Monorail operators are very rarely alone while on the job, and teamwork is heavily incorporated in our role. As monorail cast members, we rely on each other to safely and efficiently bring guests to their desired destinations. Our constant reliance on each other and small numbers have led us to being a very tight-knit community. In this way, we not only make sure our guests are having the best experience possible, but each of us are having good experiences as well. Communication between each other is critical to our success as a department.
Disney is a company that greatly values team efforts. They expect everyone to work together to make the magic, as it is almost impossible to do single-handedly. In fact, Disney’s newest park, Shanghai Disneyland, stresses the importance of teamwork on its career front page with its legal affairs cast member, Emma. This exemplifies just how important teamwork is to us.
When pulling ramps down for wheelchairs, it does not always have to be Zone 2. If Zone 2 is pulling down a ramp and there are more assists than he/she can take in one car, the Greeter or Zones 1/3 usually pulls down another ramp for a different car in order to help. If Zone 2 puts down multiple ramps by themselves, it greatly slows the loading process and quickly exhausts the Zone 2 cast member.
Sometimes, guests need extra assistance. If this is the case, the guest comes before our specific job duties. For example, a Greeter may be having an extensive conversation with a lost guest who does not know how to get somewhere. Zones 1 or 2 may then need to step in to perform the Greeter’s role and cut the lines when appropriate. Assisting another cast member is not required, but it is expected and courteous to the guests and ourselves. On occasion, a cast member may struggle to communicate with a guest, such as a language barrier or the cast member not knowing an answer. Monorail operators usually assist each other with those issues as well.
A collective team effort comes with getting the driver out of the station in time. Zones 1 and 3 must direct guests all the way to the gates/load them on the train, the Greeter must cut the lines, and Zone 2 must load wheelchairs/clear the train for dispatch all under 1 minute and 30 seconds. If a position is missing (there is only a Greeter required on the platform at all times), the other monorail cast members must make up for it. Just last week, we were short-staffed at Magic Kingdom, and I was required to be on the Magic Kingdom resort load side during firework exit alone. Before other monorail operators saw that I was by myself and came to my aid, I had to regulate audience control, load guests onto the platform, cut the line, load wheelchairs, and clear the train on my own in the designated time frame. One of the drivers appreciated my efforts and gave me cast member recognition. Recognizing other cast members for their valuable contributions is part of the overall team effort as well.
Even though our job can get stressful, monorail cast members like to have fun with each other as well. We trade each other’s pins that we receive on audience control and make goofy faces when we give the “close the doors” and “clear the train” hand signals to each other. Sometimes, one of us may tell a guest that it is a certain monorail operator’s birthday. The guest will then tell the cast member “happy birthday,” even though it is not in fact their birthday. Becoming friends with your coworkers has not only benefited myself in my job duties; it also makes the hours in a work shift pass by much more quickly.