Hundreds of thousands of items are left behind and collected throughout the year at the sprawling Walt Disne World Resort. If you’re not careful with your belongings, they could end up among the mish-mash of neglected whatcha-ma-callits picked up in the parks, taking a long journey from their original drop point and potentially ending up in a Cast Member’s closet.
Here are some things to bear in mind if you lose something - and an insight into the actual process that Cast Members go through to help you find your lost items.
1. They’re often impossible to recover
Cast Members will do what they can to help you recover your lost items, but it’s important to understand that many things are impossible to recover in one piece. If you fail to heed the warnings about removing your hat and sunglasses on a roller coaster, those flyaway items could very well get smashed or shattered on the track. Attractions have hundreds of moving parts and heavy ride vehicles. If something falls into the ride path somewhere like Dinosaur, there’s virtually no chance of it surviving the day.
If you’re thinking you’ll just send someone out to recover the item before it gets too damaged, think again. Ceasing ride operations is a big thing, and Cast Members can’t afford to do it for every pair of sunglasses that makes a wayward journey. After all, there are more than 200 pairs of sunglasses turned in each day.
2. It’s not just sunglasses and cell phones
Most lost and found boxes are pretty standard. You’ll find lots of cell phones that slipped out of pockets, hats blown off by the wind, and oh-so-many sunglasses. But there are some bizarre items that show up as well. Prosthetic limbs are not an uncommon item, as they’re often jostled loose on bumpy rides, and toupees come off just as easily as those hats. Among the stranger reports at lost and find are a glass eye, numerous pairs of dentures, and a potty trainer. Guests don’t just forget their small items. Entire diaper bags and strollers are turned in.
Hotels also have their own lost and found collections. At the laundry facility where sheets and towels for the park’s hotels are handled, there’s an entire room dedicated to the clothing, blankets, and precious stuffed animals that turn up in the wash. Housekeepers uncover whole drawers of forgotten clothing and other intimate items. Cell phone chargers, as you might expect, are among the top items left behind in hotel rooms. If it comes into the park or hotel, chances are there’s someone, somewhere, who’s also managed to leave it behind.