. Here’s a look at everything I’ve done so far.
The first week was definitely the easiest! Saying goodbye to my parents on move-in day was pretty hard, but I wasn’t as upset as I thought I would be. This was the week when I really got to know my roommates. They all hail from Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana, Arkansas, and (hey!) Texas! One of the very first things we did was sit down and discuss life in our respective states. It turns out we are all very different, from the things we say to the grocery stores we shop at. It’s been very interesting learning about everyone’s home life.
The day after I moved in, I had my Casting appointment. Casting is “the big step” where you’re fingerprinted, scan in your I-9 documents, fill out paperwork, and learn about the Disney Look. The Casting building itself was absolutely gorgeous, with golden statues of classic Disney characters. Casting didn’t take very long at all, and I was home within a couple of hours! The next day was my housing meeting, where I learned all about the complexes and the different amenities each has to offer.
That Friday, I had Traditions, which is a new employee orientation. Honestly, it was the best orientation I’ve ever been to. I almost cried several times! And of course, Mickey Mouse himself paid a visit to deliver our name tags! We also played a trivia game, and when I answered a question correctly, Mickey gave me a big hug (honestly, I did cry).
After Traditions (and visiting the parks a couple of times), I had training at Disney University, which is a really cool building where training classes and seminars are held. This week was pretty rough for me, for several reasons, but I’m still trekking through! I learned all about being a Merchandise Cast Member, learned about my home location of Disney Springs, and got my costume! My roommates and I all had a dance party in our costumes the night we all became “official.”
Late this week I began my training at my location, which involved getting an “Earning My Ears” sticker for my name tag. And of course, on some of my days off, I head to the parks for some playtime.
This was when I actually began my training at Goofy’s Candy Company. It was very overwhelming! I had to learn how to work the register, how to make all of the treats we sell in our store, and how to market our merchandise to our customers. I’m slowly but surely getting better at everything.
I’ve gotten to know my coworkers quite well, and they are all fantastic. Lots of older women and quite a few College Programmers like myself.
Beginning of Week 4:
I graduated from on-the-job training, so I no longer have my “Earning My Ears” sticker on my name tag. Now is when the real work actually begins. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this program holds!