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  1. #121

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    I must say that the trip report gave me goosebumps!!! What a truly splendid day!! Sorry about them not letting you take pictures inside but its amazing to know that you have experienced something that many people never will.

    Leslie

  2. #122

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    Martha appeared in person at the Fantasmic! event. Circarama, I didn't look at your photos until just now, so the name sounded kind of ambiguous. Now I recognize her definitely.
    Member of the Disney Class of 2005
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  3. #123

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    I’ve been lurking and observing the conversation about Walt’s Apartment Experience. I finally have to add my 2-cents worth.

    I’m really glad that you were able to enjoy and participate in the Walt’s Apartment Experience. However, I think, in my opinion, that you were simply a victim of the “Martha”.

    Let me explain (I hope that you can get through my little “story”):

    PART I.
    I was fortunate to participate in the first Disneyland Haunted Mansion Dinner in 2000 where we ate dinner in the Mansion and then took an extended behind-the-scenes walking tour through the Mansion.

    Upon registering at the Disneyland Pacific Hotel (now the Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel) we were informed that there would be no photos allowed to be taken inside the Mansion. Most everyone, with the exception of me (just in case…), left their camera at the hotel. We were driven to the Mansion in limos and upon exiting were greeted by a cast of “characters” including Jack Skellington. The Mansion courtyard was shrouded in a cool low-lying fog and was covered with tombstones, bearing our names and appropriate epitaphs. Since this was “outside the Mansion” I asked if it was OK to take photos. No problem! Since it’s outside the Mansion, go ahead. So I snapped away to my heart’s content. However, once we entered the Mansion I immediately put my camera away. Cost to dine and tour the Mansion? $2000 Martha in attendance

    In 2001, at the last Disneyana Convention held at Disneyland, Martha stopped me and showed a number of sheets that had thumbnail photos taken during the Mansion Dinner by the official Disneyland photographer that had been in attendance. She said that I could select the ones I liked and they would send them to me. I thought, gee, that’s really cool as we had asked at the dinner if we could get copies of the photos and was given no real response.

    There were 350-400 pictures to look through. I selected about 20. I gave her my selection and she then told me (for the first time!) that I could only pick 5 or 6- which I did. She said that they would be sent off to me.

    Later that fall I saw Martha at the Haunted Mansion Holiday Event and asked her about them. She said that they were being processed and would be sent out before the end of the year. December came and went with no photos. Ditto January, February, and March. I contacted Martha by email. She said that she would be getting them out “soon”.

    I pretty much forgot about them until I saw her at the Happy Haunts Event Mansion Dinner at Walt Disney World that October. I asked her again (along with a friend of mine who had also attended the Disneyland HM Dinner). She apologized and said that they were “on her desk” and she’d try to get them right out when she returned to California. I told her that I could save her the trouble as I was going to be attending the Club 33 Haunted Mansion movie dinner event the following week and could pick them up while I was out there. She then replied that it would be impossible as it now decided that they could NOT send us the photos. I asked her what was going on as she had, just minutes before, promised to send them to me. She said that she was sorry but it was no longer possible to get them. OK! Tell me. Isn’t there something a little fishy here?!? Within the span of less than 3 minutes she went from sending the photos to me to sorry, we changed our mind and you’re not getting them. Like I said, I just experienced the “Martha”.

    PART II.
    In December, 2001 I was fortunate to attend the Club 33 celebration for Walt’s 100th birthday. We had a very nice dinner at the club (about 100 people in attendance) with a brief presentation and reminiscing by Bob Gurr and Mouseketeers Bobby Burgess, and Sharon Baird. We were then broken down into groups of 8-10 people and taken on a Walt’s 100th version of Walking in Walt’s Footsteps ending up at the Opera House where we watched a special showing of the Walt Disney Story. In the lobby of the Opera House we were treated to Tom & Jerry’s (supposedly one of Walt’s favorite drinks) and an amazing Disneyland birthday cake in 3D which highlighted all the key attractions (which was distributed by Bobby and Sharon and servers from Club 33). At the Opera House Dave Smith (Disney Archives) talked about Walt, Disneyland, his office, and also answered questions. During all this time each of our groups were taken on a tour of Walt’s apartment. Our group spent about 20 minutes in it and was able to take all the photos we wanted. In fact, our “guide” even took photos for several people of them inside the apartment. No restrictions at all! A great experience at an amazing price. Total cost for the whole shebang? $100
    Person absent from event? Martha

    CONCLUSION:
    I totally agree that the customary procedure is NO BACKSTAGE AREA PHOTOS. However, given the fact that during the Club 33 event and another time I was fortunate to visit Walt’s apartment there were absolutely NO RESTRICTIONS ON PHOTOS. The people participating in the Walt’s Apartment Experience should have been allowed to at least take a few “souvenir” photos of their experience. Especially since there was no mention of no photos until just before you went up to the apartment. For the price you paid and the “experience” that would have been reasonable. However, as I stated at the beginning you were the victim of the “Martha.”

    I, too, had the opportunity to participate in the Walt’s Apartment Experience. However I declined due to the cost, the fact that I had been there previously, and that it was being held during the holidays. I’m just happy that you were able to visit and experience Walt’s apartment. It truly is an amazing place (and the bathroom is by far my favorite- the 50’s décor and showerheads are something to behold).


    Below is a photo of Sharon and Bobby, along with Jeff- the manager of Club 33 cutting the Disneyland cake:


  4. #124

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    That is so cool and what a nice picture. That cake looks good enough to eat.

    I am really surprised by all this photo/no photo business but I guess it does depend, after all, on the person in charge. Somebody should complain about this Martha person to upper level management, she seems like a real "Control Freak" who loves to upset people more than keep the guest happy and content. I firmly believe now that after what you paid for this experience, photos should have been allowed. But I guess Martha didn't want to, so you where not allowed. She sounds like a real nut case to me
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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  5. #125

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    I observed that there was some action on this thread and wanted to provide an update. First, I opted out of the Club 33 event listed above and if I had known we would have been granted a tour of the apartment, I would have been there. Most of the Club 33 events have been wonderful and I believe the highest ticket price we have ever paid has been $150.00. That being said, I realize that very few of us have access to these events.

    Sadly, I have to agree that the continued problems can be attributed to Martha. I don't want to continue bashing her. Despite what some may think, I do not hate the woman. I simply think she is not the person for this particular job. The writing has been on the wall for some time, yet Disney continues to look in another direction. She simply is not an effective event planner by Disney standards.

    Each event is plagued by problems and it is no longer acceptable. The reality is that everything does not go as planned. Even so, a true event planner has a back-up plan (and even a back-up to the back-up) and makes an effort to smooth ruffled feathers the minute something occurs. Things will go wrong and it takes a high level of skill to put it back on track in minutes. This person needs to have the authority to make decisions and not deal with corporate politics in executing these events. In defense of Martha, maybe she lacks the authority to fight for what the guest deserves.

    Yes, I realize Martha is a "fixture" and her position in the park is grandfathered. Regardless, how long can these situations be ignored? It is time to move her into a less public role (not terminate her employment) and let someone more in-tune with the Disney way take the lead.

    Let's face facts, I am a miserable person who does not like dealing with the public. I know this, and as a result, I hire people to be the public face of my companies. This is Disneyland (the self proclaimed "Happiest Place On Earth") and it is time they started to live up to this!

    < This portion deleted because Circarama "freaked out" >
    Last edited by Disneynut; 01-12-2006 at 11:01 PM.

  6. #126

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    You're absolutely right. Most of the Club 33 events have been well-planned and well run affairs with just a few exceptions and reasonably priced. They used to have a limit of 4 people per reservation (member plus 3 guests) which often kept out a lot of the members (most events are limited to 100-125 people) but at the same time provided opportunities for a lot of people to experience the Club and its events who weren't members. They have since changed it to 2 per reservation (member plus one guest). In most cases, too, they hold the enjoyment of the guests paramount to the experience.

    Unfortunately, that hasn't always been the case with Disneyland events (Walt Disney World events are generally much better, in terms of flexibility and freedom-at the two dinners I experienced in the WDW Mansion we were allowed not only to take photos as well as video- with many of the WDW castmembers, including the event services people participating in the photos and videos).

    For a while I thought I was going to succeed with the photos from Martha since, after speaking to her boss Tony, it looked pretty promising. Then he decided to leave Disney to go to work for another company. Martha was then promoted into his position and that was that.

    I'm curious. I noticed that the winning bidder of the Walt's Apartment Experience was to receive a commemorative keepsake and photograph. Do you whether BK did get them?

    I hope you do get something from them. Let us know what happens. Good luck!

  7. #127

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Condorman
    I'm curious. I noticed that the winning bidder of the Walt's Apartment Experience was to receive a commemorative keepsake and photograph. Do you whether BK did get them?
    A very good question! Yes, BK did get this "commemorative keepsake". Remember the two photographs used to sell this experience (I think they have both been posted in this thread)?? One had the photo of the lamp in the apartment and the other had the photo of Ron Dominguez. The "gift" was a glossy computer printed image of those two photos! Must have set Disney back a whole .99 cents for the high quality photo paper.

    See, if I was running things (a novel idea I know) I would have given the winning bidder something like a miniature Main Street window with his name, the event experience and the date on it. Maybe would have cost $200.00, but hey, keep the high bidders happy!

  8. #128

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    Exclamation Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    I've always been surprised that, in spite of itself, Disney seems to keep going. You'd think that after, what 50 years?, they'd at least have a clue on how to run these things? Granted, sometimes things go well (typical of Club 33 events) while other times they don't (the most painful memory being the Pirates event a few years back).

    And, to me, it's not just Disneyland event services but also merchandising. I remember the first year of the Haunted Mansion Holiday how they totally misjudged the huge response and demand for merchandise and ran out of everything almost immediately. I guess they're not familiar with the old adage: "you can't sell from an empty cart'.

    By the way, you may have seen this in the apartment (one of the photos I guess shouldn't have been allowed to take):


  9. #129

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    Quote Originally Posted by jnb
    Ditto, ITA

    JNB
    Dom and JNB must be Disney management with that way of thinking.. lol And if they aren't, they'd probably be hired pretty easily to be managers.

    Anyway... I worked at the park for several years until recently, and must say that I'm not surprised.

    As a response to "I don't understand why no pics would ruin your tour?":

    Imagine getting the chance to do something that you've wanted to do for YEARS (meet the President, a movie star, go onboard the Space Shuttle - you pick what YOUR desire is), and planning and thinking about it, and talking about it, and possibly dreaming about it. You are excited. It is going to be magical to -you-. You've been given LOTS of details about this thing you are going to experience, so you know what to expect. Then, they lead you into the president's office, or the movie star's home, or to the steps of the Space Shuttle... and are then told that you can't shake the president's hand / go further than the lobby of the movie star's house / only get to see the Space Shuttle cargo bay / take photos of your experience.

    At -that moment- just as you are about to experience this magical, special thing - "they" jerk it out of your head. Suddenly, you are overwhelmed with confusion, frustration, DISappointment... How do you feel now?

    In the end - especially with Disney - it is more about the perceived experience, than the experience itself.


    I am truly sorry for what happened to the guests of that breakfast. It is a shame on Martha and "special" events, and Disneyland.

    To those who got to go in the apartment, I hope your memories do stay with you, and that you'll write down the thoughts you had as you were in Walt's space so you can preserve the memory that way.

  10. #130

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    My brief opinions and a question after wading through 5 pages:

    1) "Bring Your Camera" equals photos in the apartment. Period. It's paramount to "You have a backstage pass to meet Mick Jagger. Bring your camera." The assumption WILL be made, and it would fall on Disney to warn guests ahead of time.

    2) The photos of the apartment are all over the place, most recently the Travel Channel. Thus, prohibiting guests who paid $9000.00 is completely rediculous. It may date back to Walt's preference when the park first opened, but in either case, the policy should be changed. The cat is officially out of the bag.

    3) When you shell out 9 grand, I would think you would hope for a nice shot of yourself in the apparment...suitable for framing and one that you can share with your friends and family.(Who is NOT thinking this when you are told to "bring your camera.?")

    4) E-Bay? And what would these photos that can be found anywhere be worth?

    5) My question: I am looking for a shot of WALT in the apartment from a National Geographic Magaizine article from the late 1960's. I want to say either 1968 or 1969. In this article, there were shots of New Orleans Square being drawn, a shot of the original Tinkerbell putting on her make up before going down the wire, and a shot of walt and...his grandkids maybe wearing blue stripped outfits in the apartment.

    Now THIS is something I would buy on Ebay. I gave my copy to an animator friend quite awhile back as I knew he would take good care of it. Does anyone know the date and issue of the National Geographic article I am referring to? Now that I gave it away, I would pay big $$$ to have it back.

  11. #131

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    I keep forgetting there's this new thing called "Google."

    Found it. August, 1963.

  12. #132

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    Ignoring the fact that I'm a dork, has everyone seen this shot from the National Geographic Magazine?


    1963 National Geographic

    Dated: August, 1963
    Measurements: 3.5” x 5.5”
    Description:

    VOL. 124, NO. 2. This magazine features a 49 page article on Walt Disney titled: The Magic Worlds of Walt Disney. The article has invaluable information about Walt from his humble beginnings to 1963. In the final paragraph Walt was asked, "What happens when there is no more Walt Disney?" Walt responds, "I'm 61....I plan to be around for while." His tragic death took place only three years later.

    According to National Geographic, the photo below with Walt, Lillian and grandkids, was the first time the Fire Station apartment was photographed.

    In addition to the apartment photo, there are several others that are rich in history. The cropped cover photo shows two girls riding the Flying Saucers (1961-1966) of Tomorrowland.

  13. #133

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    So like a friend sent me an e-mail with a link that he found... and I just had to pass it along.

    Here's to me ressurecting an old topic. Heh heh.

    http://www.ocregister.com/multimedia/disneyapartment/

    Enjoy.
    Burnt Toast
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  14. #134

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    Re: Breakfast at Walt's Apartment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Toast
    So like a friend sent me an e-mail with a link that he found... and I just had to pass it along.

    Here's to me ressurecting an old topic. Heh heh.

    http://www.ocregister.com/multimedia/disneyapartment/

    Enjoy.
    Hey, maybe someone can "photoshop" me into that video
    Charlie
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