Did you know that theme parks hold secrets? Many in fact. Among them, Disney World in our very own Orlando, Florida is a treasure trove of secrets, both hidden and viewable in plain sight. You might be surprised at how much of park’s history is hidden among these secrets. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando and the Magic kingdom, take note of the these fun facts below, and see how many you can discover yourself on your visit.
Inside Cinderella’s Castle is a private apartment, once built for Walt Disney’s family. Today it’s available for overnight stays to special guests and contest winners.
There are secret tunnels underneath Disney World that crisscross the entire park. These tunnels, call utilidoors, allow cast members to quickly get across the park. They connect to different underground spaces for cast members, including dressing rooms, cafes, and prop storage.
You can listen to a secret conversation if you find the old-fashioned telephone inside the park. It’s located somewhere in the Main Street hat shop.
From the patterns made in small street repairs, to the shape of plants and food, you’ll find the shape Disney’s endearing mouse hidden and not so hidden everywhere.
In the Haunted Mansion, look for the secret Donald. It’s a silhouette of the famous duck, imprinted into the back of a red velvet chair.
Liberty Square is the only land in the Magic Kingdom without bathrooms. The Imagineers wanted it to be historically arcuate. The brown paths build into the walkways are rumored to represent sanitary trenches of the day.
Cinderella’s Castle looks much taller than it actually is. The upper chambers, turrets, and spires are scaled smaller, a technique called forced perspective, which gives the appearance of being further away.
When Tinker Bell flies across the Magic Kingdom as part of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular show, she needs to launch herself hard her arms from the window of Cinderella’s castle in addition to cast members providing a serious push. If not enough force is generated, she’ll need to scoot along the guide wire with her hands to the end.
In the Magic Kingdom, they use to funnel the scent of freshly baked cookies into Main Street? While this is no longer a practice at the park, the system still exists in one of the park’s utilidors.
The Magic Kingdom was design in such a way that when are anywhere in a particular land, you won’t see elements of another land. Foliage and other barriers have been put into place to keep you experience unique to the land you’re in.
When you’re on the ground looking up at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the screams you hear when the elevator drops is mostly a pre-recording. Take a lose listen and you’ll see how similar the screams are each time the ride runs through its sequence.
In keeping with a truly magical experience, it’s the small things that often make a big difference. Disney World employees do a lot on this front. But two big rules they must follow are not to point with one finger, and never to tell a guest “I don’t know”.
There a secret to the cherubs lining the ceiling of Be Our Guest, Walt Disney World’s most popular restaurant. The Imagineers who worked on them incorporated their children’s faces or their own face as children, into those of the cherubs.
Each of the American flags lining Main Street in the Magic Kingdom are missing one star and one stripe. This is so as non-official flags, they do not need to be lowered at sunset, or flown at half-mast. The poles these flags fly on serve a dual purpose – they are actually lightning rods as thunderstorms come frequently in the summertime.
There’s pickle of a mystery to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, one involving a jar of pickled sausages. The Imagineers working on the ride would use the jar to prank each other, until one day when all the props in the ride were glued down. Behind the photo pick-up area as you leave, notice the jar still remains, a modest monument to the Imagineer’s pranking ways.
Disney World hides an interesting secret about its past on the island in the middle of Bay Lake – River Country. This land was officially shut down for unknown reasons in 2001 after 25 years of operation. Once a wilderness themed water park, River country was never torn down, just abandoned. So it remains fully intact as the vines and overgrow take over.
The Jungle Cruise has a lot going on in it, including a lot that use to be parts of the rest of the park. It’s the ride with the most recycled parts it would seem. The character at the bottom of the totem pole, an explorer getting poked from behind by a rhino, share the same face as a the man with the shaken dog in the Haunted Mansion’s graveyard scene. The spiders in the temple – also the same as the Haunted Mansion. A few monkeys whose home use to be at EPCOT’s Living With The Land, now appear in Jungle Cruise as gold seeking adventurers.
If you’ve been around the park and have ridden the Indiana Jones Adventure and Dinosaur! at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ve may have stumbled upon their similarities. They actually share the same ride track.
The color of Mickey Mouse’s shorts is a proprietary hue of red that is kept secret from the public.
Every morning. a “family of the day” gets the honor of opening the Magic Kingdom. The family of the day gets early access to the park before it officially opens, and is part of the “rope drop” ceremony. Some tips for being selected at the family of the day are: 1) Arrive early, 2) Get chatty with the cast members, 3) Show your Disney enthusiasm, 4) Wear matching Disney gear.
If you happen to stick around in the Magic Kingdom for 15 minutes after the park officially closes, Cinderella’s Castle cycles through one final lighting scene while “When You Wish Upon a Star” is played. This Kiss Good Night is a secret known to those Disney veterans who enjoy the park’s tranquil last minutes in the evening.