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xl5er

Queue Management

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I spent a lot of time in those tunnels, which are called Utilidors ("Utility Corridors"). You can find some info on them here http://www.wdisneyw.co.uk/tunnels.html. At one time Disney offered tours (http://www.passporter.com/wdw/guidedtours.htm) but I don't know if they do or not. The main control center when I worked there was called DACS (Disney Animation Control System) Central and was right underneath the now gone Mickey Mouse Revue theater. They gave tours to all new employees and anyone who wanted one until I did a threat analysis and pointed out that if anything happened to that one small room the entire property would need to be shut down. Even the hotels, as the fire alarms were controlled from there. After that it became like Ft. Knox. My guess is this new center is part of that area.

Here are some views of the Utilidors:

utilidor-entrance.jpg

You can see the large openings under the building next to the traffic circle. That's the Utilidor entrance. I took this one from a helicopter. There are smaller pedestrian entrances scattered around the Magic Kingdom.

utilidor-1.jpg

utilidor-2.jpg

utilidor-3.jpg

I'm sure they must have something similar to this new control room at Disneyland, and boy, do they need it. We were there last Thursday and it was VERY crowded. This past Monday and Tuesday they actually had to stop selling tickets by 10 AM as the place was too crowded. Imagine what fun it would have been to be there in that crowd.

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When I was in College Program this is how we entered the park to work. The utilidors are pretty amazing. If I remember my orientation correctly the utilidors were built at ground level due to the water table and much of the park is actually the second floor of an amazing building.

I would arrive via shuttle at that traffic circle in Bill's photo and head to wardrobe where I would check out my costume for the day after changing in the locker room I would go to the main custodial office and wait to go up with my team. Some days I would work in two lands and would have to go back and change my costume. The utilidors allowed me to change and pop up in the correct land without being out of theme. My favorite costume was for Frontierland and my least favorite was for Tomorrowland Terrace. Usually I wore the all white custodial host costume which worked in any land.

I loved being a custodial host because it allowed me to walk the park and interact with guests. The trash collecting system was really amazing.

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At one time Disney offered tours (http://www.passporte...guidedtours.htm) but I don't know if they do or not. .

At one time (mid 90's?) I took the all-day behind the scenes tour at WDW. It had been fairly recently initiated, was not heavily advertised, and I didn't know about it until I saw it in a brochure that was given to guests upon arrival. The single paragraph didn't explain much about why it would be worth $75 (but it was! - read on...) So, I called the number from my hotel room, and the person on the other end was so enthusiastic I couldn't refuse. On the tour, our guide explained that there were Disney cast members who had been promoting the idea for years, but there was serious discussion first about whether seeing behind the scenes would spoil the magic. Eventually, the argument won out that even the cast members were impressed after working there for years, so why wouldn't the public be as well? It was a great full-day tour through EPCOT, MGM and the utilidors in MK. Our guide was a veteran cast member, who knew more than you could think of asking about every aspect of the parks. At Epcot, we saw the machinery that operates the USA pavilion show. At MGM, we got to enter the motion simulator room for Star Wars, and had a lesson in animation cel painting, keeping the result as a souvenir. At noon we had lunch in the Italian restaurant, and two actors joined, one dressed as a caricature "mobster" (and boy, could he sing!) and the other as a comical widow tourist who was on the prowl for a new husband and crashed our party - what a hoot!. In late afternoon, we followed the progress of the parade in MK from underneath as we made our way through the utilidors and saw the control room. We emerged in the town square into our own roped-off area to view the parade at the end of its route. To this day it is my most fantastic memory of Disney World.

I also don't know if they offer this general tour any more, although I believe they have some behind-the-scenes stuff, perhaps shorter and with narrower coverage. Worth checking out.

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At one time (mid 90's?) I took the all-day behind the scenes tour at WDW. It had been fairly recently initiated, was not heavily advertised, and I didn't know about it until I saw it in a brochure that was given to guests upon arrival. The single paragraph didn't explain much about why it would be worth $75 (but it was! - read on...) So, I called the number from my hotel room, and the person on the other end was so enthusiastic I couldn't refuse. On the tour, our guide explained that there were Disney cast members who had been promoting the idea for years, but there was serious discussion first about whether seeing behind the scenes would spoil the magic. Eventually, the argument won out that even the cast members were impressed after working there for years, so why wouldn't the public be as well? It was a great full-day tour through EPCOT, MGM and the utilidors in MK. Our guide was a veteran cast member, who knew more than you could think of asking about every aspect of the parks. At Epcot, we saw the machinery that operates the USA pavilion show. At MGM, we got to enter the motion simulator room for Star Wars, and had a lesson in animation cel painting, keeping the result as a souvenir. At noon we had lunch in the Italian restaurant, and two actors joined, one dressed as a caricature "mobster" (and boy, could he sing!) and the other as a comical widow tourist who was on the prowl for a new husband and crashed our party - what a hoot!. In late afternoon, we followed the progress of the parade in MK from underneath as we made our way through the utilidors and saw the control room. We emerged in the town square into our own roped-off area to view the parade at the end of its route. To this day it is my most fantastic memory of Disney World.

I also don't know if they offer this general tour any more, although I believe they have some behind-the-scenes stuff, perhaps shorter and with narrower coverage. Worth checking out.

The 7 hour tour as Wayne described is still available, but the cost has tripled!

http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/tours.htm

You can also get a custom-designed tour where they work with you to design the tour based on your own desires... for $135 an hour with a minimum of five hours.

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