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Ok so tonight at work as we were locking up the park, we were wondering how Disney goes about locking up its park at night? Like who checks all the doors to make sure they are locked? And do they know if a door isn't locked? Kinnda a random thing but we were all curious...

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I don't work in a Disney park obviously, but I doubt it really has to do with other people. I think it's probably mainly the job of the people who work the rides and attractions. It's the workers' jobs to make sure everything is good, locked up, and safe.

 

-Mike

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Yep. Every attraction and/or area has its own closing procedures. That goes for both on stage and backstage areas. ALthough, when it comes down to it, people are around the parks almost 24-7 doing work. So, the parks don't really "close" as in no one is there for much time, if at all, for a given day. It can be quite strange when the lights are up, power washers are around, and you have a parade staff training at 4 AM.

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I can give you a rundown as for the couple of places I worked at WDW as a CP.

 

For the restaurant (Plaza Pavilion before it became the Noodle Station), we had to clean and sanitize EVERYTHING and then polish the counters (prevents corrosion due to humidity). We restocked bottled drinks and basically got everything ready for the next day. Nothing that glamourous and because additional cleaning and maintenance come in over night, we never really "locked" anything except for the drinks, coolers, office and what not. Thats not to say that it was open to anyone to just walk in, because it wasn't. We usually closed well before the park closed so my experience differed from most.

 

As for the Magic Kingdom parking lot, closing was a chore! We kept running trams until there were no more than 10 cars in the lot (but usually later if there were still people). I remember working shifts that didnt start until 8p!

 

At park closing time, we would try to be up with a good number of trams with two or more waiting if necessary. We would get constant reports via radio over how many monorails and ferry boats were running. If a monorail or boat went down that meant a crush when it started back up again so we had to be prepared for that. Because of this, the trams vary their routes throughout the day and night to accommodate rushes of people.

 

Generally, about 1.5 hours after park closing there would only be a single tram running so everyone else was busy doing other duties such as "setting the lot" for opening the next day. This consisted of putting cones in thier proper position, configuring the signs to point in the right direction, and "setting" the entrance road.

 

Other duties included rounding up wheelchairs that people liked to leave scattered around the lot and in the various canals (thinking we wouldnt find them half submerged in the darkness).

 

Its kinda hard to lock up the Magic Kingdom parking lot since its so huge and has a number of roads nearby, so after a certain time security takes over the main toll plaza and access is restricted toward the lot itself. A good number of the Disney busses "sleep" at the TTC in the bus lot, but thats something that the bus people take care of. It gets really empty and quiet quickly out there except for the street sweepers. They added additional lighting while I was there, so its not as creepy now as it was before.

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As I recall, in Epcot, we had a security sweep that took place a certain number of hours (1?) past park closing. They came into every restaurant or open building, since most of those don't lock at night. Then they escorted any guests out of the park. After that, you could, if so inclined, enter a number of buildings and certainly walk around the park. Security would likely stop you at some point, but with ID and an excuse you were usually okay. But I was rarely in the park more two or three hours past park closing.

 

I loved that they often kept the Fountain of Nations running well after park closing. You could have a private viewing!

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Yea a lot of those food closing procedures seem about right on par with what we do. Foods isn't my specific area, but i'm familiar with what they do. But I'm surprised to hear that the doors all aren't locked at night. But then I guess if someone's there 24 hours a day, it doesn't really make sense to lock them.

 

But I guess thats whats different, we have the various "leads" as we call them, who basically supervise the general employees lock things up, then us managers go around and double check everything to make sure it's all locked up and secure for the night.

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DLR is usually pretty active even into the wee hours of the morning. I've been there at 4am and there's guys painting and cleaning. The music loops on Main St. are even still playing. It's actually pretty insane how "up-to-the-last-minute" the night crews are. If the park opened at 8am, there would still be gardening crews and trucks on the paths up until 10 minutes before. Not to say there's a ton of people around always, I've walked through sections of the park where there was literally no one but myself.

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Was browsing the boards of MouseTimes and just happen to run into this thread about San Diego's CBS 8's five part series on what happens at Disneyland after the park closes. Doesn't totally answer your questions but is definitely worth a looky-look. Here are the links to all of the five parts:

 

Indiana Jones Adventure

Pirates of the Caribbean

Tower of Terror

Horses of Main Street

Cleaning the Park

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I spent most of my working time at WDW in Water Craft Transportation for the Magic Kingdom area resorts- in fact I was one of the first drivers for the 3rd of the medium sized boats they have (had?) which I think was called the Mermaid. I mostly worked in the evening so I helped to empty the park- usually on the Gold Line serving the Grand Flo and the Poly (worst CM cafe on the lake btw). When things started to slow down one of each of the launches had to remain at the main dock until Park Security gave us the all clear- the red line (Wilderness), Gold, and Green (the Fort), as well as the ferry.

 

Oddly the larger the boats, the easier they were to operate- the ferry had rotating sticks to stear with while the little boats had the big ol' ships wheels. After our last run of the night the ferrys were parked at the TTC while all of the other boats went to "Dry Dock" though they weren't taken out of the water this is also where they went when there were taken out of the water. We then rode the supervisors boat back to the TTC to clock out and head home.

 

Riding that boat out over the deserted 7 Seas Lagoon was so cool- we flew that thing so fast! Btw- a bit of trivia that you may not know- between the Grand Flo and MK the monorial goes up really high and goes over a little canal- that canal is where the water parade lives and further up the canal is a lock that connects to the rivers of america- the reason that the beam is so high is that every so often they haul the riverboat down the canal to take her to Dry Dock! When they did it when I was there one of here stacks hit the beam!

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the Poly (worst CM cafe on the lake btw).

 

YES! The good ole' Poly. Us parking lot folks would always ask for a Parking 5 van or an extra truck so we could either go to McDonalds or to the Mouseketeria (especially after they added the Subway). ANYTHING was better than the Poly...even Westgate.

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At least you didn't have to truck up from MGM over to Mouseketeria to get decent food! I can't even begin on how many times we would hope the bus or someones car and go booking ass over there for decent food. We couldn't get off property quick enough so it was either bring your own food or run for the 'Teria.

Although I do have to say when I got suck working Fantasmic the F&B manager would let us eat the left over pretzels and such that would end up thrown away. Nice little snack at the end of the night!

 

The park doesn't "close" in the traditional sense. There are people in the parks (almost all parks in Central Florida) around the clock. The things that close are your gift shops, exhibits and restaurants. Many times when an attraction has a way to be closed off it's left open because there is work that ends done that night (lights, maitanace, ect). Plus you've got Park Ops running around at night and any speical events which may be in the park at any given time.

I didn't see many Speical events that kept WDW parks open late but I can tell you Seaworld had them once or twice a week in the summer.

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the Poly (worst CM cafe on the lake btw).

 

YES! The good ole' Poly. Us parking lot folks would always ask for a Parking 5 van or an extra truck so we could either go to McDonalds or to the Mouseketeria (especially after they added the Subway). ANYTHING was better than the Poly...even Westgate.

 

Being in Water Craft we had seven choices for breaks but majority ruled unless they broke you at the MK docks where you could either break there (non-food break area behind Main Gate where you could watch the parades setting up or the one in Tomorrowland) or hope to Supervisor Boat and go where they decided we were eating that day. The cafeteria at the TTC was only opened at lunch. We usually at at the 'Temporary Resort- the food was good and the resort CM's weren't rude to us like they were at the Grand Flo- only downside was the walk from the dock...

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I worked at EPCOT in 1994 and we helped "sweep" sections for guests. We had to help guests make their way out, then check the doors backstage (the ones that locked) and then make our way out with the night manager. Even though the night crews came later, we still did a pretty thorough sweep of the entrance plaza.

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