Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hey! Dragon. Dragon, not lizard. I don't do that tongue thing.


I have a radio show..... so take that people who said I would never get one. Which, if we count those who doubted in Europe but not the people who doubted in Antartica and the southern most coast of France, that equals zero whole people.

Anyways..... (Insert excruciatingly awkward silence here, and possibly a trip to your local grocery store because you're out of milk and I know you dont plan on eating your special "grown up" breakfast of two bowls of Cocoa Krispies followed by one bowl of Corn Flakes dry)

Now that we have that out of the way, yes I have a radio show. Towards the end of the last semester, the folks at Owl Radio granted me two hours on Monday to talk about whatever I wanted to. Naturally I chose to spend these precious hours to talk about the wonders of sweaters with Kittens on them (of the stories). The concept went over their heads and naturally I went to the second choice, Disney. (Do you realize how little substance their actually is tothis post? How does blogger allow me to keep this thing?)

Here are some quick hits about the show:

Name: Pause, Rewind, Play featuring an Hour in Wonderland
When: Mondays from 9PM to 11PM
Who: Your favorite Disney blogger (no, not that person, I mean me), CP Chris, and Mark the disney guru (loosely defined guru)

So that's that, check out the show when we resume this semester.

Now for something different. How about a story? I feel good one of course, how about my favorite Magical Moment working at Beaches and Cream (or one of my favorite):
It was a relatively slow day at Beaches and Cream. I was put on "to-go" window duty with my buddy (and now radio co-host....see that, full circle) Chris. Now there were only two families eating in the restaurant and nobody was in our line so he and I were enjoying a rather competitive game of hangman (the category, retro disney....yeah, we are those kind of nerds and proud of it). A mother and her little boy came in for lunch and sat at the counter in front of us ending our game (I was winning FYI). The mom looked to be enjoying the air conditioner and her son was looking pretty happy and so we got to talking with them.

They told us that they had just come back from the Magic Kingdom to get a nap and a bite to eat before meeting back up with the rest of the family that night at EPCOT. So we asked the boy what his favorite thing was about Magic Kingdom. And that's when his grin got bigger. "I rode the Space Mountain and I wasn't afraid." That's when his mom told us that they go to Disney World a couple times a year and everytime the boy opted to take the white gate exit rather than ride the ride. But not today, today he found the courage to ride and he loved it. Well Chris and I decided this was a feat to be celebrated. So while he stayed there talking to them the family, I went on a scavenger hunt.

I first checked the storage area that we kept this particular object, nothing. So then I went through the kitchen to the manager's office, they were out. One more guess, I headed over to Cape May's offices but alas, they too were out. Then it hit me, I left the restaurant area and headed to the front desk of the resort and finally obtained two free guest Holy Grails, "I'm Celebrating" pins. I borrowed a sharpie, wrote what I had to on them and headed back, mission accomplished.

Catchint them just as they were finishing paying, Chris and I awarded them their pins. For the boy, "I'm Celebrating: Conquering Space Mountain" and for his mom, "I'm Celebrating: (Then an arrow pointing to her son) He Did." At this point the boy was beaming. As they were leaving, the boy showed everybody he could his new Medal of Honor. From the servers, to the seaters, and even the guests that were eating lunch. He was so happy! They left and Chris and I resumed our game. Just another day at Walt Disney World.

Finally, I believe I promised you guys a picture of me in my costume so enjoy, and be nice:

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So I'm No Expert.....Just Expertish

The World Famous Kitchen Sink

You can travel the world a million times, but you will never see it all. Alright, so I haven't been to Disney World a million times but you see my point, there will always be something you haven't seen or done everytime you go. I learned this lesson in a big way on the first day of my Summer Alumni program. You see, when I arrived, I was given an assignment at a restaurant that I knew nothing about.....Beaches and Cream.

Located in the EPCOT Resort's Beach Club, Beaches and Cream is a 50's style malt shop. Complete with soda fountains, jukebox with period music (there will be an entire post dedicated to this machine), and soda jerks (though I considered them okay people....get it, jerks....oh whatever), Beaches and Cream harkned back to a simpler time when burgers were 5 cents, sodas 10 cents, and touch screen registers were all the rage.

Beaches had great burgers and hot dogs and that sort of fare, but it was it's ice cream treats that brought in the crowds. I learned to make everything from an old fashioned banana split and hot fudge sundaes to Brownie Mudslides and Milkways. And then there was the Kitchen Sink, a really adventure an a half. This is the awesomeness that was the Kitchen Sink:
-Hot Fudge
-Peanut Butter
-2 scoops Vanilla
-2 scoops Chocolate
-2 scoops Strawberry
-1 scoop Mint Chip
-1 scoop Coffee
-Strawberry topping
-Pineapple topping
-Bundt Cake
-1 Whole can of whipped cream
-Angel food cake
-4 oreos
-Handful of cherries
-All the small hard toppings (sprinkles and the like)
-MarchMallow topping
-Chocolate syrup
All served in a sink shaped bowl. And best of all, there's a challenge. If one person completes this everest sized behemoth of a's FREE (free at Disney is an award all its own.....the 2 weeks of stomach aches following are just a reminder of the victory). However, I saw grops of five and six come in and only get through about half of one. But they all have fun doing it. Which is why I encourage all of you out there to find a group of friends while on your program and try it at leat once.

Throw in some great CP's, the experience of working in one of Disney World's best Deluxe Resorts, and some good ol' fashioned pixie dust and you have one heck of a College Program. And to think, I probabl would have never experienced this Disney gem if I hadn't been assigned to work there. That is why I emphasize exploration on your program, you never know what treasures you'll find.

Have a Zip-A-De...wait what? You say I'm forgetting something? You say I didn't tell you anything about the costume I got to wear working at this unique location? Psshhh, you don't want to hear about that. It's boring. So as I was saying, Have a Zi......fine, I'll tell you about it, shesh. Close your eyes and, don't actually close your eyes, how will you be able to read this with your eyes closed? Mentally close your eyes and picture a pair odd light blue pants being held up with a pair of eye blindingly yellow suspenders. Then think of every pastel color you can and imagine that as a slightly ruffly rainbow stripped buttoned down long sleeve shirt and just for fun, throw in a bow tie that matches those wonderful suspenders and there, voila you have a, I mean a Beaches and Cream Cast Member (of course, girls wear a dress variation of this pallet). I'll post a picture soon.


Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Makin Memories

I was trying to decide what to cover for my first post back. I figured I would talk about my latest College Program at the end of the week and instead focus on Disney's newest marketing promotion today with a quick look at wher they've been and where they ar now. Enjoy:

Disney’s marketing teams have been VERY busy the past couple of years.

First there was the ‘Year of a Million Dreams’ and the Disney Dream Squads. Now this, was by far my favorite, favorite, favorite, Disney promotion in the many years I’ve been going. There was a push of over fantasization (FYI, not a word) in all aspects of the parks and resorts. From dream Fast Passes, to special YOMD Mickey Ears (which I have a pair), and even a stay in Cinderella’s Castle, everything about Disney World seemed to radiate with even more magic than ever before. oh, and who could forget those amazing Annie Lebowitz pictures.....amazing. This video pretty much sums up what I’m getting at:

They followed that up with a different kind of celebration, a celebration of the guests. ‘Celebrate You’ was a promotion that inspired guests to celebrate everything and anything they could think of. It brought forth new celebration buttons including “I Graduated”, “Happily Ever After” and even a basic “I’m Celebrating” for any occasion ( Picked up these on random days in the parks to celebrate everything from a day off, to a new haircut, and even Canada Day…..hey, when in Rome, or uh, Quebec?). This also introduced free admission on your birthday and Give a Day Get a Disney Day in which those who went out of their way to better their community by volunteering, received free admission to the parks (not a bad trade off). Hey, it’s like the song says, “In Everything You Do, Celebrate You!”

And that’s what leads us to this past September and Disney’s announcement of their newest and possibly most interesting promotion to date, Memories (a celebration of past, present, and future memories). Disney has already unveiled certain aspects of this promotion including the incorporation of guest pictures taken in the park, integrated into the night time show on Cinderella’s Castle through the use of some interesting Disney Imagineering magic. They have already started running a series of promotions which are almost entirely comprised of family home videos of the parks. This is why I am excited. With their past track record and the real potential Disney has to in front of them to celebrate past and future Disney fans with ‘Memories’ it will be interesting to see how Disney will take this to infinity and beyond!

There are really so many ways Disney can go with this that this could prove to be the best promotion ever, until the next one of course....I suggest "The Year of The Purple Folder Cp", what do you think?

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Purple Folder: Chapter 2: The Empire Strikes Back......or Attack of the Clones?


Hey guys....

Uhh, long time no see....

Where have I been?.....

Well you see, this evil witch turned me into a llama and me and this large dude who sounded alot like Fred Flinstone got lost in these woods and I could've sworn we were being chased by Patrick from Soarin'and he was speakin chipmunk Squirrel and telling me that I had to stow my Mickey Ears under my seat. And I was all like Genie, for my third wish, I wish you were free so that I could finally get back the Purple Folder when suddenly this weird psycho lady came and kidnapped my 100 brothers and sisters and myself (by this point I was a puppy and not a llama, just for clarification purposes). Then she brought us to this weird Mansion where Eddie Murphy was blabbing on about selling real estate and a Fortune Teller who was only a head told me how to get to a computer so that I could start blogging again, however, she led me to this under water cavern where a crab and a fish told me that I had to leave before this fish lady's father found me....of course I didnt listen and I was found and the only way he would let me go was if I pulled this sword out of the stone and became King of England (let me tell you, more trouble than its worth). Let me just summarize a few details and bring you to the end of the story. I was mauled by a mangy lion with a scar on its face, brought to the future to help fix a time machine that I supposedly built (go figure), saved by a short dude with a big ol hump on his back (he's sensitive about it, so if you see him, dont mention it),ummmm beat some broccoli colored lady who turned into a dragon, learned its not easy being green from a frog of all things, talked to a cricket who told me to wish upon a star and now Im here. What, why did the lion have a scar on it's face? You read that entire story and that's the only question you have? That's the only thing that sticks out to you? Boy, you guys must really be Disney fans......and that's a great thing.

Hey guys and galls, let me first address the flying circus elephant in the room. Yes I have been absent from The Purple Folder for well over 4 months now but Im here now and not only do I feel ready to start writing again, but I have some great new stories and insights straight from my latest adventure in the Disney College Program. I also have some great new article and series ideas, including new top fives, some great trivia, and even a few inerviews with people (many whom I call my friend and they call me "ol' what's his know, the weird guy with the funny hair") who worked in different roles during their programs and who will give you their insights, advice, and crazy stories from.

So where do we go from here?

I call Tabula Rasa, a blank slate. Out with the old and in with the new. This is the beginning of "The Purple Folder: Chapter 2." From today on, I welcome back my old readers (those who went nuts and apparently didnt unsubscribe to my blog), new readers who either share in my love of all things disney and/or are getting ready to embark on your own College Program adventure (I encourage you to take the time and check out some of my past articles), and the random person who went googling for blogs all about purple folders (Im sorry to mislead you dude). I look forward to getting started again and I hope you enjoy.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I was Thinking About Thinking a Thought....but Decided I'd Write Instead


Pardon the slight LOST reference ahead...

I always talk about the Cast Member difference. About how we are in the business of making the guests happy, and as Major Paine says, “Business is good.” We go out of our way to make sure each guest has the best time possible at Disney World. This concept takes on different names, whether it’s “The Disney Difference” or “Magical Moments” or even “Just doing what I love.” But no matter what you call it, it works. It is why the guests come back again and again and again. They know that every time they come to Walt Disney World they can expect the same level of guest service. It is the constant.

But the problem with my constant prattling on about well…the constant, is that up to now I have forgotten to stress the absolute importance of the second part of the equation, the variable. But what is the variable in this equation (Cast Member + ? = Perfect Disney Experience)? Before I continue, let me point out two things: 1) This is obviously a simplified version of what I’m sure is a large equation full of fractions and multiplication and other ‘algorithmic’ doo-dads, but I’m not a math major so we are sticking A+B=C. 2)'?' Can equal whatever you want it to equal but because I rule over this magical kingdom known as the Purple Folder, it equals what I say it equals and that’s that…….so meh.

Anyways, back to faux math and the variable. So again, what is the variable? Well, it is the people around you, or at least most of them. I was writing a post on the different types of guests (which is still in the works) and when I was working on “the true Disney guest” two particular instances immediately came to mind. During one of our vacations to WDW I was charged with the task of getting fast passes to Test Track for the four of us that were there (my mom, brother, sister, and myself….I’m not sure where the other’s were). Anyways, I ran up ahead only to find out that Test Track was out of passes for the day. Discouraged, I turned around and I was ready to head back with the news when an older company two FP machines away called me over and handed me five FP that were for later in the evening. Apparently their group was able to get a dinner reservations for a restaurant in the World Showcase but it was during the allotted time. And rather than throwing them away or keeping them but not using them, they walked all the way to Test Track where I guess they figured someone would want them and gave them away (to me, SCORE!). I thanked them and that was that. Sort of…

You see, years later and this singular act of kindness still comes to me as I write these posts. And not just now, but when I was on the program as well. Most guests come to Disney World for anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks (roughly, I account for the European travelers here on ‘holiday’). In that time, they are trying to take in the full Disney experience because most of them don’t know the next time they’ll be back. We on the College Program however, can come and go as we please for months. We wake up in the morning (maybe feeling like P. Diddy, maybe not) and we say to ourselves, “Where do I want to go today? I can go for a swim, enjoy a nice walk around the block, or hey, what about a stroll down Main Street?” But I find myself getting further and further away from the point. Their kindness, in giving the FP, stuck with me.

The other instance that cames to mind (and maybe it’s just an EPCOT thing) as I write this happened at Soarin'. We had gotten to EPCOT around one in the afternoon and as you would expect, the FP for Soarin’s were just about out but we were able to get some for something like 9 or 9:30 (it’s been over a year, cut me some slack on the time). So my roommates and I (the aforementioned “we”) headed into the World Showcase where we proceeded to eat drink and be merry. Anyways, we were having such a great time that before we knew it, it was time to use the FP. Well, we decided that we would rather just stay in the WS and so we found a group of people roughly fitting our group size and we gave them the passes and told them that they were for the current time, their reaction though, I did not expect. They were from up north (maybe Pennsylvania?) and it was they’re first time to Disney World. One of the big things they wanted to do apparently was Soarin’ but the line was always about two and a half hours and the FP were generally out by the time they got there (I wonder what they would have thought if they saw the Toy Story Mania line). Any who, they told us that we made their vacation and thanked us and such. A small gesture and it made all the difference.

That is why the guests and guest interactions are such an important part of the Disney equation. What they (and we on our days off) have such a big impact on the overall experience. Now, I’m not telling you to give up your FP every time you have one, because we are allowed to have fun too. But keep this in mind don’t forget that even when you are a guest in the parks, you have just about as much of an ability to make a guest’s day as any Cast Member. Be a “true Disney guest” and as always….

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Post Olympics and Those Always in Ears.....Top Fives

Another Vista Way Morning

I have two Top Fives for you happy people today, and I guess you unhappy people can read them as well if you so desire. The first delves into what the Olympics would be like if it were composed solely of Walt Disney World events. The second gives you ideas of when you can wear your ears when you aren't in the parks. Enjoy!

Top Five Disney World Olympic Events

5 Waterfall Roulette – I know that I have mentioned this in a previous post, but it bears repeating for the Olympics. For those of you who are unaware of what roulette is, it’s a gambling game in which you choose a spot or color on a wheel. The wheel is then spun a ball is dropped in. If the ball lands on the spot you selected you win. But what if the game is reversed? What if instead of winning on the selected spot, you won by choosing where it lands wrong? That’s what Kali River Rapids does. You and eleven other guests enter a circular watercraft. Come waterfall time, 2-4 guests are going to be met with a wall of water. You had better have chosen correctly.

4 End of the Night Triathlon – After a full day of rides, food, and fun in the Magic Kingdom, all you want to do is go home. And guess what, so do the other ten thousand guests in the park. Welcome to the End of the Night Triathlon. It is you and your friends against the hoards of guests with only one goal, be the first in line to the monorails or ferries or risk waiting up to an hour and a half to get back to the TTC……easier said than done. But once you pass this first hurdle and you think your home free, guess again. Now you must make your way to the trams, not as long of a line, but everybody thinks they can fit ONE more person on… out lady with the stroller that doesn’t fold up for whatever reason. Finally you are at your car and home free, HA you wish. Now it’s time to get out of the parking lot and well, I’ll leave that fun portion of the event up to you imagination.

3 The Rope Drop 100 Yard Dash – The park just opened and you start to your favorite ride, but just as you are about to enter your favorite line you are met with an obstacle, fifty guests and one scared cast member with a rope in their hands. That cast member knows they are the only thing standing in the way of you and your favorite ride…..that and the fifty guests who ALSO want to be the first one in line. I hope you stretched up because once the countdown is done, it’s every man/woman for themselves

2 The Please Fill in All Available Space Gymnastics – You know this one. You have been waiting in line for anywhere from 1-2 hours to see the popular show or ride the popular ride but space is limited in the preshow room. From here you will be split into one of two sub events, “the suck up” or “the one more inch.” The suck up occurs if you are one of the first people in the room. Suddenly you and forty of your new best friends are standing elbow to elbow so tightly I believe its technically illegal in some countries (not really but it sure feels that way), and then you hear it. Like the voice of Satan calling to you from the PA system, “Please fill in all available space so we can fit in a few more people”.....and the only thing going to through your mind is THIS (It’s a link, click on it already. Jeez.). Then there’s the one more inch and if you don’t know what it is then you haven’t been paying attention. You are the person who feels like, for that instant, the Tetris God who sees such a way that the guests can move so that you and your five friends can squeeze in to THAT showing rather than waiting for the next one….prepare to be dispised.

1 Guest Swimming – This is an event we all participate in. Let me paint the picture: You have just gone through the turnstiles and you are walking underneath the train station when you notice a bunch of guests in front of you. Then you get the full picture, it’s parade time and every guest is on Main Street. You don’t have time to wait for it to finish because all you want to do is ride Splash Mountain. It’s guest swimming time. So you limber up, take a deep breath, and dive right in. A million “Sorry, my bad” and arm swipes with squeezing between people later and you look up… are only at the Confectionary. Happy Swimming!

Top Five Places to Wear Mickey Ears Outside of Disney World

5 Class – First of all (for those who, like me had to wear uniforms through middle and high school) nothing celebrates your new found freedom like black ears. Plus, who knows, your teacher could be a big Disney fan and there could be some extra credit coming your way

4 The Bar- Nothing says party like Mickey ears

3 A Funeral – Nothing says party like Mickey ears…..wait, umm anyways…..

2 Job Interview – Nothing tells employers that you deserve that position in accounting like a pair of black Mickey ears. Plus, it goes great with your suit. Don’t own a suit? Buy a suit, suits are cool. (SUIT UP)

1 Presidential Campaign Trail – Heck, I’d vote for you.

Have a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Day!!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quick Reply to Lyanne

She Wrote:

I wrote a super long comment the day you posted this but something happened with my internet and then I had to leave for school and now I don't really remember what I said...

Let's see:

I mentioned that Pushing Daisies was an amazing show. The art department for it was just incredible and I was sad to see it go.

That I couldn't agree more about the Disney touch. That's what really makes the difference between a theme park and an amusement park even if there are other non disney theme parks. Nobody can deny that there are no other parks that do it like Disney. It's all those little details that the imagineers create that make the experience so magical even if most (including myself) don't notice at first.

Would Walt like everything that is going on in his company these days?
Well, I doubt he would agree with everything but above all I like to believe he wouldn't love Stitch's Great Escape.
I love Stitch but his ride... not so much. I'd like to see some "progress" in that corner of Tomorrowland.

And I agree with Jenn about the Jacob quote.
Sorry for writing so much. I think the 3 essays I had to write last week got to me.

Wow! That comment seemed like an essay and I love it, thanks.

I lean towards agreeing with you about the Stitch attraction in that I feel that there is so much more much more. That being said, Tomorrowland has to be the hardest land to imagineer for. The fact of the matter is, technology is evolving at such a fast rate that by the time something new comes out, chances are its already obsolete. So no matter what the imagineers do, by the time they plan it and execute the plan, it probably wont seem too futuristic.

Now that's not to say there isn't some solutions around this issue. The tomorrowland we have now is a future that never could have possibly been or a "fantasyland/tomorrowland" hybrid. It incorporates the Pixar characters and other characters like Stitch and Buzz to present a Disney Movie future full of monsters and such.

Another option, and the one that I wish they would use, is the original concept for Tomorrowland and that is "the tomorrow that never was and never will be." Something out of the Jetsons that represent the Tomorrow that is impractical but fun. Robots running around, personal rockets to Mars....pretty much what we see in the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Personally, I would like to see Tomorrowland draw inspiration from Meet the Robinsons with all the bubbly over the top buildings, vehicles, people, and robots.

But to each their own I guess....

(P.S. The Puching Daisies style was neat, very unique)