Stories Behind the Scenes

Wishes do come true!

Club 33

From: Joel Payne 23 JUL 98   I've known about 33 since I was a little kid and always promised myself that I would someday get in to this exclusive club.  So I decided last year that I was going to figure out some way of sneaking in.   Though this seems impossible, I did it! Let me tell you how. It was a fluke if I ever saw on.  I had no membership, didn't know a member and have only seen the front desk when someone decided to open the door.  Last year right after Christmas I went with a friend of mine and we'd been on a mission to find things we've never seen before but heard of.  We went to the private graveyard in the back of the haunted mansion where they supposedly have a real dog under one of the headstones. We got to talk a worker from the Indiana Jones ride into letting us into the control room. We went into the secret cast members only 50's style restaurant under the pirates of the Caribbean. So, the day was a full one and just before we left I look up at the upper deck of new Orleans square where for years I've seen people living it up in this private club. I was convinced today would be the day I would be sitting up there.   So the first thing I did was see if I could convince the next person to come out of 33 if they'd let me in just to see If I could talk my way into getting a table (far fetch I realize) but it was worth a try. Out came this little old lady. But alas she told me " Sorry it's for members only and I'm just a guest of one of them, but perhaps you could go to guest relations and maybe they'll let you have a tour"! great idea! If I couldn't get dinner at least I could see what it looked like inside!  So I ran to guest relations and asked the front desk person if a tour was possible, I mean if I'm going to pay 7,000 at least I should see what I'm getting right!  So she told me " Well, we don't give tours but I'll call 33 and see what they say" So she calls.  Sure enough they say it's should be fine just show up at 5:00 sharp! WOW. Now at this point I'm excited but still determined to have dinner.    So I get there at 5:00 sharp, ring the little bell when a guy with about 30 people in line asks me if I going to 33, (BTW there was no answer when I rang the bell) He tells me that it's not open yet and that I can go in with his party.     hmmm....  I'm thinking up this wonderful plan.... Hey! now I don't have to give my name at the door to get in!  this is good.  So The door opens and the group walks in and I walk in right after them. In the confusion with this party of 30 I found out that not all of the 30 showed up for the reservation and sure enough his party was short about 7 people. This would mean that there were tables free upstairs that they had to fill.   So we waited some 10 minute while this huge party was being taken to there table. While that was happening I'd sneak a peak at the reservation list to see if my name was there for the tour...... IT WASN'T!!!!!!! no!!! now what...  how could this happen?!! She said be here at 5:00 I'm here at 5:00!!!  Anyway I was a little bummed about it but since I had made it this far I was determined. When the host got back she just though we were guest with reservations so of course she asked for my name.. and I gave it .. and ... of course she didn't have a clue who I was.  They I played it off like it was a last minute idea and that we called it in to the front desk and even spoke to this one woman at guest relations to make sure everything would go smoothly.  So the host in turn calls guest relations. Luckily that person wasn't there. Then she asks me who the member was that got me the reservations.  Now at this point you thinking doom right?  Well it just so happened that I worked on a Disney ride and worked with one of the top Disney imagineers and he told me he was a member. So I told the host his name.  So now she calls up someone who has the list of members and strangely enough she mentions the wrong name to the guy on the phone.  I have no Idea what happened on the phone because she gave the guy the wrong name but seconds later her face became flush and she immediatly got off the phone and started apologizing for making us wait so long.      We ate at a window seat, had a few glasses of wine, got that tour I wanted and had a blast of a time as we watch Fantasmic from our table.  

Wishes do come true!

From: Janet Wilson 24 JUN 98

When my husband, granddaughter and myself recently visited Disneyland, my husband bought a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. As the temperatures got cooler in the evening, he found the sweatshirt a welcome addition. While walking away from one of the parades, a seagull flying overhead, targeted his brand-new shirt. As we have noticed in the past, the seagulls can be very pesky in both Disneyland and Disneyworld. So, we went up to guest relations, to 'complain' and see if Disney could not do something to chase some of the seagull population away from the parks. The guest relations manager was very courteous to us, and replaced the sweatshirt with a brand-new one (without bird dropppings) and also gave us 3 back-door passes to any ride in the park. At this point, my granddaughter exclaimed, "I don't believe it! At Snow White's wishing well, I had wished that we could ride Space Mountain again without having to wait in a long line!" In Disneyland wishes do come true.............

First Love

From: Kevin Freels 21 MAR 97

I have been to Disneyland every year for a long time. And each time, I would spend at least an hour of the day sitting at the Coca-Cola Corner, listening to the ragtime piano player, Rod Miller. He's been there for 28 years now, so after a few years, he began to recognize me when I would visit. As the years went on, it was always great to see him; it was actually one of the things I looked most forward to when going to Disneyland.

So, about four years ago (May 1993) I went on a cruise to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. I was supposed to go on this cruise with a girl I had been dating for two years, but we broke up about five months before the cruise. I was stuck with the choices of a) blowing off the cruise (and losing all my money), b) finding a new girlfriend (or someone to share a queen bed with me), or c) paying the double fare for the room all by myself. I did wind up paying for the room by myself. In fact, on this cruise, I met the woman who I would later marry. So while the ship was docked in Georgetown in Grand Cayman, I met up with this girl and we started shopping through the town. All of a sudden, I was looking at Rod, who was looking back at me! We had run into each other 3,500 miles away! I, of course, introduced him to my new friend.

Well, my new "friend" and I wound up getting engaged on that cruise, and got married three months later, so for the next three years we would go to Disneyland, and I would stop by the Coca-Cola Corner trying to see Rod to show him that I actually married that girl, but we would always seem to miss him because it was his day off or he was on vacation.

Finally(!), last October, we went to Disneyland and Rod was there. I said to him, "Remember that girl I was with in Grand Cayman? Well, I married her!". His jaw dropped, and we had a great talk about things afterwards. But an even stranger twist is that before we went to Disneyland that October, I had been in Chicago for a Computer Conference, and during the conference I visited a booth there from Walt Disney Feature Animation. Being one of a thousand System Administrators at the conference, I figured I had no chance of ever working there, but I gave them a resume just the same. It turns out that only a few people actually turned in resumes to WDFA, and when my wife and I returned from Disneyland in late October, I got a call from WDFA wanting to interview me. After a series of phone interviews and a day's flight down south, two days before Christmas they offered me a job! Whoa! So when we moved down to Burbank, we went to Disneyland the day before I started here, and saw Rod to tell him that I was now a fellow Cast Member!

It just shows how small the planet really is!

From: Andy Hicks 18 JUL 96

My friends and I had always loved going to Disneyland for two reasons. One, to go on the rides, and the other to meet girls. Although we frequently flirted with girls we knew we would never see again, I happened to meet one when I was 15 years old, who turned out to be my first "true love." Her name was Stephanie and she lived outside of San Diego. I lived in Arizona along the Colorado River. My dad was involved in building an airport and so he was able to get good deals on airfare, so I ended up flying to San Diego and visiting her or vice versa, often. We were serious for about six months, but had a more casual relationship after that for about two years, before we went our separate ways. I met her on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, by accident. My friends and I like to act stupid while waiting in line, by waving to total strangers on the ride just to see if they wave back. She happened to be in the line next to me when she waved at us back and was really friendly even though we weren't waving at her. We started talking, and by the time the night was over, you couldn't pry us from each others arms. It was like we had known each other for years. To this day, that continues to be the best trip I ever had to Disneyland. I can't believe I met my first love in Disneyland I guess Disneyland truly is the Magic Kingdom!

From: anon 09 JAN 97

I fell in love at Disneyland! I met James at a barbershop show in February 1996. James lives in Santa Barbra, CA and I live in Mesa, AZ. We had our first "date" approximately three months later,(May 3, 1996) at Disneyland. It was the greatest day! I remember him showing me all the hidden Mickeys he knew of. Not only was our first "date" at Disneyland, so was our first kiss. It happened like this: we were in the gift shop in TomorrowLand, the one that Star Tours exits into and he pulled me into the corridor of the Star Tours exit and kissed me there. I will never forget that day! To this day Disneyland is our favorite place.

From: Don Duwelius 23 JAN 97

On my first day working at Disneyland in 1989 I met a girl named Carrie (I was training on Mansion and she was training on Pirates). We didn't date at all that summer but we started writing letters that next fall (I went to U of Arizona and she lived in Anaheim). To make a long story short, I asked her to marry me at the wishing well in Fantasyland in April of 1992. We were married in May of 1993 and now have a one and a half year old named Parker. Needless to say, it makes Disneyland an even more special place for our family.

New Years

From: Andy Hicks 28 FEB 97

One of my best friends I ended up meeting in Disneyland. Her name is Karen. The fact that I met her there isn't so amazing, as the fact of how we got to be closer friends. I met Karen on New Years Eve of 1995. We go to Disneyland to ring in the New Year every year, and we found out that she celebrates the same way and that she had been there every year for the past three years at the same time we were, but never knew it! She, Jamie, and myself hung out that night and by the time the night was over, we swapped addresses and promised to stay in touch. We stayed in touch for about three months until we lost contact with each other. I thought I'd never see her again. That was my senior year and after that we ended up going to college. I went to Arizona State University in Tempe, Az while she ended up going to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Well, along came New Years of 1996 and my friend Jamie and I went down there to go to Disneyland and to go see ASU in the Rose Bowl. When it came time to ring in the New Year, much to my suprise in the crowd of thousands on central plaza, I heard my name being called. "Andy," I heard this voice say. When I looked in one section of the crowd, I couldn't believe it! It was Karen! Of all the places and all the times we saw each other again! I haven't talked much to her lately, but I'm confident that we'll probably end up seeing each other for New Years again!

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