Y2K Disneyland Cast Member Reference Guide (1999)

This seven-page informational booklet was issued to Disneyland cast members as a precautionary measure for the possible impending Y2K crisis and its effect on the park’s 1999-2000 New Year’s celebration.

The infamous Y2K scare centered around a computer flaw that many experts believed would cause major technological and operational malfunctions worldwide as the machines’ internal clocks registered the date turnover from ’99 to ’00. The unpredictability of how computers would handle the “reset” change, in regard to both hardware and software, sparked a doomsday-style panic and caused the US, as well as many other nations, to spend millions of dollars bracing for a possible negative outcome. Disneyland was no different, launching a preemptive strategy of reactionary procedures, outlined here in this fascinating document that provides a unique glimpse of what the end of the world would have looked like from the Happiest Place on Earth.

The first three pages of the booklet deal with the subject of Early Park Closure and outline cast members’ roles in evacuation procedures (complete with Mickey-ear bullet points). Of note are the word-for-word announcements, located on the second page, which guests would have heard around the park in an emergency situation. Lists of Coordination Centers, where cast members would meet to help usher guests out of the park, as well as the actual exits to which they would be directed, are also included. The park was to be divided into two halves, West and East, with guests correspondingly using either the Main Street Exit or a specially-opened Indy Queue Exit. Also appearing throughout the booklet, in true Disney thematic fashion, are characters from the studio’s popular cartoon series Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers, which ran from 1988-1990.

 

EARLY PARK CLOSURE AT A GLANCE

 

  • Your Manager/Lead will notify you that the Park is closing early.
    • At this time, you should prepare your location based on instructions from your Manager.
    • All Entertainment will stop.
    • All Attractions, Shops and Restaurants will close.
  • When the evacuation begins, all Guests will be asked to exit the Park.
  • You will assist with evacuating the Park.
  • Direct Guests to the appropriate exit based on the map located inside.

If you have any questions, or if any extraordinary situations arise, please see your Manager/Lead immediately. Do not leave your are without notifying the appropriate person first.

 

PREPARING FOR PARK CLOSURE

 

  • Your Manager/Lead will notify you that the Park is closing early.
  • At this time, you should prepare your location based on instructions from your Manager.
  • The spiel will be heard along the Parade Route, from Town Square to “it’s a small world”.

Initial Announcement Spiel

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. Disneyland has experienced an interruption to its operation. We are continuing to assess the situation and will update you shortly. Your patience and understanding is appreciated at this time. Thank you.”

 

GUEST EXIT BEGINS

 

  • Your Manager/Lead will notify you that Guests should begin to exit the Park.

Beginning Evacuation Spiel

 

“Ladies and Gentleman [sic], Boys and Girls. May we please have your attention for an important announcement. Due to a system interruption, Disneyland cannot continue to operate and will close at this time. Our Disneyland Cast Members will be directing you to the nearest exit. Your cooperation and patience is appreciated. If you have been separated from a child, please ask a Disneyland Cast Member for assistance to the Lost Children Center. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and again thank you for your patience.”

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD TELL GUESTS

 

West Side Closing Spiel

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time, it has become necessary to close the Disneyland Park area due to circumstances beyond our control. Please proceed slowly and safely toward the Indiana Jones queue. Allow our Cast to provide directions to the safest and most orderly route to the exit. Thank you.”

 

East Side Evacuation Spiel

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time, it has become necessary to close the Disneyland Park area due to circumstances beyond our control. Please proceed slowly and safely toward Main Street, U.S.A. Allow our Cast to provide directions to the safest and most orderly route to the exit. Thank you.”

 

The center pages of the booklet feature a visual representation of evacuation procedures in the form of both a park map, as well as a parking lot map. The final pages deal with various guest service issues: how to handle separated parties, how to coordinate the distribution of complimentary park tickets (which all guests were to receive as compensation for the crumbling of modern society), and of course how to locate the nearest available restroom. The document ends with a list of guest and cast member questions and answers, dealing with specific issues that may have arisen in an evacuation scenario (where to return wheelchairs, retrieve Package Express, arrange hotel transportation, etc.). Funny enough, Disneyland—ever the picture of order and professionalism (and never one to forfeit capital)—reminds cast members, even in the wake of chaos that they are expected to return their costumes before setting out to brave the apocalypse.

This very rare look at the highly-publicized non-tragedy known as Y2K, from the perspective of an organization that prides itself on providing a safe-haven from reality for all its guests, represents an absolutely compelling blip on the [still-going] timeline of both Disney and modern world history.

VALUE: $30

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