Disneyland and Walt Disney World are often referred to as the “Happiest Places on Earth”.
And for good reason.
But there is an underbelly that seldom sees the light of day. And it proves that even with the fantasy worlds that Walt built, sometimes people crack a bit under the pressure to always have a good time and escape.
Perhaps there’s a reason that alcohol is hard to find at the Magic Kingdom (unless, of course, you know where to look).
Let’s take a look at how Disney’s professional security teams deal with unruly, and occasionally violent, guests:
46% of people surveyed will spend part of their vacation time doing work instead of actually enjoying their time off.
Web Watch knows how they feel – during one Vegas vacation, we spent two days in the hotel room overlooking the Bellagio fountains, compiling a PowerPoint presentation for our boss who didn’t understand the meaning of “hey, just because we brought a laptop with us doesn’t mean that we’re available to you 24 hours a day…. especially while we’re in Vegas.” Continue reading 46% OF PEOPLE SURVEYED WILL SPEND TIME WORKING WHILE ON VACATION→
Web Watch never get bored while waiting on line for a Disney theme park attraction.
The detailed queues, interactive distractions, background music, park smells – the general happiness that permeates the Disney parks are designed to distract you from even thinking that you’ve been waiting in line for 2 hours to ride Toy Story Mania.
Okay – maybe waiting two hours for a 3-minute ride isn’t exactly a good use of anyone’s time, and definitely showcases the largest problem with the use of FastPass (but we digress, as we’re not going to talk about the pros/cons of FastPass today).
But sometimes works like those can offer some views of life at Walt Disney World or Disneyland that are a bit more whitewashed than how things actually were. Looking at working at the Mouse with rose-colored glasses, if you will.
Sometimes we want to see a truth that’s a bit more unadulterated and unfiltered.
But sometimes Mickey does have a bit of a bad day. As do many of Mickey’s Disney pals around Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the other Disney theme parks.
Because being a walkaround character (sometimes called ”rubberheads” or “FUR CHARACTERS” by some) is not always the best job to have in the theme park.
Your vision is hindered, if you can see at all. The costumes are heavy, unbearably hot, awkward to manuever in, and not often cleaned to smell as fresh as they should be. You’re often kicked, poked, prodded, propositioned, and occasionally abused by children young and old-enough-to-know-better.
Yes, being a Disney Costumed Character has been called ONE OF THE WORST JOBS AT DISNEYspecifically because of the high accident/injury rate associated with it according to INSIDE THE MOUSE, a book based on interviews with former park employees.
And with all that, the employees who act as “friends of” each character continue to do so in order to bring smiles to the faces of every park visitor. And for putting up with all that, and doing their job well — we at Web Watch salute you.
Growing up, we all remember being taken to see certain movies with our parents and wondering why they thought that seeing these films would be a good idea.
Web Watch faintly remembers being taken to see a double-feature of THE THREE MUSKETEERS with UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT, and recalls that we really couldn’t follow the plots of either film, let alone understand why we were taken to see them.
But when it comes to kid’s films, Walt Disney once famously said “for every laugh, a tear must fall”, which explains why many Disney films made back in the day contain some vivid, scary imagery or themes that may be a bit heavy for what today are considered to have been – truthfully or not - primarily children’s films. There’s a reason why the attraction at Walt Disney World is entitled SNOW WHITE’S SCARY ADVENTURES… because that Evil Queen reallydoes live up to her name. Continue reading THE 26 MOST DISTURBING KIDS MOVIES EVER MADE→
Today marks yet another accident on the Walt Disney World transportation system — this time, a 10-year-old boy was struck and killed by Disney bus while he was riding his bike near Fort Wilderness with an 11-year-old friend (who was unhurt). Initial reports say that both children were wearing proper safety gear, but bike helmets are no match versus a bus.
This past year has seen an unfortunate growing number of major accidents involving guest transportation at Disney World. Two other bus incidents – one of which just occurred last week – sent park guests to area hospitals with mostly minor injuries and one serious one. Combined with the Monorail cast member death last July, these accidents seem to be happening with more and more frequency, especially troubling as Walt Disney World prides itself on creating a safe environment for its guests.
The first person to send a wire transfer of $198,000 on November 18th, 2009 gets a phenomenal wedding package. How exclusive is this offer? Some of what is being offered is not available at all under any circumstances.
Just as Web Watch reported a few years ago the first time we looked at these statistics, Las Vegas-based TAO is still at the top of the list, with $68m in 2008 earnings and an average dinner check of $72. Not bad, when you have 785,000 people coming through your door.
The rest of the top 10 independent restaurants were:
Tavern on the Green
Joe’s Stone Crab
Smith & Wollensky
Tao Asian Bistro
Old Ebbitt Grill
Gibsons Bar Steakhouse
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Chicago
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Las Vegas
Falling just out of the top 10, at spot number 11, is our first Walt Disney World property, Fulton’s Crab House. With an average check of $45, Fulton’s made $20m in 2008. Other Disney properties that made the list include Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe at #25 ($15.7m), and the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill at #97 ($11.1m).
Due to some enterprising and creative folk with access to some video editing software, here are a few different (and occasionally NSFW) takes on a popular Internet meme of Hitler finding something to complain about:
A few friends of mine think that Epcot is the best thing at Walt Disney World. There are quite a few people who agree with that belief, such as the folks at EPCOT CENTRAL, all for their own reasons. I can’t say that I disagree with them, as Epcot can be underrated by park visitors. Ask any person who dislikes Epcot and they often say the same things:
“There’s nothing to do there.”
“Why do I have to walk so far?”
Epcot is an immersive environment, with surprises and treats around every corner, if you would only bother to look. But that’s a different topic for a different day.
For those Epcot naysayers out there – I say that if you don’t like where you are, sometimes it’s because you aren’t creative enough to make your own fun.