Thursday, November 19, 2009

Disney University

Okay, I've been promising this for a long time now! Finally, I'm going to do it!
I worked at Disneyland from 1995-1996 in Costume Issue and Attractions. When you hire in, after quite a process and hours of paperwork where you sign your very own thoughts over to the company, you attend what is known as Disney University. Most jobs call this "orientation" but that would be too ordinary for Disney!! Disney University is merely learning more about the park and how it operates. You get a tour of Disneyland where they point out things that one might not normally notice. We will startat the beginning of the tour. The first thing you see when you enter Disneyland is Main Street. The buildings here are built in forced perspective and fashioned after Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline, Missouri. As you walk down Main Street heading into the park the buildings closer to you are larger and get smaller as you get closer to the hub. Disney wanted the street to look long and inviting. But at the end of the day as you exit, of course you get the opposite effect. You're tired and just want to get to your car, so the street appears much shorter. One of the shops on Main Street is Candy Palace where the candy makers make oh so yummy treats all day long. Click on "Candy Palace" above and you'll see a photo. Notice the three blue circles near the sidewalk? The other buildings have solid circles but not Candy Palace! There are little holes where they pump out vanilla scent in the summer and peppermint in the winter. This is also true of the Popcorn stands throughout the park. Ever noticed that even if the cart is empty you can still smell the buttery popcorn?

Okay, I can't possibly divulge all the secrets of Disneyland in one post. So we'll move on to what I call Disney Speak. Everything is done is show terms. Before Disney's California Adventure was built there was red concrete leading the ticket booths which were all in one long line. Disney wanted the guests to feel that they were walking a red carpet into a movie theater. You are not an employee, you are a cast member. There are no customers!! Everyone who visits Disneyland is your guest!!! A cast member's immediate "supervisor" is a Lead. Cast members are not allowed to sit, stand with your hands in your pocket, wear sunglasses that are too dark to see your eyes, drink or eat where the guests can see you, also known as on-stage. If you do any of these things on-stage it's called "bad show". Cast members must direct with at least two fingers. Never point with one finger as in some countries this is considered offensive. For men, you hair cannot touch your collar and yes there is a barber shop stage if your lead says your hair is too long. If you have too much facial hair there are vending machines backstage that sell razors.
Have I given you too much for one day? Well, we'll continue with the next post. Thank you for joining me at Disney University!!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting stuff! Thanks for the inside look!