WORKING IN DISNEYLAND: WEEK 1 – ACTUALLY STARTING THE WORK AND NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT IT…
I thought I was finished my training and then BAM. Suddenly there was an exam. Nobody warned me of a test at the end of this “Learn to work at Disney” thing I’ve been doing since I got here. All the supervisors had been so lovely too – too lovely in fact. I bet they knew not to tell us. Thankfully, the whole thing went well – see photo to the right. I PASSED! Now I’ve an extra French certificate to add to my CV, so alls well that ends well I guess. I still don’t trust the facilitators any more though. Once that bond is broken, there’s no going back.
Anyway, moving drastically onwards from my exam, I finally found out where I’m working! I’m a waitress in Bella Notte, the Italian Lady and the Tramp themed restaurant in Fantasyland in Disney. I’m delighted. I’ve every Wednesday and Thursday off (with occasional bonus lie-ins during the week) and since it’s in a children’s part of the park, it doesn’t stay open too late either. Most of my friends that I’ve made since arriving are working there too and our days off are synced, so it means we can all plan to go tour Paris together or have other little trips in the works! We spent most of last night trying to figure out our plan of action for the Park itself – we’re going on all the rides tomorrow! I’ve heard so much about Space Mountain and the likes so naturally, since I’ve never been here before, it’s the top of the list!
My costume isn’t too bad either. I’ll post a photo when I work up enough courage to take one, but basically, I look like an 18th century peasant serving pizza. I’ve a long skirt, a white shirt and apron and a chequered black and white bodice with red drawstring. Granted the bodice mightn’t be quite as peasantish as the rest, but the look in general makes me feel like I should be off milking a cow on a farm somewhere in Austria. You’ll know what I mean when you see a photo. Just wait.
So yeah, I’m thrilled to be working in Bella Notte. I’m thrilled with Disneyland too – we get into the park whenever we want, all we need is our passes. They’re like our Disney golden tickets. Admittedly my photo isn’t the best, but I’ve grown quite fond of all it’s little perks. If not for the rides, for the backstage access. It’s amazing. In the space of five seconds the park goes from hyperactive children and waving princesses to characters taking lunch breaks and pirates getting ready to finish their shifts for the day. I can easily see why they don’t refer to us as employees but cast members now – it’s just like being behind the scenes at a theatre. Everyone is out of character but still in costume. It’s like another face to Disney and I’m delighted that I get to be a part of it. Another massive perk to the job is the food for staff – Backstage is like a second village in Disney, so there’s loads of heavily subsidised restaurants, shops and cafes available for staff. It’s so well priced that it’s actually cheaper for me to eat out at work than come home at cook a meal – A three course meal is 3 euro. Coke is 60c. Coffee, hot chocolate, tea, etc – 30c/free depending on the vending machine. There seems to be no end to the little treats of Disney. Again, I haven’t even started touring the park. Stay tuned.
The one downside is still the internet. I’ve figured out that it’s best earlier in the day and absolutely horrific at night. I’ve send emails, posts and left comments that I thought had sent and just.. didn’t. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt when I found out that my long messages/blog material had completely disappeared. Learnt my lesson now though so it’ll never EVER happen again.
I’m off now to the park – we’re going late so we can catch the spectacular Fastasyland closure – it’s a lightshow they do when it gets dark right before they close the park. It’s meant to be amazing. Fireworks, streamers, music, characters, the castle… Happy out.
A la prochaine fois,