When I read “Storms of Summer’ by Barbara Higgins and read about how the hurricane affected Florida, I could only think about the classes I had to attend when I first came to Disney. They drilled “Safe D,” into us during the classes along with the other three keys. I found it funny when the chef told me to remember “Safe D begins with me”, when I was carrying a 50 pound bag of flour.
At my job since we are not in front of the guests the only key we really need to worry about was, “Safe D.” There were many different types of precautious we have to do when doing anything. We need to wear cut gloves when cutting anything no matter what type of knife we used. Which I understand is for safety but the gloves make cutting a pain. Along with using the cut gloves we also use a universal signal in the kitchen that if there is oven gloves on a tram to be aware that it is hot and will burn you.
Also if in the case we do get injured or burned we report to the chef and from there he will instruct us to either just take proper measures to fix our injuries or call health services and help us to leave and get help. Disney ensures we are safe in anything we do and the chefs walk around the kitchen to makes sure we are implementing safety codes, and food safe.
Being a vacation planner was very fun. It honestly was the best role a college program kid could ask for. It took a lot of training and practice to finally get the hang of it, but it was very rewarding at the end. For 4 months I helped families planned their vacations at Disney. I made magic for them from selling a 1-day ticket to giving her first visit buttons. I had a lot of people coming to my window not knowing anything about Disney World. They think Disney is just Magic Kingdom, and I am always excited to teach them about Disney because I was once that person who had no idea about Disney World. I came to Florida in January, never been here before, never visited Disney World or other Disney theme parks. It was a new experience for me, and a challenge to learn everything about the parks and resorts. Because if i was helping families plan their vacations I need to know what we are planning for. Now, if you ask me what attraction you should visit in every park I will name the favorites, I can name the latest additions, I can name all the Disney characters that do meet & greet in every park. It’s so fascinating to have learned all of this in 4 months.
Today was my last day as a vacation planner at Animal Kingdom. It was really sad saying goodbye to the friends I made at work, to the place I have been working for 4 months. But it’s time to go back home and finish school so I can come back to Disney to achieve something bigger.
This week has been such a bitter sweet one with everything that is going on. For most of the other cast members it is the last week of their program and there has also been a new round of people who are just entering into the program. I have been watching many close friend go home and other very happy to have finally gotten the their letter of being extended. This was also the first week of not having any Disney classes. I will miss meeting up with familiar faces every week but it did feel great to have a day to myself.
Although this had been a week of excitement there were some surprising unfortunate events that had happened this week as well. One of the cast members buses that transports you to Animal Kingdom had gotten into a major accident involving an SUV while cast members were in the bus. It was during the time the bus was bringing college members to the park and the other driver was coming down the wrong way of the road. The other car with I believe a family of four was completely totaled and on top of it all both the car and the bus started to catch on fire. Luckily all of the cast members on the bus had gotten out safely, about eleven of them were sent to the hospital for further evaluation. As for the family in the other car there was not much information told about what had happened to them. This did show me that even at Disney anything can happen at any given time. This was unfortunate circumstances for the cast members who were involved but from was was being told the bus driver was very calm and took care of everyone who needed the help.
Besides for this unfortunate event this week everyone who had taken Disney classes were able to pick up their final grades as well as their “Ducktorate” certificates that show you have passed and completed the class. I was able to receive two of these certificates because of the mandatory two classes that we had to take during our program. Even though this is not an actual degree it is a great memorabilia for the hard work that each of us has put into the classes. I am happy to have gotten the experience and to have had such an amazing teacher for both Advanced Hospitality and Human Resources.
This week was full of emotions and inspirational moments. First, at the beginning of the week, I volunteered at the Invictus Games. This event is geared towards using sports as a method of recovery, to support rehabilitation and to spread awareness in order to give compassion, support and respect for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. I was assisting with registration of all of the participants in the power lifting area and I was also assisting the score man with writing down the weights that each participant would lift. It was a very motivating and exciting to take part at the event especially during the opening ceremony because I got to listen to many inspirational speeches that touched our hearts from many retired and on duty injured and wounded military men and women. It was a very humbling experience to see this men and women thrive and walk towards the path to recovery with such energy, drive and optimism that characterizes them. It was very inspirational to hear their stories and to see that even though they’ve been through such rough situations putting their lives on the line to serve and protect their country, they’ve managed to move forward using sports as a method of recovery and inner healing. One person that touched every spectator was Israel del Toro. He is an active serviceman who suffered burns due to an attack during his deployment in about 85% of his body. He almost died in the process but he managed to fight for his life and to give his all to recover with the help of his family and the people around him. I also got to see Prince Harry, The First Lady Michelle Obama and George W. Bush who were there showing their support to military men and women from not only the US but from 14 other countries around the world too. I am very proud to have taken part in this event.
Another great thing that happened mid week was that I was able to receive my grades for my Advance Hospitality Management and Human Resources classes. I received my certificate of completion and I was very satisfied with my grade because it showed that all of my efforts paid off in the end to I am very proud of that. It was not easy to complete this semester but through it all, I managed to pull it together and complete my classes and get a satisfying grade on both.
Last but not least, I graduated and celebrated the completion of my program as well. I also received a Ducktorate degree certificate stating that I had successfully completed my program. It is very rewarding to accomplish my achievements and to look back and see how far I’ve come. This journey has changed me and I have no regrets to have made the decision to take this opportunity and experience something different that will no only benefit my career but that has been very rewarding on a personal level as well.
Yesterday May 14th 2016 was my last day of working as a Housekeeper, I want to say that until today I do not know how I did it because housekeeping is one of the hardest job you can imagine. Even though it was really hard, I think that being a housekeeper made me mentally stronger. Now I feel that I am able to do anything in life no matter how hard it is.
Two days before my last day at work my leader asked me if I wanted to do like presentation in the morning meeting that we have everyday. Or if i didn’t want to that just say something about my experience and what I learned at Art of Animation. I told her yes sure why not, so I prepared a powerpoint presentation saying the things I learned and all the experiences I’m taking with me. I did not know the impact I was creating until after I finished my presentation. Some people were even crying, I got really emotional too. After that, everybody came to me to hug me and wish me the best in my life. All the leaders were congratulating me and saying that I did such a great job. That morning was like a rewarding moment for me by seeing all those people appreciating everything I did and also recognizing my effort.
this was one of recognitions I got on my last day of work.
I think that I gave the best of me, and excel on my role, thanks to that I got really close to my leader. That much that she even took time out her busy schedule to teach and show me things that she didn’t have to but she did it anyways. Those things that she taught me will help grow personally and professionally for the rest of my life. Today I feel really proud of myself, I know this is just the beginning of many more goals to accomplish.
One of the requirements to complete the Disney College Program and earn 12 credits as a full time student at City Tech, is to take two collegiate courses which Disney offers. The courses I took were Disney Organizational Leadership and Disney Advanced Studies in Hospitality Management. I figured these courses were very helpful for my career in the hospitality industry. Each course was 14 weeks long, once a week for 4 hours. We had assignments, quizzes, and projects due just like a regular college class. What made this journey a little hard was that I was away from home, living on my own, working full time for Disney and at the same time taking these two courses. However, I learned a lot from both courses which I know I will apply for my future hospitality career.
While checking on facebook I saw most of my friends from high school were graduating from college. Indeed, 2016 was my year to graduate from college as well, but things happen and now I’m here at Disney. I may not be graduating from my bachelor’s degree but I got my ducktorate. Not only one but two ducktorates from Organizational Leadership and Advanced Studies in Hospitality Management. I am very proud of passing both classes, and learning from one of the best companies in the world. I will carry these accomplishments with me everywhere.
In my second to last week, I got to perform the role of a runner. It was the first time I did it since I was trained on the role. I loved it. The runner is in charge of delivering packages or any item that was not received by the guest at the front desk to the room. Runners are part of the front desk but they work “behind the curtains”. they wear a different uniform and they are always around property. It’s fun because you’re not fixed to the front desk and you get to walk around property and explore.
However, as fun as it sounds, this is a very difficult job because the runner has to carry heavy items most of the time, sort out all of the packages that arrive at the resort, as well as log it into the system so that the correct guest receives it. They have to multi-task. Also if you have a license you would have to sometimes drive to places off property to perform guest service recovery and buy or recover any specific item that the guest needs. The property is large and I found myself to be walking around the area that’s the furthest away from the office. I was running back and forth delivering packages as well as inspecting rooms, to make sure they were ready before they were assigned to a guest checking in. It is very impressive how the runners have to keep doing this on a daily basis. While the job is fun and there’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to moving around and walking, it is still tough and at the end of your shift you are extremely exhausted. It was very eye opening and fun to be able to perform this role this week.
This week was all about new beginnings. I think the rest of my program is going to get better from here. I love my roommates, and I actually had to time to enjoy being to another state and living.
At work I worked the same shift as last week, however the difference was I actually well rested which turned out to be bittersweet. When you are tired you just work until the end. However when you actually awake you notice how people talk to you and start wondering why aren’t we taking the long way to do things. I also noticed that the crazy hours they schedule me for, help me to stay focus on work because since I was more awake I paid attention now to what was going around me. I also meet another CP who is just starting out in the culinary program as working culinary and saw hopes and dreams that I had when I came here. I wonder if they will mess with his schedule like they do to me. I am hoping that working all the different shifts will make me stronger in dealing with working with minimal sleep.
This week is my last week before I have to go back to my classes so I decided to go out with the CP from work and finally see Magic Kingdom since my traditions class. Just walking around the parks, trying the foods and riding some rides made the day-off great. Wishes is the best and the new animations that I haven’t seen before were amazing. As the song played I noticed it was not the same song I heard as kid, it now reflected the new generation who will now wish and hope their dreams come true someday. I may be having a rough time here but I want to keep the dreams I had back in New York, alive. So as the thousands of kids look at wishes and dream so will I.
Let’s see what happens next on my journey.
This week might be the best week I could have. One reason being, I finally got three days off which since I work overnight, I actually have two days off because I don’t have to sleep during the day to get ready for work and speaking of work, it has been crazy. I never knew you could work four different shifts in four days back to back. I don’t even know when I should sleep anymore, or how am I working without collapsing.
I have learned the remaining shifts I was supposed to learn at the beginning of my program and I actually understand how the flow of this kitchen is. Overnight works on the baked gods we can bake during the day when culinary needs the ovens. When you work 4am you basically are basically prepping and finishing what overnight couldn’t do, as well as prepping desserts for lunch and making a few breakfast items culinary uses. When you work 6am you decorate all the cupcakes that need to be done by lunch if it is late you are in hot water. On specials days there is a mid who will come and assist with anything that has to be while also doing a few tasks as well. When you work night and come in at you work on all the filling, decorations, and topping that needs to be used for our desserts. The way the kitchen flows shows me you don’t get to see the finish product but only the parts you have to do in order to get the final product done. Learning all the shift has showed me the flow of the kitchen I will soon need to know about for the future. However sleep has been one thing I cannot learn to get used to.
This week is also amazing because I was able to go with friends to Clearwater Beach! Since there was no school due to spring break and the demand for worker was high they gave us two weeks from school. This was the perfect opportunity to visit the beach and get away from Disney. The beach was beautiful and I didn’t want to leave. As we returned to the complexes it poured and we saw lightening, seemed like a creativity way of saying, “Welcome back!” I hope it wasn’t a sign of things to come.
Let’s see what happens next on my journey here at Disney
This week has been one of the best weeks I had, had being here. I tried a new shift for two days, which I will not be having a trainer for. School was actually exciting since I was actually not fighting to stay up. I have actually been having time to go out and enjoy myself.
At work, I learned about the other they have besides night, and overnight. This week they are putting me a morning schedule that I am nervous about which they tell me is untrainable. I did not understand why the shift would be untrainable; all I knew is that a coworker who has been doing the schedule for two years says there a lot that has to be done. Instead of waiting out for the day to come I decided to ask another one of my coworkers who I had worked with during the week it was only me and one other worker. She actually gave me the steps and a guide for me to follow so I would be okay during the two days. She told me I would be set on ingredients and recipes, so my only job would be to just get the day’s work down. Simple enough on those two days everything went smoothly and I also had another point of view of the shift. I thought that shift was untrainable, considering that it occurs during lunch and the area that the area you are in is usually crowded with people. However that is not the case, it reality, it is one of the easiest shifts you can get, considering that the beginning is the only time where you need to work to get done on time, other than that you are free to do everything in whatever order and however much time you want to take as long as you are down by the end of your shift.
At school we learned the different type of creativity that we can solve our problems with different methods. In our group we used consolidation to figure out how we can focus on the issue. We also used similes and metaphors to see how we can compare the problem to how we are feeling about the situation, which helps to see how the person is feeling toward the problem.
Things are getting better I hope they continue. Let’s see what happens next.