by Brittany DiCologero and Emily Ramos
This Disney College Program role interview features Emily Ramos who worked in recreation at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts during the Fall 2014 program. Emily is a graduate of Wheelock College in Boston, MA where she majored in Elementary Education and Psychology.
Q: What made you want to do the Disney College Program?
A: I have always had a love for Disney and grew up going to the parks about every other year. When I was 16, I noticed that some Cast Members had colleges on their name tags instead of their hometowns. I asked one of them at Pop Century why their name tag had a college on it and they educated me on the program. Ever since then I knew it was something I had to do one day!
Q: What was your role and location? Was it your first choice? If not, what was?
A: My role was in recreation, specifically working the marina and gates at Yacht and Beach Club. Recreation was my first choice but I wanted to be in Children’s Activities not in the marina.
Q: What was your training like?
A: Gates training was very simple. I had one day of training where a trainer walked me to the four different gates locations and taught me how to scan magic bands and what to say to guest who tried to used the pool when not staying at Yacht and Beach. Since it was a 10 hour shift, the beginning of the day was me observing my trainer, and the end of my day was me actually scanning magic bands. Marina training was a little longer. I had two days of dock training which included learning how to tie the boats, how to operate the boats, and learning the safety spiel to tell guest.
I then had a day of cashier training and learned how to ring people up for each rental. At the end, I had my CAPA where a trainer watched me do everything to make sure I was ready to do my job alone. Later in my program, I also started helping out with the Pirate Cruises by playing the villain. This didn’t require any official training because you got the freedom to improv as long as it kept to the story line!
Q: What did you like most about your role?
A: I ended up really enjoying the marina! It was a very relaxed atmosphere where you could really get to know the cast members you worked with as well as spend time interacting to each guest who came to the dock. My absolute favorite thing to do though was to help on the Pirates Cruises as the Evil Stinky Feet.
Q: What did you like least?
A: My least favorite thing was gates shifts. Gates shifts were always 10 or 12 hour shifts that consisted of standing the entire time outside the pool and just scanning magic bands. There were very few times you could talk to other Cast Members as you were working alone at your stand.
Q: Would you recommend this role to a friend?
A: If you want a more relaxed role outside of the parks I would recommend this role. During my program, Yacht and Beach was the only resort with gates so most likely you would be working only the marina. I got deployed during my program to Wilderness Lodge marina and loved working just the marina for two weeks.
Q: What advice would you give to new CPs in this role?
A: Get good white shoes! I made the mistake of getting cheap walmart white shoes and not only did my feet hurt at the end of each shift, they fell apart very easily and were not worth the money.
Q: What have you been up to since your program ended?
A: Since my program, I did a Professional Internship at Animal Kingdom in Spring 2015. After that, I moved back to Massachusetts where I have been working as a 5th-grade teacher for the past two years. I will say every interview that I have gone on since my program, they have asked about working for Disney as it is something that makes my resume different from many other people.
You can follow Emily on Instagram at: Dancingly_Disney