October 19, 2009

The Keys to the Kingdom


This is my overview, most likely going to be long, of the Keys to the Kingdom Tour I took on Friday October 16, 2009, at 8:30am. There will be ‘spoilers’ so if you wish to someday take the tour yourself, and not be given a heads up at what is going to happen, feel free to turn back now. Just warning you! SPOILER ALERT!!!

100_1890 Getting to Magic Kingdom around 8:00am in the morning, surprisingly not that many people are there. A few breakfast people and such, but not that many just regular guests. We went through the Check Point, and then followed the sign (below) to where to enter, the far RIGHT side of the turnstiles. Then we followed the roped area around to Main Street.100_1893We had Main Street basically to ourselves, with the exception of maybe twenty people. We checked in at the Package Pick up area, after checking in we picked our lunch from the Columbia Harbor House.100_1896

pin10575 We got our nametags and waited until 8:25, which is when we were suppose to meet our tour guide, Jeff. We met outside in the Tour Plaza Gardens (between Package Pick Up and Guest Relations) and that is where our tour began.

Jeff started by introducing himself, and how he is “qualified” for the job. He then went over the FOUR KEYS to the Kingdom in order of importance: 1-Safety, 2-Courtesy, 3-Show, 4- Efficiency; and told us to look for example all over the tour, and that there will be a “pop quiz” which determines if we get lunch or not. We then walked over to Town Square and stood in front of the Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse statue, he was impressed that we (the group) knew who that statue was of, most people he said, “…think it is Walt…”.roystatue2

He then began to talk about “Why Roy was important in WDW?”, not only just in WDW, but the whole company. Roy was the “money person”, while Walt was the “idea guy”. Roy always found a way to pay for Walt’s endeavors.  He then showed us the first window on Main Street, purposely place FIRST on Main Street. As he is the ‘proprietor’ of Dreamers & Doers Development Co., where his quote is used on the left of the window saying, “If we can Dream it, we can Do it.”100_1918

After looking at Roy’s window statue, we moved down Main Street and stopped on the street between the Glass Shop and Uptown Jewelers. We went into the back and sat at the tables there. But before getting to the street to sit down we stopped in front of Uptown Jewelers and he discussed how Main Street uses the 4 Keys and why Main Street ALWAYS has their shop doors open. The Reason: To have the guests feel welcome and coming in with air on HIGH BLAST, inviting people to come in and “cool off” and then they spend money. Also, as we walked past the Main Street Confectionary, and someone asked about the “pumping of fake smells on Main Street”. Our guide “corrected” him by letting us know that YES they used to pump “fake” smells, but now they only do real ones, using fans over the Cotton Candy and Cookie area to help project the scent out on the street.

Once off the Main Street, we walked down the ONLY side street on Main Street to take a “break”. This is when Jeff gave us a “pop Quiz” telling us that we have to answer this in order for us to get lunch. He asked for “Examples of ONE of the Four keys throughout WDW”. I answered about the stories of the Shops throughout the resort, for example the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square, as an example of the SHOW key. He gave us the example of SHOW for the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, which I as a Disney Geek, already knew. But it was that the Train Station was the “curtain” the the movie of The Magic Kingdom, and the attraction posters are the opening previews, and the windows on Main Street are the Opening and Closing credits.

After that, by this time the park had JUST OPENED, and people were running down Main Street. We moved down back to Main Street, but stopped in the entrance of the Glass Shop and the name on the window, M.T. Lott. This window is a a tribute to the empty lot that Walt Disney World is built on. Then under the name it has a list of names of the “companies” that helped Walt Disney purchase the land, are “a part” of the M.T. Lott Developing Agency. 100_1919 Moving down Main Street, we stopped at the end of the buildings and in front of Walt’s window, as he overlooks the Castle, his “dream” that came true.

We then moved across the street to the Magic Kingdom tip board. We talked about how everything has a story. And how the different tip boards of the parks fit with the theme. TRIVIA: Magic Kingdom’s board is changed EVERY half hour.

Moving from Main Street to Adventureland, our guide talked about the transition between lands, and how Imagineers move you from one land to another subtly. First with changing some trees, and adding a few palm trees here and there, and then having the Crystal Palace as the MAIN transition. (Pictures below, from NIGHT TIME on another day, not during tour). As the left side (near Main Street) has the theme of Main Street, with open porch open windows and light plantings around moves you from a Mid- Western town to the Adventureland (the right side) is more exotic. With wild plants, and closed windows, with Green awnings covering the windows.

The Main Street side:100_2210

Adventureland side:100_2209Adventureland view from bridge to Adventureland.100_2207Also talking about transitions he talked about the speakers and music changes. He said that ALL the music in the Magic Kingdom is played in the same key so it isn’t a DRASTIC of a change, and as your get further from Main Street (for instance) the MS music gets softer and softer by the speakers, as  Adventureland music gets louder.


That is Part 1 of our 3 part journey through the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. Join us tomorrow for Part 2 as we walk through Adventureland and backstage.

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