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.