Disney Mania

Friday, June 16, 2006

Silence Is Not Just Golden...It's Priceless

Out of my many experiences at Disney World I think there is one that can't ever be matched. The opportunity to be virtually the only one in the park. There were somedays that my shift would extend and hour after the Animal Kingdom closed to do a closing sweep after the guests have left. As the guests would leave, it would slowly get more quiet. When almost all the guest and many of the employees had left, it was so quiet that you could hear the crickets chirping, the birds singing, the ambient music playing in the bushes, and I would pause for a moment on one of the bridges and watch the sun set into the horizon. I felt like the park was my own and that I was the only one there. It was a wonderful gift to be give to have that experience. I have also been in the Magic Kingdom for a College Program party and me and my friends were the only ones left in the park. We just sat and watched the colored lights change on Cinderella Castle. It was so magical indeed. I walked with one of my roommates as he was doing a closing check at EPCOT, and again, the silence of the park is something no guest could pay for. It was marvelous to just sit there and be with your thoughts and ponder far beyond imagination.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Secret Passages?

I'm sure many people know, but there are still many that don't know about the tunnels below the Magic Kingdom. Most guest don't care because they come to see what's on the surface. But back in the days when Walt was alive, the Magic Kingdom was built to reduce cost of building space. The network of tunnels is how the cast members and characters get around. How else did you think Mickey could be in one spot and then suddenly be in another spot. Actually there are multiple characters. Inside some of the buildings is office space or living quarters to, again, conserve space. I enjoyed using them as a cast member to beat the crowd sometimes. It was fun to go through doors that guests didn't know about, kind of like a secret passage. However, EPCOT, Disney Studios, and the Animal Kingdom were not built like that. Their "backstage" is hidden by a gate. Disney used billions of dollars by not following the same pattern as the Magic Kingdom.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Room Inspection

We lived in Chatham Square while on the college program. It's owned by Disney World as well as some others that they use for the college program. About once a month they would do a room inspection in our apartments. They noted the condition that it's in, if maintenance needed to be done, check any pest contol needs, and make sure overall that you're not bustin' the place up, breaking the rules. Luckily many of us liked to be clean and tidy in the first place. Our roommate Aron was our lead man; he'd make sure the place was spotless. Through out our inspections, one of the ladies said that it was the first time she ever saw an apartment with eight guys so clean and to receive a reward for it. See, each time you had a superior check on your apartment, they gave us little rewards. They got bigger and better each time they checked us off. The first thing we got was a "Clean Room Club" pin as shone in the picture. We also got an "aplaus-o-gram" which is a really good compliment and goes on your permanent record. God job, boys!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Oh George!

When we first arrived at our apartment, Randy, Jason and I, we checked out the four rooms to see which one we wanted. Three of our roommate had already been there, but were not there themselves. The first room we went in had a little Lilo and Stitch shrine. It had recently come out and I guess this guy loved it. The next room was kind of messy with all his stuff spread all over. The other room that had been occupied looked well kept. He had a picture of himself with girl that he took to what appeared to be a school dance. Randy didn't want to end up with some wierdo and thought this guy looked okay. Jason and I dibs the room that wasn't occupied. We are both LDS and thought it would be nice to share a room with someone that shares the same beliefs. By the end of the day we meet our other roommates and George was Randy's. Turns out that he deciede to be homosexual, which I don't support, but I don't condem him as a person. He once kissed me on the cheek and I made it clear never to do that again. He was really funny at times, but often thought he was the badest thing that landed in Florida. While we were working at Disney World, he managed to burn a hole in a cookie sheet, kick a hole in our wall, and light the oven on fire. All we could say is, "Oh George."
Another Selection For Your Gee Wiz Collection:
When Walt told his wife that he wanted to build an amusement park, she asked why and stated that they were so dirty. He responded, "That's the point! Mine wouldn't be."

Friday, June 09, 2006


One of the funniest things that happened while working at Disney World was when my friends and I went to eat at Crystal Palace in the Magic Kindom. It all started out when we were on Splash Mountain. They have songs playing while on the ride and there was one part that we didn't understand very well. We thought it said, "Pretty good smoking a bong." Others guessed it was, "Pretty good sure as you're born." We thought neither of them made perfect sense so we started making bets on it and the loser would buy the winner dinner at Crystal Palace. So we called everyone we knew to see if they knew what the words were. It turned out that it was, "Pretty good sure as you're born." We all went to Crystal Palace and had a wonderful meal. While you eat, there are four Disney characters walking around. They are Winnie the Pooh, Pilet, Tigger, and Eyore. We got on a discussion trying to determine whether Piglet was a boy or a girl. When the Piglet character came by, we asked him. Piglet lifted his costume as if he were checking his own gender. Then looked at us and shrugged. We all bust up laughing. It's great that those characters have a sense of humor. We unanimously decided that Piglet is definitely a boy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Chatham Square Marti Gras

Another fun activity we had was during Marti Gras at our appartment complex, Chatham Square, while I was on the disney college program. They are good at continually catering to their college program students. In the field in our complex they set up all sorts of activities. Most games you would see at a carnival. They gave us tickets for food and to do some of the games. I got my face painted with my friend Rachel. They also had a DJ playing music. It was kind of funny to see the groups taste in music. When they would play hip hop, those that loved hip hop would dance to it and some others would not. When they played pop or rock, those that loved that music would start dancing and the others would stop. At least they tried to please everybody. Like I said, they are good at catering to all of us from all walks of life.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Mouse

"It all began with a mouse." That is one of Disney's infamous lines in rememberance of what Walt Disney had created. From his imagination to giant theme parks over the world Walt's legacy and his imagination lives on. Yes, it did begin with a mouse. Mickey Mouse, that is. On November 18th, 1928 he, Mickey, began his 68 years of fame in his first production Steamboat Willie. Of course he has evolved much like the rest of the world. But every good mouse has a great mouse at his side. Minnie, his long life companion has stuck with him through thick and thin. What a pair they make. At his birth, he almost took on a different name. Mortimer Mouse was what they wanted to call the little guy, but Walt felt that didn't quite fit a mouse with such ambitions. He knew this mouse was going places and he needed a name that was a proper fit to his soon to be life style. Mickey was chosen and has become known world wide. Here to a good man, a good mouse, and many years to come! Cheers!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Disney Quest

During the first week we were at Disney World on the College Program, we got the opportunty to go to Downtown Disney and go inside Disney Quest. Disney Quest is a four story building full of all sorts of games, many of them video or arcade games. I felt like a kid, not just in a candy store, but in a candy store with loads of money. The great thing is once you pay to get in, all the games are free. I went will almost all my roommates and another guy that we made friends with while we were there. One of our favorite games was a Pirate's of the Caribbean game. You're on a boat and the screens all around you look like the ocean. One person steers and you have places for sick people at cannons. We would have competitions amongst our group to see who the better pirates were. We compared scores at the end. All in all it was so much fun. I highly recommend Disney Quest for someone of any age.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Kali River Rapids

Are you ready to get wet! The Kali River Rapids at the Animal Kindom is your refresher to nice hot sun and humid air. I recall when I went on it with some of my roommate, one of them was named Keith. He always knew what it was like to have a good time. He was ready to get soaked. One part of the ride in the river slides down a steep gradient and at the bottom you hit a pool of water. He side of the raft was facing down hill so when we hit the bottom, I remember seeing him disappear under a wave of water. Sometimes when the weather would cool down and the temperature would be below comfortable for water activities, I noticed the guest from England still going on the ride. I guess they are just use to the cold water where they come from.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Darwin, Darwin, and Darwin

One thing I like about my name is how unique it is. There are not very many people that have the name Darwin, but there are a few. I've heard of a few older gentleman with that name, but none my age. Every time some met a Darwin that knew me, as soon as they saw me they would explain they met another Darwin. This name recognition happened often while working at Disney World. The first was when I asked a family if they would like me to take their picture for them so they could all be in it. One of the little girls saw my name, tugged on her mom's pants and pointed at my name tag. Her mom saw my name and said, "Oh look, just like on The Wild Thornberries." Another time was when I was sweeping near the Flight's of Wonder, a bird show at the Animal Kingdom. I was chatting with another cast member when I here a lady in the Flights of Wonder say into her microphone, "I would like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Darwin!" I spun around thinking all these people were going to be staring at me, but she was talking about an owl she was presenting. But the one I thought topped them all was when I guest asked me to take his picture with his friends. He saw my name tag and said, "Your name is Darwin?" I replied an affirmitive. He said, "My name is also Darwin!" It was neat to meet someone with my same name that was my same age.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Protein Spill? What's That?

At Disney World we like to keep a neutral profile, or let me say, a place where guest may have a wonderful time in a wonderful environment. As cast members we use some codes to not let guests worry when the lions have escaped from their cages. Don't worry folk, it's not that serious. Any way, one of my favorite codes that I thought was funny was "protein spill" it means that some one has spilled their protein, or in other words, thrown up somewhere in the park. As gross as that sounds, it's a real snap to clean up. There is a chemical called Voban that we sprinkle on the spill and let it soak in. It absorbs and refreshes the smell to something more pleasent. Then we sweep it up, wash out our pan and broom and whalah! The jobs a game! I think popcorn spills are worse because when you try to sweep them up, it breaks up the popcorn and makes a mess. It's hard to get all the little pieces.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Jason's First Day

One of the funnest things about being on the Disney college program is having our days off. We got two days off in a row during the week. On those days we would go to the parks and have a blast. The first time I went I was so excited. I hadn't been to Disney World since about 1989. We got a wheelchair for my roommate Jason, the one I met at the airport, to take him around the parks. You see, on his first day of work, he said he was so excited running to catch the bus that he wasnt' paying attention to where he was stepping. He steps on the edge of the sidewalk and twisted his ankle. He said it was sore but he still stood on it all day at work. When he got home and took a look at it, it was so swollen, black and blue. The poor guy, however, it was sort of a benefit to us. While we pushed him around the parks in wheelchair, we got to take him down the fastpass/wheelchair line, which passes the long lines. So we got to ride twice as many rides in half the time. What a trooper, Jason took one for the team.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Disney College Program

I thought I would mention a little bit about my time at Disney when I participated in their college program. Recruiters come to universities and colleges all over the United States. You listen to their presentation and then interview like a normal job. (If you plan on doing it, I suggest you be very peppy in your interview and say you love to work with people. They like to hear that.) There is a whole list of job you can be assigned to. I did custodial and I thought it would be the worst job but it turned out to be the best. Like I may have mentioned I got to be around the guests and not stuck behind a ride. I was excited to go down there. I met a couple of guess at the Orlando airport when we arrived, both whom I had seen at the Salt Lake and Las Vegas airports as well. We ended up being roommates. along with five other guys. We began as the best of friends the first few weeks. (Time has a way of letting people get to know each other too much.) Natuarlly there was a bit of drama, which is expected when eight strangers start living together, but in the end, we are all still very good friends even though some of us don't keep in touch. "Friends come and go with the few that remain."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hidden Mickey

Do you know what a Hidden Mickey is? If you have been to any of the Disney parks, I'm sure you were bound to pass a few. Hidden Mickeys are placed all over the park by the Imagineers or others that help build the parks. They are plced in places where they are not likely to be notice unless you know where to look. It actually becomes a hobbie for many Disney fans, much like pin trading. When I was working in the Animal Kingsdom, I continually wondered what the birth mark was on the hippo that is on the Tree of Life. It finally hit me that it was a Mickey profile. I found another one on accident while riding the Splash Mountain ride. The fishing bobbers are placed in a Mickey profile. Also check out the plates in the Haunted Mansion. There are literally thousands of them all over.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Disney's Castaway Cay

The next day we landed at Disney's own island, Castaway Cay. It was so beautiful. It was wonderful to have an island all to ourselves, just the guests on the Disney Cruise. They made the island perfect. Palm trees were planted just right so they could hang hammocks up all along the beach. It is seperated in to the family beach and the adult beach if they don't want to be around all the children. The water was absolutely warm and crystal clear. I recommend you bring snorkling equipment. There is much to do: water skiing, parasailing, snorkling, swimming, sunbathing, and again, we made sand creatures. We made a turtle and a dolphin. Everyone thought it was so cool. A little girl wanted to make her own so she mad a small simple dolphin. She was adorable. The food was most excellent. What a dream it would be to live there. One of Disney's logo is, "If you can dream it, you can do it." "It all started with a mouse."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Paradise Island

The next day on the Disney cruise, we made buff at Nassau early in the morining. We could tell where we were from our stateroom by our television. There where channels that showed where the ship was on a map and another that showed a view from a camera on the top deck. We spent the day walking the streets declining all sorts of trinkets from the residence there. I believe they make their living of tourism. There was a part of it that made me sad to see all these rich folks stroll among all these poor folks that sell necklaces, clothes, blankets, etc. for just a couple of bucks. The other sad thing about it is that you can bargin the price in half because more often than not, they will take what they can get. We made our way to a transport boat to Paradise Island, an island just shortly to the northeast of Nassau. It is a beautiful place. On the island lies the popular resort Atlantis. It almost seems as if it was the lost treasure of Atlantis. One of it's rooms is a bridge that connects the two buildings. That suite cost the big bucks, usually only used by royalty or celebrities. The beaches were great. Crystal clear water; heaven on Earth. While we were on the beach, we made sand creatures that eventually got washed away by the waves. That evening we returned to the ship for a wonderful meal.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Disney Cruise Line

If you have been on a cruise before, you may know the excitement that I had while on the Disney Cruise. It was the coolest trip I've ever been on. When I got on board they asked my last name. Once I told them, the cast member (disney employee) announced in the mircophone, "Let's welcome the Deming's aboard the Disney Wonder." Many cast members in the lobby started to applaud. I felt like a king! As soon as we got on, we headed to the beach blanket buffet. I'm not sure how to describe it in one word except for WOW! So much food and only a little amount of stomach space. I couldn't even sample all that was there because of the quantity. One remarkable, artistic item we saw were watermelons with designs and flowers cut into them. We set off to sea out of Port Canavral watching a few dolphins and sea turtles swimming aside the ship. When the horn blew to make way, the horn plays the first two measures of "When You Wish Upon a Star". The top of the ship had three different pools; one for children, one for families, and one for the adults. At the bow there was a basket ball half court. It was chessy yet fun to do a reinactment of the movie Titanic at the front of the ship. The restaurants on board were excellent. The service was spectacular. On waiter started doing some magic tricks. I think my favorite part was to be on the top deck at night looking at the stars, the twilight of the horizion, the depths of the ocean, the wind on my face, and standing next to a pretty girl. Our destination: The Bahamas, so stay tuned.
Another Selection For Your Gee Wiz Collection:
Disney owns two cruise ships: One named Magic and the other named Wonder.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

DAK: Disney's Animal Kingdom

One of the greatest things about having a job at Disney World is the particular job you had. I'm sure we would all like to get the pay that Mike Eisner or Al Weiss gets, but they don't get the fun of mingling with the guests. My job was custodial. Most people thougth that would be the worst job you could get but I thought it was the best. Maybe I'm just biased. Even thought I had to sweep up trash, empty the cans, and clean up protein spills (puke), I still had the opportunity to walk around the park, and not get stuck behind some consession stand or ride. I also could talk freely with the people instead of having some memorized dialog to regurgitate over and over. My roommate drove the safari trucks on the kilimanjaro safari ride. I wanted to do that so bad, but after a while he said he got sick of it. When I asked how work went, he would reply sarcasticly, "Oh, I drove around in circles again all day!" Us custodial cast members (as we were called) were the network of finding lost children, since we were walking all over the park anyway. It was a blast, every minute of it.
Another Selection For Your Gee Wiz Collection:
The day of the year that has most guests at Disney World is on Easter. Most people are off work, and other will skip religious services for a vacation. Christmas comes in second place.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Disneyland's 40 Years of Adventure

One of the greatest memories and experiences I've had was when my family when to Disneyland in July of 1995. The 17th was Disneyland's 4oth anniversary and we hit it right on time. My mom, a microbiologist for the BYU Health Center, had a conference there for a week, so for six days we got to play in the park. It was remarkable, magical, and more excitement than we've ever hoped for. On the monorail from the Disney Hotel to the park, they handed out birthday hats to all aboard. The first 500 or so people into the park through the gates got free T-shirts. They handed out cupcakes for free all day. I'm not sure how long it lasted, maybe all month, but for at least the week we were there. I loved staying there all day, and when we got tired, we went back to the hotel, and then later back to the park. It stayed open until late at night and we took in all that we could. Our favorite family activity was to translate all the writings on the walls of the Indiana Jones ride. If you wanna know, ask me what it says. The Lion King parade was magnificent. There wasn't a part of it that wasn't. I'd love to return because now they've added California Adventure and Downtown Disney. I can't believe It was 11 years ago. I'm getting old, but never to old for a wonderland. One of the greatest excitements of all was a time capsule they buried and they will open it in another 40 years. I've made an oath to myself that I'll take my family back there on that day to see what is taken out the day I saw it put in. Have a magical day!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Disney World Resort: Disney's Animal Kingdom

My philosophy is that we are all children. Some are just a little older than others. (Some much older than others.) What better place to work than a playground. I had the opportunity to work at Disney World in Disney's Animal Kingdom. You might say that I had a wild time there. It was through the Disney College Program. Recruiters come to a variety of colleges and univerities in the nation to hire students for this internship. While working at the park you can also take classes at the Disney University. I bet less than 1 in 1000 people knew Disney World had a University. If you go long enough you might graduate with a Mouseters degree or a Ducktorate. :) Just a little Disney humor there. Working there was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I could tell you stories until your ears fell off of all the good times we had. If you need any vacation tips, you know who to call on. If you are a student and you need a break from college I suggest you try out their college program. Fairy tales and pixie dust not your thing? You can always go to Universal Studios, Sea World, Cape Canavral, or many of the beach to the not so far east and west.
Now for your Gee Wiz Collection of the day:
The Kilamanjaro Safari Ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom is 106 square acres. That is big enough to contain all of Disney's Magic Kindom park. The size of Disney's Animal Kingdom is so large, it could hold the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Disney Studios (MGM), and all their parking within it's boarders. Stay tuned next time for more.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Hi this is my first post. Well, it is my first day at work at 10XMedia in Provo Utah. I needed a summer job since I don't get workstudy in the summer. I've been working with some of my professors on campus and have done some research with them previously. I wrote part of a report for the State Department on Utah Lake: Mineral Resources and Hydrocarbon Potenial. Last summer I did some research in Santaquin about fractures and stresses in the metamorphic complex there to see if there was any relation to the Wasatch Fault.
In truth, I feel a little like Josh Baskin played by Tom Hanks in the movie "Big" when he grows up and he gets a job working with computers. I'm learning all sorts of things I never new about the internet, computers, and the whole works. We work in connection with real estate agents. One such place to visit if you don't mind hurricane weather is Ormond Beach, Fl. It's a great little place just north of Daytona Beach. Enjoy the environment but stay out of the crowd, am I right folks. Heck, Disney World is just down the road. Next time I'll talk to you about when I worked there. Loved it!!!