Disney Cast Blast: This Post Presented by KODAK

Written by Disney Cast Blast Team. Posted in Disney Parks, Epcot, Features, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

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Published on February 16, 2014 at 2:36 am with 7 Comments

This week we have a few stories involving film. Film you ask? If you are under the age of 30, you may not realize just how important a role this now antiquated consumable played not only on Disney vacations but vacations in general. As always, keep your stories coming at [email protected]. Enjoy!

Need Tickets? We Have Film.

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When the Magic Kingdom first opened, there were booths located throughout the park that sold “A” through “E” tickets for attractions and shows throughout the park. Once Disney went to more of a general admission ticket, the booths were no longer needed. Some were dismantled and moved and some were repurposed as information booths or merchandise/film kiosks.

The last one I knew of was located between Pooh and Tea Cups in Fantasyland. Years ago (when Toad was still there) I witnessed a guest trying to argue with a fellow Cast Member (who had been with the company for 15+ years) that the booth was originally designed and used for character meet and greets. He was trying to prove to his son that he knew a lot about Disney and was trying to get support from the Cast Member to do just that.

He told his son that the characters would wait inside and people would go in one at a time to meet the character. The Cast Member did not tell him he was wrong and played dumb so as not to embarrass the father in front of his son. They guest is always right after all, even when they’re not.

Not only were the booths never used for character meet and greets, but characters would once roam freely throughout the park (though mainly in Town Square on Main St. USA and the castle hub). That’s one guest story for the scrapbook.

Disposable Frustration

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I worked at Central Lost & Found and the kennel close to the Magic Kingdom parking lot. Guests would come in looking for their lost camera. Usually a Kodak disposable, like the type sold by the thousands in the park. I always had a slight chuckle to myself as I placed the grey plastic bin on the counter filled with dozens and dozens of unmarked disposable cameras that had been collected and turned in that day. I Never had a single one claimed by a guest, as they all looked the same. They would look at the bin dazed and then just leave. It was a black hole of undeveloped family memories.

Kodak Photo Spot

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There were many times I had to explain to guests that the “KODAK Photo Spot” signs located around the park were not necessarily there for them to have their picture taken with. Some would do it as a joke, but there were more than a few guests who would literally pose with the sign. I would tell them that the signs were actually there to notify them of scenic and photogenic area that could be viewed from that location. Sometimes I would say nothing not to make them feel uncomfortable.

Goodbye Film, Hello Digital

City Hall. Summer. Hot. Midnight. A lady came into our lobby in tears. She said she had been fighting with the camera her sister let her borrow for her Disney trip. I asked her what exactly the problem was and she said she could not figure out how to put film in it. She said she had been taking pictures all day and then realized she never put a new roll in and was worried the pictures she took were all for naught.

I explained to her that it was a digital camera and it did not require traditional film. I tried to explain it to her in as polite a way as possible without making her feel stupid, she was extremely grateful. I wonder if she ever figured out how to get the photos off the camera.

I look back on this story as the beginning of the end for film and for Kodak in the parks.

 

About Disney Cast Blast Team

The Disney Cast Blast team likes to be "seen" as a virtual contributor to MiceAge. Even though there is a leader of the pack, it could not be done without the gracious contributors like yourself and the immediate team that works hard to bring it all to life. With experience working at Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, EURO Disney SCA, Universal Studios Orlando and Six Flags, our core has a wealth of knowledge and great stories that we cannot wait to share with you. In addition, we can never thank our contributors enough for the great stories YOU provide. Want to know more about us? Shoot us an email. [email protected] Thanks and continue to "Adventure On!"

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7 Comments

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  1. Nikon Picture Spot… just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

  2. When I returned to Disneyland in 2009 after a long absence I brought with me a new inexpensive Kodak digital camera, because Kodak was the Official Camera of Disney. It took great pictures until, in the middle of my fourth day, it Stopped Working. I tried new batteries — I took it to the PhotoPass shop on Main Street and they tried new batteries. Nothing worked. Fortunately my photos from the memory card were intact. When I got home I collected a refund and purchased an Ashton Kutcher Nikon. Saddest of all was when the clerk who sold me the Nikon told me her store didn’t carry Kodak because of quality issues. Sponsors come and go…I am not sorry to have given up film for digital technology, but I am sad that Kodak, an honored American brand, didn’t see the train coming…

    • As someone in the photography industry for 40+ years. It is even sadder when you know that Kodak literally invented Digital Photography, back in the 1990′s Kodak had the first such beasts. Less than a megapixel and priced around $30,000. They were actually Nikon film SLR’s with a digital sensor where film would have been. The real demise of Kodak was not the loss of film sales it was lack of people printing their photos as hard copies. How many readers can say they have printed even 100 photos a year from their digital cameras? Oh yeah, Walt Disney World was the largest single retailer of Kodak film in the world for decades

  3. Years ago a friend and I stopped for an ice cream cone in Fronteirland and sat down on the bench in front of the Golden Horseshoe. I had my Nikon F2AS on my shoulder with motor drive and my new special Nikon 104 portrait lens in its Nikon leather case with strap. On getting up I didn’t realized my lens strap had slid off my shoulder and was left behind as we headed out the front of Fronteirland. On reaching the Sleeping Beauty Castle I realize I didn’t have it and rushed back to the bench. No one in the waiting Horseshoe crowd had seen it. I went to lost and found and was told no one had turned it in. I told my friend I had just purchased it in Japan and was upset. About 11 pm as we were getting ready to leave I told my friend I would try lost and found one more time. He thought it was a lost cause that no one would turn it in. Upon telling my problem to the L&F, the Disneyland cast member replied, what is the make and size of the lens, and I described it. She reached under the counter and pulled it out with case intact. She said a guest had turned it in to a cast member at the Golden Horseshoe and they in turn, turned it in to Lost and Found. So always go to Disneyland’s lost and found where Dreams do come true.

  4. Didn’t GAF (the film company that Henry Fonda was the pitchman for) have a brief sponsorship at Disneyland?

    • Yes they did, but I forget the time frame. I do remember it was a short lived sponsorship.

  5. Label your Stuff, and odds are much better on getting it back. Carry a Sharpie, get a P-Touch, have a batch of those old Iron-On Nametags for clothes made like you used for Summer Camp. Or Sharpie your name on the ‘Care and Use’ tag.

    You can even get a Blacklight Paint Marker if you don’t want it that obvious, especially on cameras and electronics where there’s no place to hide a tag – Disney Lost & Found tries that too, I asked.