Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Day!

Yesterday was the Rock Your Disney Side 24-Hour Event at Magic Kingdom. The park was open from 6am-6am, and my shift was from 3:45 pm-5:15 am. Obviously, I survived. I went into the shift not knowing what to expect. I wasn’t 100% looking forward to it, but I wasn’t 100% dreading it either. Never having been a part of this kind of event and hearing other cast members talk about it, I was a little anxious that it would be completely insane. It really wasn’t! I’m sure if I worked in Fantasyland or Main Street it would be another story.

ย 

I didn’t have a single angry or upset guest. Everyone I talked to was so nice and friendly and fun. It was like EMH but busy. I got to interact with a lot of people and see some really neat costumes. I kept a notebook in my back pocket and kept track of how many different costumes I saw. Of course I missed some like when I was in Tower and couldn’t add tally marks to characters, but it’s still a lengthy list. This doesn’t count the little girls dressed from the Bippity Boppity Boutique or boys from the Pirates League, or the easy Disneybounding outfits. These are obvious COSTUMES that people but a lot of effort into.

I’m sick of seeing Ariel. I saw SEVENTEEN Ariel costumes. Not counting the girls who just put on a purple shirt and green pants and called it Ariel. No. I was sure I would see more Elsa and Annas than I did Ariels and Belles, but I was mistaken. But the character I didn’t plan on seeing but hoped I would was Jim Hawkins. Oh, Jim Hawkins. My number-one fictional, animated boyfriend. He is the reason that I suffer from Toonophilia. I sure wish I could have done a “Magical Moment” and gone on a private boat ride with him.

I was out front and talked to Thor, Wendy, and Rosetta for a while. Their brother, apparently, had been Peter Pan earlier in the day but had changed clothes. I was making fun of him for “Growing up” instead of staying Peter Pan forever, and he had the greatest excuse I’ve ever heard, “My tights were hurting me!” Not ten seconds after they went into the queue, he runs into a chain and breaks it. I went back over to him and agreed that he really is the mischief-making Peter Pan, tights or not.

Also, while I was at merge, a guest came through with his Fastpass and just as he went down the Starboard queue, touched my shoulder and said, “Thanks so much for working so hard tonight” with the most sincerity I’ve heard from a guest. I still had a long way to go in my shift at that point, but everyone was just as kind to me for the entire 13 hours I was there. I also had two frat boys tell me “You’re like a fuckin’ firework!” because I had rotated to another position when I saw them a second time and they were surprised that I’d just shown up somewhere different.

Usually in a shift that long, I can be sure to go to nearly, if not every position. Surprisingly, I was there 8 hours before I finally went to Tower. I never went to Fastpass Return, never went to Starboard Load or Starboard Grouper, never went to Unload 1 (only spent about 20 minutes picking boats at Unload during final rotation) never went to Registration out at the game, and only spent about 20 minutes at the game as Greeter. I spent a lot of time up at Mast and the Port load area, which was fine with me because I got to talk to a lot of people that way.

Laughter for Marvel humor. #HailHydra
Every time I walked into the break room there was more food!

The characters I saw:

Jim Hawkins-1
Timothy Mouse-1
Flynn Rider-1
Robin Hood and Maid Marion-1
Beast-1
Jafar-1
Thor-1
Yoda-1
Captain Hook-1
Totoro-1
Orange Bird-1
Tiger Lily-1
ย Gender-bent Anastasia and Drizella-1
Gender-bent Hercules-1
Angelica “Blackbeard’s Daughter”-1
Boo-1
Prince Charming-1
Kristoff-1
Batman-1
Joker-1
Jasper-1
Horace-1
Troll-1
Hercules-1
Edna-1
Michael Darling-1
Gaston-1
Walt Disney-1
Will Turner-1
Rosetta-1
Darth Vader-1
Eeyore-1
Fix-It Felix-1
Lone Ranger-1
Wheezy-1
John Smith-1
Merida-1
Kida-1
Tigger-1
Hans-1
Gadget-1
Gender-bent Loki-1
Gender-bent Cruella-1
Gender-bent Hades-1
Vanessa-1
Superman-1
Princess Leia-1
Pain and Panic-1
Donald Duck-2
Kim Possible-2
Luke Skywalker-2
Captain America-2
Wreck-It Ralph-2
Stinky Pete-2
Megara-2
Mike Wazowski-2
Anastasia and Drizella-2
Dr. Facilier-2
Bo Peep-2
Mr. Smee-2
7 Dwarves-2
John Darling-3
Kronk-3
Evil Queen-3
Pocahontas-3
Yzma-3
Dalmatians-3
Prince Phillip-3
Mary Poppins-3
Aladdin-3
Sally-3
Mad Hatter-3
Jessie-3

Ursula-3
Cinderella-3
Vanellope Von Schweetz-3
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum-4
Tony Stark-4
Alice-4
White Rabbit-4
Esmerelda-4
Stitch-4
The Incredibles-4
Wendy Darling-4
Russell/Wilderness Explorer-4
Cruella DeVille-5
Jasmine-5
Buzz Lightyear-5
Woody-5
Aurora/Briar Rose-6
Lilo-6
Minnie and Mickey-6
Captain Jack Sparrow-6

Anna-6
Elsa-7
Rapunzel-8
Prince Eric-8
Belle-9
Tinkerbell-9
Peter Pan-10
Snow White-11
Ariel-17

#PirateRideIsLikeACake

Pirates of the Caribbean is a 40 year old ride. Not only is the ride old, but it’s also haunted by a temperamental ghost named George. The last several days, we’ve suffered multiple downtimes, several of which were by unknown causes. Lots of complaints have been made to leadership and maintenance, and for a while it seemed that nothing was being done to fix the issues that our four-day refurb didn’t seem to touch–in fact, to us, it seemed to be worse than ever. Boats are doing weird things, phantom work lights turn on for no reason and the computer still thinks they’re off, something crawled in the a/c at the game and died, not to mention all the guest-caused downtimes that happen on the regular.

During Track Talk on Saturday, our leader, Chris, began with this:

“We know there are things happening with the pirate ride. The pirate ride is like a cake. It’s like this: you buy a cake, you take a bite and think, ‘This doesn’t taste quite right,’ but you don’t know what it is. So you have your friend taste it, they say, ‘You’re right, it doesn’t taste right but I don’t know why.’ You take it to the place you got it and have them taste it. They say, ‘It doesn’t taste right, but we can’t put our finger on it. Go to the bakery and see if they’ve done anything different with the recipe.’ So you take it to the bakery to have them taste it. They say they make the cake the exact same way they always have. They go check if their ingredients are from the same place and so on.”

He went on to explain that our problem(s) are like that: we’ve done the same thing, and have no idea WHAT the problem is, all we know is there IS a problem. At least now we know that higher-ups aren’t completely ignoring our complaints. There are still visual problems with the ride that is embarrassing to us as Cast Members, but mechanically there is something being done.