I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. My reason for being so silent here is because I have had so much trouble trying to find the words to say what I need to, but to also not be a complete irrational bitch about it. In the last few months of this role change at Disney, very few people have understood just exactly why I am so unhappy in my current area of work. People back home wonder why I don’t move back to Texas if I’m so miserable. I want this post to give some clarity to my current situation and feelings in a calm and well-written way. If nothing else, I’m going to tell you about why I LOVE my old area instead of setting fire (figuratively) to my current one.
In three weeks I will be celebrating my one-year personal anniversary of being a Walt Disney World Cast Member. For seven months of an internship, I got to have the perfect role and location for me. For one month (give or take some days), after my internship, I was still able to pick up shifts and I milked it for all it was worth. Working in Adventureland at Pirates of the Caribbean was the best experience of my life. No, the ride isn’t perfect (as if any are), and the role itself dealt with a lot of unhappy guests for a variety of reasons. Despite the cons, the pros for me outweighed them by far.
I never had a day where I dreaded going to work. Out of the 175+ shifts I worked, I can remember ONE day that was awful. Now I can’t even remember why, I only remember that it was an off day for every single person I worked with. Something was in the water that day and we sat at Alehouse that night playing “A Happy And A Crappy” where we had to come up with our low points and find a high point for our weird day. That was one day out of so many good days. No matter how many downtimes we had, no matter how many people got mad at me about their Fastpasses, no matter how many times I had to go to Unload, I never cried because I was unhappy in my location.
Adventureland and Liberty Square is my home. As a CP, there were times where we felt like lower-class humans in the Wonderful World of Disney (now, as a Part Time employee I realize how much more priority CPs have over us at least as far as hours go), but I personally didn’t ever feel like I was treated badly in my area. I preferred the closing shifts, and had good relationships with most of the Full Time and Part Time cast, which not every CP can say. I didn’t personally have a problem with any of my leaders, and they didn’t seem to have any problems with me. If I had a question about something I didn’t understand or know the answer to, never ONCE did I feel stupid for asking. Everyone I worked with was always extremely helpful and never refused to answer or treated me with attitude when I asked. I wasn’t afraid to go to my coordinators or leaders for things.
Most of my jobs in the past have been merchandise related. I know how to run a register and give change and stock shelves. But Disney has certain ways of stocking to keep merchandise in the same displays. But did I go over this thoroughly in training? Nope. I had never worked in Attractions of any kind, and my training was extremely thorough. Kristina didn’t miss a single detail in our 5 days of training. There wasn’t a position we didn’t cover, and the things we couldn’t do in practice (Evacs, certain situations in Tower, etc), we took notes on so that when the situation arose, we would be prepared. By the end of training I felt confident in my job.
I have made friends in merchandise and I am so thankful for them. But, of course, they’re all CPs who are leaving in two weeks. I usually work closing shifts, so I haven’t been able to make friends with the morning cast, but those have been the ones who haven’t been as pleasant when I have had questions, so interacting with them in any way further than professional civility isn’t the first thing on my mind. After New Year’s, I will have Ryan and the very few non-CP cast who close with me to keep me sane until it’s time for Casting to call me. I’m trying, but I would just rather work stroller parking in Adventureland than feel like a stranger in a location I’ve worked in for 5 months.
I have many friends who would not agree with me on a lot of this. They had much different experiences in the same area. But I am only speaking from my own situation. This goes for how people feel about merchandise. Not everyone would agree with my feelings towards Big Top. I don’t want everyone to feel the same way I do. There needs to be people who are happy in Storybook Circus, just like I’m happy in Adventureland. There is too much magic at WDW to be miserable in your location when you know exactly where you are happiest. If only that was how it worked. Being unhappy in any job isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy, especially if they work in a place where it’s expected that you are smiling and pleasant all day. Faking a smile is obvious and it’s exhausting for an entire shift. At Pirates, I never had to fake my smile. It was genuine and it showed.
So many people keep asking me why I want to go back so badly. They want to know why I don’t expand my transfer options and go to other areas, which are equally awesome and I would do well and be happy. It’s because Pirates is home. I could list off why I hate Circus (ask me in person and I could), but I would rather list why I love Adventureland so much. I could talk about how I’ve had multiple circumstances in merchandise where a leader and/or coordinator has treated me like I’m unintelligent or has upset me in some way (it probably wasn’t their intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that it came across that way), or I could talk about how wonderful and supportive my coordinators at Pirates are. At the end of my college program when I wasn’t able to go seasonal at Pirates, I wasn’t ready to leave. That’s why I want to go back. I’m sure I would love working in Tomorrowland or Frontierland or somewhere in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But my time spent in Adventureland was not over yet and I didn’t get to accomplish the things I wanted to. Once I do that, maybe I’ll try other areas.
It isn’t fair for me to be unhappy at Circus when there are people who would love it. It’s not fair that people are unhappy in Adventureland when there are people who want to be there. There is a perfect role for everyone at Walt Disney World, and it’s unfortunate that we aren’t able to move around more quickly to find those roles. This isn’t just about me hating something, it’s that I know there are people who would love to be doing what I’m doing and can’t. There are people in my same position at Pirates, at Dumbo, at the Contemporary, and they can’t just get up and transfer to where they want. This waiting is the worst part. I don’t want to write this to complain. I’ve complained so much since August about this. That’s why I haven’t blogged about it, because it took this long to try and write out something about it. I just want to offer a small taste of why, for me, Adventureland was a better spot for me than Storybook Circus. Working at Disney is too important to me to not work my hardest to get back where I want to be.