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 sundae.....it'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 pic.....no, 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 figment....er, 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 name...you 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…..watch 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…..you 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 potential.....so 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)

Friday, March 19, 2010

That's What They Call Progress Dear: Part 2


I wasn’t sure where to start with this answer, and then Bree commented on my post. She wrote:

I have always wondered about Walt, and what he would think. Like (I personally have nothing against it) but I don't think he would like his name associated with "Desperate Housewives" and some of the other shows that are "of our time".

Now, it’s relatively hard to speculate what a man with the mind that conceived Disneyland, Mouse Ears, and full length animated films would have thought about today’s shows like Desperate Housewives. But I would like to believe that he would…..like it. Truth be told, tv is meant to evolve and you can’t really predict what the next step is. All you can do is study the trends, set the bar, and strive to plus everything you do. So when you look at a show like Desperate Housewives, you have to understand that it revolutionized the Soap/Drama into almost a parody of the genre. I think LOST is the same way in that there will never be a SciFi/Drama show anywhere else that’s like it. The now cancelled Pushing Daisies showed a uniqueness in it’s field and which drew a large fan base just as Nathan Fillion’s show Castle is now (I miss Firefly though). I don’t even think I need to explain what ESPN did to the world of sports and how we watch it now and how we will watch it 100 years from now. So do I know what Walt would think about having his name associated with a show like Desperate Housewives? It’s tough to say (maybe it just wouldn’t have been his cup of tea). Though I do believe he would appreciate the contribution it has made to its particular genre. That’s not to say there’s no room for improvement….but that’s not for today.

So now to what this whole thing was about, the parks. And I want to start this with the rollercoaster. You see the way I understand it, Walt wanted a park that everybody could enjoy, from the young to the old (aka the young at heart.). So if you add a rollercoaster, that’s one ride that a good demographic of the guests couldn’t enjoy. The second problem is that Walt was all about story telling there was no conceivable way to tell a story with a rollercoaster. But as Dylan said, “The times, they are a changin.” Walt and his group of mad scientists created the Matterhorn. This rollercoaster was just extreme enough to please the thrill junkies while tame enough that the height limit wasn’t so great that many of the younger kids couldn’t ride…..and best of all, it told a story. And that was progress. We look at where we are today and not only has the Matterhorn stood the test of time, but it paved the way for other story rich coasters such as the Space and Big Thunder Mountains, Rock ’n Rollercoaster, and the grand mac daddy of them all…..Expedition Everest. Eureka….

We can figure everything we need to know about progress in the parks by looking at the Matterhorn next to Expedition Everest. The Materhorn was a first of it’s kind. Sure places like Coney Island had more thrilling coasters, but what they didn’t have were heart….. the Matterhorn had heart. The same thing can be said today, Expedition Everest doesn’t have any fancy loops or super backward ultimate death defying whatevers that you would find at competing parks but it has heart, it has a story……it had the Disney touch. This is why I think if Walt were to walk around Disney World today, he would be grinning the Chesire Cat. Because behind all the techno do-dads and what-cha-ma-call-its, it still has the Disney spirit that knew Snow White and the Seven Dwarves would succeed, that knew people would want to be transported into the world of pirates and princesses, and knew that when you wished upon a star that there’s a good chance your dreams will come true (life lessons taught to us by a Cricket ….imagine that).

We have to tell ourselves that progress is good, progress is good. Progress gave us Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and I enjoyed it Then times changed and so came the Many Adventures of Whinnie the Pooh. While I was upset to see Toad go, I also noticed Pooh gives the new generation the same joy that Toad gave me…..and in the end, that’s what matters. It’s what happened when If You Had Wings eventually led to the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger spin I enjoy. As I look to conclude this, a quote from LOST comes to mind. As Jacob sat on the beach talking to the Man in Black he says, “It only ends once, the rest is just progress.” And that’s what it is, as long as Disneyland, Disney World, and every other Disney park is around…..let’s make it simple, as long as Disney is around, things will come and go in the name of “progress.” But, based on THEIR track record, I look forward to the progress.

I know this was a long post, but that’s what I think. Also, take a moment to listen to the video (HERE) and because, Fess Parker was just as important to the Disney Company as anybody I can think of. He played Davy Crockett in movies, he basically shaped Frontierland to what it is today, and let’s face it, he made the coon skin a pretty awesome thing. He passed away on Wednesday. So yeah…..

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

That's What They Call Progress Dear: Part 1


Today and tomorrow I have a different kind of post in store for those two or three of you that still read my blog....when its updated....every decade or so. Today's post asks the question of progress and I hope to come up with an answer or two by tomorrow (That's right, its the same wing it attitude that got me where I am today....where ever that is). And if this isn't your kind of post, don't worry. I have a great top five that is just about finished which will be posted either Thursday or Friday...so yeah. I hope you guys and gals enjoy this (if not, at least have the decency to march in single file when you come at me with the pitchforks and torches):

I think I have let it known that I enjoy the Carousel of Progress. It creates a false nostalgia where we yearn for simpler days, simpler times. A time when the latest technology meant an ice box, and not the next generation of Ipods. A time when the news meant information on a small town event or the creation of a “flying contraption” and not how many babies Octomom has now or who’s suing whom because their coffee was to hot. A time when the youts (“What did you say? The two what’s?” Sorry, My Cousin Vinny reference) were expected to be home from formal events at nine…..okay, so we don’t yearn for all of it.

But this isn’t a post of comparing the world then and now. Rather, I want to contemplate the idea of progress as it pertains to the wonderful world of Disney (not the tv show…but you get the point). You see, as I wandered around the inter-web today, I found myself watching a video of the Cranium Command from the old Wonders of Life pavilion. From there, chaos ensued and I found myself watching everything from old Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride ride-through videos to video of 20,000 leagues under the Sea, and even old videos of Walt talking about his dream of the “Florida Project.” And it brought up the question in my mind that I’m sure has flown through yours in the past as well, “What would Walt think if he saw what Disney Animation Studios and Disneyland and Mickey Mouse had done to the world?”

He wanted to make movies so he started an Animation Studio with his brother, it later evolved into a full movie studio. Today, that studio is responsible for over 300 full length animated and live-action movies as well as many more short animated features. Then he said “there should be something built where parents and children could have fun together,” and Disneyland was born. Today, there are five Disney resorts in four countries, with a total of eleven parks around the world and a twelfth park coming to Shanghai in the near future. To see the rest of the company’s success and evolution throughout the ears, all you have to do is walk through a mall. In record stores, there are sections devoted to Disney music. Clothing stores feature everything from Peter Pan shirts to Donald Duck shoes to Mickey Mouse Pajamas (I used to have 101 Dalmation jammies…party like a rockstar). Walk into any game store and there, in their PS2 Greatest Games section, you will find both Kingdom Hearts games (If you don’t know what Kingdom Hearts is, then a say shame. But think Final Fantasy meets Disney meets a bottle of steroids meets the essence of epicness….with only a single player mode). Fact is, everywhere you look, its Disney Disney Disney. All this from a man who left for a better life with nothing more than $40 and an idea or two…or three….or four.

But I still haven’t gotten to any sort of point yet. Why is that you may ask? Well its so…….I ….. umm…..have something to write about tomorrow and anyways, this post is getting long enough as it is. You see, the question I hope to answer tomorrow is, “What would Walt say if he were to see Disney World now?” I also want to try to explain that first concept of “progress” in the parks. Why is it that beloved attractions come and go to make way for the “progress?” And other stuff. I’m not considered one of the great thinkers of the world. At this point, I’d settle for one of the great thinkers of my house (though I think my sister takes that crown from me).

These are not really thoughts. These are not really ideas. These are simply ramblings of a crazy man. But really, what’s wrong with that?

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

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Award Goes to.....


Well, the Academy Awards came and went yesterday with Disney and Pixar's UP! coming home with a few pieces of gold. Also yesterday, we had the last day of voting for the "Best Ride at Disney World" competition (or "The Most Drawn Out Competition in the History of Ever"....I mean, it started in November). Now, before I reveal the winner of the competition (in case you haven't already seen it) and in the spirit of yesterday's Award show, I have come up with what I feel are represent the best rides in each of my selected categories. These categories are as random as I am...that's very, in case you haven't been paying attention. The winners of each category were chosen using a very scientific algorithm I developed known as T.M.O.S.L.W.I. (or They're My Opinions, So Live With It). Enjoy:

1. Wildest Ride in the Wilderness – (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad)

2. Least Wildest Ride in the Wilderness – (Goofy’s Barnstormer at Wiseacre Farms)

3. Best View of the Backside of Water – (Jungle Cruise)

4. Best Example that Disney Should Re-evaluate their Janitorial Staff – (Tower of Terror with Haunted Mansion as a close second)

5. Best Ride Featuring a Battle in Outer Space – (Dinosaur….why? Because it’s my list and I wanted to remind you who holds the power….however limited it may be)

6. Queue that Would Best Benefit from a Fire Breathing Dragon….or Anything Really – (Dumbo the Flying Elephant)

7. Best ride that based a movie that based a ride……huh? – (Pirates of the Caribbean)

8. Most Likely to Have a Wait Time That Makes you Say “Wait, what? Are you Kidding Me?” – (Peter Pan’s Flight)

9. Best Ride Who’s Lesson is Eclipsed By a Giant Waterfall – (Kali River Rapids)

10. Best use of the Phrase “Car Phone” in an Attraction – (Walt Disney’s Carousel or Progress)

11. Best Near Death Experience by a Cardboard President – (Test Track…for more elaboration, click here)

12. Trippiest Ride – (Journey into Imagination)

13. Best Collection of Dead People Outside of the Haunted Mansion – (Hall of Presidents)

14. Kid’s Ride the Gives Me the Willies – (It’s a Small World)

15. Best Cameo by Lieutenant. Dan – (Mission Space)

16. Fastest Way to Tire an Arm – (Toy Story Mania)

17. Best Audio Animatronic That’ll Never Work – (Expedition Everest)

18. Most Original Ride – (Dumbo….er…Astro Orbiter….er….Magic Carpets of Aladdin…..er….Triceratops Spin)

19. Best use of a Montage Featuring Eddie Murphy, The Sting, and Scarlett O’Hara Getting Spanked – (The Great Movie Ride)

And of course, the winner of the Best Ride at Walt Disney World is....

20. Champion - (Splash Mountain)

Now, with as long as this copetition lasted and the amount of voting participation as it received, I fell like I should do something. So I have decided that sometime within the first week of arrival at the program, I will have some sort of event at Splash Mountain. Maybe we get a group of people to ride the ride a few times, watch the parade and fireworks, and maybe grab something to eat.....I dunno, its still a ways away. Anyways, that's it for today....

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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Well, It's Getting There


I am still in the process of writing my Disney World: Academy Awards post. That’ll go up tomorrow, so look forward to it. That being said, today I have two College Program tips. The first deals with your ID tag, the second talks about making smart purchases with your discount. I also linked up an older post to the first tip and I encourage you to check out some of my older posts as I have articles that deal with what to bring, your first week of the program, and a bunch of other interesting tips, tricks, quizzes, and whatnots. It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents…eh, just enjoy it:

Tip 108: Keep your ID hidden when on stage- Congrats, you work for the Walt Disney Company. Is there proof of this? Of course, you have your company ID. This card will get you into the parks, backstage, and just about anywhere else you need to get (please don’t flash this and expect to backdoor rides or something because you will be laughed right out of your job). Now I mentioned in this post (http://bit.ly/c8fYQy) that when you are backstage you need your ID out at all times when you aren’t in costume and that the key is to have an ID lanyard. Yeah, yeah, yeah….okay, back to the rule. Wear the lanyard, but when you are out in the parks, keep it tucked in your shirt. If you don’t, ONLY BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN. I will repeat that, ONLY BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN. First of all, I think there may actually be a rule against having it out. Secondly, let’s say hypothetically that you have an accident with a guest and someone gets hurt. If they think you are also a guest they will chalk it up to an accident, but if they see that you are an employee of the Walt Disney Company then….well, let’s just chalk it up to ONLY BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN. And thirdly, all that aside, there are so many other cast members working in the park and enjoying their day off, who are you really trying to impress?

Tip 316: Do you want a soda or water? Pick it up at a merchandise location- Logic tells you that if you want food or drink, then you pick it up at one of the many QSFB carts and restaurants. It only makes sense. But here’s something to consider, there are few if any (I don’t think there are any) QSFB locations that you get the cast discount at. That just won’t do. But, you do receive the discount at most merch locations and guess what. (What John?) Many of the stores have places where you can purchase a soda or water. And because places like the Confectionary on Main Street are considered a store, you can pick up a snack at discount as well. The fact is, when money is tight, knowing where these places are is very important.

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

Monday, March 1, 2010

Victory or Death....Wait, is there a third option?


Wait,wait, wait, wait, and wait. Before I go any further, I was reading the comments section of blog and I came across this from one of my earlier posts and I have to thank Lyanne for both giving me a laugh and teaching me something in the process:

I was re-reading your blog and I thought I should mention that if anybody is wodering how to say "I just saw a platypus highjack a blue Prius in the Magic Kingdrom parking lot" in spanish...it's:

Acabo de ver a un ornitorrinco robarse un Prius azul en el estacionamiento del Reino Mágico.

So now nobody has an excuse to not be able to say this...except pronounciation problems...


Guys and gals who haven’t unsubscribed from my blog, thank you. February has been a busy month so I haven’t been able to post anything. Ill give you a quick overview about what’s been going on (DCP wise) before I get into my article:

-We had our one and only campus presentation for the season and we met our numbers, so you guys may see a couple of great people from FAU and PBCC while on your program.

-I got accepted into the Summer Alumni 2010 program as a Quick Service food and beverage cast member.

-Several other bloggers got into the program, so check out the blogs that I follow and start subscribing to them if you haven’t already.

-Speaking of friends, some of your favorite bloggers (if you’ve been around since fall/winter) are already out there and enjoying their roles. Check out Katie’s “When You Wish Upon a Star” blog, Ashlie’s “Princess Ash’s WDWCP Blog Presents” blog, and Ryan O’Neill’s “Ryan O Disney Show” blog/vlog to get a feel for what the CP is like including what it like to work in the parks and life in the DCP apartments.

-The Purple Folder Wait Watchers blog has been absolutely thriving in my absence and I want to thank the contributors for taking it, wrapping some dynamite around it, and making it absolutely EXPLODE. Great job.

-Lastly, if you haven’t already done so, go onto FaceBook, look up the Disney College Program Fall 2010 group and check it out. There you will find over 500 other students all who will be doing the program with you.

Now, I want to start my reemergence into the blog-o-sphere with a clean slate, so today I am going to be finishing a bit of old business and tomorrow we will have a new fun, and dare I say interesting, Top 5(ish) list. Today however, we have a Best Ride at Disney World competition to finish up. In this very last round we are featuring a 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1 match up. Why the extra 1 you may ask? (or you may not, who knows) Well upon looking at the votes, Splash Mountain ended up tying Great Movie Ride. Quite frankly I didn’t think it would be fair to allow a coin flip to determine which should be in the final three (especially since if Splash Mountain won the toss, Ashlie would tear my arms off and if Great Movie Ride won the toss, Abby would tear my limb from limb). No…..I chose life.

So, we will see these four proverbial juggernauts go head to head where four rides enter and only one ride exits. (Don’t worry though, no rides are actually hurt in the making of this blog). So enjoy, happy voting, and as always……

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's POst Will Be Tomorrow....Then What's This?

I am still working on today’s actual article, but I wanted to get something for tonight. So tomorrow I am going to put out the two posts and for today I have the second round of “Best Ride at Disney World: Finals.” Let’s do it:

We had some interesting turn at the end of Round 1. Magic Kingdom swept all three of its matches, while EPCOT found itself eliminated after losses to the Haunted Mansion, Expedition Everest, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Hollywood Studios, although losing in the featured match, was able to pick up two solid victories. And while Expedition Everest had the highest amount of votes of any ride, it was the only Animal Kingdom ride to continue. So with only six rides left, your Round 2 matches for “Best Ride at Disney World” are as follows:

Round 1: Tower of Terror vs. Expedition Everest- Submitted for your approval, imagine a ride so powerful, so mysterious that it commanded all but three votes in its preliminary round only to come back the following it to crush its competition. But suddenly, the ride finds itself in a tough match against a ride that has taken its own amount of respect from its fellow combatants. The winner of this week’s match is unclear, but what is clear is that everything in the match will be twisted and nothing will ever be the same again when they fight in…….The Twilight Zone. (WAY too much work for a good Rod Sterling impression)

Round 2: Haunted mansion vs. Space Mountain- These two rides have been in the most amount of fights out of the rides that still remain, but today they set their sights on each other. Two of Disney’s different styles of rides go head to head in this match as we see one of Walt’s best examples of storytelling (Haunted Mansion) take on one of Disney World’s premiere roller coasters (Space Mountain). Only one of these two rides can continue representing the Magic Kingdom in the next round…..who will it be.

Featured Match: Splash Mountain vs. The Great Movie Ride- When the residents of the briar patch take on the glitz and the glamour that is Hollywood, only one group can claim a victory. Will the Great Movie Ride find itself “Singing in the Rain” or will Splash Mountain finally find it’s “Laughing Place.” Ready on the set? Lights! Cameras! ACTION!

Have a Zip-A-Dee-DoDah-Day!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't Worry

My desk is a mess but....Cheerios!

Friends, it is Monday night. Today was a long day that started at 8:00 AM and didn’t end until 11:00 PM. When I finally got back to my apartment, I sat down at my desk and proceeded to complete my homework. When that was done, I took a shower to wash the day off of myself and then went back to my desk to write this post. Now I knew that I wanted to start that the theme week again and I knew that I wanted this theme to tie into everything that’s gone on in the past couple of weeks. Some bloggers that we have been following since the fall have now started their program and those interested in the Fall season have already started to apply and some have even had their phone interviews already. And then inspiration struck in the form of many O shaped toasted whole grain oat cereal pieces.

You see, at some point between finishing my homework and sitting down to write my post I had poured myself a cup of Cheerios and milk through pure instinct. So I grabbed the spoon and took my first bite of the cold soggy cereal and something came over me. It was a mixture between happiness, comfort, and familiarity. And I started to write this.

Without further adieu, the theme for this week is “Find Me a Hammock.” This week, I will be talking how to take it easy. This includes tips to making your purple folder wait not seem like four levels of eternity. I will also talk about the perfect “walks” while on your program. And I have an entry idea that may or may not work….but we’ll see. As always, there will also be what we will call “A Few Surprise Tests.” Now, if this whole routine seems a bit extreme, you’re absolutely right but that’s what a test track is all about.

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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

22 Down, 4 to Go


Today, I finish up the letters series in a big way with the strangest letters of all. So here we go…..

W Wishes- We had an interesting schedule at my restaurant. You see, unlike Cosmic Ray’s or Pecos’s Bill, we didn’t stay open until park closing. In fact, in most cases, we would close our doors at……well I forget what hour because it didn’t really matter. On most nights of my program, when I heard the first blast from Wishes, I knew it was closing time. That alone won it the “W” title for me. But I assume you guys want more reasons than it was my clock-out alarm. It has a great soundtrack which even features some movies that don’t get as much love in the parks as they should (*COUGH* Hercules *COUGH*). Any fireworks are cool but when you set fireworks behind a well lit Cinderella’s Castle at night time to the afore mentioned soundtrack, there is only one word that can be derived……Magical. And I can’t wrap this up without mentioning the Tinkerbell fly over. Every little kid’s eyes open up and for that moment in time, anything can happen.

X Xenia- So, I actually had to look up words that begin with “X” and I came across this little number that fits into Disney World like the missing piece of a puzzle. It is Greek for “hospitality” or “guest service.” If I were to ask you, what is the one thing Disney is best at? You might say Dole Whips (you know that’s right). But the answer I am actually referring to is guest service. I mean, in the end, isn’t that why we want to work for Disney? We know how great it feels to walk through those turnstiles and to be treated as guests and not customers and I think it is that same feeling that we want to provide to the guests whether it’s their first or five hundredth time to Disney World. If there is one skill you pick up on your internship at Disney World (besides how to never be able to point with one finger again), its how to provide perfect service no matter what job you are doing.

Y Yakitori House- Hidden high among the mountain of Japan (okay, mountainish) lies what is arguably the best QSFB in the World Showcase. Modeled after a 16th century tea house, this tiny eatery offers not only amazing teriyaki chicken, sushi rolls, and beef sukiyaki but also some great scenery (there’s a koi pond there for goodness sake). And when you finish your meal, go down the steps and be treated to one of the best, unobstructed views of Illuminations. What a way to finish the night.

Z Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Day- I love Splash Mountain plain and simple. Obviously, it’s a fun ride with a great story, great characters, and some fun drops. But this answer is not Splash Mountain; it’s Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Day. There is just something so odd about this phrase. Essentially, it is just a couple of random syllables and hyphens thrown together in what is nothing more than gibberish. And yet, as I turn that last corner before the unloading dock on Splash Mountain and I see the phrase painted right there, I feel what I can only assume is optimism. So to close this Disney A-Z I leave you guys with….

It’s the Truth
It’s Actual
Everything is Satisfactual
Have a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Day!!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Let's Keep it Going....


We'll jump right in the action:

S Smells- Forgive me people because I don’t exactly remember whose comment it was on the Facebook group (let the lashes begin) but when I saw that, it seemed almost blasphemy if it wasn’t my “S.” Everybody that is reading my blog knows what I am talking about. It’s walking past a swimming pool and immediately being brought back to Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s eating a cinnamon roll in the mall and flashing to Main Street USA as you pass by the bakery on your way to the castle. I mean, can we agree that are few magics at Disney greater than the smells. (I think it was Jenn’s post…..but I could be wrong).

T There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow- This is one of three being featured on this on this list. The first being Hakuna Matata and the second is on tomorrow’s list (if you don’t already know what it is then you haven’t been reading any of my blog posts). This song is really what Disney World is all about. Every year Disney becomes better and better. A single thought became Space Mountain brought forth Big Thunder Mountain and Rock n’ Rollercoaster which became Everest and who knows what next. I think one of the greatest Walt Disney quotes (and forgive me if I’ve already used this in the past) came from when he was thinking about Disneyland as a whole and he said, “Even the trees will grow; the place will get more beautiful each year.” I leave you with a portion of the lyrics and I want you guys to consider how they almost completely parallel the process from I want to do the College Program, to the work put into achieving the goal, and finally being at Disney World on the Program.

Man has a dream and that’s the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It’s a dream come true for you and me

U Universe of Energy-
If there is one ride at Disney World that is underrated to the extreme, its Universe of Energy. Let’s start with the music. In the words of the great philosopher Barnabas Stinson (look him up), “It is Legen………….I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second part is……..dary. Legendary. It is honestly in my top five Disney ride songs. It has a great cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ellen Degeneres, Alex Trebek, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Michael Richards (Kramer). Point is, it’s a funny ride that’s relaxing on a summer day and if nothing else……hello, no line.

V Voices of Liberty- Show of hands, how many of you have gotten to the American Adventure a half hour before one of the shows just to watch these guys sing? They are absolutely amazing and very deserving of the “V” position (Don’t get angry Villains in Vogue). The best way to describe this Acapella group is simply 1 word 3 syllables: AMAZING. They generally do patriotic music but they will add one or two Disney songs to their performance. But who am I kidding, what’s more patriotic than Disney music Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk4thV0n9J8&feature=related
*LETTER REWIND* Q QSFB (thanks Katie)- There are some rolls that have received bad raps and none more than QSFB (I myself fell prey to discounting it when I got my roll….especially since I REALLY wanted attractions). But then I did my program, 7 months in QSFB, and I couldn’t have loved it any more than I did. If I had to choose the greatest advantage to working QSFB, I would have to be the guest interaction. If you’re loading guests on a ride, the most you may get to say is “Have a great time” or “No, go to rows 2 and 3 not 3 and 4.” When you are working behind the counter, as a cashier, or even bussing, you get an opportunity to ask the guests “How has your day been? What was your favorite ride?” and there is nothing that’ll get a kid excited and talking like asking “What characters have you seen today?”

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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Q is the Most Evil Letter in the Alphabet


APPLICATION NEWS: Now, with all the preliminary stuff out of the way, its game time. I got my go ahead email to set my phone interview. So I called the number provided and after listening to When You Wish Upon a Star, Big Blue World, Indiana Jones Theme, and A Pirates Life For Me for a while, I spoke to a representative and it’s official. I will be taking my phone interview Wednesday Morning. So now it begins again. Also, for those who completed the application, passed the web interview, and have their phone interview set……Good Luck. For those who haven’t started…….get to work. For those of you doing the Spring 2010 program and are at Disney right now while I am doing my school work….I have nothing but good tidings and the greenest envy for you.

And the Letters begin once more starting……now…….now …….NOW:

O Ostriches- There are so many O’s out there and I choose a complete wild card…..and you guys don’t know what I am talking about. I am a big fan of Kilimanjaro Safaris (Warden Wilson Matua and I go way back). But it seems as though every time I ride this ride, there is at least one Ostrich that has nothing better to do than to just walk right in front of the car and stand there. It’s AWESOME. (Wait…..what did he say?) Look, Disney is the greatest place in the world (no offense Japan) and I have nothing at all bad to say about it. But in a place where everything happens right on queue, it is interesting to see the Ostrich standing in the middle of the road and stopping the ride’s progress. What do they say in the Great Movie Ride? “That just shows that anything can happen in the movies.”

P Polynesian- This was a tough choice to make. It was between the Polynesian and Port Orleans (Riverside and French Quarter) but Polynesian ended up on top. Now I have already discussed why I love the restaurants before so I’m just going to leave you guys with two words that sum up the food…..suckling pig. It’s a Magic Kingdom resort which means you can wake up in the morning and (assuming you are on the right side) you can see Cinderella’s Castle from your room…..but more on that in a second. The themeing is great and they even “Lei” you when you arrive. You can jump on the monorail and be at the Magic Kingdom in two stops. You can even walk to the TTC from the hotel. And I said I would come back to the view of Cinderella Castle. Well at night, you can walk on out to the beach area of the hotel, grab a hammock or a beach chair and have one of the greatest views of Wishes. (FOR GUYS EYES ONLY: *cough*Cheap Date*cough*) I kid. I kid. (SUDDENLY JOHN FINDS HE HAS NO MORE FEMALE SUBSCRIBERS)

Q ?- 5,000points to Gryffindor if you can come with anything for “Q” at Disney World because I am just blanking. (except for Quasimodo) If I come with anything later, I put it up.

R REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH....not really (A handful of you got that, and the rest are still scratching their heads)

R Rizzo the Rat- Okay, so you may be wondering how I could possibly justify putting Rizzo over such R’s as Rose and Crown or Rock n’ Rollercoaster…..but if something as trivial as my form of logic deterred you, you would have stopped at Ostrich. You see, I was working on a different article for the top five funniest lines from a Disney attraction and I kept coming back to one spoken by none other than Rizzo the Rat in the preshow of Muppet Vision 3D.

Sam the Eagle: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is my honor to present to you... Mr. Mickey Mouse!
Rizzo the Rat: [singing to the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club March] Oh, Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da! Hi there, welcome to my park, how'ya doin'...
Sam the Eagle: Wait a minute! You are not Mickey Mouse! You are a rat!
Rizzo the Rat: Rat, schmat! Besides, they're tourists. What do they know?

There is no other line from any Disney ride that makes me laugh harder on a consistent basis. And let me assure you, it gets about 10X funnier when you are on the College Program. Don’t believe me Spring 2010ers, on your next day off go watch that and tell me a light doesn’t suddenly turn on.

Have a Zip-ADee-Do-Dah-Day!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Let the Finals Begin!


Well, I guess we should first deal with the Elephant in the room. For those who are applying for Fall 2010, the application has finally come online (R.I.P. the many fingers lost clicking the refresh button and infinite amount of times). So, if you haven’t already, start working on those applications. I myself completed an application and am currently awaiting the next step.

Next, check this out. It is the 3D model for the new Fantasyland expansion. It shows both facades and show buildings so check that out.

Today we have the winners of the preliminary rounds for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. A majority of the matches were relatively one sided. The featured match did prove to earn its place as the winner was of the Great Movie Ride vs. Toy Story Mania was decided by a single vote. Anyways, the winners are as follows:

Rocking Roller Coaster beat out Backlot Tour featuring Catastrophe Canyon
Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror beat Star Tours by a few votes
Expedition Everest slaughtered Primeval Whirl
Dinosaur won out against Triceratops Spin
Kilimanjaro Safaris had a big victory against Kali River Rapids
And The Great Movie Ride pulled out a one point victory against Toy Story Mania

Now I have the set up for Round 1 of the “Best Ride at Disney World.” In Round 1 we see the top three rides from every park going up against one ride from each of the other parks, meaning no ride will go up against another ride from the same park. We have a total of six matches ahead of us so let’s get right down to it. Enjoy:

Haunted Mansion vs. Test Track- Will Test Track become the 1000th Happy Haunt to fall victim to the Haunted Mansion or will Test Track smoke the competition?

Splash Mountain vs. Dinosaur- Will Dinosaur find itself falling head first down the Briar Patch or will Splash Mountain see ACCESS DENIED?

Spaceship Earth vs. Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror-A time machine to the far past or one to a dark night at a haunted hotel…..but only one can reign supreme.

Universe of Energy vs. Expedition Everest – Can the underdog conquer the mountain that lies before it?

Kilimanjaro Safaris vs. The Great Movie Ride
- Hollywood Studios original signature attraction goes head to head against Animal Kingdom’s original signature attraction.

Featured Match

Space Mountain vs. Rock n’ Rollercoaster
- Space Mountain finds itself once again in the Featured Match “hot seat” as it goes toe to toe against its modern predecessor. Two dark coasters come in but only one will see the light.

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Response to Another Blog


Starting next week, this blog will be returning back to normal. That means that themed weeks will be returning and my articles will return to their gold standard (or was it Copper Standard). I will be providing tips for those in the Spring 2010 for everyday living and park exploration. I will also start talking more about Fall 2010 and hopefully I can start planning for my own College Program. So, I next week is the return of regular (whatever that means) the Purple Folder CP.

Second, let me say that I am going to finish my letters project as follows:
-Thursday: OPQR
-Friday: STUV
-Saturday: WXYZ

Tomorrow I’m going to announce the winners of Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios as well as the bracket for the “Best Ride at Disney World” competition.

Now, I was going to continue the letters today but as I was checking out the latest posts on some of the blogs, I came across a tip in Cori’s blog that has become sort of canon in the Disney College Program “How to Handbook.” (My lawyers have told me to inform you folks not to waste your time going out to Barnes and Noble or Borders because there is no real How to Handbook……yet). Now bear with me those of you who are doing the Spring 2010 program and have successfully completed everything you are already at Disney (or almost there)……this is more for those who are awaiting the arrival of Fall 2010 applications that should be here any day now. The tip is to SMILE during your interview because although the interviewer can’t physically see the smile, they can hear it in your voice. It is a great tip, one that I have stressed time and time again. But I have to wonder if there is more to be said about this. Remember folks, I am not an interview expert and although I work for Disney, nothing I say here guarantees you anything…..these are just my thoughts on the matter.

I think it goes beyond the smile. You see, when you are TRYING to smile, you have the potential to come across two issues. The first issue that can arise is that you may think about smiling so much that you start forgetting how to finish your sentences or what you are trying to say entirely. The other issue that can arise is by forcing a smile, you may become nervous or anxious and this can cause uncomfortable giggling or stuttering (or something like that) and that is something that can potentially be off putting to the interviewers. I think rather, it’s the mentality of SMILE. You should be happy, I mean, you are interviewing for a position at the Happiest Place on Earth (I’m sorry Disneyland, but Disney has four parks…..doesn’t get any happier than that). Laugh when it’s appropriate. Remember to be professional (because it is a job interview) but stay light hearted……almost conversational (I know I had a great talk with my interviewer about this and that and it definitely made all the difference…..it took the shake out of my voice.)

Here are some tips on of how to be successful when it’s your time to get to interview:

-Watch a Disney movie (but not Ol’ Yeller) to get into the Disney mindset and so that you remember what you have been working for all semester (or life time…..however long you’ve preparing)

- Sleep in until about an hour and a half before your interview (or just nap until if your interview is in the afternoon). That way you have no time to work your nerves up. (Hey, whatever works right?)

- Set a timer for two minutes and in that time write down your favorite things about Walt Disney World so that you can reference the list…..when it’s relevant of course (Example of not relevant: Q- What’s your name? A- I love Expedition Everest)

-Make sure you have some questions for when they ask, “Do you have any questions?” I don’t know, It’s just something I was told to do and it probably couldn’t hurt.
I feel like I just sort of rambled through this so in case you want a summary, here are my concluding thoughts. (Smiling = Good) but (Actually being happy and enjoying the interview = better). If they can hear you smiling, then it must sound like screaming (in a good way) when you are enthusiastic and excited. Go into it relaxed and happy but remember to remain professional at all time.

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

P.S.: If all else fails, remember that chances are they will ask you “Why Do You Want to Work at Disney World?” and that’s when you can really shine.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Answers from Thursday

I just realized I didn't post the answers from Thursday's post yesterday, so here they are:

1) 999HHs = 999 Happy Haunts
2) 3Ms in the MK = 3 Mountains in the Magic Kingdom
3) 11 Cs in the WS = 11 Countries in the World Showcase
4) M sits on 1R = Monorail sits on 1 rail
5) 0 Bs on C’sC (That’s a zero not the letter) = 0 Bricks on Cinderella's Castle
6) S is E 626 = Stitch is Experiment 626
7) 6 Rs at AK = 6 Rides at Animal Kingdom
8) 1 M’s D at HS = 1 Man's Dream at Hollywood Studios
9) 4 HCs for the DCP = 4 Housing Complexes for the Disney College Program
10) 3M Ts at the TTC = 3 Monorail Tracks at the Transportation and Ticket Center
11) MK O in 71 = Magic Kingdom Opened in 71
12) 1 R in LS = 1 Ride in Liberty Square
13) 4 Ps at WDW = 4 Parks at Walt Disney World
14) MK has 7 Ls = Magic Kingdom Has 7 Lands
15) 25 Hs at WDW = 25 Hotels at Walt Disney World (I should have been more specific by saying Disney owned)

Friday, January 15, 2010

And Away We Go....


I had to limit today’s post to only four letters otherwise the article would be way tooooooooo long. Doing the math would also tell you that chances are this won’t only be a four part series. So Enjoy:

K Kutter- Yes, that’s Kutter with a “K”, as in Kingdom Kutters. You see, sometimes it can be difficult with your work schedule and all to get to an outside hair cuttery or barber shop to maintain that ever fabulous “Disney Look.” That’s why Kingdom Kutters makes the list. You see deep within the labyrinth that is the Magic Kingdom utilidors lies a barber shop that caters to just to cast members. Bottom line, they do a good job, they are convenient, and they are relatively inexpensive. I do want to say however, between Kingdom Kutters and the one at EPCOT (its name escapes me) I prefer the one at EPCOT because the guy over there does a real top-notch job. But again, no matter which one you go to, you really can’t go wrong.

L Living with the Land- Sure, it’s not Soarin or Test Track or any other E-Tickets at EPCOT, but (there always seems to be a but) it does have some really cool and really unique things going for it. For one, can you say Mickey Mouse shaped pumpkins? (I think that alone warrants this ride the “L”). Then there’s the fact that a lot of the stuff (a word that encompasses the vast majority of horticultural products) grown in the Land greenhouses, tilapia and all, is served in many of the restaurants at Disney World. The Land also features some of the neatest (and cheapest) tours at Disney World.

M Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano- Every mafia family in New York has that one Italian restaurant that they can come to umm…”conduct business.” (Just ask Tony Soprano). If Disney were to have it’s own mafia, Mama Melrose’s is where they would gather. This restaurant, hidden in the back alley of Hollywood Studios by the exit of Muppet Vision 3-D, is one of the best restaurants you may not have eaten at. It starts with the ambiance; a dark but cozy little Italian restaurant lit by a random assortment of bed lamps and card table lamps, and a soundtrack ripped straight from a Rat Pack concert (plus Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life). You add in some great chicken parm and wood-grilled shrimp and you have yourself an experience that you won’t be able to “fuh’gett about.” (Level 10 head slap pun)

N Norway Pavilion- If you were to only look at one country’s pavilion to get a feel for the spirit of EPCOT and Walt Disney World as a whole, they need only look at all that the Norwegian Pavilion has to offer. Let’s start with the awesomeness (that’s a word right?) that is the Maelstrom. It has everything you could want; Trolls, a waterfall, polar bears, a waterfall, Vikings, a waterfall, an oil rig, and a lesson (about what? Okay, I have no idea). Then there is Restaurant Akershus which features some amazing food and it is the one restaurant, besides Cinderella’s Golden Table (but try getting reservations there), that little girls can meet and greet with all the Disney princesses. And of course, there is my favorite World Showcase treat shop, the Kringol Bakery. Here you can get so great orange crème brule or some amazing School Bread, giant bread roll with vanilla cream filling and caramel and coconut on top…..are you kidding me, talk about Norwegian nirvana. (Level 20 head slap pun)

*EXTRA BY REQUEST* M Monorail- I remember a movie that we used to watch before all of our trips to Walt Disney World entitle Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Summer Vacation. And in it Plucky joins Hamm’s family in a road trip that culminates in their arrival at Happy World Land (I wonder what that’s a play on). The first thing they do is get on the monorail which shows them a preview of all the great rides ahead of them. Once they get off, Plucky all ready to get at it, Hamm’s family promptly turns around and heads back to the car stating “We have to save some of the fun for next time.” At the time , I couldn’t imagine what it would be to get to Disney World, ride the monorail to the gates of the Magic Kingdom, only to find out we were heading home. However, when I was on the Program, I found myself from time to time catching a bus in the morning to the TTC. I would then proceed to the Contemporary where I would buy a newspaper, a drink, and a danish. Then I would get back on the monorail and just ride the monorail a couple of times around before going into the Magic Kingdom. While on it I would hear all of guest’s plans for the day and see the kids get all excited at seeing Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. It was a great way to start the day. It was at that point that I realized just how important the monorail was and is. It is many of the guests first view of the true plendor that is Walt Disney World. So “Please Stand Clear of the Doors. Por Favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas.”

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

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This will lead us to the greatest treasure in our nation's.......


Today I’ll be taking a quick hiatus while I whittle away my possibilities for letters K,L,M,N,O, and P. So that leaves me with only one option for today’s post……quiz time. This time however we are doing things a little different. I present before you guys 15 letter number puzzles. All you have to do is figure out what each line means. For example, If I wrote (2 Ls at E) the answer would be (2 Lands at EPCOT). I have helped you guys out by putting an “s” next to the words that are plural. This is the first time I am trying out a game like this so if you guys like it then great, if you don’t well…..great. I continue with my normal post tomorrow. Enjoy:

1) 999HHs
2) 3Ms in the MK
3) 11 Cs in the WS
4) M sits on 1R
5) 0 Bs on C’sC (That’s a zero not the letter)
6) S is E 626
7) 6 Rs at AK
8) 1 M’s D at HS
9) 4 HCs for the DCP
10) 3M Ts at the TTC
11) MK O in 71
12) 1 R in LS
13) 4 Ps at WDW
14) MK has 7 Ls
15) 25 Hs at WDW
The answers will be posted tomorrow

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's A Great Big Beautiful ummmm....Post just a Dream Away!


We are just going to get right into it today. We have part 2/4 of the Disney World Top 26 A-Z as well as the last preliminary round of the “Best Ride at Disney World Competition.” So enjoy and happy voting:

H High School Mu……no, I’m just kidding……it’s Hakuna Matata- So this might be another one of those choices that your scratching your head about with all the other great H’s out there (Haunted Mansion, Hollywood Studios, Hoop-Dee-Do) but this is another abstract choice that I feel deserves the title (and if you want to get technical, it’s sung during festival of the Lion King). First of all, if you have to ask what Hakuna Matata is then you probably should not be reading my blog (please don’t stop reading my blog). But when I think of Disney World and I think of my time in the College Program, I don’t think there are many other phrases that described everything quite like Hakuna Matata. You apply for just about any other job anywhere else (exception of course being a hot air balloon pilot or president of Egypt for a day) and work is just a long drawn out miserable time. However, when you are working a long shift at the World, you really don’t feel it because you are having so much fun. Even jobs like mine where I handed guests their trays of food and took their orders was just so much fun. It’s all because of that worry free philosophy. Enjoy every shift you have and remember Hakuna Matata.

I Impressions De France- So my initial choice for “I” was obviously Illuminations (and it still remains my favorite “I” at Disney World) but I have two reasons why I went with Impressions over Illuminations. The first is that I have already talked Illuminations to death in the past. The second reason is that most of the guests pass by this show because they think it’s a boring waste of time and that’s a real shame. This 200 degree movie provides some amazing views of many of France’s amazing scenery including:
-Many of the Chateaus
-Bastilles Day in front of the Arc De Triumph
-Elevator ride up the Eiffel Tower
-The amazing Mont St-Michel
And it is all set to some great classical music (the best description a college student with no music background can give). My point is, it’s a great show and while you are there on your program you should definitely check it out.

J Jungle Cruise
- One of Walt Disney’s greatest creations, there is no surprise that the Jungle Cruise takes the “J” spot. This ride along with the Haunted Mansion are easily the most desired rides for those chosen to participate in attractions on their College Program. The only other thing I want to say about this ride is that while you are at WDW you should ride this at least once at night. Everything looks more realistic, the skippers are generally funnier when entertaining smaller groups, and as Bill Nye says on Universe of Energy, “It’s just cool.”

Today’s match features a two park double header with three Hollywood Studios matches and three Animal Kingdom matches. At the end of this round, we will have the top three finalists for each park. That means that next week will be the start of the finals. Also, the featured match of the week pits two perennial powerhouses from Hollywood Studios. One, the Great Movie Ride, was the original MGM Studios E-Ticket. The other, Toy Story Midway Mania, is Hollywood Studio’s newest go to attractions that is so popular that it generally sports at least a 2 hour line. Enjoy:

HS and AK Round 1
Rocking Roller Coaster vs. Backlot Tour featuring Catastrophe Canyon
Star Tours vs. Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror
Expedition Everest vs. Primeval Whirl
Triceratops Spin vs. Dinosaur
Kilimanjaro Safaris vs. Kali River Rapids

Featured Match
Toy Story Midway Mania vs. Great Movie Ride

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Now I Know My......Wait What?

Beast's Rose in France

Where I had been away from the blogs for a while, I only noticed yesterday that a hand full of you guys have already moved in and started so before anything else, I want to congratulate those of you that have and good luck from here on out. And for those of you that are almost in Orlando and Disney, whether it’s a couple days, a week, a month, and for some of you (Abby) a whole program I want to wish you guys safe flights or drives and good move ins and great programs.

That’s all I’m going to say about that (so when you are starting your program, know that that was the only blessing you are getting……maybe…..probably not). Today and Tomorrow, I have two objectives. The first, today, is to give you guys my Top Fiv….er something……well you’ll find out in a minute. The second, tomorrow, is to pick up where I left off on the “Best Ride at Disney World” contest with a joint Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (R.I.P. MGM) round. But now, as Mickey Mouse would say “On With the Show”

Today I thought it would be fun to do a Top 26 Walt Disney World A-Z Part 1/4. Now I’m sure that you may not agree with some of these but let’s face it, both Splash Mountain and Space Mountain start with an S but only one can represent in the list. I also want to tell you that there may be a better answer that I don’t put or that *GASP* I didn’t think of, but keep in mind that I also wanted to go with some things that may not have been the absolute obvious answer (ex. I didn’t use the College Program for C because you guys might have already had that in your minds). I do encourage you guys to comment below with your own favorite version of any of the letters. So let’s try this:

A Asia- I know that I could have just as easily said Animal Kingdom and have that encompass all the lands including Asia, however I feel it is important to note how much Asia does standing on it’s own. It obviously starts with Expedition Everest, it’s pride and joy. But then you have Kali River Rapids which remains to this day, the only ride that I have ridden more than 7x’s in a row. Asia is also home to the Pangea Jungle Trek with some amazing Tigers, awesome Fruit Bats, and (insert adjective that begins with “A”) Kimodo Dragons. And how can I forget Yak and Yeti, Animal Kingdom’s only sit down restaurant, and it’s adjacent Tea Cart with some great Black and Oolong tea. I don’t think you could say enough good things about this land. I might go as far as to say that if there was one land in any Disney World park that best exemplifies the Imagineer’s ability to creating amazing themeing, this is it.

B Boardwalk- If Asia was the example of best themed Disney World land, then Boardwalk is the best themed Disney World hotel. I’m not going to say to much because I went over a lot of the Boardwalk splendor in a past article. I’ll just throw out a few things and leave it at that: Watch any sports match on any one of the ESPN Zone’s 200+ televisions, enjoy an Ice Cream cone from Seashore Sweets, rent a four or six person bike, step into the hotel and find yourself transported into a simpler time in America, and I STILL WANT A LAMB BURGER FROM KOUZINA.

C Columbia Harbor House- Alright, Alright, so this choice is probably based HUGELY on personal bias (I only lived there for seven months) but it’s not as much of a stretch as you may think. I mean consider this, you can’t go wrong with any of the QSRFB locations on property (I think they say “It’s not fast food. It’s good food fast”) and you probably won’t find any better on property than the Columbia Harbor House. Their Fish and Chips are better than anything I had in the most famous pubs in London. The Chicken nuggets are some of the best chicken on property (yes, even better than the Roasted chicken at Cosmic Ray’s). And the fries, when they are hot, are just the best snack I can think of. Take all that and a great tasting vegetarian menu and you have a QSRFB location that could rival some of the Table Service restaurants.

D Dinosaur- I said it before and I’ll say it again, Dinosaur is to me “Disney World.” From the moment you arrive at the Dino Institute’s doors to the moment to are….well…getting back in line for the ride, Dinosaur is the second most well themed ride at Disney World (Everest is first but another “E” took the spot). This attraction features by far the most amusing Pre-Show hosted by the Cosby Show’s Felicia Reshard and Dr. Grant Seeker (Disney Magic Pun). And the ride itself throws enough smells, special effects, and AA dinosaurs to make you believe “That the Future is Truly in the Past.”

E EPCOT- I really don’t know what to say about this one. EPCOT is by far my favorite park. Future World boasts some of the best family E Ticket attractions (Soarin’ and Test Track) as well as some neat technology in the different Innoventions. The World Showcase features probably (with no contest) the best food in any theme park around the world as well as the best live performances, shopping, and location themes on Disney property.

F First Visit Pin- You may think that I couldn’t come up with anything else “F’ (I could), I just think that this one is important. You see, the First Visit pin along with the My Birthday or I’m Celebrating or whatever else pins they have exemplify the difference that Disney provides. You aren’t just “another customer,” you are their guest and every cast member tries their hardest to make sure that your first visit is as magical as you dreamed it would be (or better if you are a glass half empty person).

G Great Movie Ride- I don’t think I have ever met anybody who has ridden this ride and not loved it. It’s pretty amazing how well Disney was able to translate some of the most iconic movie scenes into an attraction that guests can ride through The movie montage at the end is absolutely amazing. And if there is any ride in Disney World that keeps with the Disney spirit of Cast Member/Guest interaction more than the Great Movie Ride, I don’t know what it is.

Have a Magical....er....Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah-Day!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

My name is John and Windows 7 was my idea.

Vista Way Bus Stop

Okay, so it wasn’t really but I felt as though I had to reintroduce myself to those of you that did not lose faith in me and unsubscribe. You see, last time we spoke, which was a little before Christmas, I said something to the effect of…..”I’m going to be posting everyday until the New Years.” (or something like that). Well then some circumstances changed and (without going into great details) I lost the ability to post until a couple days ago. But I digress……

Ladies and gentleman, it’s that time. I have been browsing around facebook, fan-sites, and the blogosphere and all I see is “Last minute packing” and “Move in day is almost here.” Now, I’ve already talked about what you should and shouldn’t pack but if you want a new rule, then try this: If your bags exceed the total weight of the airplane you are flying in on, then you should probably leave that extra pair of shoes at home (don’t forget, you will want space in your luggage for the stuff you buy while you are down at Disney). But once again, I digress….

No, today I want to talk to you guys and gals (okay so most of my subscribers are girls) about the first day of your program. The first day of your program is going to be one of the greatest days ever. You see, right now the theme song of many of your lives right now might be “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog album. Actually, when I saw the movie in theaters, I felt that that sequence really summed up the feeling of everything you do to get to the point to finally start your college program. The lyrics say:

And I'm almost there, I'm almost there
People down here think I'm crazy, but I don't care
Tribes and tribulations have had my share
There ain't nothing gonna stop me now cause I'm almost there

And it continues

"Fairytales can come true
You gotta make 'em happen, it all depends on you"
So I work real hard each and every day
Now things for sure are going my way
Just doing what I do
Look out boys I'm coming through

The fact of the matter is that you guys worked hard, passed two interviews (web based and telephone), followed through, and you got your Purple Folder. And sure you may think that the reality hit you when that acceptance letter came in the purple package, or when you were talking to others that made it on the fan boards and blogs (or vlogs) or as the evil Mr. Fathertime finally conceded and allowed your move in day to come closer and closer or even while you are currently packing, but let me tell you this……it hasn’t REALLY hit you yet. But once you pass through those guard gates into Vista and you stand in line with every other excited soon to be CP souls to fill out novels worth of paper work, that’s when it will hit you. But I’ll continue this talk tomorrow, for now I’ll just “digress” for the evening”…..

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

Oh, and by the way, I never got the chance to when it was time.....
Merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad or a Mele Kalikimaka or Happy Holidays......whatever you celebrate, I hope it was great. And also, have a great new years...."May the best of your today be the worst of you tomorrow."