Stories Behind the Scenes


Epcot

From: Kathleen Brown 13 MAY 02

I Am A Ballet Dancer with the Wooldlands Civic Ballet, and our company got the chance to do the Magic Music days Program during spring Break in 2002. I went with all of my friends and We were all hyped up the day before we perfomed. We performed at the Epcot west stage and we entered by the cast entrance by United Kingdom (by the way World Showcase looks really really cool from behind). The night before the performance we were in Magic kingdom and we went up and down it shouting "Come to the best performace of all! It is at Epcot west stage at 2:30 tomarrow. Come to see balerinas!!" And so on. We also did this in the queue for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and The People Mover. Needless to say we got many dirty looks. I have been to Disney World 18 times and this was the best trip of all. I had so much fun although that stage was horrible for dancing. My pionte shoe got stuck in a hole!

From: Lori 03 OCT 01

I visited Disney for the first time in over 20 years in March 2000 with my best friend and her family (hubbie and 2 kids). While visiting Epcot, we decided to eat in Great Britain, at the pub (Rose & Crown?) on the water, hoping for a great view of the Millenium Celebration that night. Well, we were finishing up, and our server/CM (who was great) came over to us and wondered if we would like to be involved in the Celebration in a special way. She told us that Devyn (who was 8) could start off the whole show out on their decking. Of course, we agreed, and about 3 servers whisked Devyn away and explained what she would be doing. They really made a big deal over her and made her feel so special. She got to hold a lighted baton and signal the start. It was amazing - such a great moment for us!! She walked on a cloud for days. Plus -- how lucky could we be?? Talk about being in the right place at the right time. So - I highly recommend that restaurant for late supper if you have children (or not) and maybe it could happen to you too! They turned our vacation into a really exciting experience and FULL of that Disney Magic. (Plus, the fish and chips were GREAT.)

From: Ski 26 JUL 01

when my father and i were watching the firworks at epcot a private party was taking place on the patio that is connected to the large bridge that i believe goes to france. This bridge is a well known place to watch firworks as well as teh patio when a party is not taking place. Me being only nine was forced to look at the firworks behind large bodys of tall men and women. One of the disney employess working at this party offerd me the chance to sit on the steps leading down to the patio gladly i took the chance. I had a private sitting area all to my self!

From: Sara 12 FEB 01

I'm a regular Disney-goer from South Florida, so anything I have to wait in line for for more than 20 minutes is ridiculous. But, in August of 1999, my family and I decided to ride Test Track on an incrediblely hot day. We saved the ride for last because we were leaving that day and the only reason we went to epcot was to experience the long awaited track. Conseqently, we ended up waiting about 3 and a half hours. Half way through about an hour line, the ride broke down(how unusual for Test Track!...haha). But we were not about to leave! So the cast members announced it could be a LONG time before the ride began running again. The line began thinning, and the ardent fans bunkered down. We were allowed the back way out to get food and drinks for the two hour duration. My brother and I even walked around the World while my parents waited! Two and a half hours of sitting on the floor later, we got on the ride. And it was well worth the wait.

From: Amy Duggan 10 APR 99

While it was my 10th time to WDW it was my friends 1st ,as we wanted to do everthing we decided to go on th Universe of Energy after boarding the car (we got the brilliant seats in the very front of the left hand car ) we eneterd the dinosaur scene , ok , so our travelled fine until just after the allosaurus and stegasaur fight and then it stopped . slowley the light came up and i was thinking "this isnt right" the the dinosaurs stopped moving and the sound went of , then the voice over : "please remain seated we are having technical diffuculties ".....blah blah blah so we're all sitting there in broad daylight.Then they sent some custodial guy down to talk and keep us amused , he was funny well after about 40 minutes they backed the cars up into the first theater and let us of the ride , the good thing was that they allowed us to take as many photo's as we liked !!! all that on easter sunday as well !!!! p.s we rode test track earlier in the week and when we went back there on the tuesday after easter the wait was 2hours 45 mins !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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: Merlin Mann 23 NOV 98

My wife and I visited EPCOT with my Mom a couple years ago. Unfortunately, my Mom was wearing a really poorly designed fanny pack that caused her to dump all of her credit cards, ID, etc. somewhere between Germany and the US. We frantically contacted a clerk in a gift shop and within minutes an incredibly competent woman with a walkie-talkie was dispatched to help us locate the lost stuff. She hung out with us for the duration and walked us through the many ways that our stuff might magically reappear. It seemed like wishful thinking, and I prepared Mom for the possibility that her cards were currently being used to run up huge tabs for some hawk-eyed felon. The amazing part is that in about an hour, half her stuff had been located--turned in by guests. We were consoled by guest relations that (this part is kind of hard to believe) as the trash cans were emptied each night, the detritius was observed by Cast Members, watching for cameras, purses and other valuables. The finale? All of the remaining cards (including AMEX and VISA) were waiting for us the next morning at the lost & found near ticketing for the Magic Kingdom. I don't know how it happened, but suffice to say, my cynicism about WDW's bizarro anal-retentiveness was ameliorated by this level of care for its visitors. I was really impressed--both by the systemic efficiency and by the personal interest our Cast Member took in our otherwise mundane plight. Talk about a "Magic Kingdom"....

Spaceship Earth

From: anon 08 JUL 96

Here's a little story that is very true, but not often told. Remember the television commercial with Mickey waving from the top of Spaceship Earth? Well, as you from your secrets page, you can take an elevator most of the way up (but no higher than the actual ride-cars go) and then there is a large area in the center of that "room" that offers access to the hatch with the use of a lift (cherry picker). The hatch was opened and Mickey was placed into position. Although I'm unsure of how long Mickey was outside, I do know the Character Cast Member was terrified once outside and tinkled inside the costume.

Innoventions

From: Jeff Tatanus 06 JUL 01

Near Innoventions, I ran into a great CM who went by the name 'Chip Byte' or something to that effect. Chip talked with me (age ~8) and talked to me about the different "stuff" within inoventions. He even drew up a diagram for a product I "invented" when I saw a robot lawn mover on the lawn near innoventions.

Test Track

From: Devin Dreher 05 JUN 01

My brother, mom, and I went to Epcot back in February. My brother and I desperately wanted to go on Test Track (we've ridden it before). The line (obviously) was extremely long so we decided to use the "singles" line. As the line inched along for about 45 minutes, guests started getting angry because cast members were letting people in the regular line and fast pass get one first. The anger quickly escalated into yelling and chanting "we want on," etc. 2 cast members tried to calm guests, but it was not working as guests were literally getting in their faces. Another cast member dressed in a suit and tie with an ear piece and a woman dressed nicely as well appeared out of nowhere and calmed the nerves of guests. Unfortunately, it started raining and they had to close the ride. GRRRR.

From: Ashlea Hebert 25 AUG 98

Mexico

From: Matthew Gage 15 MAR 00

Everbody has that one ride that is most special to them. It may not be the scariest, wetest, or "fastest ride in the wilderness" but rather holds a sentimental value instead. For me, that ride is El Rio del Tiempo, better know as The River of Time. Maybe its the festive wears, or the aroma from the San Angel Inn. Whatever the case may be, it's most likely due to the amount of time I spent on the attraction. Yes, El Rio del Tiempo was the first Disney ride in which I got stuck. To this day I don't know how it happened but I can recall the scene at which I stopped in front of de facto, fours years after the fact! There was a "pool of water" to my left which was actually a projected image upon a screen. Further left, there was a movie which ran on a loop after every three scenes. The first scene was some boys running across the beach. The next was a boat sailing across the sea. Lastly, a group of girls in skimy bikinis walked by. How could I forget that? But anyway, that was pretty much all there was to look at for a little over a half hour. To my right was a cave wall and nothing to look at. In case anyone wants to see the famed, as I have come to call it, "San Caved Inn" it is a narrow passage two scenes before the last scene with the fiber optic firework display. In other words X = San Caved Inn, Y = singing doll scene, and Z = fireworks display. So use this story as a pearl of Disney wisdom. Always make the best of every "101." (To the real Walt Disney World troopers and cast members who know what a "101" is.) And remember, the next time you are at Epcot, make sure that you don't overlook this timeless Disney classic. And don't say I didn't warn you: They don't call it The River of Time for nothing.

Norway

From: Brad Tracy 01 JAN 00

Last year i was riding Malstrom (the Norway ride), when we were at the part where you turn around and the trolls are right there. Just my luck, the ride broke down...and they had to turn on the lights. Norwegian girls came to assist us off the ride. It just so happened that there was an air vent right by the boat, where we would get off. If you recall, the Norwegian girls wear the long dresses...and they walked over the vent to get to us, not knowing it was flowing air. Well, you know what happened next...it was an uncanny resemblence to Marylin Manroe and her vent. Her dress flew up right infront of us...Now That's Disney Hospitality!!! a NAME=Africa>

Africa

From: Stephanie Asbury 18 MAR 01

My High School Jazz Band played at the Future World stage in Epcot as part of Disney Magic Music Days. There weren't an extreme amount of people in the area to listen to our show so we were somewhat disappointed after the turn out we had had at the Tomorrowland stage in Magic Kingdom the year before. That night, while touring the park, we sat down in the African Refreshment area beside this shop where there was a hut. Under the hut were a bunch of conga drums. We just started banging on the drums and realized that it sounded really awesome! With one of our band's drummers as the leader we led a jam session with the congo drums and singing "Hey MAMMA FREE MY SOUL" under the hut. We attracted a HUGE crowd around us! Some little kids came and joined us, and the storytellers that worked in the store didn't want us to leave. People were clapping and dancing. We performed in Epcot twice that day, and it's an experience that I will never forget!

American Adventure


From: Chris Reichert 26 FEB 99

From: Charles A. Reiss 04 AUG 96

When I was at the American Adventure during my visit from June 10th to 17th, 1996. There was a humorous Cast Member. He said:

"The audio-animantorinics are very life like so please get as close to them as you can... they havan't bitten, ... yet."

"During the performance we ask you to refrain from flash photography, smoking, flash photography, drinking, flash photography, eating, flash photography, talking, flash photography, video photography,..."

"Please gather all your boloogings, espically children becuase if they are nont found in 3 days they will be nailed to the floor in 'it's a small world' and have to sing that song!"

Candlelight Procession

From:Katherine Hochdorfer 27 JUL 97

The Candlelight Procession is a parade done just before Christmas. The choir you see walk down Main street to the front of the train station is made up of High School choirs. They have to submit there entries by mail months before and get excepted to go. They must also practice before the performance with a Guest Director and Guest Speaker who will tell the story of Christ Birth. This is done in the Production studio where the Electric Parade is normally at. Even with all the practice you don't just here the choirs when they're processing that music and some voices are pumped through speakers. When they are at the train station its just the choirs. The candles you see them holding are actually battery operated. I had the honor of doing this all 4yrs I was at Jupiter High School. What an experience.

From: Loren Jones 31 MAR 98

If I remember correctly they also do a Candlelight Procession at Epcot, unless I'm thinking of the same program, but I've had the previlage this year of singing under the direction of one of the people in charge of that show, in fact we did a modified version of it here at my school. Just to bring that into a little bit different of scope. They performed that show 92 times over 30 days, and had to even pre-record some of the celebrity readers because they couldn't get down to Florida. It was neat to hear about all of that from a director's stand-point.

From: Tania D 17 DEC 98

The Christmas Candlelight procession at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are one and the same. It was moved from Main Street to the American Pavillion about 3 or 4 years ago. WDW now sells special package tickets to this function that includes dinner at your favorite restaurant within Epcot and prefered seating to this performance for 39.95 per person. (Admission to the park not included in that price) WDW is also offering the CD version of this concert. (recorded with Louis Gossett Jr. as the narrator during Christmas 1997)


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