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Tag Archives: cast member

Please Pardon Our Bus’s Dust – Guest Blog Post

One thing that you can count on when it comes to Disney is that they’re always trying to improve Walt Disney World in some manner, shape, or form.  Our last trip to Orlando was no different.

As we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, we discovered that a mammoth construction wall had been built between the bus stop and Seven Seas Lagoon.

As we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, we discovered that a mammoth construction wall had been built between the bus stop and Seven Seas Lagoon.

I don’t know about you, but curiosity ‘kills’ this ‘cat’, so, as usual, I went in search of answers.  What in “The World” we’re they up to now?

In most cases, all you need is a friendly Cast Member and a few minutes of their time to chat.  This time, the bus driver that chauffeured us back to our resort fit the bill.  Folks, when it comes to “The Wall”, a new bus loop is being built.  It will be the Magic Kingdom’s third bus stop and will be tailored specifically for WDW’s twelve, soon-to-be new, articulated buses.

If you aren’t familiar with articulated buses, they are essentially double-buses that comprise two rigid (bus) sections linked by a pivoting joint.  Think of a two-piece bus that bends in the middle!

If you aren't familiar with articulated buses, they are essentially double-buses that comprise two rigid (bus) sections linked by a pivoting joint.  Think of a two-piece bus that bends in the middle!

Articulated buses, obviously, come with a higher passenger capacity, while still allowing the bus to maneuver adequately on the roads, and, boy, does Disney have the right task in mind.  These buses are mainly targeted for use to service the massive crowds of guests that stay at Disney’s Value resorts – Pop Century, Art of Animation, and the three All-Stars.  Given the long lines we’ve waited in when we’ve stayed at any of those places, this is very appropriate, let me tell you.

Could these tandem buses be used to pick up and deliver guests elsewhere?  Our driver speculated as to the potential for use at Port Orleans but was unsure as to whether or not they would have room to maneuver.  I would ask the same about Caribbean Beach or Coronado Springs, perhaps.

It is expected that a select portion of the driver force will be trained to drive these types of buses in the near future.

Our Cast Member was full of other prospective details, as well.  For example, Disney is evidently expanding their team of drivers.  Currently at about 1,600 drivers, they are, allegedly, trying to grow the force to near 2,000.  Plus, clearing up another misconception (that I had, at least), the resort bus drivers ARE Disney Cast Members.  We had thought that WDW had out-sourced their various bus services to Mears Transportation Group a long time ago.  Apparently, only Disney’s Magical Express and the Disney Cruise Line drivers are employed by Mears.  And, according to that Cast Member, Disney might be taking those drivers back into the fold!

Have you already heard the stories (and seen the pictures) of Disney’s new paint scheme for the WDW resort buses?  It is a ‘red and silver’ style that has been applied to two buses already, according to our bus driver.

Have you already heard the stories (and seen the pictures) of Disney's new paint scheme for the WDW resort buses?  It is a 'red and silver' style that has been applied to two buses already, according to our bus driver.

In addition, when it comes to the resort buses, WDW is angling to add 40 of the new-style buses to their fleet.  You know the ones … they’re “boxy” in shape with a big wide aisle down the middle and seats against the side of the bus.

In addition, when it comes to the resort buses, WDW is angling to add 40 of the new-style buses to their fleet. You know the ones ... they're "boxy" in shape with a big wide aisle down the middle and seats against the side of the bus.

In the meantime, all but six of Disney’s older buses will be retired.  Those few will be kept to help out in peak seasons.

In addition, when it comes to the resort buses, WDW is angling to add 40 of the new-style buses to their fleet. You know the ones ... they're "boxy" in shape with a big wide aisle down the middle and seats against the side of the bus.

What do you think, folks?  Have you seen the buses with the new red and silver paint scheme as yet?  What do you think about the idea of using articulated buses to service the Value resorts?

Leave us your comments and let us know!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

Take a Sneak Peek Into Disneyland Newest Guided Tour “Cultivating the Magic”

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there is a guided tour at Disneyland park that will really grow on you! It’s called “Cultivating the Magic.” During the two-hour tour, guests learn how the Disneyland Resort horticulture team uses flowers, plants and trees to help create the stories of each land. Tour guides also tell tidbits about Imagineer Bill Evans, the original creator of Disneyland’s landscape.

Disney took a camera crew on the tour and spoke with one of the tour’s developers, cast member Tyler Slater, to give you a glimpse into “Cultivating the Magic.”

To experience the tour for yourself, just let your Kingdom Magic Travel Agent know when you book your Disneyland vacation. Tickets are available up to one month in advance and the tour begins Saturdays and Sundays at 9 a.m. and Mondays at 10 a.m.

Vintage Walt Disney World: Old Maps of Walt Disney World Resort

In the early years of Walt Disney World Resort , this artwork decorated the guest rooms of the Contemporary Resort Hotel and the Polynesian Village Resort Hotel . The piece showcases the spirit and vast, all-new offerings of the “Vacation Kingdom of the World,” including Magic Kingdom Park , golf courses, beaches, watercraft, monorail transportation, Bay Lake and its eventual Discovery Island, Fort Wilderness and Tri-Circle-D Ranch , STOLport, the Polynesian and Contemporary Resort hotels, and three “future” resorts: the Asian, Venetian, and Persian.

Vintage Walt Disney World Map and three “future” resorts: the Asian, Venetian, and Persian. Resorts

While announced to the public in 1969, the Asian, Persian, and Venetian Resort hotels never materialized. Eventually, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa  would open on the site of the Asian Resort, and the sites for the Venetian and Persian Resorts would remain undeveloped. Here’s a look at our property as it’s been developed today.

Current Walt Disney World Map with all 4 Theme Parks and Downtown Disney

As Disney legend goes, because so many of the original Walt Disney World Resort maps were printed for guest rooms, a cast member used the excess ones as wrapping paper for Christmas presents one year. A gift wrapped in Disney magic!

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Bellhop

Happy Halloween! On a stormy Halloween night in 1939, a bellhop and four others stepped aboard a Hollywood Tower Hotel elevator and into the fifth dimension. To mark the anniversary of their disappearance, Disneyland Resort cast member Bryan Higashi will tell you about his role hosting guests at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, whenever they drop in!

Disney California Adventure Park Named ‘2012 Park of the Year’ by Amusement Today

Disney California Adventure park has been selected “2012 Park of the Year” by Amusement Today, a publication that covers amusement park news and trends. The publication’s Golden Ticket Awards, recently held at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., honors the “best of the best” in the amusement industry.

Disney California Adventure Park Named ‘2012 Park of the Year’ by Amusement Today

Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief, personally selected Disney California Adventure park for the Publisher’s Pick Award after visiting this summer. He saluted cast members and Imagineers “for showing the imagination and creativity needed to make [Disney California Adventure park] the must-visit facility of the year.”

Accepting the award on behalf of Disneyland Resort cast members, and Imagineers, was Mary Niven, vice president of Disney California Adventure park and Guest Services, and Kathy Mangum, Walt Disney Imagineering executive producer.

Mary said, “I was truly honored to accept the ‘Park of the Year’ award on behalf of every cast member who is, and was, a part of the making of the new Disney California Adventure park. Without their hard work and dedication, this award and the joy that you see on our guests’ faces would not be possible.”

What’s your favorite part of Disney California Adventure park that makes it the “must-visit facility of the year?”

How a Horse Becomes a Disneyland Horse: Getting Ready for the Show

We’ve already learned how a horse lands a job at the happiest place on Earth – so now we move on to how he gets ready for his role at Disneyland park.

Once the horse is selected, his education begins at Circle D Corral. The two newest horses at the corral, Owen and Gus, are learning the ropes right now. When they are finished, they will have gone through approximately three to six months of training to get show ready, to get to know the Circle D cast and to allow the cast to observe their progress and interactions.
“Training here is very progressive,” says Alan Cooper, Equine Trainer Leader at Circle D Corral, meaning that once a horse achieves a training goal, he moves on to the next level – and only when he’s comfortable with what is being taught. Once the new recruit learns all he needs to know at the corral, it is time to get used to working in the park. He starts with trips around the perimeter of the park, getting used to all the sights, sounds and movement of backstage activity. When he’s ready, it’s time for dress rehearsals on the big stage: Main Street, U.S.A.!

Disneyland Horses at the Circle D Corral

In the last post of this series, we’ll learn how the new cast member gets ready for his big debut in the park.

Former Olympic Gymnast is Gold at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Show at Walt Disney World Resort

Characters fly through the air – even bar-to-bar – during our Festival of the Lion King shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And cast member Joey Hagerty is one of the performers who makes it look so easy. Joey is a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and today he’s sharing how teamwork and gymnastic skills play key roles in putting on a successful Disney Parks show.

 

 

Lucky Dog! Mickey Meets His Biggest Four-Legged Fan

Let me share with you something about the Disney Parks Blog team – we’re huge dog lovers, which is why we couldn’t wait to introduce you to Lily, a Labrador-Catahoula pup who lives here in Central Florida.

 Lily, a Labrador-Catahoula pup

When husband-and-wife Disney cast members Francisco and Mejay Aguerre, and their daughter Nicole (also a cast member), lost their beloved Pekingese-poodle mix, Scooby, a few months ago, their house just didn’t feel like a home without a dog to love. Last month, when they began to look online for another pup, they came across a listing for a litter of Labrador-Catahoula mixes. When the listing noted that one of the female pups in the litter was born with “unusual” markings, the family couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the dog’s perfect Mickey Mouse-shaped spot on her lower back.

Mickey with Lily and family

The Aguerres adopted the pup and chose to name her Lily (after Lillian Disney, Walt Disney’s wife). They recently brought Lily by our photo studio for a rare (and unforgettable) meet-and-greet with the Mouse himself.

According to Mejay, little Lily, who is now nearing three months old, is a perfect fit for their Disney family.

“She’s our baby now; she’s absolutely our baby!”

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