Answering the questions I received from my readers!
What is a normal day like in your job?
I clock-in, check out my key card, and then (for morning shifts only) go to our daily Genie Chat meeting. After that, we go to the bank out room to get our money and paperwork for the day, and then get our first booth assignment. Then it's time to start helping guests! I'll ask them questions to figure out what type of ticket or annual pass they need. Every single guest interaction is different, whether it's a sale or upgrade, a payment plan contract or a special event ticket, or even if it's just answering questions! On a normal 6 hour shift, I'll be in 3 different booths, and have my breaks after the first and second booth. Once I get bumped from the third booth, I bank out and then go home (or, to a park...!).
How are your hours, job wise?
The hours in my role are wonderful because I have plenty of time to play, too! On the program, we are guaranteed to be scheduled 30 hours a week. I am usually scheduled between 30-32 hours a week as a Vacation Planner. I know a lot of roles get scheduled more hours per week. It also depends on what park you work in, and the time of year. I love my hours because I usually work 6 hour shifts, either in the mornings or afternoon/evenings, giving me the rest of the day and/or night to play in the parks!
How hard is it to meet your incentives? I know you have monthly goals. Are they hard to reach?
We do have monthly goals, but they aren't hard to reach. My job isn't to reach goals. My job is to help my guests find the best-fit ticket and enjoy their vacation in the way that they want to. Every single guest is different and has a different idea of what they want to do while they're here with us. If you focus only on the goals and rewards, you lose focus of what's most important -- the guest at your window. I don't worry about the goals while I'm talking with my guest, and I've done wonderfully with my sales. Disney is all about creating memories and happiness. And while I am in a sales job, I never have to push a guest to buy something that they don't want or need. I do, however, make sure that my guests understand all of the options that are available to them.
How you get over the language barrier? Like how do you communicate with a guest that rarely speaks English or doesn't speak it at all?
Great question! I interact with guests from all over the world on a daily basis, many of which speak little or no English. We have many resources available to help us communicate effectively. For example, we have placemats with the ticketing information in our most common languages, such as Spanish and Portuguese. We also have park maps and Fastpass information sheets for our guests in many different languages. We can call the language line to have a translator assist us, but I haven't had to do that yet. I've taken Spanish throughout school, and while I'm by no means fluent, the background that I do have has helped me immensely. I rely on knowing key phrases and words that help me gather the most important information to help my guests. And most importantly, a smile is the same in every language!
Have you ever experienced a time when you had to handle an upset guest? How did you handle it?
Yes, I've had upset guests. It happens, even at the most magical place on earth. I don't want to go into too much detail, but the most common occurrences that I've had with upset guests are when they weren't aware of a policy. For example, to honor our Florida resident discounts, we have to have proof of Florida residency at the window. The most important thing to remember is to follow the policies and procedures, and to stay calm. You have to remember that you're representing the entire Walt Disney Company.
Has working at Disney World made it less magical?
Oh my gosh, not at all!!! Working here as a Cast Member has been a dream come true, and that's what Disney is all about! Working here has honestly made it more magical. I'm obviously a huge Disney fan and love getting to see the behind-the-scenes action. Living a few minutes away from Disney has been what I've always wanted, so getting to go to the parks whenever I want is incredible. Do I ever get sick of the parks? Never. I love this life. The great part is there's so much to do here, between the theme parks, resorts, Downtown Disney, water parks, shows, attractions, parades, I could go on... but getting to experience the magic as both a guest and a Cast Member is absolutely amazing because I get to appreciate first-hand how the magic is both created and enjoyed.
I love your blog! I am doing the Disney ICP starting next month and I got the role of Vacation Planner and your blog is a godsend! It is answering all my questions and I can't wait to get over to Orlando and start working!! Do you prefer the shifts in the booths or the PAC? Getting to wear different costumes must be fun! Do you have any advice for future VPs? Is there any way to prepare for the role beforehand?ReplyDelete
Hi Milena, congratulations! Only Magic Kingdom VPs get scheduled PAC shifts. I just picked mine up for fun. I preferred booth shifts because that's what Vacation Planning is but loved getting to do something different every now and then. My advice for future VPs is just to enjoy every moment and remain professional, but also have fun! I didn't really prepare for the role beforehand because I was so familiar with the ticketing options from coming to Disney so often, but if you aren't then I'd definitely look those over. The training does an incredible job of preparing you though!Delete