Today’s Cast Blast is sort of a grab bag. We are sent small bits of info and stories from time to time that do not warrant an entire entry, so we thought we would put some of those together for you. These are interesting or fun facts that you may not be aware of.
- - Guests used to try to “check in” at the All Star Café located at the then “Disney’s Wide World of Sports.” The signature themed restaurant was located not far from the All-Star Resorts and there was some obvious name confusion.
- - When working in marketing, another name we considered for “Downtown Disney” at Walt Disney World included “The Disney District.”
- -Marketing and sales Cast Members began efforts to promote “MYST Island” an entire year before it was decided not to move forward with the project.
- We used to take a shortcut, to “Pride Rock” (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Cast cafeteria,) by walking through a dirt field that was located behind “Pocahontas and her Forest Friends.” There was a small concrete slab and loop where some would park knowing that one day it would become Beastly Kingdom. *That area is now ground zero for Avatar.
- One day I was working in guest relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a guest claiming to be a professional photographer called to have a special safari set up for him so he could take pictures of the animals. He wanted a personal vehicle to drive him around the savannah as he wished to get whatever shots he wanted. The more we spoke to him the angrier he became, because we were not able to fulfill his request. Turned out he was not a professional photographer at all and just a regular guest who was trying to get special access. We would get quite a few requests from guests claiming to be “professional photographer” in order to get special treatment. Please do not try this…it does not work.
- On the Epcot monorail station located at the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center), we adopted a wild crow and brought in bird seed for him to eat. Some called him Mr. Pee Pants. He would fly in and land on our hand, arm or shoulder. Little extra things like that really made it special.
- Prior to the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, all opening team Cast Members were involved with a pep rally that really made us all feel like one family. It took place in the then open-air “Theater in the Wild.” The overall theme was “up with people” and built the trust between various departments. There were a lot of unknowns with the park and it was a crucial event to make all the teams feel comfortable.
- One day I was driving home from work and I took an exit off of World Drive and had to come to a screeching stop. There was a minivan parked in the road with barely enough room to get around. I immediately thought something was wrong. Their hazard lights were on and I stopped and jumped out to see what I could do to help. A man rushed up to me and told me to be quiet. I looked and his wife was literally standing about six feet away from a four foot alligator that was in the retention pond in the middle of the exit loop. She was trying to take a picture and he wanted me to be quiet so I wouldn’t scare it away. I warned him that what they were doing was very dangerous, got in my car and drove away.
- When the water cannon was originally installed at Splash Mountain, we would sometimes try to convince guests that we had the button that would shoot the water.
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, some guests would ask us if we had real dinosaurs. My friend would say “why do you think it took them so long to build the park?” Quite a few did think the dinosaurs were real.
Thank you for reading Cast Blast. We are currently working on stories dealing with Cast Members and celebrities. If you have any Cast Member stories involving celebrities please send them to [email protected].