In today’s From The Mouth Of The Mouse, we take a slight detour and travel to visit Busch Gardens Tampa! Jeremy worked a variety of jobs there, and can’t wait to share his stories.
JEFF: How did wind up working at Busch Gardens to begin with? Did you love it as a kid?
JEREMY: I moved to Florida in 2003 with a military transfer and it just so happened that I heard from a friend that Busch Gardens was hiring for Howl-O-Scream. I went in and was hired immediately without ever even visiting the park before. First day of training included a 6 hour park day of riding rides and having fun seeing my new digs. What a great perk!
JEFF: What did you do there?
JEREMY: I started as a Train Conductor, which included duties of learning about 45 different animals and at least a couple of facts about them to the spiel on the back of the train. After 6 to 8 months, I started to inquire about the Engineer position, and due to my Military background working with Transportation and trains, I was accepted and began the 6 month training program!
JEFF: Can you tell me a little about your day to day life as a conductor?
JEREMY: Conductor duty included a rotation at the stations, loading and unloading passengers and finding that one special child to yell the all important “ALL ABOARD!” The glow in those kid’s eyes was priceless! On the engine, it was a rougher day. Which, in the summer, would include one trip on, one trip off. The engine was on a fire tube boiler system and would reach 110-120 degrees on the hottest days, so we needed that 35 minutes it took for a round trip for air conditioning and plenty of water!
JEFF: Tell me a bit about when Augustus Busch asked you to transfer over to the Hospitality House. What did that entail?
JEREMY: Mr. Busch had a home in Lakeland, Florida and would regularly pilot his helicopter into the park. Which, admittedly, it was a bit of controlled chaos every time we heard “The EAGLE has landed.” Park managers would scurry around with brooms and dust pans to hide along his regular routes and sweep ahead of him to make sure the park was immaculate and to his standards. He would regularly approach newer looking employees and ask them if they loved their job and anything less than a glowing “YES SIR” would result in an immediate firing! He was a little hard to please sometimes, but was a pretty great guy once he knew who you were. I was approached one day after he witnessed me talking to a family about the functions of the Train Engine and he saw the smiles on their faces when they walked away and came up and asked me to join his BEER TEAM!
JEFF: Can you expand a little more about what being on the Beer Team consisted of? What did you do on it?
JEREMY: I was trained up in Jacksonville, FL at the AB brewery to teach consumers about the brewing process and how to choose different beers to go with meals and such. We would teach 4-8 classes a day and our guests would get 4-6 samples of different beers to see which they liked and when done, each guest would receive a certificate signed by us and Augustus Busch. Pretty neat program, if you ask me!!
JEFF: Any times you can think of that you went out of your way to make a guest’s visit more special?
JEREMY: Anytime you drive a train for a living, you get the train buffs asking all sorts of questions and wanting to know everything about them! We would sometimes receive special permission from the park to let them ride along in the cab with us! It was a rare occasion but when we did that, the smiles couldn’t be pried off with a crowbar!!!
JEFF: Any other fun stories that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!
JEREMY: On the very rare day, we would have a baby animal being born in the Serengeti area of the park, which the train drove straight through. The animals would give birth, sometimes right by the tracks, and the guests were amazed! We would contact the Zoo Department and let them know but would always let the guests experience that!
The Rhinos were always challenging us for dominance and would continually block our path on the tracks and we had to stop and wait! On the busy days, with 3 trains on the track, this presented a problem. A round trip was 35 minutes and sometimes would stretch to 45-50 when this happened!
On the other rare occasion of a “Last Day ” of work on the train, it was expected to go out with a bang and you could expect to be doused with a 20 gallon bucket of ice water by the other train staff waiting in the bushes around the track to get you!!! When you least expect it, BAM!!!
Thanks so much for sharing with, Jeremy!
Communicore Weekly, the greatest online show, is proud to announce the release of Communicore Weekly: The Musical! For the first time ever, hear the true origin story of how Jeff and George were brought together to face the biggest threat that the Disney theme parks, and the universe, has ever faced: Michael Eisner!
Through the use of patent-pending time travel technology, Communicore Weekly was able to obtain an episode of the radio broadcast “Theater On The Move” from the year 2215. In this episode, they are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Communicore Weekly: The Musical, and have brought the actors playing the pivotal roles of Jeff and George onto the show to discuss the lavish anniversary production and to share the music of the show.
Featuring all-new, all original songs from Amplify This Music (better known as the Communicore Weekly Orchestra), Communicore Weekly: The Musical will have you in stitches when you’re not tapping your feet along to the catchy tunes.
Communicore Weekly: The Musical is available now on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, and more.
Download it today: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/communicore-weekly-musical/id790706469
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 also writes a MiceChat column titled The 626. We invite you to check it out!
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