I may be a little bit biased, but I think I had the best role possible. Let’s flashback to August 2014…
I had heard about the Disney College Program through a cast member during a visit and decided to try and apply. I had interest in many roles, including character performer of course. But as far as roles go without needing an audition, my top choice was Full Service Food and Beverage. After the whole application process and being accepted, that was the role I was given. I was actually very excited about this as a role, I thought it would be a new experience and I would be able to interact with guests on a more personal basis. And that is exactly what happened!
Unfortunately, I didn’t know where I would be placed until I checked into my program. I had to wait.. and wait….. and wait…. until January where I finally found out my location. Drum roll please…. I would be working at Captain’s Grille at the Yacht Club Resort! And I’m sure right now you are scratching your head and thinking, I have never even heard of that place. But guess what, neither had I until I was placed there. While my initial thoughts were surprised and maybe a little disappointed I wouldn’t be in a park, I would soon realize I was extremely lucky with my placement.
After participating in Traditions I began my location training. I met my leaders and co-workers, was introduced to the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and finally the best part of my training, try the delicious foods that we served. Word of advice, it is delicious and you should eat there. While the restaurant is more commonly known amongst cast members, resort guests eat there quite often. We served breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a reservation while recommended, was typically not required.
Why did I like my role you ask? There are a few major parts of my role that I truly appreciated. First, the location; the Yacht Club is situated right between Epcot (5 minute walk) and Hollywood Studios (10 minute boat ride). To this day, it is my go to resort area when location matters. Secondly, my hours; as it was an operating restaurant, hours were set and did not change. There are not many roles that have set hours, but mine fortunately did. It made it very easy to know my schedule and not have to work super early or crazy late hours. Third, my leadership; I can’t begin to express how much I enjoyed working side by side with my leadership. Not only were they great mentors, they were friendly and cared so much about our guests. Each person in leadership that I met taught me valuable life skills that I still carry with me today (that means you Laura, Wil, Joe, Melissa, Laurie, George, Stacy, and Shelley). On top of fantastic leadership, I had some of the greatest co-workers I could have asked for. Thanks to Facebook, I get to stay connected with them and keep in touch. I miss them all dearly! Finally, my absolute favorite part of working in my role was the ability to get to know guests personally.
There are a lot of families and individuals who would always stay at the Yacht Club and eat breakfast every morning at the Captain’s Grille. In turn this means you get to see the same faces many times during their stay. I was able to ask them about their day, their plans, help them with any questions, and get to know them a little bit better.
There was one time that stands out more than most. Towards the end of my program, I had a gentleman and his daughter that were staying at the resort and ate breakfast each morning at our restaurant. The little girl was very friendly and such a kind soul! She was under the impression that I was a princess in disguise and would follow me around the restaurant and ask to help me in anyway she possible could. Towards the end of their trip, she asked if I could come visit her home and play with her. I told her unfortunately that I was unable to do that, so she asked if I would be able to play with her on their next Disney trip. I was so heartbroken because my program would end before she was back! I suggested instead that she could write me a letter and I would be sure to write her back. And she did just that! There were many special moments similar to this that my role allowed me to have and I am forever grateful for that experience. Food may not sound like the most exciting role, but I promise you it is one of the most rewarding.