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Old 04-15-2009, 04:33 PM   #256
zulemara
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I always like to focus on "how things work" at WDW. Everything we do is done on a grand scale, so here are some tid bits, which can help you understand why things don't always go according to plan. These are based on WDW transportation:

1. The buses do not simply shuttle point A to point B. A bus will pick up guests at PoP century and take them to DHS. While approaching DHS, the bus driver contacts dispatch and dispatch advises what the next destination will be. Therefore, the bus carrying pop century guests might pull into the POR slot at DHS and pick up guests there. Although it looks like everyone on that bus came from POR, they in fact came from POP Century.

Part of this system is computerized. Of course we all LOVE computers because they are never wrong and never cause a problem right? So when a computer messes up or a dispatcher doesn't have their head on straight, you end up waiting 40 minutes for a bus. It could also be that a bus has multiple stops scheduled and fills up on the first stop. Therefore another bus has to be dispatched to stop number 2, causing yet another delay.

I'll be completely honest, I HATE the buses. I have had quite a few bad experiences as a guest when using them and it's because of those experiences that I talked to a bus driver at work one day and asked about this.

2. All the boats operate on a shuttle cycle. If a boat is tied up and secured at a dock, but the gate/rope is closed, you're not getting on that boat, so don't waste energy running towards it.

3. This is a universal tip to anyone visiting WDW. Although you might think you're the center of the world, you're not. Waiting for 1 more person, can mean ticking off the other people on the boat or even worse, 120 people waiting on the dock at our destination(this can apply to rides, shows, etc). So even though you want us to wait for you, don't take it personally if we don't. Once we set in motion the "casting off" procedure, we are not going to stop it.

4. opening a gate on your own, jumping a gate, or ducking ropes are the quickest way to make sure you don't get on the next boat. I am not kidding, if I see another kid jump a closed gate thinking he will get on my boat, I will sssooo make him go to the back of the line.

I don't mean for this to be a negative post, but I want to stress that Disney transportation is MASS TRANSPORTATION! It's not quick, it will never be quick, so get over it. If you want to watch the fireworks, then don't be on the dock at 8:00 waiting for a boat and complain about it when you can't watch them. If you have a hoop de doo reservation at 9:30 don't be on the dock at 9:15 at MK and expect to get there on time and be mad when it takes longer.

There are multiple operational hazards we go through every night. That wonderful electrical water pageant effectively stops all water traffic from 9:25-9:32ish and from 10:15-10:20ish because it goes through the water bridge during that time. We can't dock when it's performing, we can't leave when it's performing, and we can't be within 150 ft of it at anytime.

When ferryboats come through the water bridge from dry dock, we have to wait. If the ferry is by the contemporary, it issues an all call to hold traffic. We then have to sit while it gets all the way through the bridge before proceeding.

When the water level is low(like it is now) we have 3 routes operating off 2 docks. That means someone is gonna be waiting for an open dock, which throws off our cycles.

These are all things we deal with on a consistent basis and I know every other aspect of WDW has the same issues to put up with. They are things that are 99% out of our control. Yet we do our best to be as efficient as possible. For me, understanding why things happen helps me calm down when I'm upset. That's the reason why, when I know a delay has been very long, as the captain I will get on the mic and offer any guest the opportunity to talk with me about the delay. Not everyone does this and in fact I might be the only one, but I strongly believe that education yields understanding.

Now, what can you do to help your expectations? Be nice to the CMs who are transporting you. I have seen this theme multiple times in this thread and it really is true.


So be nice to CMs, and be patient!!! I have had many guests be friendly to me and it really really helps my day. So to all of you who have done that, I sincerely say thank you. Sometimes it's that funny little comment about the "cows in the pen" at the ferryboat that can cheer me up and make me laugh. That's infectious and effects the rest of my day!
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:40 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by zulemara View Post
This is a universal tip to anyone visiting WDW. Although you might think you're the center of the world, you're not. Waiting for 1 more person, can mean ticking off the other people on the boat or even worse, 120 people waiting on the dock at our destination(this can apply to rides, shows, etc). So even though you want us to wait for you, don't take it personally if we don't. Once we set in motion the "casting off" procedure, we are not going to stop it.
Or as I was told early on in my Disney career: Guests wait for rides. Rides don't wait for guests.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:44 PM   #258
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WOW zulemara. I was impressed by your post. Keep up the good work
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:53 PM   #259
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WOW zulemara. I was impressed by your post. Keep up the good work
well I'm glad you liked it. I really didn't want it to come across as negative so hopefully it didn't. I just see so many people who poorly plan and then get upset because it doesn't go their way. It's perfectly ok to not plan your trip, but you still have to plan if you're going to use transportation.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:59 PM   #260
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I might be wrong, but I think it means it's their lunch break (or other break). I only say this because I was chatting with a CM once and another CM handed him a small, white piece of paper. He told me that he was now on his lunch break and proceeded to escort DH and I to the front of the POTC line because I had taken the time to chat with him about photography (when other guests he'd tried to chat with had just walked away).

So, while I'm not a CM, I'd definitely say to take the time to be nice to CMs. They are people too. They are interested in you. It won't hurt you to take a few minutes to be kind and polite to someone. I certainly didn't expect anything in return--just took the time to talk to him. It was enough for me to get to meet someone new. And the front row seat (and skipping the line) on POTC was just a bonus.

Yep, your're right on those small pieces of paper. When a cast member clocks in, the computer will print a small piece of paper. It will say something like, "Suzie Q. is scheduled for a break, please go to register 12 to take over".Sometimes it will say it is time for someone to go home, or your taking over that posistion, so they can take over another position. The little while slip basically tells the CM who is clocking in where to go, and the CM who they are releaving where to go.
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:18 PM   #261
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I totally agree with the tips about being nice to the CM's. Although once in a blue moon you meet one who may be having a bad day or is really rude, I have found this is be the exception. Over the years during my many trips, I have gotten to know several CM's. These are some of nicest people you ever want to meet.

I have experienced giving and being given FP's by both guests and CM's. Just for being nice, and sometimes just because. It definitely enhances my trips by being nice, and makes it more enjoyable.

I am not usually a big WDW bus fan. However, during less busy times I do use it. Once while at AK, I inadvertently (duh) got on the wrong bus. I was actually going to MK, but ended up going to WL. I was the last one to get off. When I told the bus driver what I did, he laughed and said, "sit down, we're on our way to MK. He did not have to do this, but I was so grateful and said thank you a few times. On the way, we were talking, and discovered he retired from where I work now. Also, he knew several members of my family. We also talked about our mutual love of Disney. When I got off the bus, he gave me two (2) CM pins, and told me to tell my Uncle hello. Gotta love Disney!!

Being nice, it does work!
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:00 PM   #262
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OT - do you like Moxie? my dad was the only person on the planet that i knew who actually liked the stuff.
My father likes it too. In a town nearby they have a Moxie festival every summer.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:07 PM   #263
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I had the best WDW bus driver in January, my DD got extremely sick, we had to leave MK suddenly and get back to the resort. There was a bus at our # but apparently that driver was getting off for a break or the day. The guy with the walkie talkie asked where we were going, went over and spoke to this driver he looked at DD and said hop on and took us back to our resort. I didn't get a chance to get his name but I'll never forget what he did
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:09 PM   #264
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Zulemara- Thanks for the info on transportation! Gosh, I never knew it was so complicated. I agree that education helps people's attitudes. Sometimes we guests can't seem to see the "whole picture" and are blind to what you see every day. That's one of the reasons I love this thread. We can get an honest look at what we may have missed.

Um, if it were MY kid jumping the gates trying to get on it would be much worse for them than going to the end of the line...they might not be able to sit down on a ride all day long from the "heat on their seats"! I'm sorry you have to deal with some guests like this. It makes me mad to see such rude behavior from people. Know that there are many guests, myself included, who appreciate your hard work! Its thanks to the great CM's that our days can be so magic filled and fun!
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #265
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The little piece of paper basicly means 8 times out of 10 they're on a break, or on their way to break some one. . . . the other 2 times they're on some sort of other mission.

I was just playing around cause it seems every time I'm on my way to break that's when I get stopped by every guest in close proximity. Either to pin trade or wondering where the bathroom, etc.

It REALLY isn't a problem or a gripe. Just joking around. I am ALWAYS more than willing to stop and help a guest whenever they need it. We all are. Even if we're technically on break. That doesn't mean we don't breathe a sigh of relief once we get backstage though.

I bet it can be frustrating when you only have a limited time for a break or lunch to constantly be stopped. I thought there was some sort of underground tunnel or something with entrances everywhere for cast members so you didn't have to walk around the park to get to lunch/etc. I don't know where I got that but I was sure of it. I feel bad for you! Maybe take a raincoat and slip it on before leaving your station! then you can deny being a cast member on your way to lunch! Or even better--point out into the distance and yell, "look! Its Mickey and Minnie giving autographs and pics together! And there's no line!" Then carefully sneak away....
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:28 PM   #266
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I thought there was some sort of underground tunnel or something with entrances everywhere for cast members so you didn't have to walk around the park to get to lunch/etc. I don't know where I got that but I was sure of it.
Yep - we do have underground tunnels (you can find video of them on YouTube). However, there are not as many "exits" as you might think... they are typically linked to specific areas. So if you in a area without an entrance the walk can be full of guest crossings. I worked at one specific place in which I had to walk through a good portion of Adventureland to get backstage.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:50 PM   #267
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This is my ultimate worst nightmare that I am pretty sure will eventually come true. My DD always chickens out at the very last second. We've waited in lines for just about everything and she is very excited about it and the second its our turn that's when everything crumbles and we have to walk away. I would never drag her on something if she was screaming about it but sometimes I am soooo tempted to try it just once to see what happens. I'm worried that we're going to spend all our time waiting in lines and doing nothing else!!

This happened to us on RnR. My oldest DD had gotten to the front on several trips (from ages 10 to 15), and always chickened out at the last minute. I am not a coaster person at all but because she really wanted to do it, I told her I would try it and tell her honestly what it was like. (Since I am as big a chicken as she is, she believed me.) Well, I rode it, and actually loved it. It had none of the drops that terrify her. She wanted to give it a try. Once again, we got to the front and she wanted to back out. I told her that was ok, but I would be right next to her and she would be ok. She decided to ride. We got in and put the harness on. They moved our car up. I looked over at her and she was terrified- her eyes full of tears. Nothing was worse than that feeling that I could do nothing to help her. The ending- she loved it and rides it numerous times every trip.

One thing that might help your DD is watching a video of the ride (youtube). Sometimes it is the unknown that scares us the most. And if you get to the front and she decides against it, that is ok.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #268
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Not a CM (but a future one!) but the best tip I've come across so far:

When you get in line to meet with someone like Belle or Mickey, stop or send a grownup up front to ask the handler when the next time they go on break is... we've stopped ourselves from getting into lines that went nowhere, the character had a break in the next five minutes.

Saves a lot of fustration and waiting!
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:18 PM   #269
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I love how "Be NICE" is being repeated over and over. I am one of those "Please" and "Thank you" people that will always throw a stranger a smile in passing. I find that I am a minority and it makes me very sad.Just think how happy you could make someone just by simply being friendly? It's not so bad at all...if you just try it!

I am going to share my number one tip...Slow down! Enjoy the park. Enjoy the Magic. Enjoy the people and excitement around you. On our first trip ever we tried to pack it all in. We had fun but found it terribly over whelming. After that we slowed down everything. Walking, eating, resting...ect. We found we could actually remember what we did each trip this way! WDW can really be over stimulating...if you allow it to be.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:33 PM   #270
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One thing that might help your DD is watching a video of the ride (youtube). Sometimes it is the unknown that scares us the most. And if you get to the front and she decides against it, that is ok.
I do this and I'm an adult Seriously, though, with me it's not so much a fear of the ride itself as it is a fear of the unknown and not knowing what to expect. If I know what to expect, then I'm less afraid, so this is a great tip because it works!
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