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MousePlanet Mailbag for Thursday, November 4, 2004

We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. Although we cannot publish them all, the following may be of interest to our readers.

Feedback for Shoshana Lewin

Shoshana's four-part series on “Working for the Mouse” (read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) received a number of comments and queries from our readers. Matt writes:

Hello, I have enjoyed your stories on “Working for the Mouse,” but I would like to comment on something I've noticed from applying with Disney four times. I've noticed that you don't always have to be the best or most qualified for the postion in the group interviews. You just need to be the best out of what they choose.

Hi Matt – Excellent observation. I think the two go together. Many times a person can be very qualified, but might not be able to put in the hours. It is always the luck of the draw. A medium-qualified person might be selected from a group of three where the other two had no clue. But if you put that same person in another group where the other two are very qualified, her/she might not stack up as well. The best thing to do is be confident, dress to impress, speak clearly and make it clear that you want to work for them.


Carl writes:

Hi there. This probably isn't the type of message you had in mind but I'm hoping you might be able to help with something. I'm a WDWCP Alum (EPCOT/Studios) and am currently the Marketing and Promotions Director at Radio Disney Phoenix. I'm looking for part timers to help out with our weekend events. I'd like to get more of that Disney Magic on our team and think that a great way to do so would be to get some CP Alumni from the Phoenix area on staff. Do you have any ideas how I could identify such individuals? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Hi Carl – You are in luck. I checked and there is a Web site for former members of WDWCP called DisneyAlumni.com (link). All you have to do is register yourself and you can access all the info you need.

I wish there was one for those of us who did it at Disneyland.

Good luck on your search—I hope it works! BTW, if you ever wanted to share your tales from WDWCP with our MousePlanet readers—I'm sure they'd love to hear them.


Brad writes:

Hi! How old do you have to be to work at Walt Disney World?

Hi Brad – I called the jobline and was told the age minimum for some positions is 16—everything else is 18. If you call the jobline, (407) 828-1000, you can find out about specific roles and what is available now.


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact us at the Shoshana here.
Feedback for Mike Scopa

Leslie Meister writes:

Another enjoyable read ! Agreed with your opinions re Poly parking and California Grill - long felt the same way. And, I could not believe when we exited SE on our trip last month that we entered the totally dark Global Neighborhood - come on people ! Lots of good info which I'm happy to have for our upcoming trip on Halloween. Please, please keep these articles coming.

Hi Leslie – I hope you find use for some of those tips.

Assuming you attend the Mickey Not So Scary Hallowwen Party (MNSSHP) I want you to pay attention to the ride of the Headless Horseman during the party.

The real star is the horse who from what I've been told has been doing this for 15 years and thankfully knows the routine. You see, the cast member riding the horse has a tiny slit to look out through and depends upon that horse to go the route during every party.


Debra Beller writes:

You wrote (in the Walt Disney World Tip Update article): If you shop in Mouse Gear, check out the decor of the store. There is a particular spot in this store that is the home for a very recognized object from a much-loved attraction. So who will be the first to drop me a note to tell me what that object could be?

Answer: its the Dreamfinder's vehicle/bike-like thing from the original ride at the Journey into Imagination pavilion.

Hi Debra – Nice job. You are correct.

I think that we will constantly see “attraction recycling” as the WDW theme parks go through transitions.

I could tell you where more of these recycled objects are but I'm working on that for a future article.


Stewart Dimon writes:

Your column on WDW Tips was great. After a 10 day visit this past June (first visit in 6 years) I can concur with a lot of what you said. For me, one of the worst things that I can see in a Disney Park is an unused facility (Adventureland Veranda (MK); Wonders of Life in Epcot; Odyssey Restaurant in Epcot. I also “don't get” Disney's Animal Kingdom park (like a lot of folks)—a train around the entire park would help—as would a lot more Indoor Facilities (e.g. Restaurants).

I enjoyed the food at the Flame Tree BBQ, but the facility is way too spread out, and there are no Indoor (hence air conditioning) options there. The focus is on the animals, but they are “Nahtazu”—um, ok... so what are they then? A wild animal park? I'm not sure. And I wonder about the addition of the "Everest Expedition" Attraction—sure, it will be great for those who love a wild Roller Coaster Experience, but I can get that at my local 6-Flags or Paramount Park—I go to Disney for more than just the thrill rides (OK - - I do like Big Thunder, and Splash Mountain—but Rock 'n' Roller Coaster; Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and “attractions” of that type are generally a little too “over the top” for my liking.

Hi Stew – I think we all know what we are spending for admission to the parks so is it not too much to expect that the parks would be operating at close to 100%?

I think that an admission adjustment should be made when a certain percentage of attractions are down.

In the early '90s Universal Studios Florida gave away free admission due to the trouble they had with some attractions.

The Animal Kingdom Park has truly become an enigma. A theme park should not have something like Dino-rama... that's for amusement parks.

It is a zoo? Well sorta... animals in pens and cages. But it's also an animal park because of the Savannah.

So what's the connection with an attraction named Expedition Everest and a theme Park named “Disney's Animal Kingdom?” Obviously there has to be an animal involved...and it's supposed to be a Yetti.

So does this mean that the Animal Kingdom will have an area that will concentrate on animals from mythology or legend? Possibly. With attendance hurting they need something to draw the crowds.

The imagineers need to remember the word “theme” from “theme park.” Their imagineering and theming skills are legendary... thrill rides are easy to invent... themed attractions is what Disney is all about.


Maggie writes:

I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your recent tip update. I found many tidbits of info that will really serve me, my husband, and my parents well on our (quickly!) up-coming trip. Yes, some things were disappointing to read, but I would rather be let down now than when I have already gotten really excited about it.

I really enjoyed the column and look forward to the next one, even though it will be after my trip. Thanks for helping up the anticipation!

Hi Maggie – Thanks for the note.

Sometimes I struggle with sharing some information because the info is not always positive information.

However I think it's important to be as best prepared as possible for your trip.

Ho many times have you gone somewhere and at one point started out a sentance with, “Well if I had known that...” and had to make adjustments right then and there?

I don't like certain surprises so I'm guessing that others feel the same.

Have a great trip.


Kathryn McKinney writes:

Thank you for your Web site. Any and all information prior to a Disney trip is helpful.

May I speak to the Disney buses, please. How do they get away with this? How is it that Disney is allowed to literally jam people on to buses and barrel down the highway at 60 miles an hour with men, women and children, small children and even infants, hanging on, if they are in fact able to hang on, for dear life? Has there never been a discussion about this? I find it reprehensible and downright frightening. I hate to be on those full buses.

While we discuss full buses. What has happened to common courtesy and respect? Able bodied men, young men and young women as well as famillies with several young children sitting in individual seats rather than on a parents' lap, sitting while elderly, women or the very young stand and attempt to hold on while juggling strollers, packages, etc. What are we becoming? Has anyoneone any thoughts about this?

Hi Kathryn – There will always be a chance that taking a bus in Walt Disney World will get you a less than desireable driver and a less than desireable bus full of guests.

I remember riding the busses 14 years ago and my wife remarked how at the end of a long day at the parks everyone is looking for a seat.

Sometimes fatigue shoves courtesy right out the window.

It was right then and there that I decided to never be without a car in WDW so my family would always have a seat after a long day.

When a guest takes a WDW bus he basically gives control over to the bus driver. I try to maintain as much control as possible when visiting WDW.


Penny Rushing writes:

I read your update.. very informative!

I am planning my trip to Disney for my family for our very first trip ever, and I am trying to decide when the best time to go would be.

I am thinking possibly January?

I have been doing research via books and internet and it seems that Jan has the smallest crowds and cheapest prices to stay. I have one child and he is 9. If I am going to pull him out of school for a week to go, I want it to be well worth the trip. I know that we probably will not be able to do the water parks.. and that is ok. I would really rather focus on the parks themselves.

Do you have any suggestions?? I am really kind of just going blind here.

Thank you for any feedback you can supply.

Hi Penny – I always maintain that anyone planning a trip to WDW should always customize the trip to best suit their vacation needs.

If you go in January my suggestion would be to go sometime during the second half of the month.

Please note that the WDW Marathon is on January 9th and the crowds may be high the week before or week after this event.

Keep in mind that going in the off season could mean some attractions and shows may not be running. If you have several targeted attractions to experience you may run the risk of them being down for maintenance.

It is so difficult to predict the weather for January. My guess is that most of the time the daytime temperatures will be between 50 and 70 but there's no guarantee.

If you are looking for both light crowd periods and lowest prices (and by lowest prices I am talking about on-site resorts) consider the following 2005 time periods:

Jan. 1st – February 16th
Nov. 27th –December 19th
August 21 – September 30th

You will probably get the best prices and lowest crowds for these three periods.

You will see the lowest crowds in January but also probably the highest number of down attractions.

Second to January is November, although you have the added Christmas celebrations.

Late August will give you the best opportunity to have the best of both worlds, and if you can time it right, no schooltime will be missed.

A family of three can nicely enjoy a room at Pop Century. The value is outstanding so keep that resort in mind.

Again, do what's best suits your needs, and if stuck you know where I live—erh—where I read my mail.


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact us at the Mike here.
Feedback for Lani Teshima

Steve B. writes:

Why are all of the new rides coming out of Florida? I thought Disneyland was where everything started. Disneyland needs to be first, when it comes to changes and or New ideas.!!

I cannot understand why Tommorrowland is so weak looking.When will The disney company come back to leading technology in future ideas, not the latest and greatest film.

Hi Steve – A lot of people feel the way you do, Steve.

I also wouldn't complain about their latest and greatest movies. While Disney did very well with Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean last year, they have yet to have that same level of hit in any of their movie releases this year.


After we ran a several comments from readers (link) who were critical of our coverage of the accidents at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as well as David Koenig's article about his negative experience with a “60 Minutes” researcher from CBS, we were pleasantly surprised to get email providing some support for what we did. Brian Martin writes:

Great respect to you for the way you have handled the latest assault of mad readers. I am not sure how I would have handled some of the letters you so graciously responded to. If readers want to get into a huff over a breaking story that may need a few facts figured out as you go along, then let them also freak out over such unreviewed evidence that some major television stations did not properly check out. News is not complete sometimes and needs to be updated and corrected when necessary. I have seen corrected information on this site before and it is simply a matter of the world “needing” to know all the information right now.

In the latest Mailbag, a reader, D. Proctor, stated in regards to guests being worried, unhappy etc. about Disneyland. His statement, “...then don't go. It's that simple!” I agree completely; but they need to let Disneyland know whay they have changed plans. Yes Disneyland is owned by a corporation, but that corporation still wants you to come back often. They will listen if everyone tells them what is on their minds.

Lani, I love to read your responses. Not only do you continue to be analytical and fair; but your responses make the writers think about their anger and re-think their “facts.” I have been visiting MousePlanet for a year or so and love everything I find here. Keep up the great work on the site and don't ever let anyone get you down.

Hi Brian – Cut it out. You're making me blush.

Thanks for your comments. It brightened my day.


Kevin O'Neal writes:

I've never seen so many attack letters aimed at MousePlanet before. I have to commend you for your boldness in printing them. I've been attacked for petty little things in my mickeynews articles, but some of these letters really take the cake! Kudos to you for printing them and for proving to us all that it takes all kinds! And, by the way, I'm a big fan of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I sit in the front and in the back. I totally trust the Disney team, from those on the front lines to those behind the scenes. I think some people need to get a grip!


Rusty writes:

Greetings Lani. Please excuse me if this is known info.

I am guessing you may have already received this. While reading 'mailbag' this morning I remembered some deaths that occurred at Magic Mountain.

here is something I pulled off this site (link).

Magic Mountain has not always had smooth sailing. With recent talks to safety going around, a interesting fact is Magic Mountain has had a total of 5 deaths over the years. Revolution and Mountain Express both claimed employees, we all know of the infamous Colossus incident [a over weight woman fell out of her seat on one of the camel backs, which were later modified], a man died on Eagles Flight [skyway type ride] after knocking has car loose, and last years incident on Goliath. While it sounds high, keep in mind that only 3 guests have died at the park in the last 31 years.

Thanks to all the staff for all the good reading I get on MousePlanet. Rusty

Hi Rusty – Thank you so much for sending me this info. Five deaths—not “every day” but it's definitely not a completely clean slate.


Marci writes:

Hiya, there was a e-mail today about accidents at Magic Mountain and just wanted to share a site that is trying to keep updated on such happenings. themeparkinsider.com im not affilliated with it, just a fan. magic doesnt sseem to have a higher than normal number of fatalaties, mostly stupid people or someone with a prior ailment (aneurysm, etc.) anyways, just wanted to share in case you were interested

Hi Marci – You're right—my general impression is that Magic Mountain may be typical of what you might find at a large amusement park.

Thanks for taking the time to write!


Louise writes:

I just finished reading some of the letters regarding the reopening of BTM at Disneyland. I was at the park the day after the attraction reopened and was the first in line. After being walked through the line, I proceeded to the front car and had a great ride. I spoke with a Big Thunder Mountain Cast Member before the ride opened for the day and he mentioned he had ridden it a number of times since its reopening.


Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact us at the Lani here.

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.

VOICE YOUR OPINION

Did you read something interesting (good or bad) on MousePlanet, or here in the Mailbag? We'd love to hear from you! Send your comments to the Mailbag here.

We welcome your questions and comments, but keep in mind that all questions submitted to MousePlanet become property of this Web site. Letters of interest to the readership may be published, and may include your full name unless you specifically request that your last name not be published. They may be edited for length or style and in consideration of a family readership. Questions may also be quoted on other parts of the site as well.

PREVIOUS MAILBAGS

2005

• January: 6, 13, 20, 27
• February: 3, 10, 17
• March: 10, 17, 31
• April: 14, 21, 28
• May: 26
• June: 2, 9, 30
• July: 7, 28
• August: 4, 11, 18, 25
• September: 4, 15, 22, 29
• October: 1327

2004

• January: 8, 15, 22
• Febuary: 12, 19, 26
• March: 18, 25
• April: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
• May: 13, 20
• June: 3, 17, 24
• July: 1, 22, 29
• August: 5, 26
• September: 9, 23, 30
• October: 14, 21, 28
• November: 4, 18
• December: 2, 9

2003

• November: 13
• September: 4, 18
• August: 21, 28
• July: 10, 17, 24, 31
• June: 12
• May: 22, 29
• April: 10, 24
• March: 6, 13, 27
• February: 13, 20
• January: 9, 16, 30

2002

• December: 5, 12, 19

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MousePlanet® is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available at www.disney.com. This MousePlanet Web site provides independent news articles, commentary, editorials, reviews, and guides primarily about the theme park resorts of the Walt Disney Co. All information on this site is subject to change. Please call destinations in advance to confirm the most up-to-date information.