Disney Now and Then: Technology at the Park

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Being a Disney YouTuber has got me feeling a little old lately. You see, my subscribers have been asking me to include more photos of myself from back when I worked at Disneyland, and I’m starting to realize that I don’t have as much photo documentation of my time working for the mouse, because I wasn’t on Facebook back when I worked at Disney. Yes, that’s how old I am. I still had a Myspace account, and I didn’t get into Facebook until after I quit Disney. What does this have to do with my photo documentation? Everything. Facebook is the only reason we feel the need to take a picture of everything. Heck, if it wasn’t for Instagram, would you actually be taking a photo of your food? Probably not. Technology wise, the times have changed so much since I quit Disney, and a part of me yearns for the simpler times from back when I worked at Disney.

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Technology Back in the Day:
Back in the Erika days of Disney, I wasn’t obsessively taking photos of my every move at Disney for a few reasons. I saw the parade or heard it in the background twice a day. I had Fantasmic memorized. I could almost guess what a princess was going to say to a little girl wearing a princess dress. This isn’t to say that the Disney magic was spoiled for me. What it does mean, is that being at Disneyland was literally a part of my every day life. It would be like taking a picture of me brushing my teeth or cleaning out the fridge. It wasn’t something that I felt like I needed to document, and furthermore, the magic that I was experiencing couldn’t be properly documented on camera. These were memories that I was going to hold in my heart. Here’s the other big thing that I should add: We weren’t allowed to take photos of ourselves at work. How unprofessional would that be?
Hi everyone! Thank you so much for visiting Mickey today! Please take a quick step back while I snag a selfie of me and the big cheese. He’s only wearing the sorcerer Mickey ensemble for a limited time and I need to snapchat this pronto.
 
We could only get photos of ourselves at work if we had a friend visiting the park who could take the photo, or if we were sneaky and took the photos ourselves (which I was atrocious at). Here are the good things that came out of not documenting every second of working at Disneyland: My strongest memories of Disneyland are seriously held in my heart. Cheesy right? But it’s true. I don’t have photos of the most profound things that happened to me at Disney. What I’ve realized is that I have more souvenirs from working there then I realized. Instead of 100’s of Facebook check-ins that read, “Erika is spinning at Mad Tea Party” or “Erika is in need of a towel” at the exit of Splash Mountain, I have piles of notes, pins and mementos that I have collected over the years from working at Disney. The current generation of teens have a lot to worry about. Anyplace they visit, they have the pressure of having to check-in and provide photo updates of their whereabouts. If they don’t post an update, then they might feel like they’re not keeping up with their friends, and at the end of the day, it sucks all of the fun out of visiting places. When I worked at Disney, I actually enjoyed every moment. Every memory sank in. I wasn’t staring at a phone or seeing the world through my camera. I was truly living.

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Technology Now:
I won’t lie to you. Technology is amazing when visiting Disneyland…if used properly that is, and I feel like I’m still getting the hang of it. The last time I visited Disneyland, it was the first trip where I was also trying to vlog everything for my channel. The entire day my thoughts went a little something like this:
Did I get enough B-roll of the entrance to the park? I don’t think I did. That’s ok, I can film it later. But I have to do that before 4PM or it’ll be too dark. Oh, shoot! I need to take a picture of my Starbucks cup so that I can Instagram it. But the castle has to be the background! I should’ve tweeted that we’re waiting in line for the Matterhorn. Oh my god I forgot to check-in that I’m even here at Disneyland! Should I snapchat my outfit? As a video or as a photo? Oh my god I need a theme for this vlog or its just boring footage of me at Disney all day and who will want to watch that?
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I’m sorry, but when I’m at Disneyland, I don’t like to worry about anything. Being a Disney Youtuber means that you have to have a way with technology that is effective, yet won’t spoil your day. I’ve learned that you need to either visit Disney specifically to social media OR to simply enjoy your time. If you’re there to enjoy your time, you don’t need to check-in where you’re at every 2 seconds. Your friends will understand if you’re not buried in your phone all day. You can also #latergram all of your photos that you take so that you don’t feel pressured to post throughout the day. Also, your wonderful friends and family want to see your pretty face smiling at them all day, not smiling down at your phone. If you’re there specifically to utilize social media (and for the podcasters, bloggers, youtubers, I’m talking to you guys), have a plan as to what you’re covering for the day and how much time you’re going to spend covering it. Have a schedule of how many posts you will contribute to each social media site. What’s the one piece of technology I’m eternally grateful for whether I’m visiting for work or play? The Disney app that lists all of the wait times for every ride. Where was that genius piece of technology when I was a cast member?
 
To anyone who has a future trip planned to the resort, take a moment to step back in time and keep your phone in your bag as long as you can. I promise you will have a lifetime of memories if you allow yourself to really take it all in. Have fun out there, everyone!

Erika Jenko
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook |YouTube

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Modern Mouse Radio is a multimedia Disney fan site run by Josh Taylor and put together by a crew of amazing individuals. Check us out. You won't be disappointed.

Posted on January 20, 2016, in Articles, Disney Now and Then and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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