To Backstage or Not to Backstage... That is the question.

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To Backstage or Not to Backstage... That is the question.

Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated by the way things work. If watching a play at a theater for example, while everyone is looking at the show on stage, I'd be staring at the rafters watching the lights change color or trying to figure out where special effects were originating etc.

When I first visited WDW in 2010, I was immediately amazed by the sheer size of the place and also all of the different operations going on. Luckily, I found out about the backstage tours and I knew right away I was interested. We've taken a few of the tours now, including Keys to the Kingdom and Backstage Magic which we thoroughly enjoyed.

I really think it's amazing how strict Disney is with the "onstage" vs "offstage" policy. Anyone that's taken a backstage tour probably knows that there is literally a line painted on the ground, one side being onstage and the other side offstage.

However, I do know that some people have no interest in any of the backstage stuff. Not just Disney, but I know some people that won't even watch the "making of" extras on a DVD.

Are you someone who just wants to experience the magic and be taken away from reality for you stay at WDW? Or do you have an equally strong curiosity of how that magic is created?

Personally, I would love to see the Haunted Mansion, lights on and walk through the whole thing. I'd also love to see more of the operations side of things like how they monitor attendance levels at attractions or coordinate the parades and such. If there were such a thing as a "Backstage Vacation" at WDW, I'd be the first to sign up!

So, if you do like backstage stuff, what would you like to see or do?

Magic Mirror's picture
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I would love to go backstage and see how their police and security operations are handled. biggrin

JoAnn C's picture
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I would liike to take one of the tours and see what goes on backstage.

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My goal is to ride Rock 'n' Roller coaster with the lights on before the ride opens for the day or after it closes for the day. I had a chance to do a walk through tour of Spaceship Earth and Haunted Mansion both before the parks open.

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I'm a dancer and have grown up "backstage." It never fails to amaze me how much goes on behind the scenes to make a seamless performance for guests. I love all that stuff!

I would love to meet all the people who work behind the scenes of my favorite attractions and get a walkthrough of each of their parts. I would also love the opportunity to give them a big thank you. It's all those folks backstage who make the folks onstage look so great! wink

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Magic Mirror wrote:
I would love to go backstage and see how their police and security operations are handled. biggrin

You, me , Dee & Vettelover!

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mrhub wrote:
Magic Mirror wrote:
I would love to go backstage and see how their police and security operations are handled. biggrin

You, me , Dee & Vettelover!

Count me in on that one! awesome

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Big smile Big smile Big smile

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KenJ wrote:
mrhub wrote:
Magic Mirror wrote:
I would love to go backstage and see how their police and security operations are handled. biggrin

You, me , Dee & Vettelover!

Count me in on that one! awesome

Right On. awesome

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Mandy wrote:
My goal is to ride Rock 'n' Roller coaster with the lights on before the ride opens for the day or after it closes for the day. I had a chance to do a walk through tour of Spaceship Earth and Haunted Mansion both before the parks open.

Wow, that is awesome Mandy! Well, I could ask you what it was like, but I can just try to imagine. Did you have to walk all the way up Spaceship Earth? I would think that would be quite a hike.

And the Haunted Mansion. Oh, how I would love to see that whole place all lit up and look at all the details. awesome

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I should of clarified, I didn't do them because they were really early and I had to work late the night before for both of the walking tours.

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Love seeing behind the scenes! When I worked there I explored plenty of places. They have cast member nights where we got to ride space mountain and rocking roller coaster with the lights on. Space Mountain was very scary with the lights on. for the ppl who put there hands up on the ride, I guarantee you wouldnt anymore if you got to ride with the lights on.

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I've been on the R'n'R coaster when it broke down. I have walked through it with the lights on and it is tiny and actually disappointing. Much better with the lights out!

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Sally-Ann wrote:
I've been on the R'n'R coaster when it broke down. I have walked through it with the lights on and it is tiny and actually disappointing. Much better with the lights out!

Coaster is a 90 second ride.

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I think I'd be torn. I love the secrets so much that I'm affraid knowing might ruin a piece of it. Sorta like when people try and convince me Santa doesn't visit. Sad they can't believe. He still visits me. So the dark rides would be off limits but let me in the kitchen and I'd be one happy camper.

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Mandy wrote:
Sally-Ann wrote:
I've been on the R'n'R coaster when it broke down. I have walked through it with the lights on and it is tiny and actually disappointing. Much better with the lights out!

Coaster is a 90 second ride.

Yes I know, the floor space for it is tiny and "stacked"

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Mandy wrote:
My goal is to ride Rock 'n' Roller coaster with the lights on before the ride opens for the day or after it closes for the day. I had a chance to do a walk through tour of Spaceship Earth and Haunted Mansion both before the parks open.

When I worked at Hollywood Studios I got to ride Rock N Roller Coaster with the lights on numerous times....it was quite the experience!

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Jessalynn27 wrote:
Mandy wrote:
My goal is to ride Rock 'n' Roller coaster with the lights on before the ride opens for the day or after it closes for the day. I had a chance to do a walk through tour of Spaceship Earth and Haunted Mansion both before the parks open.

When I worked at Hollywood Studios I got to ride Rock N Roller Coaster with the lights on numerous times....it was quite the experience!

What did you do at Studios?

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As soon as I learned about them, I've always wanted to go through the Underground Tunnels!

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Another thread that mentioned using Google Earth to look at the buildings at Disney World prompted me to bump this thread from last year since many new forum members have joined since this question was posed.

Do you like to see how Disney World works behind the scenes or do you prefer to keep the curtain drawn and just enjoy the show? Does seeing behind the scenes ruin or enhance your enjoyment of the parks? Would be interested to hear your thoughts. Personally, I like to know how things work and jump at any opportunity to look behind the curtains via taking tours or reading articles on the subject.

If you like the behind the scenes stuff, what would you like to see? If not, what would you NOT want to see or know about?

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I find this sort of thing fascinating and would love to do a walk-through of all sorts of attractions to see what they're like.

Once I rode the Peoplemover through Space Mountain while it was down and the lights were on. Weird. Since it's a dark ride they've done absolutely nothing to hide the infrastructure. And I swear that when we're at the very top of Spaceship Earth I can see the dome's support structure among the little twinkling lights depicting stars, would love to have the lights turn on so I could see if it really is visible. You name it, I would walk through it to check it out.

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I love the backstage experience. To me, the logistics of how the show comes together are just as interesting if not more interesting than the show itself. For me, knowing about the efforts that go on backstage to make the show appear effortless make the final product even more magical than just pretending that everything at WDW runs on pixie dust.

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December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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It makes us appreciate how intricate and well planned things are. Love the backstage tours would always recommend them. Looking forward to the Marceline to MK one this trip.

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I am also looking forward to the Marceline to MK tour. I'm sure there will be others in my future.

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MrHub wrote:
Magic Mirror wrote:
I would love to go backstage and see how their police and security operations are handled. biggrin

You, me , Dee & Vettelover!

My husband got his bachelor's degree in Emergency Management this year and he would be all over that!

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That is a good question. There are a ton of elements that make Disney World the place that is. I think being a Disney fan, even though I'm made to believe that magic exists, well, I've come to terms that there are some hard working individuals that make great things happen at Disney like the cast members' personas and the great work of the Imagineers with their rides and themes. The whole notion of, "It's only magic if you believe in it" holds true.

I think another example of wanting/not wanting to know the inside scoop of Disney would be regarding the park characters. On the one hand, you may not want about the "truth" so to speak like how the fur characters are primarily cast based on height for instance. But on the other hand, the workload of having meet thousands of guests every day (Mainly small children), smiling for every single picture if you're a face character and maintaining "character integrity" as they call it, makes you really appreciate the hard work they do.

I would love to do any park tour or a behind the scenes tour of my own interest. The problem is, I don't exactly have the time and/or the money for it! yuck

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jw24 wrote:
...the fur characters are primarily cast based on height....

It seems so obvious, but I didn't realize it until our first character meal. We were posing for a photo with Donald Duck. I put one arm around Donald's shoulders and was quite surprised when I realized there was a very small woman inside the suit. Discovered the same thing with Marie the kitten on our most recent visit, but it didn't surprise me as much since Marie is a female kitty.

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I love finding out how things were done - working in the media and being lucky enough to have taken part in a few big movies recently, it is fascinating to see the creative process and how fluid it is. It doesn't spoil the magic for me, rather it enhances it as the magic isn't hiding what's there - it's how it transports you to a whole different place!

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Ever since I announced that we were all going to WDW in February my daughter Katie has been binge watching Disney videos. Not just Disney movies, but every single clip and peek she can find on YouTube as well. Yesterday she watched several videos of Space Mountain and Rockin' Roller Coaster she could find with the lights on.

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Both. I want to be taken away & then told how I was taken away.

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When I was on my college program we got to ride Rock N Roller Coaster with the lights on quite a few times. It was kind of freaky as I thought we were going to hit some things, same on Space Mountain. We were riding and it broke down so they had to turn the lights on and release each car one at a time to coast the rest of the way. The structure of that ride makes me very glad it is a dark ride. Again I thought I was going to hit my head or hands on the tracks numerous times.

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