I had the privilege of chatting to
Ryan on the Internet who works in Adventureland in Disneyland. For all
those who have been on the jungle cruise and witnessed the wacky sense
of humour the skippers preformed, you'll see it isn't all just an act!
What is your basic job description and what
rides do you operate?
I'm A Jungle Cruise Skipper. The official title
is "Adventureland Attractions Host"
How long have you been working there?
I have worked at Disneyland for about 2.5 years.
How frequently do you work there?
I'm what they call Seasonal so I only work
during the busy seasons like Christmas, Summer, and what not.
What's the best part of the job?
By getting to work on Jungle I got lucky. We're
actually there just to goof off and let people watch us do it! I would
have to say the people I work with are the best part. Especially the
night crew. They always know how to have fun, entertain, and be safe
all at the same time.
Has anyone fallen out of the boats?
I have never seen it happen but I'd pay good
money!! A few times I came close to giving Swimming lessons to a few
Do you encounter many horrible people in
"the happiest place on earth'?
I don't know if I would call them horrible but I
may be inclined to swim in the lovely Jungle water before I would like
to see some of the people again.
What's the funniest thing you've seen or heard
while working at DL?
The funniest thing at Disneyland are the Jungle
Cruise skipper jokes of course! ;) What could be funnier than saying
"slippery-Hickory-Dock" to a bunch of people on a boat!?!?!
Well, it starts to get funny if you say it enough times.
Do many people fall for the animals being real?
What?!?! The animals ARE REAL!!! :)
How many boats go through in a typical day on
the jungle cruise?
At any given moment we have 6 or 7 boats
running. the tour is about 6 1/2 minutes. I couldn't tell you how many
trips that is in a day... I'm only a lowly skipper.
How does your rotation work?
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can
explain it. There are two main "rotations" for the Jungle
Cruise. One includes the Tiki Room and the other doesn't. In both of
the rotations there are four people. In the Tiki Rotation you start as
an "unloader," this means that you help people off the
boats. When your 1st boat partner comes then you switch with them.
(The technical Term for this is a "Bump") Usually you take
about two trips around the river and then your second boat partner
suddenly appears on the dock just dying to get into the boat! You
switch with this person. the next time you get bumped you go to the
Tiki Tiki Tiki Room... You run that show until you get bumped again.
When this happens you take leave for about 10 minutes and then return
to the unloader position on the dock. all the while you bump the
person that is in the position that you are going to. (It sounds crazy
but it works...) the other type is impossible to explain so I'm not
going to even try.
Do you have high level security to get into
Disneyland as an employee and can you get in for free any time?
I think that Disneyland has better security than
the White House and the Pentagon put together! I'll just have to leave
it at that. as for getting in for free...of course we can! We can get
in for free any time that we want to. We are restricted on certain
days like the 4th of July, New Years eve (and day), and Christmas.
Though I would like to point out that we tend not to go very often, at
least I didn't. I love Disneyland but after spending 40 hours a week
there you don't really want to go on your free time.
Are there many staff parties or special events?
Yes we have them all the time! One of the
favourite of the cast members is the annual canoe races. each
attraction or store or department can put race. It is however at
5:00am because The park has to keep running in the mean time.
Do you get other privileges working there, (eg
shop discounts, park entry discounts for friends)
We get discounts for friends but those tend not
to be very significant. we do get shopping discounts, food discounts,
and the like. One of the best things is access to the "Company D
Store". There we can get tickets to baseball games, screenings
for any move that a Disney owned company produces, and special items
that only Cast Members can get.
What would be the ultimate ride to work on?
Jungle all the way baby!
What's the ultimate job at Disneyland in your
I always thought that the Characters divisions
would be a lot of fun to work in...
What's the worst ride to work on in your
Small World would be a hard attraction to work
on I think. It isn't the ride itself but the repetition of that song.
Its not a bad song but after an 8 hour day I would never want to hear
Is there 'competition' between you & other
ride operators( eg people thinking they are better on other rides)
We all know that the people that operate
Narration attractions are the best! Well, more than there is a
competition between each attraction there is a competition between the
east and west sides of the park.
Have you ever been in a parade or had to ware a
full costume for some reason other than your
Attractions hosts and hostesses all have to do
GC also known as "Guest Control". We are the people with the
little batons that light up and are out there before all the parades
and shows (like Fantasmic). All those require different costumes. I
haven't been IN a parade though. that is a different department.
Do you think Disneyland is moving forwards,
backwards or not really at all as a theme park.
I think that it is moving forward. I have a
few disagreements with some of the companies policies but I'll deal
with that when I'm CEO... On the whole I think that Disneyland is
going places. I could never compete with Disney World because of the
land restraints but we have to remember...Disneyland is where it all
started! There is a new park that is opening up right next to
Disneyland that is very exciting. It is called California Adventure
and should be really cool. Even though Disney is on top of the world
it is still moving up.
Do you have an opinion on the DCA opening next
I think that it will be a great investment. The
new park will bring more local business and make fans like yourself
dying to come back!
There's a lot of debate on the net about the
boss of Disneyland being to 'tight' with the money. How are the
I try to stay out of those types of issues. I
will say that like any business you can always spend more than you are
making. You have to not spend here in order to spend there. Like I
said, I'll get back to you when I'm the CEO!
Do you have an opinion on old favourite rides
being replaced with new ones?
I miss the subs but the new ride that is going
in is supposed to be tray-cool. I hate to see old rides disappear but
new times and new people demand new things and if the park isn't going
to go down altogether I guess it is best to update every now and then.
Do you have a favourite ride your self?
My Favourite is probably Indiana Jones. Second
would be Pirates and then Jungle.
Do you enjoy Disneyland still or has working
there changed that.
I enjoy it still! I look at it differently than
I used to but I still have lots of fun every time I go!
Do you aim to move up in the park and if so
where would you like to work next?
I'm looking to rise in the attractions
management area. I'll let you know what happens.
Would you recommend Disneyland as a place to
Yes, I think that it has been he best job that I
have had and really fits my personality. I would like to stress
thought that it is WORK and is nothing like going to the park as a
Would you recommend Disneyland as a place to
Yes, I would recommend it. It can get crowed
though. Let me give you a hint on crowds. Go at the start of summer
during the middle of the week. local schools will not be out yet but
the park will be open until midnight. the schedule changes every year
so check before you go to see if they are on summer hours. but if you
can only go during a busy time here is another hint for you. Look at
the times for the shows. around dinner time people start to get tired
and want to watch shows. During these show times is the perfect time
to go to high demand attractions like Space Mountain or Splash and of
course the Jungle Cruise!