It’s interesting to see how certain ideas developed and became used in Disney theme parks across the world. During the early years of Walt Disney World, the Creative Ideas Committee solicited ideas from all walks of cast members for improvements to services. The rewards varied, but usually consisted of a cash allotment, dinner or another prize (sometimes a free two-night stay at the Contemporary). The following Idea of the Month would have far-reaching repercussions and become a standard in virtually every queue in a quick-service restaurant.
Food and Beverage Hostess Gail Hudson has been named the Creative Idea Committee’s “Idea of the Month” winner for December. Gail’s brainstorm was to install a small gate in fast food facilities to keep guests from accidentally walking down and lining up in exit lanes.
Newly-installed in the Tomorrowland Terrace, the new crowd control device will soon be a permanent fixture in many of the Magic Kingdom’s fast food restaurants.
Gail has worked at Walt Disney World for over a year and presently serves as a lead in the Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland.
She’ll be treated to a dinner with her supervisor and receive a letter of commendation for her personnel file. (Eyes and Ears, January 13, 1972)
Oddly, this seems like a small reward for something so revolutionary in service and crowd-control.