On June 10, 2021, TikTok user @brycen_franek asked: “Can anyone tell me what this little door by Gaston’s is for?”
According to the wdwlooreview.com blog, the tiny door is about 18 inches tall.
The manliest of manly places, Gaston’s Tavern serves up such satisfying sweets as The Grey Stuff cupcake and warm cinnamon rolls.
Plus, enjoy refreshing beverages like LeFou’s Brew—the restaurant’s signature non-alcoholic drink.
The little door appeared to be located right next to bathrooms, which might indicate that the door has a plumbing purpose. Until you hear this next theory.
‘A Calculation Error’?
The TikTok video showing the little door in Disney World was viewed more than 100,000 times in 24 hours. It was also stitched by @thedapperdanielle, who attempted to explain it. She appeared to be a Disney cast member. (“Cast member” is the term Disney Parks uses to describe their employees.)
Her stitched version of the video was viewed 600,000 additional times. (For those unfamiliar with TikTok, when users post videos, they can decide whether or not to allow others to use a part of their clips in future videos. This allows people to respond or react to the originally posted clip. On TikTok, this is referred to as “stitching.”)
In the stitched video, @thedapperdanielle explained that the little door might have been a “calculation error” by a Disney World construction team:
I was tagged in that video multiple times asking what on earth that door was. Before I continue, again I do not speak for the brand or the company and this is not a firm answer. This is just based off my random Disney knowledge in the middle of the night that you probably don’t care about, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
What y’all stumbled across is actually a calculation error. The easiest way to fix a problem is just to make it fun.
Here’s a close-up of the door. You have to remember when lands and areas are being built, multiple different teams are working on these areas at the same time. One construction group is working on the plumbing and the other construction group is working on the merchandise store. And very easily, some calculations can go wrong or be miscommunicated between the two groups.
If you look really, really closely to the edge of the door, if Disney continued making out that wall right there, it would have covered the corner of the manhole. You might be wondering, why didn’t they just fix it? Well, have you ever been part of a group project and one kid in the group messes up just enough that you don’t have time to fix it. The presentation is due like now, so you just put glitter paint over the top of it? Yeah, that’s what happened.
This explanation for the little door in Disney World sounded plausible. Had the wall seen in the video been built instead of the door, it appears that it would have covered the manhole.
However, we reached out to Disney Parks for more details and will update this story should we receive a response.
Why The Fascination Over Something So Minor?
So why did such a seemingly unimportant subject get so many views on TikTok? Disney Parks have a massive fan base. The little door had appeared as a mystery on Disney blogs for many years.
Disney Parks are designed to immerse guests in magical experiences. For parkgoers who’ve held a lifelong love of visiting Orlando, Anaheim, and the other properties and experiences around the world, any “mysteries” that arise in the park have the chance of making the experience feel new (and perhaps magical) again.
For further reading, we previously reported on other interesting finds within Disney Parks. For example, Eeyore can be spotted in an unlikely place in Disneyland, as can a yeti in Disney California Adventure.