Magic's End: 7 Disney Park Secrets Only Employees Know
Virtually every child in the world has ever dreamed of visiting the Disney World parks. If you can ever realize this dream, you know that there really are reasons for the catchphrase of “the happiest place in the world, ” with all the magic and joy that seems to envelop those who enter the gates of the place.
However, every show has behind the scenes, and anyone who is used to seeing the gears behind the sensational effects knows that all magic involves tricks and effort far greater than most people could imagine. To reveal a bit of this unfamiliar world of Mickey Mouse Park, the Cracked team talked to one of their many regular employees, those who don't wear the costumes of the famous characters.
Here are some of the park's secrets that only those who have worked there for a while know. Check out the tricks used to make you find the gigantic place, the battles against hordes of children and the secret city of staff, among other impressive things.
1 - Everything to deceive
Those who work in the park eventually realize that the streets and buildings were designed to deceive those who passed them - and that it was done with great mastery. Much of the creators' job was to make the relatively small park appear to be a complete world, which was accomplished through subtle suggestions for their perception.
A good example can be seen in the photos above, which show the main street of the place seen from the perspective of who enters (pictured left) and who exits (right). While people arriving at the park are under the impression that the castle is extremely far away and that there is much to explore, those who leave feel that they will soon be leaving.
Although the street is the same length in both photos, the difference seems so large thanks to an architectural trick called “forced perspective”. When you enter the park, the buildings around you seem to shrink from being far apart, when in fact they are actually smaller - the upper floors of some stores are not even tall enough for anyone to be able to stay. standing inside.
The paths for visitors also feature similar tricks. While it takes about 15 minutes to get from Frontierland to Fantasyland, employees can move backstage routes connecting one area to another in just over ten seconds.
In addition, the park also has professional organizers trained to move crowds from point A to location B without realizing they are being guided. The tricks they use are extremely simple and surprisingly effective, involving things like setting up shopping carts to lure visitors away from a closed show and thus make room for the next group.
At the end of “Fantasmic!” (A night show), for example, strollers with bright toys the children want are carefully spaced and draw crowds to the park exits. All of this ensures that the venue will be emptied smoothly while ensuring that Disney makes as much money as possible in the process.
2 - Little Monsters
Strange as it may seem, brutal assaults from excited little children are not reserved only for the people who are inside the huge fantasies of Mickey and Goofy. It is not uncommon for toy store employees to end up in the emergency room because of particularly strong blows to their lower parts and other sensitive body regions.
Those who work near the Indiana Jones toy, for example, have to dress like generic adventurers to sell toys. This means that all the exalted children who come out of the attraction in imitation of their favorite archaeologist often view employees as worthy opponents and challenge them to duels - and they can't take no for an answer.
“My bloodiest battle was when a gang of 30 kids plundered the toy sword bucket. This little army attacked me and my partner and we drew our swords to retaliate - because that's what Disney requires of us - but there were a lot of them and we couldn't get our parents' attention, so we stood there knocking until they were taken away. My arms were covered with cuts and bruises and my shirt was soaked with blood, ”said the clerk.
3 - (Alcoholic) Disaster Recipe
Worse than the little devils, however, are teenagers during prom nights. Employees try to isolate drunk young people from sober visitors and may even turn entire areas of the park into makeshift detention centers, but when gangs of graduates decide to get drunk and use drugs from the Mad Hatter's Party, things get out of hand.
“Once, a boy wearing a sleeveless blanket decided to break free of his cozy prison, went into a relatively staffless area, got naked and started running with his things swinging around the park, ” says the interviewee. While forcing little children to see their private parts is not cool at all, drinks often lead to much more serious situations.
“Recently, a guy got into an argument with his wife while drunk and decided that the appropriate answer was to go to the nearest line and start punching people there, ” says the employee. Luckily, a Disney gang was there - yes, there are exclusive gangs in the park - and intervened after he had beaten 15 or 20 people, holding the attacker until the employees arrived and took him to Disney Prison.
Disney's jail, by the way, is very real and works in an underground room with window bars and an endless loop of “The Lion King”. When the offenders are underage, their parents are summoned, but when they are adults, their family is called to pick them up. In general, going to jail is synonymous with having your ticket revoked and being expelled from the park - sometimes permanently.
4 - The Secret City
You may have heard of the extensive underground tunnels that sprawl under Disney to allow employees to roam freely without having to pass the hordes of tourists. In addition, however, the park also has a complete city hidden among the shops and buildings that all visitors see in the open.
This behind-the-scenes structure contains full-time employee pharmacies, medical centers with registered nurses prepared to treat child-attacked vendors, an employee-only bank, and even a warehouse with slightly damaged Disney products at 50% discounts. Except for shopping for the month and taking your kids to school, there is little that can't be resolved during office hours.
All of this is hidden within buildings that, to visitors, appear to be merely decorative. So the next time you are in the park and you see a structure that seems to be of no use or a store that appears to be much smaller than it seemed on the outside, know that it may just be a façade for the happiest first aid. of the world.
5 - Dangerous animals
Disneyland has a range of animals that make up almost its own ecosystem, with a huge population of ownerless cats and other animals - and no one knows exactly where the cats came from. A popular theory among park employees is that a group of pussies were taken there in the 1970s to kill a rat infestation, but since no one bothered to remove them after that, they eventually formed families.
In addition, there are also a huge amount of ducks and geese that, like cats, no one knows how they got there. As much as cats can scratch visitors and end up causing them infections - and many problems with Disney - the fact is that geese are the biggest threat to the site. Extremely territorial, they are able to chase anyone who gets too close while taking several painful bites.
Visitors often assume that the animals are domesticated and part of the park's magical experience, letting their young children get close to the animals without fear. It is up to employees to keep geese and cats away while keeping a smile on their faces without letting anyone know that the children are in danger.
6 - Stress Management
Park staff spend all their days working in close - and often hot - proximity, which often leads to far less professional, uninvolved wrappings. However, relationships between Disney employees are often far more common and problematic than in other companies.
Most of the employees are artists of some kind, so they were hired mainly because their faces and bodies resemble the proportions of the beautiful characters in the drawings. Without having to wear masks or submit to the most menial jobs, they simply dress like Aladdin, Ariel or any other famous figure and roam the park - attracting attention similar to the most popular kids in a high school.
“Work at Disney long enough and you will see Aladdin cheating on Sleeping Beauty with Snow White, or Jack Sparrow dating Beauty and Rapunzel at the same time. And that's not just gossip, because managers have to be aware not to end up scoring a Jasmine and Aladdin who can't work together because they fought badly, ”explains the employee.
7 - It's worth it
As difficult as it is to endure visitor abuse and the preferential treatment given to employees who play the role of famous characters - who are entitled to more luxurious rest spaces than others - this does not mean that Disney does not pay attention to their less prominent employees.
As a reward for driving away angry geese and getting knocked into their intimate areas, employees regularly get unexpected parties and unexpected celebrations just to keep their morale up. The park also hosts team appreciation days, bringing food trucks to serve free meals.
In addition, while most theme parks do not have any type of retirement plan, Disney employees are entitled to a 401 (k) plan, in which their income tax contribution is applied directly to an investment plan. No wonder the park suffers little from staff swapping, even if they have to deal with the aftermath of the occasional adultery of a Arabian burglar prince.