On Sunday, May 8, 2022, I had the day off and took full advantage of it! I went grocery shopping at Target, did my laundry, made my dinner for the next few days (while jamming to Bon Jovi and Def Leppard), and called my parents for the first time on my program. I thought Mother’s Day was the perfect time to call my mom and catch up with her before she got ready for a get together on my dad’s side of the family. I thought that I wouldn’t need to call my parents on my program and that texting would be fine; I was so sick of Hawaii that I wanted to leave all of it behind. But this past week leading up to Mother’s Day made me realize that I should make a better effort to stay in touch with my parents because life is short and anything can happen! Plus, I really miss my mom and I enjoyed talking to her about my new job, her current job, and life back at home.
On Monday, May 9, I worked from 2:00 to 10:30 p.m. I am getting better at my new job as concierge; in fact, I merged two guest’s accounts together for the first time by myself! Merging is a process for guests that have two or more versions of themselves through their MyDisneyExperience account. I also learned about the resort monorail loop. Actually, that’s what’s fun about my job, you learn something new everyday! It’s different and it doesn’t get predictable.
Before work, I watched a funny video posted on Big Time Rush’s Instagram account and coincidentally, my coworker said that she has tickets to see them live in July. I’m low key jealous because I loved watching their TV show on Nickelodeon and they had some catchy songs.
Another interesting, yet strange, thing that happened on Monday was I ran into my old classmate from high school at the bus stop (well, technically she came to the bus stop and I was already sitting down). She’s doing the Disney College Program too and she works at the Polynesian Village Resort. She’s been here since April 18, I believe. I briefly saw her at the Polynesian Resort before, but it was strange talking to her again, even though I didn’t mind seeing her again. You see, we used to like the same guy and that’s just one of the reasons why I was jealous of her.
Seeing her in person again was another wake up call for me because it was a reminder to stop comparing myself to other people. There’s a reason why I don’t want to be associated with high school anymore because I am not proud of the person I was back then. But yeah, I wanted to do the Disney College Program to become a better version of myself and pursue my dream of working for the Walt Disney Company. I won’t get anywhere by comparing my accomplishments with other people’s accomplishments, especially since everyone is different.
On Tuesday, May 10, I had the day off and chose to stay home. That’s right, no trip to Target, no park reservation, and no trip to a resort or Disney Springs; I just stayed home and did nothing! I love these days where I stay home and don’t go out at all during the day because it gives me a mental and physical break from the craziness of the Disney College Program. Plus, I can play my music without anyone complaining because my roommates are either at work or having fun at the parks; I love having the apartment to myself. And just when I typed that previous sentence, two of my roommates just got back to the apartment. Yay.
I used the time to catch up on my friends’ WordPress blog posts and played a couple of Iron Maiden albums while doing so: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988) and The Book of Souls (2015). Then, I watched a couple of Emily Enchanted YouTube videos. Her personality can be too much for me at times, but I really admire how she’s doing things on her own and embracing her alone time. I also made time to watch my WordPress friend, Mike Ladano’s most recent show of the LeBrain Train and the topic was Alice Cooper deep cuts.
Now, the thing about documenting my Disney College Program online is that once I post something, it’s out there for the world to see. Remember when I said I had tickets to see the Backstreet Boys on June 21? Well, I’m currently in the process of requesting a refund for the tickets. I told you that insurance was going to come in handy (even if there’s a slight chance of getting a refund).
I’ll admit that it was dumb to buy two expensive tickets for a concert that I might be able to attend. It was just the hype of going to a concert in so long that drove me to buy the tickets. I don’t even want to see Backstreet Boys that badly; I’d rather see Iron Maiden! The reason why I’m trying to get a refund is that I had a falling out with the person that I was planning to go with and I couldn’t find anyone else to go with. Then, with the expensive Uber fee going to the concert and coming home, I don’t think it’ll be worth going to the concert anymore. So, fingers crossed I get my refund!
On Wednesday, May 11, I worked from 10:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. I couldn’t believe I actually got home at a decent time because I’m used to coming home at like 11:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. That’s the life of a DCP participant; we get all the late shifts. There was also a program celebration at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park that evening from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. I decided not to go because I didn’t feel like getting wet late at night, especially since I got sick after getting soaked on a water ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Hey, I had the whole apartment to myself and I got to play Def Leppard songs while I prepped my dinner for the upcoming week, so I can’t complain at all!
It was an interesting day at work because I had to make a lot of phone calls regarding room availability and room status. Three weeks ago, I would’ve panicked at the thought of having to make a phone call at work. But I’m getting used to the process and I feel like I know what I’m doing now. Being a concierge is teaching me to slow down and take my time when making decisions, which is important because I’m a very impulsive person. The skills I’m learning in my job not only help with my professional life, but they help with my personal life too.
On Thursday, May 12, I went to Animal Kingdom with my newest roommate before work and for once, I didn’t rope drop. The park opened at around 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., but I didn’t get to the park until 8:44 a.m. Honestly, it felt nice sleeping in and going to the park later than usual. My roommate and I did ‘Kilimanjaro Safaris,’ ‘Expedition Everest’ twice, ‘DINOSAUR,’ and ‘It’s Tough to Be a Bug!’ I really enjoyed ‘Kilimanjaro Safaris’ because I used to love going to the zoo as a kid, seeing the animals you don’t see everyday. I was hoping to like ‘DINOSAUR’ on my second try, but nope, it’s still too jerky for me to handle.
For a late lunch, I got the Pan-Asian Noodles and Vegetables (with shrimp) at Capt. Cook’s in the Polynesian Village Resort. It was spicier than I thought it would be, but I liked it. However, I’m not sure if I would order it again.
I worked from 2:15 to 10:45 p.m. I assisted a guest that was from Puerto Rico and it made me think about Jorge Núñez from American Idol (2002 – 2016 and 2018 – present). Strangely enough, there are quite a few people from Puerto Rico doing the Disney College Program. Plus, I don’t think that was the first guest from Puerto Rico I’ve encountered on my program. I still feel really guilty about not voting enough for Núñez on American Idol, so it’s tough encountering these people from Puerto Rico. Nonetheless, I hope that Núñez is living a good life now, doing well, and continues to sing once in a while.
On Friday, May 13, I had the day off, so what did I do? I rope dropped Magic Kingdom! I got to the park entrance at 8:18 a.m. (thanks to the monorail) and waited in front of Adventureland until the park opened at 9:00 a.m. I love arriving at the parks before rope drop because I get to do the popular attractions early in the day before the wait times get really long.
For example, the first ride I did was ‘Jungle Cruise’ and that line gets long really fast because it’s so popular! I also did ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘Splash Mountain,’ ‘Big Thunder Mountain Railroad,’ ‘The Haunted Mansion,’ ‘It’s a Small World,’ ‘Peter Pan’s Flight,’ ‘Mickey’s PhilharMagic,’ ‘Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid,’ and ‘Dumbo the Flying Elephant.’ Next time I do Magic Kingdom, though, I’m saving ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ for late evening or night time because that line is so long during the day; at least I got good pics because the ride paused twice!
At around 3:00 p.m., I left Magic Kingdom to park hop to Disney’s Hollywood Studios because I met up with my friend from the Disney Ohana Club at 5:30 p.m. I did ‘Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith’ before she arrived. I also had a Mickey pretzel with cheese sauce, which I was too lazy to take a picture of, dang it! But once again, it was nice catching up with my friend. She’s really busy with her new job at Fan Expo, so I’m really thankful that she was able to meet up with me for a few hours after she got off work.
First, we did ‘Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run’ and then, we had dinner at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. I had Fried Endorian Chicken Tip Yip served with macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. After dinner, we did ‘Toy Story Mania!’ and we were going to do ‘Rise of the Resistance’ before the park closed, but it was down. Then, we decided to do ‘Tower of Terror’ as a backup plan, but because the line was too dang long, we did ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’ insiead.
I love that ride, but man, it hurts my head; those headrests are not great. It also rained for a bit towards the end of the night and my friend got a good video of the lightning strike by ‘Tower of Terror.’ We left when the park closed at 9:00 p.m. and it was a lovely day spent at the Disney parks!
Saturday, May 14, I slept in till 10:00 a.m. because of the fun and craziness of the previous day. I had to work from 2:15 to 10:45 p.m. After having a long day at the parks, I love that my work shifts start in the afternoon/late in the day because it gives me time to recover and rest for a bit. I had my first guest service recovery experience, well, technically my co-worker did most of the work and I just watched. But, I got the process going by calling the back office to see if there was a room available for the guest; he was pretty upset that his assigned room wasn’t ready yet. My coworker made it up to him by giving him some credit that he could use for a dining experience during his stay.
I learned that asking questions is very important, in any guest situation, not just for guest service recovery. The reason is because in the moment, guests can say the wrong things. In other words, they say one thing, but they mean another thing. So, you have to ask the guest questions to figure out what exactly they want! For example, a guest has a connected room with another guest and they say they’re locked out and are trying to get into their room, but really, they’re trying to get into the room that’s connected to theirs.
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