The Walt Disney World Company

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					Progress Report V (42 weeks placement)                                IHM-Industrial Placement

Name of trainee                     : Marieke Wolters

Period (dates)                      : from 08|13|2009 to08|13|2010

Name of company                     : Walt Disney World

Department (s)                      : Front Desk / Concierge

Name of supervisor host company :

Position of supervisor host company: Front desk manager

Name of IHM placement mentor        : Ale Hoekstra

Date of submission                  :

E-mail                              :

  Part 1 Compile a report reflecting on the entire placement. Make an appointment with your IHM
  placement mentor to evaluate your entire industrial placement. You do not send this part to the
  Industrial Placement Office.

  Part 2 Write a comprehensive report (2 - 4 pages) in ENGLISH sent by e-mail, which may be
  used as a source of information for future trainees and with useful tips for those who will do
  their industrial placement after you at your host company.

 Note: Please e-mail only part 2 (SEPERATELY!) to Mr. Remco Wiersma
 ( and send part 1 & 2 to your IHM placement mentor.
The Walt Disney World Company

In august 2009 I went to the Walt Disney World Company to do my one year internship.
Even though our internship is only suppose to be 10 months, because Disney doesn’t
offer a 10 month program, students need to stay for one year.
The Walt Disney World Company is located in Orlando, Florida in the United States of
America and is the most well know brand of theme parks in the world. It consists out of
four theme parks which are
    - Magic Kingdom
    - Epcot
    - Disney’s Hollywood Studios
    - Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Two waterparks:
    - Disney’s Blizzard Beach
    - Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
One open area:
    - DownTown Disney
There are 33 resorts located on property from with 24 are owned and operated by
Disney self. The total land which is used to cover all of this is 30,080-acre (47.00 sq mi;
121.7 km2 ).

The first few days in Disney World are all about getting the right information. Information
about the classes (CMU) you are going to take, information about your future role and
department and of course you need to get a housing ID (to get on the property where
you live) and a Disney ID (which you use to clock in and out at your specific location).
Also everybody needs to go trough “traditions”. This is a class in which you get though
about the Disney traditions and the rules you need to stick with. After all this it is time to
go to Disney University. Depending on which role you are going to fulfil you need to take
up to 3 or maybe 5 days of training. After the training in Disney University it’s time to
really start your job.
You always get one week of on the job training from a fellow Cast Member who is
already familiar with the job you are going to do. They will tell you all you need to know
about your work place and help you with guest interaction until you are ready to work by

I worked in Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. In the
Contemporary I worked at the Front Desk, checking guests in and out and answering
questions. In Animal Kingdom Lodge I was a lobby concierge which includes selling park
tickets, making dining / recreation reservations and much more. Each resort is kind of
the same when it comes to the leaders.
                                  Resort Manager


                       Front Desk                               Concierge
                       Managers                                 Managers

      Front Line                              Front Line
     Supervisors                             Supervisors

                         Front Desk                              Concierge
                        Cast members                            Cast members

At the top are the resort managers which are assisted by a secretary. Below them are
the Front desk and the concierge managers. After them the FSA’s and then the front
desk and concierge cast members.

The first job I had was Lobby Cashier which means you check guests in and out. You
register them in the system and take specific information from them. You tell them where
there room is located and answer all the questions they have.
My second job was Lobby Concierge which includes selling park tickets, making dining
reservation, making recreational reservations, printing out boarding passes and all other
guest requests and you also deal with a lot of complaints from guests.

These are the only two jobs I did but you can always ask your managers if you can get
more responsibilities. If they maybe have other jobs for you but it depends on the
location you work in.

I also got deployed, which means you get send to a different resort because your own
resort is pretty slow and the other resort is really busy. They send you when ever other
resorts need you. If you get send to a different resort you get 2 hours of on the job
training and resort training so you can assist guests with basis questions.
I was send to a couple different resorts for these periods of time:
     - Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa (2 weeks)
     - Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club (1 week)
     - Disney’s Grand Floridian (1 week)
     - Disney’s Polynesian (8 weeks)
The main difference between Florida and The Netherlands is the weather. The weather
is very humid and very hot every day. Even in the winter periods it says warm, it barely
gets cold. This means that they use air conditioning everywhere. I needed to get used to
this because sometimes it is very cold inside and you need to bring a sweatshirt with you
for inside places instead of for outside like I was used to.
The food was also something I needed to get used to. The quality of the food is in my
opinion less then what we have in The Netherlands and products are different of course.
Everywhere you go the have a selection of fast food so getting food is no problem at all.

When you arrive in Orlando you get accommodation from Disney. They have 4
apartment complexes where they can house you. The apartments can hold up to 8
persons. Some only have 1 bedroom but there are also 2, 3, and 4 bedroom apartments.
You always share your bedroom with a roommate.

When working for Disney you meet a lot of people from all over the world. Of which
some become really close friends. Living on one of the four complexes gives you the
opportunities to socialize with a lot of people. A lot of them are from other countries as
well so you always have a connection point. It is really easy to meet people as long as
you like to go out and socialize.
There were a few different bars (when I was working for Disney) were we always hung
    - Mojito’s (latin club)
    - Chillers (club)
    - Buffalo Wild Wings (restaurant and karaoke bar)
    - Ale House (sports bar)
    - Rain (club)
    - Roxy (club)
But downtown Orlando offers more opportunities to go out.

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