I met Chef Kevin Marshall at a dinner party while visiting Orlando this past September. He is a friend of my Uncle Keith, and was gracious enough to share his culinary talents as our personal chef for the evening. As he prepared a scrumptious feast for us, I interviewed him about his diverse and fascinating career at Walt Disney World.
In June of 1989, he was a man fresh out of tech school. He applied at Walt Disney World, but soon learned there was a hiring freeze for positions he originally desired. Because he had previously managed a Wendy’s restaurant, he was offered a job in food and beverage at The Crystal Palace. As part of the culinary staff, he moved around to different positions, soon cooking alongside professional Disney chefs.
While working at the Crystal Palace, he and two other coworkers were asked to carve a 700 lb pumpkin for Halloween. They were told to carve and hand paint the ‘Blustery Day’ scene from Winnie the Pooh. It took two weeks of overtime and 90 man hours to complete this masterpiece. It was displayed outside the restaurant, surrounded by bales of hay to prevent guests from touching it. One day, a Cast Member saw a little boy ignoring the bales and and putting his hands on the carved image of Pooh. Originally thinking the boy was causing mischief, the Cast Member told the boy to refrain from touching the pumpkin. As it turns out, the little boy was blind. He never knew what Pooh and his friends looked like. From the carving, the boy was able to feel and learn the character shapes. It was his own personal braille pattern. Kevin said it made all his hard work truly worth it and is a memory that touches him to this day.
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Update: we’ve received so many applications that we’re going to set a deadline of midnight Friday, May 30, for submission. I apologize to anyone who can’t make this, but I need to have time to give each one the consideration it deserves. Thanks for your understanding.
Do you love Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, or Disney Cruise Line? Want to write about it? Want to get PAID to write about it? We’d like to hear from you.
In addition to having a passion for the destinations we cover, we’re looking for folks who:
- Can write clearly within the style of our blog with few to no grammatical or spelling mistakes.
- Are able to commit to at least one 500-1000 word article per week for the next 6 months.
- Have a love for fact-based articles about theme parks.
- Are able to write candidly and objectively about Disney or Universal without veering off into hyperbole.
- Are willing to not just write, but answer questions from readers in the comments section of an article after it’s published.
- Are interested in or have experience with Google Analytics – we measure the viewer metrics for all our authors and encourage authors to focus on articles that appeal to our readers.
- Maintain a professional, friendly presence on social media (both your own and for TouringPlans).
- Understand SEO and know why it’s important.
- Know how to produce articles in WordPress or are willing to learn.
- Are comfortable with photography. You don’t need to have a huge camera, but you should be able to compose and edit a photo that doesn’t look amateurish. Camera phones are fine.
- The ability to produce short videos is a plus.
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