From: Greg Hall 08 MAR 00
I thought this was an interesting story that I would pass along. My girlfriend's (now wife!!) family makes a trip to WDW every other year and we always camp in Fort Wilderness. We happened to be staying on the grounds in '95 when Hurricane Erin came through. We were in Epcot and noticed the skies getting darker but we really wanted to ride spaceship earth one more time. After we waited in line and then finally got though the ride, it was obvious it was time to head back to the camper. When we got back to the camp site, it was pouring rain and they had evacuated all of Fort Wilderness. Turns out that the hurricane was heading straight for Orlando. Disney took everyone that was staying in the campground and put us in the hotels. We wound up sleeping in the ballroom of the Grand Floridian. They had pillows and blankets for eveyone and were as cordial as you would expect in a situation like that. On top of this, we got a full refund for that nights stay and they gave us all the food you could ever want while we were shut in. They finally let us out about 10 the next morning. The hurricane did some pretty big damage to the grounds, but by 5 pm they had cleared all the roads and campsites and let us return. There were trees blown over at the GF, and before the rain even stopped, Disney had backhoes removing the blown down trees and replace them with ones that were nearly exact replicas. By that evening you would have never known anything happened at all. This was probably the only time I will ever be able to stay at the Grand Floridian and it was free!!!
From: Tinkerbella 17 DEC 99
When me and my friends went to Disney World the summer of 98, we all bought the personalized pins that say "Guest of Honor" with our names on them. These treasures are available at various locations throughout the park. The funny thing about it was that people kept asking us why we were guests of honor. Finally, we decided to tell the people who asked us that we were filming an upcoming Disney Movie, and they let us roam the park for a few days. It was funny seeing people's reactions. They seriously believed us!!
From: anon 13 MAR 99
Sept 98, My wife and I participated in a promotional video of WDW for Latin America. We posed as tourist and gave our "opinions" on how great was everything in WDW. The thing is that my wife and I are Orlando locals but Mexican in Origin. ( No tourists, got it!) The footage took place in several parks but I participate in Epcot In the passage near the gondolas in front of Italy. We were given free park tickets in payment and the rest of the day in the park.
From: Mark Scott 20 DEC 98
In 1989, I was in the Magic Kingdom with my brother (Rob), his then wife (Michelle), and her sister (Dawn). As we worked our way through the park we decided to ride It's a Small World. Shortly after we were off of the ride, and walking up the exit ramps, Dawn was holding her arm and saying that she thought it was broken. None of us saw what happened. Apparently, when the ride was ending, the conveyer belt, that had just started to take the boat to the unloading location, stopped so the people on the boat ahead of us could get off. Dawn reached out and grabbed one of the handrail poles that are close to the boat at that time. When the conveyer belt jerked the boat to the unloading location, it somehow broke her arm. The rest of us did not think that it could have possibly been broken, and the first aid department at Disney gave her an ice bag and a splint for her arm. The next day we went to the hospital and had her arm x-rayed. The arm was broken. So, the next time you hear one of those messages that says to "keep your arms and legs inside of the boat at all times", you may want to listen. They are warning you because they know the rides can be dangerous in ways that you can't even imagine.
From: Devin Dreher 15 AUG 98
Hello, Me and my brother are both big Southpark fans (the controvercial show on Comedy Central). When we were last in WDW in June, our mom and grandmother went back to the hotel room because it was getting kind of late. So my brother and I decided that we'll go back to the Magic Kingdom for awhile. Somehow we got to the TTC and decided to take a ferry over. To make a long story short, while we were boarding, the ferry captain spotted my brother's Southpark shirt and quoted a line from the show over the ship's PA system. Everyone, my brother, me, and the large group of people getting on behind us started laughing. While en route to the Magic Kingdom, the captain came over and started talking to us about the show. That was not the only cast member comment on my brother's shirt. A lot of others made cracks at it as well. It seems many cast members are Southpark fans.
From: anon 03 JUN 98
When we were engaged, my husband and I celebrated by visiting WDW. One of the things we enjoyed were the character breakfasts. One morning, I met Minnie, who spotted my engagement ring and said out loud (but not so anyone else could hear), "Wow-- what a rock! Good luck!" We were really flattered that Minnie liked our ring. Later on that afternoon, I told the story to a bartender in our resort. She advised that Minnie had definitely broken the rules, and if management knew she spoke out loud with us, Minne could lose her job!! (Of course, we didn't tell the bartender the location of where we saw Minnie because we didn't want to get her into trouble)
From: Beth Shorten 05 JUL 98
This is not a Hidden Mickey story, but rather, concerning the Monorail. While on a tour of the Yacht and Beach Club, a guy named Rix told he used to work on the Monorail when the park was first opened. He said it took him about four minutes to get from the Magic Kingdom to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) which included picking up and dropping off people. However, he said the speed needed to be restricted because of Disney's Contemporary Resort. The vibration of the Monorail going through the resort caused bottles to fall of the counter at the bar.
From: Ashes 25 MAR 01
When I went to Disney with my Best Friends Family in 1999, we were staying at Fort Wilderness and we were watching the electrical water parade and it started to rain, well since the only way around there at night is by bus we boarded, it was plum full, so the buss driver was anyone want to get up here and sing some disney songs. Well since our stop was one of the last ones on the route i volunteered so i got up at the speakerphone thing and started to belt out the tiki room song everyone laughed, i turned a bus ride into a talk show we cheesy jokes and everything.
From: Adam 07 MAY 00
On one of my many trips to Walt Disney World, I recall having an interesting experience on the bus. We were going from the Carribean Beach Resort to EPCOT pretty late at night to see Illuminations. Well, the bus driver turned around and asked us if we were all going just to see the light show. Almost everybody on board said yes, and then he said "Oh yeah, well here, check this out!" He grabbed onto the bus' light switch and flipped it on and off really fast (like a strobe). After a couple seconds, he stopped and said "There, now wasn't that better than any old fireworks!" or something like it. He also told a bunch of jokes and stuff. It was one very cool bus ride.
From: David Gilbert 25 OCT 97
I remember reading a while back an article submitted by somebody who said that on the WDW bus service, a bus driver made the trip more interesing by telling jokes and by lightly teg the tourists. I would like to say that I had similar treatment once when I got on a bus going to the Magic Kingdom - some of the gags made by the bust driver were brilliant (I particularly liked the joke that the bus driver made about what would happen to any lost children that were found on the bus at the end of the day - that they would be "nailed down in Its A Small World and then would be made to sing the theme tune in about 14 different languages for the rest of the natural lives" - also the quiz he tried running was also amusing, as he threatened that the bus would "go slower and slower until it came to a complete stop" if we got any of the answers wrong. (NB I apologise for not posting this earlier in July when I came back from my 2nd trip - I've been quite busy getting ready to goto University)
From: Bartman454 25 APR 988
In the section about the bus driver making jokes and stuff well that happened to me once yet this guy was making impressions of a guy i never heard of and stuff it was pretty weird. anyway that its a small world joke is a circulating one because i heard it while on the jungle cruise.
From: Solomon Davidoff 02 APR 97
I am an ex amusement park employee (Ohio's Kings Island), who still enjoys going to parks. I was especially glad to finally visit Disney World, but had my visit marred by another guest. I was sitting in the audience at the Indiana Jones show, when they asked for audience participants. Of course, I rasied my hand. I wasn't chosen, but I know that's much more likely to happen. What bothered me, was that the woman next to me who was chosen jumped up and went to be in the show, leaving her kids behind. With no one else there. I hadn't been talking to her, but noticed that the three of them were alone. So she's up on stage running around, and her two small children are alone, frightened and at their wits end. Three times I had to deal with little upsets, and one other guest started to reprimand me about how my children were behaving. Just a quick note. If you're going to go to a theme park with your kids, an activity I fully endorse, please remember that you might have to miss out on a few things you might have enjoyed doing for their sakes. Today? I probably would have taken her kids to security. I mean, they were only three and four! I know that's not always the right answer, but what would be?
From: Ryan 19 NOV 00
On a trip to WDW over an extremely buisy Memorial Day Weekend, my family decided to try out the newly oppened Disney Quest. I just had gotten a new (rather expencive) cellphone and it was cliped to my belt. I had it on me the whole day, and unforutinally when I was walking through a large croud, it was knocked off and lost. We spent over an hour searching for it before I finally went to a ride opperatior and told them what happened. The gentelman told me to hang on one min. he picked up a phone and moments later a security guard came and escorted me to the security office where my phone was sitting on the desk, and suprisingly enugh charging (how thoughfull). He told me it had been ringing and they spotted it on a securty camera, and someone accually had to answer it (which is how they found it in the croud). Anways I just wanted to give props the the Disney Securuty for saving my phone.
From: Mike C 01 MAY 99
If you are a scanner enthusiast like myself, I highy suggest that you do not monitor Disney security while on Disney property. My friend and I were visiting the Pleasure Island area of the park, and of course my friend had his scanner with him. He was monitoring Disney security operations. Out of the blue we were approached by a Disney security host which commanded us to stay where we were. She radioed for a supervisor, and a Disney unit ( deputy sheriff) respond to her location. When the supervior arrived, we were wisked away to a area where guests were not present. The supervisor advised that monitoring of Disney operations was not allowed because it was considered a breach of security.
From: Cheryl Althouse 01 MAR 97
In the summer of 1987, my husband and I visited Walt Disney World for the first time without our children. We had just watched the afternoon parade and decided to do some shopping at the Emporium on Main Street. While purchasing some things, I got into a conversation with the cashier and asked her if her middle name was Ann. The reason being that a lot of people I meet with the first name of Cheryl have that middle name. She looked at me a bit strangely and said yes. When the purchase was over, she whispered to me that in my bag was something that no one can buy as a memento of being there. She had taken off her name tag and slipped it into the bag. I don't know how many people have one, but I have an official Disney World name tag with my name on it.
L. Borne 25 JAN 96
I worked on the 4th of July when the crowds were so large, that we actually allowed guests to exit by going around backstage down main street. In the middle cross road section of main street, large doors could be opened. Another set of doors are located at the horse stable near the exit. Guests were funneled out though the cross road gate and entered back by the stable. We erected large curtains so that no one could see the garages where the main street autos were parked.
I was in the Magic Kingdom yesterday, and happened across a carved pumpkin judging contest that anyone could participate in. It was in the small courtyard by the Ice Cream Shop at the end of Main Street. Anyway, one of the pumpkins evidently fell off of the table, and was crushed. Around the carcass was a barricade, with a sign saying: "Please excuse our mess, this pumpkin is being refurbished for your future enjoyment." Does Disney miss anything??? I wish I had a camera....
Working at Disney I met some unusual people. My favorite 3 stories:
All of the offices on the upstairs of main street are real. The real offices only have windows looking out toward backstage. The walls of the actual offices are 3-4 feet away from the fake office windows. Once, when I was up talking with the Main Street Cast Member director, I noticed a clever conversation piece on his desk. It was a mouse trap baited with a dime, and a plastic Mickey was caught in it with his hand on the money. This was his way of protesting Eisner's policies.
I can confirm that guests are sometimes allowed to cut behind the east side of Main Street. I was there in October '96. Although the parks were generally not too crowded due to low season throughout most of the week, Saturday still attracted a huge crowd. Saturday night was the only night of the week (at least in October) when the Magic Kingdom hosted fireworks and the SpectroMagic parade. Even in low season, the place was so crowded that I overheard somebody saying that new admissions had been cut off earlier in the day. I watched the fireworks from the north end of Main Street. I was at the area where you can turn east from the Street itself and sit at tables overlooking the water around the castle plaza and Tomorrowland was off to my right. After the fireworks, a Cast Member opened a door in that section of Main Street facing the castle. Guests were able to go through that door, along the service areas, then re-enter Main Street at Town Square. There was no attempt to disguise or dress up this service area. There were no giant curtains covering anything. I could see various parked cars and the very unthemed backs of buildings. Given the number of people crammed into the park, relatively few seemed to take this shortcut. Perhaps the loss of illusion is not worth escaping from several minutes of shoulder-to-shoulder crowds thronging toward the exit.
We were both Cast Members at WDW. We knew some of
your Mickeys but not all of them. You have compiled quite a list. We
specifically work at Typhoon Lagoon, as lifeguards, and had to laugh at
the sighting of the Hidden Mickey in Shark Reef in August of 1993. With
the Florida sun and saltwater fish you can imagine the algae that can
accumulate on the sides of the tanks. This algae is periodically cleaned
by lifeguards and they sometimes do things they are not supposed to do ... they
were reprimanded for drawing the outline of Mickey's head on the exit steps
... this would be the sighting your reader saw.
Kinda' funny huh?
As far as we know there are not any "Hidden Mickeys" at Typhoon, only those which lifeguards create!
From: Julie Pomeroy 13 SEP 96
To confirm L&G's story, I was one of the divers on the dive line that created that Mickey in the algae. We did a lot of other fun stuff too, like recreate Stonehenge in the rocks on the bottom of the reef. As far as I know, the responsible party is still working there.
In the vein of popular spots to covertly view "guests" (see Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Pirates below), there used to be a lifeguard stand at the end of one of the water flumes at River Country that was partially hidden from view. Girls in bikinis would often lose their tops hitting the water and provide a free show. A friend who worked as a lifeguard there said it was the most popular stand for the guys to work.
I worked at Epcot on the College Program and the returning Alumni Program for three summers. In Summer 1991, some friends and I heard about an area on property known as "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Road," and we went out late one night to try finding it. Rumor had it that you could drive over this strip of pavement at 45 miles an hour, and you could hear this familiar tune as the tires wemt over the bumps in the pavement. My friends and I found the area in the test site of the Walt Disney World buses, and we know we heard the song! We went back later to "show" it to friends, but it was gone! Now, nobody believes us when we tell this story. Out of curiosity, has anybody else who may have been working during that summer (or any other summer) ever heard this?
From: Mike Blasco 07 SEP 96
I wanted Jennnifer to know that she did indeed hear the "Zip" road. It was on the airstrip for a very short time. A Cast Member friend of mine from the Audio/Visual department developed it - offered the technology for free to the Disney " powers that be" with one stipulation that they do not sell the technology...which they flatly refused. So, alas, a wonderful technology sits dormant. Interestingly, this idea was to be installed at the entrance road (World Drive) to the Magic Kingdom for the 25th Anniversary. (By the way, the part of the song used for the test was..." zip-a-dee-doo-dah-zip-a-dee-a" ---nine " notes" ) Hope this helps Jennifer's reputation!!
Here's just a little story for you and anyone else who may be interested. As you may know, or not know, Disney World now hosts Weddings for people wanting to tie the knot. Well, there was of course one wedding that started this off. It was a "once in a lifetime" occurrence that my parents won. There was a contest, The Disney Dream Contest (March 1991), and my family had just the right amount of luck to make our dream come true. My parents were married in front of Cinderella's Castle, privately at about 11 p.m. on September 12, 1991. It was broadcast on The Disney Channel and everything!! So, you can do what you like with this info and if you don't believe it, just ask the wedding department at Walt Disney World.
Note from TR Shaw: There have been so many weddings at Walt Disney World that Disney had to build a special Wedding Pavilion just next to the Grand Floridian! You can see the chapel from the monorail.
I always hated when they would bring a group of guests into the tunnels because they would always bring them by the Dressing rooms and the "ZOO." And there, for all to see, is Cinderella in her bloomers smoking a cigerette on her break and about 30 Mickey heads on a rack. Parts of heads and bodies all over the place. It really spoils the magic.
From: Eric 25 APR 98
My marching band performed in the afternoon parade at the WDW Magic Kingdom in January, 1997. When we arrived early in the morning we were given a backstage tour. It's amazing how beat up and filthy the buildings are backstage. Our guide said "that's why we don't give backstage tours!" We were also told that if we took photos the film would be immediately removed from our cameras since it would "ruin the magic" for people seeing the pictures. We later entered the parade from the gate behind Pirates of the Carribean and exited next to the main entrance. It was a long walk backstage to our changing rooms. Along the way I was able to actually see people on the Jungle Boat ride through the trees.
From: Bridget Vaughan 08 JAN 96
I was a member of a Marching Band and we were always invited to Disney Magic Music Days...While behind the scenes we were told that if we took pictures they would take our film and kick us out...it was like a mini-mob operation...I didn't fully understand at the time why we were basically threatened with our lives. Needless to say a friend of mine snuck away with a couple snapshots...they are kinda crooked and sideways...but no juicy stuff..bummer eh?
From: Miss Dyane L Dietz 13 SEP 96
My story deals with a very busy Sunday at the Disney Store. I have been working for the Company since 1992 (yes I was also a College Program person). I couldn't begin with all the stories I have encountered as a Cast Member, but the best happened while I was stationed next to the video wall the day after Thanksgiving.
A young person was watching our video screens - which is not out of the ordinary. He then began to do the "I have to use the bathroom dance". Wouldn't you know it, he decided to relieve himself right in front of the videos.
After I caught his attention it was too late. Needless to say, he never once took his eyes off of the television screens. Now that is true dedication to television.
From: Adam Vega 20 JAN 97
It's interesting to note that even nature seems to make Hidden Mickeys. If anyone has taken a chemistry or biology course, they know that the formula for water is H20. Well, it just so happens that a water molecule forms a Hidden Mickey - with the large Oxygen molecule making the head and the two smaller Hydrogen molecules making the ears. When I was in High School, my chem teacher gave us little cutouts of Mickey heads so we would remember!
From: Joyce Miller 02 SEP 98
Hello! Just got back from "The World" last night and wanted to tell you how much looking for Hidden Mickeys added to our fun and the interest level of our 7-year-old who wanted to escape the crippling heat by going back to the hotel. Not a bad idea, being in the pool was self-defense! Also wanted to give you our hidden Mickey reports, plus the news that hidden mickeys are official! I was directed to go to the Discovery Center (first, I was told to go to Innoventions, where I was redirected) to pick up the official list. If you would like me to fax it to you, I would be happy to, since finding your website really ehlped us out. We're lucky enough to be regular visitors and I was pleasantly surprised to find out something new! My son found two hidden mickeys. One is in the needlepoint-looking rug in front of the lobby elevator and first floor elevators, maybe on all the floors, I didn't have the time to investigate, sorry. In the design, there are checkerboard hidden mickeys, in the colors of aqua blue and yellow. Does this count? Also, one night my son is taking a bath when all of a sudden he starts yelling Mommy, mommy. I break land speed records getting to the bathroom to find him pointing excitedly to the toilet and the spare roll of toilet paper on top of it. I don't get it at first so he patiently explains that the bubble design of the wrapping around the toilet paper has hidden mickeys in it. Sure enough, it's random but there are hidden mickeys to be found. A few minutes later, my heartrate returned to normal. By then I was already acclimated to accelerated heartrates from Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad. Thanks again for a great website! Keep up the good work! Take care!