Jeremy at Busch Gardens

Written by Jeff Heimbuch. Posted in Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney, Features, Florida, From the Mouth of the Mouse, Orlando Parks, Other Destinations

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Published on January 08, 2014 at 2:00 am with 2 Comments

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.

Here’s Jeremy!


 

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!

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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!!!

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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!


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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 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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About Jeff Heimbuch

Jeff has been in love with all things Disney since a very early age. He writes From The Mouth Of The Mouse and The 626 every week for MiceChat. He also collaborates on The Disney Review every weekend. Aside from that, he is one half of the devastatingly good looking duo of the weekly vid/podcast Communicore Weekly (the other half being fellow MiceChat columnist George Taylor), which you can find at www.communicoreweekly.com Jeff is also writing a book with former Imagineer and Disney Legend, Rolly Crump. You can find out more about the book at www.itskindofacutestory.com

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  • DuckyDelite

    Thanks for a great article. Always nice to read about people being rewarded for excellence. I probably would have panicked if I knew the big boss was around.

  • Country Bear

    Great article Jeff. I always enjoy reading this one. It really puts the human touch on the subject and its interesting to hear both the great experiences as well as the crazy ones. I hope Cast Members keep coming forward to share in their experiences.

    It might be fun if you asked them a question like “If you were the boss, is there something you would do differently (and why)?” Might be nice to see what operational observations Cast Members have made about the parks they work in.

    Keep up the great work Jeff! Thanks.