When the Magic Kingdom opens each morning, some guests run for Space Mountain, some run to Dumbo, some run for a restroom with a baby-changing station — and some run for Tom Sawyer Island. Why is that? Is it to explore the foreboding caves? Is it to fish off the pier in hopes of finding something to sell to Tony’s? Or is it to search for paint brushes? (Hint: it’s the “paint brush” one.)
That’s right, long before park opening, clever cast members skulk across Tom Sawyer Island, their fists filled with paintbrush, looking for an appropriate place to hide the bristled treasure. Guests who find a paintbrush and return it to a cast member receive a prize. Sometimes the prize is as simple as a FASTPASS or a chance to participate in a little play wherein the guest gets a chance to watch his or her own funeral. But if it’s a super-lucky day, and everything is going right, and there is an extra helping of Disney magic in the air, the guest may win the grand prize — the opportunity to use that paintbrush and help Disney World Imagineers whitewash a building that’s closed for refurbishment!
This is a rare treat indeed! In fact, when a building is in need of a little paint, as few as 50 or 100 paintbrushes are left on the island, and if you’re not careful other guests will have finished the work before you get your chance! We can practically guarantee that a grand time is had by all (except for Disney’s maintenance staff, of course, which has to sit to the side, chatting, eating, and earning union wages while guests get all the fun, but what can you do — it’s Walt Disney World!)