Stories Behind the Scenes



From: Becky Richards 03 SEP 00

Once when I was at Disneyland during the Christmas season in 1998, my mom, sister and I went to the River Belle Terrace for dinner. Since it was so crowded, they were moving the overflow seating to the empty Golden Horseshoe. After dinner, I idly commented that it would be fun to play the piano on the stage, and a passing Cast Member let me do it! So, I went up and plinked out a few Disney songs that I knew and was startled to get appluase from an audience of diners I didn't even know had been listening!

Big Thunder

From: Nicole 09 AUG 01

Back on May 8, my family and I went to Disneyland. We got up EARLY on that Saturday so that we could take advantage of Early Admission into the park. We wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain first, but when we got over there, the CM's in front said that it was closed at the time and that it would be open in a while. So, we went over to Tomorrowland and worked our way back. When we got back to BTMR, it was open. The CM's (the same two from earlier) wished us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We replied back with Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday. All the way down the ramp to the stairs, we were souting back and fourth different wishes for different holidays. So, we got up to the station and loaded all 10 of us in the middle part of the train. We rode it once and when we got back, there was no line (with the exception of a few people waiting for the front of the train)! So, we asked the CM in the unloading side if we could ride again on this train without having to go back around. He looked around and said "Go to the back." Well, we were pretty excited. We not only got to ride it again, we were in the best place to sit!!! So, we went around again and when we got back, there was a little line, so we left to have breakfast. Thanks to that CM for letting us re-ride BTMR in the best seats of the train!!!

From: Scott Space Ace Oliverson 04 JUN 00

This was a ride I once went on a long time ago, back in DisneyLand of the summer of 1986. It replaced the origional attraction NATURE's WONDERLAND of the 1950s-60s-70s! It still looks the same as before, nothing changed or updated to either the queue area or rollercoaster ride. But when my brother and I stood in line, making its way through the western-mining town of the 1800s, then up the staircase to the boarding gates, Jason didn't feel too good about riding this out-of-control rollercoaster mine-train because it looked too fast for him. So I dared him with "OK, if you won't go, I'll ride it for you" just to make him happy. Unfortunately he did not want me riding alone with strangers so he went on anyway. Upon boarding the train-coaster, we were swooping around the turns, climbing the hills, going down the drops like a real coaster. Jason was leaning to the side, eyes closed and hanging on for dear life while I was hanging on myself because when the train went over the dips, I felt myself lifted out of my seat known as "AIR-TIME" and had to hang on tightly to the safety bar. By the time we returned to the exit, Jason gave me this angry look as if to say "That's the last time I let you talk me into going on a rollercoaster. I HATE ROLLERCOASTERS!" Well, the next time we go with our Aunt Mitzi & Uncle Doug to Walt Disney World in Florida, Doug and I will go on the coaster rides of Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Rock'n Roller Coaster while Jason and Mitzi wait on the sidelines.

From: Jennifer 14 JUL 99

The part that my family and I think is the best on Thunder Mountain is when you go through a mine looking thing and the car drops but you go up! It is the best part of the whole ride. Does anyone else agree or disagree with me? Does anyone not know what I am talking about?


From: Sean 23 NOV 98

My family and I were at Disneyland about a year ago, and it was such a rainy, horrible, nasty day. Although it was very interesting to see how the weather affects the parks opperating procedure. Fist of all it started out to be a normal overcast day, then we decided to ride Big Thunder, we got on the ride and went into the fisrt tunnel, and as we came out of the first tunnel it was hailing! That's right, hail! Well by the time the ride was over we were completely soaked. (note: not a good idea to wear a jean jacket on a rainy day!) They soon closed down the ride, as well as many outdoor rides in the park. Then we were looking forward to watching Fantasmic, the show finally started, and it had a great many changes in it. For one thing, all the characters that rode boats during the show, stayed stationary, which was very intersting to whach The Peter Pan ship scene, when the music didn't match what they were doing. (how can Hook and Pan fight each other on different ends of the ship?) Not to mention, the which that turns into a dragon, stayed the which the whole time, very interesting as she seemed to be making dragon sounds. But it was just very interesting to see how a little rain can affect the SOP's (standard opperating procedure's) =) Has this happened to anyone else?

Hunchback Of Notre Dame Festival of Fools

From: JK Grence 11 NOV 98

Re: Maynard My experience with Maynard was at the Hunchback Of Notre Dame Festival of Fools. A friend I was touring with wanted to see the Festival, but by the time we got there, there was a CM announcing that teh Festival was Full of Fools and we could come back tomorrow if we wanted to see the show (yeh right). We were feeling kinda bad about this, as my friend really wanted to see the show. However, as we were leaving, i noticed a rather down-looking CM on stroller-pushing duty. Then, I noticed his name tag said "MAYNARD". I went up to him and asked if he was the same Maynard made famous on the internet. He said he probably was, and then he checked through my Secrets book and read through all the stuff said about him. Then, he went into his own mini-Festival of Fools. Instead of the regular lyrics, he created lyrics of his own relating to strollers! It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. All I remember was the last one ending "in this stro...ller.. LAAAAAAAAAND!" After that, he showed us his termite character. I asked him to sign my Secrets book, and he left me with these words of wisdom: "Spam is tasty, yes! But it makes a messy hat." I also have a drawing by him of Jester Maynard- one of his personae no longer existing due to the Hunchback show being done with. There were a lot of people staring strangely at Maynard, as if he was having some sort of apoplptic fit- but my friend and I had the best experience of the day with Maynard; I think a couple of fans brightened his day too. Thanks Maynard!

Rivers of America

From: Kellee Richards 01 JUL 02

Several years ago, I was at Disneyland with my mom and my sister and we decided to ride the Explorer Canoes. It was a very hot summer day and I was feeling mischievous, so at one point when we passed another canoe, I used my paddle to flip water at the people in it! My mom was sure I'd get in trouble, but I didn't. I think my victims were more appreciative of the unexpected cooldown than annoyed. And the CMs in both canoes thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen.

From: anon 10 MAY 01

Last week when I went to Disneyland with my friends, and we met a couple of guys named Ryan and Ray who worked the Tom Sawyer Rafts (hotties). After getting off the raft, I asked my friend to give him my number to Ryan. When she did so, he looked up, winked and smiled, then told the other cast member Ray what had happened. It was the single happiest day of my life. I still dream about them.

From: Larry R. Patterson 17 MAY 99

In 1970 I went to work for Disneyland as a ride operator. During the 1971 summer season I worked on the "keel boats". The S.O.P(standard operating procedure) manual included the spiel that you had to recite. It was rather dull, and started like this, "Howdy folks, welcome aboard the Gullywhumper(or Bertha Mae). That was rather dull so I spent a day in the library at Cypress Community College rewriting the spiel. The new introduction went like this, "Howdy, all you pioneers, polecats, muleskinners, muskrats, in-laws, outlaws, horse thiefs, cattle rustlers, chicken pluckers, cherry pickers, city slickers, lovely ladies, and all you other ladies, welcome aboard the Gullywhumper." After changing around the spiel, most of the other operators also changed their spiels to something of a similar nature. It was a great summer.

Trash Can Story

From: Java & Jogja 14 AUG 97

It was my first summer being a cast member at Disneyland. I had the great privellege to serve with some of the finest cast members in the Disneyland Custodial Department (no joke, they are some of the finest in Disneyland). I was assigned to sweep an area in Frontier/Adventureland called Pirate's Alley. This area covers the vast distances between the entrance to Pirates of the Carribean, down the path beside the Rivers of America, and to the wooden bridge in front of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I was also responsible for the cleanliness of the loading dock to the Mark Twain. While I was sweeping, I was confronted by Frank, another cast member who worked in the Mark Twain. He said to me, "We should make our trash cans easier to understand." I said, "Excuse me?" Being a first time cast member, I was intimidated thinking that I might've done something wrong. Frank then started to tell me a story of how he saw a puzzled guest trying to figure out HOW to open the darn trash can so she can dispose some trash! Frank assisted the guest after he noticed that she was not succesful. Frank then told the guest, "You know ma'am there was another trash can inside the waiting area.." the guest replies, "I know, I tried that one first..."

Mine Train

From: Larry R. Patterson 28 MAY 99

Howdy folks, welcome to the little minining town of Rainbow Ridge, the Gateway to Nature's Wonderland..... So began the taped spiel used on the Mine Train attraction that was in operation prior to Big Thunder Railroad. As a cast member and ride operator in 1970, I was assigned to the Mine Train one cold winter weekend night for a private party. Some of you may remember the scene where the train came out of the tunnel and crossed the rickety old trestle. Down to right was tall elephant grass and a family of animatronic bears. Their outer covering was an actual black bear hide on a fiberglass armature. When the bears would get dirty or matted, the maintenence staff would change the bears outer covering. That cold weekend night I was driving the train over the trestle when one of my fellow operators started screaming from down among the bears. He had placed one of the outer bearskins on top of himself and was pretending to be in a life and death struggle with the wild animal. I laughed to myself and continued on with the tour. About 10 minutes after unloading that bunch of passengers, Park security came running up saying they had a report of a wild animal attack. It was pretty hilarious, but I helped them search in vain for the hapless "victim". Hope you have enjoyed this bit of trivia.

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