For those of you that don’t know, the title of this blog post features lyrics from a song by The Wanted titled “All Time Low.” The reason is because I literally hit an “all time low” this past week! So without further ado, let the magic begin!
On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, I was so excited to start my “On the Job” training at Toy Story Land for Alien Swirling Saucers. But then, things went downhill from there. All this new information about the safety rules and positions required for the job were too much for me to handle. I was already stressed out by lunch time, so much that I panicked when Chip and Dale suddenly came straight up in my face as we were leaving the cast member cafeteria. I mean, I had to learn about the height requirement for the ride, how many people were allowed to sit in a rocket, how to group guests together and tell them where to stand when it was their turn to ride the attraction, and how many guests to let in for Lightning Lane (the new paid FastPass system).
I was exhausted after the first day, but Wednesday, March 23, was better because I was on support shift, which was basically stroller parking. That was from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Despite the blazing hot sun, it was not bad because I kept myself entertained by offering to take photos for families that wanted to get a picture with the Buzz Lightyear statue in front of the ride. The only thing was that my feet were really sore from standing all day. At least when you wait in line for an attraction, the line moves and you move with it!
Thursday, March 24, was really cool because in the morning, I had my “On with the Show!” park orientation from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. I got a tour of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and learned some new facts about the park. The second half of the orientation involved watching some training videos online, but on the bright side, we ended early because it started to rain. My roommates were both off that day and we were going to go to Typhoon Lagoon after I was done with work. I was worried the rain was going to ruin our plans, but thankfully, the rain cleared up enough when I got home, therefore, we were able to have some fun at the water park. Before that day, I hadn’t been to a water park in so long and we went out on a high note!
Friday, March 25, was my second day of “On the Job” training and this time, I got to help with the morning checklist for the attraction. Checking the vehicles was easy, but remembering all of the buttons to press and the order to do each part of the checklist were really difficult. The people at Alien Swirling Saucers were nice and I was getting used to doing some of the job positions, but I felt like something wasn’t right. I was supposed to take my assessment the next day to see if I was ready to become an official attractions cast member for Alien Swirling Saucers, but I clearly wasn’t ready yet. So my trainer talked to the leaders to see if I could get one more day of “On the Job” training, to which they said yes.
Saturday, March 26, I had my third day of “On the Job” training and um, I was getting better, but not enough for me to feel confident in my abilities to be an attractions cast member. It didn’t help that I was partially deaf and the music was so dang loud in the queue for the attraction. Also, the thing about theme parks is that ANYTHING can happen! I’ve seen things that I shouldn’t have seen or thought only existed on T.V. Honestly, the easiest thing for me was doing the spiels for the attraction because I talk a lot, haha!
Sunday, March 27, was the day of my assessment and I did good on answering the questions for the assessment, but doing the positions was where I really struggled. Remember when I said that anything can happen at theme parks? Well, they did!
One of the rules was that we could only allow three people per rocket. A child that is seven-years-old can sit by themselves, but a child under seven must sit with an adult that’s 14-years-old or older, and three adults can’t sit together in the same rocket. And let’s just say, one of the biggest mistakes I made involved the number of guests sitting in a rocket. Not that I think of it, I made more mistakes than I ever had in my three days of training combined!
Obviously, I failed my assessment, but I saw it coming! Not going to lie, I almost cried hearing the bad news from one of the leaders, but I took it like a man. She told me that I would be doing support shifts for the next few days until I get my new schedule for my new job. I was sad to be leaving the people at Alien Swirling Saucers, but on the bright side, I made a new friend and she asked for my number!
Since my assessment ended at 12:45 p.m., I had enough time to go to EPCOT and park hop to Disney’s Hollywood Studios later in the evening. I had very low expectations for EPCOT because I didn’t think it was “Disney enough,” but you know what, it’s not as bad as I thought it was! The food smelled delicious and the buildings and sceneries were beautiful. It really felt like I was taking a trip around the world, which is what EPCOT is all about. I had time to ride two attractions: ‘Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros’ and ‘Soarin’ Around the World.’ The former is like a Mexican version of ‘It’s a Small World’ and the latter is a flight motion simulated attraction that takes you on a journey around the world. Also, I was in the front row for ‘Soarin’ Around the World’ because they had an extra seat in the front; that’s the beauty of going to the parks by yourself!
After my trip to EPCOT (and a yummy turkey club sandwich I had as an early dinner), I made my way back to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Oh did I mention that day was the first time I rode the Disney Skyliner? It was so relaxing, and a convenient way to travel between parks and resorts. It was about 5:00 p.m. when I got to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and my first ride at that park was ‘Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.’ After that, I got in the single rider line for ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith,’ which has become my favorite ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Then, for my last ride of the night (or what I thought would be my last ride of the night), I went to the ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’ because it was right across from ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’ and it broke down, so I was hoping it would open back up soon. I got to the ride queue at about 7:20 p.m. and the ride opened back up five minutes later. However, after finally getting on the ride an hour later, it broke down and they couldn’t fix the ride unfortunately, so we had to be evacuated. I wasn’t even planning to stay until the park’s closing time, but I did because ‘Tower of Terror’ took up a lot of my time, unfortunately. However, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’ is not a bad way to end the night, so I’ll take it!
On Monday, March 28, I was back doing support shifts at Alien Swirling Saucers, and it was not fun. I still had a smile on my face, though, and I tried to keep my spirits up, so I was good. And surprisingly, the day after I failed my assessment was the day I finally started to talk to more people at my work location. Another special thing about that day was I found out my new job role: a concierge at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It requires a lot of problem solving and guest interaction, so it’ll put my communication skills to good use. Let’s just hope I don’t screw that job up too!
My support shift hours were from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m., so I had the mornings to myself. On Tuesday, March 29, my friend from the Disney Ohana Club and I took advantage of that by going to Universal’s Islands of Adventure in the morning. My friend, who recently got a social media job in Florida, has an annual pass to Universal Orlando Resort. And me, who didn’t want to sit around all day waiting for reservations to open up for the Disney Parks, I followed in her footsteps and got one too. The beauty of being Universal annual passholders was that we got early entry to the parks. On that specific day, Islands of Adventure opened at 9:00 a.m., but my friend picked me up at 7:00 a.m., so that we had time to drive there, park the car, get some food, purchase my annual pass (with my new Florida residence), and get in line to enter the park at 8:30 a.m.
Each annual pass has different benefits, but thank goodness each pass has early entry to the parks because those extra 30 minutes helped so much! Our first ride of the day was ‘Jurassic World VelociCoaster’ and we got on the ride in less than an hour, which is nothing compared to the two hour wait time later in the day. Afterwards, there was a five minute wait time for ‘Jurassic Park River Adventure,’ so my friend and I were like, “why not!” Plus, it was her first time on the ride and I was so happy to be the one to share that experience with her. My friend also loves Harry Potter, so we made our way to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to take some cute pictures and get some ButterBeer, and let me tell you, I totally get the hype for that beverage now!
Our last ride of the day was ‘The Incredible Hulk Coaster,’ which had a 55 minute wait time. I learned a very important lesson that day, you don’t need to do a lot of rides to have a good time at a theme park. If the rides are really epic and so good that they can’t be topped, sometimes three rides are all you need! For lunch, we had some yummy sushi at The Cowfish, which is a sushi and burger bar. The very last thing we did at Universal was buy donuts from a donut shop in Universal CityWalk called Voodoo Doughnut, and those donuts were my dinner. My friend and I got so much done that morning and when we left the park, it was only 1:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Just for the record, the rest of my day wasn’t really exciting. I just did my support shift and left. However, I will say that taking photos of families in front of Buzz Lightyear brought me so much joy because I helped them capture a magical moment on their Disney vacation. All the thank you’s and smiles I got really made support shifts exciting for me.
What’s next moving forward? Now that I’m a Universal Orlando Resort annual passholder, nothing can stop me from going back there (except for some blockout dates). But seriously, my friend from Alien Swirling Saucers and I made plans to go to Universal Studios Florida sometime the following week, so be on the lookout for that in my next blog post! And that my friends, is how you get up from an all time low!
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