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Letters connected to globalisation and global issues



Disney Disney classics - your article is going way too far

I am writing in response to your criticism of the Disney classics. I am a 16-year-old girl who has grown up on the Disney movies, cherishing especially The Little Mermaid and Cinderella. Whoever wrote that article is going way too far. These movies are not meant to be taken that seriously. I have personally taken a class on values in the media, which looks for problems in TV, movies, etc. However, I do not feel there has ever been a problem with Disney. In The Little Mermaid, for example, Ariel does not want to be a human solely because of Eric, the prince. Before she even lays eyes on Eric, she sings of wanting to be "where the people are", NOT where Eric is. It most certainly does not teach children that men are superior and all that women want, or that women have to be beautiful. If you remember correctly, Ursula the sea witch turned into a pretty young women to get Eric's attention, while using Ariel's voice. But, her true evilness shone through and Eric realized at once she was not the girl for him. So in conclusion, none of those things you claimed about Disney are in fact true. Children are children--I know of subliminal messages, but they are really not existent here. I know this because of who I am today. Thank You Lisa Ludwinski

Lisa Ludwinski (USA)

Disney Disney is a good employer

My name is Jason Knox and I worked at Walt Disney World for 4 and a half months at the Transportation & Ticket Center in parking lots. I loved my job and I plan on going back and getting a full-time position with Walt Disney World when I graduate from college in about nine months. I felt the need to e-mail you and tell you my opinions on the employment situation at Walt Disney World because I think some of the opinions of this Mr.Cohen were not accurate and were full of unhappiness.

First off , the opinions of the so-called placement of certain minorities and groups was so far from accuracy that it isn't even funny. In my department we had older adults, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and someone of Indian descent who were all in positions of high guest interaction and were never placed in a certain area because of one of these unchangeable features that was claimed by the unnamed cast member. I also had two very good friends I met while I was down there; one of Asian descent(from the country of Laos to be exact) and one who was African-American, who were both in the "Tapestry of Nations" parade at Epcot and it dosen't get much more interactive with guests than that. By the way, Roman(the African-American friend) is going to be moving to characters in Epcot soon. This isn't the only minorities and the like in positions of high guest interaction, not by a longshot, this is just a short list of ones that I know personally.

As for the remark about non-persentable people not being on-stage(in the public eye) if this about the costume then yes there is a certain "Disney Look" that is expected and this is understood from the moment you come on board(which means it is part of your job to meet these requirements). Mr.Cohen said that if you don't smile or meet and greet every guest then you are reprimanded was worded and implied to strongly. This is not to say that there is constantly someone over you making sure you are smiling every second. You are required to smile and meet and greet each and every guest(as stated in your seven guest service guidelines, did you forget these..shame on you Mr.Cohen) I can't count the number of guests who have come up to me and told how wonderful it is to come to Walt Disney World and see all of the cast members smiling and being so friendly. I would suggest to Mr.Cohen that occasionly there are managers who may not be the best but that it unavoidable in a large company(even one as great and happy as Disney).

The last thing I would like to address is the issue of salary. I have talked with many managers and they are paid very well. The entry-level jobs don't pay as much simply because the workers at this level don't have the training that is possessed at the other levels. Most if not all managers and higher-ups at Disney possess college degrees, other advanced training, and have put in enough experience. If this is viewed as a problem to anyone,well I hate to break it to you but welcome to employment in the year 2000(not to mention most of the 90s as well). It is becoming more and more neccessary to obtain a college degree or some type of advanced training to hold upper-level positions with more pay in large companies(not Disney's rule, this is the America's rule).

The bottom line to all I have been saying is that Walt Disney World is not for everyone but if you take a position with Disney then you will recieve the same set of rules and guidelines and you will have the chance to create magic everyday you go to work.

One last note directed to Mr.Cohen personally is to say that I worked at a paper mill in St. Mary's,GA. for 4 straight years never earning more than $8.57 an hour(ending salary after 4-year mark) doing work that was 10 times more dangerous and 100 times more miserable with no chance in site for any sort of raise, so think about that. Thanks for listening to my side of the coin and I hope I changed at least one person's mind. Sincerely, Jason Knox a.k.a. "The Tram Man"

Jason Knox a.k.a. "The Tram Man" (USA)

Disney Smiles at Disneyland make people feel great!

I completely disagree with the whole "smiling" thing. I am only 16 but I go to Disney every year with my family. In fact I go two weeks. (one week with my mother and the other with my father) I absolutely love being there because the people do smile. Smiling is very contagious. So then I smile and I immediately feel great inside. Also, my family is paying great amounts of money to beable to have an enjoyable vacation where people are FRIENDLY!!!!! Smiling is a form of friendliness!! If there are those of you who do not believe they are getting payed enough then QUIT!!!! Because I don't want to have to go on vacation and see a non-smiling person in as place that should make everyone happy!!!!!!!

Ashley (USA)

Disney My daughter's dying wish is spoiled

Hello I was just looking at your site and I am also not pleased with Disney. We went to Disney this summer on a make a wish trip for my 10 year old daughter who is terminally ill and on 6/30/00 we went to animal kingdom.

It was raining that day and I noticed that the workers at the resturants had squeegies to clean up the water on the outside dining areas and paid no attention. Well then I went to use the rest room and slipped on a puddle of water and fell into the sink and cracked two of my ribs.

Well they took me by ambulance to Florida hospital and I have been recieving a bill for $1027.87 and I don't think that I should have to pay for this not only because if they can make sure the resturants are clear of water why can't they make sure the restrooms are.

Tthis was really a bad experience because of the fact that my daughter was on this trip as a wish and I know that it was not her wish to sit in a hosital with me and not have me be able to ride the rides with her be cause it hurt too much!

Kenneth La Force (USA)

Disney I'm a former employee

Hello, my name is Dale. I am a former employee (cast member) of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and a native of Orlando. I read your articles and comments about Walt Disney World and Orlando and found most of the content to be factual.

Let me just make a few minor corrections. The Orlando metro area consists of nearly 2 million people not 1 million. I was employee of Disney for just over 12 years and I could tell horror stories of discrimination, labor abuses, food and health violations, and a behind the scenes look at how the Walt Disney World Company operates.

Should you want further information from me or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at my email address. Anything I tell you will be completely accurate and I have witnesses to bolster my claims. The experiences I had with Disney are good but many are outright unbelievable and scary. I wish to only use my first name. Thank you!

Dale (USA)

Disney An equal opportunity employer

I have been visiting Disney World for the past 20 years. I have watched the progress of Disney over these years. I also know many people who work at Disney World and I think that many of the things in this article are false.

Disney is an equal opportunity employer. They hire not only every race, nationality, and gender but also any sexuality. All shapes, sizes, and colors of people greet guests, the only reason those people work in the back is because they don't speak English well enough to greet visitors. Disney's system of employment is what makes their corporation so successful.

I don't think you are giving a fair evaluation of what Disney is all about. I agree that workers should get a better wage, but with all the people that only work for a short time they need some motivation to get people to stay.

Please write back with your response to my letter. Thank you very much.

Ashley (USA)

Disney Each year more rules

My wife and myself have been going to DisneyWorld for the last 10 years. We have even bought into the Disney Vacation club because we like it so much.

This November while at Epoct a Disney security guard ask my wife to put out her cigarette. They only have smoking in remote areas of the park. They serve beer and wine in the park but you are not allowed to smoke outside.What is next at Disney? Every year we come back and it's new rules. It's OK to be fag at Disney but you just can't smoke one.

Mr. Eisner maybe you could cut out the wheel chairs for the handicap then you can get even more people in your parks. Or maybe only blonde hair, blue eye people can only enter.

If this smoking situation happened at Disney Euro the French would have shut down the park. I can see curtailing smoking in enclosed areas or lines for the rides, but outside this is getting crazy.

Kenneth Opperhall (USA)

Global IssuesIs there a way to help?

I have been reading your website this semester (Mining, child labour, the problem of garbage and disposing of toxic waste, mercy killing). Learning several things, tenderness, happiness, sadness, the importance of each problem, and I felt "Oh how come I am happy so much more than them?"

It is bad when I compare myself with them because I have so many supporting people including my parents, my sister, my close friends. Besides my health keeps very well.

It's up to us to take action
In all the world, there are many people who have no family or who are handicapped, and invisible walls like discrimination and prejudice exists around us. What is their destination? When will problems like these be finished? Who will put an end to it? It must be us - human beings, don't you think so?

My desire is to spread those problems into the minds of people all around the world. It is up to us to recognize them and take action. When there are problems, I feel inclined to say die. But I have to get over this and say "Is there a way to help?" (To be honest, I have been participating in the International Volunteer post-office savings since 1996.) In my opinion, this is not a question of amount, but having the mind to do it....

A true internationalist
Only having the ability of speaking a second language don't lead to being a true internationalist, I believe. People need to know the situation in the world, and be kind, mild and considerate. Also, they need to understand other country's culture. I want to be a considerate person.

My belief:
The tenderness is a spontaneous offer of help.
All tomorrow, the future will be on our side!

Tajima Naotake (Japan)

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Last Modified: 12 Feb 2001