Sunday, January 10, 2010

Traditions and Training Day 1

I'm not sure if they always split it or if ours was just a large group, but our arrival date was split into two traditions classes. One at 6:45 AM and one at 12:45 PM. I was assigned to the 6:45 AM one, which was awful because I had to wake up ridiculously early, but it was amazing because you get your company ID there which allows you to get into the parks! I won't talk much about traditions because there are a couple of fun surprises and it'll ruin it if you know about them. haha. Traditions is about 4 hours long, maybe a bit longer depending on who you have so expect to be there a while. And you do walk around so don't wear heels unless youre comfortable walking for an hour in them.

After traditions, I went to Magic Kingdom with a TON of people and pretty much had the best time ever. It was amazing. Chip and I have never seen Wishes so we picked MK for the park that day so we could watch them. Low and behold, it was crazy foggy and you could see maybe 4 or 5 sets of fireworks. The rest of the show looked like the castle was under attack. haha. It was quite hilarious/depressing.

Fireworks behind Cinderella's Castle... and a lot of fog

Training Day 1
I had to take a bus to Animal Kingdom's wardrobe department to get my costume before we started training. There was no one to meet us there so I, and another equally clueless photopasser Madison, just walked around hoping to find someone to direct us to something. We eventually ran into Alexis, who is also photopass, fully decked out in her costume. She showed us where everything was and we had to try on about 5 sizes each. They are just awful costumes. haha. Some people get silly ones and I'd much rather have a silly one then what I have. Oh well, I'll learn to love it I hope. I do get a safari hat, which if you pull the strings right, can look like a cowboy hat. That makes me feel better haha. 

After meeting our trainers and other photopassers 45 minutes late (oops), we drove to the Disney Entertainment offices where we sat in a conference room for our first 8 hour day. We watched a powerpoint presentation detailing the aspects of our service and the parts of our cameras. It wasn't until the last hour when we actually got to use cameras. We were still in the conference room so it was just pictures of each other. It seems relatively simple. We get our cameras in a million parts and we have to put them together, reset all the settings, then adjust those settings to what we need for our area that day. After that, besides manual zoom, they stay just as they are for that segment of the day. We'll work 3-4 hours, then get a break, then get a new assignment to work a different location in the park, where we'll adjust the settings again.  On us we have: a camera, extra batteries, a neck strap, a flash, extra batteries, a PDA, a PDA sleeve, rain gear, Photopass cards, and maps. At all times. Our trainer said that our role is to be a park information center...who also happens to take photos. He said that because we're almost always in the middle of the street, that guests who are lost or have a question, will come right at us because we're the first Cast Member that they see, so we need to know not only our park front to back, but other parks, as well as the times of major events in other parks, such as Wishes or Fantasmic. We get handy little Times Guide books for that, thank goodness.

I don't know that I mentioned before, I'm working in Epcottttt
Its my favorite park of all time, btw. haha. I'm very happy with Disney's placement decision. <3

So in 25 minutes, I'm meeting a fellow photopasser outside of Chatham to carpool to our day 2 of training. Half classroom and half park I believe! Yesterday the weather was just awful. It sleeted all day. Today looks a bit better but I haven't been out there yet. Hopefully its nicer. haha.  

Oh and we found out the statistics. Out of 7,000 CPs here for the Spring 2010 season... there are 60 Photopass Photographer CPs. I feel super super SUPER lucky. Like REALLY lucky. <3 


Kristin said...

Thanks for being to informative Marina. I've already done the CP, but it's fun to live vicariously through you, and you are giving great information to new CPs!

Congrats on working at Epcot! It's my favorite park too!

I think they always do two Traditions classes. I'm surprised the sessions were so early though. I know mine was in the afternoon, which stunk because I couldn't go to the parks until dinner time!

Katie said...

You shouldn't have a problem with being a park information center... you're so good at being informative. :)

Congratulations on starting your training, being in Epcot, and being a Photopasser. Woo!

Christine said...

Ahhh that is so exciting!! Congrats on getting Epcot! Reading your blog is getting me so so so excited to head down there! YAY :)

Katey said...

Sounds exciting! You are very lucky to be a photopasser! Keep us informed- can't wait to hear about how tomorrow goes!

Abigail Nora said...

you're very lucky, indeed, on many many counts! count me in as living vicariously through you, too :)

Will said...

Are you going to always be working at Epcot, or are you going to be working in other places too? I was a Photopass intern in the latter half of 2005 (the last of the professional interns to be photopass) and I worked in all the theme parks except Animal Kingdom. Also I'd like to know how wacky things are. When I worked there, the department was only about a year old.

Marina said...

Yeah, I'm a bit nervous at having to learn all the information about the parks, but I feel like I can do it naturally by being there every second, working or not. haha.

We have a "home park" system. Epcot is where I'll be scheduled, but I can pick up shifts in other parks if I want to. There are special areas in the Magic Kingdom that need additional training, but other than those, I can work anywhere in the four parks as long as someone wants to give away a shift there.

Will said...

It should be fun to work at Epcot. I think I had the most fun there. They used to do something called Disney Characters on Holiday. They had a double decker bus that they would drive in, full of characters, park somewhere, and they'd all walk off and do a 20 minute meet-n-greet. I liked to photograph Mickey for it. Sadly they discontinued DCOH right at the end of my internship. I don't think I was ever told any official reasons that they stopped it, but it was a rumor that they couldn't keep the bus in working order anymore.

John W. said...

Congrats, EPCOT is amazing.

Marissa said...

Congratulations on EPCOT; you're so lucky! (That's my favorite park, too! I hope I get to work there!)

Bummer about Wishes being fogged out. The bright side is that you can come back to watch 'em again whenever you want!

Best of luck with your training! I'm sure you'll be great!

booklover23 said...

Oh congrats!!! It sounds so amazing! Good luck with everything! I can't wait till applications come out for Fall!!! Have fun!

Iris said...

How cool! EPCOT is my favorite place to work.....maybe I will see you around?!? :)

Iris said...

P.S. Traditions was split up for us as well. I had the afternoon one. It was so exciting when they handed us our cast member IDs!!!