August 19, 2006

Keys to the Kingdom

Today I went to the Magic Kingdom to take "The Keys to the Kingdom" backstage tour.
Our tour guide, Daniel, did a wonderful job showing us the hidden side of the Magic Kingdom and revealing some of the secrets behind the magic!
The 4+ hour tour included an exclusive trip on the Jungle Cruise, with the usual skipper spiel replaced by a technical explanation of how the attraction works. We also visited the underground utility corridors, known as "utilidors", visited the backstage buildings which house the various parade floats, and yes, went to the Haunted Mansion.

While we were in the Utilidors, we ran into "Mayor Weaver" (the Mayor of Main Street USA who I watched officiate the opening of the park that morning) and two of his lady friends. They had just come down from being "on stage" and were still in costume, although one the ladies was holding her wig in her hat (saying it was her pet Shitzu). Even though we were "off stage", the Mayor and the ladies jumped into character . They sang a hormonized "Happy Birthday" to one of the men in our group, told jokes, and made conversations. It was a great moment, in an unusual setting, and they left us all smiling!

If you are a fan of Imagineering, I highly recommend this tour!
You have to make reservations ahead of time, and cameras and bags are not allowed. Lunch was included at the Colombia House, and we all received a beautiful "Keys to the Kingdom" gold pin!