Thanks for visiting Web Watch this past year. We thought we’d take a quick look at how 2010 has gone, and share some details on what our visitors were most interested in reading before we dive into 2011: Continue reading YEAR IN REVIEW: 2010’S MOST POPULAR WEB WATCH ARTICLES AND SEARCHES
If you’re a Disney park fan, then one thing that you’re probably interested in is some of the behind-the-scenes stories about what it’s REALLY like to work at the Most Magical Place on Earth.
Sure, you could read KEVIN YEE’s book MOUSETRAP: MEMOIR OF A DISNEYLAND CAST MEMBER, or maybe even Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World, The Project on Disney, based on interviews with former Disney employees. Both are excellent books for what they cover, and Web Watch recommends them highly.
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.
Sometimes we want to really pull back the curtain and see what life really is like to work as a cast member at one of the World’s Busiest Theme Parks. Continue reading READ “CAST MEMBER CONFIDENTIAL” FOR BEHIND-THE-SCENES DISNEY FUN
As the book says, MICKEY MOUSE NEVER FAILS.
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 DISNEY specifically 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.
David Rosdeitcher has an affinity for numbers, or just a really good memory. He is a street performer from Boulder, Colorado, and his act consists of asking the audience for their zip code. He then proceeds to tell those people not only what city they’re from, but also about a restaurant or other local point of interest that’s located there.
He’s been called THE ZIP CODE MAN, THE MIGHTY ZIP CODE MAN, and MR ZIP CODE.
As a busker, he earns money based on the tips that people provide from the entertainment he offers. His pitch line is “give me money, because I know where you live.” It seems to be effective. Continue reading MEET DAVID ROSDEITCHER — THE ZIP CODE MAN
Fans of Walt Disney World’s EPCOT theme park have a new mission: to RETURN THE FIGMENT AND DREAMFINDER CHARACTERS TO EPCOT, specifically to the Journey Into Imagination ride.
First, some history: when Epcot first opened, the plan was for the park to not have any of the traditional Disney characters present at all. Of course, “where are the characters?” was a common complaint from families who visited and expected to see Disney characters at any Disney theme park they visited – which, at the time consisted of just the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland…not exactly a large sample size to deal with, here.
But Epcot did have one cuddly, friendly cartoony character available – FIGMENT, the playful winged dragon of imagination — who, along with his mentor Dreamfinder, became the defacto face of Epcot when no other characters were available.
Luckily, park fans loved Figment and Dreamfinder, and together they made the original incarnation of the JOURNEY INTO IMAGINATION attraction a family must-see favorite. Ask anyone who visited the park in those days if they could sing the “Imagination” song, and you’ll hear everyone share their version of “One Little Spark”. Continue reading WANT FIGMENT AND DREAMFINDER RETURNED TO THE IMAGINATION RIDE AT DISNEY’S EPCOT? HERE’S HOW
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:
Hitler Wants to eat at Epcot’s Le Cellier
Continue reading VIDEO FUN: HITLER LOVES DISNEY
Cass and Robert are big Disney fans.
They’ve been to Walt Disney World numerous times, and taken a Disney Cruise or two.
But Cass has a little bit of an obsession with the Disney facilities, as she felt the need to post PHOTOS OF EVERY WOMEN’S RESTROOM AT WALT DISNEY WORLD.
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.”
- “It’s boring.”
- “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.
Today, I will provide you with something to do after you have seen all that Epcot has to offer – courtesy in part from my creative Epcot-loving friends, and in part by today’s website, DRINK AROUND THE WORLD.
Continue reading DISNEY: OFFICIAL UNOFFICIAL RULES FOR BEERS AROUND THE WORLD AT EPCOT
PROGRESS CITY USA has posted #3 on their list of TEN WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR: OVERHAUL DISNEY TRANSPORTATION, and I couldn’t agree more.
Basically, unless you’re just going from your hotel to a theme park and back, internal transportation is a headache. Fixing the system would require a massive investment, tackling many separate goals simultaneously. It would require an entirely different plan for the resort’s infrastructure, and it’s needed immediately. They won’t do it, but they should.
I have one suggestion that would address this current transportation problem at Walt Disney World with an idea that would dramatically increase guest satisfaction. It won’t solve the immediate issue at hand, but keeping guests happy in the short run can buy some time until a better transporation plan is developed.
As Web Watch asked in our DISNEYLAND PARK PLANNER iPHONE APPLICATION article a few weeks ago:
“One would only hope that they’ll follow this up with appropriate apps for Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySEA, Universal Studios Hollywood, New York City subway trains, or any other amusement park, event, travel, or entertainment facility that would benefit from the social technology that the iPhones and similar devices make available.”
And now the floodgates have opened as more apps just like what we described have begun to arrive: Continue reading CALCULATING AMUSEMENT PARK WAIT TIMES VIA TWITTER
PROGRESS CITY, USA‘s latest article in their “TEN WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR” series is entitled “DETOONIFICATION“. In it, PCU writes about how they would like to de-toon the Disney parks, and how the recent character overlays on various rides are a bit of overkill.
PCU does have a point: the overlay of Iago and Zazu into Walt Disney World’s Tiki Room is a perfect example of how not to add characters to an attraction. While the number crunchers may have interpreted the declining turnstyle numbers on the attraction as an indication that the Tiki Room was tired and needed to be modernized, the reality is seen across the country in Disneyland’s beautifully restored Tiki Room: that with a little bit of attraction maintenance – cleaning up the audio, blowing the dust off the electronics and lights – the crowds will once again flock to a beloved attraction. Continue reading DETOONING DISNEY IN FIVE LESSONS, A RESPONSE
THE MOTOR REPORT is reporting this morning that General Motors is cutting up to US$800 million from its North American advertising budget this year.
While this will affect GM’s plans for sponsoring the upcoming Transformers sequel, it is currently unknown whether GM will continue to provide Disney sponsorship dollars for Epcot’s TEST TRACK attraction. It has been announced that the budget cut applies to GM’s print, TV and film advertising, and its vehicle purchase incentives.
The sponsorship cost has never been announced, but is estimated to be about US$5 million per year, according to sources. This is just a drop in the bucket when compared to cutting $800 million in a single year.
One thing that I get annoyed with is when TV shows take liberties with established facts about existing places. For example, MTV’s Road Rules screwed up in their first season by showing the Winnebago driving north on a highway. The problem was that each subsequent highway shot was from a section of road that was further south than the previous one. All the editors had to do was place those highway shots in their correct order. They were going to show those shots anyway, so at least be smart about it. It was like insisting that the first five letters of the alphabet are “A-B-E-D-C”. Continue reading FULL HOUSE SCREWS UP WALT DISNEY WORLD