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Fun Find Friday

August 19, 2011

Fun Find Freaky Friday
by Albert Gutierrez

Location: Main Street

Editor's Note: In honor of our Freaky Friday week on From Screen to Theme, all of our Days of the Week writers have been moved to a different day for this week only. Brent will return to Fun Find Friday next week when Albert returns to his usual Saturday Matinee column.

Freaky Friday week continues here at From Screen to Theme, and yours truly steps away from the screening room and heads out into the street. Main Street, that is. Everyone knows about the windows on Main Street. Each one is dedicated to a special person connected to the Walt Disney Company, from Elias Disney to General Joe Potter, from Joyce Carlson to Buddy Baker. Chuck Snyder wrote a book about the windows, which is available for purchase in the parks. But how often do you look at the doors?

Fun Find Friday previously covered special doors in Walt Disney World, when Brent told us about the Imagination Institute doors in Epcot. But the door I'm talking about is actually in Magic Kingdom, and like most of the previous Fun Finds, it's hidden in plain sight. Most guests pass it without any notice. The door sits humbly next to Disney Clothiers, with the title "Magic Kingdom Casting Agency" emblazoned across. A turn of the handle yields that it's locked, with the sad Daisy-Duck-and-the-Broccoli-Farm realization, "Oh, they're closed!" In actuality, the door goes nowhere at all, as it is a tribute to the cast members of Walt Disney World.

I remember first reading about the door in 2005, as it was to be installed as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of Disneyland. Seeing its announcement in the cast member-exclusive newsletter "Eyes & Ears" was exciting, as the door represented a lot. Cast members come in all shapes and sizes and hail from all over the world. We all knew what we were in for: making Disney magical for the guests. Whether we were an area manager with twenty years of experience, or a high school kid looking for a summer job, we were proud to earn our ears.

As such, having a door was quite an honor. While none of us are recognized by name like in a window, we all know that the door was us. It's especially touching that the door contained a quote from Walt Disney (listed as Founder and Director Emeritus): "It takes People to Make the Dream a Reality." The door was revealed on July 18, 2005, and still stands today as a tribute to the thousands of cast members that have come and gone throughout the kingdom for the past forty years.

Being a Walt Disney World cast member was one of the greatest times of my life. I encountered many memorable people from all over the world, made friends I still keep to this day, and saw the Disney world in a whole new light. It re-invigorated my passion for Disney and although I no longer work there, I'm very grateful for the times that I did. Whenever I visit Walt Disney World as a guest, I like to stop by and see that door. It's a reminder of all the fun times, all the hard work, and all the magic that cast members bring every day.


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