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  1. #1

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    Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Lately I have noticed a drop in Cast Member complicity in the respective "scripts" for their attractions. Personally, I feel that maintaining the theme is an important part of the Cast's job. Despite their paltry payscale, Cast Members have a responsibility to uphold a show, and re-infoce themes and stories.

    I understand that at times the Cast can become tired, frustrated, and over-worked and simply become detached from their roles, but the problem is ever increasing, and I've noticed moreso in instances where being over-worked or underpaid has no relevance.

    Cast Members have to tell guests the manner in which to exit their ride vehicles no matter what. Lately, however, I've witnessed CMs saying "Exit your car to the right" in attractions like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, where our ride vehicles are not cars, but Star Cruisers.

    I was recently asked by a CM at the Haunted Mansion "Was your elevator full?" In the split second before answering him, I was at first caught off guard and then thought to say "What elevator?" A Haunted Mansion butler should never refer to the stretching gallery as an elevator. Certainly, most everybody discerns that the gallery is, in fact, a cleverly disguised elevator, but it isn't intended to be recognized as an elevator, and a CM shouldn't point it out as one. Afterall, why is there an elevator in an antebellum southern mansion?

    Even more theme-shattering, and mood-killing was a recent experience I had at Space Mountain. I was waiting to board my rocket to blast off to deep space, however, the CM directing the returning Space Travellers began yelling his directions very loudly, proclaiming "HURRY! IF YOU DONT GET OUT QUICKLY, WE WILL BREAK DOWN!" I found it inappropriate for the CM to be yelling at guests to begin with when it didn't necessarily seem like the guests were going any slower than any others I had previously seen exiting the attraction in previous visits, and I also found the fact that the CM was telling guests loudly that their slowness would result in the attraction "breaking down" was in poor taste. I understand that the CMs at Space Mountain must have the rockets cycled through quickly, but the customer is always right, even if they are slow.


    I feel its very imporatant for the Cast to maintain the theme and story of the attractions they work at. These may be petty complaints from "another AP" to some, but just like any other detail in Disneyland, every detail counts. The quality of show isn't doesn't rely soley in the animatronics, lighting, special effects, and props found in an attraction, but also with the Cast Members hosting guests at these attractions.

  2. #2

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    I was recently asked by a CM at the Haunted Mansion "Was your elevator full?" In the split second before answering him, I was at first caught off guard and then thought to say "What elevator?" A Haunted Mansion butler should never refer to the stretching gallery as an elevator.
    This sloppiness is inexcusable.

    It's bad enough that some guests refer to the Portrait Chambers that way. But, for one of the mansion's caretakers to be so mindless makes me upset.

  3. #3

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Cast Members have to tell guests the manner in which to exit their ride vehicles no matter what. Lately, however, I've witnessed CMs saying "Exit your car to the right" in attractions like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, where our ride vehicles are not cars, but Star Cruisers.
    Buzz Lightyear is an example of Imagineers not knowing what they are doing and Operations finding any bit of showmanship at such an attraction to be contrived because said attraction, as it has been designed and conceived, doesn't make any sense.

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Even more theme-shattering, and mood-killing was a recent experience I had at Space Mountain. I was waiting to board my rocket to blast off to deep space, however, the CM directing the returning Space Travellers began yelling his directions very loudly, proclaiming "HURRY! IF YOU DONT GET OUT QUICKLY, WE WILL BREAK DOWN!" I found it inappropriate for the CM to be yelling at guests to begin with when it didn't necessarily seem like the guests were going any slower than any others I had previously seen exiting the attraction in previous visits, and I also found the fact that the CM was telling guests loudly that their slowness would result in the attraction "breaking down" was in poor taste. I understand that the CMs at Space Mountain must have the rockets cycled through quickly, but the customer is always right, even if they are slow.
    Space Mountain has been engineered to be one of the most difficult attractions inside Disneyland to operate, but the nature of this operation still needs to be concealed from the guests.

    While I would be in favor of Disney warning guests through signs or recorded announcements that boarding and exiting the rocket needs to be accomplished within a few seconds, the mission-control crew should never mention "breaking-down".

    Space Mountain can be really demanding. Did you happen to hear an alarm sounding inside the station?
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-22-2007 at 11:39 PM.

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Buzz Lightyear is an example of Imagineers not knowing what they are doing and Operations finding any bit of showmanship at such an attraction to be contrived because said attraction, as it has been designed and conceived, doesn't make any sense.
    While I agree that Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters has its own quality issues, CMs should not further compromise the show by not properly reinforcing what theme is there.


    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    Space Mountain has been engineered to be one of the most difficult attractions inside Disneyland to operate, but the nature of this operation still needs to be concealed from the guests.

    While I would be in favor of Disney warning guests through signs or recorded announcements that boarding and exiting the rocket needs to be accomplished within a few seconds, the mission-control crew should never mention "breaking-down".

    Space Mountain can be really demanding. Did you happen to hear an alarm sounding inside the station?
    No alarm was sounding in Space Mountain. And even if there was an alarm sounding, essentially yelling to guests they would cause a breakdown is bad show. Restaurant servers don't tell a guest who makes a late change to their order that they're going to slow down the kitchen.

    Not only that, telling guests that the attraction will "break down" takes guests out of Space Station 77, and dumps them in a normal rollercoaster dispatch station with typical technical regulations. Not a futuristic space port where you are boarding your own rocket for a tour of the cosmos.
    Last edited by MasterGracey; 02-22-2007 at 11:47 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    It goes back to the basic principles Walt had established long ago. If your employees are happy, then they'll treat your Guests well. If your Guests are treated well, they'll appreciate your Cast Members more. It all comes back around. Today, it feels like there is a missing piece to that system somewhere.



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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Maybe this has is in due to poor training, as if a CM wasn't trained properly they wouldn't know that a car is indeed a Star Cruiser. It seems lately that the CMs are handed a book and basically patted on the back with a "Good Luck."

    I mean I'm not certain, but if a majority of CMs seem to be out of sync with the theming then there must be some general problem and not just one or two particular CMs that are neglecting their "character".

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    But, for one of the mansion's caretakers to be so mindless makes me upset.
    Honestly, wages (& personality) come into this. Do honestly think that a average run-of-the-mill modern CM at $8.20/hour gives a **** about theme, show, or experience to the guests?

    This has obviously shown in these recent years. You simply can't motivate CMs to be particular about anything when giving them crappy wages. They are workers, not actors.
    -Monorail Man

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    That's just terrible. It is always, always supposed to be the Portrait Chamber within the attraction. Even at the Opera House, we're supposed to refer to it as the Expanding Room to be consistent with Florida's.

    It's true, though, it's getting harder and harder to find the people who will get really into character.

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Agreed. There have got to be better ways to say things. Occasionally it is important to alert the guests to the fact that they still need to be watching out for them selves, but aside from that, it shouldn't be that hard to slip out of show.

  11. #11

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    You get what you pay for.

    Increase admission, increase wages.

  12. #12

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorail Man View Post
    Honestly, wages (& personality) come into this. Do honestly think that a average run-of-the-mill modern CM at $8.20/hour gives a **** about theme, show, or experience to the guests?

    This has obviously shown in these recent years. You simply can't motivate CMs to be particular about anything when giving them crappy wages. They are workers, not actors.
    Quote Originally Posted by aerinpegadrak View Post
    That's just terrible. It is always, always supposed to be the Portrait Chamber within the attraction. Even at the Opera House, we're supposed to refer to it as the Expanding Room to be consistent with Florida's.

    It's true, though, it's getting harder and harder to find the people who will get really into character.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    You get what you pay for.

    Increase admission, increase wages.
    It's sad because it isn't even a matter of ghetting into character. It isn't a matter of wanting CMs to go all out Maynard-style at the Mansion, or to truly act as though they're in a futuristic space port, but a matter of simply asking them to follow the script they should be trained to follow.

    On Buzz, the CM still said to exit to the right, but why couldn't she say "Welcome back Space Ranger, please exit your Star Cruiser to the right"

    In the Mansion the guy shouldn't have even asked me if the Chamber was full. Since I was the first person to get to the loading area, it came off as if he was just wondering if he had a lot of people to deal with in the next few minutes. Heaven forbid, he get paid to actually work.

    And at Space Mountain, there was no need for the shouting, let alone telling guests that they would cause a breakdown. The CM could have just said again "Please exit quickly"


    I understand that pay is an issue. $8.20 in Southern California is pathetic pay. But the fact of the matter is that regardless of where you work, when you sign your paperwork, and you're getting that paycheck, you have an obligation to do your job. If you don't like interacting directly with customers, then find another position in which you don't have to. If you don't like the pay, seek a better paying job.

    This isn't an issue about pay as much as it is an issue about work ethic in the modern workforce.

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    up untill Roy Disney shut down the SaveDisney website, we had a format in which we all(shareholders, guests, castmembers, etc) could address issues that are happening. however, since he is back at the company, there should be an email address that we can contact him at. I am sure that he has enough of a voice there to address these concerns to the board of directors.
    if not we should brave it out and wait untill he can lead another revolt and bring the save disney website out of virtual storage.
    other concerns should also be addressed such as rising ticket/ap costs, rising food costs, parts of the park that are not all open untill later in the day, graffiti and other upkeep/maintenance concerns in backstage, cast member breakroom maintenance issues, etc.
    Last edited by disneyfan07; 03-23-2007 at 11:21 PM.

  14. #14

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    This isn't an issue about pay as much as it is an issue about work ethic in the modern workforce.
    That's an idealistic assessment, but it's not very pragmatic.

    You should be blaming Disney's management for these substandard cast members.

    Modern work forces and their work ethics are not the reason some of these hosts and hostesses are as dumb as they are. Disney's hiring standards are just abysmal, now, and that fact is due to the unwillingness on the part of the company to raise wages in order to attract and retain the smart and talented people we once knew Disneylanders to be.

  15. #15

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    Re: Reinforcing the theme and the role of Cast Members.

    It's more complicated than what you guys are saying. Guests have gotten more aggressive as well. It's a two way street really. While I'm sure CMs were nicer 20 years ago, I'm quite sure the guests were not nearly as whiny.
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