Can you imagine your job consists of traveling the world and visiting Disneyland Theme Parks? That is just what Chris Provost and his wife Amanda do and then post their adventures, secrets, tips, and history stories on their YouTube channel, Provost Park Pass.
Chris is the emcee in the main ballroom of Salt Lake’s FanX® and has been since the first event. His job there is to help moderate the celebrity guests and entertain the crowd between events. He is also an actor who appeared in Templar Nation, and Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed, among others. It was his Hollywood connection that led to his current YouTube phenomenon. Director Ryan Little suggested he start a YouTube channel highlighting “crazy facts” about Disneyland.
At the time Chris and his family were living in Irvine, California, they’ve since moved back to Utah, and so he gave it a try. Chris said, “The channel was doing okay at first, but then it really took off. We’ve been doing it for almost three years and it is a lot of fun. People love Disneyland, they love secrets and they love facts.”
One of the cool facts Chris discovered is about one of the different “lands” at Disneyland. The park is divided into places such as Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Main Street U.S.A.and more. “One fun secret,” he says, “is about one of my favorites, Adventureland. Inside that part of the park they don’t sell popcorn or churros because they feel the smell would take visitors away from the aesthetics of the remote jungle theme.”
Chris once did a whole YouTube video on Splash Mountain. He found that most of the animatronics were refurbished from an older ride called America Sings. It is the fastest ride in Disneyland reaching speeds of 40 mph. “Most people think Space Mountain is the fastest, but that is because it is dark and fans are blown during the ride to make riders think they are going faster than they are,” Chris says.
In January the Provosts were getting ready to tour all the Disney theme parks around the world. The day they planned to start was the day Hong Kong Disney shut down due to COVID. They decided to start in Florida and spent three weeks there filming videos and took a Disney cruise waiting for things to “blow over” around the world. They went back home in February still thinking things would get back to normal and that is when the bottom really dropped out.
The Provosts had to quickly come up with a new plan and started making homemade Disneyland videos in their basement. In July when Disneyworld was gearing up to open to the public again they were able to get an early invite to tour the park before it opened. They also branched out to other theme parks such as Universal Studios Florida to cover the much-asked-for review of the Harry Potter ride, and Knott’s Berry Farm.
When asked what his favorite video has been Chris went with the churro challenge. The idea was for him to eat a churro and then take a ride on Space Mountain. His goal was to make it 15 times—he got to 12 ½ before he got sick. “It didn’t end well, but people loved that video,” he says.
And the one he is most proud of? “I wanted to do a video on how to attend Disney with disabilities. At first the park discouraged me because they’d had bad experiences of others putting out videos with bad information. I assured them I wanted to do it right and just the facts.”
He teamed up with Andrew Justvig who has cerebral palsy and they went through the park together showing how to navigate Disney with a disability.
Making videos can be time-intensive. His video on Haunted Mansion Secrets Revealed, involved riding the ride 40 times to get the perfect shots with different cameras and different lenses. He said it is amazing to see all the detail that might be missed because it is moving so fast. “The cast members in the ride started to recognize us and asked if they were doing a video about the ride. They wanted to make sure we got it right.”
As they get back to traveling Chris came up with some COVID safe ways to fly. He’s noticed that the airlines are making a real effort to be super clean, but he still wipes down everything around him before he sits in his seat, anything he might touch. And then again at the hotel he does his own cleaning and sanitizing of all surfaces. And his advice is to “Wash your hands constantly. Don’t touch your face. Wear your mask. Carry spray and gel sanitizers and use them often. I’ve done a lot of travelling but following these guidelines I haven’t got sick.”
The YouTube channel currently has about 90,000 subscribers and their goal is to get 100,000. When they hit that milestone they are planning to give away 100 gifts to randomly drawn people from their subscribers. “Just a way to say thanks in hard times.”
Their plans for the future are to continue their world tour and get to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.