We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot
publish all of them, the following may be of interest to other readers.
Feedback for Park Updates
Lisa Schultz (from Washoe Valley, Nevada)
wrote to us this week after we published news
of the death of her good friend Christopher Bowman, the
cast member who was injured in an accident in the Hyperion Theater:
I just wanted to share a very important part of Chris' life
and death with you. It's something I know he would have wanted
you and everyone else to know.
I have known Chris as an acquaintance since the mid-'80s. He
was a very close friend to my best friend Tricia Paul. She and
I grew up together in San Gabriel, but I moved away in elementary
school to Anaheim. Tricia and Chris were friends in high school
and I met him at various gatherings and such over the years.
He was adamant (and I am, too) that if anything should happen
to us, our organs should be donated, hopefully to a person to
save their life but at the very least to a medical school
to help others more generally.
You see, Tricia had a heart transplant at the age of 18 after
a freak virus attacked her heart muscle back in 1985. She passed
away January 1993. Tricia was an incredibly special person, as
was Chris. In his death, the donation of his organs is his tribute
to her, and he told his friends and family this much, as I have
done as well.
While I hadn't seen Chris much since Tricia passed away, I know
they are having a blast of a reunion in heaven and I feel
so honored to have known him and touched by his final act of giving.
As a tribute to Chris and Tricia, I urge you all to sign your
donor cards as well. Its an incredible way to give joy and life
to many other families in a time of grief.
Thanks so much for listening,
Regarding the Disneyland no-fly zone, described
week's Disneyland park update, Mike E. writes:
Hey guys, just a heads up on the graphic you posted that depicts
the rectangle around Disneyland. That particular indication is
a suggested boundary only, and is not regulatory in
The TFR (Temporary flight restriction) of the 3-mile radius is
just that temporary. And while it may be around for the
foreseeable future, by the FAA posting the dotted line, as opposed
to a Blue solid prohibited area, seems to indicate
it's a temporary move, and not a permanent one.
For the record, I'm a private pilot, former cast member, and
avid Mousplanet reader
Pam B. writes:
I wanted to comment on the refurbishment date as until
further notice for Superstar Limo. I was viewing another
Disney Web site and it listed Superstar Limo re-opening on December
12, 2003. Any further news on that? I was viewing either MouseInfo
or LaughingPlace. I don't remember which. As I am planning a Christmas
trip to Disneyland, I was excited that I might be able to finally
ride Superstar Limo. I understand it's not the most exciting ride,
but one has to be able to say you've been on it once.
Thanks for all the great work!
Pam we'll see if we hear anything about this
reading this may have also heard something more about this mystery
Michael Z. writes:
I'm not sure if you have addressed this yet, but I received a
vacation planning video from WDW and on it they omit the MGM brand
on everything, simply referring to the park as Disney's Studios.
Even all the signage that is up has the MGM taken out, even the
water tower! (computer animation?) Is this true? Is the park changing
Hi Michael I believe Disney quietly changed the official
name of the park a couple of years ago. I, too, was surprised when
I didn't see mention of "MGM" in the park. The change for the rest
of us is slow in coming
eventually everybody will start calling
it Disney Studios, just like we no longer refer to Epcot as EPCOT
Feedback for David Koenig
Responses to "Reamin'
California Reamin'" keep pourin' in.
I enjoy your Web site and I particularly enjoyed this article.
I am interested in most things Disney, but I don't follow them
closely enough to see the patterns you pointed out and I found
it very enlightening. And a little depressing that Disney couldn't
be a little less bottom-line oriented.
The main reason that I'm writing is to comment on the fact that
most people didn't seem to understand your goal in writing this
article, based on the feedback letters you posted. I took it to
be a factual (and interesting) look at DCA issues with no judgments.
If I am correct in my interpretation, I just wanted to say that
I felt badly for you for all the David-reamin' that you received.
I suppose you don't let it bother you, which is a good thing.
I hope that you will continue to share your observations for
a long time to come, I look forward to them.
Kevin Baxter writes:
I mentioned your article in my blog [Web log] on Theme Park Insider,
and commented that it seemed like a Disney apologist column. I
didn't think it was, but it sure read that way, which may be why
you are getting so many You suck and You're
Your article does make its points very well and all are true.
I especially am bothered by all the complainers who think the
California theme is so limiting. I could easily fill that park
with great attractions based on a California theme. I'm sure Disney
could also if it wasn't so desperate to sell DVDs and plushes.
So that is total garbage.
My only problem with the article, I guess, is that you point
out that Disney has done all these DCA things before, but you
used different parks for each example. Yes, Disney-MGM and Animal
Kingdom opened way too small. Yes, Epcot had a lot of movies.
Yes, Disneyland opened with a lot of off-the-shelf rides. What
you didn't point out was that none of these parks opened
with all of these problems. DCA did. And that is one of
the things that makes it such a dreadful park.
And you didn't even touch on the lackluster theming. No park
in the Disney arsenal is themed as poorly as DCA. I actually really
like the Hollywood section, and I think Paradise Pier is nice,
as long as you only look at the area fronting the roller coaster.
Everything to the right of it is simply hideous. Every other theme
is simply underwhelming. I have been to San Francisco a zillion
times in my life, so when I have to look at a map to see that
I am standing in the Bay Area section, the Imagineers
have failed and failed horribly.
What also hasn't been mentioned is that Tokyo DisneySea also
opened with very few attractions. But it had great theming, so
unlike DCA, which is what was drawing people back to the park.
If DCA had its current attractions, but Disneyland-level theming,
the park could then be compared to half-parks like AK or MGM.
The theming of those parks ensured they would be successful a
decade after opening. DCA's ugliness does not guarantee any such
thing. It could be filled with a dozen fabulous rides and it still
wouldn't be a park that locals would flock to just to sit around.
And that is where Disney blew it.
I know that it's late for this e-mail, but I'm so glad
that you defended DCA in your last article. I really love DCA,
and I know that there are other people in Southern California
who also love the park, but I just can't help but feel that I'm
alone with my feelings about the park. It seems like everywhere
I look on the Internet, there are people acting like a broken
record complaining about DCA.
Granted, the Internet isn't always the best place to find reasonable
people, but still, it gets very tiring and a bit disheartening.
In the past I've done my best to ignore the complaints but they
just keep coming by the barrelful.
I guess I'll just have to live with it.
I don't know what it is about this park that seems to incite such
strong feelings in both its supporters and its detractors. I do
know, though, that while those who enjoy DCA seem upset at the complainers
should actually be thankful the complaints are one reason
the park gets better and better.
Doug Higley writes:
California is a beautiful word. In fact, my favorite
word. But such passion because it was misplaced? Or
not? Amazing. The title, California Adventure can
be easily changed to Disney Adventure... or Mickey's
Adventure or whatever. The key is easily.
Overall theme shmeem.
But whatever the park is or is not, it is
in California. It is an Adventure type park. What's the
difference if everything in the park has to do with California?
Who cares? IMHO that can be easily ignored despite the originally
"stated" theme, as is obvious with the new direction of
the park. An Adventure IN California. The parks in Florida are
Disney's Florida Adventures; this DCA place is California's Adventure
park. What's the big hoo-ha? Ride the freakin' rides. Cripes,
for passholders they are free! It is what it is...it will be what
it will be. So what? Ride!
Just got back from our first trip to the Disneyland Resort. As
veterans of WDW (40+ trips), we didn't know quite what to expect.
Both have their plusses and minuses, but overall I found Disneyland
Park to feel much like Mayberry to WDW's Magic Kingdom's Chicago
not a bad thing at all, just a very different atmosphere.
Disneyland's feel is much more intimate somehow, maybe because
of its size.
As for DCA
well, we bought three-day hopper passes and
used two days at Disneyland and one at DCA. We spent an entire
day at DCA, and you know what? I have hundreds of memories of
Disneyland and two yes, two of DCA. Screamin' and
Soarin' were the only things I talked about after the trip. This
park has a distinctly un-Disney vibe.
We'll probably start going to Disneyland in the fall and WDW
in the spring instead of going to WDW twice a year from now on,
and I can safely say that unless Twilight Zone is radically different/better
than WDW's version, I have no reason to set foot inside DCA again.
Been there, done that. I can spend that $50 on a nice dinner somewhere
and have an equally good time. I suspect there are a lot of folks
who feel the same.
I do envy the annual passholders who aren't out anything financially
if they choose to use a day of their year on DCA.
DCA has an un-Disneylike vibe by design.
It was supposed to be hip and edgy to attract a new audience. DCA
found out the hard way, though, that its most anxious and available
audience was, of course, its existing audience and they, for the
most part, want "Disney" not hip and edgy.
So here came the character shows, the meet and greets, the kiddie
rides, the character dining, etc. DCA is still at that schizophrenic
I was impressed by the depth of thought you put into your comparisons
of DCA with Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney-MGM Studios. I was
also impressed by the depth of thought that your readers put into
To me, the question boils down one thing: Do you think that DCA
will eventually realize its place as a major Disney theme park?
Without having been there, I have to rely on information about
attendance and service reductions, which indicate that DCA has
not met with public acceptance to this point. Epcot and MGM seemingly
have, and I think Animal Kingdom will be on its way with the Expedition
Everest ride that is opening in a few years. But DCA seems to
have met with more public apathy and criticism than any park before
it, and despite its similarities to other parks, does not seem
poised to recover as easily.
Do you think that it will, and that some day Disneyland will
be a legitimate two-park resort, as WDW was in the 1980s before
Thanks for a great article.
Certainly, the more additions they make to DCA, the better and
more marketable the park will become.
That said, I think the best solution to DCA's woes is to be found
outside of DCA. It will take building up the rest of Disney's property
in Anaheim to really become a destination resort. A third gate of
grand scale comparable in impact to Epcot, Tokyo DisneySeas
or any of the Magic Kingdom-style parks would do this automatically.
It might be possible with a waterpark, highly themed Disney Vacation
Club timeshare, and other lesser, but more unique attractions.
In Anaheim today Disney simply does not have what it had in Orlando
in the early '80s. Yes, they both had two theme parks. But Florida
had two parks that you could easily spend multiple days at each.
They had championship quality golf courses. Lakes with boating,
fishing and water sports. And much less competition for the tourist's
dollar; remember, Universal didn't come along until after MGM.
Contact David here.
Feedback for Cast Place (Shoshana
Susan H. writes:
I am a 4 year cast member alumni from 1979 1983 who married
a 3-year cast member from 1978 1982. We actually met at
WDW working in the Adventureland ticket booth ("Come to the Tiki
Room"). We now have a 17-year-old daughter who is thinking about
becoming a new cast member. However, we cannot find a phone number
for the telephone interview hotline. Can you help us out?
Sincerely, Susan in Oviedo
I wasn't sure which park you were interested in, but here are the
job line numbers I found. Both list the available jobs and how to
apply for them:
- Walt Disney World: (407) 828-1000 ext. 1
- Disneyland: (800) 766-0888
Hopefully your daughter will be able to reach a live person to
schedule an interview or conduct one over the phone. However, she
might need to be seen by someone in Casting before the final decision
is made. Wish her luck! That's so cute that you met your husband
while working at WDW. If you ever feel like sharing your story,
please e-mail me.
Hello! My name is Kuranda, and my dad is a technician at the
Disney-MGM Studios Fantasmic show. I am interested in performing
as Ariel in the Fantasmic show. Although, I am only 13, I am willing
to I was wondering if you could let me know when your 2004 auditions
are, or if you knew of anything else that I would have to complete
before I do that.
Thank you for everything! I look forward to hearing from you!
Hi Kuranda I think it's great that you want to work at WDW,
but in order to recieve a role as a character, you have to be at
least 16. I don't know of any roles that allow you to be hired at
14 (at least not at Disneyland; Walt Disney World might have different
age limits). While there are some exceptions made during the holidays
(when you see all those kids in the parades), legally you cannot
be hired quite yet.
Please check out the Disney
careers Web site. It tells you all about the requirements
and application process to work in the entertainment department
at Walt Disney World.
Don't give up, and good luck!
Contact Shoshana here.
Feedback for Mark Goldhaber
Krissy H. writes:
Just a quick bit of feedback about your reply to "Jeff C." in
Mailbag May 22.
The Swan and the Dolphin at Walt Disney World are not
owned and operated by the Loews Hotels chain. They are operated
by Starwood. You can find this out in just about every WDW guidebook,
as well as the Starwood
Loews Hotels (Web
site) operates Loews hotels only.
Take care, Krissy
Hi Krissy I stand corrected.
I'm not sure why I had thought that Sheraton and Westin were owned
by Loews, but both chains were actually purchased by Starwood in
1997. That'll show me to trust my memory!
Starwood does indeed manage both hotels. The hotels themselves
are actually owned by the Tishman Hotel Corporation (in conjunction
with Met Life), which had been granted the right to own and build
all convention hotels on the Walt Disney World property for the
next 10 years. This was granted because of Tishman Construction's
role in the building of EPCOT Center. The hotels were originally
supposed to be built in the Lake Buena Vista Hotel Plaza Boulevard
After Michael Eisner and Frank Wells came on board in 1984, they
quickly decided that Disney should control most of the hotel rooms
on property themselves. They reached an agreement with Tishman to
locate the hotels near Epcot, and to let him use the Disney name
on the hotels. In exchange, Disney would get control over the design
of the hotels, and Tishman would be forced to live by the same service
standards as Disney provided in the parks. Of course, after Tishman's
10 year agreement exprired, Disney went ahead with the construction
of convention facilities at the Boardwalk, the Yacht and Beach Clubs,
the Contemporary Resort, and the Coronado Springs resort.
Thanks for keeping me on my toes!
Krissy wrote back:
It was nice of you to e-mail me back. I apologize if I sounded
snotty in correcting you. My husband has worked in the Hospitality
industry for more than ten years and it's a pet peeve of mine
when hotel brands are incorrectly stated! Looks like you definitely
did some follow-up research!
I think that it's good to have outside-branded hotels on WDW
property (although I haven't been there yet, but planning to renew
my wedding vows there next year-probably on the cruise ship)
I believe that you can get points on your Starwood Preferred Guest
Card if you stay at the Swan or Dolphin... to earn free hotel
nights to use later!! I'm more of a Hilton girl myself (Hilton
Hotels, not Hilton sisters! I wish I had that kind of cash!!)
Again, I was surprised to hear back from you, but delighted.
Have a good holiday weekend.
I always return emails. You didn't sound snotty at all, just correcting
an error. (And a dumb error at that.) If someone tells me that I
made a mistake, I always try to double-check my facts and my sources
to make sure. (I double-checked the info on the deal with Tishman
in Michael Eisner's book Work in Progress.)
My personal opinion of the hotels is that they are very whimsical,
and I might like them more if they were not visible from inside
the parks. However, due to their visually disruptive nature, I love
to see them out of there. (Just my personal opinion. I still remember
the first time I saw them looming over the Eiffel Tower like some
awful hallucination, and that pretty much set my mind from there.)
I know of many people (via trip reports here on MousePlanet) that
do indeed rack up Starwood points at the hotels, or use points earned
from business trips to stay at the WDW hotels. I'm a Marriott boy
myself, when we're away from WDW and not using our DVC points.
And I enjoy surprising and delighting people.
Have a great weekend yourself!
Contact Mark here.
General feedback for MousePlanet
Margaret W. writes:
This criticism is not aimed at you personally, and I know that
Mouseplanet is going through a rough time, but what idiot is writing
the main page blurbs? Did you notice that they actually wrote
readers respond to several of our writer's? I know
this error is becoming more prevalent, but if someone doesn't
know a basic plural from a possessive, they shouldn't be allowed
to publish anything.
Hi Margaret Thanks for taking the time to write, and letting
us know about the typo. As the primary copy editor at MousePlanet,
I try to catch all of the errors, but alas, that one slipped through
the cracks because the front page has not traditionally had to be
approved by the copy desk before publication.
We're going to look at our publishing process and see if we can
try to find a way to do a better job at catching any errors.
In the meantime, if you find an error like this, feel free to post
a notice about it in the Columns General forum in our MousePad discussion
board. That way, corrections can get made by the first staff person
who sees your message, and who has the capability to make the correction
Thanks again. Lani (from the copy desk)
Contact Lani here.
Do you have specific questions about an upcoming trip
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can try to help answer your questions.
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Letters of interest to the readership may be published, and may include your
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