The inclusion of a “high-speed” piano player outside the Coca-Cola-sponsored Refreshment Corner is an excellent example of what Imagineers call “placemaking.” Speedy piano playing and high-sugar caffeinated beverages go together like uncontrollable twitching and adrenalin.
Rod “Rod the Pianist” Miller played piano here every day without fail or vacation for some three decades. His inhumanly accelerated ivory tinkling was so hard on pianos that they had to be tuned every night and completely replaced every three days. The friction generated during a particularly intense performance of “Maple Leaf Rag” was enough that after the piece’s conclusion, you could actually fry an egg on the piano strings (an act which goes a long way toward explaining why the pianos had to be replaced so often).
This location is also used for “The Mad Chair Party” — a daily game of Musical Chairs hosted by Alice in Wonderland (shown above doing her imitation of the Alice in Wonderland fashion doll). The game is great fun for kids, but is really just an excuse to get a bunch of guests to clean up the restaurant’s seating area without being paid.
You will notice that the piano player is dressed in typical turn-of-the-twentieth-century pianist garb. All Main Street cast members are required to dress and act as if they are people from another age. In fact, this is where the phrase “to act one’s age” comes from.
Coming up next: Penny Arcade faux entrance