Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the Imagineering secrets and little known facts of the Magic Kingdom lands let’s hop on a monorail over and explore Epcot. Fun facts abound here as well!
The sidewalks twinkle at night. Take the path to the right after the Spaceship Earth and you’ll see them.
The gardens throughout Epcot are the most extensive in all of Walt Disney World and are cared for by a team of 700 horticulturists.
Spaceship Earth is not a big golf ball! It is actually two separate spherical structures, one inside the other. The outside of the outer sphere is positioned two feet away from the inner core and a total of 11,324 triangles make up the surface of the sphere. The panels are spaced one inch apart so they may expand and contract in the heat and cold. This spacing also allows rain to flow between the panels and be collected in an gutter system.
The Living Seas with Nemo pavilion measures 203’ in diameter, 27’ deep, and contains 5.7 million gallons of salt water. The Aquarium is so large that Spaceship Earth (160’ in diameter) would fit inside with room to spare.
Your flight number on Soarin’ is 5505. As with most things Disney this is not a random number. This attraction opened on May 5, 2005 or 5/5/05.
If you’re enjoying fresh vegetables at the Garden Grill, Sunshine Season Food Fair, or Coral Reef restaurants at Epcot, chances are they were grown right in the theme park. 30 tons of fruits and veggies are harvested annually from The Land pavilion’s greenhouses.
Thirsty? Head to Club Cool to try free samples of Coke products from around the world. Be sure to try Beverly – you can thank me later.
The audio animatronic dinosaurs in Ellen’s Energy Adventure are all built to scale. Dinosaur experts were brought in to consult with Disney on the coloring. Part of the electricity used for this attraction is harnessed by the solar tiles on the building’s roof.
The American pavilion uses forced perspective (the same illusion used on the castle) to make it appear bigger than it really is. Buildings of that time period are not that big and it would have appeared too small across World Showcase Lagoon. The structure is actually the height of a 5 story building but the doors and windows make it appear true to the period at 3 stories. When you see the American Adventure show here you walk upstairs to go into the theater. This is because of the massive sets that move up and down from the stage – they need a full floor of the building to store them in under the stage.
The Rose and Crown pub in the United Kingdom sells more Guinness beer annually than any other establishment in the entire world (not just Disney World).
When you are crossing the bridge between the UK and France pavilions you are crossing the English Channel. Look down to catch some little details such as a bike, boat and canvas sketch.
Since the Eiffel Tower in France isn’t full scale, it’s coated with a sticky substance so birds won’t perch on it and spoil the illusion. This is also the only structure in the park that can not be reached by the general public. It was constructed using Gustave Eiffel’s original blueprints.
The sidewalks in the China pavilion are narrower than the others. This simulates the congested roadways of China.
The tiles in the Moroccan pavilion are all hand made. Take time to check these out, the artistry is beautiful. Have you noticed you can see the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios from this pavilion? If not it’s probably because the back of the tower was painted a color to blend in with Morocco. This is known as “visual intrusion” by Disney imagineers.
There are 26,000 feet of lights used to light up the countries in World Showcase during Illuminations. Those lights could stretch to the Magic Kingdom and back.
These are just a few of the little secrets spread throughout Epcot. When you visit take time to chat with the Cast Members in the various World Showcase pavilions. They are native to the country of their pavilion and are eager to share information with you!
My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a destination specialist with Travel with the Magic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 20 times and I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Email me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on facebook for tips, tricks and information on all things Disney!