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H2O to ‘Oh Wow!’: Custodial Cast Members Wow Guests With Water

Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park

What began as a normal December day in the Magic Kingdom turned into another lesson for me about making Magic. And I have David to thank for it.

As the chill of the morning air began to lift, the park was just opening and Guests were hustling to their first attraction or show of the day. That’s when I spotted David.

A Magic Kingdom Custodial Cast Member from Amherst, N.Y., David was quietly making his way around the Cinderella Castle hub area. Using water as his paint and a custodial broom as his brush, the rose-hued sidewalk under his feet became a giant canvas as he created larger-than-life sketches of Disney characters. Meticulously, and seemingly effortlessly, he created his aqua artwork to resemble Pluto, Donald Duck and even the animated version of The Mad Hatter.

Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park
Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park Water Art at Magic Kingdom Park

As David moved around the hub to his next sketching spot, I watched as several guests went from a fast-walk to a dead-stop — in an instant — to take a look at what was under their feet. They stood, soaked it in and motioned to friends and family to see what they had spotted. One Guest even sat down on the sidewalk, in the middle of The Mad Hatter sketch, to have her photo taken. She told her friend it was the “coolest drawing” she had ever seen of her top-hatted hero from Wonderland.

Across the hub, David glanced over at the activity and smiled. While these Guests never knew how The Mad Hatter sketch got there, or even who sketched it, to them it was Disney Magic.

And I expect that made David pretty happy.


  • Some of the most knowledgeable Cast Members are part of the Custodial team. It would be an honor to be a part of their team!

  • We just returned a little over a week ago and saw this happening late at night outside Pirates and thought it was very cool. It stopped me dead in my tracks like they mentioned in the post and my husband and I sat there and watched him finish quietly and he walked away without saying a word. I was very cool and I snapped a picture before we moved on! Disney Magic! 🙂

  • While not my favorite character (how can you top Mickey????), my favorite “water sketch” was Stitch in Tomorrowland. It was really incredible seeing the cast members do this. Many times, the Magic is in the small things!

  • The first time I saw this was in Downtown Disney this past summer – loved it. I too came to a dead stop when walking!

  • “Luke it’s a plant… it’s a plant.” If this is really a custodial member, give him a promotion to artist.

    • Hi Mark,
      They are definitely talented artists!
      If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at this video that was posted right after the Disney Parks Blog launched. It explains the origin of the water sketches and other ways our Custodial Cast Members make Disney Magic every day. After reading the great Guest comments here, it seems the Cast Members have added even more popular characters to their “pavement portfolio” since the program began!

  • I got to do this as a Custodial Cast Member at the Wilderness Lodge! I drew characters in the sand for people passing by the pools. 😀

  • Love this!

    The first time I saw this was back in ’09 in DHS. We were walking out from having dinner and we saw someone drawing Pluto! We just watched as she finished it up. It took me 5 tries to get a picture of it, but people kept walking on it, not even seeing it. Finally someone noticed what I was trying to take a picture of. Then plenty more stopped to admire the work.

    Truly a cool thing to see!

  • We saw this during the first Halloween Party this year on Main Street by the Ice Cream Parlor as the park was closing. really cool to see in person!

  • Love these! I have a picture of Minnie Mouse from last February. Comparing the pictures, I think this may be the same person who did the Minnie drawing. Hope to see more of these when I am in WDW next month.

  • We LOVE these! We were on our way out of the Magic Kingdom around 2 am and spotted some of the characters actually being drawn…… We stopped and watched and even requested to receive. I don’t know if it was David but there was two of them. We could not help it…… We were so tired before and dead set on the bus stop to head back to our resort that when we saw this it was like we got a second wind. My 9 year old Princess sat down next to the Mickey and Minnie drawings to get a pic…. SADLY it did not turn out. But she remembers it. And the requested character…..PIRATE MICKEY! And they drew him!!!!!!!!

  • That is so cool! I would love to see these in person!

  • Oh please post the Mad Hatter photo if you have any? I’ve never seen these on my visits but I will deffiently keep my eyes open. Were hoping to come back this year. We came down for two days in dec to do the Christmas party and see the decorations. And it was also a test run with my daughter who is almost two! And now we have a moment we will never forget she learned tonsay Minnie down there! I’ve been engaged there my daughter learned new words and spent time with her great grandmother and grandfather. Four generations in one park I loved all the photos thanks to disneys photo pass. Disney truly is the best and most magical place on earth!

    • Lindsay,
      We didn’t get a chance to capture a photo of The Mad Hatter, but we’ll keep our eyes open. David is just one of the talented Cast Members on the parks’ Custodial teams that creates these surprise sketches for our Guests. That’s one of the things that makes them so wonderful — you never know when or where the next sidewalk sketches will appear.

  • We saw some of these delightful works when we were there in December. It’s nice to see who we have to thank for them!

  • Amazing! that’s why I love Disney so much,he should be awarded,nice work David! Hoping to see your beatiful art in March.

  • This most definitely represents, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!” It’s these small little details that set Disney apart into a league all it’s own. Hope to see these when we return in about a year!

  • And that’s why he’s not JUST a custodian – he’s a magic maker and a happiness granter. No job is a small job at Disney – each person is extremely significant in the eye of the guests. We appreciate everything you do for us to make our experience magical.

  • I saw this done on my trip in October, I thought it was really cool… Very talented people that do this much appreciated

  • my cousin used to work in the underground at epcot. she knew one of the custodians who could do this so i got to meet him. and he drew mickey donald pluto and goofy

  • I saw a few of these last year. I’m one of those guests that were rushing to the next attraction and then stopped DEAD in the middle of a step. They are amazing! And they are drawn so quickly, you almost can’t catch them doing it. Awesome addition to the park! It’s the little things that make me love Disney!

  • Last summer when I was at WDW, my friends and I were sitting on top of the train station waiting for the parade to start (3 hours early) and got to see a Cast Member create multiple drawings, and I thought it was so NEAT!

    What was sad was the guests that walked right over it without even noticing it because they were too busy rushing from attracting to attracting and not paying attention to the special little details like this.

  • that is awesome!!!!!

  • While we were staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge just this past week, we noticed that at the Jambo House bus area, a cast member had used sidewalk chalk to draw or give guests information about the different parks that the buses served. It was so awesome to see the little details that cast members put into each day that guests are there in the most magical place on earth! I can’t wait to go back in May!!

  • We came upon one of the custodians doing these water drawings at Epcot on Halloween night and he was amazing! He even invited my daughter and her friend to help out. : )

  • I have seen this done a few times now at the parks, such a magical moment. Fleeting, and beautiful. As most of the best Disney moments are!

  • We ran into a few of these special cast members when we were there in October and last January. We noticed and my kids as well as we were in awe of their magic. Thanks!

  • We saw that being done one evening during the halloween party. We got to see Mickey being created and my daughter Faith got to fill in his ears. Very cool to see it being done!!! Disney, you always ROCK!!!

  • Im pretty sure I have also met David in Dec 09 in Tomorrowland. Kids were trying to get there parents to stop and look at what he was doing. Most people were in too much of a hurry trying to find the magic at WDW when in fact most of the magic is right under there noses.

    Thank you, David, for giving a little more pixie dust to those who know exactly how to stop and smell the roses, you truly help make WDW a more magical place every day!

  • We saw him last year in March at MK, near Big Thunder Mountain RR. It was VERY cool!

  • I have seen this at the Magic Kingdom – I took a snap of a similar picture, it was a Mickey. It is one of those little details that sets Disney apart from everyone else! What a magic moment to stumble upon it and I am glad I was able to capture it with a photo!

  • so cool! We’re on our way back to WDW in two weeks, I’ll be looking for this!
    In EPCOT, the Jammitors come out of nowhere and play aluminum garbage cans! They are so fun too! Look for them on your way to The Living Seas with Nemo! 🙂

  • I love finding these in the parks! It’s truly an example of the “Disney Difference” that you can expect when you visit the parks. It’s proof that to impress people you don’t need to have a lot of money, you just have to do something they’re not expecting. =)

  • We had the same magic happen to us when we were there in October 2010. Outside of Philharmagic a Custodial Cast Member started drawing Mickey and Minnie. Things like this really show what Disney is all about.

  • I’ve never seen these in person, but they are really neat!

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