What is Backstage?
In a theme park there are quite literally two main areas you will hear theme park operators, owners, and designers use, they are: Onstage (or Front of House) and Backstage (or Back of House).
The term ‘back stage’ (also commonly called back of house) refers to any area of a theme park that is restricted to theme park operators, owners, and designers. No theme park visitors or Guests are allowed in these areas.
Some common, but not all, areas that are included in backstage or back of house areas in theme parks are:
- Dressing Rooms
- Rehearsal Room
- Attraction and Show Control Rooms
- Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing Rooms
- Offices and Operator Support Spaces
- Kitchens and Storage Rooms
- Ride Control and Maintenance Spaces
- Entertainment Support and Storage Spaces
Understanding Backstage and Back of House
This terminology stems from the fact that theme parks – certainly Disney and Universal theme parks – are essentially movies or movie sets the visitors or Guests walk through. Since modern day theme parks have a direct correlation and heritage from the movie making industry, many of the same terms used in movie making have found their way into theme park lingo.
Depending on the theme park, Guests on stage may often see graphic signs that may say “Cast Members Only”, “Employees Only”, or “Team Members Only”. These themed signs indicate to the Guests they are not permitted to go beyond the limits of that sign either for operational and/or for safety reasons.