Theme park cast member stories: Waiting in line in the Magic Kingdom

May 5, 2009, 8:42 AM · This story was told to me my first summer in attractions at the Magic Kingdom. I assume it to be apocryphal, but I really, really wanted it to be true, because, like many apocryphal stories, it perfectly illustrates the way that theme park employees - and visitors - often feel about crowds in the parks.

Three cast members were "playing in the park" on their day off. For fun, they decided to queue up in front of the door to the riverboat lead's office, around the corner from the Hall of Presidents entrance, in Liberty Square. Sure enough, within a minute, a couple walked up to them.

"What are you in line for?" the man asked.

"I don't know, but we're first!" the leader of the three replied, while the others did their best to keep straight faces.

The man turned to his partner, shrugged, and joined the line.

Within minutes on this busy summer day, two dozen others had joined the queue, which was now snaking toward the stockade. When the line reached the riverboat, cutting off the path toward the Haunted Mansion, the original three grinned at one another and the leader nodded. He turned to the first man who'd joined the queue.

"Darn it, it's almost time for our lunch reservations at the castle. Gotta go."

With that, the three walked over to the riverboat landing, suppressing laughs the whole way. The leader waved at the riverboat greeter, whom he knew, and said, "I don't know what's going on, but a huge queue is forming in front of the lead's office. You better check it out."

The three then ran for it, as the greeter walked over to the front of the queue, wondering why a line would have formed in front of a unmarked (though well-themed) utility door.

"Excuse me, sir," he asked the man who'd first joined the queue, "but what do you think you are in line for?"

"I don't know," he replied. "But I'm first!"

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  • Replies (7)

    May 5, 2009 at 8:57 AM · That's quite simply amazingly funny! Its a shame there aren't many good places to really pull off a stunt like that at Cedar Point, or I would be suggesting that to some of my former co-workers who are going back this summer.
    May 5, 2009 at 10:13 AM · You know me - I have a story to follow! This one really did happen, to my mother.

    Before I was born, right after they were married, my mother and father attended the world's fair. My father was interested in taking photographs, and my mother didn't want to follow him all over the fair. It was also very crowded and hot, so she looked for a shady, out-of-the-way spot to wait for him to come back to find her. She was just standing there, minding her own business, when someone tapped her on the shoulder.

    "Pardon me, ma'am, but what are we in line for?"

    When she looked behind her, she had a huge long line standing there expectantly waiting.

    I think that was the same trip where she spotted the kid eating an ice cream cone. He tried to take a huge bite out of the ice cream, but he knocked it out of the cone and onto the ground.

    Nonchalontly, he reached down, picked up the ice cream from the sidewalk, and put it back on top of the cone.

    Mom heard the kid declare "Oops. There it goes again!" as he walked away, happily eating his ice cream cone.

    May 5, 2009 at 11:10 AM · Good story, Rob -

    My buddy and I would go to the art gallery and stand in front of blank, white walls, observing intently at something that wasn't there. Sure enough, some people would come and stand behind us and observe, too. The art gallery crowd is a little different than the theme park crowd, so rather than ask us what we could possibly be looking at, they'd continue to watch the wall, thinking that "we'll get it, eventually".

    May 5, 2009 at 11:16 AM · When I worked at Epcot, we used to pull this same trick on Late MK evenings.
    Our guest response was slightly different. We were "waiting for the door to open." Its much easier with larger groups of 14 or so people. We'd slowly head off to the restroom and leave people standing there in line.
    May 5, 2009 at 8:52 PM · Haha, I can so relate to that Robert. I seriously think the "typical" Guests are like herds of cows, they will follow a crowd long as there is a line or a crowd, they have to join...I also think the finger scanners at WDW suck Guests' IQs, but thats a whole different subject
    May 5, 2009 at 9:40 PM · No places in your fav park to set up a dupe line? Note that the story here set the line IN FRONT OF A DOOR. A DOOR! Another story along the way is set UNDER A TREE! Not a gate or door...UNDER a tree! All you need is either something that looks vaguely like it _might_ be an attraction, or enough people standing in a line or row to give the impression of a line. Both is better, of course.
    May 9, 2009 at 8:12 PM · This is absolutely true.A few years back at Halloween Horror Nights my girlfriend and about six friends were in the house that is Posiedens Fury and at the time they issued miners helmets with lights that fluctuated on and off.During one of the black out periods we made a wrong turn down a dead end but everybody behind us "about twenty people"began to follow and proceeded to keep moving while we were stuck in the dead end.It took about ten minutes just to get turned arround because people just kept following!

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