Article from San Diego Union Times - May 5, 2005
A long time ago in a Magic Kingdom far, far away...
... the original imagineer, Grandmaster Walt D, created Disneyland – and life, as we know it, was forever changed
When the lights go out at Disneyland and the last guests depart, loaded down with stuffed Goofys, Mouse ears and digital camera memory cards full, a whole new world unfolds in the dark.
A small army of more than 2,000 "cast members" slip through camouflaged back gates and get to work to erase the residue of one day's crowd – the spills, scuffs, litter, trampled flowers – and buff everything up for the next day's visitors.
"A lot of magic is created at night," said Earl Williams, a 41-year veteran at the park who oversees building maintenance.The park, Williams said, has never undergone such a sweeping refurbishment – Main Street's light-posts on are being painted gold; topiary hippos at It's a Small World are getting a haircut; the Jungle Cruise, with landscaping that has become a true jungle after a half-century of growth, is getting a thorough pruning; and in the Emporium gift shop on Main Street, Dave Grigsby strips 50 years of touch-up paint from one of the checkout counters for its first-ever refinishing.The article goes on to offer Disneyland trivia and the new attractions for Disneyland.And gold is the color of the day.
Look for a golden Dumbo, popcorn cart and Autopia car and other similarly decorated relics. Jingles, the bell-toting horse on the Fantasyland carrousel, has received the Midas touch, as have a Mr. Toad's jalopy, Alice's teacup, Peter Pan pirate ship, Casey Jr. train engine and Jungle Cruise boat.