Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure

My work location is Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. It’s a really fun interactive game where you’re given a  FONE (Field Operative Notification Equipment) and sent into 1 of 7 countries to help Agent P defeat Doofensmhirtz and save the world! Basically it’s a scavenger hunt with many more interactive elements, like a zip lining Perry, a top secret penny press, a cuckoo clock chase, and more. It is something I would seriously recommend to anyone going through the World Showcase. Recently we also updated the old flip phone FONEs to touch screen Nokia FONEs!

I also got lucky in that my work uniform is super easy. As I’m sure many people are aware of, Disney uniforms are either make or break. Luckily, mine is pretty simple … dark gray shorts (!!!)  and a light blue shirt, with an optional hat. Oh yeah, and I’m also not required to tuck it in, which just about every single other uniform does require.

On top of that luck, I only had three days of training, which is pretty short compared to most roles. After three days of training, I had my assessment and officially earned my ears.

On top of running the Agent P attraction, my location also does PAC (parade audience control) for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (Epcot’s firework/fire/light show), opens the World Showcase in the morning, and clears Epcot after closing. We are supposed to be training soon to takeover the FastPass kiosks as well. Basically, we do a bit more, in my humble opinion, than the average attractions role worker. However, the trade off is that we also get better (both in length and quality) interaction with the guests. One of the reasons I was so looking forward to working attractions was that guest interaction, so I’m glad that it worked out like it did.

The first day of training we went through my location’s spiel: “Hey there, agents! Welcome to the O.W.C.A [Organization Without a Cool Acronym, which is the organization that Perry works for], are you here for your top secret mission?” We also had to learn how to accurately describe the game to guests, especially since it is most frequently mistaken for a show or for a character location. Then we saved several of the countries. My favorites are definitely France and Germany.  That night we learned how to do PAC for IllumiNations and also how to clear the park.

The second and third days kinda blur together for me. The second day of training we learned how to open World Showcase and we practiced our spieling and guest interactions. The third day of training we learned how to do Pargo and Norway runs while on Mission Support. Mission Support 1 (Pargo run) takes the Pargo (basically a heavy duty golf cart which is still nicknamed Shego from the good ol’ Kim Possible’s World Showcase Adventure days) to pick up phones from drop boxes on the far side of the World Showcase, as well as drop off anything the kiosks may need (more phones, new radio battery, etc). They also restock some of the interactive elements of the missions, like the golf balls that are used in United Kingdom. Mission Support 2 (Norway run) walks around the near side of the World Showcase to get phones from drop boxes and drop off anything those kiosks may need.

So yeah, that’s basically my job. There’s definitely some more tidbits to what all we do, but it’s mostly just boring details. I think this role, although something I originally was very upset about (characters that I don’t like and not a “real” attraction), has already grown on me and I’m now really glad to have gotten. Except for being outside for pretty much the entirety of every shift, the pros have definitely come to outweigh the cons.

First week or so

I have finally moved in!

Check-in went pretty smoothly, as my assigned time was right away in the morning. After getting my Disney College Program Guide/Planner, I was given my location, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Needless to say, I wasn’t too happy about that since I can’t stand the Phineas & Ferb cartoon. From there I was entered into the DORMS system, received my housing assignment (I got my first choice in Vista Way.), took my Housing ID picture, got my apartment ID, got my itinerary for the first week, and then was walked through the itinerary and the Disney Look.

 

As soon as I had gotten my housing assignment, I asked my dad to find the building so that we would be able to move in easily. I wasn’t too keen on being on the third floor, but after being in some other apartments, I’ve realized that our apartment seems significantly bigger, thanks in part to our vaulted ceiling and huge window in the living room … totally worth all the stairs. My building is also next to the pool and the clubhouse, and a pretty short walk to the bus stop. Moving in was sort of awkward … it was immediately obvious that someone else was still living in the apartment, but they either weren’t there or weren’t awake. Turns out two other girls still lived there, who had extended their own College Program, but decided not to clean the house in any way when they knew that 4 other girls would be moving in that day.

Moving all of my stuff in was super easy. I organized my room a little bit before having to go take a drug test. After that, I hung out with my dad and uncle down past Tampa. The next day we went and explored Downtown Disney, which is sooo much bigger than the one in California!

The next morning, after saying goodbye to my dad, who would be taking a plane back home, I had to go to Casting and to a Housing meeting. Casting was basically waiting through a bunch of different lines in order to do something incredibly simple. In the end, I turned in my I-9, got my training schedule, and confirmed personal information. To get through everything, it took me about over an hour. Although I think it took longer than it should have, the building itself was pretty. The housing meeting, although only an hour, I also felt went way longer than it needed to, but it was entertaining for the most part.

Since I hadn’t gone to Traditions yet and still didn’t have my blue Cast Member ID, I couldn’t get into the parks. Instead, some girls that my flatmate knew, said flatmate, and I explored Downtown Disney some more. We even hung out and did the Cha Cha Slide a couple times. The next day all of us new flatmates went over to a neighbor’s apartment to split making dinner, went out bowling, and spent the rest of the night at the pool. Since I STILL didn’t have Traditions, my flatmate, a new friend, and I went resort hopping. WDW definitely has some cool resorts!

We also went on the monorails while resort hopping, and I was able to find my new work location! It used to be Kim Possible’s World Showcase Adventure (which I super still wish it was), but I found out that so many kids no longer knew who KP was that they pretty much had to change the theme. And if that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.

FINALLY, it was time for Traditions! It was basically the Orientation portion of any new job. We went over the Four Keys, the company motto and vision, all that good stuff. We received our first pair of ears, our name tags, explored the tunnels in the Magic Kingdom,  and was visited by the mouse himself. It was a lot of fun. But more importantly, I got my blue ID so I could finally get into the parks!!

After that, we hit the parks pretty frequently! It’s been a surreal amount of fun. Not too long after I had to go through training for my work location, but I think I’ll go through that in a separate post.

 

DORMS

DORMSToday I got the email for the Disney Housing Pre-Registration. It took a bit for the first of the emails to roll out. And then it took even longer for me to get the email. While everyone was posting on the Facebook groups about it, I was just reloading and refreshing my inbox for what seemed like forever.

After finally receiving the first email, it was time to wait for the second one that would contain my password. Three hours later the second email still had not been seen by any of the participants. To combat this, I just went through the “Retrieve Password” route, which is basically like when you forget a password on any other site and they email you a temporary one until you log on and create a new one. It wasn’t too big a pain, but I was sick of waiting for the email to come.

After logging in, I had to fill out the Participant Profile Page. It was just some run of the mill personal information and was filled out pretty quick. If you are bringing a vehicle, another little box will appear, asking for your license plate and vehicle information.

The next page, since I am bringing a vehicle, was the Housing Program Vehicle Decal Agreement. Just had to read and initial by all the rules, as well as provide my driver’s license number.

After that was the Forms Pages, which contained the Community Codes Form, Payroll Form, Alcohol Policy Form, and Vehicle Agreement Form. All of those just had to be agreed to and signed with your DOB. There was nothing on the forms that I wasn’t already aware of, but I would still encourage reading all of them.

Then was the Roommate Preferences, where I could either decide to input my roommate preferences or have random roommates chosen for me.

One thing that I really don’t like about DORMS is the roommate preference process. Of all the people you want to room with, only one person is supposed to register first. They have to input the roommate numbers of the other people and then a confirmation email is sent out, after which the Pre-Registration is to be completed. It’s a giant pain because you have to assign a “leader” (as the DORMS email describes it) and then make sure to get the roommate numbers of all the other preferred roommates. Granted, that sounds just fine and easy in reality, until you’re waiting around for the roommate numbers and the people you were wanting to room with aren’t answering messages or acknowledging the steps to the roommate preference process … all while the housing options are mostly on a first come first serve kind of basis.

At this point, depending on what you chose, it can be impossible to go the other route. What I mean by this is that, if you decide to go random and a day later find someone you want to room with, it’s too late. I’m not quite sure what would happen if you say you have a roommate preference and then don’t put any roommate numbers in … but I’m guessing it would be pretty easy to go back and fill out your preferences for a random roommate selection.

As for me, both of the ladies that I wanted to room with received the DORMS email before I did (I’m assuming it went out on a alphabetical rotation based on last name). Once I finally got the email, I FB messaged them to let them know what my roommate number was. One of the ladies was on vacation without a computer, so I also said that I or the other lady should continue on with the process in order to receive the housing options that we wanted, but that we needed to know their roommate numbers. Although FB showed that they both had read my messages and they both already said they received the email with their roommate number, I never received further communication from them. No acknowledgement that someone had to continue on with the roommate preference process, no roommate numbers, no anything.

That sort of put me between a rock and a hard place. I’ve really liked the conversations I’ve had with these ladies, but the lack of communication was making me second guess living with them and I really didn’t want to miss out on the housing preferences that I wanted. I also thought that maybe there was a reason they weren’t replying to my messages. I mean, granted one was on vacation, but we had all been talking consistently that morning and all I was asking for was for them to copy/paste their roommate number or for one of them to tell me that they were already going through the process since I had provided them my roommate number.

Anyways, long story short, I decided to have my roommates randomly selected. Absolutely nothing personal against the ladies I was originally going to try to room with – hopefully I can still meet them and become friends, or maybe even end up rooming with them anyway. In reality, I probably could’ve afforded to wait another day or so to wait for some sort of reply, but after weighing my chances, the pros & cons, etc., I just decided to go through with having my roommates randomly selected.

After selecting to have my roommates randomly selected for me, I was then asked to pick my Housing Preferences. Like roommates, you can elect to have your housing randomly selected for you. I, however, am not that adventurous, especially financially (granted the prices don’t really differ all that much). Housing

After this you just confirm the information you’ve entered and then print out your forms. The forms are for making registration go much faster and for saving everybody a lot of time and stress – bring them!!! I’m guessing no one in line will thank you for making them wait that much longer because you didn’t bring the forms already printed out and ready to be scanned.

With the pre-registration done, it’s just time to buy some last minute items, pack up, and drive on down to Florida! Two weeks and I’m outta here!!

Two more weeks!

DCP - Real Soon

DCP Courses

The other day I was able to sign up for my DCP courses. It was a stressful experience with little to no guidance or directions, which led to mass confusion with most all DCPers who were trying to sign up.

The system that is used to sign up for the classes is incredibly flawed. To choose a a course, you have to click on a bubble next to the time/day you want to take it on a webpage that is displaying all of the courses/times. If the class is no longer available, (most of them) will say “Waitlist Only” next to it in red. After that, you click “Continue” and it will bring you to a confirmation page displaying the classes you signed up for.

The issue with this seemingly simply system is that if you later decide to add/take off classes, you have to be sure to click bubble next to the classes you still want to stay in again, otherwise you are (probably unknowingly) dropping yourself from the course. Also, because Exploring Disney Heritage is the most popular course, both the course and the waitlist fill insanely quickly, so it is completely removed from the page when that happens … which makes it really hard to sign up/drop other courses while trying to keep Exploring Disney Heritage (because of having to click the bubble next to the courses you want to be in).

When I signed up, the page crashed. I eventually got in and immediately signed up for Exploring Disney Heritage. I also wanted to take a collegiate course, but for whatever reason, they were not showing up. It took another hour or so for them to finally appear (Glitch? Intentional delay? Who knows.). So, when I signed up for that, I could not re-click Exploring Disney Heritage.

I recieved two confirmation emails. The first one for Exploring Disney Heritage and the second one when I signed up for the collegiate course. However, my second email did not say that I was still enrolled in Exploring Disney Heritage. Needless to say, I was freaking out.

I emailed DCP Recruiting about five times with no answer. The next day I called the Education office. The phone kept going straight to voicemail, so I kept calling for four hours until someone answered. She was very nice and understood my confusion. She confirmed the courses I was enrolled in and add/drop me from ones I did/didn’t want to be in. The next day DCP sent out a mass email confirming enrollment of Exploring Disney Heritage and acknowledged their flawed system.

So, anyways, I am enrolled in Exploring Disney Heritage and Exploring Leadership. Both of them are on Thursdays and I’ll be in class from 1:30pm to 6pm, as each class is two hours long with a half hour break between the two.

I’m very excited to start these courses and am so glad the cloud of confusion over them has passed. If there is one thing I think the DCP really needs to work on it is effectively communicating and giving directions. It seems that they leave just about everything so vague and without a direct line of information.

Just over a month left until I’ll be in Florida!

Image

45 more days!

45 more days!

Summer

Only 66 more days until it’s time for the DCP! 

I am officially done with the Spring 2014 semester at the University (even making it on the Dean’s list, might I add!) and soon enough will be packing up to head to Florida. I will be driving down there in my new-to-me yellow Volkswagen Beetle (my dream car!), most likely with my mom and sister. Until then, I’ll be waiting up here in Minnesota. 

I can’t wait to write up and share my new experiences and adventures with everyone … and I really can’t wait to see where in Walt Disney World I’ll be working!