To celebrate the launch of our new website we managed to speak to former cast member Giovanni Costa. We discuss about his time at Disneyland Paris and what his plans for the future are.
Hi Giovanni, thanks for speaking to us.
What was your job/role at Disneyland Paris (DLP)?
Ride Operator – Operatur/Animateur d’attractions
How long did you work at DLP?
I worked for DLP over the Christmas season for just under 3 weeks.
How did you get your job at DLP?
I applied via the Disneyland Paris casting website and lo and behold within 24 hours I had an invitation to an interview in London.
Describe a “typical” day for you as a Cast Member at DLP
I was very lucky to work on Casey Jnr/Storybook canal boats which is a ride which (At the time at least) had very consistent opening hours. We would not open for EMH so we’d open from 10am – 6pm when we’d then close. The day involved going to work, going to my locker and putting on my costume, getting the bus over to Fantasyland and going to a meeting before the day started. Here there was a quick motivational chat, info about how many guests we were expecting, as well as things like hand and feet warmers distributed because it was freezing that this time of year. Then we’d do all the safety procedures to open the ride which could take about 90 minutes we’d run test runs and then run through with Cast Members and finally open the mini-land to the public.
During the day we’d rotate positions every 45 minutes or so and go from grouper (count the number of people In a group and seat them), to control (control the ride) to unload, and then we’d get a break. We’d repeat that sequence across the two rides two or three times, so you’d work as a grouper 2-3 times a day and the day was over. Then it was time to do all the shutdown procedures including all the safety checks once again. On Storybook canal boats this involved manually going to every single boat and covering it up as they stayed outdoors and they’d get wet if we didn’t cover them. I’d definitely encourage people to visit my blog at www.mepipe.com to read about a more in-depth day-to-day diary as every day has a hiccup or two.
What is your favourite attraction at DLP and why?
Space Mountain Mission 2- It’s just such a fun ride, the theming inside is great and having ridden Space Mountain both at Walt Disney World and Disneyland they are nothing compared to DLP’s version.
What was the best part about your job?
The fact that there was always something different to do and you never got bored – whether it was because you had to communicate with guests in a multiple of languages, or the fact that every 45 minutes we moved to a different position and did a different task, it all meant that the job never got monotonous.
When you were not working did you spend time in the Disneyland Parks? If not what did you like to do to relax in your spare time?
That’s exactly what I did. I’d finished work relatively early, usually between 4-6pm and then I would spend every single evening of my time there in the parks. I watched Fantillusion every single night that I could – I loved that parade. On my days off I came into the parks too. I even spent my birthday in the parks with my friends before going how to celebrate with a cake.
What is your favourite Disney film?
Tangled. Great music, great characters and a great storyline.
What is the best tip you could give us when visiting DLP?
Get there early – do not underestimate how quiet the parks are at 10am – you can do all the big rides within the first hour or so.
What was your favourite moment as a Cast Member? And why?
My favourite moment as a Cast Member was actually when I wasn’t working, me and my friend Eilidh met up at Disneyland Park just after the parade had gone through and sang “Just Like We Dreamed it” really emotionally and every time we’d move along Main Street the song would restart. It was a lot of fun!
Do you have any special memorabilia related to DLP?
Not really. The best thing I did get was a luxo junior lamp with all the pixar characters on the base of it – it was slightly damaged so I got it backstage for something like 70-80% off – bargain!
Do you have any secrets/rare info you are able to share about DLP?
This isn’t really a secret but it’s something to note – the size of the backstage areas in the park is immense so big that there are buses taking you from one place to the other.
Did you ever dream of working as a cast member at DLP when you were younger?
No, it was something I became interested in earlier the same year when I went to visit as a guest.
Do you think you will ever work at DLP again in the future?
I hope so; it’s such a fun and unique job. I actually just spent this past summer (2013) working at Walt Disney World because of how much fun I’d had at Disneyland Paris working on the rides, and I definitely see myself making a return to Disneyland Paris if they’ll have me!