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  1. #46

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    I had the common Magic Music Days backstage experience (where I saw a bunch of old Submarine Voyage props, a Peter Pan's Flight ship being worked on in a warehouse, and the cool towers from which fireworks were launched for the former Believe... show). We got to walk behind the Fantasyland Theater, past the Storybookland Canal Boats, and behind Pinocchio's Daring Journey/Snow White's Scary Adventures to get to the stage where we performed.

    Also, once on an extremely busy day I was corralled backstage behind Main Street on the Space Mountain side. It was neat to see the old administrative building and the backs of all the Main Street Buildings, which look so plain from the back. The Mad Hatter was also taking a break with Alice, and it was strange to see him not wearing his big green hat.
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  2. #47

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    I rarely have been afforded the chance to be on a ride when it breaks down and has to be evacuated. The most it's happened on was BTMRR, as one time we were stuck right smack dab in the middle of the Carlbad Caverns-esque lift hill. The lights were turned on, and everything looked pretty much the same as it did with all the effects running, save that it was brighter, and much easier to see the grey paint of the bat cave. The other time, we were mid-ride, but so close to the end that the attendants just pushed our train to get it started again, and we coasted to the end of the ride.

    One more recent one was a couple years ago, when I was on Indy when it broke down, right in the poisoned dart room. Eventually, the lights came on, and we were evacuated through the rest of the ride (boulder room, indy with smashed boulder, out). What struck me is how HUMONGOUS the room for the boulder effect was; it looked much more like an jet liner hangar in sheer magnitude. I mean, it was HUUUUUUUUGE. I still can't get over it. I never realized how much work and effort, not to mention space, that the park needed to make an effect work properly. I had always thought that the boulder room was done in a much tighter area, but now I am edumacated in the ways of the Indy*Boulder.

    For my money, though, my favorite ride to get stuck on is Space Mountain. It's only happened to me twice, the most recent being Monday of Labor Day weekend in the late morning / early afternoon. Sadly, we got stuck right at the end of the crashdown, and didn't get to see much of anything significant. Got to see how those lights work at the end, though, and that was interesting. It's so simple, yet so effective. Much applause to the imagineers. However, when the train came racing behind us, there was that feeling of "Oh, poop. We are going to die. Just... wonderful." Thankfully, it was stopped, although the crashdown sounds and effects worked, making it seem all that much more likely that we were gonna die. I HATE it when that happens.
    The other time on SM was a few years ago, near the end, same thing with the feeling of impending death. But we were still very much in the main room, and got to see all the worklights come on, and my brother and I saw the metal monstrosity that is SM. It is so cool, kind of looks like a warehouse inside... like the world's most exciting Home Depot, IMO.

    What I'd REALLY like to get stuck on and evacuated out of, however, is Haunted Mansion and PotC, as well as Indy more in the middle of the ride, like right over the bridge. And the Matterhorn... that would be cool.

  3. #48

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan-500
    8 foot tall pipe? Where, pics? how?
    Well, the pics were from the 60's, I think in a National Geographic article, so I don't have 'em handy. I think the pipe was back behind where the Fantasyland station for the Skyway is. With ToonTown coming in, it may not even be there anymore.

  4. #49

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    I know, I know, it's not as cool to see backstage DCA, but my wife and I were evacuated off California Screamin' last year and they took us back behind the Paradise Pier area, kind of between the parking lot and the corner of the boardwalk area where the Coke billboard is.

    It was so exciting at first but completely boring once there, like a studio lot with occasional golf carts and stuff. It was cool when those performing Beach Boy type guys in their woody with their instruments drove past, and waved at us, but really that was the most interesting part.

    The big bonus of the whole event was the pass to go to the head of any line for a family of 5, which we took over to Splash Mountain and rescued a poor couple and their daughter from the over an hour long wait.
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  5. #50

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ess-Eff-Aitch
    I rarely have been afforded the chance to be on a ride when it breaks down and has to be evacuated.
    Unless you're using sarcasm, I would say you've been very lucky to have been "stuck" on BTMRR, Indy, and twice on Space Mountain in seeing and experiencing the rides in a different manner. Thanks for sharing your stories! The people waiting in the midst of long lines for Space Mountain would hate me for saying this, but I'm still hoping to get stuck on Space Mountain one day, have the lights turn on, and see the steel layout of the tracks with my own eyes.
    Yes, I do LOVE Disney California Adventure. Disneyland is not so bad either ;-)



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  6. #51

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    I've had several opportunites to visit backstage. Mostly, it involved being in and around the DRR roundhouse, helping with the Ward Kimball rebuild a little. To me, the roundhouse is one of the BEST backstage areas! When the trains are steaming up in the early morning, there are lots of engineers, conductors and shop workers scurrying about, polishing engines, adjusting fires, inspecting cars. It's a veritable beehive of activity and noise.

    When the trains depart for the day, it gets eerily quiet.

    Being backstage, we also got a chance to drive around a bit. Obviously, it's fairly industrial back there. Near the original roundhouse, there's a gas station and auto repair shop. At lunch time, a catering truck comes by (the bacon burger and fries is darn good!). Here and there are ride vehicles scattered about, awaiting rehab or scrapping. An HM Omnimover there. A Jungle Cruise launch on a trailer over there. There's even a full garden nursery!

    I was somewhat shocked at the seeming absence of large amounts of people back there. It's fairly quite, and--dare I say?--boring.

    Eating our lunch at the roundhouse on the picnic table under the umbrella out front, we could catch glimpses of happy families on the trains as they went by several hundred feet away, most of them blissfully unaware, because of the way the roundhouse is situated, that the structure was even there.

    Out there, families were having fun at Disneyland. Back where we were, work--albeit fun work--was being performed in service of the illusion.
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 09-15-2005 at 03:20 PM.

  7. #52

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Backstage is not exciting. In fact, it is undermaintained, and most areas of it smell really bad, like sewage that's been cooking in the summer sun, and trash that's been out all night/day too. It is dirty, unpainted (although for some reason, all of backstage has seen a new coat of paint in the last month), and especially at the food locations, you'll be disappointed by a lack of maintaining certain regulations and a basic ignorance of posted signage.

    The only interesting area, as has been metnioned, is back by TDA and It's a Small World/Toontown. All the old floats are back there. I wanted to pretend I was Tarzan when I had Traditions, but I might have gotten too carried away if I'd done that.

    Really though, the magic is all onstage. There is NOTHING magical about backstage.
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  8. #53

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by melmel
    Really though, the magic is all onstage. There is NOTHING magical about backstage.
    That is not the impression that I got from the post before yours!

  9. #54

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by DifrntDrmr
    That is not the impression that I got from the post before yours!
    Well certainly not from backstage on the Westside, which is where he said he wanted to explore!! The backstage area of Adventureland/New Orleans Square/Main Street is exactly how I described it: Dirty and Smelly. I became extremely jaded when I first saw it.

    The only nice thing about backstage is apparently the train station, the old parade floats, and WALT'S APARTMENT, DUH. Been there, it was the best night of my life.
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  10. #55

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by DifrntDrmr
    That is not the impression that I got from the post before yours!
    I guess we all have different ideas on what may be magical. For me, being around the steam engines in the roundhouse is VERY magical. Others, however, who do not appreciate the beauty of grease and soot and train grime, or who may not like the smell of oil or smoke, may not see the "magic" that I do!

    Of course, seeing some of the hsitoric buildings backstage, like the old roundhouse (now the "Cycle Shop"), with the rails still embedded in the blacktop, also was a bit magical for me.

    Oh, and I've smelled worse odors ONSTAGE than I did in the two or three times I've been backstage!

  11. #56

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    I ain't never been back to the roundhouse. Really, we're only allowed to go to our "designated" areas backstage. So I'd seen backstage DCA, backstage Westside up till the ODV building, backstage Tomorrowland and backstage Main Street both sides. I've been briefly back by Toontown, but only on my orientation days.

    The parts I see every day are dull and drab. I'm sure if I saw the roundhouse, I'd be pretty impressed. I must admit, I'd definitely be wowed by all those Santa Fe steam trains in one place, and the monorails upstairs?

    But it ain't the same backstage as in Adventureland.
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  12. #57

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    I guess we all have different ideas on what may be magical. For me, being around the steam engines in the roundhouse is VERY magical. Others, however, who do not appreciate the beauty of grease and soot and train grime, or who may not like the smell of oil or smoke, may not see the "magic" that I do!
    I would bet the sound of doing the blowdowns early in the morning in that still and quiet must be pretty awesome, provided they steam up two right off the bat.

    One of my fondest memories of staying at GCH the last time was when, early in the morning, hearing the steam whistles (we slept with the door to the balcony open).

  13. #58

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Quote Originally Posted by Wotan
    I would bet the sound of doing the blowdowns early in the morning in that still and quiet must be pretty awesome, provided they steam up two right off the bat.

    One of my fondest memories of staying at GCH the last time was when, early in the morning, hearing the steam whistles (we slept with the door to the balcony open).
    There's so much activity, sound and movement in the morning, it's great! Whistles blowing, trains slowly emerging from their stalls, groaning and stretching as they awaken, blowing down, bells ringing, steam chuffing, smoke billowing, engineers polishing, fires roaring, couplers clanking, air hissing.

    Then, as the last train rolls into the park, wheels clicking on the rail joints, whistle echoing off the berm as the train pulls into Tomorrowland. Back at the roundhouse, silence. Quite chatter in the pit under a locomotive; a dropped wrench; a telephone ringing. No movement. All the magic is now in the park.

    It can be like two different places!

  14. #59

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    I have no doubt that most of backstage isn't a terribly pleasant or fascinating place to be for very long, as melmel commented. From what I've seen with Magic Music Days, backstage is basically as everyone has described it. But for those of us who can only get backstage by paying beaucoup d'argent for a few measley minutes behind the scenes, it's a lot of fun to ponder. I'm sure I'm having more fun thinking about it than I actually would while I was there.

    Actually, I enjoy Disneyland more while I'm not there. When I'm in the Disneyland of my memories, all the logistics and little unpleasant details melt away and I'm left with a perfect theme park. Call me crazy.


  15. #60

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    Re: Backstage stories. What's yours???

    Datameister, I agree... also there's NO wait for rides in the "DL of my memories"!

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