DAKlimation and Park Greeter Training

October has been a rush of hot weather and lots of training. It’s still hard to believe we’re technically in fall when it’s 86 degrees and humid outside. Leaves are finally starting to fall in my neighborhood, which at least has a hint of autumn to it, and the evenings occasionally cool down enough so you’re not drenched in sweat.

 
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I spent about the last two weeks in classes and training on-the-job for my new park greeter position! After Traditions was Welcome to Operations, which contains important information but is a basic training class about how to stick to the Four Keys at your role.

More exciting was DAKlimation, the “Intro to Disney’s Animal Kingdom” training all-new cast members at the park take to learn the lay of the land and mission of the park. Animal Kingdom is a particularly cool place to work since it focuses so much on conservation and the magic of animals and nature. I loved learning about the different conservation focuses in each land and how the animals serve as ambassadors for their species in the wild.

Our facilitators worked in Animal Kingdom for several years too, so it was wonderful to hear their stories and passion for the park. A lot of the people who work here care so much for DAK; it’s really nice to work among people who want to be at their job and care.

I kept coming across that in my on-the-job training, too. Everyone is really nice and, overall, seems happy to be at their job. Being a park greeter is a basic role, but requires a lot of focus and attention to detail. We need eyes on the back of our head to ensure we see all and know all that comes and leaves the park, but a lot of that will come with time.

I’ve been working just a few shifts as an official park greeter now, but I really like it so far. Being part-time can be a little challenging, but so far I’ve been able to find extra shifts to bulk up my hours. Really, it’s nice to choose when I work and build a schedule around any other activities happening during the week.

After almost two months here in Florida, I’m excited to actually start working my Disney job. Although I still have more steps I want to take, I’m doing my best to enjoy the free time I’m getting right now and living up my “funemployed” life while I can.

If you happened on this blog because you’re starting a DAK park greeter role and have any questions about it, please don’t hesitate to comment below or email me at scribblemargins@gmail.com - I’d love to help!

Two Weeks of Quick Service Training

 
Disney Traditions
 

My first two weeks on the job have come to an end, and so has my training! This past Sunday I officially became a Disney Cast Member at Roaring Fork.

While I'm keeping my "earning my ears" ribbon on my name tag until I feel more confident in a few positions, I'm so excited to be moving out of the training stage and into the actual job stage. There will be higher expectations and more work, but I'm ready to see what I can do working for Mickey.

Disney World training starts out the same for everyone: Traditions. Traditions is the very first day of paid work where you learn all about the Walt Disney Company and what it means to work at Walt Disney World. Lots of fun surprises are sprinkled among videos and slideshows about being a cast member. I even won a pin for correctly answering a trivia question! Traditions is a lot of fun, and once it's over you can drive straight over to the Magic Kingdom to make use of your self-admission pass. What better way to celebrate?

Training starts to vary from there, but lots of CPs find themselves in Welcome to Operations next. We learn about all the roles that make the parks and resorts run each and every day, as well as important things to remember in order to be successful. They have a fun way of presenting otherwise unexciting information, so I didn't think this was too bad! I also know now that Disney takes safety more seriously than any other company/business/institution I've ever encountered before.

The last "class" training I had was "Welcome to Food and Beverage." They try to make us all more excited about getting quick service, which I really appreciate. There are moments now where I wonder how frying chicken nuggets is magical, and I still think back to some of the tips said in this class. At the end we got our free non-slip shoes, aka the most uncomfortable pair of sneakers you could possibly wear for 8+ hours at a time. I highly recommend buying nice insoles to replace the foam (yes, that's right, foam) versions that come with the shoes.

After that, I went off to Wilderness Lodge and never looked back! All new employees of the resort got a general overview of the Lodge one day. It is an absolutely beautiful resort, even with all the construction. It was fun to get to know people working in other roles, too.

Finally I made my way to the Roaring Fork with the three other new CPs. After a day of general overview training and working in the dining room, I slowly made my way through every role: Dining Room, Food Court, Waffle/Salad, Expo (nugget/fry cooker and plates orders), Order Taker, and Food Runner. It's a lot of hard work, and incredibly overwhelming at the beginning. But I think I'm catching on, and the more I do it the better I should get.

Today is my first official day of work, so wish me luck!