Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Week in the Himalayas

The last week I've been waking up at some ridiculous time in the morning to head over to Animal Kingdom for training at Expedition Everest.

The first day was a bit "Aaaaaaaargh" because for the first time I got to do a ride at Disney with the lights on, got to see Betty the Yeti up close, walked all over the mountain and was trying to absorb a lot of information very quickly.

Occasionally I had to clear up some differences in wording of things. For example, Patrick (my trainer) kept saying stuff about trains being backed up and it took me a while to realise he wasn't talking about trains reversing but being stuck in a sort of traffic jam.

Over the first week I was taught how each position worked and where everything is in the mountain. On Monday, after 5 days of training, I had my assessment day which is apparently always done with a trainer that hasn't trained you. There was a written test, some oral questioning and then I had to show that I could perform each position correctly.

Attractions is completely different from Merchandise. Obviously, you're operating a ride so safety is more of an active concern but also the way you interact with guests is completely different. Very rarely am I able to wish people a happy birthday because most of the positions simply don't have time to do it or you have to be focussed on something else so can't do it.

One thing that I love about Everest is that you're only on each position for about 45 minutes with a break roughly every 2 hours and almost every position has you moving constantly so while I have suffered with blistered feet this week they're never suffering because I'm basically standing still for 3 hours which would happen in Merch. Some of the positions are pretty straightforward in a kind of "watch the train and hit a button" way while others can be a little more overwhelming at first because it feels like there's a lot you're trying to juggle at once. I've found that the key is sounding like you know what you're doing even if you're not 100% sure.

As for everything not work related....

Today lots of people had their social security appointments. Thankfully, I got to just sleep in instead because I'd already done that stuff before. I've been going to the parks a lot during downtime - either on days off or after work and then in the evenings we've mostly just been chilling in the apartment.

This week I've been to Earl of Sandwich twice which was obviously awesome! Those sandwiches taste soooooooo good!

Oh....and yesterday I found out my degree classification - 2:1 which caused me to burst into tears so I celebrated with a trip to the Magic Kingdom with Kirsty where I FINALLY went to Tom Sawyer Island. The place astounded me because there's so much detail there and some of the stuff was quite fun too, especially the barrel bridge and waving to people on Big Thunder Mountain and the paddleboat.

For those that are interested I have, in the last week, ridden Everest 10 times. It'll be interesting to see how many times it'll have been by the end of the summer.

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