Walt Disney World can be an overwhelming experience of sights, sounds, and smells—even for the most seasoned Guest. With so much to see and do, it is easy to overlook those unique touches and experiences that are part of the Walt Disney World story.
In J.M. Barrie’s book Peter Pan, Peter tells Wendy, John, and Michael that he comes from Neverland and is the leader of a band of young rascals who are known as the Lost Boys. “Who are they?,” ask the Darling children. Peter says, “They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way.”
From Neverland to Walt Disney World, there is another group of Lost Boys who “save and protect the magic of Walt Disney World.” They are the men and women who provide 24-7 fire protection, first aid, rescue, and ambulance for Walt Disney World—Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue, aka, the Lost Boys Fire Brigade.
The next time you are at Magic Kingdom Park, look for a wooden barrel that sits next to the exit of Peter Pan’s Flight. In white letters on the barrel are the words, “Lost Boys Fire Brigade” and “Fire Chief Richard LePere Jr.” What does it mean?
The barrel serves as a well-deserved tribute to Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue and their Fire Chief, Richard LePere Jr. The tribute also is a clever disguise and a visual placeholder for a necessary fire and rescue accoutrement—a fire hydrant. Rumor has it there is a second tribute, a wooden crate, near the exit of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. In case you are wondering—each time a new Fire Chief takes the helm, the tributes have a paint job to update the name and reflect the change in leadership.
In 1971, Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue initiated emergency medical services to the employees and Guests of Walt Disney World. Per the Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue website, “On average more than 140,000 people visit the resort every day, which generates more than 40,000 calls for service each year.” Many thanks, Reedy Creek Fire & Rescue!
Everything at Walt Disney World tells a story! There is so much to discover—so keep your eyes and your ears ready!
(Logo property of WDW Radio. Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about KS Wicks and read some of her other posts on the WDW Radio Blog, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name above!