Disney World is full of fantastic secrets and amazing tales. There are many people who would describe themselves as “die-hard Disney fans”. They believe they know all there is to know about Disney World and maybe even some of the other parks. BTW whether you are familiar or not, this site StayPromo.com will save you 80% off your stay in Orlando. Check out our Orlando vacation packages and come back here soon!
Whether you are a die-hard fan of Walt Disney World or if you’re going for the first time, you probably understand the basics. There are plenty of hidden Mickeys throughout the property, a system of tunnels beneath the Magic Kingdom (utilidors), and you might even know that all of the windows along Main Street are dedications to the people who made it all possible.
While these facts are quite interesting, there are many other tricks, mysteries, and tidbits lurking in the four parks of Walt Disney World Resort. With little-known facts about favorite rides and construction secrets, we have some of the best insider knowledge you need to know about the famed House of Mouse.
Freshly Baked Cookies Fake-Out
Have you ever heard that the Magic Kingdom pipes the scent of fresh-baked cookies onto Main Street? If so, you may wonder if it is true. It is – the system used is still in place in the hidden tunnels (utilidors) as proof. Now, however, the park doesn’t actually use the scent system anymore because they feel that the odor seems too artificial. Wonder if that affected their restaurant sales…
Who’s Doing All That Screaming?
Some of the screams you hear from The Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are also manufactured. Obviously riders do scream crazily throughout the duration of the ride, especially during the drop sequence, but you will also hear pre-recorded screams from the ground. If you listen very carefully you can hear that each run sounds identical. This is probably a tactic used to draw attention and curiosity from the bystanders outside.
Tinker Bell Really Flies (Or Does She?)
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World, chances are you’ve seen Tinker Bell fly over the Magic Kingdom. It’s an iconic part of the Once Upon A Time Spectacular. Still, it’s not done by magic alone. In order for Tinker Bell to make it down the entire length of her cable she has to be given a mighty push from Cinderella’s Castle window.
Every once in a while, though, she isn’t shoved hard enough and she doesn’t get enough momentum necessary to complete the flight. When that happens, she has to use her upper-body strength and go hand-over-hand to get to the other side. This means that anyone who auditions to play the part of Tinker Bell must have significant upper body strength and will be tested before hiring.
Liberty Square Is Authentic
Liberty Square, in Magic Kingdom, has a replica Liberty Tree and Liberty Bell, but it is also quite authentic in its own right. There weren’t any modernized bathrooms during the colonial days, and technically, there aren’t any in this location, either.
While there are modernized bathrooms in Columbia Harbor House and Liberty Tree Tavern, they are farther back in the restaurant, so they’re considered to be in ‘other’ lands. This is Disney’s way of making Liberty Square as authentic to this time period as possible.
Don’t Miss Out If You’re Lucky Enough To Get Into This Restaurant
The Be Our Guest Restaurant is one of the hardest eateries to get a reservation for, so be prepared if you do. Those who are lucky enough to go inside this restaurant should take the time to pay close attention to the artwork in the ballroom.
You’re going to find that the snow in the ornate windows was made from the original movie’s animation cells. There are also lifelike cherubs that line the ceiling mural. One fun fact here is that the displayed cherubs bear the faces of the Imagineers’ children who worked on the project. Some of the faces are of the Imagineers themselves as babies, too!
The Monorail Stops Aren’t Right
Though no one really knows why, and many Disney experts have been consulted, the monorail stop at EPCOT was supposed to be at a different place. It was so challenging to build the monorail system because of all the sinkholes, so the monorail was actually rerouted. Now it goes all the way around EPCOT before it stops.
Some experts claim that two stops were supposed to be there: one at World Showcase and one at Future World, that way, they could work as separate parks. That idea, however, didn’t pan out, so next time you go there you may want to thank the Floridian swampland for saving you some money from having to buy another ticket.
The Flags Are Slightly Off
If you look along Main Street inside the Magic Kingdom, you will see the nation’s flags all over. However, if you look closely, you will see that they aren’t actually American. Per the government’s regulations it is required that a traditional US flag be raised, flown at half-mast, and lowered throughout the days and weeks.
To avoid this caveat Disney World had each flag designed so that it is missing a stripe and/or a star so that it can be left up at all times. The flag poles also serve double-duty because they act as lightning rods in disguise. Therefore, they can protect the guests below them from possibly getting hurt during inclement weather.
There is one authentic US flag, located at the front on the park in the Town Square. They actually do a Flag Retreat Ceremony every day at 5PM to take down the flag. If you choose to go and watch the show you can expect to see a marching band, a short performance by the Dapper Dans, and more.
The Prop That Shouldn’t Have Been
It’s said that the Imagineers who worked on The Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror (also referred to as Terror Tower) played pranks on each other frequently. One, in particular, involved a jar of pickled sausages. It was hidden, and the Imagineers surprised each other with the jar, hiding it in different places. However, one time, one of them left it behind.
If just so happens that that particular night was the nigh that all of the props were to be glued down. Currently, the jar is still sitting behind a photo pickup area and stands as an insider nod to the geniuses behind one of Disney’s most iconic rides of all time liked to have fun on the job.
Recycling Props For The Jungle Cruise
Another of the most iconic rides of the Walt Disney World Resort is the Jungle Cruise. Therefore, it’s quite fitting that some of the props used are recycled from other parts of the property. For example, the spiders in the temple were leftover from the Haunted Mansion, while the monkeys that forage for gold were repurposed from EPCOT’s Living with the Land.
Trader Sam has a little bit of Disneyana (a term referring to a wide variety of collectible toys and souvenirs produced and/or licensed by The Walt Disney Company) as well; the striped loincloth pays homage to the original lining from the top of the boats. However, the most surprising duplication is the explorer’s face at the bottom of the totem pole.
Disney also found ways to save on the props whenever possible. One example of this is the plane that crashed. Disney actually bought a plane from Lockheed Martin (a Model 12 Electra Junior) and cut it in half. They used the tail end for the Jungle Cruise and the front end for The Great Movie Ride in Hollywood Studios. It is featured in the Casablanca scene.
Recycling The Same Ride Tracks
Unless you’ve ventured to multiple Disney parks back-to-back you may not have noticed that the Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland and the DINOSAUR ride from Disney’s Animal Kingdom have the same ride track.
Also the musical score for DINOSAUR was considered so excessively terrifying, when paired with the ride and scenery, that the original soundtrack had to be toned down a bit. Of course, it also took a trip backward through time, making it one of the scariest rides there.
The Subconscious Rules
It’s important to note that when creating a massive theme park like Walt Disney World incredible attention to detail has to be paid. When you walk on the sidewalk on Main Street, you may not realize that your subconscious takes over.
The various colors help to guide the guests, but they also protect them from tripping over their feet at night. Around Liberty Square, the brown wavy path is there to represent how the residents in the colonial-era disposed of waste back in the day. Though waves are often shown to depict the ocean, this one has a bit of a different meaning.
You may also want to spare a glance at the lamps as you’re walking through. They begin as gas lamps at the entrance and then progress into electric lamps. This is to represent the way that technology has developed throughout time.
Animal Kingdom Animals Have Fun
Every species in the Animal Kingdom is treated very well, but feeding and exercise times are capitalized on by naturalists. The staff members often have canons filled with raisins, shooting them off for gorillas featured on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail at the Animal Kingdom.
They also use the Kilimanjaro Safari elephants for work, giving them honey as payment. To give the elephants a bit more exercise they put the honey on the roof, so the elephant uses its trunk to get the treat. If you notice lions while you’re out and about, there is some magic behind that one, too. The top rock features air conditioning, which makes the lions want to go up there!
The Two Barber Shops
Disney World may not spring to mind when considering getting a haircut. In fact not many people even know you can get your hair cut there. While some of the most die-hard fans may know about Harmony Barber Shop, which is right off Main Street and open to guests, there is another one. Kingdom Kutters Salon is for the Disney cast member and is located in the utilidor system, which if you’ve never worked at Disney World, may explain why you weren’t privy to its existence.
The Second Level of Main Street
Main Street USA inside Magic Kingdom pays homage to all of the small towns of Mr. Disney’s birthplace in Missouri. However, there is another level, which hides the references to some of the highly valued employees. There are window inscriptions everywhere, which are distinctive honors and personalized to a particular cast member. These people made substantial contributions to the park. You can find cheeky dedications and heartfelt expressions. Next time you’re walking down Main Street focus your attention up to those windows and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
Disney World’s Garbage Magic
It’s the “most magical place on Earth”, so you can expect that the garbage within the Magic Kingdom is also magical. There is a pneumatic tubing system that sucks the trash through vacuum tubes at various parts through the park. It all ends up at a centralized location right past Frontierland’s Splash Mountain.
Everyone has come to love Walt Disney World and the magical memories it creates. Still, most people aren’t familiar with some of the hidden treasures out there. Now, you can focus on how the magic is made and pay closer attention to your favorite vacation destination on your next vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort.