Articles

In 2009 I started writing a series of short memoirs about things I’d experienced and learned working at Disneyland Resort Paris between it’s opening in 1992 and my leaving Paris to return to the UK to get married in early 2004.

Over the year or so I was writing, I was lucky enough to be joined by a few fellow scribblers and I’ve republished the majority of these stories below. The only edits or revisions are to sort out the most egregious typos or remove photos I don’t have a right to reproduce here.

Most have stood the test of time. One in particular has marked the change in our times more than the others.

I hope they strike a chord with my fellow Disney Cast Members and perhaps some of you might like to pen a reminisce or two?

Opening Crew ’92

The opening of any Attraction, Resort, or Them Park – even an envelope – with the Disney name on it is an event. In 1992 I was a part of the biggest event going, the opening of EuroDisney. For the sake of posterity I am trying to record the events as I remember them. Bear in mind that this is written with a scary 17 year delay so please excuse any errors or omissions.
 

A life After the Mouse

Almost five years to the day since I cut my ID in half and handed in my second-best name tag I put pen to paper about my life After the Mouse.


Working for Disney is undoubtedly special, there is a feeling you only get from being a part of the Disney Cast Member family. What comes After the Mouse is the real challenge. In this article I intend to look back at my own journey since working in the Parks and Resorts and what legacy has Disney left me.

The Best Job in Disneyland Barr None

There are a couple of generations of English boys who grew up wanting to be Engine drivers. I think it had a lot to do with Dr Beaching’s decimation of British Rail in the 1960’s. My father for one remembers the last days of main line steam engines, and always had a hankering to drive one. I on the other hand never saw a live steam train on the rails until I went to work for Disney.

Paris to Orlando

After the Mouse member Kay submitted this, our first true contribution to the site. Like Myself Kay had worked in the early days of EuroDisney but Kay then went on to work at Walt Disney World. This is her account of here experiences in Florida.

Once again I found myself sitting in a fancy London hotel..now coming form Scunthorpe this could only mean one thing, yes I was at another Disney Interview!

Leaving Disney - The College Program Story

I am proud to introduce a new contributor to After the Mouse.com. Amanda. Having read Amanda’s forum post how to cope with the separation from Disney I encouraged her to give us her story of what having been a College Program Cast Member meant to her. Please read on...

I was asked to write a story about how my life has been since I have left Disney and obviously I have agreed.

Guests - you have got to love them

Guests - you have got to love them, really you have. They love the Mouse, they happily spend money and Disney then pays our wages from that money. As I said you have to love them. 99% of those Guests come and go merrily and we as Cast Members look after them without really having to think too hard about it - it comes naturally.

It is the other one percent I really love though.

Best Job In Disneyland - Hit It Skip!

Out of all the jobs sought after at the Disneyland Parks, the role of being a Jungle Cruise Skipper is one of the most desired. A few years ago the OC Register did an opinion poll with the local readers to see what their dream Disney jobs were. The results of poll showed being an Imagineer was the most desired. Immediately below that was the roll of a Jungle Cruise Skipper. Now who wouldn't want to get paid to go around in circles and say some of the puniest jokes around?

The Best Time Of The Day

Imagine one of the world's most famous streets, Regent Street in London, the Champs Elysee in Paris, or perhaps 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Take away all the people, every last one. Get rid of all the unpleasantness; the trash in the gutter, the billboards selling you things you don’t need and the newspaper vendors telling you things you don’t want to know. Now, just add sparkling lights and a jaunty tune or two and you too can recreate my best Cast Member moments.

The Disney Monorail: Trains of Tomorrow

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things…” Walt Disney once said in reference to how he encouraged his creative teams to work. This became especially evident with Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. On June 14, 1959 Disney added multiple new attractions to the land including what is now referred to as the Disneyland Monorail, the first daily operating system of its kind in the western hemisphere.

Going The Extra Mile - On A Plate

This is an unusual article for me to publish here on the site, in that it is not written by a Cast Member but by a Guest. When I read this I thought it was well worth reprinting as it shone a light on a little known dietary service offered by Disney. It also tells of the way Cast Members go the extra mile to make Guests with special needs stays just as special as everybody else's vacation.

Thank you to Sunny Hall for your permission to reprint this article - it is much appreciated.

A wish I never made, come true

It had never been a lifelong dream of mine to work at Disney World. Honestly, from the time I fist remember visiting the park in 1982, it simply never occurred to me that just anyone could work there. So I went about my life, visiting often, content but never really wishing that could be me. Even when I was able to do a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom at age 10 (they don’t run that tour anymore for those under 16 for fear of traumatizing children with a view of a headless Mickey), the people that worked there seemed to be on some separate plane of existence.

The Disney Cowboys Rode In To The East

The small town of Cody, Wyoming, situated on the banks of the Shoshone River at the Eastern extreme of Yellowstone National Park has long been a symbol of the old American West. Every Independence Day holiday since 1919, Cody has hosted one of America’s largest rodeos, the “Cody Stampede Rodeo.” The stampede has long been a Mecca for many of the world's top cowboys and rodeo fans.  In 1991 Disney took a look too - after all the town is named for Buffalo Bill Cody.

Are You Taking The Mickey?

Pejorative: Depreciatory; disparaging; unfavorable.

Whilst I was writing the piece about Alnwick Castle looking for a senior Disney Cast Member I came across the quote from Sir Roy Strong "However much it brings distaste to my lips, it is a question of survival." He was talking about looking at how Disney runs it’s business and how these techniques could be used in the culture sector.