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  • The Best of MiceChat Forums

    I believe our new forum software will have the ability to automatically elevate posts to a "best of" or "you need to see this" level. Our current forum software can not do this, so I have created this thread. I will use it to link to posts that everyone should see. I'm sure there are many posts that are worthy of being featured here as well, but I found one post from today that needs to be here right now.

  • #2
    The following post from the California Sreamin' is done for thread can be found here -

    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Well said. As goes Disney management, so go the forum discussions. In the history of this forum, there have been periodic blowbacks of anger from Disney's defenders, similar to those in this thread. Regardless of the year and the posters, the symptoms are the same: Disney's critics are labeled as whiners, scolded as being unfair to Disney management, castigated as the cause for the forum's decline in membership, and accused of "ruining the fun." Some Disney defenders YAGE, and then quickly return.

    It happens not only on Disney forums, but on forums dedicated to cars, computers, cameras, video games -- any discussion forum where people express brand loyalty.

    Bottom line: people who have invested years of their lives, portions of their careers, and/or large amounts of their income in the Disney brand can have passionate emotions attached to it. They can and do react with frustration, irritation, anger, and outrage when their brand is threatened by anyone, be it by Disney management or other Disney fans.


    • #3
      This post was nominated by several members.

      The thread can be found here -

      Originally posted by amyuilani View Post
      I was a CM from 1996-2005 in both Attractions and Entertainment. I started when I was 18. I was young, immature, and got in a lot of trouble because I was more focused on having fun than in doing my best job. At the time, I was more interested in advancing in seniority and status because I hated working on the Jungle Cruise because it was difficult to be "on" all the time and I figured my seniority would help me to pull better shifts on better attractions. This wasn't always the case, for staffing needs usually dictated that I got sent back to Jungle. (In case you're wondering, yes, I knew Jungle was a skipper-centric ride, but if you're not a natural performer or are not interested in being "on" all the time, it's very difficult. Plus, this was before I understood what an introvert I was and still am today. I can handle one or two trips at a time, but more than that wears me out.)

      I realized around 2000 that I was exhausted all the time, wasn't really gaining any favor among management because I was still immature and had a crappy attitude, and that wasn't likely to change until I changed my circumstances. I left Attractions and returned a year later to Entertainment, driving parade floats part-time while I worked a full-time job elsewhere. Once I left my outside job, Disneyland again became my full-time job, which was a mistake I only saw in hindsight. The benefits were great and I got to be a part of some great moments, but I wasn't growing in maturity that much more. I was taking my cues from the wrong people and was still getting in trouble all the time.

      It wasn't until I left the company and the state for good in 2005 that I realized what my mistakes were. Among other things:
      • Maturity - Yes, Disneyland is a lot of fun and you're around a lot of young, college kids who love to play and party. But there is a time and place for everything, and maybe it's a better idea to seek the guidance and examples of the long-time CMs instead of the 20-year-olds who happened to make trainer or lead because they were among the few who weren't on attendance disciplines. It would have served many of us well to remember that we were at work, not at a party.
      • Work/life balance - Disneyland friends become outside friends very quickly. You go to school with them, you party with them, you date them. It is important to not have your entire world comprised of these people because you have no escape when drama happens, or when you just need your space. Have activities like sports or school away from your fellow CMs and remember that there's a bigger world than what you have seen in the park.
      • Forward thinking - I wanted to make Disneyland my career because it sounded cool. I didn't know what I wanted to do or what the paths were to get there. If I had been wiser, I could have spent some time talking to respected leads and managers, formed development and education plans, corrected my attitude sooner, and possibly put a career path in front of me. Disneyland offers so many unique tools and skills that you will never get anywhere else that not embracing and developing them to their fullest is foolish. I don't have a Disneyland career after all, but I still find myself utilizing some of the skills I developed there.
      • FUN - at the end of the day, whether the job is part-time or your career that you support your family with, it has to be fun. If you can't find the fun anymore, it's time to leave. It absolutely does affect your attitude and your performance. Your fellow CMs know. Your managers and leads know. The guests know. Everyone can tell when you're so over it and you need to get out. You are not as skilled at hiding it as you think. Pay attention to those cues and do something about it. Go on vacation. Talk to your managers about a possible location change. Take on some outside activities. Or quit. Do not hang around the party and expect it to pick back up. No one is responsible for making sure you are happy in the job except for you.
      There was no one moment or one thing that leads to the experience no longer being fun. It's different for everyone. There are CMs who I hired in with in 1996 who are still there, and there are some who had a decade under their belts when I started who are still there. One of my dearest friends had worked in the park for 31 years when I started working with her at Splash Mountain. There are thousands who have come and gone in the years since I started. I couldn't travel the same path again because I am not the same person and the park is not the same place, so it's not just a regular do-over. It wouldn't be the same, so I have made peace with the time of my life that I know will never be what I hoped for. If I were to do it again, I'd consider returning to float driving because it was the easiest job I'd had and some of the most fun I'd had, but you had better believe I wouldn't consider doing it unless I knew it was going to be fun. Once the fun stops, it's time to go.


      • #4
        This post is from the "Listing of Elements Disneyland Should Restore, Especially to Help It Regain Its Soul" thread.

        Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post

        I would spend all year planning our summer trip. Looking at old guide books, using the big Park map on my bedroom wall to plot out what rides to go on.

        The Glorious Fourth of July. Summer was over then, as Mom would say with a hint of irony in her voice, and the days always did seem to fly towards September, and dreaded school, faster and faster every day after the Fourth. Summer may have been waning, but I took comfort knowing our trip would be imminent.

        When we were younger, Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't tell us what day we were going; they knew we would not be able to sleep the night before. They were right, of course. When we were a little older, over summer barbecued spareribs and roasted yellow corn-on-the-cob, we'd plan the trip together. We settled on a date as a family, and the planning in earnest would begin.

        So many things to do! Making sure I had plenty of film in the camera in the days before the trip; Was one roll enough? Trying to decide if I should bring my scout pocket knife with me, or maybe my pocket spy telescope instead--just think of what I could see with it from the top of the Swiss Family tree house?

        What would I wear? The tan shorts with the pockets had a lot of room to store the souvenirs I wanted to get. A piece-of-eight coin, or maybe even two, was high on the list. The daily guide booklet would fit perfect, right here, for easy access. Definitely the blue-striped T-shirt, and my new Nikes--they were very comfortable for walking.

        Who would sit with who on each ride? I wanted to sit with Dad on the Matterhorn; Sis could sit next to him on Mr. Toad. As summer rolled on and the weather got warmer, the anticipation became palpable.

        I did extra chores around the house to make extra spending money. Maybe this time I could swing one of those beautiful hard-bound books about the Park--so much nicer than the soft-cover guide books. A real treasure that I knew I would spend hours looking through, until the pages became dog-eared. And so they would.

        Would Grandpa treat us to lunch at the Blue Bayou? Oh, please say yes! The cool air inside would feel as refreshing as a mountain stream after walking in, the thick August heat checked like a jacket at the door. The Monte Cristo, golden batter so crispy, the melted cheese oozing out, and steam rising when I'd bite into it; it was the best thing I'd ever tasted. Here would be one of the few times of the year I was allowed to order chocolate milk. And we'd end the lunch with a tasty dark-chocolate mint wrapped in green foil. So sophisticated!

        The day would be a whirlwind of fun! Rides, food, adventure, stories, jokes, family, joy, laughing. Joy, family, jokes, stories, adventure, food and rides. And finally, exhaustion.

        I loved riding home at night, staring wistfully out the car window as Grandpa drove, seeing all the lights twinkling like stars off the side of the freeway. The days' adventures replayed over and over in my mind on a never-ending loop.

        In bed; the day was over. I'd look through the hard-cover book, and fall off to sleep. The next morning, It would hit...a bit of depression; remorse perhaps.

        When I was older, and had time to think about it, it dawned on me that perhaps what Walt wanted to tell us all along was that magic wasn't confined to just Disneyland; it was all around us, in our daily lives, if only we could see it, like he had.

        We wouldn't be back to the Park for another year. All I had to sustain me through the long calendar of the coming year were my books, maps, and memories.

        And somehow, that was enough.


        • #5
          From the "Disneyland Golden Age" thread:

          Originally posted by stovk View Post
          For me, when I think of Disneyland's "Golden Age", I would probably judge it differently than the norm. Many people will rate Disneyland solely on attractions - technological, thrilling, trendy, etc. I rate it more on culture (as in the culture and philosophy of the company). However, in my opinion, there were two periods in which I would characterize Disneyland's "Golden Age"

          1969 - It was just after the 1964/65 World's Fair and Disneyland reaped the rewards from it. New Orleans Square opened in 1966 and Tomorrowland got a huge update. Disneyland had just built several new (and soon to be "classic") attractions; Haunted Mansion (1967), Carousel of Progress (1967), Small World (1966), Pirates of the Caribbean (1967), Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (1965), Adventure Thru Inner Space (1967), and the PeopleMover (1967).

          At dusk (my favorite time at Disneyland) everything came alive. You were treated to first rate talent. Disneyland brought in live entertainment on various dance floors throughout the park. Old-fashioned, big bands such as the Elliott Brothers, Phil Gray and his Tomorrowland Orchestra, and the Hawaiian Trio performed. There were even dance floors on the Mark Twain Riverboat and inside the Golden Horseshoe. Boy do I miss Date Night at Disneyland.

          There was also a lingering work ethic, established by Walt, with the Cast Members. Maintenance and Janitorial services were a thing of legend status. Everyone took pride in their jobs and you would be hard pressed to see unkempt landscaping, chipped paint, or trash strewn about. CMs took their role for what they were, a "Cast". They played their part from when they started to when they got off work. No leaning or slumping over ride controls, no personal conversational banter with each other, costumes impeccable...nothing to distract the customer from the mood or experience Walt was trying to convey. You truly did have a sense you were in a very different world.

          The next period I consider Disneyland's "Golden Age" would be between 1973-1979. We were treated to some new attractions; America Sings, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain. But more than that, the energy and "class" of Disneyland was still going strong.

          Then, the turning point. In my opinion, when Michael Eisner took over in 1984, Disneyland started it's transformation from a humble, classy establishment, to the garish "out-to-make-a-quick-buck" marketing empire it is now. I'm sure Eisner had good intentions and for his credit he did revitalize the Production aspects of the Company, but in regards to Disneyland, he either had no clue or didn't care for Walt's philosophy. Just about everything with Eisner was over the top and a lot of the times just tacky. That was the genesis of what we have now.

          Disneyland is now at a point where it has an identity crisis. The acquisition/partnerships of various franchises (ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marval, Muppets, Pixar...) by Corporate Disney has had a ripple effect into Disneyland. All these entities what to push their "brand", and come hell or high water, their gonna try and leverage the Disneyland cash-cow. This also has an effect on Disneyland staff as well. Disney is so leveraged out, that (as with all corporations) customer service is the first to feel the tightening of the belt. This too percolates down into the rank and file. A sense of "we're all in this for the team" has been replaced with "watch your own back". When Management doesn't set the standard and believe in Walt's philosophy (the mission), then you can't expect your front-line with the customers to believe in it either.

          As a hopeless romantic, I long for Disneyland to reestablish itself back to something other than just another "Amusement Park". However, I think that ship has sailed and just like the Golden era of Hollywood, we'll never see the likes of the Golden Age of Disneyland again.

          ***The preceding is mine and my opinion only. Others may not see it that way***


          • #6
            The following thread, and the first post, deserve to be included here.


            Originally posted by stovk View Post
            I have to say that, like many on this forum, I bleed Disney. Not in the fanatical way of collecting Pins or looking for hidden Mickeys, but more in the subtleties; the study and appreciation of the philosophy, history, and art of the Company Walt created.

            I am now in my 50's and I have been to Disneyland hundreds of times over my lifetime, as well as WDW, EPCOT, and Tokyo DL. I've seen the transformation of DL from the 60's to present day and I remember the pre-1967 Tomorrowland. I had the opportunity to get a personal tour of the studio in the 80's and meet Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. So, needless to say, I have some great memories when it comes to anything Disney.

            Every so often something triggers my memory of a fond experience at Disneyland. It could be anything; a smell, a sound, a taste, or as simple as the time of day. That got me to thinking. What would be my ideal experience? What is it that gives me that "Disneyland" feeling? After giving it some thought, there are several memory flashes I seem to recall time and time again.

            If I had do describe it, it would probably go along these lines.

            It's summertime, probably 1973, and the Park just opened. Our family wanders over to the River Belle Terrace for breakfast. It's not very crowded and we sit and enjoy our eggs and pancakes on the patio. As you sit there, the Mark Twain slowly steams by sounding its whistle and the ringing bell echoes throughout New Orleans Square. In the background you can hear the organ playing from the Swiss Family Treehouse.

            After breakfast we pretty much always followed the same routine in this order. Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Country Bear Jamboree. We always stopped for a Mountain Dew at the Mile Long Bar.

            The rest of the day is a blur until late in the afternoon.

            The day is hot and the sun is low in the sky. Your feet are a little tired from all the walking so it's time to sit down for a bit. We head over to Tomorrowland and enter the Carousel of Progress Theater. It's so cool in the theater and it's nice to seek refuge from the hot day. I can still hear in my head, "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow" being sung by Rex Allen. Don't know why, but that attraction always made me feel at peace. Even to this day, if I play the show soundtrack to the Carousel of Progress, it puts me in my "happy place".

            Now it is dusk (probably my favorite time of day at DL) and we head over to Plaza Gardens Restaurant for dinner. Sitting on the patio, the lights, sounds, and smells of Main Street makes you feel like nothing else in the world exists. You can hear the "clip-clop" from the horses pulling the street car and the "putt-putting" of the Jitney going by.

            Then the day winds down with the usual ritual. A night ride on the Jungle Cruise, Fantasy in the Sky, and then strolling through every shop on Main Street before heading out of the Park at 1:00 AM.

            Fond memories and some which can never be repeated these days. I'm glad I got to experience that.

            What's your "Happy Place"?


            • #7
              From Pixar Pier taking over Paradise Pier in Summer 2018


              Originally posted by DrFink View Post
              In a way, it's a shame they aren't re-theming Screamin' to Inside Out. It could have turned guests into an... emotional rollercoaster.


              • #8

                Originally posted by C. Andrew Nelson View Post
                As others have expressed, I too have nothing but admiration and respect for the Disneyland Resort cast members. It's difficult enough to work in any form of customer service. I have to imagine that it's 10x the difficulty doing that kind of work at a world renowned theme park.

                I have never worked at a Disney theme park (although I came very close to being cast for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular at WDW), I have worked in customer service. Before my life in feature film visual effects & animation I worked for a well-known pizza restaurant chain and routinely suffered irrational wrath from unruly customers who took personal offense to me because we had run out of their favorite topping. Years later when I started my career with the Lucas companies as a technical support rep at LucasArts Entertainment Company I was answering phone calls from livid, irate people who bought one of our games and it was *my* fault that they couldn't get it to run on their computer. It was insane sometimes trying to deal with some of these people (I did it for a year before moving into the Art Department), yet I bet it was a walk in the park compared to what Disneyland cast members deal with.

                The flip side, of course, are the times when you can brighten someone's day, solve a problem for them, or make them feel special. That's when the magic happens. It's what makes all the rest of the job worth it.

                As I've stated, I have never been a cast member (worked for Disney, but never in the parks), however I would imagine the best job for me would be as Jungle Cruise skipper or any other position where I interact in a performance manner with the guests (like Maynard). The worst would be any position that was incredibly repetitive. Loading and unloading comes to mind, or driving the same route over and over again on the monorail.

                Hats off to all the cast members past and present here on this forum.


                • #9