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.
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.
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
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.