When visiting the Disney Parks around the world, there are thousands of Cast Members that Guests can interact with on a daily basis. While many of those Cast Members go unrecognized, there are some Cast Members who become legends. One of those people is Maynard Smith. Smith has worked at Disneyland Resort for almost 30 years and seems to be almost as famous as the Park itself.
While Maynard has worked at a number of Disneyland attractions over the years, he is most well-known for making Guests laugh and smile at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. His ‘evil twin’ is also seen working at the popular Haunted Mansion attraction. Having seen Maynard Smith in action myself, he is truly one of a kind. He gets so into the role that he is playing, and it is clear to everyone that he absolutely loves what he does. He makes each and every interaction a truly memorable experience.
Sadly, we are now learning that Maynard will be retiring from his work at Disneyland. Maynard shared the news that his last day at The Happiest Place on Earth will be April 1 — and no, it is not an April Fool’s Day Joke. A Facebook group dedicated to the amazing Cast Member shared a message that he sent to them. The message from Maynard read:
Once upon a time, I was a freelance artist (primarily cartooning, sculpting, character design and humorous illustration), and in April of 1993 I was hired to create a children’s television show for a new TV station in Northern Idaho. However, the owner quickly ran out of money so I returned to Southern California on a Greyhound bus.
Being a freelance artist had its ups and downs, and at that point it was time to take a break and do something else. So I started thinking about other types of work that might be enjoyable, and then something came to mind from years before when I attended high school. During breaks and lunches, I would wander around campus greeting students and teachers and attempt to cheer them up with silly stories, and other goofy activities. Then in my senior year, I was given the position of school mascot, otherwise referred to as ‘Spirit Leader’ , a role that uniquely described what I like to do.
But where could I find a job that would allow me the freedom to act goofy and cheer people up with silly stories? The best place that I could think of was the jungle ride in Anaheim. So, I applied for a job, and for the last 28+ years (starting date: November 14, 1993) my ‘twin brothers’ and I have enjoyed the blessings of creating happiness in different locations throughout the park for people around the world.
My ‘twin brothers’ and I are now looking forward to a new adventure. Our hope is that we will be able to fulfill a longtime dream of combining visual arts and humorous storytelling (illustrated children’s books, greeting cards, and short videos). We will also be considering other creative opportunities, like voice-over for family-friendly productions, commercials, etc. Additionally, the resources and time otherwise spent on communting to-and-from work will now be conserved, so theoretically there will also be more time available for painting abstracts and making other art for the gallery.
So as of April 1st (April Fools’ Day) 2022, my ‘twin brothers’ and I will be retiring from the park, and moving on to other creative activities. However, even though the course of this river is changing directions, please feel free to remain seated in your kayaks, because this ride may become interesting.
My thanks to the people I’ve met along the way, the creator of that wonderful place in Anaheim, and The Big Guy Upstairs who blesses us everday.
I’ll be in the park on and off through April 1st, so feel free to stop by and say “Howdy”.
– Maynard (and his ‘twin brothers’)
According to The Orange County Register, Maynard grew up in Garden Grove, CA — which is only about 5 miles from Disneyland. Maynard spent his youth visiting The Happiest Place on Earth, so it seems as though his work there was predestined. Maynard became such a hit at the Resort that Guests would frequently seek him out whenever they visited.
Please join us in sending a big “Thank You!” to Maynard for all of the happy memories he helped thousands of Guests create. We will miss you, Maynard!