This week we take a look at how challenging communication can be at any Disney theme park. Enjoy the first story exclusive to MiceChat, all the way from Disneyland Paris. After you make your way back to the States, we have two classics from www.DisneyCastBlast.com that will be sure to make you smile. Enjoy!
Who is on First? Small World is on First…so Who is on Second?
Small World is on Second!
Submitted by: St.Hooch
When I was first hired to work at Disneyland Paris I was assigned to work at “Space Mountain De la terre à la lune” in Discoveryland. When given my name tag it had the incorrect name on it and I wanted to get a new one. I asked a few fellow Cast Members and they said I should speak to my lead (or coordinator).
I finally caught up with my lead and what happened next was like a bad Abbott and Costello skit.
Me: Hey, I would like to get a new name tag.
Lead: Yes of course but you will need to speak to your small world manager.
Me: Ok….well….I do not work at small world. I just need a new name tag.
Lead: Yes. For that you will need to speak to your small world manager.
Me: I know but I do not work at small world. I work at Space Mountain.
Lead: Yes but you will still need to speak to your small world manager.
Me: If I work at Space Mountain why do I have to talk to someone at small world? Isn’t there someone in Discoveryland that can help me?
Lead: Yes. Your small world manager.
Me: But small world is in Fantasyland. I have to go all the way over to small world just for a name tag even though I work in Discoveryland?
Just then a fellow Cast Member from Disneyland entered the conversation and explained to the Disneyland Paris Cast Member that “small world” managers are called “area” managers in the US and vice versa. We all had a good laugh.
At Disneyland Paris the equivalent of an “area manager” is called a “small world manager” no matter where you work in the park.
Animal Abuse? or Abuse by Animal?
Submitted by: St.Hooch
During the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998, Guest Relations Cast Members were stationed throughout the “Oasis” to assist guests and to answer questions they had about the park or animals in general. One of the concepts of the park was to have minimal signage so guests would get “lost” in their adventure. This proved to be problematic and until more signage was installed Guest Relations Cast Members were there to help.
One day I was stationed in the middle of the “Oasis.” It was pretty slow that morning and a lady came up to me and immediately started complaining to me.
Guest: This place is ridiculous. I don’t see how you people get away with this.
Me: Hello how are you? I’m sorry what do you mean?
Guest: Well this place is supposed to be all about the environment and caring for animals and then you don’t even give them the proper areas to live in.
Me: Well, we believe in creating environments for the animals that closely resemble their natural habitats. I assure you… (she interrupts)
Guest: You are trying to tell me that this area is sufficient for this animal? (She points to the enclosure behind me where we were standing.)
Me: Yes ma’am. The rocks are even temperature controlled so when it is too cold the rocks are heated… (she interrupts again)
Guest: NO! THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE! You are telling me that this is enough room for an rhinoceros? Are you stupid? How can you allow this to happen? I am going to report you to as many animal activist groups as I can find, you can bet on that! There is no way a rhinoceros will fit in this area!!! You should be arrested for what you are allowing in this zoo.
Me: Ma’am…you are correct that this area is way too small for a rhinoceros….but…..(as I point to the sign)….it is actually ideal for a rhinoceros iguana. They only grow to about five feet long on average.
Guest: (She looked at me with this horrific blank stare and stormed off in disgust.)
I’m Sorry You Did Not Get the Memo
Submitted by: St. Hooch
In 1998 Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened at Walt Disney World. After working some of the kinks out over the first few months I experienced a guest situation not quite like anything I had ever experienced before. It was slow, quiet, hot and humid in the Guest Relations lobby towards the front of the park. That was until a lady and her child came in with a complaint for the ages.
Guest: We are late to eat at China at Epcot and you need to change our time. Its not our fault.
Me: I’m sorry ma’am. I will be glad to do that for you. If I may ask…is everything ok?
Guest: No. We were stuck on the safari ride which made us late and there is no way we will make it to Epcot in time to eat.
(I excuse myself briefly to get the facts and see if there was a problem with the attraction or if it was “101.” After confirming with operations, the Kilimanjaro Safaris was up and running with no delays.)
Me: Ma’am what exactly happened on the safaris that delayed your departure to Epcot?
Guest: Well, the truck stopped because a giraffe was in the road and he would not go around it. We were told the ride was only 30 minutes long.
Me: Yes ma’am I understand. The Kilimanjaro Safaris is estimated to last an estimated 30 to 45 minutes.
Guest: How long is the Dinosaur ride?
Me: The ride portion of Countdown to Extinction is just over three minutes. Three minutes and five seconds I believe…I can get you the exact time if you would like.
Guest: (with slight sarcastic laughter) So you can tell me exactly how long the Dinosaur ride is but there is no way you can tell me exactly how long the safari is? That is ridiculous!!
Me: No ma’am I cannot give you an exact time for the Safaris.
Guest: Why not? Why can’t you tell me how long it takes? How am I supposed to plan if you people cannot give me exact times?
Me: Well, the difference is that we do not always know what the animals are going to do. Sometimes they will sit or eat in the middle of the road and for the most part we let them do their thing.
Guest: So I still do not understand how you can give me the exact time for the Dinosaur ride and not the safari.
Me: Well, the dinosaurs do not walk in front of the ride vehicles and block the road like the giraffes and other animals do on occasion.
Guest: What do you mean?
Me: The dinosaurs are not live animals. They are not real.
Guest: What do you mean “not real?”
Me: Will a 2:00pm priority seating work for you at Nine Dragons today at Epcot?
Are you a Cast Member and want to share your story? You can share them anonymously by e-mailing us at [email protected].