In today’s From The Mouth Of The Mouse, we talk to Jay, who works in merchandise at Disney’s Pop Century resort. He’s been a life-long Walt Disney World fan, and it has always been his dream to work at Disney.
JEFF: Tell me a bit about how you got into Disney to begin with? Any childhood memory that made you fall in love with it?
JAY: Well, I grew up in South Florida, so the parks were only about 2 hours away. My first adventure to the world was when I was 2, although I don’t recall much of that trip. My parents insisted I had an amazing time though. One memory that sticks out to me was visiting Mickey’s Birthday Land and going to the main merchandise tent. All around the tent they had cut outs of Disney Afternoon character,s like Talespin and Ducktales, and I remember going around and taking pictures at all of them.
JEFF: So how did you go about getting started working at Disney?
JAY: After living in the Washington D.C. area for a few years, my wife and I decided to move back to Florida. We started looking around the Orlando area because we both love Disney. I applied for a number of roles with the company and missed some opportunities with most of them. I will say that if you do not meet certain criteria on the application, then you will not get the position. After waiting another 6 months, I applied for another role and got the position that I have today.
JEFF: Tell me what your position is?
JAY: I work in Merchantainment at Disney’s Pop Century resort. I work in the Everything Pop Shopping and Dinning store.
JEFF: Can you tell me a little about your day in that position?
JAY: In Merchantainment, I have a number of different things I could be doing. The main one would be on stage interacting with guests and helping them find things in the store and then checking them out at the register. Another role is floor stock. That is making sure that the items in the store are always full and products are available for the guests to purchase. At Pop Century, we always stay in the theme of popular culture, so we always use phrases from the 50s through 90s like “groovy man” and “you go, girl!” We also do a decade dance party at 7:30PM each day in which we go out in the lobby and dance with guests to songs like “The Hokey Pokey” and “The Cupid Shuffle”.
JEFF: Are you planning on transferring elsewhere, if the opportunity arises?
JAY: I would love to transfer to Guest Relations at some point and work as a tour guide. I love Disney History and try to share my knowledge of the parks whenever I get a chance to. I always get told by my family and friends, and even some guests, that I would be a great tour guide. I also would like to experience working at the front desk at another resort like the Boardwalk.
JEFF: Any times you can think of that you went out of your way to make a guest’s visit more magical?
JAY: Our store opens along with the food court at 6AM. I was working in the morning, I think on a Sunday, and a group of guests had just arrived in the lobby. They came into the store and I was the first to greet them. Turns out it was a spring break trip and it was one of the members birthday and first visit to the resort. They had just arrived after driving 18 hours from Louisiana and their room was not ready yet because it was 6:30 in the morning. They all were very excited for their friend, who had never been, and she looked to be stunned at everything around her as well.
They asked about pin trading and I explained to them what the process is and how it is done. After letting them shop for a while they came back to my register with a lanyard and some pins as well as a few other sundries. I asked for Amy (the birthday girl) to come forward as I had some surprises for her. First, I gave her a birthday button so she could celebrate her birthday and let everyone in the world know about it. Then I gave all her friends celebrate buttons that said they were celebrating her birthday. Next came every sticker we had. After that I made a Happy birthday sash and crown out of a roll of happy birthday stickers. At this point Amy was starting to get overwhelmed with emotion at all the stuff she was getting. The last thing I brought out was a birthday present in a box for the birthday girl. I handed it to her and she opened it to see that is was a box of pins to get her started trading. It was at this point that the tears started to come out and she said she had never cried this early in the morning before and thanked me for everything that I had done. Later on in the week, Amy came back to the store and I saw her and she showed me all of her new pins that she traded for that week.
JEFF: Any other fun stories that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!
JAY: Most guest don’t know that a lot of the princesses come by the resorts as well. I always carry around a princess autograph book in my pocket in case one comes in. One day you might see Jasmine and Belle, another Cinderella and Ariel. Some of the princesses are shy and don’t want to sign my book, but after some conversation about their friends and such I get them to sign it. I always have a portrait sticker of them to give out for signing my book. The adult character attendants who are with the princesses always have smiles on their faces too.
Thanks for sharing with us, Jay!
We have announced our very special, Cadet-only trip: The CommuniTour! It will take place April 27th-May 2nd 2014!
That’s right, you have the opportunity to spend a week with your favorite Communicore Overlords by going on this special Adventures By Disney: Backstage Magic! See the wonderful sights of Southern California, including Disneyland, California Adventure, Imagineering, The Jim Henson Company, and much, much, more!
Here us talk about it in this special announcement episode on our iTunes feed!
Space is very limited, so be sure sign up today! For more information and the full itinerary, head over to
By Jeff Heimbuch
If you are, or know, a Cast Member who would like to share some of their stories and possibly be featured right here on MiceChat, please email me at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!
You can read older columns of From The Mouth Of The Mouse here!
Jeff can help you plan your perfect Disney vacation with Fairy Godmother Travel! Call him at 732-278-7404 or email him at [email protected] for a free, no-obligation quote for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani or Adventures By Disney.
Jeff also writes a MiceChat column titled The 626. We invite you to check it out!
Jeff also co-hosts the podcast Communicore Weekly on MiceTube.
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