We all love theme parks – the rides and food and time spent with friends and family. But Walt Disney World is special. It’s so much more than just roller coasters and funnel cakes. While you can find both in its 40 square miles there are a few things you may not know about this magical place….
You won’t find anyone walking around taking out the trash. Pipes shoot the trash through the utilidors under the Magic Kingdom at 60 mph. Speaking of trash check out the trash cans. They are themed to the different areas of each park. And check out those janitors – they may not always be what they appear!
Take a look at the windows on Main Street USA. They each play tribute to someone special with regards to the Disney Company. Of course the two most important names you’ll find are Walt and Roy Disney. Roy’s window is above Main Street Confectionary facing Town Hall and Walt’s window is above the Ice Cream Parlor facing the castle. There are other windows bearing Walt Disney’s name – can you find them?
Cinderella’s horse is the only horse on the carrousel that has a gold ribbon on its tail. Wonder why it’s in the second row and not a more prominent position? Because Cinderella is a lady and the horse on her outside would belong to the Prince, her protector.
Behind the castle is a fountain with Cinderella. If you bend down and courtesy to Cinderella look at the fountain, the crown on the back wall appears to crown Cinderella.
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. Last year more than 30 tons of fruits and veggies were harvested 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 Living Seas 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.
When you go to see the show in American Adventure you will have to go up to what seems to be the second floor. The reason for this is that all of the different platforms with the audio animatronics on them are actually stored under the seats that you are sitting on. They come sliding out as they are needed and then go back under when they are finished.
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.
All the pictures in the Brown Derby that are in black frames are copies of the originals. All the pictures in the gold frames are the originals from the original Brown Derby which no longer exists.
On the street in the New York neighborhood, you can hear gangsters talking and gun shots inside the buildings.
In the queue for Rock n’ Roller Coaster, while waiting to tour Studio C, listen at the doors to Studio A and B. You will hear sounds from real recording sessions some of which came from Aerosmith’s rerecording for the attraction. Also notice the license plates on the limos: (a) 1QKLIMO, (b) UGOGIRL, (c) BUHBYE, (d) 2FAST4U, (e) H8TRFFC.
The Tower of Terror is 199’ tall. It was supposed to be 200’, but for a structure 200’ tall, you need lights at the top for airplanes to see. So it is 199’ tall to keep the eerie feeling. The building not only needed to blend with its immediate surroundings, it also needed to blend in with World Showcase in Epcot. When crossing the bridge that leads from the Disney Traders Shop to Mexico, the hotel is clearly visible behind the Morocco pavilion. So the Tower was given a slightly eerie feel and painted a color that was not completely accurate for its era just so it would blend into the background when viewed from Epcot.
The Great Movie Ride was originally planned as a new pavilion in Epcot. The powers that be at Disney decided they had enough material to make a whole new them park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios) was born.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom encompasses 500 acres and is the company’s biggest theme park.
There are approximately 320 animals carved into the Tree of Life.
Many of the benches in AK are made of recycled plastic milk jugs. It takes 1,350 jugs to make a single bench.
At about 140 acres, the entire Magic Kingdom Park could fit within the borders of Kilimanjaro Safari, with room to spare. The artists at Walt Disney Imagineering sculpted the roadway on which the safari vehicles travel. While it looks like dirt or mud it is actually reinforced concrete. Each safari vehicle weighs right around sixteen tons and would sink into a real dirt road.
Get to Conservation Station early in the morning and you might be able to see an operation on one of the animals. If the animal weighs less than 500 pounds and can fit through the door, it is treated here.
The list of “fun facts” about Walt Disney World is endless. Try to find other surprises during your vacation. Cast Members are always happy to share secrets so don’t be afraid to ask!
My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel professional 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!