In 1984 the main Custodial office was located behind Plaza Gardens at the top of Main Street. This "Back Area" off stage was basically surrounded by Big Thunder to the west, Plaza Gardens to the southeast, the Frontierland Shootin' Arcade to the south, the rear of the Snow White attraction to the northeast and the backside of the Village Haus restaurant and Pinocchio attraction to the north. A large set of gates led from this back area across Thunder Trail and through a tunnel to the large back area north of the Park where the Parade Building was located.
As you can see, Day Custodial had a work schedule that provided sweeper coverage for the entire Park during operating hours. After that, the Night Crew would come in and take over. Night Crew were easily recognized by their blue uniforms. Day Custodial---like all the "good guys"---wore white.
Our Custodial Manager back in 1984 was Ray Sidejas. The Stage Supervisors for the Department were Charlene, Gary, Luke, Judy, Jim, Vanessa and Larry.
Several of my old sweeper friends are listed here on the schedule. This document was hung on a clipboard in the office. You would come into the office, drop off your timecard, check your schedule and head out to your area. By the time you arrived at the office, you were already in costume and ready to go. Typically, sweepers would enter the Park for their shift at Harbor House, walk under the Disneyland RR tressel and head to Wardrobe to pick up a clean costumer (if you hadn't done so the last shift). You would then change and head over to the Custodial Office, usually by way of the Cast Member entrance near the Inn Between. You would cross the Hub and enter the Custodial back area through a door at Plaza Gardens.
Once you saw where you were assigned on the schedule, you would go out to the "Area Locker" for your area. Main Street's locker was located behind where the Main Street Lockers are presently located. Adventure/Frontier's was located behind the current "Bengal Barbeque" and the River Belle Terrace. New Orleans Square/Bear Country's was near Fowler's Harbor. Fantasyland's was behind Village Haus. Tomorrowlad had a locker near Space Moutain (between Space Mountain and the Arcade), there was also one over behind America Sings.
After arriving at your area, you would check in with your lead and see what part of your area was assigned to you. In Frontierland, for example, you could be given "Thunder Trail," the long main pathway that lead behind Thunder, past Thunder Ranch and to the back entrance of Fantasyland. You were expected to cycle through your assigned area about every fifteen minutes. Sweepers developed keen eyes for drink spills, popcorn, cigarette butts, vomit, diapers, food wrappers, etc. We also became masters of moving swiftly through crowds, developing what I termed "the Disney walk." The Disney Walk is still helping when visiting the Parks today. It is a slightly faster pace than that of the average guest and involves quick in and out passing of "slower traffic." It is sort of like being a running back in football, only there's no straight-arming your opponents (on most days). You see, the "Crowd" never knows exactly where it's going, but YOU do. Sweepers know the shortcuts and the best ways to get from one area of the Park to another.
We will have more on the fascinating world of Sweeperdom in future posts. This is the kind of riveting material that drives novelists.