Tag Archive: Main Street Operations

Dec 31 2006

Auld Lang Syne

As 2006 comes to an end, I thought I would shar year end update that went out in an e-mail to friends and family:

This year started off with me completing engineer training for the Walt Disney World Railroad. That’s right, for those that remember little Tommy Webster being in the trains as a child, well guess what, he now drives a real turn of the century steam powered locomotive on a “Grand Circle Tour” of the Magic Kingdom. Like people, each of our four trains on the WDW RR have their own personality and I have learned a lot about adjusting my skills to fit the train. Continuing on with work, I became an area trainer on Main Street, USA where I trained Park Greeters, Conductors and also facilitated Guest Service Training for new hires.

It was in August that I left my home for two years at the Magic Kingdom to move to a role that I had been trying so hard for over a year to get, Guest Relations. I moved to Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park where I got the chance to work with an amazing group of people and learned a lot about carrying on the traditions and quality standards set forth by our company’s namesake, Walt Disney. Guest Relations was a great opportunity for me and really gave me the tools I needed to make sure that each and every one of our guests had the most wonderful time of their lives.

Fast forward to November, I have returned back to my home on Main Street, USA now though as an Area Coordinator where I oversee the operation and cast for Turnstiles, Steam Trains, Vehicles, and Parade. On any given day, I am responsible for not only 250 Cast Members but, our many thousand guests who visit our park every day and ensuring that they have a smooth and care-free transition to our world of fantasy. This is my next big step on my path to a full-time leadership role with the Walt Disney Company.

Leaving work aside for now (I know it’s hard considering I work a lot), I did have some great travel experiences this year ranging from quick visits to Naples, FL to see family and even the surprise visit home from Grandpa Don’s Birthday. October also brought along what is beginning to look like an annual trip out the the original theme park, Disneyland and Southern California. There is something about the original that draws me back.

This holiday season will also mark my third year with the Candlelight Processional Cast Choir at Epcot. Candlelight is a tradition started at Disneyland in 1957 that tells the Christmas story with traditional scripture and song with a different celebrity narrator each night. It is truly a moving experience and if you get the chance, come and see the show.

So as we end 2006, Happy New Year and best wishes for 2007!

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Dec 08 2006

Family, New Role and Holiday Time

Well, it has been an exciting last week here in Orlando, FL. First, I had a nice visit with my Parents and Grandparents the other weekend with Mom and Dad coming in from MN and Grandma and Grandpa Swanson coming up from Naples, FL. It was nice to spend some time with the family and have some time off from work even if I was still in the parks with them. Had some great meals out and even enjoyed seeing a few of the segments being tapes from the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade that will be airing on Christmas Day including American Idol Finalists and Michael Bolton. Speaking of Christmas, thanks to Mom and Dad, I finally have a Christmas Tree. For the first time in two years I finally have my own tree with all the decorations on it complete with a monorail around the base. It really is feeling like the holidays finally.
Needless to say, the three days off was a blessing having been so busy at work and dealing with issues involved with my posting for a coordinator role here at the Walt Disney World Resort. Speaking of that coordinator role, I did finally get the role after getting all the stuff at casting sorted out. I will be staying on Main Street, USA for at the least, six more months before I am eligible to transfer again. This is the next step towards a full-time leadership role with the company and I look forward to more professional development opportunities that may surface with the new role including posting for a leadership position this spring.

Leaving work for a bit, last night I finally got to sing my first show this year for Candlelight. I did the late pair with Brian Dennehy as the narrator. I have to say, I really enjoyed his style after looking back at the past two years worth of readers I have sung with. I am scheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday nights with Mareen McGovern and then shows with Neil Patrick Harris and Marlee Matlin later on in the month.

Other than the new role, there really isn’t much else to report. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I’ve been training all week and I can finally sleep in tomorrow. Yay!

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Oct 09 2006

Heading Back Home

it is with a mixture of emotions that I announce my return to Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom. Effective this coming Sunday, I will be leaving my TA in Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and returning back to my home on Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom. Why am I giving up the job I have tried so hard to get for the last two years? As hard as it is to give it up, I have to move back to Magic Kingdom for financial reasons.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park hours a far shorter than Magic Kingdom and the average hours per week I was scheduled was about 32. Now, back at Magic Kingdom, I was on average getting 45-50 per week. Even with the pay raise that I received when I went over to Guest Relations, I was ending up making less money than I was before. I could not survive the remaining 4 months of my TA on 32 hours a week.

Aside from financial reasons, my long-term goal with the company is to move in to leadership as an Attractions Guest Service Manager. Moving back to Main Street, I will be a coordinator which I feel gives me more leverage for the Leadership Casting Call coming up in the next few weeks and in the spring. I will be going to the information sessions coming up and deciding if now is the time for me to post or if I should wait.

So that is what has been going on in my little world the last few weeks. Some tough decisions that I had to make. What may look like a step back, seems like it will in reality take me two or three steps forward in the long run. I will miss the Guest Relations role a lot but, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was just not the right park for me. Feel free to shoot me a message or a comment if you have any advice or feedback you wish to leave for me.

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