/ Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Hello, my book-loving friends!  I hope you have enjoyed this past week’s reading of chapters 4-6 of Charlie Ridgway’s Spinning Disney’s World.  Here, Mr. Ridgway takes a look at his early years working as a cast member at Disneyland.


1. At the start of chapter 4, Mr. Ridgway recounts the distinction between an employee and a “cast member.”  If YOU could be a cast member at any Disney attraction, which would it be and why?

2. In chapter 5, Mr. Ridgway describes Walt’s management  style.  Do you think you would have found it easy or difficult to work for Walt Disney?

3. On page 46 of chapter 5, Mr. Ridgway describes the evolution of the Mickey Mouse watch.  Lots of pieces of merchandise have Disney characters on it.  What is the most unique OR most favorite Disney product you buy OUTSIDE of the parks?

4. Also in chapter 5, there is a description of the importance of STORY to the attractions in Disney parks.  Which attraction is your favorite, based SOLELY on its storyline?

5. Mr. Ridgway also discusses Walt’s emphasis on the need for fireworks at the parks to keep people there in the evenings.  How would you rate the following evening activities at Disney, with 1 being most favorite to 5 being least favorite?

a) Fantasmic

b) IllumiNations

c) Electric Light Parade

d) SpectroMagic

e) Fireworks over the castle

7 Responses to "WDW Radio Disney Book Club: Spinning Disney’s World-Week #2"

  1. 1. I would love to be a cast member on the Kilamajaro Safari. I love the fact that you get to spend your day interacting with guests while seeing animals and doling out trivia! Plus, I love the Animal Kingdom.

    2. In some ways I think I would have a difficult time under Walt’s management. I tend to enjoy praise for a job well done. However, I think I would also do well since he encouraged creativity and knew how to get the best out of his people.

    3. I really enjoy Disney snowglobes and Mickey Mouse Lenox figures.

    4. I think Expedition Everest does an excellent job telling the attractions story from the moment you enter the queue area. I am always disappointed when the whole queue area is not open.

    5. This is very difficult as I feel each firework event is unique!!!
    1) SpectroMagic
    2) IllumiNations
    3) Fantasmic
    4) Fireworks over the castle
    5) Electric Light Parade

  2. 1. This is a tough one! I think it would have to be POTC for me.
    2. I think the lack of praise could be a hard thing to work for, however I would have loved to work for him, and I am sure you would get to know when he approved of your work. I love being pushed to work hard, so that would be great.
    3. I guess Disney clothing – can’t think what else I really buy outside the parks!
    4. Haunted Mansion – so good!
    5.
    1 Illuminations
    2 Fantasmic
    3 Fireworks over the castle
    4 Spectromagic
    5 Electric Light Parade

  3. 1. I think I would most want to be a cast member at the Haunted Mansion. That seems like the attraction where you can most play a character. It would be fun to play a creepy mansion employee.

    2.I definately want praise, so that would make it difficult to work for Walt. I like that Walt expected people to get a job done no matter what. He expected great things of his employees and believed in them.

    3. I have a pair of mickey earings that are the classic hidden mickey. Me and my kids love finding hidden mickeys, so its fun for my kids when I wear them also.

    4. I think the story to the Tower of Terror is amazing. The story of this attraction starts before you even enter the park. You can see the hollywood hotel from the street. It looks like a real old hotel. The lobby has amazing detail and we get a whole story about the souls that were lost in this hotel. ii could just walk through this attraction and it would be great. Its an added bonus that it is a great ride as well.

    5. Trying to choose my favorite nightime show is like trying to choose my favorite child. I love them all for different reasons. I guese if I have to choose it would be 1. fireworks over the castle 2. fantasmic 3.illuminations 4. electric light parade 5. spectroamgic.

  4. 1. Fortunately I have been able to experience what it is like to be a Walt Disney World cast member. Around 10 years ago I worked at the Canadian pavillion in Epcot for 14 months. If I could be a cast member at any Disney attraction I would probably choose to be a Monorail driver (not sure if this counts as an attraction). I have always been fascinated by the monorail ever since I was a small child and I still enjoy riding it around Disney. What a great way to make a child’s day by inviting them to sit in the driver’s cabin and making them an honorary monrail captain.

    2. At first I probably would have had some challenges working under Walt Disney because I am the kind of person that strives for positive affirmation from a job well done. Eventually though I believe I would have flourished due to Walt’s abilitiy to motivate his employees and bring their creative talents to the forefront.

    3. One Disney item I like to collect out of the parks are the Sorcerer Mickey Swarovski crystal’s. I only have two of them as they are quite expensive and accidentally broke one of them. I am also a big sports fanatic and enjoy collecting Disney sports items such as my Mickey Mouse golf shoes, other golf merchandise and a collection of sports bobbleheads.

    4. So many Disney attractions have amazing storylines but my absolute favorite and one that still amazes me time after time is the Tower of Terror. Right from the first cast members as you enter the queue until the last cast member when you exit the shop, each and every one of them plays their role perfectly. The design of the attraction and the detail that went into every aspect of the ride is in my opinion the best in Disney. I always feel as if I am really at the Hollywood Hotel at that point in time. Honorable mention goes to the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain.

    5. This is very tough but here we go:

    1. Illuminations (partly biased because that is the park I worked in)
    2. Fireworks over the castle
    3. Electrical Light Parade
    4. Fantasmic
    5. SpectroMagic

    Each and every one of these is amazing!

  5. 1. If I could be a castmember at any Disney attraction, I would pick Tower of Terror. I love the costumes and I love this ride.

    2. I dont think it would of been difficult to work with Walt’s style of management, but I do think he would challenge me to do my best and to succeed. In the end, thats the best style of management.

    3. My favourite piece of Disneyana that I bought outside of the parks would have to be my coin prop from the first POTC movie.

    4. Tower of terror in my opinion has one of the best storylines in any attraction. No matter how many times you ride this attraction you are drawn into the story and even start to believe it abit. I have ridden this ride 27 times in a row and would never tire of its story.

    5. My ratings would be:
    1. Fireworks above the castle.
    2. Illuminations reflections of earth
    3. Fantasmic
    4. Spectromagic
    5. Main Street Electricial Parade

    - side note Brandon I also worked at the Canadian Pavilion. My contract was March 2009-2010. I was in F+B.. where did you work?

  6. starsandmoon98 says:

    1. I would love to be a tour guide on the Kilamangaro Safaris. I am a teacher so I love to share my knowledge with anyone and everyone. I also love animals and tend to learn a lot about them so that would be perfect for me.

    2. I think it would be very difficult to work for Walt. He is a perfectionist and a dreamer which when combined can cause conflict. I think he surrounded himself with wonderfully talented people that shared his vision and they understood when he asked the impossible sometimes. I also feel that it would be very rewarding to work for him. Just think of all the things I would have learned from him!

    3. Well much to my husband’s complaining, I buy any and everything with a Disney character on it. I am one of those suckers who fall for the marketing. If my son wants Mac N Cheese, then we buy the Cars or Toy Story ones. I will never forget when our son was still in diapers, I would buy Huggies because they had the Disney characters on them. My husband insisted that Pampers were better, but I had to have the ones with Disney on them.

    4. I would have to say that the attraction that has the best character is the ever changing carroussel. I love the many stories that have come and been about the carousel.

    5. Mr. Ridgway also discusses Walt’s emphasis on the need for fireworks at the parks to keep people there in the evenings. How would you rate the following evening activities at Disney, with 1 being most favorite to 5 being least favorite?

    1. Fantasmic

    2. Spectromagic

    3. Fireworks over the castle

    4. IllumiNations

    5. Electric Light Parade

  7. 1. Jungle Cruise. I was lucky enough to be a Disneyland Cast member but in store operations. I would have loved to try Jungle Cruise – Love the jokes and being able to vary your script some. Plus, wouldn’t just be great to say – I was a skipper?
    2. Working for Walt would have been difficult in some ways. I think that if you understood him and that you were doing a good job, even if you weren’t recognized, you could succeed. However, if you need reassurance, that would be difficult.
    3. One of my favorite things I have is my Sneezy tissue box. Such a perfect match.
    4. While I’m a huge Snow White fan, I’m going to go with Haunted Mansion. I think that the story is so rich and wonderfully developed.
    5. Electric Light Parade #1, Fantasmic #2, Fireworks over Castle #3, Illuminations #4, and SpectroMagic #5

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