Info Disneyworld

Behind the Scenes at Disneyworld

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Disneyworld? How do those buckets of ice get to the drink dispensers, and how do the actors get to the front door of the Haunted House and other attractions? How is it that a little parade can just seem to appear out of nowhere, cruise down Main Street U.S.A. and then seem to vanish through a garage door?

Back when Walt Disney built Disneyland, he learned some valuable lessons, which he incorporated into the design of Disneyworld; these lessons helped to make the park more economical to operate. He learned that you needed to have access to a "show" - whether that be an actual stage show or a ride, or even a soda shack - without the guests seeing anything. He knew that people seeing buckets of ice or racks of hamburgers being hauled about would spoil the magic of the place. So, when Disneyworld was in the early planning stages, he knew that this was the time to slip cheap and easy access points into the park.

As it turned out, Walt's selection of Central Florida for the location of Disneyworld was a help this issue. The land selected was largely open and flat - former fruit groves and cattle fields, and there was the matter of the floodplain. This is the elevation to which water will rise during a particular thunderstorm. As an example, the 100-year floodplain is the elevation to which water will rise during a storm that occurs once every century. In Florida, that is the elevation to which buildings have to be built. Well, Walt knew that Disneyworld needed to be above this elevation, and he also needed ponds to hold the rainwater from the frequent and intense storms that Florida gets; not to mention the occasional hurricanes that plague the state. So, he could kill two birds with one stone, and solve both problems in a cheap and affordable manner. His engineers dug a huge hole to create the "Seven Seas Lagoon", and piled the dirt in the area where Disneyworld would be built.

Presto, Disneyworld had a place to store its rainwater, and the areas for the guests were up high enough to stay dry. This is also where the secrets to Disneyworld came into play. Underneath the streets and walkways of the different lands is a maze of tunnels, conduits, rooms, and stairs and elevators. Cast members come into Disneyworld via private roads and parking areas, and then enter the underground facility. From there, they get their assignments, get their costume, and can then walk or take a golf cart-style taxi to their job. There are also break rooms, cafeterias, and other areas to service all their needs.

When it comes to maintenance, this system allows the staff at Disneyworld to repair and do routine maintenance in the most economical fashion possible; and none of the guests ever see a thing. It also means that food products, ice, drinks, and souvenirs are delivered to their assigned shops via a system of elevators and dumbwaiters. It's fast, efficient, and very economical. It also means that ice cream doesn't get spilled on the sidewalk as it's being delivered to a stand, popcorn can't be scattered on the grass, and the magic of Disneyworld is preserved.

So, next time you walk around Disneyworld and you buy a soda or an ice cream, or you see Mickey of Donald pop out of a doorway to greet the kids, think about the world beneath your feet. There's more to the magic of Disneyworld than just the Jungle Cruise and the ghosts of the Haunted House.