Mum of two, Kat, lives in Orlando, Florida & is a Theme Park Specialist/Private Tour Guide. Here she tells us a little about her job & how it is great for a working mum:
“This job is not for everyone, but if you are the type of person that likes to please you will never feel like you are working! You spend the day with amazing families, go on rides with children all day, eat at the best restaurants and leave an impression that your clients will never forget. Being a VIP tour guide is a lot more than just showing a family around the park and getting them to the front of the lines. The experience you are able to give and the relationships that you build in the very short time spent with each family can turn into lifetime friendships and often amazing future business opportunities.
What can a family expect from a VIP tour? A typical tour takes around six hours and the main objective is to avoid the crowds and minimize wait times. We offer customized itinerary building for their entire trip, the best seats at the shows, effortless guidance throughout the park and fun facts from a knowledgeable local expert. That’s just the obvious stuff. The real value comes in the details that are often hard to express until you are in the park. We go above and beyond for all of our clients. We act as their nanny, their personal assistant, and we are there for damage control…
Imagine flying half way across the world and spending thousands of dollars to experience Disney only to get there and realize that your five year old is scared of every character and your eight year old that you thought was a thrill seeker is actually petrified of roller coasters. As parents it doesn’t matter what you say, sometimes your child makes up their mind and they don’t want to listen. In comes us, the guide. We are trained to specifically pick up on any sensory issues, and to coach the children. We always start with the mildest of rides and pay close attention to how the children react. If we see at any time that they are scared or they’re not enjoying something we immediately change the itinerary based on the child’s needs. Perhaps your eight year old does love fast roller coasters, he just hates loud noises but the parents have never known this. The next ride we prep the child and let him know exactly when the loud part is coming and we all cover our ears together. We make them feel comfortable when they would otherwise have no idea what to expect. Now he loves fast rides again because he’s prepared. It is an incredible moment when we see the transition between them being scared and trusting us. The day is turned around and we are responsible. There is no better feeling!
As a guide you will feel like you are holidaying with the family. You have to have stamina and your brain is always switched on! Once you are experienced you know that no matter what issues arise you will have a plan to fix them. We remove all of the stress from planning. What most parents come away saying is that they thought they needed a guide to keep the kids happy but what actually happened was they had the vacation of a lifetime. Because they didn’t have to look at maps and plan, the parents were able to interact with the children and enjoy their time. It was not just a trip for the kids, it was enjoyable for everyone!
Being a tour guide not only preps you for being a parent but it’s the perfect job once you’re a mum! It prepares you in so many ways because you get to see every kind of family and how the parents deal with their children. You see what works and what doesn’t. This job taught me to have patience, to know when to make a big deal out of something, and when to just let it go, and more importantly how kids react to different parenting.
In regards to childcare it’s the perfect job because you basically get to pick your own schedule. If you cannot take a family then there’s always someone else who wants to. The money is great and you can sometimes work 2-3 days and make what other jobs would pay at a Monday-Friday 9-5pm job role. You learn the ins and outs of the park so when you bring your own kids to the parks you don’t have to wait in lines and you know exactly how to get the best out of your time there.
I have been a tour guide for 5 years, now work for a company called My VIP Tour”
Well, I don’t know about you, but if you are a theme park lover like me then this certainly looks like one of my ‘dream jobs’! And what a great option to take, especially if you only have limited time at a theme park – a specialist who knows every corner of the park as your guide! If you are heading to Orlando on holiday and are interested in using Kat’s guides, more infomation and booking details can be found here
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