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A day in the life of a Disneyland manager who's worked there for 23 years, walks 5 miles daily around the park, and has a 'long-distance' marriage with his wife

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 16 Aug 2018


Disney California Adventure Park West general manager Gary Maggetti has worked at the Disneyland Resort full-time for 23 years.Before he landed a full-time role, he did a stint as a Jungle Cruise skipper in college.Maggetti shared his typical daily routinewhich features a morning pick-me-up of green tea and lots of walkingwith Business Insider. Gary Maggetti's Disneyland journey began long before he landed his first full-time role there in 1995.Before the iconic resort became his workplace, he was just another kid at the park, swinging by all the best attractions with his twin brother Chris. Their family visited Disneyland every two years, starting when they were four.Then, Maggetti was a Northern Arizona University hotel and restaurant administration major applying for the Disney College Program. He landed a summer gig as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise, one of his favorite rides.Finally, in 1995, he landed his first full-time role at the park. By that point, Maggetti knew that Disneyland was where he wanted to stay.In the 23 years since, Maggetti has held 13 different roles at the Walt Disney Company, including one that took him all the way to Japan. Today, he's a general manager representing the western part of Disney California Adventure Park. Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park are the two theme parks that make up the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.Maggetti said his story isn't "unique" at Disneyland."You go to a meeting and you look around the room and it's like: 'Oh my goodness, you were in my management training class in 1996,'" he told Business Insider. "This is not an unusual story because there are so many opportunities with Disney to have different experiences."Maggetti recently shared his daily schedule with Business Insider. His routine sheds light on both the culture at Disneyland, and the behind-the-scenes inner-workings of the park.Here's what a typical day at Disneyland looks like for Maggetti:SEE ALSO:Many Disney employees say they bring their own lunch to work ' but there are 7 park treats they just can't resistDON'T MISS:Disney cast members share their 11 favorite things to do in the parkSEE ALSO:Disneyland is home to a squad of feral cats who have free rein in the park ' and you can adopt one if you work thereMaggetti wakes up early and typically passes on coffeeMaggetti kicks off his day at 6 a.m. He's not big on breakfast, but he said that he'll sometimes eat a morning meal with his two teenage sons.According to Maggetti, the boys take after his twin brother Chrisan executive chef at Disneyland."They're actually pretty good cooks, so sometimes they'll make me breakfast in the morning," he told Business Insider.But two figures are typically absent from the breakfast table: Maggetti said he has a "long distance marriage" with his wife, who lives and works in Northern California with his stepson. The family reunites on the weekends, though.After breakfast, Maggetti drives his sons to school and then embarks on the 35-minute commute to Disneyland. He usually arrives at work around 8 a.m.To prepare for the workday, Maggetti skips coffee and instead opts for decaf green tea. He said he prefers the "calming effect" of the beverage.He meets up with his team mates and enjoys watching the park openFirst up, Maggetti heads to his team's morning huddle. Patrick Finnegan, the vice president of Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District, leads the daily meeting. Everyone discusses the previous day and establishes a "game plan" for the coming day.Maggetti said the team often makes a point of huddling out in the park, where they can watch early-bird guests trickle in around 9 a.m."It's incredibly enjoyable to be there when the first guests go through the turnstiles," Maggetti said. "There's this sense of adventure and hope and excitement. You can kind of see the guests making decisions early in the day. Like, 'Am I going to the new Incredicoaster'' or 'Am I going to head over to Radiator Springs Racer'' It's great to be a part of that."Up next, Maggetti learns about any cool opportunities for his cast membersOnce the park is opened, all of the general managers will connect with one of the resort's duty managers for a daily "roll call."Maggetti said this is his chance to learn about cool opportunities for Disney California Adventure Park cast members, such as trying out new attractions before they open to guests."They'll let the leaders know, 'Hey make sure your cast members know we have this great experience before the guests arrive,'" Maggetti said.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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