Saturday, September 26, 2015

Facilitating "All Jazzed Up" - Port Orleans' Property Orientation

Hey Ya'll!

That's our themed greeting at Disney's Port Orleans Resort! It took a bit of getting used to as I am from a Northern state, but now it just flows naturally!

Back in May I had the opportunity to audition to become an All Jazzed Up facilitator. This position would allow me to teach our resort property orientation to new Cast Members 1-2 times per month. I was selected and went through a training process before finally being officially signed off to facilitate in July!

All Jazzed Up is the property orientation for Port Orleans. Every Cast Member, regardless of their role takes this four hour class before beginning their on the job training. During the class they learn the exciting activities and amenities our resort has to offer and get to take a walking tour of both sides of our resort.

I wanted to audition because I felt this would give me a great opportunity to share my love of the resort with new Cast Members and get them excited for their new role with us! Also I knew that this role would help me both personally and professionally, by working on skills like communication, training and leadership. And I knew it would be FUN!

The audition process required me to get my leaders to sign a leadership support form, saying that they supported me for the role and that I met all the requirements (You needed to meet record card requirements, have great communication skills, worked at the resort for at least 6 months etc). I was also given a portion of the class script, that I would need to present at the audition. Finally there was an interview portion. I was excited and nervous during my audition. There were 3 people there, two were training mangers at Port Orleans and the other was the Operations Training Assistant.  I did not know how to feel after my audition, I felt it went well but not sure that I had "nailed it"

But I was selected to become a facilitator! The next step was training, for 4 days we learned the script, and how to manage different situations that might occur during the class. We also went to Disney University to take a 'Facilitator Skills' class which helped us fine tune our skills.

My facilitator costume!

Then came time to actually teach! My first time I taught with Jenna, who also had just completed training with me, while Danny, a seasoned facilitator, sat in the back and watched, jumping in to help if we struggled.

I was nervous but as soon as I got up there and started teaching, it felt completely natural, like this was what I was born to do! I really loved it!

I taught two more times with a seasoned facilitator before my "check out day" During this class the Operations Training Assistant sat in on the class and offered me feedback on my performance. She was very happy with how well I was doing, and offered a few areas of opportunity for me. But I had passed and was a full fledged facilitator!

I really enjoy facilitating and I feel that this has opened the door for other training related opportunities for me. I have always been interested in Cast Development and what better way then to get them started and set up for success at our resort!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Finding my Full Time Home at Disney's Port Orleans Resort

Back in October I was told I would be transferring to part time concierge at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Unfortunately this location could not accommodate my medical restrictions. This was a process I was all too familiar with as I have had difficulty being placed in a location before because of this. However this time the process was different. Someone from the Health Services department had contacted me ahead of my transfer, she had told me the process had changed for transfers and that they now reviewed restrictions ahead of time to make sure people would be able to be accommodated in their new locations before they were transferred, that way they didn't encounter the issues I had run into in the past.

Unfortunately, after speaking with the leadership team at Fort Wilderness the health services team decided due to the unique set up of Fort Wilderness and their Concierge locations, they could not accommodate my restrictions. I could not transfer to that location, and my transfer date of Nov 7th was canceled. I would be placed back in the pool and wait for another spot to open up. The person I spoke to seemed to think that nearly ANY other resort on property would be able to accommodate my restriction.

Then I got my call that I would be Part time at Disney's Port Orleans Resort! That would allow me to work at both Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter. My Transfer Date was Sunday  Dec 7th!

So on Wednesday  Dec 10  I went to casting to  to put my name on the list for full time. I chose 5 resorts for full time, I picked deluxe resorts because I was interested in the club level experience. On Friday Dec 12, Casting called and offered me Full time at Port Orleans. At first I was confused. I told the casting representative that I had not put Port Orleans as one of the choices for full time. She said that I had been pulled from the 'Any' list. I said that I thought I had taken myself off the 'Any' list when I picked my 5 locations on Wednesday? She said that I had been pulled on Monday.

So I guess Port Orleans was just meant to be! And now that I have been there for the past 8 months I am so glad that this resort is my home. I work with a fantastic group of cast members and an awesome leadership team. I have learned and grown so much in the short time I have been at the resort and had some awesome opportunities. One of which is teaching our property orientation "All Jazzed Up" which I will post about in a future post!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Vacation Planning Role

I spent about 3 months in the VP role before I transferred to Concierge. I thought this was a fantastic role and I was sad to leave it, but I knew moving to concierge would set me up for my career goals.

Working at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) at Magic Kingdom was a great experience. It was often very busy, some days so much that we would have all 9 booths open with 6 people in each and there were still long lines at the ticket booths!

My previous knowledge of ticketing helped me in this role, but honestly Disney teaches you everything you need to know to sell the tickets. There are some people that come on the College program and have never been to the parks before and no nothing about tickets and they still do an awesome job!
VP Costume and Baymax

Lots of people have asked me if I felt there was a lot of pressure to meet a quota or goals. There are goals that you need to reach, but I never felt pressured or like it was difficult to meet those goals. If you are friendly and a people person you can meet these goals easily. And if for some reason you do not meet the goal one month they have people to help you review your process and see what you can do to improve and meet the goal next time.

Vacation Planners also get to participate in a few different product knowledge events. I received one free ticket to the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. We also got to sit in on info sessions about Memory Maker, Food and Wine Festival and much more!

On Halloween or Christmas Party nights we got to wear a different themed vest with our costume, and on Halloween Party nights we played "Costume Bingo" were you would mark off if you saw certain costumes. Some nights it was super easy, like the night the leader made every square say "Elsa and Anna" and other nights it was really hard .
Halloween Vest for MNSSHP Nights

As I have mentioned before MK VP does Parade Audience Control or PAC. I disliked this at first as it was so hot during the day. But throughout November and December I picked up many night time PAC shifts. I really enjoyed working at night and seeing the  Castle Lighting, Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes.
Parade Audience Control Costume

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Updates to Follow

Life has become crazy lately and I have let this blog slip my mind! I will be adding additional posts in the coming weeks to catch up on my adventures including:

Vacation Planning at Magic Kingdom
Transferring to Disney's Port Orleans Resort
Getting FULL TIME!
Front Desk and Concierge Training
Facilitating "All Jazzed Up"

Stay tuned!