Right, well I have finally got round to writing this post... I was going to do it last night but I was shattered and then today I had more important issues such as watching England lose horrendously (4-1!) to Germany in the SOCCER and then going to the pool. I have now returned smelling of chlorine and slightly sunburnt but feeling a lot more relaxed than yesterday!
So where was I.... oh, yes, finding out I’m on attractions! Now this could have worked out really badly as some of the attractions in the area I’ve been assigned to include the American Idol experience or even worse... the Muppet ride. Ugh. Lucky for me, I got placed at... Star Tours!! Yes, it is indeed a ride based on the Star Wars films and yes, I have zero knowledge of this. Fantastic. However, it doesn’t really matter as it seems that the other cast members are friendly and very ‘banter-ish’ and there are loads of different positions on the attraction so it won’t be 10 hours a day of saying “how many?” or “mind your step”. Which was my main worry.
So, my costume is very Disney... I describe it as a galactic Easyjet outfit. In that it’s a bright orange top and bright blue combat trousers... I thought I’d got away with avoiding the typical badly-shaped and badly-fitting Disney costume trousers however I didn’t as these blue things have elasticated ankles. Sexy. So, after finding out this was my job during my first day of training, I went to Walmart on Thursday to pick up some equally sexy black trainers – however, I do think they are better than the shoes I wore for the Emporium.
Actually, prior to the Walmart visit was the first day of training and my orientation of the Studios. I do find it the hardest park to navigate or direct people around as it’s not as easily laid out as MK, Epcot or even Animal Kingdom so a tour before the guests came in was quite useful. But so, so hot wearing trousers, shoes and a shirt (traditions style) for walking around the park! After the tour which lasted about 2 hours, we went inside and had some more talks and cheesy videos before doing some e-learning. The highlights of this included training on ear-protection from noise (FUN) and.... SafeD Begins With Me!! Luckily, due to already having been a cast member I only had to do a recap for the SafeD stuff... which picture is in the green zone etc. :D
So after leaving training, going to Walmart and getting home, I got changed and headed back out to Epcot with Hannah as she’d never seen Illuminations! My flatmate Rachel decided to come as well so we headed to Epcot and ate Orange Chicken in China before getting a spot for the fireworks. And they were amazing as usual... I have the soundtrack now but I will be going back to see it at least another 5 times because I really like it. Watching it from China was a new experience as it’s a different view which was nice and the sunset was amazing. We also rode Spaceship Earth and went to Mouse Gear to pick up Rachel a souvenir plushie before heading home as we were both pretty tired!
Onto Friday, and my first day of OTJ (On The Job) training on Star Tours. I had to meet Jonathan (aka JD, my trainer) at costuming where I could pick up my costume... Disney sizing being as crap as usual meant I had to try on a couple of pairs of trousers before I could figure which fitted the best – or should I say, best of the worst really. Then it was over to the attraction to meet some of the rest of the team and get an orientation of the ride. This first day was really spent seeing each role in action... I thought it was going to be minimalist but it really isn’t! There’s the greeters on Stand By entrance, Fastpass entrance, Fastpass machines, Attraction entrance and then a Merger position (if it’s busy and there’s a big queue) before you get to the actual ride. Then there’s the Photocell position (no idea why it’s called this, it has nothing to do with photos) who decides when to let people towards a gate and counts them through 40 at a time. There are six gates (i.e. simulators) so potentially then a cast member for each gate to load the guests and do the spiel (yes, I have to learn that too!!). Then another cast member on the exit side of the six gates to guide everyone to the exit plus another position within ‘Tower’ which is basically the control hub. They have a really important job as they monitor the whole ride and make sure everything is running smoothly and that the guests are behaving themselves inside each simulator. So, just from that there is at minimum about 8 different roles you could be doing at any one time and you should be rotating around about every 45 minutes as there is quite a few outside roles and it gets very HOT. We spent the first day seeing how each role worked... then I was lucky enough to get a lift back to Vista Way with JD after dropping off one of the other CPs called Scott who lived at Chatham... as we’d just missed the bus by about 2 minutes.
The main reason for this was the fact I had to be back at Star Tours for 7.30am which is the opening shift. Ugh. I worked the closing shift on the first day (2-10.30pm) so this was opening (7.30am-4pm) and you spend the first hour and a half going through the opening procedures for each gate. OH, I totally forgot to mention that I was lucky enough on the first day to actually go into one of the gates through the maintenance entrance and have the lights on so we could see the simulator go through the ride from the outside. It’s hard to explain but it was AWESOME! The equivalent to riding Space Mountain with the lights on! :D So, on the second day, despite feeling really tired I got through the second shift after learning about the opening procedures and then actually having a go at some of the roles myself such as Photocell and Operating a gate. I can easily see these will be my favourite roles I think, rather than the outside ones! Photocell was a challenge because you have to do about a million things at once whilst trying to count how many guests you’re letting through but Operating a gate was also fun as you got to talk to the guests, do the spiel as well as go through the pressing buttons stage :D
So, after the shift was over, I was quite tired but I met Hannah at 4pm to do some stuff in the Studios. It shut at 7pm and she’d been there all day so we just did Tower of Terror (amazing!) and the Backlot Tour before grabbing something to eat. Then we actually rode Star Tours (as I hadn’t done it yet!) which was quite funny because I knew all the procedures... a guy was taking photos on the ride which is a bit silly – they warned him 4 times through the intercom during the ride to stop doing it and so I knew they were on the verge of actually stopping the ride but luckily he ceased the photo taking. It’s apparently more of a safety issue than a copyright thing actually which surprised me.
So... that brings us back to today. Where I watched the England match (with Spanish commentary randomly) and then spent about 2.5 hours down at the pool which was nice. I think I’m getting a ‘ride’ to Publix soon so I can pick up some food for lunch this week at work... I also found out today that I’m working 4th July, how exciting!! :D