Readers Write …

Posted December 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

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From the

Magic Kingdom to Albany

Hello, my name is Danny. I just recently moved here from Florida and found full time work in Albany. I like the feel of your hometown atmosphere and community and look forward to serving the residents of your town.

I was reading your local newspaper and saw the article, “Let the Reader’s Write,” so after spending thirty-five years in Florida I thought I would share a memorable time in my life with you.

When I was growing up as a boy in my home state of Arkansas, like many kids back then, I used to watch the “Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday evenings. There was one episode in particular that intrigued me; it was about people working at Disney World. I didn’t realize it back then; who knew some twenty-five years later I would be employed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

In June of 1995, I became a cast member at Walt Disney World working at the Magic Kingdom. During orientation I was given a tour of the Magic Kingdom and was amazed. I learned that there were tunnels underneath the entire property so that cast members in costumes could surface in whatever area they were assigned to work. Also, a large wardrobe and cafeteria along with break rooms, character costumes, a really well thought out system for cast members as well as VIP guest to get around.

My first job location was outside the Magic Kingdom in an area called TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center). I worked nights from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the morning, mostly behind the scenes. TTC is where guest arrive and ride the monorails and ferry boats to the Magic Kingdom.

The first year I spent there, my job included washing and waxing monorails, cleaning ferry boats, hosing down the walkways and other cleaning duties. I enjoyed cleaning the monorails, knowing that thousands of guests from all over the world would ride them daily and I was in a small way part of their wonderful time spent at the Magic Kingdom Park.

The second year I transferred into the Magic Kingdom Park working in an area known as Liberty Square. Liberty Square was where the Haunted Mansion, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree and the Riverboat that circled Tom Sawyers Island were all located.

I did all the cleaning details during my year and a half in Liberty Square, but my favorite details were the Haunted Mansion and hosing, which was washing all of Liberty Square with a spray nozzle attached to a large hose, kind of like a fire hose. (Think about it, if you had thousands of people walking on your floor every day, wouldn’t you wash it down?). That was what hose detail was.

When I was a hose-man in Liberty Square, I had the whole area to myself because everyone else was working inside. I remember one night Tom Hanks was shooting a film at the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon and he wanted to leave early to see the Space Shuttle launch off the coast of Cape Canaveral, I watched him and his crew get into their vehicles and as they were leaving they ran over my hose that was stretched across the roadway by the bridge that led to Cinderella’s Castle. That was as close as Tom Hanks came to meeting me! (Ha Ha).

Over the next three years I worked in different areas of the Magic Kingdom, but always preferred Liberty Square. I was voted Cast Member of the month in June of 1998, for that I was allowed to come dressed as a supervisor, taken out to dinner and granted access to areas normally blocked off. I was also granted permission for some behind the scene photo opportunities that were not opened to everyone. I have pictures of the Haunted Mansion, in the jail cell with the Pirates of the Caribbean, standing on the stage with the Presidents in The Hall of Presidents, just to name a few. I was very proud of myself for achieving such an award.

I would say working at Disney World was one of the best jobs I ever had. My daughter was four years old when I started working there, so I was able to spoil her by being able to get her and my wife in the park for free.

Working at Disney for five years was a wonderful and magical time for me and my family with memories that will last a lifetime. I hope you have enjoyed my insight into the Wonderful World of Disney…Thanks Mickey!

P.S. Walt Disney was a special man to have created such a place for families and kids of all ages.

Danny Robinson

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Readers Write author, and now Clinton County resident, Danny Robinson, above and below, at his prior job in Florida at Walt Disney World/Magic Kingdom.

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