Imagine a chance encounter with Disney President and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Iger. You tell him you are a Neurotic Disney Person, and he nods knowingly which, in and of itself, is pretty gratifying. You get along very well, and at the end of your surprisingly pleasant encounter he offers you a job—any job your heart desires—at Walt Disney World. Salary, qualifications and career considerations aside, what is your response?
I’ve thought about this question a few times over the years. What follows is a list of jobs, some real and some imagined, that I think would be fun to have at Walt Disney World:
6. Morning Tram, Ferry Boat or Monorail Operator at the Magic Kingdom/TTC: I need to emphasize the importance of the time of day—morning— because I want no part of the afternoon shift. In the morning, families filled with excitement and anticipation head to the Magic Kingdom. Each family member brings an abundance of energy and dreams of meeting or even becoming a pirate or a princess. In the afternoon, that same family is hot, tired overstimulated and bearing no resemblance to their former selves.
Have you ever seen an unhappy family on the way INTO the Magic Kingdom? If heaven does exist, it must be a lot like a morning at the Magic Kingdom.
5. Starter at a Disney Golf Course: This will come as no surprise to anyone who read my previous article on Disney Golf. Golf is one of my few non-Disney passions and, to me, the combination of Disney and golf is nirvana. The starter at a Disney golf course interacts with people from all over the world as they prepare to play a round on one of Disney’s Championship caliber courses. More importantly, working here would give me an inside track on getting my own tee times.
4. Tinkerbell Assistant in Cinderella Castle: The guy who helps Tink hitch up, turn on her lights, and get ready for her nightly flight over the Magic Kingdom is a vital part of what has become a beloved and iconic Magic Kingdom tradition. He also gets to see the Magic Kingdom from what must be a breathtaking vantage point. But the best part of being Tink’s helper would be having the best seat in the park for Wishes.
3. Segway Guy at Epcot Rope Drop: I have no idea what his title is or what he does, but I would love to have his job. He magically appears on his Segway from inside Innoventions West as the morning crowd gathers by the rope—sometimes even bold enough to wear an oversized Mickey Glove. Always easygoing and charming, he has a talent for guest interaction found in few cast members. He is Epcot’s early morning rock star. His costume: loafers, a pair of beige khakis, and a blue button-down oxford. No 1970’s vintage, fake spacesuit costume for this guy. And, he gets to ride a Segway! Where do I sign up?
2. Head of Parade Security at Magic Kingdom: I’m pretty sure there is no such job title. But there should be. There is little that annoys me more than the family that shows up 10 minutes before the beginning of a parade, expecting to fit grandpa, grandma, mom, dad and their 8 children into the 6 square inch patch of concrete between my feet, the patch I’ve been guarding for the last hour and a half. While I gave up valuable touring time and dutifully reserved a space for my family, these interlopers were using Fastpasses to ride Space Mountain. And now they want my spot.
There should be someone who can deliver justice when this happens. I don’t blame the children. I will always make room for them. But the adults need to learn proper parade etiquette. They should be politely escorted—Disney style—away from my spot to any available open area. Obstructed view? Likely. Harsh? Maybe. Just? Absolutely.
1. Mickey Mouse: Does this choice really require an explanation? Mickey is arguably the most loved character in the world. In his presence, girls swoon and guys…well, they swoon too. He is an icon, a legend, “The Big Cheese.” Who wouldn’t want to be him?
Meet and Greet Mickey at the Magic Kingdom would be my first choice. For many, meeting him is the cornerstone of their trip. Being at the center of this emotional experience would be extraordinarily gratifying. Jedi Mickey, in my opinion the coolest of them all, ranks near the very top of my list, as well. Jedi Mickey has everything I don’t: robes, a light sabre, and an attitude.
To be completely honest, though, there are some Mickeys I want to avoid. Despite the prime location of his restaurant, I would never want to be Chef Mickey. Yes, the napkin waving, foot stomping entrance is great for the ego, but being hugged by lots of peanut butter and jelly covered hands is not.
I also would avoid most other costume-wearing Mickeys. Some of Mickey’s costumes are, well, less than flattering. On the other hand, I love the classic look of the traditional tuxedo with red pants and yellow tie. Sorcerer and Safari Mickey also make the cut just because of the great hats. But it is a short list, indeed.
Give it some thought and let me know how my list compares to yours. Have fun and be creative. Mr. Iger could be reading.
Contributed by: John Marchese (NDD#172) John is the DDL Media Relations Blogger.