Ok, I went to DL yesterday and grabbed a box of popcorn. I wanted a little alone time, so I went to the path between Frontierland and Plaza Gardens, about 6 pm.
I was looking out at the hub and was looking out at all the preparations going on for the parade, and I noticed the usual (at least lately) Frontierland and Tomorrowland CM's assisting with the set-up and crowd control. A minute or so into this, I see a POTC CM in costume walking across Main Street with a backpack on his back.
Then it finally dawned on me... In the last few months I have seen a huge increase in CM's trapsing through the park that do not belong in certain lands. Especially along Main Street. Go to Main Street now and you will often see POTC, HM, Frontierland CM's on their way to the employee shuttle and helping out with the parade. I also saw security bag-check workers in their very generic uniforms helping out. On top of this you see CM's in POTC, HM, Frontierland costumes with backpacks, coolers, the normal things all of us take with us to work. I have noticed an increase in this in the last few months. While I have never been a CM I do believe that backstage was used a lot more efficiently than it is now to get employees from point A to point B. But it looks like the suits are now allowing the CM's to use the park itself more frequently to get where they have to go (presumably to the employee shuttle area behind SM).
Then all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks -- I had the realization that Disney is trying to desensitize the guests into the impact that any particular costume has on their experience of the park. By allowing the CM's to trapse through the park it decreases the impact of a particular costume to the theming of the area it is supposed to be in.
Here is my point -- a prediction -- to all of this... In a couple years CM's are going to lose their costumes and switch to generic uniforms throughout the park. A huge cost-cutting measure. By doing things like I just described Disney is attempting to decrease the impact of the CM's costume on the guest. This is just the beginning. Soon, sporadically, it won't surprise me if you start seeing CM's in generic uniforms.
What do you all think?