Category Archives: disney

Interesting at Disney

I still pick up shifts from time to time at Disney as a photographer.  I always shoot at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK) so I’ve learned that park very well.  I picked up an all-day shift last Friday, Sunday, and tomorrow then will be off for a few weeks.

But these last couple of days have produced some interesting stories.

  • One thing that is really a lot of fun about working in a park is you get a perspective that no one else gets – that is I stay in one spot while everyone else is on the move.  I’ve found a lot can happen if you just stay still.  Friday I was in Africa by the drums. An African cast member came out with hand instruments and started a jam.  A couple guys joined in on bongos, a teen girl took a maracca, a man grabbed a cowbell, and on and on.  They jammed for about 15 minutes non-stop.  Then they all left.  Moments later one of the more interesting characters at DAK came out: the “tree lady” or DeVine.  Meanwhile, behind me, one of the giant black, white, and red male storks was doing what looked like a courting dance while the female stork watched attentively.  
  • Technology is taken for granted until it stops working.  For example, when all the scanners at the gates stop working, thousands of people get in long lines waiting for repairs.  Twice.  Some line up and are still excited to be at Disney.  Some get angry and leave.
  • I’ve worked many hours in the in-park store “Garden Gate Gifts”.  It’s where guests can come view their PhotoPass photos.  It also is a small gift shop.  Lots of stories come out of there! Sunday something happened twice that I’ve never seen happen.  Within an hour of each other, two women came in concerned because their camera stopped working.  We don’t repair guest’s cameras, but we’ll take a look at it.  Turned out, for both women, the batteries were dead.  So we fixed them both when they purchased new batteries.  Sometimes it’s not that easy.  One day a guy lost all his photos on his camera because he reformatted the memory card at the end of the day.  I felt bad but there was nothing I could do.
  • I’ve worked retail many times throughout my life and as far as I know nothing has ever been stolen while I was working.  It’s still true, but the streak almost ended the other day when a lady who was in too much of a hurry thought the line was too long to wait.  So she held up her items and said “I’m just going to leave. If someone stops me then…” I couldn’t hear the rest as she already turned and was out the door.  We all looked at each other with a “what did she say?” look. A cast member followed her out and fortunately she was at another register paying.  I do commend her for at least being honest with us that she was going to steal.  Then she paid. 
  • When you are a guest at Disney (or anywhere for that matter) and you are upset about something, consider taking out your frustration on the appropriate people.  Usually the person at the cash register didn’t decide how much your item costs nor can she do anything about it.  Telling her the entire company is a ripoff is both rude and ironic since you paid so much to visit.  Disney is a magical place, but yes, memories can be expensive.
Disney is certainly a fun place to work – especially now that it is getting cooler outside!

Disney in Alaska

We were able to go on vacation to Alaska a couple weeks ago visiting friends.  While we were there, we went down to a port town called Seward and we stopped into a small restaurant for breakfast.  The diner was a converted train car so only about 30 people could eat in there at a time.

While we were waiting for our biscuits and gravy, we overheard a guy talking to his table-mate about a trip to Disney World!  He was telling him all about how cool the All-Star Resort was, the deals he got, the fun, everything.

It’s a cold spring May morning.  We’re in a small diner of about a dozen people in a small port town in Alaska, and of all conversations to overhear, we hear the one about a guy raving about his Disney vacation.

Everybody now: “It’s a small world after all…”

Wishing at Disney

Disney is the place where dreams come true.  Everyone knows this.  Even kids.

So one day I was on stage by some water and people throw coins into the water to make a wish.  Usually it’s kids trowing their parents coins into the water.  One kid wouldn’t pose for a photo so dad told him if he’s in the picture he could throw a coin in.  He posed then went to throw a coin in but said, “Dad, I want a BIG one, this is a small coin”.

Sigh.

But at that very spot came one of the most random things I’ve seen at Disney.  Something so cute and so out of context that it just strikes me as hilarious:

One little girl came up to the fence at the water and was just staring into the coin bottomed water.  She got a coin from mom and came back.  Arching her hand way back behind her shoulder blade and her elbow pointing to the sky, she released the coin up and over the railing into the water.  With that part done it was time for the next step – the wish.

So she closed her eyes, clasped her hands in a prayer-like stance, leaned into the fence, and said aloud,

I wish every day was Halloween.

Mind you we were about 6 months removed from Halloween, no ghosts or goulies around, it was hot, no candy around, and it was bright outside.  Nothing pointed to Halloween at all.

But not to this little 4-year old girl.

Sometimes I just wonder what’s going on in the heads of people.  It’s got to be a lot of fun in there.