I finally took the opportunity to pick up a shift at Animal Kingdom! I picked up a merchandise shift at Mombasa in Africa and I had so much fun! Just like with my deployment to Magic Kingdom, I got lost finding my way to my work location but a very friendly Cast Member wearing the same costume as me walked with me and explained how to get to my location. DAK is very different from MK and my resort in that in order to get to your location, you have to walk on-stage. When I heard that, it seemed blasphemous. At my resort, we’re never allowed to walk on-stage except for inside our shop (some exceptions aside). However, I quickly got the hang of it and was able to make my way around to the different shops that encompass Mombasa.
I opened up Mariya’s Souvenirs by the Lion King Festival with the help of a floorstock Cast Member and was then left to man the cart by myself for a few hours. This was also very new to me as I’ve always had other Cast Members working alongside me. I had fun being by myself though because it felt like I was given more responsibility. Based on what my friends who work at DAK say and my own experience, it seems like DAK Cast Members are more empowered to create magic for guests. The management at DAK also seems more relaxed but not overly so. They explain what your duties are and will quickly be there to answer questions but they are not hawk-like in their management style.
I wish I had picked up a DAK shift earlier in my program because I would love to have worked there more often. When speaking to future CPs, I will definitely suggest they pick up shifts towards the beginning or middle of their program because they might just find several homes during this program!