Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heigh-Ho! Heigh-Ho!

I was out last night playing trivia, and the Brawny Hombre asked me if I would be writing another "30 Days to Disney" countdown article like I did back in November/December of 2005 when I went. This was a 30 day (well.... 35 days actually) countdown to my much-anticipated trip where I listed one thing I love about Disney each day for 35 days leading up to the trip, culminating in a Top 5 things of:

5) The Great Movie Ride (oh my how it's fallen)
4) Kilimanjaro Safari
3) Pirates of the Caribbean
2) Mickey's PhilharMagic (Apparently I just LOVED this after my trip in January of 05.)
1) Disney "Magic. (Kinda seems like a cop-out now... though I know what I meant.)

So anyway, I'm thinking that I WILL write another one. I'll do my best to not refer back to the old list at all, and then see what remained, 4 years (and 4 trips later). That said, today I'm going to focus in on another Disney list topic...

The Five Coolest Jobs at Walt Disney World
(assisted by my good friend and co-worker "Meredith")

5) Be a Costumed Character!
Okay... so I think this has the potential to be the actual best job in the parks. It's only downside is that it's super effing hard to do. Imagine going to Florida in July. It's 95 degrees and humid. You're wearing shorts and sandals and using one of those water-misting fans. You're miserable. Now imagine instead of the shorts and sandals, you're wearing fur from head to toe. And that fur weighs an extra 30 pounds. And you have to hug little kids all day and be cheery and whatnot. So... how is this even in the running for best job? Well... 1) It's a super coveted position in terms of status among cast members. If you're one of the 20 girls (that's right) who play Mickey, that means something. 2) You could be representing an icon. Sure, you may end up getting Mr. Potato Head from Toy Story, but you also could get to play Donald fucking Duck. It's like playing Stanley Kowalski. It's like playing Willie Loman. It's just so effing cool, it doesn't matter how hot you are. (see what I did there?)

4) Host at Haunted Mansion
I don't know why, but I've always wanted to be the dour, Lurch-like greeter at The Haunted Mansion. It's sort of like the Disney version of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham... you can't smile or laugh. You can only joke if you use topical "death/ghost" related puns. You can stroke your inner goth. It just seems like a great time. More than anything, you get to say my favorite cast member line in the whole of WDW: "Please move to the center of the room. The dead center of the room." It makes me laugh every time.

3) Behind the Scenes Tour Guide
Maybe it's just that I've always wanted to be part of the action from as an "insider", and who is more inside than a Backstage Guide. I think my favorite backstage tour is the "Behind the Seeds" tour of the Epcot greenhouses... (I never fail to giggle at the mention of hydroponic cucumbers) Any of you who really know me, know that I'm an insufferable attention hound, and really there's no better stage for me than a small group that is not only a captive audience, but also is viewing me as some sort of expert. I think I'd probably get into trouble, actually.

2) Prince Eric in "Voyage of the Little Mermaid"
I've often said that this is the single greatest acting job on the planet, and I stand by this now. Let me paint you a picture... You just got your BFA from Boston University in Acting... You're a good looking dude, you've got skills. You go down to Disney and audition for their shows, because you're looking for something to kill the Summer before you move to New York. They offer you Prince Eric. You never leave Orlando ever again. Why? Well... here's what the role consists of... You have 2 lines. They are (in order) "MAX!!" and "Ariel!". You have 2 entrances that total stage time of about 1 minute. 20 seconds of that is spent kissing a hot redheaded actress playing a mermaid. Repeat this 8 times daily. Collect cash.

Awesomest. Acting Gig. Ever.

1) Imagineer!
Disney has a group of folks whose entire job is to come up with the cool shit people see and do in the parks. When you walk around in Asia in Animal Kingdom and notice that the pavement has been distressed to look like bicycles have been zipping around... that's an Imagineering detail. When you walk through the Tower of Terror queue and notice that the dust isn't real, but is a paint effect; Imagineers thought of that. When you are seemlessly sent on a virtual hang glider ride through California and you can smell orange groves... Imagineers. Basically any creative element of any ride or attraction or detail starts with a brainstorm of the Imagineers. Oh...and not only that, but they get to go on awesome research trips. When they built Animal Kingdom they went to Africa and Asia...for MONTHS! When they built Everest, they went to fucking EVEREST. It's probably the coolest single job I can think of anywhere. Not just at Disney.

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