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gokart
05-09-2002, 12:38 PM
Hello all!

I'm a long-time reader of Mouseplanet and other sites as well as a long-time lurker on community boards! I came out of hiding to say hello and ask CM's and non-CM's alike a question -- what advice would you give to a brand-spanking new CM (Attractions) if you could?

I am really excited about it -- especially the opportunity to be a small (but pleasant) part of the magic.

Thanks guys, looking forward to your responses!

:D

LuvTDL
05-09-2002, 01:48 PM
My advice would be...
no matter how many bad stories you hear, or how many rude guests you may encounter.... try not to forget why you wanted to work there in the first place =) don't let those cynical people get you down!

Good luck!

gokart
05-09-2002, 02:37 PM
Thanks LuvTDL! I've been a tour guide and have worked for guest services before elsewhere, so I am not completely new to rude guests. You just have to remember that you're there to provide the best possible experience. I remember the first time I went to Disneyland when I was a lot younger, and great cast members are definitely part of my fond memories of the place.

bluepearl
05-09-2002, 02:42 PM
Congratulations on the job, gokart! What attraction will you be working at? I have a tendency to converse a lot with attractions CMs. :lol:

Anyhoo, I'm a new hire as well (been working there since the end of January), so I don't really know what to say. I try to have fun everytime I get to the Resort, whether it be playing or working. I really like the people I work with, so that makes it a heck of a lot funner. Guest Servicing can get a bit trying sometimes (there's only so much I can do to interact with a Guest before s/he gets really annoyed with me), but the upsides make working there worth it.

Maybe I'll see you around!

gokart
05-09-2002, 02:58 PM
Thanks Bluepearl! I don't know yet, they just asked me for my preferences ... I had a tough time deciding but I was told that later that they put you where they need you. Maybe I'll find out this weekend at training! I'm sure I'll run into you eventually!

:cool:

Uncle Dick
05-09-2002, 03:24 PM
Advice, eh? Well, I'm fairly new, too, but here're a few pearls of wisdom I've picked up:

1. Don't be afraid to ask questions about everything. The "old-timers" will be happy to tell you everything you need to know about ride operation and procedures, and it's better for you to ask than to figure out later that you screwed up.

2. Once you've found out where you're working, spend some time around that area outside of training. Observe what the "pros" do. I guarantee that your trainer and/or leads will be impressed if you start busting out with the "pro" moves on your second or third day.

3. If you screw up, don't worry. You're new. If you're told what you did wrong, don't dwell on it. Just remember and try to do better next time. Everyone was a newbie once, and they all understand that there's a lot to remember. Speaking of which…

4. Don't worry about remembering everything from your first three days of training. If you forget how to work a certain position, it's easy enough to ask the lead for a quick refresher. Just try to get the basic concepts down, especially those relating to safety and courtesy.

5. If a guest, or even a fellow CM, gets mad at you. Don't worry. If you didn't do anything wrong, there's no point in dwelling on it. If you did do something wrong, it's okay, because you're new. Don't get discouraged.

6. Get to know your managers, schedulers, leads, and fellow CMs. You'll go a lot farther if they have a face to go with your name.

7. And, of course, have fun. Disneyland doesn't exactly pay well, and the hours aren't all that great either, but it's the most funnest place in the world to work at, that I can think of.

See you 'round the resort.

gn2dlnd
05-09-2002, 03:29 PM
Speaking as an ex-sweeper ('80-'82), just try to remember what your first visit to Disneyland was like, and do your best to treat each guest as if it was their first visit. When they're standing in front of the Matterhorn and they have no idea where its entrance is, when they ask what time the 9 o'clock parade is, when they throw up on the Teacups- smile, don't make them feel stupid, and help them out. If they don't like the help you can offer, call your manager, call custodial, or call security. You work at The Happiest Place on Earth, and that's exactly what guests deserve and expect. Congratulations and have fun!

gokart
05-09-2002, 03:29 PM
Uncle Dick, thank you, that's a lot of great info and I will keep it all in mind when I start. You're right on about the money ;) but I am looking forward to it. Do you have any idea on what hours look like typically for someone who's just starting?

gokart
05-09-2002, 03:34 PM
gn2dlnd, when I met my scheduler he mentioned just starting out, the teacups and throwing up -- a response to my question about getting an attraction preference. Ironic that you mentioned it too!


:D

cstephens
05-09-2002, 04:16 PM
Enjoy your job. That doesn't mean things can't annoy you or that you can't have a bad day. That happens with pretty much any job. But overall, you should enjoy your job. That will make you better at your job and make you happier as well. If you're ever to the point of hating significant or important parts of your job, it's time to think about moving on.

I've always thought it strange that some people who don't like dealing with the public are in customer service jobs. Makes no sense to me. I know I wouldn't be great at customer service, so I don't work with the general public.

Morrigoon
05-09-2002, 04:20 PM
Don't get bitter. It's a hard feeling to shake once you've caught it. Stay away from the bitter ones, do not listen to their reasons, don't try to "fix" them. You'll get caught up in it. Stick to the guests, the happy ones.

Lani
05-09-2002, 04:35 PM
I've never had the pleasure of being a CM, but having had considerable experience in the retail industry in Hawaii, which by itself is one big theme park in the eyes of some tourists, here are my two cents' worth:

As with anything else in life that we do all the time, the novelty of working at Disneyland will eventually start wearing off. When that happens, you will no longer feel particularly magical or special when you punch in your time clock: it will just be a job(regardless of whether you enjoy and like your job or not).

HOWEVER, never forget that the park guests are there because the park is special to THEM. Many of these people have saved up a LOT of money for a LONG time in order to be able to travel to Anaheim and enjoy the park.

Over and over, we hear stories of how a trip to DL was made special because some CM chose to show care and kindness to a guest. Remember that you are ON STAGE and that you are part of the magic that is Disneyland.

Even if you are stressed at home, have tons of homework, your car is breaking down, etc., do not let your sour mood show on stage. Take the time to smile, to look people in the eye, to voice a kind word, to say "hello" and "thank you" and "why, sure we can" because in the end, it's the great CMs who make DL special.

MonorailMan
05-09-2002, 04:54 PM
If you give spiels, give them with a little ummph, because I think too many CMs rush through them, and don't sound very happy. :)

gokart
05-09-2002, 04:58 PM
Lani, I don't have to worry about homework too much ;) but I know how worrying about things can affect your job performance. You just have to keep the guests perspectives in mind and how important it is to them.

On a different note, not that I have a choice, but which ride would you pick and why (if this has already been done before many times, a slight slap on the wrist is all that is required :D ) Not from the perspective of a guest, but from the CM.

corrinhorn
05-09-2002, 05:19 PM
The Best advice I could give would be what Uncle Dick said...

Ask questions...I spent my First Day after training walking around the ODV office because I didn't want somebody to get mad at me cuz I didn't know what to do...(man I was a stupid new hire) Learn from others mistakes as well... If you see someone get reprimanded, don't do the same thing, I can't tell you how many times that has happened. Now ODV is a different beast because you spend most of your time alone in the park, but most of the advice should cross over...

Also, I would say on the getting to know people, get to know lots of people, if you don't feel comfortable with the people who have been there for a while, then hang out with other new hires, but get to know as many of the people in your department as you can... I am a casual Temp, but if you ask around Outdoor Vending (and knew my real name!!!) you would find somebody that knew me within two to three people, what with all the new hires...

And if you hear people getting down on the new hires, shrug it off. It isn't worth you having a bad day on stage because an old timer is dis-enchanted.

and...have fun!!!

Uncle Dick
05-09-2002, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by gokart
Uncle Dick, thank you, that's a lot of great info and I will keep it all in mind when I start. You're right on about the money ;) but I am looking forward to it. Do you have any idea on what hours look like typically for someone who's just starting?
It's going to be a little slow for the next few weeks. Right now, I'm averaging about 16 hours (Sat and Sun). But once summer starts up, you should be pretty busy. I started in March and ended up working 40 hours over Spring Break, so enjoy the "downtime" while you can.


On a different note, not that I have a choice, but which ride would you pick and why (if this has already been done before many times, a slight slap on the wrist is all that is required ) Not from the perspective of a guest, but from the CM.
I'm going to go with the Sailing Ship Columbia. I've heard some absolutely hilarious (almost crossing the bounds of "family-friendly") spiels late at night on the Columbia. I think I'd have lots of fun hamming it up as the pilot of the ship. Or as Hawkeye. He seems to have a lot of fun firing off the cannon. The only real "work" involved, as far as I'm concerned, is moving the boarding ramp back and forth and lowering it for the guests to board and disembark.

Beyond that, it might also be fun to work the Main Street vehicles. You have lots of guest interaction and get to spend your day cruising Main Street and watching everyone enter the park. Then there are some attractions I don't think I'd ever want to work. The big E-tickets like Indy, Space and Splash seem too hectic to be enjoyable. Indy especially.

Gemini Cricket
05-09-2002, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by gokart
what advice would you give to a brand-spanking new CM (Attractions) if you could?
First of all, congratulations. :)
My advice to you is as follows:
~Never forget that a guest will have a great day because of something magical you do. Not only this, but you can have fun while you do it.
~There will be times when you'll encounter someone toxic, but as long as you smile and keep your chin up, they can have no negative effect on you.
~Go that extra mile to make someone smile. Lots of guests are there for the first time. Who you are can make a great memory they'll keep for a long time.
~Even if you're having a cruddy day, just remember at least you're still @ Disneyland.
~Make the most of it. Working there you'll have memories to last you a lifetime.
~If you ever doubt yourself, know that there's a reason you're there. There's something extra special you have that got you where you are. Smart people recognize talent.
Good luck!
:cool: GC

tikiboy
05-09-2002, 09:09 PM
1. Remember that even though the guests will be rude, they will expect that Disney magic, give it to them.

2. Remember that even though your fellow cast members will be rude, they will expect that Disney magic, give it to them.

If you follow the two suggestions above, you will give yourself the Disney magic, and you'll have a great time.

bluepearl
05-09-2002, 10:45 PM
I get scheduled for about 15 hours of work a week - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What people think is the worse part about my job is that I'm usually scheduled nights, starting around 8PM (I used to start around 10PM before Spring Break), and usually ending at 2AM. I don't know about any other Store Ops CMs out here, but I prefer closing shifts - I get a few hours with Guests, and the rest is cleaning up the store. It's a nice balance for me. Of course, I'm sure that Scheduling could give you a few shifts if you called in that day or fill out one of those "I Want To Work" forms. Sometimes I wonder if Scheduling is not too fond of me because of how hard it is for them to track me down. ;)

As for what Attraction I'd want to work...I'd say maybe Indy or Alice in Wonderland. Costume-wise, perferably Alice because those Fantasyland jackets kick butt!

oregonzooron
05-09-2002, 11:04 PM
It's not Disneyland, but this is what I tell my kids here:

Studies in the attraction industry show that the most important thing in making a visit to a park memorable is interaction with staff. People want a human connection, and however wonderful the facility is, it has to have a human face. We provide that face.

This means that a great day at the zoo can be marred be one negative encounter with a staff member. On the other hand, while we can't fix a disappointing day, we can give them a positive experience that they will remember, and be willling to try us again.

Always remember, we live here. But for the vast majority of our visitors, a visit here is a once a month, once a year, once a decade or once in a lifetime experience. Our job is to make that experience one that they will remember for a long time, and smile whenever they do.

gokart
05-10-2002, 02:12 PM
All great things to keep in mind. I knew that my performance was important before I asked for everyone's wisdom, but now I am even more psyched to potentially be a part of someone's wonderful vacation memories. Thanks everyone!

Also thanks to those (Uncle Dick and Bluepearl) that gave some interesting insider info. It's always better to start something prepared.

Maybe another question to generate some interesting conversation: most favorite and least favorite CM costumes and why?

mad4mky
05-10-2002, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by bluepearl

As for what Attraction I'd want to work...I'd say maybe Indy or Alice in Wonderland. Costume-wise, perferably Alice because those Fantasyland jackets kick butt!

You and my daughter Bluepearl. She wanted to steal one when we were down in December:eek: . (don't worry y'all, I put a stop to that!). But she did stop by and ask about them at City Hall. We got a call about a week later regarding those cute jackets!

Gokart...
There are so many good tips here. Mine are: Have the "Disney" attitude. Go the extra mile for the guests. So many of us appreciate it.
Some of us don't expect it like many rude people. But when we do get it...it just makes the trip down to DL that much more special. (I have many stories of the nicest CM's...and tell them over and over to people to explain why we always go to a Disney Park on our vacations).
Treat people respectfully...all people. No matter whether they are rude to you, say stupid things, can't speak any english or are disabled and might need some extra help.:)

Other than that...I would be repeating what other people have said...but agree with.

As for costumes...the best for the girls are: Fantasyland and Haunted Mansion (or Galleria too). The worst...Pirates. The guys look like total geeks in them

:eek:

But the BEST costume of all: Mickey Mouse!!!:D :D :D

bluepearl
05-10-2002, 02:49 PM
mad4mky: What was the response they gave you on those coats? They're pretty neat!! I'm not particularly interested in transferring to Fantasyland Store Ops, but I'd like to hear the story on those jackets! :lol: I have a coat that looks like the Toon Town ones that I bought from A&F.

RealDisneyLegend
05-10-2002, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by gokart
Hello all!
I'm a long-time reader of Mouseplanet and other sites as well as a long-time lurker on community boards! I came out of hiding to say hello and ask CM's and non-CM's alike a question -- what advice would you give to a brand-spanking new CM (Attractions) if you could?
:D

Here's some advice from a fellow CM:

Remember that the guests pay a lot of money to come into the park. Some families save up for years (or borrow money on a credit card and take years to pay it back), just to be able to afford a Disney vacation.

Also, don't post too much information--especially negative information--to these bulletin boards. You really shouldn't be giving away any secrets or any priviliged information.

marron-cream
05-10-2002, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by gokart
Maybe another question to generate some interesting conversation: most favorite and least favorite CM costumes and why?

My favorite for girls: Fantasyland stores! We get the cool coat! I like our skirt too... it doesn't get wrinkled, it's easy to move about in, and since it's dark colored, it hides dirt well :D I also like Critter Country stores' costumes. They're nice and flannel-y. And the Frontierland/CC coat is great, too.

Least favorite: any Pirate themed costume.

mad4mky, I'd be interested to hear what DL said about the Fantasyland coat... do tell :)