Archive for March 2011

Clever Dads and other things I’ve learned

March 29, 2011

So here in Disney World, I have had the opportunity to truly observe, study and document guest behavior. And in the two and half months I’ve been here, I’ve seen it all. Really.

I’ve seen happy guests, pissed guests, sad guests, dumb guests, fantastic guests, excited guests, bossy guests, shy guests, old guests, young guests, foreign guests, American guests, baby guests, bitchy guests, fat guests…. and the list goes on. Despite all their differences though, many of guests share a few similar behaviors and traits across the board. Allow me to explain.

Filming: Guests film everything here. Literally everything.  Kids playing in the hotel pool? Film it. Entire rides (most popularly It’s a small world)? Film it. People walking by? Film it. Character meet and greets? Film it. Dinner plates and other meals? Film it. Trash on the ground? Film it. Suzy and Jacob brawling in the Kingdom? Film it. Kids asleep in the stroller? Film it. Dad yelling about spending money? Film it. Waiting in line to use the restroom? Film it.  I do not exaggerate.

I honestly don’t know how these people have enough memory on their cameras or video cameras for all this filming, but it happens. And while I understand here at Disney we are celebrating “Let the memories begin,” begin does not mean make sure to record every second of every day, should something happen that we need to remember forever. My parents did not film every moment of my first trip to Disney, yet I still clearly remember the parts worth remembering. If you are so busy filming, then you are not actually living out the experience and congratulations all you will remember from your Disney vacation is what you caught on tape.

And the other thing is: when are you going to watch all these videos? Are you going to watch Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride before you go to sleep each night? Or are the kids splashing in the pool the video you must see every morning? Besides to embarrass your kids at their wedding or other family members at gatherings/reunions or as America’s funniest home video potential, I bet that 80% of guests will never watch their homemade Disney memories again after they post them on Facebook.

Clever Dads: This one gets me every time. It’s that type of Dad that halfway through the day you want to tell them to shove it up their ass. Seriously. These dads are the ones that make the stupid, cliché jokes every time. They want to look like the funny guy and have all the attention on themselves. Sadly, nobody actually cares.

For example, when meeting a character they have to comment on whether the character is right or left handed. Guess what dad? All of the characters are ambidextrous because they have to sign so many autographs every day. Also why does it matter what hand Mickey Mouse writes with? He’s signing your book, right? Then be quiet.

Or going on a ride a clever dad likes to say “Oh I’m not tall enough” and his devoted family laughs like its the first time anyone every came up with that joke. The last 12 dads in line before you also came up with that one liner. Dumb comments to the characters are also common like “Are you a boy or a girl?” Clearly, Mickey Mouse is male and Minnie Mouse is female. Does anyone question your gender clever dad? Then again, shut the hell up.

Family Guy's Peter Griffith is a good example of a clever dad.

Obvious Questions: It’s become the biggest joke amongst cast members, but yes, guests actually have asked what time the 3:00 o’clock parade is. Asking the obvious is a common behavior for guests and I don’t really know why. It might be that they stop thinking because they are on vacation, or are overwhelmed by all the sights, smells, tastes and magic of Disney World. Or maybe it’s the sun that fries their brains, but nonetheless it happens all the time. Here are some examples:

When an attendant announces that their character’s line is closed and the guest comes up and asks if their family can get line. When a mom measures her kid to go on Space Mountain and the kid is too short, then asks if he can ride anyway. When a family gets a fast pass to come back at noon and they come back at 4 p.m. and ask if it’s still good. When a guest asks for free park admission because it’s their birthday. When a guest asks for half price admission because they are buying their ticket a 6 p.m. and the park closes at 11 p.m. When a guest asks if they can just stand in the middle of the walkway to watch Fantasmic! When a guest asks if they can just stand on the stage and watch Fantasmic…can you see my point?

Yet all we can do is answer their questions and wish them a magical day.

“I paid a lot of money for this!”: This is an attitude of entitlement that almost all guests share. They think that since they paid so much money and traveled however far they traveled to get to Disney World, that they are entitled to everything. This is true to a point, but it seems like most of the guests forget that pretty much all the other guests in the park went through the exact same thing, paid close to the same amount of money and also traveled. The same is true for anyone celebrating anything, especially birthdays; they think they should just own the park. Do you know how many people celebrate a birthday on any given day here? Thousands at least.

This attitude makes guests viscous toward other guests, hard to reason with or communicate with and quite frankly makes them a pain in booty to be around or associate with. Please don’t be one of these guests.

Gateway tahtoo

March 2, 2011

So King Aaron and I have matching tahtoos. I bet many of you didn’t know this, but we totally do. For his 18th birthday, Aaron wanted a blue dot on his foot to represent “The world as viewed from a great distance” ala Phobe on Friends. So on his 18th birthday, Sept. 26, 2010, the two of us went to this hippie tahtoo shop near Kemah and Aaron walked out with a blue dot. He wanted me to get one at the same time, but of course I was too chicken.

After seeing him get his done and deciding it was really cool, I wanted a dot too. Since the two of us are so connected, I also thought it would be a cool way that we could telecommunicate. For example, “My tahtoo is tingling! Aaron must be in trouble!” So during Christmas break, right before I was leaving to come to this most magical place on earth, we went back to the hippie tahtoo place and this time I walked out with a blue dot of my own.

The world as viewed from a great distance on my foot.

Well anyway, little did we know that our blue dots would be gateway tahtoos because now I really want another one. I know its dumb, unprofessional and so on and so forth, but I want one nonetheless. I’m not saying I want a “sleeve” or a gross one that covers my entire back, nor will I get one that will stretch out and look awful when I become old and/or fat.  I don’t even want it to be bigger than maybe one or two inches. But I want another tahtoo.

In an ideal world I would get this sun, drawn by Marc Johns, minus the words on my right wrist. The same place as Gaga’s peace sign.

I think it would be cool because then I would have the world on my foot and the sun on my wrist so that my body would be the equivalent of a solar system. But since I would never get hired anywhere with such a visible tahtoo, I know it’s not going to happen. Although, I can wish.

Because of that, I have been thinking about getting some Mickey Mouse ears on my hip, since I am a really big fan of Mickey and Minnie.  I would get one like this without the year and on my hip:

To make matters worse, it seems like tattoos come up in conversation all the time. My roommate Courtney has three, which are all really cool. Being performers, we all change and get dressed in front of each other all the time and so everyone sees everyone else’s tahtoos and then we end up talking about them. One performer I met has a tahtoo of Pluto one foot and Eeyore on the other. Sports teams seem to be popular, as do tahtoos in remembrance for a dead relatives. Its ridiculous.

My parents were slightly pissed that I got y blue dot, which I barely even count as a tahtoo since it would be so easy to cover up if I/when I ever need to. I know they don’t want me to get anymore….

but I really, really, really, really, want one.

Footnote***: I know tattoo is spelled wrong throughout this post. But tahtoo is a joke and also more fun to say. It’s a thing.