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Brooms, Water Create Unexpected Disney Art

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Water sketch art on the streets of Magic Kingdom Park stops me in my tracks. It always does. And it’ll likely do the same to you if you’re quick enough to spot it. The Florida sun is not a friend to custodial water artwork but it’s amazing while it lasts.

The way the art is created is unexpected. The custodial crew at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park take the tools of their trade – a broom and water pan – and turn them into instruments to entertain.

I’ve heard Guests call the water sketches of Mickey, Goofy, Pluto and Tinker Bell amazing and “absolutely beautiful.”

During a recent sketch, Shawn Klingensmith, a guest at the Magic Kingdom Park, stopped to stare and told us he shares an appreciation for the short-lived art. “It’s a real treasure because it only lasts a few minutes in the sun,” Shawn said. “It’s just a special thing.”

The inspiration to create the water-sketch characters came from Tokyo Disneyland Park. Operations manager for custodial at Magic Kingdom Park, Kent Krause, said, “Hey, we can do that.”

So, Cast Members from the animation tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were recruited to train members of the custodial team. Those who were interested and had an artistic flair were taught to make the characters – just like Tokyo Disneyland.

It’s impressive work and yes, true to official Disney character dimensions.

The team’s regular props create unexpected art for Guests. It’s something we call a “Disney Difference.” Expect to see more of these Disney Difference stories in upcoming months.


  • Such a great idea! Every Disney cast member has some opportunity to add a little fun to your day.

  • The first time we saw this was in Hollywood Studios in Jan 2009. The artist “CM” was Stewe. He did Mickey, Pluto, and Donald. We were amazed, and I actually took video/pics. It was our 6th trip, and to our surprise something new and different.

    Thanks Stewe!

  • I saw this for the first time two weeks ago at the Hollywood Studios. My friend and I saw a couple Custodial CMs wearing lanyards, and went over to trade with them. To our surprise, we looked down as we approached, and saw that one of them was drawing Mickey – with nothing but a broom and water!! It was incredible. We’d arrived in WDW only hours before, and it was a perfect way to start our vacation!

  • This is such a perfect example of the magic you can find at a Disney park – if you’re willing to let that magic happen! So many guests at the parks are in “commando” touring mode – they even have lists of what to do and when to do it – that they don’t leave room for the magic (because you can’t MAKE the Disney magic happen for you – you have to LET it happen!) That piece of advice was given to us on our very first day at the Magic Kingdom on our very first visit by a wonderful castmember (who has since become a dear friend) and it’s the one piece of advice I always pass on to each and every person I know who’s planning a trip to a Disney park!

  • I have always appreciated the grounds crew at WDW! I remember my first visit in 72 it seemed there were as many people with dustpan and brush- and a smile- as guests! Any bit that managed to fall to the ground would magically dsiappear before a second look! Thanks to those who clean!

  • Those are so fun! I love coming across little surprises like this in the parks. Very neat!

  • Thank you SOOOO much for the video! I hope to see one of these masterpieces when I am WDW in November!

  • Saw this the first time in July, over by Splash Mountain. We called them “Janimators!”

  • That is outstanding! Congratulations to the Custodial crew responsible for those wonderful drawings!

  • Wow, this art is beautiful. Great post! This why I read this blog.

  • I have never seen this before at Disney. However, I will be looking for it because my family loves this video and all the small touches at the parks.

  • We saw this last December on our kids first trip to WDW – they were so impressed they created their own water sketches this summer in our driveway!

  • It’s little things like this that set Disney apart. Now, how about teaching it to the cast members at Disneyland :o). Or are they doing it and I just haven’t caught them?
    Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Not only is this fun for the guests, I’ll bet the cast members feel more fulfilled in their jobs too when they can be creative and see how much stuff like this makes people happy.

  • I saw this for the first time during our trip to WDW Resort in Orlando in Fantasyland during EMH! These are the details that make magical moments!

  • My favorite Disney Custodial moment occurred during my honeymoon. I also happened to be there on my birthday and had on one of the celebration buttons. A custodian in the World Showcase stopped me and told me that he was going to sing Happy Birthday for me and asked if I wanted the short, long or backwards version. Of course I chose the backwards version and the custodian proceeded to turn around and sing Happy Birthday.

  • This really is the Disney Difference. All the great entertainment on the streets of the theme parks. It really is beautiful seeing one of these come to life.

  • Haven’t had the chance to see this in person yet but gotta say, I love it. It’s these simple things that keep my family coming back time after time to WDW. No other company really puts that much effort in this type of detail that makes it a magical place.

  • We saw this for the first time on our last visit during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and loved it. Such a nice little surprise, gone in an instant but still worth the time in creating because of the magic it imparts. Definitely no surprise that Cast Members go that extra mile!

  • This art is simply amazing! We were at Magic Kingdom back by Toon Town during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party one evening in September when a cast member was “painting” several of these wonderful creations! Our daughter was extremely interested in what was happening & the cast member asked her if she would like to help him make one & which one she would like to make! She picked Stitch & had so much fun doing it! We even received a Magical Moment certificate to commemorate the event & we were able to capture several pictures of her in action! It was just awesome & this is one of the many things that keep our family so excited to return to Walt Disney World year after year! Thank you, Disney, for making our vacations so magical!

  • Things like this exemplify the extra care and attention to detail that Disney employs to “surprise and delight” their guests. Does anybody care that the custodial staff is being paid to entertain rather than clean? No. In fact it seems that people on both the cast and guest sides love it.

  • We love the small touches like this at Disney. It’s the amazing cast members that keep us going back to Disney every year! Keep up the amazing work!

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