A Mickey Mouse Job


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What you see above is the note that was handed to me after the interview I had a few days ago with Disneyland.

Yes, that Disneyland. The Mouse, the ears, the Walt. That’s the place.

I had submitted my application online – it’s the only way they accept them, naturally – somewhere in January and figured that it had just gotten placed in the OVERQUALIFIED file since I hadn’t heard back. But I guess they do get a ton of applicants and someone (or some computer) is tasked with having to find those they feel meet the criteria to be one of Walt’s minions.

It was June when I finally got the email asking me to take the online quiz, the ones that are standard issue emotional tests in which you rank different statements by choosing radio buttons ranging from “Strongly Disagree” to “Neutral” to “Strongly Agree.” (By the way, they key to passing them is to mark either “Strongly Disagree” or “Strongly Agree” for each question. That shows you are decisive. Anything else is a red light and may hurt your chances of getting the interview.)

Knowing how those tests work, I went ahead and gave myself the suggested 30-40 minutes to take the quiz and passed it without a problem. I was then taken to a page that showed a cheesy video highlighting all of the available positions at the Park. I had applied for Quick Service Foods, a position that pretty much meant I could be selling churros or popcorn from a cart on Main Street. I know someone that does just that.

I know, I know. I’m working and I should be happy with that, right.

Yes, of course. I truly am grateful to be where I am despite a new team of people moving in making changes, some not for the better. But when opportunity knocks for any reason, you can bet I’ll take advantage of it.

I scheduled my interview for July 1 and waited a week. I had my interview and discussed the QSF position plus a few others that might be open. And of course, there was the standard “Why do you want to work for Disneyland?” question.

During the interview, I told my Casting Agent – Disney slang for Recruiter – that I had been a ticket seller at Knott’s Berry Farm for a few years back in the late ‘80s. We then discussed the possibility of my being hired as one but there were no open positions currently available. Other positions includes Vacation Sales Rep, an off-site position in which you work in a call center and organize Disney vacations for guests.

I didn’t feel I was fit for that nor did I want to deal with people over the phone. I’m more of an in-person kind of guy when it comes to interactions, so I politely declined that one. There were a few more that I can’t think of at the moment and wasn’t too excited about any of them so we moved on.

In the end the Casting Agent believed that, based on my experience, the role of Vacation Planner (yes, that’s what they call Ticket Sellers) was more up my alley. And that’s why I got the ticket you see above: a promissory note or sorts that guarantees me a job should the role of Vacation Planner become available somewhere in the next six months.

But I don’t think I’ll take it.

Unlike most jobs, Disneyland requires open availability for neophytes during peak times of the year as well as constant availability on the weekends. But not unlike other jobs, newbies start at the bottom rung and get absolutely no word in scheduling until they move up to Regular Part Time from Casual Part Time. I sort of like my weekends off when I get them and have a little pull at work so starting over with even more restrictions seems silly.

The commute is simple – literally one street – but with the way things are going now with the Kia, chances are we will be selling it and be a one-car family real soon. See this post and you’ll read about our brilliant plan that just didn’t work. The House That Walt Built is around 12 miles from home which is an easy trip by bike, but depending on when I work and taking public streets, I’m not too sure about that. I can walk to my current job easily no matter when I work. And during peak times, Cast Members sometimes have to park at Anaheim Stadium, meaning leaving home even earlier to get to work. Eh, I like leaving 15 minutes before my shift and getting there in plenty of time like I do now.

And finally, the Disney Look that one must adhere to. I had confirmed with a few Cast Members prior to going to the interview that men with pierced ears are fine and well. I wouldn’t have wasted anyone’s time if they weren’t. The Disney Look was the final topic covered during the interview and I pointed out that I do have pierced ears but hadn’t worn anything in “a long time” which was more like a week. I was told they’d have to heal and close up if I wanted to work there. She asked if I had a tattoo and said yes, but not entirely visible with elbow-length short-sleeve shirts. This wasn’t an issue.

As I said, I’ll take any opportunity that comes my way and I do believe that working there would probably be interesting to say the least. But after much consideration, I decided that I probably will pass on the job should I get the call between now and January 2015. The bullets explain why.

  • Walking to work, when I do, is easy.
  • The boss likes me.
  • I can request time off and have a better chance of getting it where I am now. Also, switching shifts with others is simple.
  • I have pretty reasonable perks, including a quarterly grocery bonus based on how many Points I’ve earned per transaction. In fact, my next bonus is going to be somewhere near $80 and that will come in handy when it arrives.
  • Although I don’t see this happening any time soon, but should I decide to get my ears pierced again or even get a tattoo of an om symbol on my wrist or someplace conspicuous, I can do it and still have a job. Disneyland would let me go.

So there you have it. I’m staying put.

Sorry, Mickey.

Unless, of course, my hours get cut drastically in which case I’ll have to weigh every option possible…

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24 Hours of Disneyland


05-19-14-Event-logo-Starting tomorrow at 6am, Disneyland will be open for 24 hours for those who are brave enough to “rock” their Disney Side.

And although I despise the use of “rock” as a verb for donning any article of clothing and successfully gaining the approval of others and, therefore, really dislike this slogan, I will be there with the family. It’s okay if you think I’m nuts because chances are you’re right.

We’re not going because we’re hardcore Disney fanatics. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, being raised in southern California sort of desensitizes you from the ahhh! factor that mostly everyone outside of the state gets when they hear “Disneyland.” It’s just another stop along the 5 Freeway for us in most cases and our Annual Passports* were bought as a way to kill a few Sundays a year when we had nothing else to do.

But there are exceptions, like those who will be camping out starting at midnight tonight waiting to get in at the precise moment the gates open then partake in a marathon park visit for the next solid day.

That’s not me. While I like Disneyland and all that, let’s get something straight: you will never find me camping outside of anyplace for anything. You just won’t. Unless I’m camping for the sake of camping.

We’re going because we were invited to go by a friend who just spoils us too much, but whose spoiling is so appreciated. We simply cannot repay her for what she’s done and continues to do.

At any rate, here are the details of our visit.

It won’t be the full 24 hours. I am working until 7pm on Friday and Anthony has school, so right away there’s a good portion of the 24 hours cut from our visit. I plan on meeting the family and friends at the park around 8pm provided traffic around the park is not winding down every possible side street like an anaconda.

Lines won’t be an issue for us. While the crowds may be huge and lines long, the one thing those who camped out will still have to do is wait or, as they most likely will do, use a FastPass. Not us. We will once again have our VIP Guide giving us quick access to all attractions. He will be ours from 4pm – 4am so we need to cram in as much fun as we can in those 12 hours. He can also schedule prime seating for everything going on for this special event.

I am going all night. I have made it my quest to uh…rock my Disney Side from the time I arrive until 6am the following morning. I want to see how tired people are as they drag themselves down Main Street. I want to see the sun come up over the Matterhorn or Space Mountain. I want to see World of Color at 3am, ride the Haunted Mansion at midnight, eat a churro at 4:47 in the morning. I’m going to do this, even if the family decides they’ve had enough.

We have a room. If the family chooses to end their quest early, they’ll have a room waiting for them at the Disneyland Hotel. And when I drag myself in there at 6am, I can crash for about 5 then start to pack up for our 11am check-out time.

It will be social. What good would an event like this be without spamming your social network feed with umpteen photos? I plan on posting pictures/tweets on Instagram and/or Twitter at every ride we conquer along with the time we are in line, for as long as my phone’s battery holds a charge, with whatever hashtags are pertinent to the event. #disneyside seems to be the only one I’ve heard of as of now.

I have no idea what we’re in for but rest assured you will see it as it happens on the aforementioned networks. Wish us luck!

And hey, I think I’ll wear this loud shirt from 1990 – Disneyland’s 30th anniversary – to the event.

Or should I *cringe* rock something else?

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*We’ve since abandoned renewing our APs as they because way too much for us. Being unemployed didn’t help matters.

Wordless Wednesday: Mice


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Outside the Disneyland Hotel, where we will be staycationing this June.

The Disneyland VIP Experience


To paraphrase the Walt Disney quote, it was all started by a text.

On Friday afternoon, Ann received a text from longtime friend Colleen (pseudonym). She said she was in town for the week and had a question for her: would you and the family like to join us at Disneyland on Saturday?

We immediately thought, “With what money?” Ann got another text explaining that it was complimentary. Then another stating it would be 100% free. With every text, Ann asked if this would cost us anything.

The conversation ended with Colleen texting, “Ann, I don’t play.”

She also mentioned that it wasn’t just a trip to Disneyland. Colleen had booked a VIP Tour Guide for the duration of her family’s trip. For those who don’t know, a VIP Tour Guide is a Disneyland Cast Member – they wear a blue-and-red plaid vest – who escorts celebrities and other dignitaries around the Park so that they can get immediate access to all attractions.

Meals would also be included. We would pay nothing.

Our jaws dropped. In this, the third day of the new year, we’re getting some incredibly awesome news. This was bigger than getting my picture printed in the newspaper. Big, I tells ya.

Ann confirmed that we would go then asked about parking.

We would park in the valet of the Disneyland Hotel and charge it to Colleen’s room. Well, okay then…

Ann called Colleen ahead of our arrival so that she could meet us at the hotel. By the time the car was taken by the valet attendant, she was waiting for us.  She said that her family was still eating breakfast and asked if we could wait which is exactly what we did. Once finished, we met them outside the hotel and wandered over to Disneyland.

It was a horrible trip: maybe a quarter-mile walk through Downtown Disney. The Monorail, adjacent to the hotel, could have taken us but it was down for temporary maintenance. I wasn’t complaining.

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Blogging 365, Day 54: Long Day


UPDATE: The video is now up! Go to bottom of post!

Indeed it was.

I woke up at 4:30 am, took a shower, got dressed, had a little breakfast, put the bike on the bike rack, hopped on the train, got to Chinatown, rode my bike almost 30 miles…and by the time I got home, it was nearly 3 pm. So here I am, exhausted.

Anyway, here’s the day in pictures since I’m pooped. I am having trouble uploading the video of me lighting the firecrackers but when I can do it, I will post it. I had a great time doing that and riding today.

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Union Station is incredibly awesome. So many movies, shows and commercials were filmed here.

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Chinatown

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Waiting for the event. I got there way early.

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My bike.

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Firefighter giving us tips on lighting. We had to wear helmets and goggles and when the firecrackers went off, even where we were standing, the debris was hitting us. We also had an option to wear earplugs which I did.

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Near the top of one of the many hills we had to climb.

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Dodger Stadium, still looking as great as ever (even under construction).

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Pit Stops were set up every 10 miles with goodies like this, fruit, peanut butter, and water.

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Warner Bros. Studios Gate 2. I worked here when I was on The Whole Truth.

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Roy E. Disney Animation Building.

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Walt Disney Studios. I worked there when I was on No Ordinary Family.

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River sans bike trail. We rode along another river.

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With my medal. It was pretty small. Here’s a better view.

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I don’t drink beer but I thought I’d try. And to this day, I don’t know what compels people to drink that garbage. It’s awful stuff (but was free to all riders after the tour).

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Even got a free meal afterward. And Chinese food in Chinatown? Nothing compares.

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All in all, it was a beautiful day and a great event with awesome volunteers. Thanks to all of them, the organizers, and to the LAPD for keeping traffic in check while we rode along.

I’m pretty sure it’s time for bed now. I’m sure you would be ready too if you did this today.

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UPDATE: Here’s the video!