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Last Monday March 10, Disneyland’s Cast Member Costuming building borrowed a page from the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Now when a worker picks up a costume, he must walk through a device that looks like an airport metal detector.


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The “black monstrosity,” located inside the doorway of the room where the costumes are stored, scans for any costume pieces in plain view—or hidden. Cast members enter the room and find the costume pieces they need (which have all been tagged with electronic chips), then take them to the scanner. They scan their Disney ID, then walk through the scanner to exit.

The scanner differeniates between pieces already checked out and ones not. If someone tries to sneak through an extra shirt or belt, an alarm goes off and they’re nabbed. Costuming cast members staff the scanners in case there is a problem, equipped with wands to provide up-close-and-personal scanning services.

Management says the new system was installed “to make it easier to check out costumes.” Employees are convinced it’s to cut down on the number of costume pieces losses. 

Among the cast member comments overheard:

  • “Did you make it through airport security?”
  • (Sarcastically) “They (management) really trust us.”
  • “I feel like I’m in prison. When do they strip-search us?”

Showing Its Metal

Countless pictures of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor are posted throughout backstage areas at the resort, advertising the “Avengers Super Hero Half Marathon” November 14-16. It’s rumored that Disneyland may use this event to finally introduce its walk-around Iron Man character. Theoretically, he would then begin appearing alongside Captain America and Thor for meet-and-greets in Innoventions.

“The delay in introducing Iron Man to the guests is due to the armor,” shared one insider. “Unlike the armor used in the films, this armor must be comfortable and be able to allow the cast member to suit up fairly quickly, and still look like the real thing.”

Officially, the park is hedging its bets. Instead of advertising that runners will be able to join Iron Man, they’re encouraging contests to “join the Avengers team of Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and... Tony Stark.”



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(Send an email to David Koenig)

David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.

After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999) (All titles published by Bonaventure Press).

He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.