• Magic Off the Record - Inaugural Edition, September 15, 2011

    Welcome to the first installment of “Magic Off the Record”, a web series where I, a current (anonymous) Disneyland Resort Cast Member will share some of the stories and secrets that lie behind those “Cast Member Only” gates.

    In my efforts here on MouseInfo, I'll try to post an article every week or two and try to answer any questions you might have. Questions about my identity notwithstanding. Obviously, names and personalities will be changed to protect the identities of those involved.

    Sister from Another Mister

    Alright, guess we can jump on in and get started with a story that I heard about a certain Cast Member, let’s call him “Robert.” Now Robert was lucky enough to be on the opening crew for Monster’s Inc. When the attraction opened, the Roz character had a lot more sayings for the guests than just the generic things she says now. This, we'll quickly see, is something that was modified rather quickly.

    A few weeks after opening, Robert was in the booth controlling Roz, and he saw a woman in one of the cars that was, well, larger than average. Roz had a saying that said, “Hey you, are you my sister?”

    Needless to say, once the Guest got out of her cab, she was LIVID and a Lead had to get involved. Before I tell you how this situation turned out, let me first point out how Cast Members are a lot like family, and go through MANY lengths to protect one another. We are all there everyday, and thus have developed a camaraderie that is hard to rival.

    So once the guest rasied her complaint it was brought to the Lead on duty however this was not before Cast Members were able to sneak Robert out of the booth and putting Roz on automatic mode. By that point, the situation with the Guest had already escalated and a Manager had to be called over. The Manager demanded to know who was in the booth but the Lead was able to protect Robert saying that there was currently nobody in the booth. Imagineering deleted the offensive phrase from Roz' memory banks, but the memory still loves on in the hearts of cast members.

    Robert left the company just a few months later by his own will.

    Benched on a Count of Churros

    Lets move on to the other side of the Resort, this time to a department you might have never even noticed existed (at least not by it's official name) and that is Outdoor Vending. Outdoor Vending (or ODV, for short) is known by Cast Members around the Resort as the department that is able to get away with almost anything.

    In fact, one of the ODV Managers, “Jeff”, (who reminds several Cast Member of Tom Selleck, it's weird, I know) has frequently been known to have said, “I don’t care what you do, as long as the carts are stocked and clean, and I don’t have to do any paper work.” The ODV night crew took this to heart, and that is when the real shenanigans started.

    One night, the crew was sent out with a cart-pulling tractor to the Haunted Mansion to pull back one of the ODV carts for its monthly deep-cleaning. They decided that they would blow off some steam, and did so by swinging a couple donuts in the cart-pulling tractors on the walkway in front of the Mansion. As they were spinning around, they swerved to miss hitting the Fastpass faux brick column and ended up hitting a bench instead, destroying it beyond repair. They threw the bench in the back of their trailer, and took off back to the warehouse behind Splash Mountain.

    They had not noticed that an Attractions Manager had watched the whole thing.

    When the group of Cast Members arrived backstage, Jeff, the kind-hearted ODV manager mentioned above, walked out to the dish cleaning area in the back where the team was pretending to wash dishes which were very obviously already cleaned. He had clearly just gotten off the phone having just heard the full story about what had just happened.

    “What were you doing?”
    “Well, whatever you weren’t doing, don’t do it again!”

    It's Brit...ish

    Finally, our last story comes from the wonderful world of Guest Relations. Up until about a month ago, Guest Relations ran the “phone room”. All calls that came into the Resort were answered by Guest Relations in a tiny room behind City Hall. These Cast Member had to know EVERYTHING about the Resort, from park hours to show times.

    Needless to say, the Guest Relations phone job has a tendency to be monotonous, which is why they tend to find ways to mix it up a bit. Now, these Cast Members have a very important job to do, so they can’t give the Guests incorrect information, or else they will be the same people that have to deal with the situation the next day at City Hall. Not to mention, that's just bad juju.

    One day, a Cast Member came up with the idea of something they could do while answering the questions and, thus, “Fake Accent Day” was born. Cast Members would choose a different accent for the different day, and then answer the phone calls that day with the selected accent.

    The hardest part is obviously making sure to stay in character, you definitely can't break it half way through or risk getting into some hot water with a guest. So while the accent was often times very poor, it was always a thorough performance through and through. Oddly, guests seldom ever really questioned it because, after all they called Disneyland. Disneyland Cast Members would never deceive guests, right?

    Welp! That’s all the stories I have this week, join me next Thursday, where I will once again take you backstage for some Magic Off the Record! I hope you've enjoyed this quick trip back stage and if you did actually enjoy this article then I'm Ernie Ray. If you absolutely loathed it then I'm John Lasseter and I hope you have a magical Disney day!

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. DisneySquirt's Avatar
      That was awesome! Thanks for your sneak peek behind the scenes!
    1. dlfreak's Avatar
      Thanks for the article, Ernie... very interesting read!
    1. datroglodyte's Avatar
      These are awesome! Thank you for these hilarious stories! I look forward to hearing more of these in the future! Way to go Ernie!
    1. Ernie Ray's Avatar
      Glad you guys like hearing some of these stories! Stop by Mouseinfo every Thursday at 12:01 Pacific Time for a new article!
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