When guests visit Walt Disney World, they visit from all over the world. Many of them become lost, confused, tired, excited, and any other state of mind or emotion. To help ease guest tension, monorail operators have a specific role designation known as “audience control.” Audience control (A/C) is a unique role, since monorail operators do not have to be on the platform to perform it. In fact, we do not even need a handpack or radio while working at A/C. Although still safety critical, A/C can be viewed as a greeter position. From my specific point of view, A/C requires the most communication out of any monorail operator position.
As monorail greeters, A/C cast members get asked the most questions. Before working at A/C, I always make sure I know the transportation and park schedules for the day. Guests consistently have questions on which stops each monorail takes, where the buses are to the resorts, and which ferryboats will be the quickest options. They wonder when all of the parks close. I always have to be ready to answer them as knowledgeably as I can in order make their vacations run in a smoother fashion. As a monorail operator, efficient communication is key.
While working at A/C, interactions with guests are more personal. Since they do not feel rushed to board a monorail right away, I sometimes get the pleasure of talking to them on a normal basis. For example, guests will ask where I am from, and I will ask guests what their favorite part of their day was at Magic Kingdom (I am normally stationed at Magic Kingdom platform.) I will sometimes offer monorail wing stickers and transportation cards to small children.
A substantial part of audience control is controlling the audience, of course. When there are light crowds, I will simply vocalize the correct direction of the monorail entrances and different stops the monorails take as the guests pass by. When there are heavier crowds, I hold a pole with signage and use a microphone known as a “turtle,” which helps guests listen for their stop before they come near me at the base of the platform.
Communicating with guests is crucial in the A/C position. Communication assists distraught guests by sending them in the correct direction and sometimes enlightens their day if the interaction is more personal. As a cast member, it is my responsibility to coax the guests where they need to go in a fun manner in order to rid any negativity.
Monorail operators are not the only cast members with A/C positions. If you would like to know a little bit about audience control communication in a Walt Disney World parade setting, a former College Program participant (like myself) named Heather has participated in an interview that shares her experiences. Conducting audience control outside of a park can be quite different than within a park’s boundaries!