Monday, March 12, 2012

What's the Point? The Magic Kingdom Show

I find that most casual Disney fans are often surprised the most when they learn about the intentional decisions that were made (by either Walt Disney himself or the executives that followed him) in the planning of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Walt Disney was dedicated to putting on a good "show." And a good show needs, first and foremost, a supporting cast. Many Disney fans know that Disney employees are known as Cast Members. But do you know why?

Picture this: You arrive at the Ticket and Transportation Center, prepared for a fabulous day at the Magic Kingdom.

You hop on the ferry and enjoy some picturesque views of Bay Lake. You see Cinderella Castle far away, previewing an amazing movie.

When you get off the ferry, you can no longer see the castle. The train station is blocking your view - almost like the curtain to a stage show. As you pass through the turnstiles and underneath the train station you will see preview posters for the different lands of the Magic Kingdom. 

As you pass around the corner, you may begin to notice the music getting slightly louder. You will also notice Cinderella Castle in full view. On your left and right are windows with names. These names are people who made the "production" of Walt Disney World possible. I often describe these names as the "opening credits" to the show.

Interested in the windows of Main Street? I highly suggest you check out the Disney Babies Blog.  Every Wednesday Jenn posts about a different window and the history and meaning behind the window. It's so interesting and I learn something new every week!

As you enter each land the music changes based on the theme. The Cast Members costumes change based on the land as well. You will never, ever see a Tomorrowland Cast Member in Adventureland. Walt Disney was horrified by this thought. If a Cast Member must travel from land to land, they must do so via the underground tunnels (also known as the Utilidor) so they don't ruin the theme of the show.

Many of the details that we take for granted as guests were deliberate decisions! The more I learn about these decisions the more fascinated I am with the history of the theme parks. I hope you enjoyed this information as much as I do!

3 comments:

Ashlahr said...

I actually wrote a whole paper on this topic for one of my classes.

Rosanne Mottola said...

It's a fabulous topic for a paper! There are books upon books about just this... I only scratched the surface. But Disney has built a whole corporate culture around "putting on a show" and how to have an effective "supporting cast." Walt was years ahead of his time.

JenniferLissak said...

I love this post! Thanks for spreading the word about my series, too!  I love the trivia and info - there is so much more than meets the eye and I ignored it for way too long!

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