Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Disneyland - Back Areas

Ah, the back area.
Tucked away, a bit on the dirty side.
Offstage.  Backstage.
Realm of the Cast Member.
The place people disappear into through gates, doors and passageways.
Where else can you catch Snow White on a lunch break?
Disneylanders know many of these back area locations all too well.
Perhaps the largest (if we ignore TDA and the Parade Building, train and Monorail storage to the north) can be found behind the facades on the east side of Main Street.
Here one finds the old Admin/Wardrobe building, the Inn Between, the real Disneyland Fire Department, the world famous Disneyland Security Deapartment, the Cast Member training center, Custodial area lockers, the Zoo Crew's HQ and a large holding area for parade floats, visiting bands,  the Disneyland Band, etc.
There are many ways to get back here from "on stage."
By the Space Mountain Restrooms.
Behind the Corn Dog Wagon.
Through Harbor House.
The alley between the Berm and the south wall of the old Bank of America.
Way over by the Pizza Port and Innoventions.
Through a tunnel that runs beneath Tommorowland from the old Coke Terrace.
By way of a gate at the end of East Center Street on Main Street.
And various other doors and adits.
Back here you would see blue uniformed maintenance crew members, custodial whites, dwarves and mice, Jungle Skippers,
Candy-striped Emporium clerks, yellow Outdoor Vending types, red and black guest control folks, orange-clad Tomorrowlanders and a rainbow of other costumed characters.
It was a place of comraderie.  You would wave at friends coming on shift or heading home.
"Hey, what's the "In Park" right now?"
"35,000, things are hopping in there."
Or "Thunder's down. Last I heard they were almost done cycling trains, but the one on A-lift is still stuck."
Or "Guess who's here today? The Gloved One is over by Small World and is getting mobbed again." (Michael Jackson was a frequent visitor in the 1980s).
There was usually activity in the back area---always people going to or coming from some on stage location.  It was easy to find a friend or workmate to sit down with for a break or for lunch.
It felt good to be part of the show.
So today's Jungle salute goes out to the back areas of the Park.
May they ever be peopled with characters!