Here we go…. These are the questions I get asked a lot


1. When did I work at the parks?
 I was a Rhino Rally driver at Busch Gardens in Tampa from 2004-2006.  A Disney PhotoPass Photographer at Walt Disney World from 2006-2011, and a train conductor/ robber at Silver Dollar City from 2012-2014.

2.  Did you also work as…?    

Almost surely not.  Outside of some crowd control and parade duty at Disney, and occasionally helping on a couple of the roller coasters at BGT and SDC, I didn’t do other jobs.  Especially in different departments.  Generally job types don’t mix.  If you work on rides, you don’t work in stores or food, etc.

3.  Why don’t you work there now? 

The best answer to that is to refer you to my one video talking about who I am: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&vi…  Short answer- I live in Missouri now, and I also pastor a small church in a small town and do a lot of volunteer work.  That’s very difficult to do with a full time job 40 minutes away from home and working part time wasn’t an option (sadly)

4.  How can I become a cast member?
 The process changes from time to time, and when I applied was back in 2006, over 11 years ago, so it has surely changed since then.  Job listings are available online at DisneyCareers.com or you can call the casting building near you.  They will likely want to you to set an appointment, come in and fill out the application there and interview immediately afterwards.  Smile, be happy, be friendly and excited.  And don’t forget to smile. (also see question 12)

5.  What other parks have you worked at? 
 Just those 3, though I have visited a lot of others.

6.  What is your favorite ride/ food/ park/ characters/ etc.?
 I’m terrible in that I have a hard time picking favorites or making “rankings” of anything.  What I like will change depending on where I am, who I am with, my mood at the time…  But even with that, I’ll try to make a video somewhere along the way that will detail some of my favorites.

7.  Would you do a video on…  ?
Absolutely maybe!  I’m always looking for ideas and suggestions.  But keep in mind I don’t live near Disney or Busch anymore, and haven’t in several years, so anything “current” from those parks is going to be nearly impossible.  But if you want to know more about what I did in my jobs while there, I’d love to hear your ideas.  However I don’t really know much about other departments that I did not work in the parks (e.g. rides or security at Disney, entertainment at Busch, etc.) so I can’t give any real answers there.

8.  Why are you called Sir Willow? 

Back in the 90’s I was teaching high school and some of my students started calling me Willow after they said that I looked like the character from the 1988 movie Willow played by Warrick Davis.  Being a good spirited thing (some of them still use it today!), I adopted it as a nickname.  When I tried to use it on the internet I ran into 2 problems: First, it’s fairly common and not that unique.  Second, it’s usually a girl’s name, and I’m definitely a guy.  So I added the “Sir” at the beginning to fix both problems and have been using it as a handle ever since.  There have been a couple of others I’ve run across that have also used it but for the most part it’s still pretty unique to me.

9.  Have you been to (insert park name here)? 
Maybe.  I’ve been to over 70 parks, but there are large areas that I haven’t visited yet.  I haven’t been to the North East (New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, etc.), nor most of the northern US.  If you’d like to see a close approximation, you can check out my list at
http://coastercounter.com/SirWillow
 though it is missing a few coasters and parks that aren’t listed.  But it comes pretty close.

10.  Have you met or worked with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? 
No.  Disney reacquired the rights to Oswald and brought him back into the family while I was working at Walt Disney World, back in 2006, but his first projects with Disney didn’t start appearing until around the time I was leaving Disney to move to Missouri.  As far as I know he still hasn’t actually made any appearances in Walt Disney World, though he has in California and Japan.

11.  What about Gaston? 
I would have loved to work with Gaston, but he didn’t start making appearances at the Florida Disney parks until 2014 with the revamp and expansion of Fantasyland and the creation of the Be Our Guest restaurant, which was well after I left in 2011. However I did get to meet him during my visit in January 2018.  Look for a video with that.

12.  How can I get a job at Disney as a Photopass Photographer (or other job)? 
The easiest thing for me to do with this question is to point you to a few videos I’ve made that talk about how I got the job and the first parts of training I went through.  I think they’ll answer most of your questions. (oh, I was  also not a trained photographer when I started. They will teach you what  you need to know about the cameras)  
How to get a job at Disney: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m659noe-eLs&t
Creation of a Cast member: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdFNHSrVPzw
What makes a good cast member: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74NC9GMgpTc
Learning to work with character: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j6Bt1Jb09c
7 Rules a Photographer has to follow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AENEgNrd1s&t

13. What Gear do you use?
A lot, depending on where I am, what I’m doing, what the lighting is, etc. Here’s a list of most of my gear, along with affiliate links to it on Amazon (that means if you use these links you will help support me):
Nikon D3300 kit https://amzn.to/2RitdXu
Zoom H1 recorder with lavalier microphone https://amzn.to/2EmUqjp
Rode NT-USB Cardiod Condensor Microphone https://amzn.to/2TWHHRi
GoPro Hero 5 with accessory kit https://amzn.to/38fbt6l
Canon Vixia HF R80 camcorder with extra battery https://amzn.to/2GygDkq
Rode Video Mic https://amzn.to/2EndNZJ
Lens protective filters for Nikon Lenses https://amzn.to/2GA6hki
Limo Studio Camera L-bracket with mounts https://amzn.to/2GXIb29
USA Gear DSLR Camera backpack with dividers https://amzn.to/2H1UYAD
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 https://amzn.to/2GECVRK
Sony ECMCS3 clip microphone 2 pack https://amzn.to/2EkQ6B7
LimoStudio 6×9 white/ black/ green screen and stage lights: https://amzn.to/2GBGB6H
Vastar Universal Cell Phone tripod mount adapter https://amzn.to/2Isp2SU
Andoer Wide Platform Pistol Grip Camera Handle with 1/4″ Screw https://amzn.to/2Jp6691
Manfrotto MTPIXI-B mini tripod https://amzn.to/2HcBTJL
Samsung Galaxy S10+   https://amzn.to/372Zx7s
mypassport 4TB HD  https://amzn.to/38dKat5
Anker powercore 10050   https://amzn.to/2u3914f
Fifine USB microphone  https://amzn.to/366rjip