Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: April 1992
||Posted: June 06, 2006, 11:47 am
If you go to the Imagineering website portion of Disney.go.com part of their pages are about college programs where you can intern with Imagineering. They might also detail there or if you Google around enough which colleges they tend to recruit and hire from. If you know they hire from X, Y or Z colleges' or universities' engineering or other design or industrial design departments, then it's a matter of gearing your college application to getting in. Means doing what it takes in high school with grades, majors, extra curricular, community service, etc. to get a spiffy college ap together to submit.
The closer you are to the equator, the hotter it will be in that hemisphere's season of summer. It's also quite humid, since it's a penisula state and you have the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico so there's humid sea breezes blowing. So Florida is the Southernmost state in the US, and the Southern part of Florida (such as Miami) will be warmer than the Northernmost (such as Pensacola).
I used to live in Mobile AL, currently live in a suburb of New Orleans. We share similar weather characteristics to most of Florida. Down here in the Deep South, we don't have much winter season at all. Sometimes it can be freezing and close to single digits if certain weather fronts are passing through. But the season we'd wear coats and bundle up and go "Brrrrrr..." generally can start in early to late December and go on to mid-late February, and that's it. Most of the rest of the year it's spring-fall warming up/colling down but pleasant temps and then it's hot and sticky the majority of the time.
Where those in the north hope for heating, heating oil, coal, etc. in the winter to keep warm, down here we hope the air conditioning holds out in much the same way you hope for heat. Air conditioning makes living down here tolerable. Then you have the food, the culture, the lifestyle, that makes it all the more pleasurable to live down here. But mostly, without the a/c, we wouldn't have near the sorts of population numbers other parts of the US do.
Walt bought up land in Central Florida due to land prices, proximity to a good airport and ground transportation systems, and the reputation of Florida as being "The Sunshine State". The truth about Florida weather is in the Deep South it's hot, humid, and in Central Florida they are highly prone to lightning from thunderstorms. The climate is nothing like the Pacific coast. I used to live in Sacramento CA. Out there, even though Sacramento is Northern Californa, the air is dry and there is much less rain. Summer temps in Southern California can be more of an even keel range year round. Nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong really with Florida's weather, it's simply the variety of geography on the earth.
Orlando is a major metropolitan center in the US. There will be a variety of things to do, places to go, for every interest and taste. There are local sports leagues and youth groups and organizations in Florida as well as California and all over the US. There are festivals, places to hear music, view art, dine, do things, many of the same national chain stores are there as are most places of the US. The state and local economy, other than when hurricanes threaten, are booming. They struggle with many of the same urban problems other cities do, such as crime, quality of public education, controlled growth, adequate transportation systems, and cost of living.
It's an easy matter to daily learn what's going on in Orlando. Simply read the local newspaper, in many cases the local TV stations's newscasts, online.
Just Google the Orlando Sentinel, and bookmark it. You'll see right there what's going on in sports, business, tourism, crime, government, entertainment, and more, and also the weather. You'll see it's a nice place to live, but does have it's differences vs. your city or any other city. You can shop for what qualities you want in a city, simply by reading their local newspaper. You can do this whenever you want to, online. you may discover that the qualities Orlando has as a city match wheere you want to go in life, or where you want to marry, settle down, start a career, raise a family. Or you may discover it's not all it's cracked up to be. Better to know a lot of these insights before you uproot and decide to plop down in any city, that's a lot of time and expense to invest. If you feel you can be happy living, voting in elections, paying taxes and enjoying Orlando or any city, you can make that an informed decision instead of just guessing and hoping, simply by reading the local newspaper.
Orlando has the University of Central Florida there, with some interesting degree programs. Just up the road, not far farther north is either the University of Florida or Florida State University, I forget which (it's the one actor Burt Reynolds is alumni of) . Attending college in the state and in close proximity to WDW (you might qualify as a Florida resident, to be able to purchase a Florida resident's version of an Annual Pass) you'd be able to go down there on weekends and school breaks.
In addition to the Imagineering intern program, WDW has a College Program, if you are in certain majors (such as hospitality industry) and if accepted and meet their criteria, you're assigned to work in certain areas but take classes learning about how your chosen industry works as Disney does those parts of industries. You are assigned housing, which you have to pay for, and maybe the tasks are very entry level. But the opportunity to learn is what is valued by others in the College Program, and they write on various websites the work is hard but valuable experience towards a professional career, to do anything, later on. The College Program recruits at certain colleges, too. There is a space on Disney's own website for this program, Google it.
Right now Disney and other parks in Central Florida have trouble filling certain jobs for the summer. Check in the Castmembers' Forum and I posted a link to a job fair going on this week. Dealing with millions of visitors a year, thousands of people a day, can be very tough and emotionally demanding. Soem folks feel the pay isn't worth it, they can make as much or better under better working conditions elsewhere even with Disney training to handle it and even with perks and signing bonuses being offered. Working for the Mouse is truly work, hard work, but it can be work that is satisfying and rewarding, too. Entry level jobs are some of the hardest, but it's where you learn the most, learn your craft, learn to work under supervision and with a wide variety of people. You have to learn these things if you want to advance.
And you also have to learn Disney's standards of customer service if you're going to design anything for Imagineering: Rest rooms, baby changing areas in rest rooms, areas easily accessible by those with physical challenges so that all can enjoy, fast food places that efficiently serve people their food but the line keeps moving along, which paints to use so they fade less in the Florida heat or many Florida rainstorms or won't chip under weather conditions and more. Designing high profile attractions such as Expedition Everest is one thing, but where people go to the restroom, or the design of a store so it's not cramped when a lot of crowds visit it that's helps foster great customer service, and that is part of Imagineering's mission. And you learn first hand by working with customer service every day what works and what doesn't, what keeps you fresh looking despite Florida's sultry summer heat, and how audience and crowd flow move through parks and can be better directed, or how brilliantly others designed these things, and you learn by working with it just how smart these designs can be.
So use Google and play with keywords, also search the various Forums of Dsiney Echo for a lot of insights and links and tips. Look at the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
A lot is out there waiting for you to discover it, digest it and make it your own, and to plan for the future in college and beyond accordingly.
PS: I saw your comments that you perceive WDW is less crowded with strollers... I beg to differ, from personal observational experience! Any Disney theme park is a prime destination for families, and growing families. You'll see strollers at any Disney theme park in the world! Also, it's been recommended that for children ages 5-6 years or so, even as old as age 7, put them in a stroller to save their feet, their energy and the possibilty that they will conk out on you and have to be carried when they are tired or cranky. And last, this is a major anniversary year for the theme park division of The Walt Disney Company. July 17, 1955 is the date Disneyland officially opened, 50 years ago (more like 51 years ago as of this July 17). All the Disney theme parks in the world share in this major milestone, and marketing, celebration. I've read online that Disneyland's attendance is really particularly stellar this year as a result of the promotion. The new president of the park, Matt Ouimet, got the company to pour in major money to spiff up Disneyland, repair it, paint it, and put shine and polish on it which the prior two presidents of DL (Cynthia Harriss and Paul Pressler) didn't do. People want to see the beautiful DL park! And despite high gasoline prices, families want to bring their children to a Disney park when it's a particularly special commemorative year. So there are crowds both at DL and WDW, for sure. Many strollers abound! It is in fact amazing to see so many strollers. I pushed my now 10 year old son in one from age 8 months to about age 5-6 or so, and the sight still is amazing!
Be sympathetic to the stroller pushing families. When you have ample space around you, like a driveway at home, it's easy to precisely manuever one of those things. Put a growing baby or toddler (grows older = gets heavier) , the baby bag, souvenir purchases, some of the other family's "stuff" in the bottom, and then push it in your driveway. Harder to do, yet doable. Now transport that same filled stroller to a very crowded Disney park! People aren't from there, not familiar with park maps, so much to see and listen to all around them, dazzling, and cute details on buildings to notice, then someone drops something then there's a sudden STOP and that is when you, following behind, inadvertantly plow into them. Or in very crowded situations maybe the parents pushing the stroller are simply doing the best they can, and someone in front of them, beyond their control, also suddenly STOPS and bam, you feel their stroller in your ankles or shins.
At home in crowded malls or festivals, let's be honest, this same thing will happen. It happens to everyone, sooner or later. It's an accident.
It goes with parenthood, and absolutely no one is deliberately trying to injure or annoy anyone else with a stroller.
Someday you'll be pushing the stroller... So watch and learn, and be careful, 'cause someday you will live that kind of a life! Or travel to Disney parks at much less crowded times of year. Before a child formally enters school (these days at the preschool age level of about 3-4 years old) you can go to Disney theme parks anytime you want to, just take the family along! When schools are in session in the US = fewer crowds at Disney, when schools are out of session in the US = bigger crowds at Disney. Just book a trip when schools will generally be in session and there are fewer crowds. You'll still see oodles of strollers, but not nearly as many as in more peak seasons.
I hope this helps!