The dizzying screams and excited screams are not uncommon during the Halloween season at Disneyland Resort, but this week, the loudest screams came from cast members in the Scare Maze maze at Disney California Adventure Park.
The October 6 cast-only event helped cast members capture the spirit of Halloween with treats, games, and a bright maze with scary lights and plot twists.
A team of 40 volunteers spent two months planning and organizing the event for more than 600 attendees. “This event is 100% produced by the cast,” said Patrick Finnegan, senior vice president of operations at Disneyland Resort.
Tommy Metzger, who works at Avengers Campus Attractions, went out of his normal role to develop the plot, theme, costume and other elements to bring this event to life.
“I love that everyone can be a part of that,” Tommy said. “It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do: you don’t have to do auditions, interviews or stress in any way. You can just come and do something fun that you really want to do! “
This exciting event has been taking place for several years, making an elaborate comeback after last year’s hiatus during the complex’s closure. This year’s story and theme focused on a mysterious creature chasing the surrounding campsites and forests on the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Volunteer actors helped set the scene in and out of the maze with special effects and professional makeup; Main Street merchandise host Jonathan Granados, who is also a professional makeup artist, applied bloody makeup and dentures to the performers.
Anthony Olivares, host of Attractions, which has been helping organize the event for four years, said: “Every year we try to tell a different story through theatrical elements in the maze.”
Entertainment host Forrest Orta has helped organize the event for more than five years. This year, he helped create custom logos and packaging that were used as accessories.
“It’s important that cast members have the same immersive, high-quality experience that our guests receive every day,” Forrest said. “When we are working on our own role every day, we may miss all the magic; I wanted the cast to fall in love again with why Disney does what it does. “
Organizers prioritized inclusion in their plans; the event was fully wheelchair accessible to allow everyone to participate and get the same immersive experience.
“There really is something for everyone,” said Baby-Jo Fernando, host of Avengers Campus Attractions. “Even cast members who don’t like to get scared could come and get candy and spend time with other cast members.”
Volunteers at the event are already talking about how to make next year’s maze better (and scarier) than ever.
“The events of the cast make this job so special and special,” said Rachel Kahan, Avengers Campus Attractions. “He really talks to the community we have that so many people just say, ‘Hey, let’s do it all together for each other.’
For more #DisneyCastLife tricks and treats from this event and more, check out Disneyland Resort Cast and Community on Facebook and Instagram.