Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Short 3-Hour Park Visit °o°

Since I am heading out to Ohio tomorrow morning for a five day visit with my folks, Mark and I decided to make a run to the Magic Kingdom for an early afternoon of pixie dust. The day turned out to be very busy, and alas, we were not willing to wait 80 minutes to ride anything so it was just a nice walking tour today. Fast passes were worthless because the only one available before 8pm was the Haunted Mansion, and it turns out the fast-pass line was backed up so much it would have taken 30 minutes just to get to the entrance!

Don't forget, these are really BIG pics... if you want to see them in more detail, just click.

While Mark was waiting in the 20-minute long Fast Pass Plus Kiosk (!), I noticed that they were finally operating the horse drawn trolleys. They had not been operating them since we arrived in December. I got a nice shot of the horse and his "hidden" (or not-so-hidden) Mickeys.

We wandered on down Main Street where I couldn't resist a few shots of the castle. The sky was amazingly beautiful today, and provided a nice contrast.  I am planning on making this my next drawing, so I've been taking close up shots from as many angles as I can so I can really focus on the details when I start to sketch it out. I really appreciated the shiny roof shingles in these photos. Gorgeous.

After we walked through the castle, we decided to check in on progress of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride.  There was a lot of activity going on, and the Imagineers even waved at us as we invaded their privacy with our cameras!

I walked over to the other side of the same bridge just to take a quick photo.  The bridge you see here is the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant.

We were ready for a bite to eat so we popped in to Gaston's Tavern and shared a pork shank (Mark's favorite quick-serve item), and a LeFou's brew (which is an apple juice and peach smoothie).  We chuckled when we saw this older man entertaining himself by reading his John Grisham novel.  You're at Disney World, MAN!

After eating, we strolled over to the Haunted Mansion to use our fast pass... which never happened because we didn't want to wait 30 minutes.  The stand-by wait time was over an hour and a half!  The shot you see below is the end of the queue to get into the Mansion. I am standing on the stockade in the center of Liberty Square. You can see the line extends past the Mark Twain River Boat entrance, and you can't even SEE the Mansion from here. They had to station a cast member with a pole that said "end of Haunted Mansion queue here".

Moving on, we accepted our fate that we would not be riding any attractions today.  Around the corner we ran into a little Cast Member flash mob of sorts. Clarabelle, Horace, three of the Jamboree Bears, and several Frontierland cast members were lip syncing and dancing to a hoe down. It was great fun!  They grabbed audience members and do-si-doed around the giant circle, then we watched 100 people dance the Hokey Pokey. Cute!!! It was too hot for those poor costumed characters, though!

From there, we decided to head home. Curiously, someone had arranged for a sky writer to put a message in the sky over the entrance of the park.  Here it is as we walked towards the monorail:

As we were travelling on the monorail:

And in the parking lot.  The "Jesus Loves U" part was incomprehensible by the time the plane got to "He 4 Giv......... (Gives?) "

Oh, these were my Disney pin trades for the day. I got 4 BIG ones. The Figment pin is glittery, and we are not sure if the bottom left one is supposed to be The Power Rangers.  I need to research it.  I also got my hands on a really big pin of Cinderella and Snow White, but I gave it to a little seven year old girl who was as cute as a button.

That was our perfect little afternoon. I hope you enjoyed the photos.   


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MouseketeerKen and MouseketeerMark

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Home Sweet (Rental) Home °o°

Now that the POD debacle is long over, the UHaul storage unit is emptied, and we have made a few purchases that will help make our little rental space look more like a home, we have finally taken a long enough break from visiting the parks to clean and scrub the place well enough to take some pictures for you!

Without further ado, welcome to the tour of our new nest.  As usual, if you click on the photo, you can see it much larger.

This is the foyer, that leads to the garage. The door with the wreath is the front door.

Our kitchen that screams RENTAL HOME. At least the appliances are black and not white.

Both the front and back of the huge garage. Even with all of our junk there is still room for the truck in there! I love it!

The other side of the foyer as it leads into the living room.

The living room is huge, and is all tile. We picked up the blue carpet at a great warehouse store called "Garden Ridge". Oh, the red beanbag is what Mark uses to play video games.  He loves it.

Our screened-in porch. Its nice to have, but doesn't stop one drop of rain from coming in during rain storms. The chairs are strategically placed to miss the water leaks that come through the porch roof.

Pongo's private "mine field".  Watch your step, if you know what I mean... There's actually more back yard around the corner there, but it's not very usable to us. It's pretty bare, so we only use it to toss a stick for the dog.

Back into the house, we have to pass Pongo in his little dog-cave before we head down the hallway.

The hallway to the 3 bedrooms.

One side of my office. This is the "art" side with my cork board, easel, and drafting table. The hardwood floor... is actually a sheet of printed vinyl! Meh, what're you gonna do?

And here is the "business" side, where I now write this very blog. 

Back into the hallway...

The 2nd bedroom on the left hand side. We have not set it up for guests yet.  The guest bathroom is on the right hand side of the hallway.

At the end of the hall is the master bedroom.

We love how spacious it is.

The master bathroom. See ladies, these guys remember to lower the seat!

The shower that I am IN LOVE with...  It's huge! The shower space alone feels like it is bigger than the small bedroom at the old house! You can see that I love my rubber duckys.

Oh, our walk-in closet where we keep our massive collection of t-shirts. We have more space in this one closet than in ALL of the closets combined at our old house in Phoenix! Mark and I actually share this one, we have plenty more room to grow, and we still have two more bedroom closets, a linen closet, and a coat closet at the front entrance.

The view of the front yard and part of the street from the front door. It's a small yard, but that means very little mowing required. Thank goodness, because neither Mark nor I are very good with yardwork in 80% humidity.

We hope you enjoyed our tour. Lets crack open that bottle of champagne you brought over...


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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Standard Operating Procedure Book - The Haunted Mansion

No, we didn't get hired on at Disney... just found this and we thought it would be of interest to some fans! - Ken and Mark

Disneyland Standard Operating Procedure Book
The Haunted Mansion 

DIVISION: Productions 950 
DEPARTMENT: N.O. / Bear Co. 951 
SUBMITTED BY: Joe Pittaluga, Ken Fujimura 

IX: LOAD #1 
X: LOAD #2 
Construction on the exterior of the Mansion was completed in 1963. In style, it is Antebellum Southern, themed to its location on the Rivers of America in the New Orleans area. Since its completion, Disneyland has been inviting ghosts from all over this world, and the next, to move in for "active retirement."
Latest population figures show that there are 999 residents at home in the Haunted Mansion, and they are always looking for #1,000 which might be any volunteer brave enough to enter. Ghost residents are a potpourri of supernatural, occult, psychic, and historical types, ranging from Egyptian and Roman, to Napoleonic and Dickens era. There is also an assortment of fluttering bats, talking ravens, screaming banshees, owls, cats, and baying hounds.
The Ghost Host is head man of the Mansion's skeleton crew. His mysterious voice accompanies guests throughout the adventure. The ride-through of the Mansion's labyrinth of cobwebbed-filled halls, pitch-black corridors, and deathly-cold rooms is made by means of two-passenger carriages of the continuously moving Omnimover WED-way Transportation System. Each of the 131 cars is capable of 180 degree turns, both left and right, and are pre-programmed to turn in the direction of visible and invisible sights and toward the sources of unearthly sounds.
The Haunted Mansion has been in the planning stage for more than ten years, since Walt Disney first assigned his staff to research supernatural phenomenon and "haunted" places. "We'll keep up the grounds and things outside," Walt said, "and the ghosts can take care of the inside."
The Haunted Mansion is the eighth Disneyland attraction to utilize the Disney-developed "Audio-Animatronics" system that combines three-dimensional animation and sound through the use of electronics. It brings the ghosts "to life." Many new techniques in sound and "illusioning" have been developed by WED Enterprises and its subsidiary, MAPO, Inc. for use in the Haunted Mansion to make ghosts appear and disappear at will, to make marble statues "talk", and to enable both the ghosts and the furniture to "float" around and through the Mansion's rooms.
1. Opening Date - August 9, 1969
2. Cost: $7 million. It is Disneyland's fifty-third major attraction and brings the capital investment in the Park in 1969 to $126 million.
3. Capacity A. 2,618 guests per hour (based on loading) B. Two guests in every car, every 3 seconds (cars are spaced every 6.0 feet with cars travelling at a speed of 2 feet a second (1.364 miles per hour).
4. Cycle Time: (Cars from one point back to that point again) Average 6 min.
5. Guests per minute: 41.38.
6. Length of the track: 786 feet.
7. Number of carriages: 131.
8. Power: Ten 7 1/2 horse power drive units.
9. Waiting times (based on 100% operation)
A. Main Gate: 5 minutes. 
B. First Queue: 10 minutes. 
C. Second Queue: 18 minutes. 
D. Third Queue: 30 minutes. 
E. CC #2: 50 minutes.
10. Elevators (Intervals of complete descent/ascent cycle:)
A. Close door - 7.5 seconds. 
B. Descent - 104 seconds (light load). 
C. Open door - 7.0 seconds. 
D. Ascent 25 seconds. 
E. Open door - 7.5 seconds. 
TOTAL: 151 seconds approximately. Varies with size of load.
11. Unload belt speed 25 seconds for length of 30 feet 6 inches.
12. Load and unload belt is 63% of the speed of the entire system
1. Picture Gallery: An eerie-lit setting without doors or windows where paintings seems to "stretch" and guests are shown "the coward's way out."
2. Corridor of Haunted Portraits: Where each lightning flash "ages" and changes portraits from what they seem to be to what they really are.
3. Endless Hallway: A misty passageway that beckons guests to enter, but offers no end.
4. Conservatory: Inside, a casket sits amidst the cobwebs in a room cluttered with plants and flowers -- all deceased. Outside the broken glass window an eerie landscape is shrouded in fog.
5. Corridor of Doors: A chill hangs silently in the air, and then suddenly, the frightful sounds of unseen figures.
6. Clock Hall: A grandfather gargoyle clock solemnly tolls the hour -- always "13:00".
7. Seance Circle: The spirits respond as Madam Liotta chants incantations in her crystal ball.
8. Grand Hall: Where a birthday party is taking place around the long, dusty dining room table. The "Ghostess" has invited many of her friends of the spirit world to share her birthday cake, to dance and play as ghosts of many periods in history appear and disappear as the pipe organ sounds a merry waltz.
9. Attic: Where the sound of a beating heart echoes through a musty room filled with monstrous memories.
10. Graveyard: The private park and playground of the spooks who inhabit the Haunted Mansion, where crypt doors creak and tombstones quake as the spirits join in to sing "Grim Grinning Ghosts". While medieval minstrels play, a Victorian-era King and Queen balance a teeter-totter on a gravestone... marble busts suddenly come to life to join the chorus... playful spirits ride their bicycles around and around the tombstones... a headless knight sings... and picnicking ghosts raise their glasses in toast to one another and the wonderful fun they're having.
11. Crypt: A somber setting where in contrast, a trio of happy hitchhikers grin ghoulishly as they seek a way out... preferably the seat right next to you.
1. Crowd control duties are three-fold:
A. Crowd Control -- Open crowd control areas as needed. Keep the lines moving at all times, to prevent "cutting" in line and keep guests off the grass and direct guests with wheelchairs to porch, (VIP door), and strollers to the proper parking area. (Refer to wheelchair policy). 
B. Trash Control -- Absolutely no food or drinks are allowed past the main gate. Put all popcorn left at the gate in the trash receptacles. 
C. Public Relations -- Learn the location of snack bars, restaurants, restrooms, water fountains, and attractions in the immediate area. Answer all questions as accurately and pleasantly as possible.
2. Position: On wall at the gate if CC #1 is open. If queue is inside the gate, please stand on the ground.
3. Dress Variation:
A. In hot weather males may substitute a long vest for the coat, at direction of foremen. 
B. In cold weather, females may wear a black Disneyland sweater. 
C. Non-reflective (non mirrored type) dark glasses may be worn.
1. This position also handles guest questions, also strollers and wheelchair positioning.
2. When needed, open the crowd control section of the pathway near the railway station.
3. Call foreman about any unusual situations or major problems by using the raft dock phone.
1. Ticket Taking
A. One "E" coupon or the equivalent should be received from each person over the age of three. (No combination of tickets). 
B. Tickets are to be torn in half and placed in the ticket box. 
C. Care should be taken to insure the turning of the turnstile for each ticket holder.
2. Admit as many guests as necessary to keep the porch full.
3. All tickets purchased from the Central Ticket Booth should be registered on the CBT meter located on the ticket box.
4. Courtesy tickets involve the following types:
A. White ticket with pink keys. 
B. Re-admission tickets.
5. Count as courtesies:
A. All members of parties awarded entrance by supervision (any blue I.D. card) 
B. All tour guide VIP hostesses.
6. Parties awarded back door clearance must have clearance by area supervision or be accompanied by a VIP hostess with a back door clearance card from City Hall.
7. Dress variation
A. Long vest may be substituted for the coat in hot weather (males) (At direction of foreman) 
B. A black Disneyland sweater may be worn in cold weather (women) (At direction of foreman)
8. In a slower period of time the porch turnstile should be used and the turnstile operator will also act as the Foyer Operator.
9. Please ask all guests to refrain from smoking inside the attraction. (All food and beverages should be finished before entering).
1. The operator should allow entrance to groups of approximately 70-85 guests. A group this size will comfortably fill the foyer with the corners empty. Operators should be alert to calls from the elevator operators and/or load operators with regard to the length of the line in the hall. A light load consists of approximately 30 guests.
2. When running one ER only, operators should motion guests from turnstile to mansion entrance. A full group should be inside foyer with the doors closed before the start of the foyer spiel.
3. To insure a good beginning to the tour, care should be taken to close the foyer doors. They should not be reopened until the elevator doors are closed.
4. Operators should encourage the gusts to "Step to the right please, fill the entire room."
5. Guests should be requested to proceed to the far wall without forming lines. Operators should check to see that gaps and spaces are eliminated in the foyer.
6. Operators should be notified of parties entering through the VIP door. A friendly greeting will always be appreciated. Also foyer operator should notify turnstile operator of party, to be properly recorded.
7. Any guest needing assistance in exiting from the foyer should be accompanied by the foyer operator through the VIP door and out the CC2 gate. Tickets are obtained from the turnstile.
8. Male operators are required to wear coats at all times, whenever on stage.
The Expanding Rooms carry the guests from the foyer to the hallway -- approximately fifteen feet underground. This is done by two hydraulic elevators capable of carrying approximately 80 people -- down only.
1. While loading guests into the Expanding Rooms, the spiel in the ER's will state: "Welcome foolish mortals... mortal state." At this time the operator will stand in front of the switch panel asking guests to "Please step forward toward the center of the gallery." NEVER start to descend until the load spiel is finished!
2. The spiel will begin upon descent, "Your cadaverous pallor... of course there's always my way." When the room turns dark at the bottom, the operator can move forward toward the doors and guide guests out when the doors open.
3. When running two ER's, start your ascent on the words "your imagination," (otherwise start up when all guests have exited your ER.)
4. When one Expanding Room is operating it is not necessary to wait for a signal to start the ascent. As soon as guests leave the gallery, it is all right to ascend, but only when one Expanding Room is operating and the other is parked.
5. If mechanical difficulties arise, ie., doors won't open or close, call the foreman who should then check the situation to see if maintenance assistance is required. If the doors do not open, call for foreman. Flip the emergency switch to off. Remain calm and tell the guests there is a mechanical difficulty and that it won't be long. It is very important to be courteous and calm during the breakdown so the guests will not worry. If guests are in the room very long, it is a good policy to give out re-admission tickets for their inconvenience.
6. Under no circumstances take an elevator back up with a capacity load. If the doors won't open, do not ascend. The elevator oil lines will burst. The only time that the Expanding Room will ascend with guests will be in emergency situations, and the weight limit will be 2,000 pounds, no more than 10-12 people. The descending limit will be 12,000 pounds.
7. When we are in a slower period of time and only one Expanding Room is being used, the Expanding Room should be rotated on a day to day basis. The Expanding Room operator is responsible for keeping the foyer operator informed of the condition of the hall as to whether lighter or heavier loads are required. The hall should remain filled to a point approximately ten feet back from the bend in the hall (not ten feet from the ER doors).
8. During slow periods and operating in early morning, the operator will walk the guests from the ER to load belt. Put the elevator switch in the stop position when doing so.
9. If Expanding Room is occupied, do not leave it unattended unless it is an extreme emergency.
1. Operators should stand off the load belt facing the cars or be walking the load belt facing the guests and directing the guests into the cars. NOTE: Do not lean on wall.
2. The cars will accommodate two adults and a third person if that individual is small (which is left to the operator's discretion). Whenever possible keep family groups together. There should NEVER be four adults in one car.
3. The load #1 operator will maintain flow-control on load belt at ALL times and assist the guests by POINTING to the car each group will take and verbally instruct each group to "Watch your step." "Two or three to a car please."
4. The operator should be especially solicitous to the elderly and lame. He should assist them in their initial step onto the load belt by stepping out with them and offering physical support.
5. Do not load defective cars. They will be marked with a strip of white tape.
6. When the system is down, the operator should remain in his position. His chief function is to keep the belt clear until the ride resumes operation.
1. The operator at load #2 has several functions.
A. Assist guests into cars if needed. 
B. Insure that all guests get safely into cars and insure that clamshells close. 
C. Emergency stop the Omnimover system if needed. Activate emergency spiel. 
D. Handle wheelchairs in absence of the foreman. 
E. Regroup guests if traffic on the load belt gets disorganized. 
F. Restart Omnimover system on all clear signal from foreman.
2. Load #2 operator will carry the "remote" and a flashlight.
3. The load #2 operator will walk the load belt directly across from the control console. NOTE: Please maintain this position unless assistance is required by load #1. Unload #2 operator, under normal circumstances, should not be closer to load #1 than the console.
4. In the event of an emergency stop situation, the load #2 operator will first push the emergency spiel button. Then assist guests into cars and clear the load belt. When the load belt is clear he will pick up the "hot line" intercom and obtain an "all clear" from unloader before restarting the system. He must also notify the unloader of any guests who may need assistance exiting from cars.
5. If a guest chooses not to ride, escort him to exit via door #2 and call turnstile for a ticket.
6. Always be ready to activate the emergency stop "remote" control if needed. But if a guest cannot enter the car before the end of the belt, take him back for another try without stopping the system.
1. The unload operator is responsible for getting all guests out of the cars safely.
2. The unloader should position himself, walking the unload belt, so that all guests exit the cars in front of him before the end of the unload belt.
3. The unloader is to assist all guests having problems exiting cars.
4. The unloader will, at all times, carry a "remote" control device.
5. Inform all guests wearing long maxi-type dresses to raise them slightly over comb plates on unload belt and upramp.
6. Check upramp periodically to see if upramp is running correctly -- if off, wait until ramp is clear of guests to re-start. NOTE: Ramp should engage and start with one turn of key -- If this fails notify foreman and do not re-start.
7. In the event of an emergency stop, the unloader will clear his unload belt and inform the loader that "all is clear."
1. The function of the utility operator is to maintain order in the attraction.
A. To correct unruly guests. 
B. Maintain watch of animation and any potential hazards.
2. Operator should have a flashlight at all times.
3. Stay out of guests' view as much as possible so as not to spoil the show.
4. Cover the following positions (roving).
A. Entrance to Grand Hall. 
B. End of Grand Hall. 
C. Entrance to graveyard (door #5).
5. If a guest is caught causing damage escort him to the foreman who will notify security.
6. If a guest is smoking ask him to please extinguish it.
7. When the Omnimover system is stopped, watch for guests climbing out of cars or destroying sets.
8. If any illegal drug is found or a guest is using any such drug, notify foreman. Do not take drugs, etc., from guest, but notify security.
9. Due to long dresses, female operators will not be stationed in utility position while attraction is operating.
10. Operators will cross between moving cars only if it is absolutely necessary and only where the cars are moving in the same direction.
11. If a guest is found out of a car, do not put him back in the car; walk him to service via the service access hallway. NOTE: Be careful of crossing between moving cars and of guests with malicious intent. And do not step on safety plates.
1. Intercom stations are located in the following areas:
A. Turnstile 
B. Foyer 
C. Expanding Rooms 
D. Hall 
E. Load 
F. Unload 
G. Service 
H. Mechanical: Maintenance, Ballroom 
I. Sound Room (Pirates) 
J. Bottom of Elevator and 4 exits
2. Operation of intercom:
A. Depress the button or switch located on the telephone handle for transmission. 
B. Push the button designating the desired station and wait for a response. 
C. The person answering will identify the area and his first name. 
D. The person calling should then identify his area and his first name before relaying the message.
3. P-Line is a direct line between load and unload.
4. Inter-Disneyland telephone system:
A. Location of phones are: Mechanical Maintenance, Service, and Electrical Maintenance. 
B. When answering the phone, state "Haunted Mansion" followed by your first name. 
C. Relay messages as soon as possible and use this phone for business purposes only.
5. Emergency Public Address System: Messages conveyed over this system are heard throughout the Mansion and this system is used for EMERGENCIES AND RE-OPENING PROCEDURES ONLY. Depression of both the button on the P.A. microphone and the button on the conole is necessary for transmission. The following message will be transmitted ONLY if the automatic spiel does not work: "Please remain seated, your cars will be moving momentarily."
Foreman must be present for any exiting (evacuation) procedure. If evacuation is deemed necessary:
1. Stop elevators.
2. Notify tickets -- foyer, notify Communications (555). Specify to Communications if (evacuating) or clearing.
3. In case of fire Omnimover system should not be stopped, unless fire is in path of the cars.
4. Foreman should be stationed in service during evacuation.
5. All operators should remain in position until notified otherwise.
6. Total re-ad tickets necessary -- 1000.
A. 250 to foyer operator. 
B. 500 to door #2. 
C. 250 to unload.
7. When returning from a break during exiting, report to the foreman on the load belt to receive an assignment.
8. Doors #3, #4, and #5 are to be used ONLY in extreme emergencies.
9. An exact count should be made of re-ads at the finish.
10. If an ambulance is needed, it will come to the back door nearest the injured party. This information should be conveyed to First Aid when calling for an ambulance. NOTE: Use door #3 or #4 if possible due to the fact that there are no stairs.
11. If the attraction will be down for an extended period of time, notify ticket booths CB#2 ext. 771, CB#1 ext. 170, and Pirates of the Caribbean ext. 761.
12. System will be restarted only after appropriate announcements are made and with all personnel clear of systems. A foreman will restart system personally.
1. Wheelchairs can be accommodated on the attraction provided that:
A. They can be folded.
B. They are not battery operated. 
C. They are not a bed type carriage.
2. The CC #1 operator should determine whether or not the wheelchair can be accommodated. If not, he should suggest the guest change into one of the Disneyland chairs provided on the attraction. In the absence of a CC #1 position this duty falls to the turnstile operator.
3. The operator will advise the guest that he must get out of the wheelchair and into a carriage. Any guest desiring to ride who can get into a collapsible wheelchair will be admitted onto the attraction.
4. The wheelchairs should be stopped before entering queue area and directed to the VIP door.
5. The foyer operator will notify load #2 that there is a wheel- chair approaching the load area.
6. At load belt load #1 will allow three empty cars to pass, then stop the system. Load the wheelchair guest in the third car (this will allow the unloader room and time to help the guest out of the car). Then load the guest's party behind him.
7. The empty (folded) wheelchair will be taken to unload by the foreman. In the absence of the foreman the load #2 operator will take the wheelchair to unload. NOTE: The system will not be restarted until the wheelchair reaches unload.
1. Do not stop system unless fire is directly in path of cars.
2. Notify fire department, extension XXX, and central communications extension XXX, Code XXX.
3. Clear attraction of all guests as quickly as possible, without mentioning fire.
4. Use doors #3, 4, 5, in extreme emergencies.
5. Note location of all fire equipment.
A. Extinguishers at each exit door.
B. In broom closet behind foyer. 
C. Service. 
D. Service access corridor. 
E. Mechanical maintenance and Sound rooms, and Utility #2 and Electric Room.
6. Fire hoses: Located at Doors 2, 5, and six, below turntable, at the Ballroom access door-hallway, and the foyer.
1. Safety is the most important thing we can offer our guests. NEVER sacrifice it for any reason. Report immediately to your foreman all safety hazards that come to your attention.
2. Courtesy is what our guests will take home -- a lasting impression.
3. Capacity will increase our guests' fun time.
4. Cleanliness is a Disneyland Trademark. Do your part to preserve our reputation.
5. Please maintain wardrobe standards at all times; clean costume, proper grooming, etc.
6. Never leave your position unless properly relieved or in case of emergency.
7. BE ON TIME! This means for the beginning of your shift and also when returning from your breaks and lunch.
8. Breaks should not be taken during the first or last hour of your shift. Breaks are fifteen (15) minutes and lunch is thirty (30) minutes.
9. Always call a supervisor as far in advance as possible, if you will be late or unable to work your scheduled shift.
10. Always bring your timecard to the attraction and handle it with care; IT IS YOUR PAYCHECK.
11. A proper name tag will be worn at all times on outer garment.
12. Operators should never be standing in position talking. They cannot be doing their job properly.
13. Operator safety is also critical. Please do not jeopardize yourself or fellow operators by horseplay, etc., or allowing unsafe conditions to pass unnoticed.
14. Operators are not to cross between cars while Omnimover system is operating.
Opening Procedure:
1. Obtains keys and remotes from area office.
2. Replace queue line chains.
3. Take count.
4. Enter foyer -- check location of ERs (bring down either or both rooms if necessary.
5. Turn both "car" work light switches off.
6. Check ER shafts for oil, debris, etc.
7. Check pump room for readiness.
8. Check beneath upramp for readiness.
9. Go to door #7. Make sure the ramp exit doors are open.
10. Give the five-minute countdown spiel over P.A. system located at the load belt. Be sure to push the "sound defeat" button so that your warning may be heard throughout the entire attraction.
11. Walk through attraction show area (secure all exit and scene doors).
12. Give system start spiel and start it up, or check with maintenance man if present.
13. Check remotes.
14. Turn on air conditioning.
15. Assign operators to positions and rotations.
Closing Procedure:
1. The last Expanding Room goes down at the hour of closing (not before).
2. One operator will follow the last group through the entire ride.
3. Turn working lights on when last guest is off upramp.
4. Shut down the system of cars and belts (3) and shut down drive motors.
5. Terminate paperwork.
6. Clear the attraction of all operators.
7. Leave both Expanding Rooms open with switches off in the down position, and leave both ER's in park.
8. Take remotes and keys to area office.
9. Call Sound and notify them that the Mansion is closed.
10. Call Communications and inform them that the attraction is closed and clear through exit.
11. Place ticket bag outside the VIP gate and close the gate.
12. All lost articles are to be taken to Lost and Found, at the end of any operator's shift.
13. Accident reports are to be turned in directly to a Supervisor or left in his mail box. (In case of any incident, the foreman will notify supervision).
14. Turn off air conditioning.
- End -

Monday, February 3, 2014

How NOT to start off your arrival in a new state... °o°

Where has the time gone???  I can't believe we are already three days into February-it seems like we were just writing about our "Christmas tree easel" only days ago.

We had a rough spot with the Pod company back in December when we first arrived, which made me as angry as a wet hen for quite awhile. As soon as we found a rental home (which was December 18th), I called Pods to give them the new address. The operator told me they could deliver our pod on January 3rd-THREE weeks later. When I asked why it would take so long, she explained that our pod was still being stored in Phoenix; it had not even left the state yet.

Without exaggerating the situation, I was beside myself. The conversation I had with the first sales agent was when I provided the zip code I wanted the pod delivered to. She told me they would ship it across the country, and would store it at their warehouse in that zip code, until I called with an address for them to deliver to. She even told me that we could have access to the pod if necessary. However, some kind of miscommunication occurred in their office that resulted in our pod being left in Phoenix, and delivery delayed beyond the holidays.

I asked for the representative to escalate my call to her supervisor, so as to research why this error was made. All we had in the world was the clothes in our suitcases, toothbrushes and not much else. We were facing three weeks or more with no furniture, bedding, or dishes. Unfortunately, all she could offer was a call-back from their "Incident" department... most likely AFTER the holidays.

So, Mark and I moved into our new three bedroom house rental, with not one stick of furniture to sit on. 

To remedy the situation, that night we prepared a list of essentials.  No one wants to sit on a cold tile floor with their back against the wall night after night, so the next day we mapped out all of the thrift stores I could find within a 10 mile radius. It took us most of the day, but we found a beanbag with arms for Mark (that would transition into a video game chair later, according to him) and a computer chair for me since I don't have one for my desk and desktop computer. We picked up some nice second hand plates and silverware for a couple of bucks, and decided to visit Ross for some inexpensive Christmas decorations so that we could have a festive end to the year.

Thankfully, we had the forethought to bring the flat screen, DVD collection, PS3 and video game favorites, so we were not without entertainment.  We even found a brand new television stand/cabinet at Goodwill that we knew would work with our furniture, so that the TV would not have to sit on the floor either.

About a week later, just after Christmas day, I received a call from Kenneth, the Incident Guy at Pods. He had reviewed the recording of the conversation between the sales woman and I that occurred back in November. He recounted the conversation as I recalled it, agreeing that I had given her the zip code in Florida, and that I would be calling back shortly after we arrived to provide her with the address once we had it. The reason our pod was not delivered is because (according to him) at the end of the conversation she said "most of our clients who move cross country don't know their new address. Would you prefer to call us once you have arrived, and have the pod delivered once you have an address"?  ... and (according to him) I agreed to that.

Of course, it sounds like the same conversation just in different word order, which is exactly what I told him.  He insisted that I told her to keep the pod in Phoenix. Of course, when I asked him to play the recording for me so that I could hear it myself, he replied "I'm sorry, we can't do that".

I told him that this was Pods' error in miscommunication, and I told him that I still had the email that the sales woman sent, quoting the zip code our pod should be delivered to (which, by the way, I have included a screen shot of right here for you to see:  )

His reply was "That was just a quote".  Huh???  Right... She quoted back to me what my instructions were on where the truck was to ship our pod. I further explained that I felt that Pods should provide some compensation for the items that I needed to purchase  -- at my expense -- basic things that every family needs on a daily basis.  Of course, he refused.

Three weeks later, the pod was actually delivered on time, and we hired a couple of movers to help us unload the thing. Thankfully, it didn't take them very long, and we were done in less than an hour. Finally, we had real chairs (our comfy couch) to sit on! Its very easy to take your creature comforts for granted when they are taken away from you!

You should read the letter I fired off to their "Executive Resolution Specialist"... this is still not over.


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