Photo Courtesy of www.WDWGuidedTours.com
Located on the opposite shore of Echo Lake is the S.S. Down the Hatch, an old tramp steamer which houses Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner. Min and Bill was the name of a 1930 movie starring Marie Dressler (Min) and Wallace Beery (Bill), and it told the story of the struggles of Min, the manager of a run down dockside inn who raises a young woman, Nancy, to be a lady amidst the seedy and rough life of the docks, all while tangling with Bill, a loveable yet cantankerous fisherman. The film was a nationwide hit, earning Marie Dressler an Academy Award for Best Actress and propelling both her and Wallace Berry to stardom, with Berry eventually becoming MGM’s highest paid actor in the early 1930s.
Flying high above Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner is a set of international code flags and pennants, which borrows from a scene late in the movie. These are used as a means to communicate between ships, and in this case, they communicate a nautical advertisement for sea-going sailors. Alternating between letters (flags) and numbers (pennants), the message spelled out between the two masts reads…
While the meaning of the message “Dockside Diner” is apparent, the number sequence 782562896354 is a bit of an ongoing mystery. Given Disney Imagineers rarely place story elements in the park with no meaning, there is likely a meaning behind these numbers. Perhaps they are the birthdates of the Imagineers who worked on the attraction? Research continues on this. Visit www.Disney-Secrets.com again to see if an answer has been found!