History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Things We Take For Granted at Walt Disney World

We visited our local amusement park a few weeks ago, and when we ordered a fountain drink, we watched the vendors struggle to find enough ice to fill our cup. This got us thinking, that would never happen at Disney. What else do we take for granted at Walt Disney World?

Cleanliness

Walt Disney Picking Up Trash
Walt Disney picking up trash at Disneyland

Staying clean is an important characteristic of Disney parks that separates them from other parks. Of course, that idea started with Walt. He wanted his parks to be so clean that people would be embarrassed to throw anything on the ground. While that wish hasn’t come true, it is true that Walt Disney World cast members (AKA employees) all pitch in to keep the parks clean. Cast members at all levels, from ride operators, to managers, to executives are required to pick up any trash they see as they walk through the parks. One of the hardest things to clean is gum – so you won’t find any for sale on Disney property.

Trash Cans

Trash Cans Close Arrows Resized
Trash cans all around, helping keep trash off the ground.

To minimize the need to pick up wrappers and waste, trash cans are strategically placed at Disney parks. Walt Disney, after studying guests at other parks (and reportedly seeing how long it took him to finish a hot dog while walking), placed trash cans no more than 30 steps away from any spot to encourage people to throw away their trash instead of dropping it on the ground. While this doesn’t stop all trash from being left where it doesn’t belong, it definitely reduces it. A clean park is one factor in an amazing guest experience.

Camouflage

Disney parks go to great lengths to hide the behind-the-scenes workings. From the utilidoors that keep Magic Kingdom operations “underground,” to scenery that hides the infrastructure, it’s truly an immersive experience. Compare that to most amusement parks where, as you navigate the sections of the park, you can see service vehicles, the fence at the edges of the property, or electrical boxes. Seeing those things isn’t bad, but changes the experience. It’s Disney’s attention to these details that make you feel as if you are in another world.

Friendly Cast Members

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This cast member at Sweet Spells at Hollywood Studios gave our son a free Mickey Mouse cookie!

More times than not you’ll see a friendly face at park gates, restaurants, rides, and more. It’s all part of the experience Disney is trying to create. Cast members go through intensive training and have strict rules around interacting with park guests. At our local park, I wouldn’t say the employees are mean, just indifferent and doing their jobs.

Anything else?

We just returned from our most recent trip to The World, and had a better appreciation for the immersive experience Disney creates. What else do we take for granted at Disney parks?