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  1. #1

    • "I Break Things"
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    Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Well I will recount what I can remember, but sadly my wife and I are unable to remember the details of one of the days. I know many on here do not believe in AP's specifically because they are "undersold". For us the price is right when one considers we go for only a couple hours at a time. Granted we still abuse the AP's and go pretty often, or at least have so far. No pictures as usual so if you are looking for those then you can quit now. So on with the report

    Sunday (5/04)
    we went to the Meet. We had this thought in our mind that we would be there early, that we would be able to enjoy the park, and that we would casually walk over to the meet at the appointed time. With the 3 little ones (baby doesn't count) the reality became us running down Main Street to make it just in time for the clock to strike noon! I had a lot of fun at the meet n greet, met a lot of people I had previously only known online. At some point it was decided we should all ride Mansion. To whomever made that decision... THANK YOU... we were thrilled to be able to ride with fellow MC's but were worried the first ride would be something the little ones couldn't go on.

    The walk over to the Mansion was exciting. We tried to keep up but the crowds kept us back. Special thanks to Fishbulb who helped my wife tremendously. He was a huge help in trying to get our traveling circus from point A to point B. Prior to this trip we had not taken them on Mansion in over a year. One of my girls is an extremely high strung individual, she was the one I was worried about! Anyhow we make it into the elevator with everyone and she starts COMPLETELY freaking out. Screams a couple times, keeps saying she wants to go home. I have no clue which MC's helped calm her down but to those who did THANK YOU. Fun ride, I was stuck with baby and both girls. Erin calmed down once the ghosts started dancing, and by the end of it she was telling everyone about the floating candle.

    The next stop was the Riverbelle where everyone ate. I had a heck of a time keeping everyone in one place, at one point one of the little ones had to go to the bathroom, one became two, which became three, and Daddy had 3 little ones all holding hands practically RUNNING to the nearest restroom. When I got back we all ate, laughed, told Banana Republic, and generally had fun. It was here that I departed ways with my MC friends. I look forward to meet. While we were walking out of the Riverbelle someone shouted my name. I turned around and was greeted by an old friend.

    I'm holding back the name because he still works for the park, but I've known him a long time. He was accompanied by an absolute sweetheart who is due here in July with her first baby. The father happens to be another close friend and fellow Skip. Daddy happens to be at golf instead of at the park... one quick phonecall and he's "on his way now!" After a brief visit we head off on our own little adventure. In very short time we went on:
    • Pooh (daughters favorite) really nothing out of the ordinary usual smiles and annoying blacklights.
    • Pirates- kids screamed, sang, and overall had a blast
    • Jungle- should have just avoided it, really painful experience.
    • Mark Twain- it was twilight, I had not been on a twilight cruise in YEARS. It was a bit cold but the kids had a great time, and to me that is what counts. It was also the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on old times with a very dear friend.
    and then meet Friend #2 (Daddy) who finally joins us. Now one big happy family we walk back over to
    • Jungle (did I mention all 3 of us are former Skips) where we had a pretty bad boat.
    • Carousel- again able to pick a whole row, and then some. Kids all rode, as did a couple Skips.
    • Pan- This was fun, only down side was we had to split the party up. The kids had never been on Pan before, we will do it again when the line dies.
    • Dumbo. Dumbo actually broke down and we were forced to sit there for about 15 minutes until they fixed it!
    It was only after Dumbo that we realized what had happened. At some point between Carousel, and Dumbo, someone had raided our stroller and stolen my daughter's pink Belle jacket. I HOPE it was taken to keep another child warm because if it was not then I would not be able to understand why someone would take a little kid's jacket... knowing how cold it was outside. Thankfully we had a blanket to cover her with.

    We ended our evening with dinner at Rainforest Cafe. The inside was packed so we opted for the patio. I had never eaten up there before, it was AMAZING, highly recommend it if one has the chance. All in all a wonderful trip.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  2. #2

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Monday 5/5- I love the whole after work "Let's go for a couple hours" trips. Honestly you are only there for a couple short hours at best. We dressed the girls in sleepers, and off we went.
    • Alice- first ride of the evening. I also timed it perfect so we came out the doors as the parade was going by. We had an absolute blast on Alice, hadn't been on it in years.
    • Snow White- I probably should have just kept walking but we went on it. The thing is Snow White is my youngest daughter's favorite princess. What I didn't realize is that you only see Snow White a couple times and then it is scary witch, scary dungeon, scary forest, and strange finale. At some point you also go through the mine... but really it scared the crap out of the kids.
    • Tiki- BEST RECOVERY EVER. We also bought Dole whips, so it was the first time they kids have had those, needless to say it was a hit.
    • Jungle- closing ride of the night for us. We had Siobhan, who was an amazing Skip. She had so much fun, and while the kids would not have cared either way, it made the trip fun for Mom and Dad. We placed a compliment at City Hall for her.
    All in all a very fun trip.
    Last edited by techskip; 05-10-2008 at 04:49 PM.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  3. #3

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Mystery Day #2- This was another after work trip, but a completely different experience. This particular night I was running late, so we were in a rush and did not pack the stroller. It is not a big deal, in the previous posted TR above we did not have one either. So we get the girls in sleepers and off we went. We had hoped that our late entry would land us in Chip n Dale as it did before... wrong. I have NO CLUE why but the decision was made to route all traffic to Donald even though the ENTIRE STRUCTURE was emptying out... gee thanks... burned time driving up there, and more time trying to get down to the tram. We take the tram ride over, walk through the checkpoint, and up to the gate. This is where I became slightly upset.

    One of our girls had on a bright red sleeper, the kind with feet. The other was in her jammies but because they did not have feet she wore shoes. As in previous trips if they have the feet sleepers then we simply have them wear extra socks. In the previous trip the little ones walked the majority of the time, both wearing sleepers. On this particular trip they had walked from the car to the tram, and from the tram through security to the main gate. I went through a different gate then my wife which is a mistake I will not make again. I had my son and the baby, she had the girls. Due to lines she made it through before I did. Evidently after entering a CM began hassling her about our youngest not having shoes. As I approached I heard the CM that my wife to either pick up the little one or exit the park. I walked up, scooped up my little girl, turned and asked the CM what the problem was. She replied that it was Disneyland policy that you must wear shoes at all times. I replied that the little ones feet were covered, she had walked from car to tram through security to here. She had done it today, the day prior, and the week prior as well all while wearing the same style sleepers. She had been allowed in the park, in stores, on rides, all without issue. This was the first time we had been informed of this... and it could have been handled better. She replied "I work here and this is the policy". I replied "I worked here for almost 10 years, do you want to get a lead or do you want to walk away and let me carry my daughter." It was only after that comment that she backed off. Had I not been there my wife would have LEFT Disneyland, it was that bad of an experience. It is the only time I have EVER met an aggressive CM. If this is the policy, and it very well may be, then it could have been handled in a much better fashion. After we left the gate my wife began to cry... not a good way to start a trip. I briefly debated about posting a formal complaint but my wife pleaded to either leave the park, or go on a ride because she was extremely upset and wanted to get away from the area.

    This is also one of the few trips where we skipped Jungle and kept walking. My wife wanted something that would make her smile, I wasn't about to leave that task to Jungle given recent experiences. In the end we settled for Pooh... again daughter's favorite and I think possibly my wife's as well. After Pooh we went to Pirates... this is my wife's longstanding favorite. Thankfully those two rides saved what was initially a disaster of a trip.

    I've been a CM, I've also been a Marine, I know what stress is and I realize how stressful a CM's role can be. I also realize that certain situations, while necessary, can be handled better. Had it not been for my intervention then my kids and my wife would have simply turned around and missed out on a night ride of both Pooh and Pirates. It is one of the few cases where an interaction with ONE CM can make a difference. Everyone has a bad day, my hope is that this was the case with that individual.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  4. #4

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Friday 5/9
    We're getting pretty good at those last minute trips to the park. I decided to just "surprise" my wife... she wasn't initially in the mood but my guise was a night out to eat! Our first stop in the park was Pizza Port. Depending on how you feel about food this is either a good place or a bad place. The kids like Pizza, and the slices are filling, so it works. After our little food we were off. Because it was so late, we decided on Pooh first. As we walked past New Orleans we realized Fantasmic would be starting in less then 20 minutes... neither of us had realized it was that late.

    • Pooh was fun. Like I said there really isn't much to report about this ride.
    • Mansion. After Pooh we started walking back, Fantasmic had started so the Mansion line was short. We ALMOST made it. Within moments of entering the elevator my daughter started SCREAMING. I could have simply taken her on but I have seen too many parents force their kids on rides. I swore a long time ago I would not be one of those parents. Thankfully the doors had not closed, and we left through the exit.
    • Jungle- Initially used as a recovery because my daughter was that terrified of Mansion. Well she saw a few Zebras, I ended up cringing on what can only be described as a lackluster trip at best. You could chalk it up to inexperience. You could blame the cookie cutter spiel. You could cite the lack of volume, inability to understand a word the Skip said, lack of jokes, or sheer volume of a full throttle engine. It was lackluster at best.
    After Jungle I needed to use the restroom, Fantasmic was in the process of letting out when I got back. We had wanted to ride Pirates but to do so would require swimming upstream. We decided a second Jungle Trip would be best.
    • Jungle (2) This time I specifically requested an old friend. Call it an "Ace in the Hole" but I needed a laugh. The thing is Jack is completely O.G. He's done this a long time, he knows what he is doing. Trip was perfect, timing was spot on, jokes were hysterical. It is possible that even for Jack this was a "good boat" but for me it was GREAT! I have the Ravenscroft CD... Jack delivered a spiel that sounded almost identical to it. Think National Geographic documentary meet's Monty Python's wit and humor... it was PERFECT. To anyone who wishes to ride Jungle I honestly recommend him.
    • Jungle (3) Jack's ride was so much fun we went for #3 because the Fantasmic crowd was still flooding out. This Skip was Rick. I do not know if he is new or not but he had a lot of energy. He was so excited, so into his spiel, that he ran the Squirter on accident. What made me smile is that he recovered. He took something that was unexpected and worked it into his spiel... he made it work... THAT is Jungle at it's finest.
    By this time my youngest toddler had passed out, Baby had passed out, and we were ready to go home. The two older ones wanted to ride Pirates... so we did, and closed with the song of Yo Ho Yo Ho... by the time the car left the Structure it was 10:30 and all the kids were passed out!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  5. #5

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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    You really need to invest in a digital camera; just remember to bring it; or just remember to use it.

    Fun read, though.

  6. #6

    • Mrs. J. Depp
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Sounds like a fun couple of nights! I wish you could have reported that extremely rude CM you encountered! I'm surprised after all the trips you've made on the Jungle Cruise both as a skip and not, that you still like it so much! Great TR


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  7. #7

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    Sounds like a fun couple of nights! I wish you could have reported that extremely rude CM you encountered! I'm surprised after all the trips you've made on the Jungle Cruise both as a skip and not, that you still like it so much! Great TR
    The reason for all the trips is actually a combination of a 5 year old, a 4 year old, and a 2.5 year old. All of them love animals, love going to the zoo, and basically love Jungle. They don't really care about the spiel, to them it is all about the animals. The spiel... that is the make or break for Mom and Dad... and thus far it has been a great deal more break then make.

    As to the lack of photos, when we attempt to take one they all scatter... literally... it's as if they are actually waiting for either my wife or I to be distracted so they can run away at lightning speed.

    Also forgot to mention one really really odd experience on Pirates when I was with my fellow Jungle Skips. The grouper on Pirates recognized me and inquired if I worked on Jungle. I said no. She insisted I worked on Jungle, and then noticed my friend and said "I'm sure it was you." While everyone went to their respective rows I walked back over and asked why she wanted to know if I had worked Jungle. She remembered my jokes, specifically Banana Republic, and at that point all I could do was laugh because I hadn't worked Jungle in well over a year! In fact all three of us had not worked Jungle in over a year!
    Last edited by techskip; 05-10-2008 at 10:37 PM.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  8. #8

    • Missing an Angel
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Great TR. Or, err, TR's.

    I was wondering, could you PM me or tell your Banana Repulic joke?

  9. #9

    • Minion
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    Sounds like a fun couple of nights! I wish you could have reported that extremely rude CM you encountered! I'm surprised after all the trips you've made on the Jungle Cruise both as a skip and not, that you still like it so much! Great TR
    Why was he considered 'rude'.

    In fact she was trying to enforce what is Disney policy: All must wear footwear for safety and sanitation reasons. That other CM's did not try and enforce does not invalidate it. You might argue that the feet were covered but the child, in effect, as wearing no more than socks - which is not sufficient.

    Now I know that all kinds of footwear don't afford much, if any, protection but it would be a nightmare to try and write a rule that specified what was 'acceptable' footwear and what wasn't.

  10. #10

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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    I think it wasn't the CM trying to enforce the rule, but how they were doing so. They sounded pretty rude to me. Definitely could of been handled differently.

  11. #11

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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Thanks for the report techskip. A fun read, even without pictures. But with keeping track of your family, that's more than enough to handle! (Hopefullly you get a chance once in a while to get pictures of your whole family together in DL )

    And darn! Somehow I HAVE to find out specifics of the infamous Banana Republic Cruise jokes!

  12. #12

    • KC to DL= 1,640 miles
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Cool. Sounds like you had fun. Alice is my favorite Fantasyland ride by the way.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    I think I recall a Banana Republic joke---someone refresh my memory please.

    I have to assume that if the CM made his wife cry, she was out of line. I'm sure that the intent was to follow policy.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog View Post
    Why was he considered 'rude'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celticfox View Post
    I think it wasn't the CM trying to enforce the rule, but how they were doing so. They sounded pretty rude to me. Definitely could of been handled differently.
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog
    In fact she was trying to enforce what is Disney policy: All must wear footwear for safety and sanitation reasons. That other CM's did not try and enforce does not invalidate it. You might argue that the feet were covered but the child, in effect, as wearing no more than socks - which is not sufficient.

    Now I know that all kinds of footwear don't afford much, if any, protection but it would be a nightmare to try and write a rule that specified what was 'acceptable' footwear and what wasn't.
    I am fine with it being policy, I was previously not aware of this policy and had not been informed of it prior to that encounter. In fact on Astro the "all feet must be covered" meant we had to put socks on the baby... so there is definitely some rather distinct gray area. I'd also like to note that the sleepers in questions have rubber soles with tread... but alas I digress. My primary complaint is that the CM felt the need to so strictly enforce the policy as to reduce my wife to tears. Policy or not it could have been handled a great deal better. The CM also started in with me until I explained that I had not only been a CM, but been so for many years... at which point she backed off. In any event I will be following this policy from now on.

    I realize how Disney handles complaints. I know how they are weighted and I have seen people passed over for special assignments (opening crew), promotions (lead, trainer) and specific cross trains because of them. This is the first time I actually considered a formal complaint, and even then I was hesitant because I would rather of talked to a Lead. I don't randomly complain for any indiscriminate reason. Again had I not been there my wife would have left... it was that bad of an experience for her.

    As to Banana Republic, I said it at the meet, I just do not feel comfortable posting it on here. Specifically because once Management has a written copy then they know what they are listening for.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  15. #15

    • Minion
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    Re: Meet, Mystery, and Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I am fine with it being policy, I was previously not aware of this policy and had not been informed of it prior to that encounter. In fact on Astro the "all feet must be covered" meant we had to put socks on the baby... so there is definitely some rather distinct gray area. I'd also like to note that the sleepers in questions have rubber soles with tread... but alas I digress. My primary complaint is that the CM felt the need to so strictly enforce the policy as to reduce my wife to tears. Policy or not it could have been handled a great deal better. The CM also started in with me until I explained that I had not only been a CM, but been so for many years... at which point she backed off. In any event I will be following this policy from now on.

    I realize how Disney handles complaints. I know how they are weighted and I have seen people passed over for special assignments (opening crew), promotions (lead, trainer) and specific cross trains because of them. This is the first time I actually considered a formal complaint, and even then I was hesitant because I would rather of talked to a Lead. I don't randomly complain for any indiscriminate reason. Again had I not been there my wife would have left... it was that bad of an experience for her.

    As to Banana Republic, I said it at the meet, I just do not feel comfortable posting it on here. Specifically because once Management has a written copy then they know what they are listening for.
    There is no real gray area. The rule is pretty clear and unambiguous but the enforcement is spotty which makes it seem so and inconsistent. I am really rather surprised that in all your years at the park you weren't aware of it. Perhaps I'm more cognizant of it as we repeatedly have to enforce it in the water park areas in DCA.

    However, the treaded soles should have satisfied it and all your wife should have needed to do was show them to the CM.

    And, no disrespect intended, it would help if your wife toughened up a bit and asserted the plain facts that appeared to be in your favor.

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