Hitting the Sweep Spot with Disneyland Custodial

Written by Jeff Heimbuch. Posted in Disneyland Resort, Features, From the Mouth of the Mouse

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Published on August 01, 2012 at 12:02 am with 4 Comments

In today’s From the Mouth of the Mouse, we talk to Lynn, a former custodial worker at Disneyland. For the last few months, Lynn has been the host of The Sweep Spot, a podcast on his experiences in the Park. Each one of their episodes is packed with more behind-the-scenes stories than the last. Lynn was kind enough to share some of his stories with us.


JEFF: Let’s start with the basics. Where did you work?

LYNN: I worked at Disneyland Park from summer 1998 to summer 2007 in Custodial. Before that, I worked at the Plaza Inn & Plaza Pavilion from 1991 to 1993.

JEFF: What did you do at the Plaza Inn?

LYNN: I was a busser.

JEFF: What exactly does a busser do? The same thing as they do in most restaurants?

LYNN: We collect dirty dishes from the tables and take them back to the dishwasher. When I worked there, we put the dirty dishes in a tub that would sit on a stand. When we were finished with a table, we would then fold up the stand and put the tub on our shoulder. The tubs got very heavy at times, and if we filled it up too much, we got in trouble. We would also sweep the area around the restaurant.

JEFF: There seems to be a pretty large gap between the first time you worked at Disneyland and the second. Do you mind if I ask why you left the first time?

LYNN: I was a seasonal Cast Member and wasn’t getting enough hours.

JEFF: Was it common for seasonal folks not to get enough hours during that time?

LYNN: Well, as a seasonal Cast Member, you would get lots of hours during Christmas, Thanksgiving, other holidays, the summer, and on weekends. During other times, you would rarely get hours, so it just wasn’t enough to sustain me.

JEFF: What made you want to go back in 1998?

LYNN: I was in a Christian rock band and I had quit my previous job so I could go on a tour. When I came back, I needed a job, and thought about Disneyland again!

JEFF: Did you have a specific area that you worked in during your custodial years, or were you all over?

LYNN: I was all over. I was a Custodial Lead for 8 of my 9 years with Custodial.

JEFF: What did your job consist of as a Custodial Lead?

LYNN: Well, you were in charge of a specific area for the day, pretty much. For instance, Main Street, U.S.A. Within that area, there were maybe 3 or 4 sweeping areas. We would make sure the Cast Members were doing their job. We would help alongside them, too. We would also make the schedule for the day, assigning breaks and lunches, and we would respond to calls from Custodial Central.

Some of the common calls would be a liquid spill at an attraction, shop, or wherever. We would also get calls for code V’s. A code V means vomit. Those would occur anywhere, but mainly in attractions that are more high speed. There is so much more to a custodial lead, but that’s the basics.

JEFF: Did you work overnight, or during the days?

LYNN: During the days. Our shifts would be anywhere from 5:30 AM and ending at 1:30 AM at the latest.

JEFF: Did you have a place you enjoyed working at most?

LYNN: Yes, I really enjoyed the west side of the park, New Orleans and Adventure/Frontierland.

JEFF: What about those places did you like the best?

LYNN: I liked the atmosphere in those areas. The trees were a plus in the summer, because of the shade. I also enjoyed working nights and doing the Fantasmic show cleanups. Those show cleanups are pretty intense. We would clean up the viewing area in front of Rivers of America after the show in about 20 minutes flat!

JEFF: What lands did you like the least, and why?

LYNN: I personally didn’t like the Small World area. That consisted of the Matterhorn and up to the Small World attraction. I didn’t mind the attractions, but the parade route in front of Small World became a food court at times, with tons of outdoor vending carts selling food and drinks. It left a mess for us to clean up every day. I was also scheduled in Small World a lot, so I think I got tired of it.

JEFF: As Custodians, you guys are pretty much the unsung heroes of the park. You keep it clean all the time. How do you feel about that?

LYNN: I took great pride in keeping the park clean, and I think most custodians did as well.

JEFF: Would you like to share any special memories or magical moments that you created?

LYNN: I do remember helping lost children a lot. The children are so scared, and their parents are. too. I had one incident where I calmed down a parent because they were so worried, then after they were reunited with their child, they came and found me to personally thank me for helping calm them down. It was very sweet of them.

JEFF: Given the chance, would you go back again?

LYNN: Yes, I would. I left this last time in 2007 because my family and I decided to move to Utah. I had such a great experience at Disney, and miss it a lot. Of course, it is like any job where you get frustrated with situations, but I can truly say that it was a wonderful place to work. You meet so many neat people, both Guests and other Cast Members.

I have a greater appreciation for Disneyland now and what it means to so many people. I really tried to help keep the place clean and keep the mission going. I believe Disneyland is a place where you can forget about your problems and enjoy yourself. I was glad I was able to be a part of making magic for others to enjoy.

JEFF: Tell me a little bit about The Sweep Spot, your podcast.

LYNN: The Sweep Spot is myself and another Cast Member I worked with at Disneyland. We discuss Disneyland attractions, talk about the history of them, and some of our memories with these attractions. We also do fun stuff like give tips and trip reports. My plan is to eventually have other former Cast Members on our show from other departments to share their stories as well. So far we have had a few on and hope to have more soon.

The Sweep Spot podcast is growing fast and I enjoy doing it. It is fun to relive these stories and talk about one of my favorite places – Disneyland.

Thank you, Lynn, for sharing! And everyone else, make sure you check out Lynn’s podcast, the wonderfully named Sweep Spot.

Don’t forget come back each week to hear more of the magic directly From the Mouth of the Mouse.

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By Jeff Heimbuch

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Comments for Hitting the Sweep Spot with Disneyland Custodial are now closed.

  1. Wonderful interview.

    I think this is a great opportunity to thank all of the folks in Custodial. Jeff really says it all above. Custodial are the unsung heroes of the park!

  2. What Christian rock band were you in Lynn?

  3. Nevermind, found you!

  4. I love telling people how clean Disneyland is and I have a story to back it up! In 2002, we were at the Resort for Halloween. My daughter, then aged 4, was going to be dressed up as “Boo (Monsters, Inc.) in her pajamas” complete with the black wig and pig tails. In trying to keep the costume as authentic looking as possible, we decided to put white socks OVER her shoes. I figured these socks would be trashed by midway through the afternoon in the parks, let alone making it into the evening, so I had multiple pairs in my bag. She had a great time taking photos with Princesses all dressed up and even had another child ask for her autograph because she thought Cait was a real walk around character (yeah, that was my proud mommy moment!) and as she started to get tired we knew it was time to head back to the Disneyland Hotel for a nap. As we walked down Main Street, my husband picked her up and I looked at her feet. I was stunned – and then started grabbing Custodial CM’s to thank them for such a clean Park. Her socks were BARELY DIRTY!! This was after hours of walking around in both DCA and Disneyland!! They do a tremendous job and always with a smile and the time to talk when they have pins to trade. I know that there seems to be a level of guests that cares less and less about the park and treat it poorly, but the custodial CMs are still there working harder than ever to keep things “neat and pretty.”