The crane...

Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:51 PM

So, last year in early March we made the trek down to Disney World, and one of the first things I noticed before we entered Magic Kingdom was a crane perched near the castle. Now, they had been making upgrades to "Cinderella's Royal Table" (it was not open for guests), so I automatically assumed that the crane had something to do with some type of construction, which in turn impacted this lovely dining experience not being available. No big deal, and by the time the Wishes show emerged it was parked behind the castle. That said, every picture we had of us around the castle also included the crane. Honestly I never gave it much thought, until...

Back this year again for the first week in March, and what do I see as we approach Magic Kingdom? The crane. Again. Incidentally, we had reservations for Cinderella's Royal Table, so that was ruled out, but once again for our entire week-long trip every single picture of us around the castle includes this crane.

What is it with this thing? Is it for the Wishes show? I mean, Tinkerbell does zipline off the thing, so I understand a safety check, but why is it there all day?

Now, as I type this, don't interpret as "I'm-pissed-because-my-vacation-was-ruined" just find it as either some bizarre coincidence, or something Disney is doing at this time of year.

Something tells me that if we take another trip next March, the crane will once again be part of our family photos.

Here we are happily posing with our friend.

Last edited by OhioStater, Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:00 PM
Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:24 PM

I'm reasonably certain it has nothing to do with TinkerBill (not a typo... it's a dude :)), but at the very least it appears in early January when they start taking down the Christmas lights. The length of time it hangs around has varied by year, but it was really long this year. They replaced some roofing panels on some of the spires at the very least, and maybe they did some surface work too.

Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:57 PM

Yep, its there every year, usually late summer/early fall to put up the Christmas lights and some other stuff, usually including any touchup and maintenance work on the castle since its convenient, and then again after marathon season to take down the lights, and of course maybe some more castle work.

Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:09 PM

Jeff said:

I'm reasonably certain it has nothing to do with TinkerBill (not a typo... it's a dude :))

Are you suggesting that the Tink who is in Wishes is a guy? Because I can assure you she is most definitely a girl.

As Mike and Jeff said the crane is there in the fall to install the Castle Dream Lights (Christmas lights) and is usually gone by the first week of November. It typically returns the 2nd week of January to start taking the lights down but this is usually done only at night for a couple weeks. Once the lights are down a construction crew begins any touch-up or repair work to the Castle durning the day. They work 7a-7p every day, typically til March. Depending on the amount of work needed it can last until April. Rumor has it the crane may not be as visible next year but if you do return in March its a safe bet that you will see it again.

Last edited by 99er, Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:12 PM
Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:17 PM

From what I know (based on knowing assorted WDW employees), the Tink flying down the wire is sometimes a guy. (And the Queen of Hearts is often a guy, too.)

Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:46 PM

Well I can promise you that there are no male performers that fly as Tink. :)

Last edited by 99er, Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:49 PM
Friday, March 25, 2016 12:01 AM

So I googled "the crane", and apparently this thing has a rather nefarious reputation. It even has its own FB page.

I feel...special...that we have landed on this time of year to visit the crane each and every year.

Friday, March 25, 2016 12:06 AM

Just don't turn into "those people." Those pin-trading ubergeeks are intolerable.

Friday, March 25, 2016 12:15 AM

The "Tinkerbell" vs. "Tinkerbill" revelation is more interesting anyway. :)

Meeting Tink was the first thing we did with the girls in the morning, and I actually meant to ask if she was the same fairy who I would see in the air at 9:00 PM. Missed my chance...but then again I was recovering from being shrunk to the size of a thimble just for a photo-op.

Last edited by OhioStater, Friday, March 25, 2016 12:20 AM
Friday, March 25, 2016 6:42 AM

I had heard on a tour way back in the day that she is sometimes played by a guy during the fireworks show. Basically they said it could be anyone who fit the height/weight requirements and had the physical strength to do the performance could be cast. Sometimes a girl, sometimes a guy. I was told that at one time it was a grey haired old lady.

Friday, March 25, 2016 7:48 AM

I'll put my money on 99er being right about this one. :)

Friday, March 25, 2016 9:33 AM

Friday, March 25, 2016 10:34 AM

You really want to ruin my joke?

Last edited by Jeff, Friday, March 25, 2016 10:36 AM
Friday, March 25, 2016 2:02 PM

On a completely serious note, because the castle is arguably the number one WDW vacation photo backdrop, I'm a little surprised that Disney doesn't make more of an effort to hide the crane, or figure out a construction schedule to preserve the beauty of the backdrop. Perhaps do more work overnight, or have time during the day when the crane is more hidden or something.

Again, if this ruins anyone's trip, it definitely falls in the "eye rolling" category. But I can certainly appreciate the desire to capture a nice family photo in front of the castle without a giant crane in the background, if it can be avoided.

Friday, March 25, 2016 4:00 PM

I believe one of the reasons they work during the day is because of light. Most work at the parks is done at night but at ground level they can use "highlighters" to light the area up like the sun. At 160 feet in the air in a small basket, its not really that easy to attach large lights to give you enough to see. Plus if they kept all the work to after park close, it would probably take twice as long to get all the work done since the amount of time they have to work overnight changes due to park closing and opening times. Working 7a-7p all week gives them 12 hours of work with no interruption other than weather. That and the amount of money they would have to pay that crane operator on 3rd shift would probably be enough to raise gate prices again.

Also I can personally attest to the view from that picture being the best one on property, day or night. :)

Last edited by 99er, Friday, March 25, 2016 4:01 PM
Sunday, March 27, 2016 10:43 AM

99er said:
Also I can personally attest to the view from that picture being the best one on property, day or night. :)

Because you're one of the dudes that flies as Tinkerbell, right?

Sunday, March 27, 2016 2:19 PM

Only on Tuesdays.

Sunday, March 27, 2016 4:33 PM

The picture above intrigues me. I have to ask, though, where does that cable or rope end? I know it's the pizza place, but I mean where and how does Tink disembark from the cable? The roof of the Pizza place seems like a good idea, but that's not what I see in the picture. I see the cable ending way above ground level, but not at the roof.

Perhaps in the photo, the cable is blocking the view of the end of the cable?

Monday, March 28, 2016 10:48 AM

It's hard to tell in the picture but the cable actually ends just past the Buzz Lightyear rooftop. If you zoom in on the picture you can follow the cable across the roof, above those trees, and across the Buzz roof to the landing area. Its a small platform where she is stopped. If you are ever in the Main Street Bypass on a busy night, you can see it much more clearly from there. There is a wall blocking the view of her actually landing but you can still see her come in to that roof.

Last edited by 99er, Monday, March 28, 2016 10:49 AM
Monday, March 28, 2016 11:01 AM

There is a small rectangular platform on the south side of the roof with a staircase extending down to backstage street level. Is that the landing zone?

Here is a bing maps view of it:


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