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MousePlanet Mailbag for July 7, 2005

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

Dave writes:

My daughter Erika is 21.

She is EMH (Educable Mentally Handicapped), but a charming gal that is highly functional. In fact she is just finishing up the second year of an Iowa Great Lakes Community College vocational program intended to help kids like Erika prepare for careers. She has a hospitality industry focus and has a dream to work at Walt Disney World.

She is finishing up this summer, and I would like to know how best to get her connected. Are their equal opportunity folks that I might begin talking with that you know of? Any help/guidance in this area would be much appreciated.

By the way Erika lives in her own rented place, how does housing work for Disney cast members?

Hi Dave – Disney is 100% EOE. There are so many positions at WDW (Full Time and Part Time) I'm sure she will find one she loves. Housing is left up to the individual cast member, but they usually can help you find a roommate – or show you where to go to find one. The Web site for information on available roles at Disney Careers (link)

The Walt Disney World JobLine at (407) 828-1000 is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. I pressed 1 for jobs available, 1 again and then 0. I talked to a woman who said "absolutely" they hire Educable Mentally Handicapped. So just give them a call and they'll help you with the next step. I wish your daughter luck and keep us posted!

Georgene writes:

Hi, I have been looking into auditioning for a Disney princess. but I can't find an application. Could you please send me some information or email me regarding this? It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time. georgene.

Hi Georgene – Check out the following sites:

  • This is Disneyland (link)
  • This is for WDW (link)
  • You'll find info on auditions, requirements, what roles are available and whom to contact.
  • You also might want to read these stories on character auditions (link 1, and link 2)

Good luck and keep me posted on what happens

Kathy writes:

I would just like to know how old a person has to be in order to work as a Disney Princess. Is it 18-years-old? And if so, are there any exceptions to the rule? Thank you.

Hi Kathy – Check out this page for info on auditions (link)

As far as I can tell, you must be 18 to portray a character (although you might need to look younger for certain roles). You should call the hotline number and find out if (and when) they make exceptions. Hope that helps and good luck!

David Jenkins writes:

Shoshana - I am a teacher and I am interviewing for a seasonal position at Walt Disney World on 6/3/05 to work summers, holidays, weekends and any other time I can. I have read your articles on MousePlanet about the interviewing process, is there any other tips you can give me for a successful interview and possible hire.

Hi David – The articles and stories on Cast Place are very helpful – dress well, firm handshake, smile, maintain eye contact. Practice some sample questions before you go:

  1. A difficult situation and how you handled it
  2. A strength and a weakness you have and how you deal with that
  3. Your favorite Disney movie/character/attraction and why
  4. Why you want to work for Walt Disney World (don't say free admission).

Get the interviewer's business card and write a thank you note (regardless of if you get the job). It makes a good impression.

I'd also go to the Disney Careers Web page (link). It breaks down the positions and "the Disney look" as well as benefits. I hope that helps! Good luck!

Angela writes:

I don't know if you are the right person to ask about getting more information about auditioning for Disney, but it is my dream to work there. love kids and I love musical theatre, and acting, I have been doing it since I was 10, I am 18 now. but any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Angela – The best place to look for auditions is here (link). There you'll find information for Hong Kong, Tokyo, the Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Under each listing they'll say what they are looking for: age, height, etc. Good luck and I hope you dream comes true

Going through our mailbag, we realized there was some email regarding our January 5 peanut butter article we thought might be worth sharing. In the article on Peanut Butter Mania at the Disneyland Resort (link), Shoshana Lewin asked for readers to write in with other places I might have missed. So thanks to the following observant readers and please add these spots to your PB list.

Eric Ryan writes:

You forgot to mention the Peanut Butter Painter's Palate at the Carnation Cafe. You get two large slices of white bread with peanut butter spread on one. You also get several small plastic cups containing jelly, raisins, marshmallows, & chocolate chips. Banana & orange slices as well as strawberry halves are also included. This is all served on an artist's paint palate with all of the cups set in small indentations where the paint would ordinarily go. My kids love it and order it every time. My daughter just puts the jelly on hers and then eats everything else straight out of the cup. My son puts everything, including all the fruit, on the sandwich.

Larry writes:

The peanut butter pallet at the restaurant in the middle of Main Street, next to watch shop, is wonderful. The pallet comes with raisons, jelly, marshmallow cream and other stuff to make your own PB sandwich. The restaurant usually has unnecessarily long lines with many as half the tables are closed on most days.

Ronnalee writes:

Love your Web site and all of the information you provide us! Just thought I would mention one of my favorites is the Honey Pot Krispie sold only at the candy store in Critter Country as you are exiting The Winnie The Pooh ride. The top of the crispy honey pot is dipped in chocolate and peanut butter (not enough peanut butter for me!). It is delicious!

Roger Kelly agreed, and writes:

You forgot the best treat in Pooh Corner, the Honey Pot Krispie – a rice krispie treat with both peanut butter and chocolate flavors, shaped and decorated like a honey pot. Enjoy!

Our own Mike Scopa writes:

If I may I'd like to point out my favorite peanut butter treat in Walt Disney World... you can find it at Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club. It's called a No Way Jose and it is best described as a peanut butter and hot fudge delight with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate morsels, whipped cream and a cherry – all for $7.99. My suggestion is to walk to Beaches & Cream from Epcot, because you're gonna need to somehow walk those calories off.

Brian writes:

Instead of spending $6 on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you can save yourself $5.96 and make it yourself at home. DL's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the single biggest rip-off at the entire resort, and it baffles me that people such as yourself would actually pay $6 for something that any 6 year old can make themselves at home in under six minutes.

Mary Kraemer writes:

Hi Shoshana. I read your article with interest, but probably for a very different reason than many other readers. One of my children's dearest friends, who has an Annual Passport, is deathly allergic to peanuts. Any one of the items that are so glowingly described in your article could cause a reaction that could endanger her life. It is good to know about so many of these items, just as a precaution! Thanks.

Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Shoshana here.

Feedback for Alex Stroup

Gavin Lambie writes:

I just wanted to drop MousePlanet a note of thanks.

A few months ago, you reported in your Disneyland update that the Disney Company was auctioning off retired Skyway Gondolas on Ebay. After watching several go to new homes, I decided to try myself... I wound up owning a turquoise cabin, #43.

I live in a loft in Seattle now, but I'm originally from Santa Ana. I've been going to Disneyland since I was a couple of weeks old in 1961. The Magic Kingdom's always been my 'happy place'. After several months of planning, I finally installed #43 in my home this week, hanging 13 feet above my living room floor. I feel like I live in Tomorrowland!

I'd have never heard about this great piece of Disneyland had it not been for your reporting. Thanks so very much.

Photo by Gavin Lambie.

Jeffrey writes:

I recently visited Disneyland on June 28 to see the fireworks for the first time. I am a deluxe annual passholder and have been a passholder for years. I came with my wife and 22-month-old son. In hindsight, it was probably not a good idea to have brought my young boy since the fireworks were too loud and scary for him. However, the experience pointed out a problem that I hope the park will alleviate for the remainder of the summer.

The problem has to do with crowd control. Having read the reviews on the new fireworks display, I knew that the majority of the park guests would crowd the Main Street area, in particular, right in front of the castle since most of the special effects are visible in this area. This causes one major oversight. You can't get out of the park during the fireworks display via Main Street.

We began watching the fireworks on the opposite side of the castle by Dumbo. Once it became apparent that my son was too frightened to continue watching the fireworks (to his credit, he never cried but did bury his face in my wife's shoulder and grabbed her around the shoulders in a death grip), my wife was adamant about leaving the park. Since the castle is roped off

during the show, you cannot go through the castle. Since the crowds are extremely thick, we also could not go through the walkway between the castle and the Matterhorn. Therefore, we decided to walk around the Matterhorn, around by Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters only to come to the throng of people standing in front of the castle. I did not check to see if the Monorail was running during the fireworks, but my wife told me that it was not.

As we approached the hub, crowd control only was able to send people straight across. This meant that we basically went from Tomorrowland to Adventureland, but we wanted to go down Main Street to exit the park. There was no such avenue that was apparent to us that the crowd control employees were supplying for people such as ourselves. As we arrived in Adventureland, we saw two other mothers also carrying their children asking a crowd control attendant how to get out. The attendant basically told them that at this point, they would just have to wait five more minutes before the fireworks show would end. She did not say there was a way to get out. (Just an aside, but I was thinking about the Haunted Mansion at this point because there is a part in the fireworks show which plays the recording of the attraction in which your "chilling challenge is to find a way out.")

At this point, I told my wife to take our son into one of the nearby stores just so that the loud noises of the fireworks would be somewhat lessened by being indoors. However, once the five minutes had passed by and the fireworks were over, it became quite apparent that it was going to take much longer just to get out of the park. The logjam in Main Street created by the throng of people remained a logjam since these same people had different ideas of where they wanted to go. If the park was about to close, then obviously everyone would be headed in the same direction of the exits. However, with one more showing of Fantasmic in New Orleans Square and at least another hour and a half before the park would close, people still wanted to ride some rides and catch Fantasmic. As I peeked at Main Street approximately ten minutes after the show had ended, I could see that no one was moving in Main Street. Therefore, I felt that we basically would have to wait for the crowd to ! disperse somewhat before trying to push my son in his stroller to the exits.

In short, the fireworks show started at 9:25 P.M. By the time we made it to the exit, it was 10:30 P.M.

As my wife and I spoke to other park guests with little kids (including my friends and their two kids who we amazingly ended up bumping into while waiting in Adventureland), it seemed extremely apparent to us that this crowd control problem was unusual and dangerous. As we were waiting in Adventureland as a sea of people from Main Street made their way past us, there was an attendant who was going in the opposite direction like a salmon swimming upstream. This attendant was yelling to the crowd to let him through and we heard the word "nurse" and saw a person being pushed in a wheelchair behind him. We weren't sure if someone had been hurt due to the crowd of people or not. However, my friend said that he saw people panicking in Main Street since so many people were in such a confined space. One of the ladies we talked to said she feared that her daughter was going to be trampled by other people.

Later, we realized that this particular day was the last day for Southern California Annual Passholders for the summer. So, the large number of people could have been inflated by this fact. However, with July and August normally being two of the busiest months of the year, this problem isn't going away soon. I hope that eventually crowd control will make a pathway for people to get out. If they actually did that night, I hope they make it much clearer to park guests so they can get out. Also, they need to alert their crowd control people to direct guests to this pathway since the one we overheard in Adventureland apparently did not know of any way to get out.

I have always been a fan of Disney and Disneyland (why else would I be an annual passholder for years.); however, I am concerned that this fireworks show and the crowds it generates in front of the castle in Main Street could be a hazardous situation for many park guests. I hope that some semblance of a better plan will be instituted in the future. Of course, I understand that with new shows and attractions, there is a learning curve of how to deal with large crowds. However, due to the darkness in which this show is played, people's vision aren't at their best. I don't want anyone to trample over little kids or to not be able to see where crowd control is directing you. Just from my own personal experience, I know that other people experienced the same worries that night that my wife and I did. Just from that, I am sure that other people have similar stories to tell.

Jeffrey – Thanks for the story, Jeffrey. The new fireworks have certainly created some crowd control challenges. Hopefully park management will be able to find ways to improve the situation, but there is only so much that can be done.

For your particular situation, once you decided it was time to leave, the best way out was probably the Disneyland Railroad. It does continue running during the fireworks and takes you around the crowds between you and the front gate.

Also, for parents with young children who may not be up to the noise and spectacle, I would recommend watching from the Main Street Station platform. The view is still pretty good and it provides ready access to the exit.

Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Alex here.


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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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.



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