Dr. Wing Chung, whose practice is in Covina, spends his weekdays fixing teeth and his weekends piloting the Sailing Ship Columbia.
'Next time you see Wing Chung behind the steering wheel of Disneyland’s Sailing Ship Columbia, piloting it around the Rivers of America, you might ask him about your teeth. That’s because he’s not only a Disneyland employee on weekends, but he’s also a dentist weekdays at his office in Covina, taking care of patients. Not to worry, though, he doesn’t miss the park much on weekdays, because all three of his examining rooms are filled with Disney items he’s collected over the years. In fact, he likes to joke that Disney always gets its money back from his paycheck, because he just goes to the Disney Gallery and spends it on more for his collection. “That’s why Disney loves me,” he says. “Because I spend most of my money there.” He remembers going to Disneyland for the first time when he was about 4 years old, and his enchantment started. But he also loved dentistry, and returned to Southern California after dental school to set up practice in Covina. At first, he had one Disney-themed room in his office and two sports-themed one,but eventually, they all became Disney rooms, he said. “New patients are kind of amazed at what I have when they come in,” Chung said. “They love it.” He first went to work at Disneyland in 2005, after going to a job fair. But the job was too demanding with his dental practice, so he only lasted four months. Later, he ran into his former boss and she invited him to come back to work on a part-time basis. Now, he just works a short shift on Saturdays and Sundays, on the rides on Rivers of America including the Mark Twain Riverboat and Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. “When I left, it took me three months to get over missing it,” he said. “I loved it so much and I made a lot of friends. So I was glad to go back.” He’s been doing it now for 11 years. Nowadays, he mostly pilots the Columbia — a 110-foot replica of the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe. His bosses are also his fans. “Wing exemplifies the passion Disneyland Resort cast members have for their roles,” Chip Koch, general manager of Disneyland park west operations, said in a prepared statement. “Ask any guest who knows Wing and they’ll tell you the exceptional guest service he provides is not like pulling teeth!” Piloting the sailing ship requires three cast members, he said. One to steer, one as the “hawkeye” to watch the front of the boat,and a third to make sure the guests don’t sit on the rails or do other things that are unsafe. The ship holds about 300 people on its 15-minute journey around the rivers. In addition to driving the sailing ship, Chung can also be found paddling the canoes or even driving the Mark Twain Riverboat. He works on weekends, and brings his wife, Lily, on Sundays. Her job is to go shopping for him, looking for new items for his collection. Or, just enjoying the river views. “Sometimes when I’m paddling the canoes, she’ll be sitting there watching me, eating a churro and drinking a mint julep, while I’m sweating bullets,” he said. Chung said he lives in Monterey Park, but he’d rather live in Fantasyland. “I want to live in the (Sleeping Beauty) Castle, but they won’t let me,” he said. He’s thinking about retiring in the future and maybe using the time to visit all the other Disney parks around the world. Meanwhile, he said he considers his job “goofing off,” even though it requires tremendous skill to pilot and dock the sailing ship correctly. “I love to make people laugh, at Disneyland and in my office, too. I like to joke them out of their fear,” Chung said. Related Articles \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tMain Street Electrical Parade is coming back to Disneyland\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tReview: New ‘Inside Out’ ride that opened today at Disney’s California Adventure is perfect for little kids and cuddling couples\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tDisneyland’s new Pixar Pals parking garage set to open Sunday months ahead of schedule\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tDisneyland offers $99 summer parkhopper ticket deals to annual passholders\t\t \t\t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\tInside Out Emotional Whirlwind on Pixar Pier pays tribute to the whimsical design of a classic Disneyland ride'
The Monte Cristo Challenge in France, bagpipes at the Department of Justice, a Spinosaurus in Philadelphia, the Women’s World Cup in France, mud people in the Philippines, a bee-wearing record attempt in Turkey, and much more
'The Monte Cristo Challenge in France, a wild-mare roundup in Andalusia, bagpipes at the Department of Justice, a Spinosaurus in Philadelphia, the Women’s World Cup in France, mud people in the Philippines, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch in Florida, Boeing 737 Max airplanes in Seattle, flooding in Brazil, a bee-wearing record attempt in Turkey, and much more'
A bill is sailing through the state legislature that would designate a veterans’ cemetery to be built in the Orange County Great Park in the city of Irvine. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) in February introduced the bill to designate
'A bill is sailing through the state legislature that would designate a veterans’ cemetery to be built in the Orange County Great Park in the city of Irvine. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) in February introduced the bill to designate the site to be built after years of debate over its possible location. After the El Toro Marine Air Base closed in 1999, proposals to build a commercial airport were shot down following local complaints about the noise pollution that would have occurred as a result. After a long political battle, the site was eventually converted into the Orange County Great Park, which is used for sports, agriculture and the arts. However, just 29% of the former base’s land is used for the park, while the remaining 71% remains dormant, much of which is in need of remediation due to toxic substances in the soil from when the airbase was still operative. In 2014, veterans’ advocates proposed a veterans’ cemetery to be built on a portion of the remaining dormant land, due to the airbase’s historical significance. However, this project has been stalled for years. Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s bill, AB-368 , would mandate that the cemetery be built in an area within the Orange County Great Park at the site of the former El Toro Air Base. A 125-acre piece of land known as the Amended and Restated Development Agreement Site or ARDA, is the designated space for the cemetery in Quirk-Silva’s bill. The veterans’ cemetery project requires funding from a state legislature-approved bill. The Epoch Times spoke with 3rd District Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner on the issue. Wagner who previously served as mayor of Irvine and as a member of the state Assembly from the 68th district, argued that Quirk-Silva’s bill is the wrong approach. Wagner suggested that a site in Anaheim Hills would be better to avoid the political fighting within the city of Irvine. He elaborated on his push to move to the new site and the how the longstanding issue has snowballed over the years. “Originally the cost estimate was $70 million (for the ARDA site). This site was a placeholder until we found a better site,” he said. After a bitter political battle with former Irvine mayor and one time Democratic Presidential candidate Larry Agren and a failed attempt to move the site to a new location, the project was stalled in 2017. “The former mayor of Irvine, who lost his role on the city council because of the owner of the swapped land, decides he’s going to put a stop to this just to spite his political opponents,” claimed Wagner. This brought the state back to the original ARDA site, which is now estimated to cost $91 million instead of the original $70 million. “It was a total mess. It’s not a financial question or a disagreement about the location. This was political,” Wagner said, describing the turn of events in 2017. “I don’t think Irvine is going to solve the political problem it’s got. I don’t think it makes any sense to spend $91 million dollars on tearing down old buildings and fixing the infrastructure just to bury the vets. Let’s spend it on the live vets and make sure they’ve got the treatment and services they need.” Upon becoming a supervisor, Wagner said he surveyed the Anaheim Hills site and its financing. He said the new location would be twice as large and would be available for civilians as well, not just veterans. The issue took Wagner to Washington, D.C. towards the end of his tenure as mayor. He met with the head of the Cemetery Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss what they needed for the site. He said he was told that a veterans’ cemetery with room for 100 years only needed 55 acres. Wagner explained that the first phase of the Anaheim Hills site would cost around $55 million for the veterans and civilian cemetery, compared to the ARDA site, which is at $91 million. While he didn’t have a total estimate for the entire cost, Wagner expressed his confidence that the Anaheim Hills site would be far less costly. “I am firmly convinced that the veterans’ portion of [the] Anaheim [site] is going to be cheaper than the $91 million for ARDA.” The only issue is that Wagner was told the VA was only going to be providing $10 million, and the project was 75th on its list of priorities. He was also told that if AB 368 gets state approval, the project will jump up on the list. He said he still doesn’t believe it will be enough money to fund the building of the site. “At the end of the day, even if you move up to number one, you’re not getting a lot of money from the feds,” he said. For these reasons, Wagner has been pushing for Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva to reconsider the location of the site in her AB 368 bill. However, he told The Epoch Times that the bill’s supporters are not willing to change the location of the site. The bill in question received widespread bipartisan support on a May 23 Assembly floor vote, receiving 76 votes in favor, 0 against, and 4 not voting. It is likely to face little opposition in the senate or from Governor Newsom. AB 360 is currently under review by the Senate committee on Veterans Affairs.'
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