|Look at how much fun we're having! Vacation Planning rocks!|
Vacation Planner: The JobProbably your first concern is the job itself. Vacation planner is basically a fancy way to say ticket seller. You will be located at the Ticket and Transportation Center or the main entrance of Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom. Every day, you get an update on what's happening that day, get your till fund, and head out into the booths. In the ticket booths, you will help Guests decide which tickets to buy, pick up will calls, and fix ticket issues. You will have a home park, but you can pick up shifts at any of the four theme parks. Depending on special events and expected crowds, you may be sent to another park.
You will also be trained as a greeter--the CM who stands in front of the vacation planning booths to help Guests and answer questions--and may be scheduled for greeter shifts. At the TTC, vacation planners are also trained in Parade Audience Control, or PAC, and will be sent to the Magic Kingdom some days to help with the parades. You will also be trained in "squeegee", when you help clear the area of water before the TTC opens to Guests. This holiday season, all of the CPs were trained to use iPads to sell tickets and fulfill will calls, but I'm not sure if they'll continue doing that.
Transportation and Ticket CenterThe Transportation and Ticket Center was a great place to work. The location had the highest volume of Guests. I picked up shifts at other parks and I was often bored there waiting for Guests to arrive. I preferred the faster pace at the TTC. The costuming building is located right at the parking lot, and parking is much easier than at the theme parks.
Vacation Planning HoursThe earliest shift I ever had started at 6:00 AM and the latest shift went until 9:00 PM. From what I've seen, these are the most "normal" hours for any College Program role. As a rule, CPs get the worst shifts. So if you're working in a resort, which operates 24/7, you'll likely be getting overnight shift. And guess who has to stay at Magic Kingdom all night when Extra Magic Hours last until 3:00 AM? Vacation planners are only scheduled for when the ticket windows are open, and they only open slightly earlier than park opening and close well before park close.
There's a downside, however: you may have fewer hours available to work. During my program, I was rarely scheduled more than the minimum 30 hours a week. During the less busy times of the year, there were a lot of vacation planners desperate to pick up extra hours. Magic Kingdom vacation planners, since they are PAC-trained, can pick up non-vacation planning PAC shifts for some extra (often overtime) hours.
You're able to switch shifts, give away shifts, and pick up other VPs' shifts. This is mostly organized through a dedicated Facebook group.
Vacation Planning RewardsSince vacation planning is a sales position, incentives are offered for your sales. If you sell good tickets, you can select rewards such as gift cards, resort stays, and electronics. It's one of the first thing you'll hear vacation planners talking about, and some people stress out about it a lot. In my experience, though, it was not difficult to meet the goals as long as you followed the sales tips. I got a reward every month without much stress.
Other contests are held throughout the year depending on what the sales focus is. I won Target gift cards, Publix gift cards, movie tickets, and a Memory Maker through these contests. We were also given free tickets to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party so we could better sell it to Guests.
Professional Internship OpportunitiesThe vacation planner role opens the door to Professional Internship roles. Some roles, such as College Program Alumni Only Ticketing Internships, require or highly recommend experience with Disney's ticketing system. The sales experience is also great for marketing and sales positions. Many of my fellow CPs in vacation planning got Professional Internships.
The Vacation Planning FamilyVacation planning is a small group; there were only about 80 vacation planners at the TTC, and TTC is the location with the most vacation planners. There were only 14 CPs at the TTC during my program. I knew virtually every vacation planner by name and was able to make great friends. Like every workplace, there are some people who are overly competitive or unfriendly, but overall vacation planning is a family. My managers and coworkers were all amazing.
I will definitely miss being a vacation planner and could not have picked a better position for my College Program. Congrats to any future vacation planners and congrats on getting the best role in the program! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.