We are pleased to share our first “Remembering the Magic” story!

A few months ago, a friend sent me this picture of a Cast Member ID belonging to her Grandfather, John Vaupel.


John was hired at the age of 17. Since he was still in high school, he worked nights & weekends running a popcorn cart at the end of Main Street. “…Everyone who came in had to walk by me. Popcorn was 15 cents a box in those days.”

Not only was John a cast member from 1955-1957, he actually saw Walt around the park.

“I saw [Walt] all the time. In those first months he was always rushing around from land to land and had to walk past me.  He always had a fast walk.”

When asked about one of his favorite memories as a cast member, John shared this story with us:

“We wore a white uniform that looked like the Keystone Cops and a neat big white felt hat.  At some point some male member gave me a cigar when they had a baby. That night after the park closed and while waiting for a friend to close out I laid on a bench by the start of Main Street and smoked it.  I had never smoked before so this was my first and last.  I was so sick when I got up.”

He also shared some words of wisdom for current cast members & future cast member hopefuls:

“Just enjoy working in a unique place.”


Thank you to John Vaupel for allowing us to interview you, and his granddaughter Julia Tinney for connecting us.
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