Wednesday, February 26, 2014

10 things you didn't know about The Magic Kingdom's utilidors

Guests call it 'backstage', but cast members call it the utilidors. Here are 10 neat things about the 'real' main floor of the park. 

1. Most cast members call the park 'upstairs' since we know the ground level is actually beneath the park.

Custructing the utilidors before the rest of the park.

2. The utilidors is a huge tunnel system. Bigger than the park actually.

3. It's a confusing maze. I'm sure some people know every nook and cranny in that maze, but after almost three months of working at The Magic Kingdom, I still needed to use the giant maps posted on the walls to get to any area that wasn't Tomorrowland.

4. There's a place called "Pin Replenishment" where cast members who trade pins with guests can replace ones that have fallen off their lanyard, or ones they have given away as 'magical moments'. Outside of Pin Replenishment was my favourite place in the utilidoors. The display of every Disney cast member pin ever created, neatly pinned-up behind a clear window. Now that was a magical place!

5. No one is allowed to take pictures in the utilidors, although some people have. I saw a few folks take selfies with their work friends, but the backgrounds in the photos were unclear enough that it doesn't bother anyone.

6. The main entrance into the utilidors is actually at the back of the park. And you can only enter the main entrance to the utilidors after taking a bus ride. It's part of how Disney screens the cast members coming into the park. 

7. The utilidors isn't just a tunnel system that lets cast members and characters enter the park in secret spots. It has the Mousketeria, a small library with books and movies, computer rooms, training centres, and lots of dressing rooms.

8. It...doesn't smell very nice. Partly because all the park's sewage and waste is being sent below, but also because the tunnels have dumpsters below each of the lands.

9. The floors (especially under the lockers and in the dressing rooms) are covered in lost pins that have fallen off of people's lanyards! Yes, I know, I have a problem with pins. 

10. Costuming is in a completely separate building, a bus ride away from the utilidors. So is Cast Connection, the cast member-only store where damaged products are sold for 75 per cent off.

If you know any other neat things about the utilidors, leave a comment below.

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1 comment:

  1. My boyfriend and I are fascinated by the tunnels. We've heard through friends that if you're lucky enough to know someone who knows someone, you can actually go down there and see what it's like. A friend of mine's mom was given a tour once. The amount of strategic planning that went into DW's development is SO interesting.