What Floor are you on?
By: Yad Allen.
Let’s start from here: you see Snow White, you get pictures, you get autographs, you talk about magical stuff, and then you turn around and she’s gone. You get to another princess or character and after a while the same thing happens. How do these people do it so quickly and how do they appear and disappear so quietly and every time is on the right spot? Want to learn this secret? Well continue reading and be amazed!
So I can answer all those questions with one word – Utilidors. Basically this is a system of some of the world’s largest utility tunnels and it is the cast members “backstage” if you want to put it that way. But why would such a thing be ever invented? It goes all the way back to the person who invented the place that we know and love – Walt Disney. He didn’t want cast members to be seen in places where they are not supposed to. For an example seeing Cinderella just casually walking through Tomorrowland would ruin the magic. That is why a tunnel system was built.
However, it consists of more than just empty tunnels. As a matter of fact, when you are casually walking along, you are actually on the third floor of Disney. Just think about it. There are two constructions as big as the park itself under your feet. As you arrive, when you are outside of the park you are on the first floor, but then after you enter the gates of the Happiest place on Earth you walk up a slight incline that is not very noticeable, but makes you go one floor up. So, by the time you make the first 100 meters you are on the second floor. If by the time you get to the Cinderella’s Castle you are already a little tired don’t feel bad about your physical shape. You have walked yet another floor up and are on the 3rd one!!! Some of the tunnels are higher than others and this particular walkway gently slopes up and down, without you noticing!
When you are casually walking along in the park, you are actually on the third floor of DisneyWorld
But what exactly is in this so called Utilidors? Basically everything to keep all the secrets hidden from its guests to keep the experience magical. Disney wouldn’t want you to see Donald Duck without his head, or Minnie without her shoes. Underneath your feet is the “Nerve system”, the “Character Zoo”, the “Kingdom Kutters”, “AVAC” and others. But what are those exactly?
Well, starting off with the “Nerve system”. This is the animation control system that monitors everything in the park. The base is under Cinderella’s Castle and it includes everything from lighting system and stage curtains to protection and security systems.
So what about the “Character Zoo”? They are not keeping the cast members right? Thankfully no! This is the place where Disney hides its costumes. Dresses, costumes, furry characters – every amazing looking Ariel dress or Cinderella costume is stored there.
Okay we got the costumes, but how do the actors get their makeup? We suppose that they don’t get up and do their hair and make-up all alone. That’s what the Kingdom Kutters are for! The Disney look has a strict set of guidelines for Cast Member appearance. To achieve this stunning vision there are make-up artists, costume assistants, and lots of others who make sure that everyone looks perfect.
Remember when we said “AVAC”? It may sound like a huge secret room where all the dirty secrets of the park are kept, but it is actually The Automated Vacuum Collection System. In other words the system, which collects the trash unnoticeably. There are access points located all over the park, which can be used to “suck” trash into the tubes. The tubes themselves are 20 inches in diameter, with the vacuum being created by a system of motors and exhausts. No wonder why Disney parks are so clean with that kind of a system!