Posts tagged with "Disneyland"

The “Magic” of the Disney College Program 

By Hannah DiPilato

“The Magic Kingdom is now open!” a loud voice blares over the intercom at the entrance of the most famous park at Disney World. Hoards of people rush towards the small gates to journey into the land of magic. Upon entering, the magic hits like a wall with Mickey Mouse balloons and a Main Street lined with buildings that look like they were pulled from a storybook. This all leads up to the glistening masterpiece that is Cinderella’s castle. 

But how magical is this experience when you have to do it daily as a burnt-out college student working to make ends meet? For thousands of college students, this is their daily life, but the magic gets dull with each screaming child and cranky parent they encounter. Does the magic truly vanish while working for the Disney College Program, or is all the hassle worth the enchantment that encompasses Disney? 

What it Takes to Work for the Mouse

Although it may seem like no one would be begging to work in a theme park, the Disney College Program gets thousands of applicants every year and only ends up accepting less than 20% of those students. The Disney College Program offers programs at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. There are five basic qualifications students must meet before they should begin to apply.

According to the Disney Program website, students that hope to apply to the program must be “enrolled and taking classes at an accredited program or institution” at the time they hope to apply. Students must have already completed at least one semester of classes or have graduated within 12 months. The program is specifically designed for undergraduate students, but graduate students are able to apply. Some individual universities have special requirements for students to meet such as a specific GPA, so students should meet with an advisor at their school before applying. 

The program also requires all applicants to be at least 18 years old by the time the program starts as well as possess an unrestricted work authorization. Finally, students that have done the program before must wait at least four months from their departure date to return to the program again. 

However, the program requirements go deeper than this. Since the program is so competitive applicants need to do their best to stand out. The first step of the application process is a general questionnaire that’s similar to many basic job applications. After passing this step, applicants move on to a more in-depth web interview. Finally, a phone interview makes the final decision if someone is selected for the program. 

The Captivating Cast Member Positions

There’s a variety of positions available for students that register for the program. The jobs range from working in the parks to working in the hotels and are assigned by random or based on applicants’ prior experience. These positions are no walk through wonderland, they’re full-time positions and students need to be available to work days, nights, weekends and holidays. The wage depends on the position, but most of the employees only make around $9 an hour or a similar amount close to minimum wage. The paychecks certainly aren’t fit for royalty. 

One past cast member who was a part of the Disney college program, Rebecca Condon, worked Merchandise at the Emporium on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. This retail experience allowed her to become a manager at Lilly Pulitzer at the young age of 22. Northeastern alumni, Kayla DiPilato also participated in the program as a seater at Be Our Guest, a themed restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. She believes she received this position because of her prior experience as a hostess at Top of the Hub in Boston. 

As both of these jobs seem to capture the whimsical essence of Disney, many positions in the program are not as sought over. Some roles such as custodial or food prep, are minimum wage jobs that can be found at most basic establishments all around the country. However, what would be a part-time job in a fast-food restaurant or a business turns into hours on hours in an amusement park to make ends meet. Depending on which job an applicant is selected for could determine whether they love or hate the program. Although, one person’s job nightmare could be a dream come true for somebody else. 

Not a Castle Nor a Carriage 

The housing and transportation for the program has not received stellar reviews from past cast members. Members of the Disney College Program are housed in apartments and rent is taken weekly from their paychecks. Rent can cost anywhere from $114 to $205 a week depending on what housing a person is placed in. Many times cast members have to share a room as well as sharing the apartment with a few other workers. The rules of housing are apparently incredibly strict, with restrictions against alcohol as well as overnight guests of the opposite gender. 

“My least favorite part of the job was the apartments they housed us in,” said Rebecca Condon. “My apartment was the oldest Disney property and had tons of issues. My toilet overflowed 7 times during the program because of bad pipes in the wall to the point where it flooded our whole apartment with about 2 inches of water.” The rent might be cheap, but in the end you get what you pay for. 

If students were unable to bring their own car, they had to rely on the transportation provided by Disney. The college program in Orlando provides a shuttle service to help transport cast members, but the Anaheim program only provides cast members with a free city bus pass. Although the shuttle sounds like a convenient option, it was much less practical than having a car on the property. 

“It is unbelievable how they are able to transport thousands of us,” expressed Condon. “Although, with that being said, it was really hard because I would have to leave two hours before my shift to make sure I got there in time and I often wasn’t home until two to three hours after my shift.” After an incredibly long day of working in a busy park, a two-hour commute is much longer than anyone would want to endure. 

The unreliable shuttle was one reason DiPilato decided to drive her car all the way from Massachusetts to use during her time in the program. “I knew how disastrous it would be to take the shuttle for commuting,” she said. “I also wanted to have the freedom to explore Orlando.”

Experience the Magic but Fight the Villains 

Disney has its perks as well as its downsides just as any normal day job does. DiPilato said her favorite part of the job was making magic for guests, especially for kids that were part of the Make A Wish program. However, she also recalled that families would often get hot and tired after a long day in the park and take out their frustrations on her.  

There were also a lot of strict rules such as never being allowed to point with one finger, never calling guests “people” instead of guests, not being able to have piercings besides one on your earlobes and not being able to wear too much makeup. 

“Once I got yelled at because a child threw his shoe into our moat. How was that my fault?” recalled DiPilato. “Although, I did get to meet Josh Gad in promotion of the Beauty and The Beast live-action movie that was set to come out at the time, so that was a super cool experience.”

Condon recalled one occurrence where the cast members got to experience an exclusive party for the cast members. “Disney opened up one of their water parks for cast members after hours,” she recalled. “They hired a DJ and catered with some of the best Disney Treats, especially the Mickey Bars!”

Every day working at Disney for the Disney College Program is a unique experience. DiPilato mentioned that guests would often sprinkle ashes of relatives within the rides and cast members would have to clean them up. “Yeah, that happened a lot, mostly in the Haunted Mansion,” she said nonchalantly. She also touched on the fact that kids would often get separated from their families, throw up randomly and scream… a lot. “Giving kids a magical experience is amazing, but it comes with so many more problems than would come with working strictly with adults,” she said. 

Is the Work Worth the Pixie Dust?

It takes a special and dedicated person to participate in the Disney College Program. Days are full of long hours of work and lots of cranky families. However, the perks and experience a cast member receives from the job will last a lifetime. 

“I absolutely loved the program and feel like I grew so much from it,” concluded Condon. “The skills I learned from working for this Fortune 500 company is something I carry around with me every day.” 

If you could walk through the streets of Magic Kingdom daily without it ever getting old, or eat a Mickey Ice Cream bar every day without ever getting sick of them, you could have what it takes to become a cast member. To many, it is the job of a lifetime to be able to play an important role in millions of children’s most magical memories and the free park entry doesn’t hurt either. 

If you can get over the job’s flaws, you could have Mickey Mouse as your coworker. And hey, don’t all jobs have their downsides? 

Los Angeles Halloween Town

Story X Illustration by Kaelen Felix 

Not the year we hoped for – COVID-19 virus; stay-at-home mandate order to working remotely. Some did not have the option to work from home, and as a result, millions have lost their jobs. Many months have flown by since everyone had to shelter in place by the policy that was enacted. Fast forward from March to October, and while we are nine months into this, it feels as if there is no end in sight. Summer is behind us, and with Fall here, Halloween is so different from any year we have experienced to date. Everything in 2020 has been turned upside down, and the world is at a stand-still.

The Walt Disney Company announced the layoffs of 28,000 total with 10,000 affecting the Disneyland resorts, parks, hotels, and stores in Anaheim, CA. The coronavirus and the pandemic have hit L.A. hard, and these layoffs are effective this coming Sunday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has provided guidance on gatherings suggesting no more than ten people per group.

The virus continues to wreak havoc with our favorite holiday, Halloween! Why does this continue to happen? The CDC suggests that younger age group are not obeying the CDC suggestions to prevent further spreading. Halloween should be a free-spirited holiday for children and adults to play dress-up and to trick-or-treat. By restricting live entertainment and gatherings this Halloween, those feeling down or depressed may be further affected. So, how does this impact Halloween and what are the measures taken to make this year a success? And also, help with our health and well-being? The spirit of Halloween is all about expressing oneself through a costume, and of course who doesn’t want a bunch of candy by night’s end? Many places across the United States are working on solutions to abide to the social-distancing instructions.

In the Midwest where cases continually rise though some have found a different outlet to make Halloween extra creative. Minnesota, a friendly neighborhood family from the Woodbury area used a plastic piping to slide candy down safely to with physical contact. That way the children are not in close contact with the family members, and it is a safer method for the children. According to the 5 ABC Eye Witness News, the Humphries in the Woodbury family explain their thought process on this as, “Halloween is about being outside, dressing up and doing something different.” The Humphries also mentioned, “It’s important children still have those opportunities.”

In Chicago, many are taking the social-distancing measures very seriously, because they want to see children come out and enjoy a safe Halloween. A source from Block Club Chicago says, “One Chicago neighborhood will hold a contest on the best decorated house on Kenmore Avenue.” While that’s one example of how social distance will be handled, because people can ride around in their cars and vote accordingly. Meanwhile, another part of this adds, “The city is hosting a series of event giveaways for an entire week leading up to the holiday, which they’ve dubbed “Halloweek.”  Such a fun way to put on a show in the city suburb of Chicago. Another area in Albuquerque, New Mexico have routed together a bus with ten zombies on what they call an “Art” bus to keep social-distancing measures in order and to scare passengers as they board the bus. From a local news KRQE, “The city of Albuquerque announced this Friday that two art buses would feature 10 “zombies” in the seats usually taped off social distancing purposes.” Another creative method taken into action to keep the Halloween tradition and spirit alive.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suggests that people comply with the personal protection measures, such as wearing a cloth-faced masks, keeping the six feet social distancing measures and most importantly, continually to wash hands often and use hand sanitizer if need be. Some of the best options to celebrate Halloween include doing virtual costume contests, car parades or trick-or-treating in a safe manner. Set up a table outside with candy in separate plastic bags and provide hand sanitizer as well. Forbes suggests if you have children there are some options for children’s interest in Halloween movies. Some of these examples include, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Coco, Monster House, Beetle Juice and Corpse Bride and more.

While we are still in this pandemic; we should applaud our essential front line responders for their diligent efforts. They work tirelessly to save many lives and they should be honored as our true heroes. Let us do our part to ensure we all have a fun and a safe Halloween this year even though this was not the year we wanted, at least we are close to 2021.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Van Eaton Galleries × Disneyland

Van Eaton Galleries, the world’s premier Disneyland and animation auction gallery, has announced results from this weekend’s two-day “Disneyland: The First 65 Years” auction which took place on Saturday, August 15, 2020 and Sunday, August 16, 2020 at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California. Original estimates were topped as bidders from around the globe bidhigh and bid often on-site, via the phone and online.

Result highlights include an Original Haunted Mansion Stretching Portrait which sold for $90,625 with an original estimate of $50,000; a Multi-Signed Haunted Mansion Concept print which sold for $3,625 with an original estimate of $400-600; a Splash Mountain Fast Pass Sign which sold for $15,000 with an original estimate of $800-$1,000; a Walt Disney & Artists signed “The Art of Animation” which sold for $25,000 with an original estimate of $4,000-$6,000; a Pirates of the Caribbean Entrance Sign Artist’s Proof which sold for $17,500 with an original estimate of $800-$1,000; an Enchanted Tiki Room Fountain Shield Prop which sold for $29,375 with an original estimate of $4,000-$6,000; a Halloween Celebration Pumpkin Prop which sold for $2,500 with an original estimate of $200-$400; a Project Florida: A Whole New Disney World Book which sold for $3,400 with an original estimate of $500-$800; A Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort Prop Flag which sold for $3,125 with an original estimate of $100-$200; a Collection of Jungle Cruise Props which sold for $4,375 and a Prop Egg from EPCOT’s EGGstravaganza which sold for $3,000 with an original estimate of $800-$1,200.

Other result highlights of the two-day Disneyland:

The First 65 Years auction included a Hatbox Ghost Haunted Mansion Maquette which sold for $11,562; a Walt Disney Studios Street Sign Replica which sold for $8,125; a Disneyland Insurance Engineering Report and Fold Out Map which sold for $10,625; a Joe Fowler Signed Disneyland Letter which sold for $11,875; an Original Blue Bayou Table and Chairs which sold for $7,187; a Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction Poster which sold for $10,625; Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Entrance Sign which sold for $56,250; a Haunted Mansion one-of-a-kind Grandfather Clock Plate which sold for $3,125; an Original Fantasyland Attraction Poster which sold for $23,750 and an Original Space Mountain Attraction Vehicle that sold for $53,125;

Walt Disney theme parks have welcomed over 200 million visitors since they openedand Walt Disney park-related memorabilia remains one of the hottest collectibles ofthe last several decades, with prices increasing more than 500% on many items over the last five years.

The “Disneyland: The First 65 Years” auction covered decades of Disney history, from the 1950s through present day. The extraordinary collection had taken years to amass and came from ex-employees of the park and their families, as well as from avid collectors and enthusiasts around the globe.

For more information or to order a collectible catalog click HERE

Disneyland illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Van Eaton Gallery – Disney Auction

The 65th anniversary of Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California is this month. It is a one for millions of fans worldwide, and an important milestone in the history of American pop culture. With Disney theme parks closed across the globe due to the pandemic, Van Eaton Galleries will celebrate the anniversary of Disneyland with an exciting free exhibition and auction. The auction event Disneyland: The First 65 Years will take place at Van Eaton Galleries over two days, Saturday, August 15th, 2020 and Sunday, August 16th, 2020 beginning at 10:00 a.m. each day.

The on-site auction will follow all COVID-19 guidelines. The auction house will also stream the auction live and bidders can participate by phone or online.

The collection to be offered includes over 1,100 rare artifacts which trace the history of the iconic theme parks and Walt Disney’s vision from their inception to present day. Many of the items are coming to public display and auction for the very first time. The items include some of the earliest documents and conceptual pieces representing Walt’s visions for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as extraordinary theme park props, ride vehicles, audio-animatronic figures, hand-painted attraction pieces, very rare early documents, remarkable memorabilia, signs, and more.

Walt Disney theme parks have welcomed over 200 million visitors since they opened and Walt Disney park-related memorabilia remains one of the hottest collectibles of the last several decades, with prices increasing more than 500% on many items over the last five years. The vast array of items to be offered at auction will surprise even the most avid collectors. Several iconic pieces in the collection date back to 1954, a full year before Disneyland opened. The collection also includes ephemera, stage-worn articles, artwork, programs, souvenirs, and more. Also featured in the Disneyland: The First 65 Years’ auction will be several items from Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland. An unusual item in the auction is a very rare sign for Don DeFore’s original Silver Banjo Barbeque. DeFore was a famous actor in the 1950s and 1960s and was a close friend of Walt’s. He opened a restaurant called Don DeFore’s Silver Banjo Barbeque and it was the only place in Disneyland that had the name of a living person on it other than Walt Disney. They are featured in the book Growing Up Disneyland and have never gone up for auction before.

Highlights include stage and screen star Don DeFore’s original signage for his Silver Banjo Barbeque restaurant in Frontierland (Estimate: $60,000-$80,000), this sign represents the only person other than Walt Disney that had his name on a sign in Disneyland; a unique 1955 Disneyland Plot Plan created as part of an engineering report (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); an extremely rare Gold VIP ticket to the park’s opening day (Estimate $3,000-$5,000); a collection of never-before-seen 16mm films taken by Disney Legend Milt Albright that showcase locations on Main Street as they appeared when the park first opened (Estimate: $500-$800); an original hand-painted Stretch Painting from the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World (Estimate $60,000-$80,000); an original Space Mountain Ride Vehicle from Disneyland (Estimate $40,000-$60,000); original Attraction Posters from Disneyland (Estimates $8,000-$15,000); a Walt Disney Signed Disneyland Guidebook (Estimate $4,000-$6,000); a park used It’s a Small World Attraction Poster (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000); an original Haunted Mansion Tombstone Prop (Estimate ($8,000-$10,000), and hundreds of other items.

Walt Disney’s words from the dedication of Disneyland on July 17, 1955, have never been truer than they are today: Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America; with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

Other highlights include an original Eyvind Earle concept painting for the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000);  a rare Shooting Gallery rifle from the Main Street Shooting Gallery (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a hand-painted Fountain Shield prop from the Enchanted Tiki Room (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); an It’s a Small World Animatronic Doll (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); a Dumbo the Flying Elephant prop (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000); original paintings by Imagineer Walt Peregoy from the park’s opening year (Estimates: $2,000-$4,000); early Club 33 artwork (Estimate: $600-$800); a Haunted Mansion Ghost Maquette (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000); an original hand-drawn mock-up of the Pirates of the Caribbean souvenir guidebook (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a 1954 original concept drawing of Tomorrowland (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); an original Epcot Center overview prepared for President Jimmy Carter (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); and much, much more.

Our Disneyland: The First 65 Years auction showcases the history of Walt Disney’s original vision for his park, and its growth to today. This collection brings together a massive and varied array of artwork, props, original paintings and drawings, memorabilia, and collectibles from the most famous family of theme parks in the world. The auction offers the excitement of very rare items never sold before at auction, but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality for those artists and performers whose work helped shape and define our popular culture. We are honored to be able to offer such remarkable items to fans and collectors around the globe and to be able to offer this collection during the 65th anniversary of Walt Disney’s original theme park, Disneyland.

The Disneyland: The First 65 Years; auction covers decades of Disney history, from the 1950s through today. The extraordinary collection has taken years to amass and comes from ex-employees of the park and their families, as well as from avid collectors and enthusiasts around the globe. Van Eaton Galleries will conduct the two-day auction on-site, online, and by phone. Interested bidders are encouraged to register early. Media interested in covering the event is requested to email or call the press contact listed below.

DISNEYLAND: THE FIRST 65 YEARS LOCATION

Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, California 91423

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION

Session 1: Saturday, August 15th, 2020 (10:00 A.M. Pacific Time)

Session 2: Sunday, August 16th, 2020 (10:00 A.M. Pacific Time)

EXCLUSIVE MEDIA PREVIEW ON DISNEYLAND’S 65TH BIRTHDAY!

Friday July 24th, 2020 10 AM to 6 PM

FREE PUBLIC EXHIBITION

Saturday, July 25th – Friday, August 14th, 2020

Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sundays 12 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. PT

EXHIBITION IS BY RESERVATION ONLY AND LIMITED AS TO COVID-19 GUIDELINES

Van Eaton Galleries is one of the world’s premier original animation art and collectibles galleries. The Gallery is located in Sherman Oaks, California and specializes in unique original animation artwork. Established in 1994, the gallery offers distinct collections from the world of animation and special exhibits and events for collectors, fans and guests from around the globe. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Van Eaton Galleries has offered such collections as That’s from Disneyland, The Story of Disneyland, The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss, and animation artwork from Disney, Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Hanna-Barbera, Don Bluth, and many others. For more information, please visit www.vegalleries.com.

Follow Van Eaton Galleries: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

MOST INSTAWORTHY LOCATIONS

The Most Hashtagged Places In America
  • PlayPicks reveal that Disneyland in Anaheim is the USA’s favourite place to pap an Instaworthy photograph
  • Miami Beach has been shared 8,673,724 times on Instagram, making it the most hashtagged beach and second most hashtagged place overall in America
  • New study shows men have a more active social (media) life, admitting to sharing online multiple times a day whilst on holiday

 In 2019, if you don’t take a photo it’s like it never happened. Social platforms like Instagram act as outlets which let us explore places we’ve never seen before – one search of a hashtag and you’ll have everything at your fingertips. But where are the most tagged places in America?

New research from entertainment experts PlayPicks uncovers the most shared locations in the USA, delving into categories from beaches to arenas and festivals, to uncover the most Instagrammable hotspots in the US. Alongside this, PlayPicks ran a survey of the US public to reveal just how reliant the nation is on social media, in particular when it comes to travelling.

Top 5 Most Hashtagged Places in the U.S

Playpicks have scoured Instagram to find the top 20 hashtagged places spanning over nine different categories. These are the top five most hashtagged locations overall in the U.S for Instagrammers: 

  • Disneyland Anaheim – Not just where dreams come true, but also where hashtags are made. Disneyland was built in 1955 and has since received 19,783,733 Insta shares. Considering the fact that they had an estimated attendance last year of 18.3 million, it’s of no surprise that it’s the most hashtagged location in America. It’s sister park in Florida, Disneyland Magic Kingdom, takes the second spot on the most hashtagged list at 9,400,298 posts.
  • Miami Beach – This man-made beach has 8,673,724 shares on Instagram, making it the most Instagrammed beach in the US – and with 15.22 square miles of beautiful, golden sand and relaxation, it’s easy to see why you can’t help but take one for your grid.
  • Central Park – One of two of New York’s offerings in the top 10 list (the other being Times Square) is its first major landscape park. The park’s construction started in 1857 and upon its completion, it became one of the most popular tourist destinations – having approximately 40 million visitors a year and 6,104,544 shares on Instagram.

The Influence of Influencers 

In the age of the influencer, Instagram has a more direct effect on our everyday choices. PlayPicks surveyed the US public to uncover how much of an influence social media really has on our travel decisions and experiences:

  • The majority of male respondents (45%) admitted to taking holiday inspiration solely from influencer posts on social media rather than their friends. Only 22% of women said they would listen to just an influencer, instead 50% would balance their decision based on both friends and influencers.
  • Men care the most about getting the perfect snap for the ‘gram – on average, men spend 20.28 minutes getting a picture just right before uploading it, while women spend only 14.67 minutes.
  • Although 49% of respondents said they solely take photos for themselves, 26% said they do it for social media – this was preferred over taking snaps for family and friends, which only 24% claimed was their primary reason for documenting their trips.

To explore the rest of America’s favourite social media destinations, search the interactive tool and find the most hashtagged places in America here.

Showaflops

As the summer season approaches, it’s time to get vacation-ready! No matter where you’re headed, whether it be to a new country, new city, the beach, lake or Disneyland, make sure you pack all the necessary items! One item that you will definitely want to add to your packing list is Showaflops! Perfect for hotel pools, spas, beaches and gym showers, the stylish, durable and lightweight Showaflops keep your feet disease free.

Showaflops have unique drainage holes for faster drying flops and antimicrobials to help protect feet from bacteria on floors and prevent odors. Showaflops also have slip resistant soles for safer trips on wet slippery floors. With NEW designs, you can complete your vacation look from head to toe. From flip flops to slides, choose your style of choice and enjoy your summer vacation without worrying about the germs or wet soggy flip flops! Showaflops is the must-have summer item for kids going to camp or waterparks!

Explore the features of this summer vacation must-have:

  • Unique drainage hole designs
  • Antimicrobials
  • Slip resistant soles help protect feet against mold, fungus and bacteria on floors
  • Flip flops perfect for public showers, gyms, steam rooms, dorms, camps, pools, locker rooms… or anywhere that germs lurk!
  • Available in Men’s, Women’s, Boy’s and Girl’s
  • Prices range from $22-$34

For more information go to: http://showaflops.com/.