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The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth ?

Walt Disney World: Do Cast Members ever tell stories that they know are not at all true ?

From Rob P
Posted April 15, 2011 at 8:24 AM
I was listening to a Disney info radio channel and they were discussing being at WDW and hearing cast members telling tales to visitors that they knew were totally untrue. They suggested that cast members often duped visitors with made up tales that they delivered as being wholly factual. If you know your stuff then it's very irritating and, if you don't, then you're being made a fool of.

Do does this station's claims have any veracity ? Is this something that goes on ? Come on you past CMs put the record straight. Refute these claims or come clean.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Carrie Hood
Posted April 15, 2011 at 9:24 AM
I'd be willing to bet this is based almost entirely on those few select people who just won't take facts as a proper and true answer. There are some in every crowd, you know the ones I'm talking about. Those annoying people who just won't believe that the animals in AK are real. The ones who won't accept that Rock'n'Roller Coaster really does launch at 63MPH rather then 65MPH most of the time. The ones who can't accept that the magic is in the technology and the imagination.

We've all seen them and often heard them. Yelling at some Cast Member trying to give them the facts they simply refuse to accept. I watched one at Imagination last year who simply wouldn't believe they DIDN'T drive a train threw the building every few minutes and that it was all generated by speakers/fans simply because "Speakers can't do that, I've heard REAL trains and that's real!". This poor CM finally ended up saying "Yes, you discovered the secret. We drive a train threw for each and every show" because this dude just wouldn't let up. Frankly, I'd have done the same thing.

There is also the fact somethings Cast Members aren't allowed to tell you. For example, they won't tell you why the living seas lagoon sat empty so long. They won't tell you what happened to car 19 on Test Track. They can't tell you Mickey Mouse is anything but male.
Why? It destroys the magic.

At least that's my personal bet based on my experience.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted April 15, 2011 at 4:24 PM
I think they might stretch the truth to keep the magic real, but nothing that is harmful to the guest (like safety)

From TH Creative
Posted April 15, 2011 at 7:31 PM
YES! YES! YES!

No one has EVER been asked "What time is the three o'clock parade?" That's a MYTH! Never has happened. NEVER!

And may I add NEVER!

(Sorry if that was aggressive, but I've been juicing on 'Entourage' DVDs tonight and I feel like getting my Ari on).

From Carrie Hood
Posted April 16, 2011 at 3:35 AM
LOL TH!
That's just a little joke since so many seem to leave their brains in the trucks of their cars to bake in the Florida sun. Oddly enough, I really wouldn't be surprised if people have asked that question before. It makes me think fondly of those swatters from Hitchhikers Guide that pop up and smack you every time you have an idea.

If I could design an engine to run on completely stupid questions (See the train comment)... I'd have enough money to make Richard Branson blush and gas would never be above 35 cents again.


From Mike Shirley Jr
Posted April 16, 2011 at 6:03 AM
The "Three o'clock parade" question is a classic, but true. I've answered it myself. It wasn't that they were dumb or anything, they just seemed to be a bit overwhelmed with the place and wanted to make sure they didn't miss it.

More to the point, CM's ABSOLUTELY make things up. Without a doubt, no question. When you engage yourself with so many different people so often, there are bound to be questions asked that you just plain don't know the answer to. So what's a CM to do? If you have the improvisational capabilities, you can create a believable mythos all your own.

BTW, for the inconsiderate guests, the 3 o'
clock parade is at 2:30. You just missed it.

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted April 19, 2011 at 4:37 AM
Hmm, I wish I'd asked more questions to CMs now! My only experience is on the Disney Cruise. I went for 'Tea with Alice' and when we were queuing up for our photo, I asked her 'minder' whether Alice was English or American (her accent was a bit dodge). And the minder said, 'what are you talking about...she's from Wonderland.' D'oh! After pressing, she still wouldn't tell me. Pretty good to keep the magic going.

Then on a different cruise, I was sunbathing by the pool and got chatting to a girl who admitted she was a crew member. I asked her what she did and she paused and said... 'im in entertainment.' she wouldn't tell me which character she played, but I did get out of her that Captain Jack was American. So I told her to congratulate him on his convincing English accent.

I would LOVE to get some behind-the-scenes info. Apart from paying to do a tour (has anyone done the 'underground Magic Kingdom' one?) is there anyway to find out little-known interesting things?

From Jeff Elliott
Posted April 20, 2011 at 7:17 AM
Google has failed me.....

....ok....I'll bite.....what did happen to Car 19 at Test Track?

From Tyler Stover
Posted April 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM
I googled "Test Track Car 19" too and came up with nothing. Now we just have to know.

From Robert Waldbauer
Posted April 22, 2011 at 6:21 PM
While I do not actually know the story behind Car 19, would it be possible to believe that there are only 18 cars? Guess I'll find out next month when I visit WDWMK...

From Timothy Hoster
Posted April 22, 2011 at 8:07 PM
There are 31 Cars total and 29 on the track with two as back-up. If I remember correctly there is a car marked 19 that is all smashed up but not sure if my memory is correct. Am interested in the answer though.

From steve lee
Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:17 PM
A former CM who worked at Epcot when Test Track was testing once told me that a car derailed and flew into the nearby employee parking lot. While it does appear that there is a parking lot in the proper place, I can't say I ever really tried to verify the story. Obviously it sounds ludicrous to state that Test Track could derail, but we are talking about before the ride opened (and it did take two years longer to open than originally anticipated, so it is possible that they may have taken a while figuring out how to keep the cars on the track).

As far as stories CMs tell that aren't true, there's always little white lies about the plane in the Great Movie Ride being the real plane from Casablanca or the hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion being Brigham Youngs. Snopes has pretty thoroughly debunked those...

From Randall Peek
Posted April 23, 2011 at 1:23 AM
The business of theme parks is entertainment. If, in the name of entertaining the guests, a story is told that is not entirely factual, it does not necessarily brand it as a lie. I work in a casino, and I often tell my players stories that happened to friends of mine as if they had happened on my game. It simply makes the telling of the story easier and more immediate. I could easily see employees at a theme park doing the same thing.

From Carrie Hood
Posted April 24, 2011 at 5:04 AM
The smashed up car at Test Track is not the original "Car 19" it's an homage to the one that gave it's life to make a ride safe.

The story I know came from an Original CM on the opening team for Test Track. They where going threw training and testing when this all began one night.

As we all either know or can guess, the computers controlling Test Track are very complex. When the ride went into testing mode, they ran several cars around the track under normal operating standards, things worked great. Then those nice people at WDI decided they wanted to know what would happen if there was a major computer problem, when the two controls (One for the cars and one for the Track) stopped communicating. This is when things got interesting.

This is as exact as I can remember it being explained to me.

"So they yanked a few cords to see what would happen just in case. Well they yanked the cords that kept the car in touch with the computer. Imagine a giant sound proof wall stuck in between two things trying to talk. The computer keeps yelling "STOP, STOP!" the car can't hear and translate that as "Okay, Go anyway!".
So the redundancies in the programing of the car allow it to remember the programed coarse but the brake run on the speed test was controlled entire by the computer. Yeah, so you see the problem! The computer is going "stop, stop, stop" the car is going "faster, faster, faster" it's merry way around the track but missed the break spot thanks to no computer and well.. GIANT ****ING HOLE was the result. Car 19 ripped nearly in half with parts falling into the backlot, there was a huge whole in the steel side of the building used to be able to see the welding marks before they replaced it all last year. Man, half that car was dragged in from the emergency tow chains on the bottom. It was bad.. that's why they don't have a car 19 on the track anymore."

It wasn't open yet so it wouldn't be reported as an accident. It was technically still testing, it let them fix a flaw in the computers so that if communications did somehow get cut off the cars would E-stop even in the middle of the speed run.

That is the story of Car 19 and your not going to hear about it often unless you find an Original CM from Test Track or one of the managers from that time.

From steve lee
Posted April 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM
Wow, thanks for posting that Carrie. Turns out my friend wasn't making that one up after all.

From Carrie Hood
Posted April 25, 2011 at 7:36 PM
Nope Steve!
I've heard a few variations on this story over the years where half the car did fall off but I'm prone to trust my friend who was there when it happened. So something DID fall off the track so either way, it wasn't a good thing but at least it can't happen again!
*Knocks on Wood*

I'd also heard rumors about Tower of Terror and shoddy construction until it went threw the refurbishment to make it Tower of Terror 2 with multiple drops. However I can't say it if was ever true as no one ever confirmed it.

From Albino Pygmy
Posted April 26, 2011 at 5:29 AM
How do you think us CM's keep our sanity? By providing ourselves with entertainment such as coming up with such nonsense to pass along to our guests who we seem fit. We'd mention about how they should hold onto anything they'd like to keep as they plummet down the deadly Schweitzer Falls, all 86 feet of this vertical fall and that the bad jokes we provide are just comic relief so it softens the blow of this dramatic fall.

At Mansion, we talk about the rarely seen "kitchen scene" so keep an eye out for that, as one of the doors in the hallway opens up to reveal the kitchen. Disney does make sure they train us to become "storytellers" and so some of us do live up to that name and tell all sorts of stories :)

From TH Creative
Posted April 26, 2011 at 6:04 AM
A group of hippos is called a "bloat."

"Careful crew! Any one of the beasts can easily upset the boat! And (ironically) the reason we don't shoot at 'em anymore because it tended to upset the bloat. (Pause) Look it up."

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