Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's in Disney

I thought Fourth of July was pretty busy. I thought Food and Wine Festival was very busy. I thought Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were insanely busy.

New Year's Eve was an entirely different story!

Our predicted crowd level at Epcot for New Year's Eve was incredibly high, so I knew it would be busy, but I had no idea just how many people came to Disney on New Year's Eve! I started out at Epcot that morning at 6:00 AM, helping to tape down extended queues for the booths, because the lines would definitely be going past our already extended chains! We then went over to the Ticket and Transportation Center for our HERA pilot shift which began at 8:00 AM. After only being at the TTC for about an hour, the Magic Kingdom hit it's first capacity phase close. When this happened during the pilots, we were sent to other parks.  
Happy New Year from Epcot!
So, it was back to Epcot we went! I was assigned to walk through the lines at the first four booths (AKA the busiest ones) and help any guests that I could on my iPad. This was probably the hardest couple hours of my entire program. People were already upset about not being able to go to Magic Kingdom, and then they were stuck waiting in a 1-2 hour line to get their tickets. I was walking through these lines and I've never had to multi-task more in my life. I had to figure out which guests I could help, tell the ones I couldn't to remain in line, answer endless questions about when the Magic Kingdom would reopen (which we had no idea), and try to keep an orderly line, all while rotating between the lines at 4 crowded booths! This was SUCH a valuable experience for me because I got to learn so much about operational challenges and guest service.  

After a couple hours, we were sent back to Magic Kingdom and quickly trained on another app on the iPad, called CastApp. At this point, the Magic Kingdom was now entering a Phase B closure and we were needed at the TTC to help determine whether guests were in the eligible phase level to enter the Magic Kingdom. It was great to be trained on this app and be part of the phase closure!!
Celebratory picture with some of my fellow VP CP's after we survived the Phase B closure!
Once the Magic Kingdom reopened to all guests, we were sent back to Epcot to finish out our shift! Epcot was starting to get busier as the afternoon went on. I ended up being extended until 5:00 PM that day, and I have to say, I was very glad to finish that shift! It was crazy and chaotic, but I did love getting this incredible work experience on the busiest day of the year! And despite being shifted back and forth, it was a really memorable and exciting way to spend my first New Year's in Disney. How many people can say they worked at Magic Kingdom AND Epcot on New Year's?!
We survived working at Disney on New Year's!!
After I got off, my family met me at the Epcot entrance and we went into the park for some fun! I was really glad to have the opportunity to spend the very last day of 2014 in the park that had been my home throughout the year. I've always loved Epcot but I have such a greater appreciation for it after spending my College Program in this amazing park.

We did some shopping and I finally bought myself the beautiful castle statue that I had been admiring at Art of Disney! We got our hats and horns that Disney hands out to all of the guests, and then we watched Holiday IllumiNations!
Ringing in the New Year in Disney!
It was a busy day, but I wouldn't have wanted to spend the last day of 2014 any other way!

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