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  • Dland Railroad only 8 hours per day!?

    per latest micechat newsletter post:

    ”..in California, Disneyland Railroad Cast Members are only being scheduled for one 8-hour shift per day, resulting in the Disneyland Railroad closing hours before the park does.”

    I honestly have no words.

    For $125plus dollars per ticket plus 30 plus dollars for parking. This is unacceptable.

  • #2
    Disneyland must be really low on staffing
    to cut back on the operation of a Railroad this much !
    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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    • #3
      Pay more competitive wages, attract high quality applicants, provide proper regular schedules and treat employees well. The guests are paying premium for a premium experience. The cast make the show.

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      • #4
        Well
        $ Cutting back Operation save Disney MONEY $ !
        That why the Hour's at the Parks , has been Cutback
        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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        • #5
          I'm not surprised. Disney has not cared about the overall guest experience for many years. As long as people keep flooding the parks and paying mega $$$, they continue to provide the minimum needed to keep guests coming.

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          • #6
            I'm thinking that this may have more to do with not having enough qualified engine crew. Proper firing of a steam locomotive takes many, many hours to become proficient--and more importantly, safe. Remember--steam locomotives are basically bombs on wheels, unless properly operated. Training isn't just a matter of teaching someone what button makes the ride go, and which button makes it stop. I suspect many of the more-knowledgeable train CMs found other work during the past year, and that it will take some time to properly train replacement engine crews to fill out multiple shifts.
            Last edited by Right Down Broadway; 05-05-2021, 07:21 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post
              I'm thinking that this may have more to do with not having enough qualified engine crew. Proper firing of a steam locomotive takes many, many hours to become proficient--and more importantly, safe. Remember--steam locomotives are basically bombs on wheels, unless properly operated. Training isn't just a matter of teaching someone what button makes the ride go, and which button makes it stop. I suspect many of the more-knowledgeable train CMs found other work during the past year, and that it will take some time to properly train replacement engine crews to fill out multiple shifts.
              Good point...and nice to hear a refreshing explanation other then the typical "Oh its Disney Greed" blah, blah...

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              • #8
                Not just pertaining to the railroad, but I wonder if there are issues relative to overall staffing that we may not be aware of — like social distancing rules in cast break areas and kitchen prep areas and things like that. Just a thought....

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                • #9
                  Before and during the last major refurbishment around the back of ROA I heard one of the engineers talking saying to a guest that a couple of them were retiring and by the time the train would be back up they would be retired. He then mentioned he and another were probably looking at doing the same a year or so after the train was back up because they wanted some time on the new section before hanging it up. Something tells me some got comfortable being out during the lockdown and decided to call it a day. Being an Engineer on an actual Steam Locomotive is not a job just given to anyone or is training readily available to quickly replace engineers that leave. I have a buddy who is a train watcher and just retired as a middle school teacher and would always mention his dream job would be an engineer on a steam train. If it was feasible he would jump at this chance but it’s not like training a kid to run Mr Toads.
                  Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Starcade View Post
                    it’s not like training a kid to run Mr Toads.
                    Indeed it isn't. Your friend would need to train as a fireman first (or in DL parlance, a "firer"). This position requires a lot of knowledge and skill. It is not easy for everyone to understand, as there is a lot going on. It's like juggling. You need the right amount of steam pressure to move. You also need a stable water supply in the boiler. If the water gets too low for a given length of time, the boiler explodes. You (and others) die. If you're low on pressure, and low on water, you need to add water. But adding water lowers the boiler pressure even further. Train doesn't move. If your pressure is too high, safety valves open, and bleed off all that extra steam--steam that cost a lot in fuel to create, streaming off into the atmosphere. You can lower the pressure by adding water, but if your water level is high already, adding more will allow water to wash into the cylinders. Every time your engineer moves the throttle, your steam pressure changes, and you have to react accordingly. Managing all these competing demands takes a lot of forethought and teamwork with your engineer.

                    After you master these skills, you can then move over to the right side of the cab.

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                    • #11
                      Hopefully there are Engineers and Fireman out there that are qualified and have been waiting for this opportunity as I really want them to be able to have these trains running into the evening. Being on the DLRR as the sun goes down is one my favorite things to do in the parks.
                      Disneyland Fan since the 70's

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Starcade View Post
                        Hopefully there are Engineers and Fireman out there that are qualified and have been waiting for this opportunity as I really want them to be able to have these trains running into the evening. Being on the DLRR as the sun goes down is one my favorite things to do in the parks.
                        The problem is, it's such a specialized skillset, with such massively limited opportunities to learn that skillset. There just aren't that many operating steam locomotives in the country. Many of the folks who do possess the skillset are volunteers at regional tourist railroads; many have better-paying "day jobs." Not to mention, many of these folks don't live in Southern California.

                        That said, the skills can be taught, but it takes time. I have no doubt the DRR will be running longer hours by summer.

                        Engine crew training, by necessity, is mostly OJT, so if I'm correct, we should be seeing a lot of student engine crew riding along with the regular crews during the eight-hour shifts. Can anyone confirm that this training is occurring?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post

                          The problem is, it's such a specialized skillset, with such massively limited opportunities to learn that skillset. There just aren't that many operating steam locomotives in the country. Many of the folks who do possess the skillset are volunteers at regional tourist railroads; many have better-paying "day jobs."
                          When people say it’s not Disney’s fault, I read this and immediately see a solution within Disney’s power.

                          Disney is not afraid to charge me $16 for two meatballs, but they can’t afford to pay skilled labor to run one fo their most famed attractions? If their solution to this is to just not run the trains fully, then they are choosing to save money while still charging the guest. That is greedy.

                          I know people get tired of hearing it here, but truth hurts. I love their products, but I’m not going to defend them when they don’t deserve it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jesser-pie View Post

                            I know people get tired of hearing it here, but truth hurts. I love their products, but I’m not going to defend them when they don’t deserve it.
                            The people who run the trains are unionized, and they don't make bad money as-is.

                            My point is, even if Disney offered to pay $100,000 a year, the talent pool is so shallow that it might be difficult to find anyone who has the right skillset right out of the gate. This is a case where we just have to wait to get folks properly trained in this ancient and completely-obsolete skillset.
                            Last edited by Right Down Broadway; 05-06-2021, 09:16 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Is Mark Twain Riverboat running?

                              Asking because I did look for a job posting just to see what they ask for in Steam Train Operators.

                              This is a rare opportunity to join the roundhouse team that operates the world-famous Disneyland Steam Trains and Mark Twain Riverboat!

                              Those assigned to the Operating Engineer (Roundhouse) position are responsible for operating the Disneyland Steam Locomotives and the Mark Twain Riverboat propulsion system, as well as performing operational and functional checks of the propulsion system and related equipment.


                              Do the operators juggle both?

                              EDIT: Nevermind! I found the proper job posting if anyone is curious. I'll leave the previous one up because it's interesting. Also, the comments for this specific post are quite interesting too!

                              Also since I'm a visual learner, I found an old video from the Disney Parks Youtube Channel on what it takes to run the DLRR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta-pFLwKkdw
                              Last edited by Captain Andy; 05-06-2021, 09:25 AM.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post

                                Do the operators juggle both?
                                They do. Sometimes you'll see that the engineer operating the Mark Twain is wearing his blue striped engineer costume.

                                The engineer operating the Mark Twain only really controls the steam supply to the engines, and the massive "Johnson Bar" reverser. The boiler on the Mark Twain essentially operates itself.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post
                                  The people who run the trains are unionized, and they don't make bad money as-is.

                                  My point is, even if Disney offered to pay $100,000 a year, the talent pool is so shallow that it might be difficult to find anyone who has the right skillset right out of the gate. This is a case where we just have to wait to get folks properly trained in this ancient and completely-obsolete skillset.

                                  I AGREE

                                  Engineer operation is a very obsolete skillset......High Skill,
                                  and They have to know what they are doing !
                                  It's very hand on properly training, that takes a lots of time.
                                  Not a job were one can just pick up !
                                  Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                                  • #18
                                    Anybody who thinks this is anything but a cost cutting play on Disney's part is delusional. First off being a fireman or engineer are two of the most desirable jobs in the park. People would line up down the block for either one of those jobs. Second if it wasn't about saving money why wouldn't they just pay those people for a few hours of overtime? Sadly, when it comes to BS moves like this Disney has gone way beyond deserving the benefit of my doubt.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Norcalxx View Post
                                      Anybody who thinks this is anything but a cost cutting play on Disney's part is delusional. First off being a fireman or engineer are two of the most desirable jobs in the park. People would line up down the block for either one of those jobs. Second if it wasn't about saving money why wouldn't they just pay those people for a few hours of overtime? Sadly, when it comes to BS moves like this Disney has gone way beyond deserving the benefit of my doubt.
                                      Clearly you have no idea what it takes to safely operate a steam locomotive. I don't care how many people want the job--the fact is, those people need to be TRAINED, which takes a lot more time than showing an 18-year-old kid how to push the "E-stop" button.

                                      A minor goof on "Pirates" or "HM" results in guest inconvenience--not death.

                                      A boiler exploding because some kid got "one of the most desirable jobs in the park" and just happened to be chatty with the engineer and let the water dip below the top of the firebox crown sheet for a few minutes would cause his/her own death, the death of the engineer, possible guest deaths, and the elimination of steam trains in all California theme parks--if not the country's. The twisted hulk of the boiler and cab would land a quarter of a mile away.

                                      Is this really the price you want to pay because Disney didn't take the time to properly train the engine crew, and you had to put up with only having the train for eight hours a day for a few months?

                                      I'll tell you who's delusional...

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                                      • #20
                                        Actually I know exactly what it takes. I grew up around steam engines. I've also spent a whole lot of time talking to the firemen and engineers on the DLR. so yeah, I know exactly what I'm talking about. Maybe answer this question. If Disneyland had more than enough people who love their jobs to run the trains, and there is almost nowhere else for them to go to find work running steam engines, why would Disney have any problem staffing the trains? Actually don't bother. We all know the answer is they wouldn't.

                                        Comment

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