WORKING IN DISNEYLAND: THE BACKSTAGE EXPERIENCE – DAY 1

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I’ve finally landed and settled in Paris. I fully intend to blog the whole “Working for Disney” experience, so here’s hoping I actually stick to this and have something to show for it at the end of the two months.
Anyway, I’m here. I’ve moved in. I’ve stocked up. All I need to do now is start work!

Today was my first day of training – it started at 8:30am and just finished there at 5pm so I feel like I’ve put a days work in already without having actually done anything. Nothing new there I suppose. Yesterday I landed (after a 3am start – it was in no way pleasant) and despite the long day, the whole journey went fairly smoothly. I made the shuttle bus from Beauvais (only two go, one at 9:30am and one at 7:30pm – I didn’t want to wait, nor did I want the hassle of going all the way into Paris to come back out) and thereafter things were fairly easy. I only had to ask directions once… I swear.

I ventured into the park for the first time too! I was amazed. Absolutely amazed. I knew it was going to be excellent, I just didn’t realise how much attention to detail Disney had put into everything. Even the high-chairs in the restaurants have Mickey mouse designs on them. I didn’t go too far into the park because we only had a spare hour or two to kill but what I saw of it looked epic. I can’t wait to just go wandering around it – I haven’t even considered which rides I want to try out yet, I just want to see the place! Being here for two months solid affords me the luxury of that. I have so much time to check the place out that I want to do it fully and piece by piece.

That said, I’ve only been here a day. For all I know Disney could be fully scoped out and ran through in a matter of days. Still, I’ve certain goals set out. I need to go on all the rides (obviously), learn off all the areas (obviously), find the best restaurant and go to the cinema. I know it seems stupid to go to the cinema when you’re at a theme park (I’ve already discussed this in depth this morning when we were given the tour) but cast members (they won’t call us employees because the whole park is considered a “stage” and we’re all in costumes..) are invited to attend the premier screening of Monsters University in the place and since it’s free screening of it especially for us, I’ll go.

As for finding the best restaurant, that shouldn’t be too hard. I don’t just mean expensive food, I’m ranking based on hot chocolate provision, decoration and staff. Hopefully I’m the staff if it’s the best restaurant of my choosing. Or not. Maybe I won’t want to frequent the place I work on days off. I change my mind. I want to work in a really nice place, but I want the best to be reserved for my days off…

Anyway as I said, I was at a training day today. We get three days of training before we start work which is a handy start to the job and we’re being given a load of background information about the park as well as information which would be of use both to us and to guests coming.

I haven’t been told yet which restaurant I’m working in and I’m getting my costume tomorrow so all will be revealed soon enough! I got my Disney ID and name badge today though. I felt so important when I got to walk past all the security just by flashing them! Not that I’ll let the power go to my head of course… yet.

So as I said, I’m living with three girls – two Spanish and one Finnish. They’re all really lovely. Two of us are working in restaurants, one is working at a sweet stall and the other is a character i.e. she has to wear a large costume in really hot weather and stay constantly energised to impress the kids. I don’t envy her at all. We’ve a mix of languages too – one girl speaks Spanish and French and no English, one speaks Finnish, Swedish, English and (not great) French so we have to swap languages sometimes when trying to have a group conversation. We mainly stick to French because it’s universal. It’s hard getting used to speaking it and listening to it all the time but that said, none of the French itself is difficult, it’s just adjusting to it. I’ll be sorted in a few days I’m sure once I get into the swing of it!

As for the accommodation, it’s really lovely. It’s quite big for four people and we’ve two bathrooms with excellent baths and showers. We’ve two balconies that we can sit out in if the weather is nice and SO much wardrobe space which sadly isn’t that needed given I could only take 20kg. Still, I appreciate it nonetheless! The curtains in my room also have boats on them and say Cape Cod. I appreciate that too.

I sorted most of my to-do list out yesterday too while I was feeling productive. I got myself a Navigo pass for the month (a French version of the Leapcard) and bought internet til August. It’s a bit patchy though so I don’t know what Skype will be like. It comes and goes, so one minute it’ll be great and the next my connection will drop and I’ll be refreshing for longer than it’s worth. I mentioned it to reception today and they said they’d try and sort it, so we’ll see. Otherwise I’ll have to Skype from the grass outside the reception building. That’s where the router is based apparently and seems like the place to go for those in desperate need of a good connection. I also did my shopping for the week and figured out the trains and buses to get me around the place! I need a bus to take me to a depot for other buses and trains (and Disney of course) and then a train to take me to Paris or Val D’Europe which is the nearest town with a good supermarket. The town was made by Disney to be a place for commerce – there’s nothing Disney there, it’s literally just a town that they created so visitors would have a place to go for shopping, trains, buses, business, etc. Smart.

Anyway I’m leaving this post at that. Slight confession – this blog was taken mostly from an email I sent to my boyfriend. I didn’t want to repeat everything, therefore copy and paste worked a treat. I’ll give him a mention for that.

I’ll try keep this updated on everything that goes on (at least once a week. That’s my goal) so expect a new post relatively soon.

Sorcha x

PS) Tangled is everywhere here. I’m so happy. She plays a more prominent role here than the other princesses, or at least she seems to feature more around the park. This only delights me.
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