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MousePlanet Mailbag for July 24, 2003

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 Cast Place

Aubree writes to staff writer Shoshana Lewin:

Hi! I read your story and I wanted to know if you had any tips for face characters. I just got hired to play Snow white and Jane. I have gone to one day of training, so I have a while. Thanks!

Hi Aubree,

That's great! Congrats! As far as advice goes, the big one is smile. You also might want to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and whatever movie your Jane is in — is that Jane from Tarzan, Peter Pan or Mary Poppins? It will help you with voice and mannerisms. When you are talking to a “little princess” it makes a big difference if you can bend down to their level — it makes things a little less scary and it is also easier to take a picture. We haven't done a lot of face characters, but you might want to take a look at this Cast Place story about princesses.

Keep me posted and good luck!

Dave writes about the Disneyland College Program series of articles by Shoshona:

Well, I'd like to just say that this one story was very helpful. Wish I saw this first. But to late. I went and did what I was told by my parents smile, act normal, be polite, and answer all questions.

Also, I didn't have leadership qualities with working in a group/team setting. He pointed that out. They are looking for Leaders. Second mess up. Gotta work on my Leadership skills I guess.

I never experienced any customer dissatisfaction before. So I didn't say much about that. And yes, the interviewer pointed that out. Third mess up.

So I got 6 months to wait.

I love Disney, well I hope I still do. I always watch the Disney Channel, the Disney movies and everything. So I decided to try and apply.

Gotta love coming to Disneyland and watching the ride operators. Just seems like the most fun job. Well, to me.

I just don't feel to good right now. Coming from Disneyland, it sure wasn't the happiest place on the Earth today.

So next time I know what to do and wish I can do it.

  1. Smile lots more.
  2. Discuss more about my leadership qualities. (if I get any)
  3. Make up something or imagine what I would do if one of my customers was dissatisfied.

I wish the wait process was shorter. 6 months! Who ever came up with that?

So try again in December. Hope I don't have to wait for my 12th try like that one guy from the “Hiring In at Disneyland Stories” Little Brother

Well, I would like to thank you for just reading my letter, if you even read it. I just needed to get that off. It was just a heart breaker for me.

Thanks, David

Dave,

I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience with your interview. But now that you know what your interviewer was looking for (a lot of people never find out what happened) you can go in there in December with a leg up on the competition — since you've been there before.

As for the “leadership” think about one time in your life—anytime—where you were a leader. Maybe it was at school in a group project, maybe it was organizing an event, maybe it was when you ran a meeting. Anything that shows you have those skills.

Dissatisfaction can be anytime you had to make good out of a bad situation, a friend, neighbor, teacher, someone you were with at a store — anything. They just want to know how you handle it if something goes wrong.

Good luck in December — and when you smile, make it genuine.

Lindsay writes:

Hi there, Sorry you may not be the person to contact, but I've spent the past 2 hours on the 'net searching for info regarding employment at Disneyland for non Americans. I was just wondering if you would know of any non-Americans who have worked for Disneyland, and what Visa they used or if you know of any sites where I could get this info. It's been a dream of mine to work for Disneyland but living in Canada, it's starting to prove quite difficult. Any info would be much appreciated, thanks!

Hi Lindsay,

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but I've been checking with some of the other editors to see if they know they answer. At the very least I know you will need a work permit. Check out the Disney Careers Web page.

There is a job line number on the site that will hopefully connect you with a human being at some point.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Sam M. writes about part I in the Disneyland College Program series of articles:

Hi Shoshana!

Loved Part 1. Can't wait to read the rest! As you can tell from my e-mail, I'm at your old alma mater! I went to school here in 1991-93 and now I work here at Academic Support Center.

I've been out to the Disney Store at Columbia Mall countless times-is that the one where you worked? It is, sadly, gone now as a part of Disney Store's nationwide cutbacks. I have a 9-year-old daughter, Cori (who was very sad to see the "Mickey Store" go), and my wife and I took her to Disneyland last year. Now, all the child can talk about is how much she loves the place and would like to work there someday.

Like you, I had no idea Disneyland had a Summer College program, but Cori is very interested in it and she's only just finished the third grade! She's already decided that with her cousin Thea living out there that she needs to plan on working at Disney in the summer so she can see Thea. Any helpful hints you can give her? I know it's very early but she'd be thrilled ! to hear from someone from Missouri who worked at Disneyland. Plus, I'm printing out all your articles so we can read them together. Thanks!

Hi Sam. Nice to hear from a Missourian. I'm glad you liked part one and I hope you had a chance to read the other three parts. Yes, that was the Disney Store I worked at — #666 — from Summer 1997-Spring 2000. You might have seen me there at one point. Just tell Cori that when she is old enough to work for Disney to go in with a big smile and a lot of positive energy.

Feedback for WDW Update

Kathy P. writes about contributor Steve Kiskamp's article reviewing Mission: Space at Epcot:

A big thank you to Steve for his report on June 19! The report gave such detail that it didn't “spoil it” for me, but only intensified my anticipation for our families planned trip in Dec. My 14-year-old son will no doubt want to repeat this one over and over and my brother-in-law (serviceman in the Air Force) will be elated! Thanks again Steve and Mouseplanet for my daily “Disney-fix.”

Stanley S. asks:

Is “Mission: Space” an improvement over “Horizons” which used to be at the pavilion before “Mission: Space?” How would you compare the two?

DisneyDoofus writes about Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix's article about Pal Mickey:

You mentioned in your article that Pal Mickey says strange, sometimes unexplainable things. I have my own experience I would like to share with you. As I was entering World Showcase at the Mexico side, Mickey told me a joke about food and said we are what we eat. Just then, he said we should "watch out for blueberries, pal". Scary that I happened to be wearing a blue poncho that day. Also, as we passed through the Outpost section of World Showcase, he commented on some drums and said how they can "talk." He said he thought that they were saying, "It's raining." Scary again.

However, he is a neat little souvenir.

Where do you upload him? Should I do that on my next trip? Thanks.

Ah, yes, the blueberry joke. We heard that one several times. Pal Mickey says that when he's near flamingos, first explaining that the birds get their color from the pink shrimp they eat.

Each time you return to the parks, Pal Mickey should get a fresh upload as you enter the main gates. However, we know of at least two places where that did not happen on our trips — entering Epcot, and also at Animal Kingdom. Just to be sure, you can take him to any of the Pal Mickey stores and have them upload him again.

— Adrienne

Feedback for World View

Carri writes to Mark Goldhaber about his June 11 article on the windows on Main Street:

This window has always been a favorite of my family. We always wondered what the significance was. The name Bob Phelps is the name of my father, his father, and his father before him. Thanks.

That's great, Carri! Glad to be able to provide useful information!

Mary Jo writes:

Your articles on the windows is the most enjoyable of any Disney article I have read on any Disney Web site — and I have probably read thousands!

I have always been fascinated by the windows and my personal photo albums from nine trips to WDW are full of window pictures.

Your articles have inspired me to comprise a small album of windows only and I will be able to use your articles to label the pictures.

Thank you so much for such an enjoyable and enlightening story!

Hi, Mary Jo!

Wow, what a fabulous note! I don't believe that I'm worthy of it, yet I'm very grateful for it. (...And for those that may read this response in a MousePlanet Mailbag, I do not know Mary Jo, nor have I sent her great sums of money to write this!) I always try to be informative and entertaining in my articles, but I had worried that this one might be a little dry. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

I took many photos of all of the windows that I could get access to at Walt Disney World. (Some were behind decorative grillwork and I couldn't get a clear shot. Good thing those windows were listed in the book behind the desk at City Hall, as it was missing many of the other windows.) I was able to copy down all of the information on the windows, but some were not of a quality to be reproduced in the column. That's why there are only about nine shots per article. Part 3, to be published in mid-August, will have about nine photos, as well.

I also have some photos of windows that I took at Disneyland, including the window for Van Arsdale France, who wrote a book about his work life—most of which was spent with Disney—called Window on Main Street, which was one of the references I used in researching the article.

If you liked this series of articles, I think you'll like the one that will follow the series, as well later this summer. Thanks again for your note. It really made me feel wonderful. Have a magical day!

Brad E. writes:

Mark — I've been to WDW three times, Disneyland 1 time and Disney-Paris two times, both as a kid and also now with my kids. I'm going back this next February. I read all of your work that is on this Web page and cannot believe that I missed all at WDW that you were describing. I know have a whole new perspective on WDW as a whole.

Thanks a bunch and keep up the great work.

Hi Brad,

Wow! Thanks for your kind words. I always think that the stuff that I write is interesting, but it's nice to know that other people feel the same way! (And if there's anything that you'd like to see me write about, let me know and I'll see if I can cook something up.)

Feedback for Park Updates

Pam B. writes:

I wanted to comment on this morning's update with regard to the “flip” reply provided by a cast member. Doesn't that, in many ways, just sum up Disney's customer service lately? I can remember a horrid customer service experience my family, all 10 of us on this particular trip, had with a cast member during Fantasmic. It immediately brought to mind a scimitar experience this past December when my nephew and I visited DL. While waiting in line for the Mansion, I had been telling him about Maynard and what a great cast member Maynard is and how he makes the most of each ride.

My nephew wanted to see Maynard in action, so I asked the cast member at the turnstile where Maynard was working tonight. With the most sickly, syrupy, condescendingly sweet voice, she replied, “I don't know where Maynard is working tonight. I'm not his keeper.” We were so shocked we stopped dead in our tracks. It was so rude.

The cast members could at least try, especially when people are upset by something, to give even a one line explanation. People may still be made, but a lot of people are less mad when they understand why something that seems arbitrarily unfair is happening. Well that my soapbox, thanks for listening and keep up the great work!

Dave writes:

Your Park Update states Splash Mountain is reopening October 4, yet the official Disney site says it is closed at least through October 18. Do you have any more useful info on Splash Mountain for a family of 6 going to Disneyland October 11-18?

Everything is “subject to change without notice.” It looks like Disneyland may have changed the date again. Thanks for bringing it to our attention - we'll make sure to update the update. Have a great trip!

Feedback for previous mailbags, etc.

We ran an e-mail from Kevin O. in our June 12 Mailbag, in which he bemoaned a theft of his credit card number after visiting Disneyland. He writes with this update:

Lani, Thanks for writing. My bank has worked on this and it turns out it wasn't a Disney cast member, thank God! Someone had stolen my card number through a web site. Things are cleared up and my bank is working on their end to finish things up. Thanks for your advice, which I followed. My nephew works at Disneyland and was a big help too. Thanks again! Kevin

Hi Kevin;

Oh my goodness, that is such good news! Well, it's not good news what happened to you, but I'm glad you were able to track it down.

Thanks for the update!

Dylpaul writes:

I was wondering if anyone knows the lyrics to the new song Jasmine sings in Aladdin A Musical Spectacular at Disney's California Adventure?

Dylpaul — I don't know the lyrics, but you might be happy to know that Disney has recently released an original cast soundtrack for the show. Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular is now available at the Disneyland Resort. If you don't live nearby and can't wait for your next trip to pick up a copy, you can purchase one at MouseShoppe.

Mark B. writes:

Lani — Thank you for this awesome Web site. I have been searching high and low for an answer to the question: Is it permissible to bring food into Disneyland and/or DCA? One source says “Yes,” another says “No”... If “yes,” can you bring small coolers and put them in a locker? If “no,” can you bring your own bottled water? And maybe you can give me some insight into why this is such a complicated question to find the answer to? Thank you. Regardless of whether or not you even respond!

Hi Mark;

Unlike some other parks (such as Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, CA, where mothers are not even allowed to bring in bottled milk in coolers for their babies), Disneyland discourages people from bringing in food. If you read their policy carefully, they do not outright ban outside food, but they do state that you should not bring food into the parks.

What they are trying to do is to prevent folks from bringing in huge picnic baskets into the park and having a huge picnic spread. There is a picnic area outside the front entrance of Disneyland, adjacent to a locker room where one can store coolers.

If, however, you have a baby or toddler that needs to be fed, or you have a special diet that requires special foods (for example, perhaps a member of your party is hypoglycemic or diabetic), they will not turn such foods away at the gate.

Our understanding is that they don't confiscate food, and for the most part, persons bringing in a large purse with chips and candy and such in it, would not have problems bringing these items into the park. Persons with large coolers or food baskets may instead be directed towards the locker area (although we've discovered this is not consistently applied, either).

As far as I know, they have never stopped people from bringing in soda bottles and cups. One more wrinkle: With the opening of Downtown Disney and its many eateries, the cast members at the park gates will let persons through who are carrying doggy bags from their meals.

I suspect this complicated issue has to do with the park not having a firm rule against food. There seems to be quite a gray area, and as long as you are not bringing in a cooler or basket full of food, they do not seem to be too concerned.

Fortunately, if you wish to have a nice picnic, you can enjoy that picnic area near the entrance.

I'm not sure this answers your question, but I hope it gives you a bit more clarity.

Thanks for taking the time to write! —Lani

Mark wrote back, and asked another question:

Lani,

Thank you so much for your prompt response. And thank you for clarifying this whole issue. Your insights will help me to better plan and enjoy my trip to Disneyland next month with my family.

My family is going to be at DCA on Monday, August 11. I would really like to watch the Electrical Parade at 8:45... and am wondering whether or not we would have enough time to Disneyland immediately after the Parade, get through the gate, and have a decent viewing from Main Street of the 9:30 Fireworks show and/or a good seat for the 10:30 Fantasmic show?

Shoshana volunteered the following information for Mark:

If you get a spot near Sunshine Plaza (across/near Greetings From California) it is perfect because it puts you close to the gate and the parade starts there — so it ends there.

As soon as the last float passes. Cross into Disneyland and if you can get to right outside the AP precooking center (the Southwest section of the hub) you will be in a great spot for the fireworks.

Some people hit the Rivers of America for the second Fantasmic! as soon as the first one ends, but are stopped by ropes. Since you will be by the entrances of both Frontierland and Adventureland, see which one more people are coming out of, and use the other one as soon as the fireworks have ended. You should be able to get a decent spot. Beware the tables at River Belle, French Market and Stage Door Cafe because people will be standing in front of you.

Joe Scott writes:

Lani, I just read and enjoyed your article on the Disney World Marathon of 2003. It was my first marathon, and I am looking forward to doing next year's marathon. Thank You for mentioning my team: Team In Training. I'm not only a fund raiser and marathoner... I'm also a cancer survivor. You can read my story on my Web site: www.ScottSite.com.

Joe Scott

Hi Joe;

We normally don't run self-promotional links, but I'll make an exception for such a great cause. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I am in awe of folks like you, bicyclist Lance Armstrong, and Olympic ice skater Scott Hamilton, who not only survive cancer, but thrive by staying active in sports.

— Lani


GENERAL QUESTIONS

Do you have specific questions about an upcoming trip to Disneyland, Walt Disney World or another park, or do you need help with your trip planning? While you can contact one of the columnists, we encourage you to join our special MousePlanet community on our MousePad discussion board. There, you will find like-minded Disney park fans who can try to help answer your questions.

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