On October 1st, 1971, Walt Disney World opened its gates for the first time. Guests flooded the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed attractions like Jungle Cruise, It’s a Small World, and The Enchanted Tiki Room. Since that day, millions of people have gotten to experience the greatest theme park in the world (of course, this is just my opinion, but I think I’m right!), with the addition of new parks, attractions, hotels, and recreational experiences. And as a Disney fan, there is so much to learn about Walt Disney World secrets that I find fascinating. There is so much, in fact, that not all of the information is well-known! Even though I have been going to the parks since I was a baby, I STILL am learning new things about hidden secrets of Disney World all of the time!
Here Are The Top 15 Little Known Walt Disney World Secrets:
In the mood to buy some chewing gum while in the parks? Sorry, Charlie. Disney World does not carry gum in any of its merchandise locations. I don’t blame them, as gum is very sticky and hard to remove from pavement, tables, chairs, etc.
1. No Chewing Gum
In the mood to buy some chewing gum while in the parks? Sorry, Charlie. Disney World does not carry gum in any of its merchandise locations. It’s hard to blame them really though, as gum is very sticky and hard to remove from pavement, tables, chairs, etc.
2. In Your Own World
Each land in the Magic Kingdom is designed in a special way. Walt Disney wanted the guests to feel that the land that they currently occupied was the only one they could see and hear. For example, if you stand in Fantasyland, the music, trees, and attractions block any semblance of Tomorrowland next door.
3. Plenty of Parking
The Magic Kingdom parking lot is so big, you could fit the entire Disneyland park inside it! That’s a lot of parking spaces! You could probably fit a section of Disney’s California Adventure in it now with the demolition of the Walt Disney World Speedway and expansion of the lot. This is just one of the many Disney World parking secrets.
4. Forced Perspective
You might notice that the bricks on the outside of Cinderella’s Castle get progressively smaller from the bottom to the top. This is referred to as “forced perspective,” making the castle appear taller than it really is. If you walk down Main Street toward the castle, it will look huge!
5. Great Fireworks Spot
Do you want to watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, yet hate being in giant crowds? Watch from the back of the castle! While you may not be able to see Tinkerbell fly down from the front of the castle over the hub, you will get to see the fireworks from a different perspective with considerably less people AND have first dibs on riding Fantasyland rides once the show is over. The view from this area is really beautiful.
6. Going Down?
If you have ever been on the Haunted Mansion attraction have you figured out which way the stretching room is moving? For those that haven’t been on it, while it appears that the ceiling may be rising above you, the reality is that you are actually being lowered below as the loading area is located underground.
7. No Mickey Shorts For You
It’s probably no surprise to anyone that the Disney parks carry literally TONS of merchandise. With products based on the many Disney characters, to the great attractions, the Disney World resorts, but, one thing you won’t find in any store is the exact color of Mickey Mouse’s shorts. Disney retains the secret hue and the property rights to it, and do not plan on making it available to guests anytime soon, if ever.
8. Moroccan Tower of Terror?
If you are in the World Showcase at EPCOT and are looking at the country of Morocco, you might not notice that The Hollywood Tower of Terror ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is clearly visible. An interesting fact is Disney’s Imagineers knew this would be an unavoidable sightline, seeing as the two theme parks are located very close together, and the Tower of Terror is very tall. To make this less obvious, the attraction was designed with a similar style of color of the buildings in the Morocco pavilion to help it blend in.
9. We All Fall Down
At one point a few years ago, guests could yell out “Andy’s coming!” while around the various Toy Story characters walking around the park, and their response would be to fall on the ground as the toys do in the movies. This little-known secret was unfortunately discontinued, as the bit caught on and guests inevitably began to yell out the phrase too much for it to be funny (or safe for the characters) anymore.
10. Ode To Gertie
The large dinosaur located in the Echo Lake section of Hollywood Studios is based on a character named Gertie. She was a character in the world’s first animated film, even before Snow White! Walt Disney has said that this film inspired him to create life-like and empathetic characters, somewhat of a challenge in animation at that point in time.
11. Secret Entrance Anyone?
Animal Kingdom has a secret entrance! If you’d rather avoid the long lines when entering the park, all you have to do is go into the Rainforest Cafe that is off to the side, walk through the gift shop, and enter from there. You’ll most likely find no line AND you can enjoy the A/C for a few seconds!
12. Imaginary Animals of Animal Kingdom
When Animal Kingdom was in the design stage, Disney Imagineers planned on the park showcasing 3 kinds of animals: real (current), extinct, and imaginary. Sadly, the imaginary animal section was scrapped late in the process for budgetary reasons. However, because this occurred late in the construction process, signage had already been developed with this section of the park in mind. Examples of this is a dragon on the welcome sign in front of the park, as well as a “unicorn” section in the parking lot. Although with the opening of World of Pandora (otherwise known as Avatar Land) the Imagineers original plans will come to fruition in 2017.
13. Tree of Oil
The Tree of Life at the center of Animal Kingdom is beautiful, but unfortunately, it’s fake. In fact, the core structure is an upside down oil rig, providing the necessary support needed for the tree. Not exactly environmentally friendly for some but none the less a great use of Imagineering and resources.
14. Indiana Jones Copycat
If you have ever been to Disneyland and ridden Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, you may have thought to yourself, “This ride seems a lot like the Dinosaur attraction at Disney World.” Well, you would be correct in thinking this. Both of these rides share the exact same ride track, the only difference between them is the theming of the ride.
15. Scrapped Resort
There are 3 deluxe hotels located in the Magic Kingdom area of Disney World around Seven Seas lagoon. But did you know that the most prestigious one, The Grand Floridian, was a replacement? Originally, the hotel meant to be in that spot was Disney’s Asian Resort. There was also a plan for Disney’s Venetian Resort and Disney’s Persian Resort around the same body of water, but those hotels never worked out for various reasons.
There are so many more secrets of Walt Disney World you can find out, but these are some of my favorites. The parks and hotels are constantly evolving, so more hidden Disneyworld secrets will keep developing and keep us going back for years to come.
If you enjoyed this article you may also like our article on The 10 Most Interesting Facts About Disney World.
By Jamie Lee
Jamie is a lifelong Disney fanatic that has been going to Disney parks since she was a child. She is the head writer here at Capture The Magic & co-host of the Capture The Magic Podcast. When she isn't planning her next Disney vacation, she can be found helping people plan their own Disney vacations and enjoying quality time with her family.