Published: June 22, 2009 at 10:56 AMBack in 2004 or 2005, a friend and I took a trip to Orlando the week after President's Day. The parks were DEAD that week, and it seemed like everyone we met was Canadian. It turns out that it was Canadian Spring Break or "reading week".
Published: June 22, 2009 at 11:05 AMThese cast member stories are my very favorite feature of Theme Park Insider. They add so much color and humor and depth as well as insight to the park experience. Thanks! :)
Published: June 22, 2009 at 12:15 PMAbout 2 years ago I was at Busch Gardens Tampa and was watching the American Beat show at the Desert Grill. I was sitting close to the stage (always a dangerous place) and was picked to go on stage where the "Cher" character sang to me while the other performers covered me with the "Sonny" costume. Luckily I had my digital camera turned on at my table and I have a grainy movie of my stage debut.
Published: June 22, 2009 at 12:32 PMI always seem to be picked, or the people with me get chosen. The Indiana Jones Stunt Show at Disney Hollywood Studios was my favorite. I was an average height bald man with a full red beard, so I was always chosen as the Marilyn Monroe look-a-like. My son got to ride the bee in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids show. Always get picked by the street performers. Have a great story about that for another time.
Published: June 22, 2009 at 1:13 PMThe closest I ever came to being a "volunteer" was at Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream 2008. They had a show called Fiends at the Stanleyville Theater with Dr. Freakenstein, Igor and the scantily clad naughty nurses. At the finale the cast dances to Monster Mash and the nurses come out into the audience to each pull a guy up on stage to dance with them. One came over to me and took my left hand to bring me up but... my wife was holding my right hand and shaking her head no.
Published: June 22, 2009 at 1:33 PMI remember my first visit to USF, and was really nervous about "riding the movies" when they made attractions out of movies where things go horribly wrong. I was 6 at the time and didn't know much about the park, so I really wasn't looking forward to being part of a real Earthquake inside a train that splits apart and tosses poor innocent people off it based off what I saw on the commercials. So here I am in the first preshow room of EQ and when it was time to pick volunteers, my mom proudly rose my hand in the air, nearly lifting me off my feet. Unfortunately for me at the time, I got picked for a part. It was to pull the rope which tossed the fake rocks and rubble onto the shoppers in the mall scene. Ever since then, I've been one of the first volunteers for any show, especially EQ. I even remember when I got tired of seeing Beetlejuice whenever we went, I'd ask if I can head over to EQ, volunteer to do something, ride it, and come back in time for the finale. I've been a grip countless times, a shopper, a sailor, and the stuntman several times. And yes, I did rock a 'stash/goatee combo!
Published: June 22, 2009 at 4:06 PMLike Jack Curley, my wife and I were also selected to be deckhands for the DHS studio tour. We were on our Honeymoon, and decided to spend it at Disney World since I worked for Disney at the time and my discount allowed us to go all out for not much money. It was early May and not too crowded. We went on the tour late in the day, and were the first people to get in line after the previous group had moved on. Since we were the only two people in line and were wearing "Just Married" buttons it was pretty much guaranteed we'd be picked. Oh man we had a great time hamming it up, hugging each other for dear life and running all over the deck. We couldn't believe it when they told us they didn't tape it. (Disney, pass up an opportunity to sell a souvenir video? Madness!) They were apologetic and agreed that it seemed like an oversight. They let us stay on to watch the next show, but the next batch wasn't nearly as active and comedic as we pictured ourselves to be. Still one of the best memories from that trip.
Published: June 22, 2009 at 7:22 PMI too was an Indy Extra, but not with TH!
I was literally screaming and jumping up and down!
I got to be on Who Wants to be a Millionare Play it! In High School and its because I answered questions, but thats not that exciting.
BTW, I got to leave with 10 Pins, a Hat, and a Golf Shirt (32,000 points)
Published: June 23, 2009 at 7:05 AMTime for a downer!
I've never been volunteered to do anything at any park I've ever been to. Sad, I know.
Published: June 23, 2009 at 7:33 AMAnother audience volunteer for Indiana Jones in DHS here. Was a few years back, went down there with the whole family. It really surprised me when I got picked, never got anything like that before. They had me do that fun 'stand on one leg, leaning over with your arms spread out' pose, which I think goes to the planted cast member now.
I was just disappointed I did not get the death scene. I would have hammed that up all the way, but nope, my acting debut must wait.
Published: June 23, 2009 at 10:34 AMI also got to play Mother at USH. It was a lot of fun and I wasn't a Disney Cast member. I also got to ride a Mardi Gras float at USF. That was great, we wore costumes with masks and got to throw beads into the crowd along the parade route. I was pulled on stage for a song and dance number at a New Years Eve Dinner/Show at Disney World back in the 80's. Finally, I was on stage twice with Penn and Teller, once on Broadway, and once in Vegas, that was way cool. I must have that look.
Published: June 23, 2009 at 1:10 PMWhen I was younger Universal Studio Hollywood use to have a show where you could particpate in a Airplane disaster "movie". It was 1984 and I had broken a piece of my right wrist and it was in a cast. My family thought that I should try to partcipate in the show. That year they changed the show to a comedy thing involving a bank heist, and ended with a pie fight between the Blues Brother and the Keystone Cops. Oh Well, I tried anyway. My family got their early and the guy comes on stage and start asking for volunteers. They wanted someone my age and heigth for a bit and I raised my hand high. He actually looked at me and seemed about to call on me when he pulled MY YOUNGER SISTER on stage and she got to be in the show. I was sure the reason he did not pick me was because of my cast.
A couple of years later, my family attended the same show again. I raised my hand high and they picked my sister AGAIN! LOL
Published: June 24, 2009 at 11:32 AMMy buddy gave the best Indy performance I've ever seen. During the segment where the extras act like a crowd, he pick-pocketed one of the other extras. During his death scene, he took 6 shots before going down, then painfully pulled himself up again to keep fighting. The host didn't know what to do with him. Luckily, the sound effects crew was on top of their game and continued to "fire shots" after my friend got up, which finally brought him down for good.
Published: June 24, 2009 at 1:12 PMMy big star performance was at the Lion King Show at Animal Kingdom. The cast members went to each section of the audience to get a volunteer (to make animal noises).
The man in front of our section asked for volunteers, and no one raised their hand. So he asked again, I put my hand up, and got picked.
As the show started, I discovered that every other volunteer was an adorable little kid.
Boy, did I feel out of place!
Published: June 26, 2009 at 6:58 AMSince I live on the West Coast, I got picked at...Epcot on our one and only visit. I was picked at the German restaurant when they did the stage shows. I was the oompa band leader, complete with the leiderhosen and baton (I got to keep the baton). Being dressed and undressed by those cute girls was kinda fun.
I also got picked for a part at Frontierland at Disneyland as a charactor in the streetainment.