FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Magic Kingdom closing time

Disney's theme parks operate for 365 days a year, and often open late into the evening. That leaves little "downtime" during which they can be scrubbed and refurbished - and yet they manage to look sparkling clean every single morning. How exactly does Disney achieve this? The simple answer is through sheer weight of manpower. Every night, hundreds of Cast Members descend upon each park, each with a specific range of tasks to complete under the glow of portable floodlights. At Disneyland, for example, there are 1,500 workers in the "third shift", and many of them have worked to a nocturnal schedule for years. There is alwayssomething happening at the parks, which truly are "cities that never sleep". Here are 10 essential tasks that are completed every single night at Walt Disney World, the Disneyland Resort, the Disneyland Resort Paris, the Tokyo Disney Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland.

10. The security sweep

Disney security First things first, Disney has to make sure that its theme parks are empty before it begins any maintenance work. It's not unknown for guests to try and "camp out" in the parks at night, particularly in seemingly hard-to-spot locations such as Tom Sawyer Island. Park security, though, are aware of the most common hiding places. "If someone tried to hide, they would not stay hidden for long," Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown told the LA Timesin 2010.

9. Refuelling

 

Many of Disney's attractions still run on good old-fashioned gasoline. Every night, a team of oiler-truckers sweeps into refuel them. At Disneyland, for example, the Columbia Sailing Ship, the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Tom Sawyer Island Rafts, the Jungle Cruise boats, the Main Street Vehicles and the Casey Jr. Circus Train all need topping up. In addition, some 104 cars on Autopia need to be refueled.

8. Safety inspections

Matterhorn
Image © Disney

Like all theme park operators, Disney is under an obligation to ensure that its rides run smoothly and safely. An army of engineers inspects its roller coasters and other rides, walking along tracks to check for defects, inspecting vehicles and performing other essential tasks. Firefighters also work at the parks, and carry out inspections of fire extinguishers, alarm systems and sprinkler systems.

7. Repairs

Carthay Circle restaurant

Image © Disney

It's not just the rides that occasionally need repairing. At the Disneyland Resort, there are Cast Members whose sole responsibility is checking and replacing 800 umbrellas, 25,000 chairs and 7,000 tables in the various restaurants and snack bars in its two theme parks.

6. Production of commercials

Commercial

Image © Disney

Disney wants commercials for its theme parks to look good - and that means controlling exactly who appears in them, both in the foreground and the background. It also wants guests to be able to move freely around the park by day, without having to stop at "roadblocks" set up by production crews. For that reason, most filming takes place at night.

FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Comments

The Jungle Cruise boats don't run on gasoline. They run on natural gas. Others, please chime in if the other vehicles they mentioned run on fuel other than gas.

Floating ghosts on Indiana Jones? Do they mean the ones floating in Haunted Mansion in the graveyard?

Being cleaning is a big topic in the article, I deviate a bit to ask if anyone has noticed how gross some of the tram seats appear?! Whether they are or not, some at AK & DHS looked awful. I was shocked that Disney king of 1st impressions lets them run that way. Anyone else think its time for autonomous trams that are quicker and faster loading?

Just to let you know most commercials aren't shot at night. There's a few that do happen but most of them happen before the parks open or when the parks are open and there are plenty of times that there are "roadblocks" for guests to get around or have to deal with. It's inconvenient but it happens way more than late night shoots

Just to let you know most commercials aren't shot at night. There's a few that do happen but most of them happen before the parks open or when the parks are open and there are plenty of times that there are "roadblocks" for guests to get around or have to deal with. It's inconvenient but it happens way more than late night shoots

View More Comments

Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...