Thanks Watercraft!

Working in Watercraft is awesome. Sometimes I forget that when I’m hot and my feet hurt and I’m wondering why I haven’t gone on break yet after riding to Fort Wilderness and back 5 times. But here are the facts: I work for 6 hours at a time, and at least 45 minutes (more like an hour) of that is spent on break. (I get two 15 minute breaks, but that time starts when I enter the break room and ends when I leave, so there’s additional time for walking. They also let us off before our end times to make sure we’ll clock out on time.) I’m only outside in the heat for 2 hours at a time, and more often less than that. When I am outside, I’m mostly in the shade on a moving boat. The only actual work I do involves docking, and on the cruisers that only happens once every 15 minutes or so. I have a water bottle and I’m allowed to go in the pilot house on the cruiser for air conditioning if I need it. Deckhanding is a really nice job.

What really amazes me though is how great Watercraft is compared to some of the other roles in College Program. A lot of people are standing still in the sun for 3 hours at a time. And the worst part of those jobs is that those are the people that have to take rage from guests. Guests on watercraft are generally quiet and happy. They’re either just starting their day, excited to see Magic Kingdom, or they’re exhausted and glad to be heading back to the hotel or the car. We don’t get too much grief from guests. On the other hand, CPs in attractions or food service get angry guests who are tired of waiting in line or hungry. I meet CPs from all different jobs in my classes, and it makes me so grateful for my role.

For that reason, if you are considering applying for the College Program (which you should), I highly recommend considering Transportation. I can’t praise Monorails or Buses in the same way that I can Watercraft, but I’m sure they’re less stressful than working in a park.

Here are some of my boats:

The Mermaid

The Mermaid is a motor cruiser, shown here docking at MK after coming from the Wilderness Lodge.

The Fowler

The Fowler is a ferry boat shown en route to the TTC from MK.

I love my job. I am so proud to work here. But I’m also grateful that this is temporary, and I’m so excited for the future.

Traditions and Welcome to Transportation!

Yes, I’ve started on the job training. But I’m not ready to talk about it yet (except maybe briefly). This is about what to expect for the rest of orientation after check-in.

Traditions

Traditions is your first real assimilation into Disney culture. There are some fun surprises throughout the day, and there’s honestly nothing to be afraid of. I’m (mostly) an introvert, so I was nervous about participation. But the atmosphere is not intimidating, and no one forces you to do or say anything. I was able to participate at my level without feeling completely overwhelmed. That being said, here’s what you can expect: it takes about 4.5 hours, and there will be about 25-40 people in your class. You learn about Disney heritage a little bit, about the four keys, and some general castmember information. You get your ID card and nametag! Awesome! And some other fun stuff happens along the way. 😉 That’s all you’ll get out of me! Oh, one more thing. They’re serious when they say to wear comfortable walking shoes. They’re not super strict about the dress code, just make sure you look put together and professional. And wear comfy shoes!

Welcome to Transportation! Orientation

Ok, here’s where we get into the individual roles. I had my orientation two days after Traditions, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes they’re the next day or a few days later… it just depends. On the Transportation orientation, it is critical that you wear comfy shoes and light clothing – you’ll be walking a lot. We toured the buses, boats, and monorails, just to see what is available to guests, and we also walked through the Magic Kingdom a little bit.

I was surprised by the diverse roles within Transportation! If you’re on Transportation and from College Program, you’re (probably) going to be doing one of four things:

Watercraft (me!): I’m a deckhand for Magic Kingdom boats. I’m sure I’ll explain more later.
Friendship boats: I think you actually get to drive these as a CP, but I could be wrong.
Bus greeter: You stand at a bus stop and talk to guests… help them get to where they need to be and stuff.
Monorails: You start out on the platform, but they might let you drive eventually… I’m not sure.

So out of our little orientation group of 8 people, 3 of us are in watercraft. There were only 3 CPs there, which surprised me. Two of the CPs are watercraft, and the third is a bus greeter.

After our tour, we went back to Disney University and did some safety training and online learning activities. It wasn’t terribly exciting, but it is important and it’s something you’d have to go through at just about any job. The whole orientation took about 8.5 hours, but we got a decent lunch break and some short breaks throughout the day. Overall it was fun and interesting, and I loved meeting that group of people… it’s kind of like we had been narrowed down from all freshmen to freshmen in a certain college. (The College of Transportation?) Hopefully I’ll write soon about my specific training, but I have to get up at 4:30 for work, so it’s bedtime now.

This is my life now…