This title is truly the most accurate portrayal of what it means to be a Custodian at Walt Disney World. At least that’s what it seems to be like around EPCOT World Showcase. (Disclaimer: I’m only using this one location because I have not picked up shifts anywhere else, so I can’t say that the same applies to the other three parks or the resorts.) After being here for about 2 months already, I have come to realize that there is more to a custodian at Walt Disney World than anywhere else. We take on the role of several jobs simultaneously. Our shirt and hat say Guest Services. Those are the two words that separate Disney Custodial from all the other custodial out there. Most people think that being a custodial means that our only job is to pull trash or clean the toilets. THAT IS NOT THE CASE! Since I’ve started working here, I have kept track of every kind of job that I’ve done that you may not think would be in a custodian job description.
Around the World Showcase there are certain areas where we are placed specifically to keep the outside tables clean and trash from overflowing. These areas include Fish and Chips (also considered hell just because of all the birds that hang around that area), Norway Bakery, France Courtyard, Sommerfest and Italy Courtyard. And then during the Flower and Garden Festival, The Smokehouse in America and Florida Fresh by the Outpost become more bussing area. Each area has its up and down’s, but most people tend to despise the Fish and Chips area.
– Guest Relations
Custodians at Walt Disney World are technically front and center because unlike every other role, we get to move around every area, pick up shifts in every park or resort and guests like to ask us every and all questions possible. I will get the usual questions like, “Where’s the restroom?” or “How do I get to ‘such and such’ ride?”. Specifically for the World Showcase there are the questions that people ask regarding the Agent Perry scavenger hunt. And then there are the questions that you hope and pray guests never ask, but they ask any way because they have not thought any thing through. When you are working in France, you will sometimes get asked the “How do you get to the Eiffel Tower?” and my personal favorite that I hope to never get again, “How do you get to the boat that takes us back to the parking lot?”. Really. Hmm, a boat that takes you through Future World from World Showcase!? I’m sorry to have to tell you this but there are absolutely no boats that go through Future World! None. Nada. Zip. When people go on vacation, their minds tend to go on their own little vacation.
– Pin Trader
One of the best things about being a custodian is that you get to pin trade with people! For those of you who don’t know, pin trading is a huge thing within Disney and from personal experience, there are some pretty hardcore pin collectors and traders. I have people come up to me who are looking for certain pins so that they can complete a collection. I also have also seen people with big binders full of pins or people who have pins all over their vests. It’s truly something you have to see to believe. One of the best experiences that I have had with pin trading was while I was working streets in America-Japan. I was in America and a boy, who looked to be between 10-13 came up to me to look at my pins. When he saw that I had a Rapunzel pin and Pascal pin he became very excited. Once I gave him the pins and he gave me two of his, he was about to go back to where his parents where when he quickly turned around and hugged me! That literally made my day 🙂
– Food Guru
I’ve decided to through this in here because one of my fellow cast members and college program friend seems to get asked questions about food and restaurants a lot. This also applies to me because people have asked me about certain restaurants around the World Showcase. In particular, I was in the Mexican temple and a family has asked me about whether or not the food at the restaurant is good. People seem to think that because we work there, we have tried every single restaurant. This is not the case. Out of all of the countries within the World Showcase, I have only eaten food from two of them – Mexico and China.
This one is fun to do because you are creating magical moments for families and who doesn’t want pictures of their entire family on vacation and not just half of it due to one member having to actually take the picture. Most of the time when I see guests taking pictures of the people they are with, I will ask if they want me to take a picture with all of them in it. Usually all of the families or groups I have taken pictures of are really grateful for the picture and I’m just happy that I could be of assistance.
As you can clearly see, there are many sub-categories when it comes to being a custodian at Walt Disney World and it doesn’t end there. But this post will 🙂