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Questions & Answers About Working for Disneyland Paris [Part 1]

I've had quite a few questions via email, blog post comments etc about working for Disneyland Paris. Here you can find the answers to them. This page was last updated in April 2014.

1. I was wondering what areas you would recommend, I can't decide between working on the rides or in the shops. Do you know what people seemed to enjoy more from people you met doing various jobs?

Personally I have only worked on rides and only met one person who worked in a shop - the ToT shop. I think it really depends on your French. If it is not fluent or very close to fluent, they will not let you work on rides/attraction because of guest safety. There is no training in English either of course, all training is in French. I loved rides - even though you do a lot of saying the same thing "Bonjour. Vous etes combien?" and "Au revoir. Bonne journee!" and doing the same thing (opening restraint bars, opening and closing doors, pressing buttons) and you get breakdowns too which can be interesting, you can have loads of fun: talking to the kids, parents, joking about with them. It really is something where teamwork is 100% necessary so you'll really get to know the people you work with plus every 15-20 minutes you change role within the attraction and when you're changing roles there's always time for a few seconds of chat. This really is one job where you get what you put into it.

On shops I heard that it can be very quiet or very busy. You get the chance to talk to people probably more than on attractions but it is equally as repetitive - scanning and greeting people as well as arranging stock. It can be lonely if you get put on an outdoor merchandise cart but it can also be lonely inside on your own till - on the plus side you're always sure to have people from the shop with you on breaks and in less busy periods you get paid to simply talk to your co-workers next to you which will happen at certain times of day. Imagine shops far from Main Street practically empty for 30-45 minutes when the parade is on. Unless you're on a cart you're also guaranteed some shelter by being indoors plus comfortable temperatures which outdoor jobs do not offer.

Guest Flow seems like a very good job, although it is 10 hour days - you essentially have to keep guests behind the lines and get to watch the parade, help bring the characters out, take lots of photos of people, watch shows and control people doing shows and fireworks. If you LOVE talking to people this is the one for you as you'll get asked a million and one questions including "Where is the pink castle?" and "What time is the 5 o'clock parade?" and "Where are the rides?" but you will want to sit down at the end of the day after being on your feet for so long.

People in restaurants seem to have to hardest time, unless you get somewhere like the Wild West Show which seemed like loads of fun - but there is less of a level of French required for fast-food, servers/waiters need a good level of French and I assume previous experience too. Proprete (cleaning) do a lot of walking about but also always seem to be on their own breaks chatting away and you get a lot of interaction with guests, you end up being asked a million and one questions throughout the day. In properte it also seemed to me like management weren't so much on your back as with other roles. But for me personally picking up rubbish isn't the kind of experience I'd want to have at Disney, though I know people that has done this role that love it.

For me I'd choose something that you know you can't do anywhere else in the world: rides or Guest Flow.

2. What did you wear to the interview? Was it casual or smart? Or does it matter?
Everyone was very formally dressed to the interview, suits and all. I wore black shoes, sock and trousers with a blue checkered shirt with a tie and a red jumper on top. Now don't you all go copying me. For the ladies, it was either smart dresses or trousers, a blouse and blazer. Essentially if you've watched The Apprentice that is what the vast majority of the room looked like.
Don't make the mistake some people made of wearing jeans and a T-shirt, yes it's Disney... but it's a professional company where you will have to wear a uniform and appearance must be top notch for the Disney standards.

3. Is there such a thing as the Disney Look for Paris?
Well... yes and no. I read somewhere that it was eliminated in 1995 in Paris, but there is still a certain amount of expectation. Your costume must be 100% in order which is easy enough to do as it is cleaned for you, all you have to do is wear it correctly. Guys: shave every day, even though I did occasionally see some beards going on for a short period of time they are not officially allowed. Girls: little to no make-up. Hair colour doesn't really seem to matter, neither does hair styles as long as they aren't too extreme. As a guy, hair gel was fine and hair had to be short. Girls should have hair tied back so it does not obstruct your face.

4. Do you have to speak French to work there? Even characters?
Rides/Guest Flow = Strong French required (A-level 'B' or more)
Full Service Restaurants and Shops = Average French required (good grade at GCSE = 'A' or more)
Proprete = Some French required (GCSE pass grade)
Quick Service Restaurants = Minimal French required
Characters = Minimal French required

They do not ask for your grades, they will judge your French at interview by asking you questions - these are just my observations and what grade I think you'd need on a UK scale. These are by no means official but my estimates.

Characters will be asked to learn some phrases in French for when meeting kids if face characters, fur characters obviously need no French - a huge proportion of the character entertainment cast are British.

However, remember you are in France and not everyone speaks English: and why should they? It's their own country. You will need French in the supermarket, when you want to find somewhere/something, at the doctors, dentist, opticians, pharmacy, clothes shop, the bank, if you're looking for long term accommodation and for when you want to interact with people day to day, especially at work. After all what good is it going to France if you are just going to speak to the English people? You will learn a lot very, very quickly. I thought my French was at a good level and I still learnt loads of new words and phrases!

5. Do you want to work their full time, or would the novelty where off?
I'd like to do it for longer than I did so I could meet more people and do everything at a slower pace - not forever though, I think maybe 3 months maximum and then I'd want to try something else maybe within the company, maybe not. [2014 Update: I've now done a summer program at Walt Disney World for 9 weeks and loved it. I am going to start a permanent job at Disneyland Paris this summer with the aim of moving up the company so we'll see how it goes].

6. Do people work at night?
Yes but how late depends on what you do. 
Characters = After about 8.30PM most characters are done for the night, except if you are at Café Mickey at the village where characters are on till late 11PM+ some nights in peak season. There are a lot of early starts as a character though.
Rides = The earliest start time is 6:45am for Extra Magic Hours at 8AM and latest finish is generally 11:45pm when the park closes at 11pm. You work 8 hours per day (including breaks) during peak season and 10 hours per day during non-peak season.
Shops and Restaurants = It really depends where you work. The earliest start time could be as early as 5:30am or 6am if you're working a breakfast shift. For the shops the earliest start time is about 7am for Extra Magic Hours on Main Street shops or shops in a land which is open early. The latest finish can be anywhere up to about midnight for food locations and about 2am for shops.
Proprete = The Cast Members work mainly during park operating hours so 7:30AM earliest to 11:30PM latest I imagine.

These are all high season times, the parks can close at 6/7/8PM on non-peak seasons which of course means the chances of working at night are much lower. During non-peak seasons there are also days where there are no Extra Magic Hours meaning that some cast will get a lie-in on those days.

7. I thought, It would take you like 20mins to walk to the staff area? Doesn't that eat into the CM's lunch time!? Or are there staff areas all around?
You get about 10 minutes to walk to your lunch destination usually, but there are eating locations all around the parks in areas right next to where the guests are (but of course you'd never know it as a guest). Also there are buses backstage taking you around so it's not really a big problem as these are pretty frequent too every 5 minutes or so and can take you round the park in about 5 minutes. Places to eat are plentiful! Don't worry.

8. Do People get on? From everywhere within the park?
Yeah, you'll meet people from several different roles. However, as I was only there for a very short time I only met some character performers, lots of people from Fantasyland (attractions, propreté) and people from guest flow who were in my Traditions class.
I also met a few people who worked in the shops and the Wild West Show and hotels from the accommodation I live in and you meet new people every day. Where you work doesn't determine who you'll meet!

9. Do the two parks connect easily? 
Yes, the two parks are connected back to back - take a look at Google Maps and see the aerial view for a cool look at this.

10. Do the Parade characters just do two parades a day, and then go home? They have to have their make-up done everyday? Is it far to walk from the make-up area to the parade starting point? 
I'm not too sure on this one but I remember reading somewhere online that characters do about 4 hours of actual work per day (usually you do a 30 minute 'set' and then have 30 minutes off or something similar) but these are still regular 6-8 hour days. Remember that there are parades, shows, and meet and greets with characters, as well as daily rehearsals for those in shows and parades. You do your own make up for those whose face is on show. Those lucky enough to be in the parade get a parade bus to the start of the parade where the floats are waiting for you.

11. Who controls the Music around the park??
I couldn't tell you to be honest but I'm sure there's quite a few places scattered around and the Background Music for the parks is generally on all the time from the moment someone walks in to work at 6:30am to someone else clocking out at 2am. The ride attendants get to switch their own attraction's music on and off. For the parades there is a system which automatically locates the parades and floats and plays music according to their location so if there were an unexpected hiccup in the parade it wouldn't affect the music as it would simply loop.

12. I applied for the same job last week and I was just wondering how long it took them to call you for the interview? 
I actually got contacted the day after but that was because there was an interview within just a week. They say they will definitely get back to you within 3 weeks, even if the answer is no. The first time I waited almost 6 months for a reply then realised I hadn't actually submitted my application, just filled in the profile info! D'oh!

13. When I applied for the job I noticed the the job ad was posted in November 2011, do you think the positions have been filled and they forgot to take down the ad? 
They are constantly looking for people all the time so they just post an ad every once in a while and then wait. The list that follows is for operational roles and doesn't necessarily apply to performance roles. They ARE looking for people all the time:
January - End of Christmas Season.
February - Half term and French 2 weeks off for Ski season
March/April - Easter
May - Quiet month
JunE/July/August/September - Summer season
October - Halloween
November - Quiet month but Christmas Season starts
December - Christmas season, very busy from mid-December onwards.

14. I was just wondering, if the whole interview was in French and what sort of questions they asked you? I've got a skype interview so I'm guessing it will be slightly different to yours, but the questions will probably be similar! Thanks :)
I've got a post about that here.

15. I have an A in AS level french and A* at GCSE, it's been my dream to work at Disney but my parents don't want be doing it over going to university. Do they do summer contracts for just the months of July and August?
I wouldn't be able to tell you for definite as most summer contracts seem to be around 3 months long. However the only thing they do say is that for summer if you are going to be there in July and August you must be able to work every single day of those without holidays (obviously you get your usual 2 days off a week) - maybe an email to dlp.casting@disney.com might help?


15. Can you talk a little bit of the rooms? They got only the bed? Or they got wc, kitchen,etc? And about the net? How can we do to get it, any information to help?
[2014 update to this question] There is one accommodation called Les Pleaides (La Boiserie has closed down - some say it's for refurbishment, others say it is permanent) for Cast Members with a CDD. Each room is an open-plan studio flat for 2 people with two beds, one bedside table each, a table and some chairs, and a kitchenette. There is also one bathroom per flat. Pots, pans, plates, etc are provided. The rooms are very basic and there is no locker to keep your stuff in so you have to trust the other person with your belongings, such as a laptop, etc. During peak periods like Summer and Christmas there is also the possibility of being allocated to stay in a hotel apartment in the local area.

16. Any information about what not to forget? 
Money, passport, clothes, your disney documents folder (with medical records) and a smile. Next time I'll be taking a pillow too as the pillows were too big and fluffy so they hurt my neck but no-one else complained of this so was probably just me. Be aware you'll bring back more than you took. So maybe an extra bag or suitcase might be good too.

17. How did you manage your money? Is it really hard to stay alive just with DLRP's salary (I want to go for July, August, maybe September) or is it enough/more than enough (I don't want to go there just for money, but some extra cash after come back will be really nice :D); what are the prices of food, etc, etc?
[Updated with 2014 figures] Disneyland Paris' Salary is just above minimum wage about 1450 euros a month. Minus 23% of reign tax = about 1115e .The accommodation will cost you about 300e for a month which leave you with about 815ish euros. Take away the navigo travel pass and you're left with about 800 euros a month (after reimbursement), or about 200e a week. Even if you spend 50euros a week on food (meals are about 3.5-4 euros for a full meal including dessert and a bottle of water at work), you'll have about 150 euros a week for whatever you want (FYI: you are paid monthly not weekly). With most short-term contracts you also can't take holidays so you'll be paid those at the end of your contract with your travel as well. So with contracts under a month you'll need to pay for everything out of your own pocket and then get a big lump sum at the end, with other contracts remember you will need to fund yourself until you get your first payment.

If you are there long-term then you also have to take into account income tax which will be about 14% off your monthly salary, as well as the fact that long-term accommodation may be more expensive - don't count on saving more than 400-600 euros long-term, but then of course pay does go up every so slightly with experience and when you are there for a long period of time.

18. How did you find the whole atmosphere there?
Everyone is very friendly, you meet a lot of new people and you will tons of fun...but if you are expecting people who are Disney fans then you might be disappointed to hear this but many, many people see it as "just a job."

19. The idea of eating out everyday for 3 months of summer makes me worry about my health! are there any swimming pools or gyms nearby? 
You don't have to eat out everyday you are very welcome to cook in your kitchen but instant, tasty, cheap food backstage was perfect for me. There are also non fast-food options. I'm in quite good shape and lift weights and could definitely feel myself becoming unhealthy if I were there for too long but as I was only there for 2 weeks there was no point in investing in a gym.

There is a gym at Val d'Europe shopping centre which looks decent from the website.There is also an option called Club Dingo to cast members though the only info I can find for it is few and far between online - apparently it is 120 euros for 6 months or 180 euros for 12 months and it allows you to use the fitness suites in the Disney hotels. If you are planning on lifting weights I'm afraid there isn't much there for you to do but for cardio there is a decent amount. Apparently you sign up for it at the New York hotel and you may need a medical note to say you are in good shape. All the info I found is from here. [2014 update] Finally, I've also found a place called Fitness Park which I think I'll be using when I start in Summer 2014 as it looks like it has really good facilities.

Read part 2 of the Questions and Answers here. Part 3 is here.

Favourite moments of being a Cast Member at Disneyland Paris

There were a lot of highlights throughout the two-and-a-bit weeks. Here they are:
  • Traditions and touring the park
  • Getting my nametag!!
  • Noora shouting "Tu n'es pas Indiana Jones!" Although this is not a Disney character, it was so random and the parks are such a character-orienteed atmosphere that it really made me laugh at the time
  • Watching Fantillusion countless times - it never gets old - and dancing along with Eilidh once I knew the dances haha.
  • Our nightly BTM sessions for the first 5 days or so.
  • Space Mountain: Mission 2 - love it! Shame I only did it twice whilst there!
  • Singing just "Like We Dreamed It" at the end of the parade in Town Square and on Main Street with Eilidh - I'm sure this is THE stand-out moment I will never forget.
  • The snow on Main Street
  • Being backstage and seeing the logistics of everything - it's a whole different world back there!
  • Seeing the Eiffel tower for the first time.
  • "Nettoyage en course" toilet magic!
  • Those late nights in the kitchen with the crew - Francesca, Katy, Jamie, Alwyn, Stefano, including Francesca knocking to wake me up knowing full well I was asleep haha. Lots of conversations about our terrible English and about how me and Alwyn over-use the word "awkward." Awkward.
  • The staff on Casey/Story and Fantasyland in general were brilliant! Enchante as you say!
  • My birthday evening with Lisette, Marine and Eilidh when we went on the rides and my birthday party afterwards including Fran's awesome cake.
  • Dumbo in the rain! With no queue!
  • Andrew's "C'est, like, 12 euros" scouse story. Possibly the funniest thing ever!
  • Andrew crapping himself when we were almost ran over by Fantillusion that night.
  • La Boisserie party - despite the ending.... the party itself was brilliant
  • The questions from guests - Everything from: "Ou est le McDo?" to "Ou est la Sortie?" and even "Qu'est-ce que c'est Disneyland et qu'est ce qu'il y a pour faire ici?"
  • Seeing other Cast Members I know - whether it be when Eilidh and Andrew or when Jamie and his family came to my ride or when I'm in the park as a guest and get to talk to people like Marie on Pinocchio or Alison at Colonel Haiti's - it's always fun to see people you know.
Not strictly a favourite moment but thanks to everyone who's been reading the blog - in fact I've had over 3000 views on the Disney articles alone over the past two weeks. Hope you enjoyed them!

What could Disneyland Paris improve for cast members?


Now looking back retrospectively I thought I should post what Disney could do to improve the experience for the Cast Members in Paris, as well as posting what my favourite moments were in a different post.
  • More variety of food in the cantine - chips and pizza and burgers get a bit old after a while. I know there's some traditional French dishes but how about spaghetti bolognese/meatballs/other dishes from around the world too? Eilidh said there was nothing Veggie except chips which is a shame.
  • Buses for CMs - don't make us use public transport, it is horribly packed and you have to refund 75% of it anyway. The midnight onwards buses are a joke - particularly on New Year's Day after the fireworks when you're trying to cram in over 2000 cast members from residences and their friends onto two buses!
  • The quality of accommodation was fine but I at least expected a mop, a kettle, a microwave and a toaster - surely not too much to ask? Ali suggests accommodation should be free as we have to work for Disney anyway.
  • Free RELIABLE wifi please in accommodation [Also Ali's suggestion, I defo agree]
  • Individual rooms at a premium, a lot of people would pay (including me) to get their own room instead of sharing
  • Let me keep my name tag - be consistant throughout the resort! It's unfair that some kept it and some didn't [read: I DIDN'T!]
  • Bigger discount for cast members for onstage/in park/village food - you're allowed to go backstage and get some from the cafes so why not just offer it directly in the park and maybe we'll buy more (50% off would be great).
  • Remove restrictions about CMs entering before 2pm everyone goes through backstage anyway - let us swipe to get into the park without this stupid getting a ticket from guest relations malarkey
  • Everyone should get traditions and orientation including watching shows and doing a few rides - it would solve the fundamental problem of people not knowing what/where things are or basics about the company that they should know and stops CMs having to pass on basic information. Or give us a welcome pack just in case with all these details on?
  • Very specific to me but ---> More briochee dorees or a canteen near the fantasyland area there's nothing to eat there without walking through to main street or getting a bus to imaginations
  • Permanent building structures backstage - they all look like portacabins - is this in case Disney want to expand the parks later on?
  • New costumes/Wider range - Francesca suggested have costumes in more sizes and fits - eg. at the WWS the same jeans are for both men and women and as she said "Well I'm sorry but girls and boys don't fit into the same jeans."

Not for me but for the guests: Do not let guests go out through the backstages after the fireworks it ruins the experience of the magic. Anyway you send them back on stage onto Town Square anyway so all it does is divert the problem not solve it.
1

Working at Disneyland Paris - Blog Index

Hi, I'm Gio!

Over Christmas in 2011 I ventured on a journey to work at Europe's most visited tourist destination - Disneyland Paris. Follow my journey through my blog posts below. So far my "Working at Disneyland Paris" blog posts alone have been read over 32,000 times (as of 24th September 2013). Thank you!

1. Disneyland Paris Interview Questions, the process, details and more - my experience






2. Working at Disneyland Paris - The Contract (4 weeks to go)








3. The Road to Disneyland Paris: Less than 2 weeks to go









4. Working at Disneyland - Day 1 - Arrival - 16th December 2011











5. Working at Disneyland - Day 2 - Traditions and Orientation - 17th December 2011








6. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 3 - Training - 18th December 2011



7. Working at Disneyland - Day 4 - Training: Day 2









8. Working at Disneyland - Day 5 - Last Day of training & Test









9. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 6 - Paris, Paris, Paris!











10. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 7 (22 Dec) - Alone...









11. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 8 (23 Dec) - Il y a personne!








12. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 8 (23rd Dec) - It's raining, it's pouring.








13. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 9 (24th Dec) - Jour off









14. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 10 (25th Dec) - It's CHRISTMAS!








15. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 11 (26th Dec)









16. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 12 (27th Dec) - Not my day...








17. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 13 (Dec 28th) - Just another day, just another VIP...










18. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 14 (29th Dec) - Paris with the fam











19. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 15 (30th Dec) - Guess who's 19 today?








20. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 16 (31st Dec) - The last day of 2011








21. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 17 (1st Jan) - An emotional final day of work!








22. Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 18 (Jan 2nd) - Leaving... but not before a last visit to the park










23. What could Disneyland Paris improve for cast members?









24. Favourite moments of being a Cast Member at Disneyland Paris









25. Questions & Answers About Working for Disneyland Paris









26. Questions and Answers about Working for Disneyland Paris [Part 2]

That's the end of my Disneyland Paris adventure. But...did you know that I have also worked at Walt Disney World too? Follow my adventure here.

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 18 (Jan 2nd) - Leaving... but not before a last visit to the park

So today was my last day. I woke up after a reasonable lie-in until 10am or something. Then, got ready and went to reception to get a mop as we had to clean the apartment as it was a disgraceful. There were none. They said I should have thought about it earlier. Well tough because you can't really clean much of the floor without a mop. I did my best without that and cleaned my room and the bathroom and kitchen. With the help of Francesca too. Thank you!!

The me and Jamie went backstage. However technically I was no longer a cast member and my contract had finished. I explained this at the entrance booth saying I needed to go to "service paie" to fill in my navigo reimbursement forms. The guard said ok but be quick.

Yes! I was in. And it was easy! I went to fill in the forms and posted them through the box. Then I went to have breakfast and bought a croissant and a sandwich for the Eurostar journey as they were much cheaper here than on the train.

Jamie hadn't managed to go to the discounted cast member shop and I fancied going to buy something small. In the end the something small turned out to be a Pixar ornament with the luxo jr lamp, finding nemo, the incredible and many more characters. But there was a gaping hole where one of the characters was missing. For this it was reduced from €75 to €20. I then got another 5 euros off for some reason which I didn't argue with, so 15 euros total - to cover up the hole I've just put a vinylmation on top and it looks great at a 60 euro discount! Now I had to carry this around all day :/  I felt like I was being watched at this point as I had said that I was only going to pop in for two minutes.

We arrived back at Imaginations and walked over to Disneyland Park and walked to near the Haunted Mansion (it's sooo quick through backstage!) Lots of characters were going out ahead of us so we had to use the opportunity and both me and Jamie got a photo with Dale from Chip and Dale as you can see on the left. There were a few other characters there too including Goofy and Chip, maybe a few more. My first character pic, aren't they so cute! Glad to have got one before I left despite being there for over two weeks! Shame Mickey was always working when I was too...

That was it though...me and Jamie were going to meet with the others for lunch at 13h45. We walked down Main Street possibly for the last time in a very long time, walked through a few shops I'd never noticed - such as Main Street Motors and the one by the pushchair rentals on the left when leaving the park. We walked under the train station looked back seeing the Magical Moments sign for the first time this trip (we never go in the park through here) and out we went!

We went over to the Disney Village and of course my bags were checked by security as I didn't have my Cast Member ID to let me through quickly. We met up with Francesca and Katy and we were meant to go to Billy Bobs but it was closed so we opted for Earl of Sandwich instead and used Jamie's CM discount of 25% so I got a sandwich and dessert for around 7 euros which wasn't too bad. After that we went and took loads of photos together in front of the Panoramagique balloon as some last minute memories.

Then considering all the others worked at Buffalo Bill's I saw backstage on both sides of Disney Village including at the Wild West Show which was an interesting experience seeing it all empty like that. The horses stables reeked of course.

Me and Francesca then went back to the house as she said that she wouldn't be missing any of Disney. Back at the flat we did some last minute cleaning and I ran to reception to meet Eilidh and found about 5 girls and about 20 suitcases waiting for me. I felt guilty now. I gave in my key and the bedding and they said they didn't need to inspect the apartment. Waste of time cleaning it then!! Almost made me late as well for my train.

I grabbed my bags and I told the girls to go for the bus and get it even if I wasn't there, while I did last minute reception-y things. I ran to the bus stop and saw that it was just leaving so I assumed they had got on.

But no. Alison had asked them to wait, so Rosie, Alison and Eilidh were waiting for me and the others at reception weren't going just yet. We got the bus at 17:04...bear in mind our Eurostar was at 18:02 so we were cutting it short. We got to the station and the queue was huge...next time we're doing the secret lift trick to skip some of it. Once checked in, we went through security and got on the train with a whole 18 minutes left to spare. We got settled and ALison was in the same carriage.

I was meant to write my 3000 word essay [I wrote 500] but obviously procrastination got the better of me as I decided to talk to the girl next to me so I met another Alison though who I will never refer to as Alison Chang or AC for short. I asked her if she worked at DLP and turns out she had - at The Tower of Terror shop which sounded like fun. In the summer she worked at Harrods in London which was cool too. Turned out she already knew Eilidh which was a strange coincidence. At least I'm even more sociable now I guess...yay! [Silver lining and all that]

Me, Eilidh and AC went to the buffet car and I got a tropicana and had my sandwich I'd bought earlier. 2h40m went by so quickly when you're chatting away. Me and the new Alison swapped Facebooks.

At St. Pancras we regrouped and went through Immigration/ Passport Control, the man asked if we had worked at DLP, me and Eilidh said yes. He said "I bet it was hell on Earth!" Eilidh says "Yes!, I say "Not really!" Hmm turns out she didn't have as good a time as I thought she was having.

I said bye to Eilidh and Alison Chang at the doors of the Eurostar and me and Ali (original) walked to the tube. I said bye at the barriers as we were going in separate directions...it's so strange because I'm likely to never see any of these people again and yet I feel we bonded so quickly and so well.

I'd love to meet all these wonderful people again one day and hopefully I will as I have such good memories that it's making me emotional just thinking about them. Now, it's back to real life. It really has been SO MUCH FUN. And I'd love to do it again. In fact I've already asked for details on how to go back. I really hope you've enjoyed reading the blog as much as I've genuinely loved writing it! If you have any questions post them below and I'll do my best to answer them on this page.

To see what I think Disney could improve for cast members click here...to read about my favourite moments click here.

So for now I'll leave you with this image and...À toute à l'heure!





Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 17 (1st Jan) - An emotional final day of work!

Well, if you read my blog post from yesterday you will remember me saying I had set an alarm for work. Or so I thought. In fact I either didn't OR slept straight through it but considering my roommate wasn't woken up by it, it looks like I forgot.

So I was meant to be up at 6h40 to be ready to start work at 8h30. Unfortunately for me, I woke up looked at my phone and it was 13h14, I didn't believe this so checked my watch and other phone and they all said that it was past 13h00. Way to make a last minute impression, eh?

Mortified by the idea that I was already 5 hours late into my last ever shift (thankfully 10 hours and not 8), I called the team leader's mobile - with the 60 cents of credit I had left. And said that "Bonjour c'est moi. Je suis tres tres tres tres tres desole, je n'ai pas entendu mon alarme. Donc, qu'est-ce-que je fais?" The team leader was surprisingly very understanding and said something in french which I didn't quite get, to which I said "d'accord" and she said "a toute!" Surely that meant I had to come in? I called to confirm what was said and to ask what to do as it's my last day as well, she said to be in asap and ready to work. I said that I'd be there at 14h30.

After a mad rush, I finally clocked in at 14h27, found a team leader who also didn't shout at me and went on my way to work. People were surprised to see me, as I assume they thought I wouldn't have woken up. TBH, they found it just as hilarious as I did. But I was suffering from utter exhaustion (Read: first ever hangover) despite having slept a decent amount of hours. [Side note: Never drinking alcohol again]

I only did about 30-40 minutes of work then was sent for lunch and when I got back I was told that I didn't have a right to lunch as I worked for less than 6 hours but I needed something to eat and it really did help get through the day. I saw Paul from the party last night at Small World after lunch, he said work called him at 11 to be in if he could. It's hilarious that he made it in and I didn't!

The next two hours were work then the attraction closed, we did the closing of it which involved me standing by the rope at the entrance of the mini-land saying "C'est ferme" "We're closed" "Encerrado" etc for about 45 mins and being asked "Why?" - a question I'd love to know the answer to too. I assume it's because with the cameras we see nothing at night, I said to the guests "it's the way it has always been but we'll be open tomorrow at 10am and the rest of the park is open until 11pm and then after the fireworks till 1am." I saw Paul again and wanted to say "Bye" as I don't think he realised it was the last time I'd see him! Oh well...until next time I work there.

After the final guests were let out I had about 20 minutes of sitting around in the break room talking to people. I went to sign out of work at 18h10 as planned and then went next door to admin to get my paperwork done - an envelope where half of my ID was cut up into which I get is fair enough.

But then came the bit that really really hurt me - my nametag. One of the team leaders said that she never lets ANYONE keep them and therefore I had to give it in. To add insult to injury I went back to my locker after being changed to get it as I thought I couldn't possibly forget it after being so late for work. Next time I know, leave it at home!!

The worst part was seeing my nametag being throw into a draw with hundreds of others, as if it were nothing. It really hurt me as it was the one thing I really wanted to be able to keep and make a collection of them. But she seemed pretty adamant on keeping them and judging by the pile asking wouldn't have done too much [I regretted not asking for the nametag immediately]. I guess it gives me a reason to go back as my 20th Anniversary one will be forgotten at home on my last day. Quel Dommage.

Half my ID was handed back on my lanyard and I kept UK pin in my pocket. I bid my farewells to the team and it was off to the bus stop and home. I savoured what could have been my last ever bus ride on the Pluto Rapid to Imaginations. I also realised that by now I'd lost that other half of my ID and the UK pin, but had kept the envelope with the important half.

I went to costuming, got changed and emptied my locker. Handed in my shoes. Got my envelope stamped, put it into the mailbox and left. As I walked out of backstage through the turnstiles to the real world I had a tear in my eye, and even now thinking about it I still do. I loved the experience so much, it was a shame it was tarnished by not being able to keep my name tag. I walked through the exit reading the sign to cast members saying "Au revoir et À bientôt." Never had a phrase seemed more appropriate in my life.

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It's not the end though. There's more to come in my blog post of my Final day!

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 16 (31st Dec) - The last day of 2011

Today's was a very exciting today as it was the first time I ever got to see Fireworks in a Disney park, admittedly I wasn't expecting Wishes such as in WDW, so I lowered my expectations to make sure I wasn't disappointed. Nevertheless, I was still hugely excited!

It was not just me who was excited for New Year's clearly, as in briefing we learned that the estimated number of people was 47,000 in Disneyland Park and 20,000 in WDS. [The day after they told us we had actually reached over 53,500 in Disneyland Park alone.]

Today due to all the number of visitors, I got to practise (Read: learn) several languages with guests: English, French, Portuguese (3 languages I can actually speak), along with German, Spanish and Italian (languages I only really know the very basics of - time to get Rosetta Stone and learn them) were all spoken. It's incredible how many languages the permanent Cast Members know...all of the above really to a reasonable level, plus some known Norwegian and Mandarin too.

I did the walking tour of Casey Jnr today to check there was nothing on the track or anything that could impede the correct working of the ride. I spoke A LOT of French today, lots and lots of directions, etc. which was a good test of my conversational French. Also while grouping people I'd try and has a little chat about how their day has been so far which is always nice to hear. I was saying to one family that some people will do a full day from 8AM today until 1AM tomorrow with their kids without a break back at their hotel and they said that they wouldn't be able to do that as the kids (and they themselves too) would just be exhausted - I completely agreed.

Although the park as open until 1AM Fantasyland closed at 23H as the final fireworks were being set up and checked, one of the Cast Members told me that if you're in Fantasyland when they are firing the fireworks it's like being in the middle of a war which made me chuckle. "J'imagine"

I went home at 18H30 to do some washing and slept for an hour or two as well. At 10PM me and Eilidh met and went over to the parks. Technically today is a blockout date so no-ones allowed in the parks if you're a CM...at least not through the turnstiles, go backstage and no-one knows, to be honest no-one cares either.

Me and Eilidh went over to the Studios and went on Rock n Rollercoaster after spending and 15 minutes at the Dance Party which was pretty fun. The queue for RnR was only about 15 minutes if I remember correctly so that was pretty good, the ride was great as usual - no front seat this time but it's the same ride anyway.

Then we went to say bye to my parents and then it was back to Imaginations to eat and meet Andrew, we also met Alison, Holly and a few others there. We went through backstage to the end of Main Street by the stage and arrived at 23:51 I kind of felt bad for the guests that had waited for hours to get a good place but our place wasn't too bad but far from perfect as there was a speak in front of a quarter of the castle but at least we got to see the Castle. Take a look:



The fireworks I thought were a bit short but much better than I expected for Paris. I really enjoyed them. You could however hear the Studios ones in the background and they seemed longer and more exciting. The Disney Village also had them and from what my parents said and I've seen online they were timed to music but not Disney music like they were in the main park.

Then it was off to the Village and the sports bar. I got the 1:20am bus in the hope of going to sleep as I had to be up at 6:40am that day.

At La Boisserie my work mates were mostly all there for a party which I was invited as I signed someone in to the residence (oh how nice of them) - I didn't mind to be honest. I was expecting it to be strange with lots of French music but it was fine only bit hits and some nice flashing lights. I got hit on by two gay guys which was an interesting experience. I had fun talking to everyone though - I met two Mickey/Minnies there as well as people from all over the parks. It was probably the best party I've ever been too so the French know how to party for sure!!

There was a lot of alcohol and to shorten a very long story I don't remember going home at all but I know it was after 5am as people were saying I should leave to go to work the next day [I don't even remember saying bye to anyone or leaving the party]. I swear I had set an alarm for that morning, but as you will read in the next post, apparently not...Oops.

Read Day 17.

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 15 (30th Dec) - Guess who's 19 today?

So I woke up and got up at 9.30am - yet another lie-in. I opened up my birthday cards and offered the money I got to my family if they wanted to go into the parks today. They didn't want to which was fine with me. I had to delay, and then cancel, my morning with Andrew in the parks as lunch took a while to be ready and then we sat round singing Happy Birthday and eating the lovely chocolate cake we'd bought.

I went to get a suitcase of luggage from my room at La Boisserie and gave that to my parents in the hope that everything left would now easily fit in my suitcase when I leave, we'll see about that...

Next I went to meet Eilidh and we went to watch Once Upon a Dream after getting a Space Mountain Fastpass. After the parade I realised I'd forgotten to text Lisette and Marine, my two workmates, whom I was meant to meet at 17H00 at Imagination. I texted them to say I'd meet them outside ToT with Eilidh at 17H45.

We all went over to RnRollercoaster and the queue was quite long but the girls had found out that as Cast Members if we ask very nicely and show our IDs they will let us through the fastpass entrance on most attractions! The ride was brilliant and it had music this time - I actually cried on this rollercoaster because Lisette was already screaming before it even started and screamed all the way round. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. We got the front two rows and Lisette went for the second with Eilidh, so me and Marine got the front row - I've been on it three times and twice in the front room. Brilliant on a launch coaster!

As it was so so hilarious I had to get the photo which is a brilliant memory - once again 11.25 euros with Cast Member discount instead of 15 euros.

Me and Lisette decided not to do the Tower of Terror and instead we went on the very adventurous Tapis Volants [see hadn't been on this one in 8 years that's my excuse], it was raining cats and dogs so that was one fun ride! After we were thoroughly soaked we looked around for other things to do and there weren't really many things to do that Lisette wanted to do or weren't closed or going to keep us from being completely soaked in the Studios. Just noticed how few attractions there are there.

We went to the Monster's Inc corner and I got a photo with Mike next. We went through the shop(s) in Studio 1 and then met the two others and went to Imaginations. Lisette then left as she had to be up early tomorrow. We exchanged Twitters and Facebooks before Lisette left.

Me, Eilidh and Marine went onto Space Mountain (woop! 2nd time this trip) which was brilliant as usual. Then we went and watched Fantillusion and the music cut out about 10 seconds in :OOOO Bad show! Then when the floats came the music became fine: me and Eilidh of course had lots of fun waving at the characters and doing the characters' dance along with the music - the whole 3 steps of it haha.

After that we used the Fastpass trick to get onto Peter Pan after asking very nicely. Thanks guy in the green costume, Dorianne was on greeter so we were very quickly loaded as she is brilliant at getting people on quickly.

After that it was a quick trip on Dumbo which had a lot more lateral G-Force than I thought it did, but I think I'd never done it before so that's another ride ticked off. After that it was Lancelot's Carousel which was fun as I hadn't been a Carousel since I first went to Disneyland back in 2003. Then we walked out of the park through Imaginations and I said "a demain" to Marine.

Had my birthday party tonight which was loads of fun. Technically, it actually started the day after as it was after midnight before else everyone got back.  Francesca made me a nice cake and surprised me with it when I totally wasn't expecting it! Loads of fun was had sitting around chatting, listening to music and drinking, but the room is such a disgrace now haha. Oh well. Work tomorrow!

Read Day 16.

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 14 (29th Dec) - Paris with the fam

So finally a day off again!

Slept over at my parent's tonight so we all got up around 9.30ish, had breakfast and then went off to Paris - 56 euros for a day pass for 4 people is pretty expensive! We saw the Arc de Triomphe, walked down the Champs Elysee and went to M&S there to get a sandwich for me. Then we got a bus to a palace which I forget the name of. We walked around there, saw the Pantheon, saw Saint Sulpice which had a nice holy water fountain with an octopus on it, and there was a nice little nativity set too. We had a coffee in the evening and we had lunch in a small little restaurant too. Parisian food can be expensive that's for sure.

Back home, mum was discussing how she wants to go to Disneyland tomorrow but doesn't want to pay the outrageous price which is over 200 euros on the door for all 3 of them, even with my staff discount it would be about 185 euros. I can tell she really really wants to go and was trying to convince me to pay for them to go, but only she is really keen out of the three others in my family. She also says they probably won't come back for another 10 years which sounds about right for them [maybe we could go to Orlando instead *hint hint*]. I don't see myself coming back as a visitor for at least another 5 years unless the 20th anniversary is incredible and I don't work there for it.

Defo need to do more rides [only done Space Mountain once in 2 weeks :O] as I'll be going with people from work to the parks tomorrow to celebrate my birthday!

Read day 15.

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 13 (Dec 28th) - Just another day, just another VIP...


Today I got to do my first tour de show of Casey Junior! Woop woop! Loved it singing along "Casey Junior's coming down the track (8)" and actually getting to ride the ride I was working on - it's faster than I anticipated, 18km/h to be exact.

Both rides were 101 at one point today too which meant that the little Casey/Storybook miniland was essentially empty but some characters came out anyway to keep guests occupied.

We had 12 VIPs in one big group today on Casey, I heard they were somehow related to/were Spanish royalty... VIPs are always accompanied by a very smartly-dressed Cast Member around the park.

One thing that truly makes me laugh is that in France they use the word "un truc" [a "thing"] in conversations - so they can actually have a whole conversation going:
"Oui! Le truc c'est ca"
"D'accord parce que le truc avec le truc c'est que..."

The cantine food is very cheap and very tasty but I've been going for fries every single day except once which means I'm sure my health is suffering...as shown by my skin too. There is pasta, but not every day and there is rice most of the time but I'm honestly not a huge fan of rice. I've noticed a lot of people use the microwaves to heat up food brought from home. Another interesting thing as that the dishes have french names with no translation which is interesting: how was I meant to know that a hamburger was reffered to as "un steak hache" or "un steak" and that I like it "a point" or "bien cuit"? This makes it hard for me to know what I'm eating...so the chocolate and vanilla ice-cream the other day actually turned out to be cheese and a syrup of some sort *pukes*.

I'm sure my fingers now have reduced circulation after all of those mornings touching the freezing cold boats over at Story - we have gloves but they are fingerless and the sous-gants have run out. We are, however, being constantly offered chauffe-mains and chauffe-pieds but fingered gloves/sous gants would have worked too!

Side note: I'm not actually miserable and constantly complaining on my blog as someone accused me of...I do post positive stuff and lots of fun stuff on here too! I'm loving this quick 2-and-a-half-week job!

There's only 4 days left here till the whole experience is over...I'm glad to only have 2 days of work left, the next 2 days are days off (incl my birthday), then two days of work and then I leave on the fifth day. It's really sad that this experience is coming to an end so quickly.

Read Day 14.

Working at Disneyland Paris - Day 12 (27th Dec) - Not my day...

Today was just not my day, there weren't that many things that went majorly wrong but all together it made for a really crappy day. First of all it was very, very cold. So cold that I had to put on chauffe-mains and chauffe-pieds to keep both my hands and feet alive and warm. Then I almost missed my bus, then I forgot my ID so had to get in through the booth which wasn't too bad but annoying - no ID meant no money on the card so I had to withdraw cash and pay with that.

Then I forgot my pen in my locker which meant asking people for a pen every time I go to work at dispatch which is very annoying for both the other people and myself. I was denied the tour de show of Casey and had to stay in the dispatch booth instead to set up the ride which is annoying as I still haven't been on this ride which I am supposedly meant to know...one of the Cast Members said to me "It's just a train with some music" So? That sounds great!

Then during my break I dropped one of my gloves in the loo so it was all wet, thankfully the water was clean, after that at lunch I lost one of my gloves - but not the wet one... I went and lost the dry one -_-. We had two 101s today: one just 2 minutes after opening which I wasn't there for the other when I was on unload so I had to keep people behind the line as other CMs reassured guests on the other train and evacuated them to the station. I had to apologise to the guests for them being sat in the cold for so long. They were understanding, but obviously not pleased.

 Storybook was down almost all day too, at first intermittently but then all day continuously which then warrants the fun job of telling guests it's closed because of "technical problems" and we don't know when it will be open again. After work the bus stayed at the bus stop in Chessy for absolutely ages and it was freezing as the doors were open!

 The night was much better - I spent the night on my bed with Francesca and Katy [not what it sounds], Jamie was there too - we chatted for hours on end, played some music and then went to sleep at 2:30am. A nice end to a crappy day at work.

Read Day 13.

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