Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Matilda in Disneyland

Working as an adult, feeling like a kid

And if one asked you which would be a dream(y) job, 
wouldn’t working in Disneyland be a good answer?

Name:  Matilda
Age:     24
From:  Athens, Greece
To:      Paris, Disneyland
For:     Work

1. How did you learn about this job opportunity?

“A friend of mine saw the job on the Internet and sent me the link, as he knew I love traveling. Then I applied online and a few days later they asked me for an interview. Some weeks later, they asked me to go in France and work in Disneyland. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, everything happened very quickly.”

2. How long did it last and where did you stay?

“I had a long-term contract that lasted 7 months, from April to October. They offered me a house next to Disneyland. There were more houses around for all the employees of Disneyland. The house was really nice and new but also empty. From the first week, with my roommate and best friend there. Manuela, we decorated it step by step and it became as if it had been our home for ages.”

3. The view from your window.

“There were two big windows in my room… From the first I could see many trees and flowers. From the other I could see the kitchen of my crazy Italian friends; Mark, Alessandro and Gianluca. From both windows I could see people passing by, and sometimes there were crazy parties happening outside my window - it was fun!”

4. What were your “duties”?

“I was working in a boutique called" Emporium", the biggest one in Main Street, in Disneyland.  I was working as "conseil vente" that means advising the guests- coming from all around the world- about the products, helping them to find what they want. I was also arranging the boutique so that the boutique was always in a good condition. In addition, with my colleagues we were making lists about the products that were consumed during the day, so that next morning the boutique was full. We were also doing sales and there were many competitions between all the colleagues and between the other boutiques about who sold more. The competitions were also about quality; that means how good we were treating the guests.”

5. The atmosphere in Disneyland.

“For a visitor the atmosphere in Disneyland is magic. All the shops and the restaurants are built in a way that make you feel that you live in the most romantic period of time. The music all around Disneyland makes you feel so relaxed and you forget all of your problems. The attractions in the park make you feel like you become a kid aigain and the enthusiasm is so big that you're smiling all day long; just because you feel great. You feel you can't wait to go to one more attraction, to eat candies, chocolates, popcorn and of course the sweet apple candy.  In Disneyland people become a family, no matter the age, no matter which place of the world they come from. Meeting all your favourite Disney cartoons, bring you back in childhood when everyone was pure and happy. During work it’s of course difficult to feel relaxed and enjoy everything, but still, you get the feeling.”


   6. The staff and your company there.

“Millions people coming from all over the world and from all ages (you can't work if you are under 18 years old) work in Disneyland. In the boutique where I worked, we were around 50 employers. When I arrived I was told that I was the only Greek working there. At the beginning I was stressed about that, but then I got used to it and I really enjoyed working with people from Italy, Portugal, France... Almost all the Italian girls, some French people, one girl from Poland, one girl from Germany became my family there. We had so much fun together, working or not, we laughed a lot -even if there were some really taugh days at work-, and talked about everything. We had a really good communication and they also learned some Greek words!”

7. The best thing about this job.

“First of all, the fact that this job gave me the opportunity to work abroad. Working abroad makes you feel more independent, freer... Then, the fact that during this period I was every day in contact with thousands of people from all over the world. I love to communicate with people and help them have a good day in Disneyland. In addition, I worked with people who didn't speak my language, so I had the chance to practice my English, French and Spanish... What I also loved about this job is that I realized how people can be so different. There were many rude, not smiling people and others who were very polite and simply happy! If will not forget some of the last ones.”

8. A more difficult aspect of it…

“There were days especially during June, July and August that there were too many people coming in the boutique and I was feeling like I can’t breath... The one after the other were asking me questions about everything; about the products but also general information about the park, the way back to their hotel etc; and I had to be always patient, polite and helping them about everything in English, French or Spanish. Helping them was a really nice feeling but at the same time I was feeling exhausted.”

9. How did you spend your non-working days.

“Well, if my working days were good , my non-working days were great! The good thing was that my days off were Saturday and Sunday… The same for my best friends at work and my roommate Manuela. So, we were always planning our schedule together. We were always ending our week with a drink at "Billy bob's bar" in Disneyland, and then continuing the night at home all together. Then, Saturday afternoon we were meeting each other at the train station to spend all the day in Paris... Making a walk in "Marrais', then having a beer in St. Germain or a wine in Seine, or in a small corner next to the Eiffel tower, and then eating Italian pizza or tartar in these beautiful small restaurants in the centre of Paris. We used to spend our Sunday in a museum or in an art gallery somewhere in Montmartre and then ending the day by walking many kilometers in the city. Some Sundays we had pic-nics in "jardins du Luxembourg" or by the lake next to our home. At lazy days we used to cook all together at home or organize little parties. My non-working days were always ending with me and my roommate Manuela, lying on the bed and laughing about little or more important things that happened during our weekend.”

 10. Disneyland in 3 words.

“magic, adventure, freedom”

11. Your favourite place/game in Disneyland.

Space Mountain, Buzz Ligtyear, Rock n’Roaller Coaster, Tower of Terror and Nemo in Disney’s Studios. I loved them and I was going very often with my colleagues or with friends that visited me from Greece.”

12. What people do not know about Disneyland

“People may not often think that Disneyland is not just a huge park of entertainment. It’s a huge company with people working for every detail of the park.”

13. Images you do not get to see anywhere else…

“People laughing from their hearts, forgetting their problems back in their homes… and of course that atmoesphere… with music and fireworks all over the park.”

14. A strong memory…

“So many memories! It’s hard to choose one... I remember a little girl with “down syndrome” who wanted the dress of a princess but we didn’t have it in her size. So, she started crying and I called all the boutiques in the park and finally found it in another shop. When I gave it to her she seemed really happy and I felt happy too. It was the thing I loved more in this work: helping people to be happy, even if it is for a small thing... A strong memory is also our last dinner in New York Hotel in Disneyland with all my colleagues, team leaders and manager , to say goodbye. There were mixed feelings after 7 months we spent all together. We had such a good time this night!”

15. What you will keep forever from this experience.

“The friends I made and all our crazy moments together at work, but also at home and during our weekends in Paris. They were a second family for me; I will always remember that feeling of freedom when you are thousand kilometers away from home.”


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