Have you bought your candy? Decorated the house? All Hallows eve is just around the corner, and MiceChat is ready! This week’s Round-Up is full of fun and haunting reports, even one from yours truly. Plus we have the latest Sarah and Matt videos, and while some people are focused on lead in the Disney parks, Al found out the Disney company even farms here in the L.A. area. Who knew? - CakvalaSC
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Needless to say, thanks to the news, I got a lot of questions this past week about lead levels in the parks. What surprised me most about the whole brouhaha though was the Disneyland PR spokes-flack, who apparently spaced where she worked, and went into global thermo-nuclear war mode with the Times over it.
Now if anyone understands just how difficult a Disneyland's PR Flack job can be, it's probably yours truly. While there's a lot of cush to the job, thanks to the uncritical mode much of the media fall into because of the Disney aura, (and all the exclusives they like to give out that help silence a lot of the minor stuff), there are those times they have a lot to deal with, and it can get hectic. Still, managing Disneyland PR properly in crisis mode isn't brain surgery. The key to it is comprehending the overall positive aura and collective history of the place, and understanding how to leverage it to focus away from the crisis and get the best light put back onto the happiest place on earth.
The one PR technique any Disney Flack usually lives by is "distraction." It's about changing the focus from a negative situation to something the company does better with. Sample script: "Sure, it's simply awful/heartbreaking/dispiriting that said unpleasant event involved the park/recalled product/latest teen star," (insert breathless pause for effect here) "But did you know the Disney company is into farming? Yes, farming! Who knew our agricultural efforts went beyond the back side of Epcot?" See what I mean? Everybody else is talking about lead, but here instead is another interesting company effort the reporter can be distracted with.
I couldn't resist...
As you've guessed by now, all of the above is a roundabout way to get to the real subject of today's Round-Up piece; how the Mouse diligently makes sure all the execs are supplied with fresh produce for all those power lunches. "Holy radicchio," you must be saying to yourself, who knew Disney grew and harvested greens at the Studios' Golden Oak Ranch property in Newhall for use in the cafeterias at the various Disney outposts around Burbank/Glendale. (All so they can tout the "locally grown" label that is so hip and trendy now.)
Glendale locations include the WDI and Grand Central Creative Campuses, as well as the KABC-TV production center nearby. In Burbank there are two delivery spots; the main cafeteria/executive dining room at the Studios, and the cafeteria at the Animation building off of Riverside Drive. Much of it ends up in salad bars, but it is also used in creating the various menus rotated through the entree' stations each week.
The interesting angle for us here is that not a leaf of it gets down to Anaheim. While the Cast Member cafeterias at the Resort have improved marginally over the truly dreadful near-prison quality they had until 2009, (mostly to a long overdue physical remodeling), there's nothing so fancy being used to try and serve healthy meals for Anaheim employees. In the cafeterias there it's still mainly a diet of greasy cheeseburgers, industrial-grade/high-fat TexMex, and anything frozen they can throw in the deep fryer like chicken fingers, fries and corn dogs.
The Eat Ticket white-collar cafeteria for TDA workers out back offers a slightly fresher menu than the stuff sold backstage in the parks and hotels, and a few hourly CMs from Toontown or Fantasyland have been known to sneak back there when it's open for a few hours on weekdays only. The perception from Burbank is that Disney's employee base in Anaheim is too working-class and unsophisticated to respond to "locally grown" fresh produce or the trendy and healthier meals the chefs in the Burbank and Glendale cafeterias make each day.
...everybody sing along now: Veggie, Veggie, Fruit, Fruit!
An irony here is that earlier this year Burbank's Human Resources group gathered stats that prove the already obvious; Disney's employees in Anaheim are dramatically heavier and sicker than the corporate average. The latest round of this HR information-gathering on Anaheim health statistics is going on right now through what are called Personal Health Assesment tests where salaried and full-time hourly Cast Members around the Disneyland Resort are scheduled sessions to be checked out by nurses and have a battery of basic medical tests performed on them.
Those scary results should be sobering for Burbank's HR team who know healthier employees are less expensive. And yet there's still quite a disconnect between Burbank and Anaheim, and the assumption is that the Anaheim employees would not know what to make of fresh Bok Choy or Parsnips and that a lunch of frozen corn dogs, greasy fries and a Coke is all Anaheim employees can afford or deserve on their rushed 30 minute lunch break.
Would Elf Land fit in next to Cars Land?
One final note today: As mentioned in an Editors Note last week, a new two minute long Christmas pre-show will be arriving at World of Color on November 11th using the Prep & Landing Elf characters. But don't think TDA has given up on the full-fledged Christmas show for World of Color. That concept is so promising, and both Steve Davison and TDA's executives are so excited about its prospects, that it's now been slotted in for a debut next holiday season as part of DCA's huge relaunch. (All those color lights! Maybe we can hope for a massive aluminum Christmas tree!)
We'll have more in next Tuesday's update about that massive relaunch strategy running through 2013, and how TDA plans to re-introduce DCA and the entire Resort to varying customer demographics from Texas to Australia. - Al
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We have several more HalloweenTime trip reports this week. Then settle in for a couple of time-lapse videos from Disneyland and DCA. Then we take a trip to Yesterland via the Disneyland Hotel! ~ Aladdin
Happy Haunting, everyone! Halloween is almost here and even MiceAge is decorated for it! Are you ready for the onslaught of ghouls and ghosts and Captain Americas? It’s been a slow idea and rumor month, but we have a couple of posts to share with you this week. As always, please keep posting your rumors and ideas because they might just make next week’s ‘spooktacular’ Round-Up! Turn off the lights when you leave! :) -Demigod-
Tomorrowland > Discoveryland?
New MiceChat member RocketJet feels that the only way to ‘fix’ Tomorrowland is to just replace it with Discoveryland. What do you think?
The A/V Room
Sarah has her newest MiceChatter video posted...
...as well as our newest MiceTube videoblog contributor, Matt,
a.k.a. infaMOUSEproject with his latest cHATBOX...
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While many of our beloved MiceChatters have come and gone in Walt Disney World and are now cruising on the Disney Dream, that doesn't mean the WDW forum is idle. Cruise and trip questions, plus some rumors in the mill are things to look for this week. ~yoyoflamingo
Disney Cruise? - WDW Trip Planning
The Disney Cruise line now sails from New York (Yay!) While there is a one day stop in Walt Disney World, divaincantare asks if that is even possible. Share your theories and stories here!
Fantasmic! to be replaced/reworked ???
A pipe dream or reality? Will WDW's long in the tooth and short on the updates version of Disneyland's perennial classic be reworked in the near future? And what does it have to do with a new Magic Kingdom parade? Read the connection, and voice your views on Fantasmic here.
10/25: Patch of Blue
Kevin Yee sees the Blue Man group at Universal City Walk and has a video slide show of Walt Disney World.
10/25: Food & Wine and Fees Orlando Parkhopper is back with coverage of a night of fun at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, a big group of MiceChatters descending upon Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival and some changes are being implemented now when you want to make dining reservations. Also covered are Busch Gardens, Halloween Horror Nights and Legoland. The Parkhopper team is ready to fill you in on the latest in the Orlando parks!
10/24: Getting Ready for the Holidays Dateline Disneyland starts your week off with a big update! Last week was a busy one for Disneyland's PR flacks as they scrambled to address allegations of unsafe lead levels and reports of "electronic whips". Holiday decorations are starting to go up in New Orleans Square as some details were given on new menus the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Café and the expanded Carnation Café. At California Adventure, construction is getting underway on new facades along Buena Vista Street as the 12-acre Cars Land project continues to see progress with ride vehicle testing.
10/22: Aulani – A Place For Kids To Play And Adults To Get Away
Disney's Aulani was built with families in mind. Think that it's impossible to find alone time with the kids around? Aulani has activities and programs designed to occupy your kids for a few hours or even the whole day. Meanwhile, you can relax at the beach, have a romantic dinner or visit the world class spa. Explore Aulani with us . . .
10/22: Mary Blair at 100, LEGOLAND Florida, Busch Gardens Florida's Legoland opened the Weekend Update has you covered. While new, the park goes to great lengths to preserve its Cypress Gardens heritage. Also this weekend, SummerInFL is our resident expert on Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, plus it was also the 100th anniversary of Disney artist, Mary Blair's, Birthday. MiceChatter Igrules, was in Hollywood honoring the mother of It's a Small World and who's art direction helped shape the Disney look.
10/21: Disneyland Parties, Cars Land Detail, Halloween Round Up
In The Parks brings us more photos and news from Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's, Sea World and beyond. Passholder parties are a hit. Cars Land construction updates. Disneyland Hotel construction progress. List of Southern Californa's top Halloween activities.
10/21: Cypress Gardens Before and After LEGOLAND Florida Werner Weiss takes a look at the brand new LEGOLAND Florida park which sits on the former site of Cypress Gardens. See how it was then and now and what's been saved and what is now a part of theme park history.
10/20: Set A Course For Adventureland Once you pass over the bridge and walk through the gateway of Disneyland's Adventureland, you will be transported to an exotic, fully immersive environment. This cramped corridor at the edge of civilization is loaded with texture and layers of history. Join SAMLAND for a journey into the deepest darkest corners of this mysterious port of call. Let’s explore the world of Adventureland.
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