Published: December 27, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Well, this brings back memories of my days at Disneyland in the mid 70's. The fun part of a Pirates evacuation was to get into the waders (which always seemed to have a hole in them) and push the boats to an exit point...that is once the pumps that guided the boats were off and the building lights were on. The guests always seems to linger just to see the place in 'daylight'. We got more volunteers to do the water work during the hot days than during the colds ones. No suprise there for obvious reasons. It was a treat to use the skills that we practiced every now and then to remove 1,500 folks off a complex attraction without injury to them and us.
Tyler Stover

Published: December 27, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Sometimes it feels really nice to be the expert on something. Being the guy to go to when things go wrong can be frustrating, but if the right people recognize and appreciate your work it should be good for job advancement.
Raymond Sydowski

Published: December 27, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Thanks for the tip of the hat, Robert.

That was another nice thing about working Everest. Our evacs (with only 3-4 trains running at a time) could be done entirely in-house, letting us get back up and running even faster.

Evacs and downtime - I know that people don't want to hear this- were treasured as a change of pace by a significant number of cast members. We always wanted to get back up and running ASAP, but sometimes, just sometimes, it was nice to do something different for a change.

Steph Ramos

Published: December 27, 2010 at 3:57 PM

They gave free TICKETS away back in the day?! Are you serious?! Man...now I feel swindled...a fastpass doesn't seem to cut it in comparison....
David Sutter

Published: December 28, 2010 at 4:54 AM

Oh belive you me I can relate. When i was a cast member at WDW I wotked on "Living with the Land" in Epcot. And when we hand a inshow evacuation it was a major event. There are 17 exit points in that attraction. And each boat holds 40 guests in a wheel chair boat and 42 in a regular boat. And there are approx. 18 boats on the water at any given time. So yea theres nothing pleasent about it. And it can take up to 45 mins to do as well. As a trainner on it walking new cast members thru eveac. proceedures most of the time Id get "your kidding" from them. And Id have say nope and this is on the check out test. Youd be amazed how many wed lose. Besides knowing hand signals, evac. proceedures,and memorizing 17 pages of script to do the green house boat tour. Granted they had a week to do it which is more then any other attraction. But theyd beat feet to switch loacations.
Daniel Etcheberry

Published: December 28, 2010 at 9:41 AM

How do you evacuate "Pirates" if there is water around you?

Published: December 28, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Five years ago DH and I were "evacuated" from Test Track due to heavy rain that picked up after we had begun our ride. No Fast Passes for us :(
Robert Niles

Published: December 28, 2010 at 12:14 PM

In answer to Daniel's question, in a Pirates evacuation, you first turn off the show elements (i.e. the music) and turn on the building work lights. Then you turn off the ride pumps that push the water around the building.

At that point, cast members can enter the water (always outside the ride flumes!) and push the boats back or forward to the nearest designated emergency exit point. These are the points in the ride where the ride flume comes right up against the walkways and show scene floors around the building, so that riders can step out of the boat without getting into the water.

Once everyone's out - riders and CMs in the water - then maintenance and address the problem and turn over the ride to attractions personnel to restart when ready.

Will Chilcote

Published: December 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Interesting, Robert. I worked at one of the Six Flags parks a number of years ago and all they would do is close the queue (even leave the queue open sometimes, on the coasters it was sometimes a regular thing to happen) and send the lead out to get people off the ride. I love how professional Disney is about things even worrying about theming in an evacuation. This is the main reason Disney is the King of Parks and why I love to go there... :-)