My Professional Internship in Marketing has brought many magical opportunities. With Walt Disney World Resort just minutes away from my office, and knowing that every day or night can offer a new Disney adventure, I went in search of tips, tricks and secrets on how to make the most of my time at Magic Kingdom Park.
I found someone who knows Magic Kingdom Park back and forth, up and down, inside and out, crowded and empty, noisy and silent, at sunset and sunrise. In fact, I found someone who calls himself the “Guy Behind the Castle.” Brett is a Third-Shift Security Host at Magic Kingdom Park. He started working for Walt Disney World Resort in 2011 and spent his first six months in Third-Shift Security at Epcot. Following that, he began working at Magic Kingdom, so he is quite an expert on the park!
I sat down with Brett on Main Street, U.S.A. to learn more about his experiences both as a guest and as a cast member.
Brett says his upbringing was touched by Disney magic. Believe it or not, he was at Walt Disney World Resort’s opening day in 1971! Thus, he has watched the park change over the years as a result of innovation and guest demand. His childhood experiences at Walt Disney World instilled him with a lifelong dream to work for our company and help families and cast members enjoy their time at our resort. He said he enjoys spreading magic to every guest he meets – especially since they typically don’t anticipate a magical experience in their interactions with a Security cast member.
Here are some of Brett’s tips and tricks for getting the most out of your visit to Magic Kingdom Park:
The first time in forever
When you walk into Magic Kingdom Park, whether it’s your first time walking down Main Street, U.S.A. or your 100th, Brett recommends that you stop and let Cinderella Castle pull you in as if it’s your “first time in forever.” For many people it’s “a jaw-dropping, gasping, life-fulfilling moment,” he said. “Never let that escape you no matter how many times you get to see the Castle. It’s a special moment every time.”
Parade double dipping
If you love the 3:00 parade, you will love this trick: “Watch the parade toward the beginning by the Disney Vacation Club kiosk near the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade. It’s covered so you get shade, and it’s not too crowded. Once the end of the parade passes you, if you can time it right, you can make it from the kiosk to Casey’s Corner on Main Street, U.S.A. by going through the breezeway in Adventureland. Thus, you can watch the parade twice! You also get two different vantage points.”
Time for something sweet
As many cast members and guests know, a day at Magic Kingdom Park “wouldn’t be a complete day without a refreshing Dole Whip or a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar.” So, indulge!
At last I see the lights
Brett recommends that you grab a spot on the Hub grass (in front of Cinderella Castle) and watch the transition from day to night. The lights on Cinderella Castle and Main Street turn on, the “glow” toys come out, and the sunset lights up the sky. It’s a magical time! As the sun goes down, you may want to head over to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. According to Brett, “Once your eyes are acclimated to the dark, you pull in so much more detail and will experience the ride like never before!” Another attraction he recommends at night is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, because you’ll be able to watch guests dancing as the DJ plays catchy tunes in Tomorrowland, and you can see the park glowing from a bird’s eye view. The lights on the outside of Space Mountain are stunning as well.
When you enter Magic Kingdom Park, you are entering a world of fantasy! With that comes Brett’s biggest tip: Let yourself go! He reminds everyone, “Don’t be reserved. When you’re here, you leave reality behind and become part of this magical world. You get to tap into your inner child and experience something new and special every time you walk through the gate.”
Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities
If you think you have experienced all Magic Kingdom Park has to offer, think again! Brett recommends that you “hunt for Hidden Mickeys; its free [using your complimentary theme park admission], fun and always surprising! Keep your eyes peeled because they are all around you, and you could take an entire day to find them.”
In fact, there is a Hidden Mickey right where I interviewed Brett on the corner near the Crystal Arts shop on Main Street, U.S.A. Brett said that the smallest Hidden Mickey on all of Disney property is in Adventureland. Who can find it first?
Another recommendation from our resident expert is to “take time to do both the new and the old.” The traditional attraction he recommends is the Swiss Family Treehouse “where you will find a great view of sunrises and sunsets.” And for a new experience, he recommends that you “meet Mickey Mouse!”
A dream is a wish your heart makes
You may have heard that Cinderella has an exquisite, royal suite in her Castle. The only way you can stay in her suite is by being gifted a night. There is no amount of money that can buy this priceless experience. So keep checking for cast member giveaways for a tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite or even a majestic, overnight stay!
Every day’s a celebration!
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, be sure to request a customizable button at Guest Relations. Brett offers, “If you want to make your button a little more magical, you can have it beautifully inscribed by someone in the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe” in Liberty Square.
Keep these tips in mind when you enjoy your next visit to Magic Kingdom Park! And if you see Brett, don’t forget to thank him! You also may want to get a photo with him and post it to Instagram.