There is a LOT to know about the Disney parks — like, a LOT.
We’ve got some serious experts on our team and if you’ve been a Disney fan for a while, you might be a serious expert too! But we’re here with a little test to see just how many Disney facts YOU know. If you know all 20 of these facts, you can call yourself a bonafide Disney parks trivia MASTER.
1. Your laundry will text you when it’s done.
Did you know that Walt Disney World Resort hotels have some pretty SMART laundry machines? So smart, in fact, that you can request a text message when your laundry is done!
Disney World hotels have self-service laundry services, dry-cleaning, and valet laundry services. All laundry rooms have machines that accept credit and debit cards for washers, dryers, and soap-vending. BUT the coolest part is they work with a system called LaundryView to text you when your machine is done so you don’t have to hang out in a boring old laundry room while on vacation!
2. The Beatles broke up at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
Did you know that the papers were signed to break up The Beatles steps away from the Magic Kingdom? John Lennon’s personal assistant and production coordinator, May Pang, recalled the moment it happened in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
In the book Instamatic Karma: Photographs of John Lennon, Pang said, “He [Lennon] finally picked up his pen and, in the unlikely backdrop of the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World, ended the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history by simply scrawling John Lennon at the bottom of the page.”
3. There are Cast Members working in the park all night long.
It’s sometimes strange to think that there are folks who get to stay in a closed Disney park all night long but it’s true — and it’s not just security (although they’re there too!). Disney has TONS of Cast Members who work the night shift for various reasons.
Third-shift Cast Members are in charge of making sure the park is in great shape for the following day! They drive trucks and clean the streets, paint, fix small problems, correct safety hazards, set up new products in merchandise shops, restock dining locations, or work on construction; all while we’re fast asleep in our cozy hotel beds.
4. Nixon’s infamous speech took place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Actually, Disney World has been the home to a few major historical events. For instance, did you know that President Richard Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook” speech took place on the monorail loop too! Hey, Disney World is a pretty news-worthy spot.
Nixon gave his speech from a ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in response to the Watergate scandal and resigned from office less than one year later. Nixon was actually very fond of the Disney parks — he dedicated (and was one of the first to ride!) the Disneyland Monorail at its grand opening in 1959.
5. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is originally from Detroit.
You might think that Prince Charming Regal Carrousel originally comes from a magical or fantastical land, but it actually comes from somewhere a little more recognizable — America’s Motor City, A.K.A. Detroit, Michigan.
The carousel was originally built by The Philadelphia Toboggan Company, one of the oldest existing rollercoaster manufacturing companies in the world, as The Liberty Carousel. It was used in Michigan and New Jersey before Disney purchased it in 1967.
6. The dolphins at The Seas pavilion eat the same fish YOU do at Coral Reef Restaurant.
Did you know that the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion in EPCOT eat the same fish that you do when you dine at Coral Reef? Well, maybe not EXACTLY the same fish, but it’s close!
Every morning the Cast Members at this pavilion prep specific meals based on the diets for each of the fish. Allllll that fish (and algae!) for our fishy friends are the same quality as the ingredients folks might dine on at Coral Reef!
7. Disney World used to have its own airport!
Here’s something kinda weird — Disney World used to have its own airport! Lake Buena Vista Airport or Lake Buena Vista STOLport was built in 1970 to serve as an airfield for guests and employees. The idea was guests could fly DIRECTLY to Disney World without needing to flying into Orlando International Airport. The airstrip was short-lived, only in operation for a year or two before closing.
The airstrip is across the street from Magic Kingdom parking and now serves as added Cast parking and storage. Did you know this airport was also known as “The Singing Airport?” That’s because the runway featured textural grooves that, when driven over at 45 miles per hour, played “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
8. Disney World has the largest South African wine collection in the United States.
Disney World has a LOT of great dining options (trust us, we’ve eaten at ALL of ’em!), and one of our favorites is Jiko — The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. But, this restaurant has more to it than just a fabulous menu.
This restaurant is also home to the LARGEST collection of South African wines available in the United States! That’s kind of unsurprising when you realize their wine menu serves a 120+ bottle list of exclusively South African wines.
9. Hollywood Studios is a giant Hidden Mickey.
Spotting Hidden Mickeys is a favorite activity for lots of Disney guests — us included! There’s actually one Hidden Mickey that’s bigger than you might realize and it’s pretty tough to spot (from the ground, at least!).
Disney’s Hollywood Studios itself is actually a HUGE Hidden Mickey, but you won’t be able to tell from the park map. To see this very-large, hidden secret you might need to take to the skies! Or just look at it on Google Maps. The BIGGEST hidden Mickey is actually a whole FOREST. The 60 acre hidden Mickey was planted by Disney in 1992 a few miles North West of Disney World property and is appropriately named…Mickey Mouse Forest.
10. Some famous folks started out as Disney Cast Members.
This next fact is a really fun one! Did you know that some famous folks actually started out as Disney Cast Members? Does this mean at any given time we could be waving at a future superstar when we say hi to a Cast Member?!
It’s rumored that Robin Williams was a tour guide on the Disneyland Jungle Cruise, Steve Martin worked in Disneyland at the Fantasyland Magic Shop, Michelle Pfeiffer was a friend of Alice in the Main Street Electrical Parade, and Wayne Brady was friends with Tigger in Disney World.
11. You can spot Figment in Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT.
Did you know that our friend Figment from EPCOT’s Imagination Pavilion really gets around? Yep, this purple dragon from Journey Into Imagination with Figment can be spotted in the collector’s room on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT in Disney California Adventure.
Come to think of it, Figment seems like EXACTLY the kind of thing we’d expect the collector to have. Take a look up in the rafters as you make your way through the queue for a big frosted box and you might just see Figment hanging out in there.
12. Doritos were invented in Disneyland.
This is another historical event (Well, if you consider major food innovations historical. We do!). Disneyland is a place that tends to be on the cutting edge of theme park technology, but did you know it was also the site where one of the most popular snack chips was invented?
In 1966, Casa de Fritos in Disneyland, invented Doritos by repurposing some stale tortillas. The story goes that a Cast Member fried up the stale tortillas at the suggestion of their distributor to avoid throwing them away. Guests loved them! They were so popular that Frito-Lay eventually bought the rights to the little chips and eventually rolled them out nationally!
13. Disneyland is home to a little man in a tree.
We’ve got another Easter Egg for you that is a DEEP CUT piece of Disneyana; sometimes Cast Members don’t even know the deal! It all starts with “The Little Man of Disneyland,” a 1955 Disney Little Golden Book that told the story of a leprechaun named Patrick Begorra.
In the book, Patrick Begorra lives in a tiny house in the roots of a Disneyland tree and you can actually see his home built into the trunk of a tree in Adventureland still today! The book focused on the creation of Disneyland around his tree and served as a way to introduce the coming-soon park to many children and adults alike! Pretty cool.
14. The lead horse on King Arthur Carrousel is dedicated to Julie Andrews.
We’ve got another Disneyland fact! King Arthur Carrousel is a historic merry-go-round and it’s got some pretty interesting tidbits about it! As an opening day attraction, Walt Disney had a BIG connection to this ride.
So much so that he had a favorite horse, Jingles. You can identify Jingles pretty easily — he is the only horse with strings of gold jingle bells around his cape. When Julie Andrews was chosen as Honorary Ambassador in 2008, she was honored by having Walt’s horse dedicated to her!
15. There’s a telegraph message at New Orleans Square Train Station in Disneyland.
After you’re done scoping out Walt and Julie’s horse in Fantasyland, you can stroll over to New Orleans Square for another surprising trivia secret at the Train Station, and you’ll need to keep an ear out for it!
This stop on the Disneyland Railroad has a telegraph cable office where you can hear a telegraph message played in Morse code. The message is about a minute long and plays a part of Walt Disney’s opening day speech saying “To all who come to Disneyland, welcome.”
16. There’s a super cinematic secret menu at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort.
Back over in Disney World, we’re telling you about a VERY cool detail at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. A number of restaurants in Disney World have a secret menu, but the one at this spot is ESPECIALLY cool.
When you’re at World Premiere Food Court, you can go over to the Roxy Counter and ask a Cast Member for the secret menu. They’ll bring out a BRIEFCASE OF VIEWFINDERS that you’ll flip through to see the menu! Keep in mind, this option may not be available going forward due to health and safety concerns, but when we tried it, it sure was cool!
17. Magic Kingdom is home to the longest-running stage show in America.
Magic Kingdom has a pretty BIG achievement to tout! Did you know that Tomorrowland is home to the longest-running stage show in America? Yup, we’re talking about the Carousel of Progress which has been running since it opened at the 1964 to 1965 World’s Fair in New York, moved to Disneyland in 1967, and moved to Disney World in 1975.
Hmm…we guess it’s a little easier to have a SUPER long-running show when all of your performers are robots. The nature of the revolving theater means the show is constantly happening during the day. As one group is taking their seats, the other groups are seeing each of the scenes of the show, meaning MULTIPLE shows are happening at once.
18. There are NO bathrooms in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square.
Typically, bathrooms are pretty easy to find in Disney World with a few exceptions (We’re looking at you World Showcase! Shouldn’t it be a little easier for a gal to find a place to go when she’s drinking around the world?). There is an INTENTIONAL exception to this, though, in Magic Kingdom.
You won’t find any bathrooms in Liberty Square! Indoor plumbing didn’t exist in Revolutionary times when this land is set. Instead, you’ll notice a streak of brown pavement throughout the land — this is meant to represent waste running through the streets! Yuck! Thankfully, restrooms are just around the corner in both Fantasyland (helloooo gorgeous Tangled restrooms!) and Frontierland.
19. None of the flags on Main Street, U.S.A. are true American flags.
We’re sure you know that Main Street, U.S.A. is lying to you about a few things. No, those second-floor windows aren’t as big as they look and the baked goods at Main Street Bakery certainly aren’t giving off THAT good of a smell. 😉
Another falsehood on Main Street are the American flags. The ONLY true American flag is the one at the front of Main Street while the rest are all fakes, having the wrong number of stars or stripes. This is so that the flags don’t need to be raised and lowered each day. Still, the big one at the start of Main Street is lowered in a ceremonial flag retreat every day!
20. The Liberty Square oak tree is over 100 years old.
Finally, we’ve got another Liberty Square fun fact. If you’ve wandered through this area, you’ve probably noticed an imposing tree with lanterns hanging from its branches. This is the Liberty Tree, and yes, it’s real!
The Liberty Tree is also 100 years old! The Southern Live Oak was found on the east side of the Walt Disney World property about eight miles from its current location. When it was moved, its roots went so far into the ground (18 feet!) that a whole new method of transplanting had to be devised.
Whew! There’s some pretty wild stuff on this list, huh? If you didn’t know these facts before, now you can call yourself a TRUE Disney parks trivia MASTER!
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Did you know all of these trivia facts? Tell us in the comments!