Saturday, June 7, 2008

1984 Day Custodial Schedule - Dept. 336

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.

Disneyland 1987 - Welcome to Adventure/Frontier

I was quite happy to receive my letter advising that I would soon be a Jungle skipper back in the Spring of 1987. They were in such a rush to hire me, they did not even bother to type in my name, but just scrawled it across the form letter. Ah, the Disney Magic.

Cast Members from the 1980s will certainly remember these little reminder slips. Hope you jotted your shift down correctly!
And how about those cool gift bags you used to get at Disneyland? I must say, the artwork on the gift bags has gone downhill a bit lately. The bag shown here is an example of the fun and very Disney graphics that were used. Oh yeah, back in my day the Park was called by its proper name: "Disneyland." "The Disneyland Resort" is weak. I still don't get why they had to change the name. Come to think of it, I kinda miss the old parking lot, too. Disney's California Adventure has still got a long way to go. At least the "new Disney" is pouring about a billion dollars into DCA in an effort to make up for the penny pinching nonsense that brought us all the first iteration of that park. Here's a thought---try adding some SHADE!

Polynesian Resort - Back to the Beach

Here's a photo of my son's sand castle on the sandy shores of the Polynesian Resort in June 2005. The contemporary resort is off in the distance to the right. We are heading back for another Polynesian stay this summer. We are hoping to get into the Tahiti longhouse this trip. It is very close to the Transportation and Ticket Center ("TTC") and, of course, the Polynesian itself is a Magic Kingdom Monorail Resort. Our last stay three years ago was completely enjoyable. We are dying to get back to Ohana for dinner!
In the image above, it appears that the entrance to the Magic Kingdom is not too far from the end of the rainbow. June thunderstorms in Florida are actually quite refreshing. Last trip it seemed the rain came just in time to knock back the rising heat a bit.
As demonstrated by the shot above of the Polynesian taken from the Monorail, thunderstorms often add to the day by creating a beautiful Floridian sunset. What the heck, we had our ponchos at the ready throughout our stay. Besides, for Californians rain is a welcome sight.
In the photograph above, you just might see a cowboy hat or a sombrero formed in the clouds of a late afternoon sky in Florida. This was taken at EPCOT in front of the Mexico pavilion.
You can take the Skipper out of the Jungle, but...never the Jungle out of the Skipper. Yours truly at the helm of a Boston Whaler in the wilds of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Notice, my crew appears to be missing---again. I hate it when that happens. We'll be sure to post shots of our latest trip in the near future. Only 11 days until we hit the skies for Florida!