Did you know there’s a reason why Expedition Everest is just under 200 feet tall? Or that Disney actually uses a specific color to HIDE things they don’t want you to see?
Whether you’ve been to Disney World never, once, or you’re a Disney World expert, there are TONS of things about the Most Magical Place on Earth that will totally BLOW your mind! And today we’re sharing 100 amazing Disney World facts with you!
1. How Many Bricks Are in Cinderella Castle? NONE
Cinderella Castle may look like it is formed of beautiful bricks straight from a fairytale. But, there are actually NO bricks on the Castle at all. So, what is it made of you ask? Cinderella Castle is actually made of concrete, steel, cement, gypsum plaster, and plastic shingles.
When it was built, it was actually the tallest fiberglass structure in the world.
2. Disney Pumps Scents Into Rides and Other Areas of the Park
Ever wonder why you smell such a strong scent of freshly baked goods when walking past the Main Street Bakery and the Main Street Confectionery? Disney uses what many now know as “Smellitzers” to pump scents throughout the park and on specific rides to really give you an experience that impacts ALL of your senses.
Disney uses special machines to pump things like the smell of Apple Pie in Mickey’s PhilharMagic, all of those fantastic smells on Soarin’ Around the World, that burning smell in the Alexandria, Egypt scene on Spaceship Earth, and much more.
3. Magic Kingdom’s Underground Tunnels
As you run around Magic Kingdom, experiencing all of your favorite attractions and chowing down on your favorite snacks, you might not realize — there’s a whole FLOOR underneath you. That’s right. As you walk through Magic Kingdom, you’re actually on the SECOND floor of the park. The first floor runs underneath your feet, with a series of service tunnels called the Utilidors. These tunnels house all kinds of equipment, storage areas, and more. These tunnels are also what Cast Members use to get all around the park.
This is what generally prevents you from seeing things like a Tomorrowland Cast Member walking down Main Street, U.S.A. — an odd occurrence that would ruin the story. You might think the Utilidors are in the “basement” of the park, but that’s not actually the case. Florida is very flat and made of a lot of sand which can often lead to water if dug into. So, ground wasn’t excavated to build the Utilidors. Instead, the Utilidors were built on top of the ground.
As you walk up toward the Main Street Train Station, you’re actually gradually sloping upwards. You’re actually walking from the ground level to the second floor. Want to tour these Utilidors? You can actually go on backstage tours, like the Keys to the Kingdom Tour, and see them yourself!
4. Utilidors in EPCOT
Okay, so you might know about the Utilidor system in Magic Kingdom. But, did you know that there are actually similar tunnels beneath EPCOT too? That’s right! EPCOT has its own tunnel system underneath part of Future World, although it is MUCH smaller than the one at Magic Kingdom.
As the Chicago Tribune reports, the tunnel at EPCOT is U-shaped and stretches about 700 feet. The tunnel is generally used to make deliveries to shops and restaurants in Future World.
5. Always Point With 2 Fingers
Ever noticed that Cast Members tend to point to things with two fingers instead of just one? This is what many refer to as the “Disney Point.” As part of their training, Cast Members are instructed to use this signature 2-finger point. In some cultures, pointing with one finger is considered rude.
So, Disney has adopted this 2-finger point to be more respectful and make the park friendly for everyone.
6. Liberty Square Has NO Bathrooms. Here’s Why.
Ever wonder just HOW dedicated Disney is to theming and story? Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom is set during the colonial times. One thing you might not even be thinking about is that indoor plumbing hadn’t been developed yet during that time period. Restrooms, like the kind we know today, simply didn’t exist. That’s why you’ll notice there are NO restrooms in Liberty Square.
Even the bathrooms in the restaurants in Liberty Square technically fall outside of the boundaries of that land!
7. Things Aren’t Always As Big or Small As They Seem
Disney has been tricking you for YEARS and you might not have ever realized it. “Forced perspective” is a way of tricking someone’s eye into thinking that something is taller or further away than it actually is. This is used all over the Disney parks.
On Main Street, U.S.A. for example, there are smaller windows on the second and third stories of the buildings there. This make the buildings look much taller than what they actually are. The same system is used on Cinderella Castle, with windows, “bricks,” and shingles getting smaller towards the top.
But, Disney also uses something called Reverse Forced Perspective to do just the opposite, and make larger buildings look smaller. At the American Adventure in EPCOT, for example, the building needed to be multiple stories tall to house the theater and other items inside. But, colonial buildings were only typically 2 stories tall.
So, the Imagineers actually made the windows on the top floors larger than the ones on the lower floor to make the building appear smaller.
8. Hidden Mickeys
Look long and hard enough at some artwork, rock work, or other things around Disney World and you’ll likely find a hidden Mickey or two, or twenty! Imagineers have incorporated hidden Mickeys in all kinds of different forms all around the parks, resorts, restaurants, and more. Some of these are a bit easier to spot.
While others will require you to put in some extra effort.
This is something Imagineers have worked into all aspects of the parks for years, so keep an eye out next time!
9. Hidden DONALD?
While Mickey certainly tends to be the character whose iconic ears are hidden the most in Disney World, there are OTHER hidden characters to find as well in Disney World.
There are hidden Minnies, Donald Ducks, Goofys, Plutos, a hidden Tinker Bell, and MORE.
10. Gone But Not Forgotten
At Disney World, not everything sticks around forever. Some rides have been closed at the park and new attractions have taken their spot. Or, attractions have been significantly refurbished with key characters removed. But, just because something is gone, doesn’t mean it’s been forgotten. Disney has incorporated LOTS of references to past attractions in its current rides in unique ways.
For example, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was once home to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. In the late 1990s, Mr. Toad closed and we’ll just say that some fans were LESS than pleased. But, Toad isn’t gone from the park entirely. If you visit the Pet Cemetery at the exit of The Haunted Mansion, in the back you’ll find a tombstone for Mr. Toad. AND if you ride the Winnie the Pooh attraction now in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’s place, look for a painting in the scene with Owl that shows Toad handing the deed over to Owl.
Seems these two are willing to work things out!
Over at Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid, you’ll also find a tribute to a former attraction. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea used to be located in some of the space that now is part of the New Fantasyland expansion in Magic Kingdom. In the queue of the Little Mermaid ride, you’ll find a Nautilus loosely carved into part of the rock work. The Nautilus is the famous submarine from 20,000 Leagues and the vehicle used on the former attraction. You can also spot another Nautilus in the queue if you keep your eyes peeled!
At Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway you’ll find a whole host of hidden details. In one scene of the ride, you’ll see a poster for “The Great Moving Ride” in reference to the attraction that used to call this building its home — The Great Movie Ride.
These are just a few of the MANY references made to past attractions or characters throughout the parks.
11. That’s One BIG Aquarium
If you’ve ever walked around the aquarium at The Seas with Nemo & Friends in EPCOT, you’ve probably noticed how large it is. But, did you know that the aquarium there is actually the 2nd largest in the United States? The Seas’ aquarium is just behind the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in terms of size in the U.S..
The aquarium contains 5.7 million gallons of water and is home to roughly 2,000 animals, representing about 75 different species. That’s a LOT of water and animals for you to see! Want to swim around the aquarium? You can actually do that through a number of extra special experiences, including a scuba diving adventure.
12. Those Aren’t Genuine American Flags
There is a large American Flag on Main Street, U.S.A. closest to the train station in Magic Kingdom that is lowered and raised each day in a special ceremony. But, there are tons of other little flags all throughout Main Street, U.S.A. — or at least they LOOK like American Flags. If you were to look very closely though, you’d see that these little flags are actually NOT genuine flags. Each of these have something incorrect on them — like the wrong number of stars or stripes.
Why bother doing that? Well, the U.S. laws on the flag have specific rules about displaying the flag in public places. By making these items not genuine flags, Disney doesn’t have to worry about those requirements.
13. 199 Feet — It’s Important!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is 199 feet tall, and Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is just a tiny bit taller at 199.5 feet tall. Why do these numbers matter? Well, according to FAA requirements, any structure that exceeds an overall height of 200 feet above ground level should be marked and/or lighted with a beacon for the safety of passing airplanes. By making sure its structures fall under that height, Disney doesn’t need to ruin the story it’s trying to tell with a flashing red light.
Could you imagine? If Everest was “one Mickey Bar” taller, it would need a flashy light!
14. Ashes in the Haunted Mansion
Lots of people love Disney World. There’s no denying that. Some people wish they could be in Disney World forever, and apparently some even ask their families to spread their ashes there when they die. Ashes actually get scattered in multiple attractions in Magic Kingdom, but it seems the most popular is the Haunted Mansion. Quite the swinging wake.
Keep in mind this is completely against Disney World’s rules to dispose of anything (let alone loved ones’ remains) in an attraction.
15. One Park Was a Working Studio
Nowadays, you might visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios to hop on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or enjoy Toy Story Land. But, back when the park first opened as Disney-MGM Studios, you weren’t just stepping into an area that looked like a movie set, you were actually walking into a working studio. In the early years, quite a few live-action shows and movies were produced there including The New Mickey Mouse Club, Passenger 57, and more.
Additionally, there was an arm of Walt Disney Feature Animation at the park as well where Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear were all worked on. But, eventually all of the real live-action and animation studio aspects were closed, and the park moved away from functioning as a true studio.
16. You Might Be EATING Food From The Land
Living With The Land is a relaxing boat ride in EPCOT that takes you through some amazing greenhouses. In those greenhouses, you’ll find all kinds of fruits and vegetables growing, as well as aquatic animals in tanks. But, did you know that when you take a bite of a dish at Disney World, you might be eating something from The Land? Much of the items grown at The Land are served at restaurants all around Disney World, including The Garden Grill Restaurant.
Next time you visit The Garden Grill, ask if any items served came from the greenhouses at The Land!
17. Your MagicBand Does a LOT of Things
You might be familiar with MagicBands and even use them to open the door to your hotel room or scan into the Disney World theme parks. But, did you know that your MagicBand can do SO much more? MagicBands contain an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) chip which can help trace, sync, and transmit all kinds of data. For example, if you’re sitting on “it’s a small world” your MagicBand could transmit data to cause your name appear on the Goodbye screen at the end.
MagicBands and their RFID technology also help automatically sync on-ride photos for select rides without the need for guests to go scan their band at a photo station. On Frozen Ever After, for example, on-ride photos are automatically associated to your My Disney Experience account as long as you wear your MagicBand on the ride.
If you even looked on My Disney Experience and saw a preview for a ride photo you don’t remember scanning your MagicBand for, there ya go! Disney magic IRL.
18. Go Away Green
Disney makes heavy use of color all throughout its parks for a variety of reasons. But one thing you might not realize is that it uses color to HIDE things it doesn’t want you to see that are really just in plain sight. “Go Away Green” is actually a term that refers to a particular shade of green that is so unnoticeable, it tends to make those things blend in with the background. So, if Disney doesn’t want you to see certain utility boxes, Cast Member doors to backstage areas, and even construction projects the size of Space 220 Restaurant, those particular items or areas may be painted “Go Away Green.”
Next time you’re in the park, see if you can spot some of those things Disney doesn’t really want you to see.
19. Presidents in…Spaceship Earth?
Disney’s Animatronics can often be the most impressive or fun parts of some of its attractions. But, did you know that older Animatronics sometimes get reused or recycled into other attractions? Or that one Animatronic’s design might be used for more than one character. It’s true! For example, the designs of many of the presidents from the Hall of Presidents are actually used again over in Spaceship Earth as Roman senators, Egyptian priests, or printers.
Over at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, several of the dwarfs in the final scene of the ride — specifically, Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, and Bashful — are animatronics that used to appear in Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
Love those animatronics of Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Panchito in Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros (when they’re not replaced with a plant or cardboard cut-outs)? Well, those are actually VERY old animatronics that were formerly used at Mickey Mouse Revue, an opening day (!!) attraction from Magic Kingdom.
So, the next time you take a look at an Animatronic in the park, ask yourself — “have I seen that anywhere before?”
20. Those Numbers Mean Something
As you walk from Liberty Square to and through Frontierland, you might spot some numbers on the various buildings there. Well, just like everything else in Disney, those numbers are not placed there by accident. The numbers actually correlate to years. You start with The Hall of Presidents, which has the number 1787 on top — representing the year the Constitution of the United States was established.
As you move through Frontierland, you’ll see more dates representing a shift in time as American history moves forward and we begin to “travel” or “expand” further into America. You’ll see the 1878 on top of pec — showing that we’ve moved from the founding of the Constitution to a later part in American history.
Be sure to look for those dates on the buildings the next time you walk from Liberty Square to and through Frontierland.
21. Disney World Has Only Closed a Few Times
During 2020, Disney World closed for an unprecedented amount of time due to the global pandemic. Truly, a park closure at the most magical place on earth is extremely rare. Disney closed in 1999 for a small period of time due to Hurricane Floyd. It closed again on September 11th, 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks. There were then hurricane-related closures in August 2004, two hurricane closures in September 2004, and more hurricane closures in October 2016, September 2017, and September 2019. And then the coronavirus closures in 2020 came.
The 2020 coronavirus closures represent the longest time for which Disney World was closed.
Click here to see more about ALL of the times in history that Disneyland and Disney World have closed.
22. Windows on Main Street, U.S.A.
As you walk down Main Street, U.S.A., you might be so focused on getting to your favorite ride or grabbing a cup of coffee that you don’t stop to take in all of the fantastic details here. There are SO many that we could focus on, but for now we’ll tackle one of the BIGGEST things you should look at — the windows! If you take a good look at the windows on Main Street, you’ll notice several names listed on them.
These names are tributes to various Imagineers and people who have a significant place in Disney history. For example, on the window below you’ll see the name “Roy E. Disney.” Roy E. Disney was a long-time executive at The Walt Disney Company and the son of Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother. Roy E. Disney’s wife Patty, and their children Roy Patrick, Abigail, Susan, and Timothy are also featured in those windows. The family was avid sailors, which explains the nautical theme.
Receiving a window on Main Street can be one of the highest honors a member of the Company can receive. And, of course, Walt Disney has a window (two, actually) of his own. One of his windows in Magic Kingdom is actually over the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, facing the castle. So, Walt gets a perfect view of the Castle every day and every night.
If you want to learn more, you can visit AllEars.net to see more about some of the individuals featured in these windows.
23. Magic Kingdom is Set Up Like a Theater
Disney World is no ordinary theme park. When you visit Disney World, you’re truly on a “stage” living out a perfectly crafted “story,” surrounded by all kinds of details to put you at the center of the action. And there are several details that pull that all together. For example, the employees at Disney World are called “Cast Members” — showing they’re part of the cast of this perfectly staged play. They don’t wear uniforms, rather they don “costumes.” You’ll also often be asked for your “autograph” when signing a receipt, as opposed to just your signature.
In Magic Kingdom, however, the “show” elements are really evident as the entrance is truly set up like a movie theater. When you first walk up to Magic Kingdom, you see the train station and you have to walk under it to get further into the park. This serves as your “curtain” which you must walk through to get further into the story. As you go under the train station, there are posters showing the attractions or places you’ll be able to enjoy in the park. These are like movie posters showing upcoming features.
After you pass under the “curtain” of the train station, you’ll immediately smell some popcorn — another reminder of the movies. And those windows on Main Street? They sort-of serve like your movie credits, showing you all of the fantastic people behind the attractions you’re about to see.
24. Mosaic in the Castle
Again, in the rush of getting through the Castle to Fantasyland, you might not have stopped to take a look at the beautiful mosaic contained within it. But, you definitely should! These 5 mosaic murals go through the story of Cinderella and are made with over one million pieces of glass, bits of gold and silver, and even some “jewels.”
And the mosaic makes heavy use of color to symbolize many things. If you look carefully in the scene below where Cinderella is putting on the slipper, you’ll see one of her step-sisters has a face that is GREEN with envy, while the other is RED out of anger.
The mosaic was designed by Disney Legend Dorothea Redmond. Artist Hanns-Joachim Scharff actually hand-cut and shaped the pieces (with the help of his family). The mosaic pieces were glued one by one onto fabric netting, transported to the Castle, and then pressed into the walls. Hanns Scarff also worked on the mosaic at the entrance to The Land pavilion in EPCOT.
Some might also be familiar with a bit more history dealing with Hanns-Joachim Scarff — before he was a mosaic artist, he was famously thought to be one of the best interrogators in Nazi Germany. His methods focused on kindness, rather than more aggressive interrogation techniques. Many of which have since been adopted by the U.S. military! Talk about a career shift.
25. The Lanterns on the Liberty Tree
In Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom, you’ll find a rather large tree known as the “Liberty Tree.” Look closely and you’ll see that there are a number of little lanterns hanging on the tree’s branches. How many lanterns are there exactly?
There are 13, representing America’s original 13 colonies.
26. Two, If By Sea
History pop quiz! What does the phrase “one, if by land, and two, if by sea” from American poet Henry W. Longfellow refer to? This was a reference to the secret signal arranged by Paul Revere and his fellow patriots that would serve as a warning during part of the American Revolutionary War. One lantern would mean that the British troops were coming by land, and two meant if they were coming by sea. The British Forces did, in fact, arrive by boat.
Well, if you look up at the windows in Liberty Square, you might just find a spot with two lanterns sitting in the window — representing this point in history.
(Spoiler, it’s to the right of Columbia Harbour House!)
27. Get a Haircut…in Magic Kingdom!
You can do a bunch of things all over Disney World, but did you know that one of the things you can do is get a haircut? If you head to the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom you can get a magical haircut, no matter how old or young you are. You might even get a sprinkling of pixie dust to add to your look. Looking to have your little one get their first haircut here? There’s a special package for that, so be sure to look into it!
Note this spot is currently closed.
28. Disney World is the Size of SAN FRANCISCO!
With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, and TONS of hotels — Disney World is big. We all know that. But just how big is it? Well, Disney World is actually the size of San Francisco, California OR the size of 2 Manhattans (Manhattan, New York City, New York). It’s a big Disney World, after all.
Believe it or not, most of the land Disney World sits on is still undeveloped! Disney World was designed to be an escape from the real world, unlike Disneyland that is surrounded by gas stations and hotels once you walk outside of property. So surrounding it by untouched land is an easy way to accomplish that!
29. Disney World is Basically Its Own Country
Did you know Disney World has its own municipal government? And it has a GDP (gross domestic product) larger than some ENTIRE countries? There are many things that make Disney World very unique, much like its own separate country. Among those things are the various steps that Disney has taken to give it more flexibility and control over the property. Check out our full video below to see a bunch of surprising facts about how Disney is basically its own country!
30. There’s an Abandoned Island
There are lots of places you can visit in Disney World, but there are also a few that you can’t. One of the spots guests USED to be able to stop at, but can’t anymore, is Discovery Island, originally called The Treasure Island Nature Preserve, which is located in Bay Lake. If you’ve ever traveled by water taxi to Magic Kingdom from Wilderness Lodge, you’ve seen Discovery Island. It sits in the water nearby! Before it closed, the island had botanical settings and all kinds of wildlife, including eagles, alligators, swans, and deer for guests to admire. The island also had a large aviary for guests to walk through, bird shows and demonstrations, and more.
The opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and poor attendance at the island, however, ultimately signaled the end for this spot in 1999. The animals were relocated, but the buildings at this spot have simply been left there, abandoned.
For years, rumors have spread that the spot might be repurposed for other things, but at the moment nothing has been done.
31. A River of…POOP?!
In Liberty Square, you’ll see a squiggly brown “road” made of pavement on the ground. Ever wonder why it’s there?
As we talked about before, there are no bathrooms in Liberty Square because the land is set in a time period prior to the time when indoor plumbing was invented. That brown pavement running through the land is actually representative of how people in Colonial America used to throw their waste into the streets. So, yes, you’re basically walking on a river of “poo.” Watch your step! Check out more details in our video below.
32. The Beatles Broke Up at Disney World
In fact, John Lennon was staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort when he signed the documents that would officially disband the band.
33. I Am Not a Crook
Did you also know that Richard Nixon gave his “I Am Not a Crook” speech in Disney World? The speech was actually given in the Ballroom of the Americas on the second floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Wanna know something else interesting about Nixon? He, along with his family, were the first people to ride Disneyland’s Monorail when it debuted. He was present to dedicate the new attraction with Walt Disney!
34. Be Our Guest Cherubs
The next time you’re inside of Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom, be sure to look up! On the ceiling in The Grand Ballroom you’ll see paintings of cherubs. These little cherubs actually have the faces of Disney Imagineers’ babies!
So, pull out those cameras and zoom in to see which ones you can spot.
35. Give Cinderella Her Crown
Just past Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland, you’ll find a beautiful small fountain featuring Cinderella. To an adult, she might look a little sad. But, if you look at her from a child’s perspective, you’ll see Cinderella looks like she is smiling. And, if you place yourself correctly, you can actually make the crown in the wall behind her appear as though it is on her head.
So, consider looking at this fountain, and perhaps other areas of the park, from a child’s perspective sometimes…literally. 🙂
36. NO GUM
Want to chew gum at Disney World? Then you better bring it yourself. Gum is not sold throughout Disney World.
Ever run your hand along a handrail and been stopped by a sticky, gross glob of gum or stepped in a blob on the street? Yuck. Yep, that’s why it’s not sold here!
37. The Longest-Running Stage Show in American Theatre History is at Disney World
Is Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress a ride or a show? The focus of the attraction is the play, not the ride itself. And so, the attraction has actually been deemed a show, but it’s not just any show. It’s actually the longest-running stage show in American theatre history!
Next time you’re in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, stop by to take in this piece of American history.
38. Kiss Goodnight
There are quite a few things that are RARE to see in Disney World. One of those is the Kiss Goodnight. If you stay around after all of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and the park has truly closed, you might get the chance to see this special show. The castle briefly twinkles then fades through multiple soft transitions of colors as a special announcement comes on telling guests that the park has closed for the day, and that they hope they’ve created memories that will last a lifetime.
While you might be in a rush to get back to your hotel, staying for this late-night moment can add an incredibly special extra touch of magic to your day.
39. The Disco Yeti
If you rode Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom during its early days, you would have seen a much more dynamic yeti animatronic near the end of the ride. Previously, the yeti actually moved quite swiftly and took a “swipe” at guests passing by. If you hop on the ride today, however, you’ll see what is now known as the “disco yeti.”
It turns out the intensity of the yeti’s movements were too much for the framing of the yeti figure to sustain. The figure’s motions were ultimately harming the structural integrity of the whole RIDE! If it continued to operate at full-force, it could lead to ride-threatening malfunctions. So, now the yeti stays in place as strobe lights conceal the fact that this animatronic no longer moves as intended.
Couldn’t Disney just fix it? They could but in order to do that, Disney would actually need to do some SERIOUS structural work, including dismantling part of the ride. Will we ever see the yeti fixed? Only time will tell.
40. You Can SWIM in the Seas with Nemo & Friends
Maybe you’ve stared at those giant tanks in The Seas with Nemo & Friends and thought, “boy! I wish I could swim in there and check out all those cool animals.” Well, you CAN. There are a number of things you can actually do at the Seas, if you pay for some special packages. If you’re SCUBA-certified, you can do a 3-hour scuba adventure that includes 40 minutes in the water and a backstage tour of the aquarium.
Not SCUBA-Certified? Then you an opt for the EPCOT Seas Adventures — Aqua Tour, where you’ll get 30 minutes of snorkeling time in the tanks. Or, you can interact with Disney’s dolphins in a different experience.
41. Ever See Rain Dripping off of Spaceship Earth?
Given Spaceship Earth’s shape, you might wonder if you’ll get wet passing under it if the rain simply pours off of its sides. Or you might expect to see rainwater just dripping off of its sides. BUT, Spaceship Earth actually has a unique gutter system so that guests do not get soaked with rain.
The water runs in the gaps left between the panels and is then channeled underground toward World Showcase Lagoon.
42. The Fastest Ride in Disney Is…
Expedition Everest reaches a top speed of 50 mph, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will speed you around at a maximum of 57 mph. But it’s actually Test Track that’ll give you the biggest thrills (in terms of pure speed) in Disney World, with a max speed of 65 mph!
If you’re looking for a rush of speed, head over to EPCOT!
43. Authentic Steam Trains
At Magic Kingdom, you can hop on all kinds of rides with incredible, modern technology. But you can also take a trip back in time by taking a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad. The railroad actually features restored, authentic, antique steam-powered trains, which were originally built back in the 1910s and 1920s!
Did you know these trains once hauled sugarcane for United Railways of Yucatan in Mexico? They were spotted by Disney scouts back in the 1960s and eventually brought to Disney.
44. Disney World Doesn’t Sleep
Ever wonder what happens when you leave Disney World for the night? That’s when the real magic happens. Many Cast Members work late into the night and early morning hours to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. When the sun goes down, the park lights up with Cast Members cleaning attractions, taking care of the landscaping, putting up decorations, maintaining the attractions, and more.
45. Sleep in the Castle
Ever wanted to sleep inside of Cinderella Castle? Well, if you’re one of the lucky few, you might have gotten the chance to do this. The Cinderella Castle Suite was originally intended to be a suite for Walt Disney and his family, but Walt passed away before the completion of Disney World. The apartment was not finished at that time, but in 2006, for the “Year of A Million Dreams” celebration, the Cinderella Castle Suite was finished as we know and love it today!
During the Year of a Million Dreams, guests could win a stay in the Suite, but since then it has become Disney World’s most exclusive hotel room. The room has ALL kinds of unique features including a magical television, a bath surrounded by mosaics and twinkling “stars” above, and “gifts” from other Disney characters.
46. The Carrousel Was Built OVER 100 Years Ago!
We already know that the steam trains at Disney World were built in the 1910s and 1920s, but did you know that Prince Charming Regal Carrousel was built a LONG time ago too? When you hop on those horses, you may think that they were just recently created, considering that they are kept in tip-top shape. But, the Carrousel was actually built in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. and was originally in place in Detroit, Michigan.
47. EPCOT Was Meant to Be TOTALLY Different
Eating around the world at EPCOT might be an absolutely fantastic experience, but did you know that the park was meant to be so much more? In fact, EPCOT wasn’t originally envisioned as a theme park at all. EPCOT was originally an acronym that stood for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT was that it would be a functioning city with 20,000 residents, which companies could use as a testing ground for their latest technologies.
The city center was called “Progress City.” In the central hub, there would be business and commerce districts, a high-rise city, a convention center, and more. You can actually see part of the REAL model for Progress City as you ride through the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
When Walt passed away, the idea for EPCOT as a city went with him. But, parts of the inspirations for EPCOT were incorporated throughout the theme park.
48. Mini Millennium Falcon
There are all kinds of hidden details around Disney World, including over at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. But, one of the most unique ones you’ll want to search for is the mini Millennium Falcon that is located underneath the Millennium Falcon itself! What you’ll want to do is head for the cockpit, and look directly underneath that. You’ll see a bunch of pipes there. Look near those pipes and you’ll find a tiny little Millennium Falcon hidden underneath.
Those sneaky Imagineers…we mean “Batuuians.”
49. Hollywood Studios Has a GIANT Hidden Mickey You Can Only See from the Sky
Usually, hidden Mickeys are fairly small or of a relatively normal size. But, if you’re looking for a unique and GIANT hidden Mickey, you’ll have to take a look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from the air. The buildings and landscaping in the park’s central hub, by Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, form a large Mickey head! Here’s a look at it from Google maps.
But, you can also see this represented in the park map as well. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway forms Mickey’s mouth, Echo Lake is his right ear, and the area by the The Hollywood Brown Derby forms his left ear. Various planters and trees form his eyes, eyebrows, and nose.
50. The Plane on the Jungle Cruise
In one part of the Jungle Cruise attraction, before you enter the hippo pool, you’ll see 1/2 of a plane crashed on the right hand side. Your skipper will likely make a fantastic joke about having taken a crash course to get the job. But, that plane is more special than you might realize. The other half of this plane was actually previously used in the Casablanca scene on The Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
The Great Movie Ride has since left us, but every time you pass by this plane, you can say “here’s looking at you kid” and remember.
51. A FAKE Waterfall
Okay, yes there are fake birds and people (animatronics) and other things at Disney World, but a fake WATERFALL?! It’s true! If you head over to Pandora — The World of Avatar you’ll see some stunning mountains and trees over by Avatar Flight of Passage. You’ll also see some great waterfalls there, but here’s the catch. Some of them aren’t real at all! Instead, toward the top of the mountain area, there are some waterfalls that are actually just made of a rotating wheel of mesh that’s meant to look like water, and there’s white mesh at the bottom meant to look like mist. Check out our video below to see it up close!
Another awesome thing to look for in Pandora are some handprints. These are no ordinary handprints though. As you exit Flight of Passage on the lowest level corridor, you’ll see three handprints and initials on the walls belonging to JC — James Cameron (Avatar’s director), JR — Joe Rohde (Pandora’s lead designer), and JL — John Landau (Avatar’s executive producer).
It’s a detail you could totally walk right past, but you should definitely just take a second to admire. When else will you get the chance to compare how big your hand is versus Joe Rohde? You’ve got to take those opportunities when you get them!
53. Chewbacca Mode!
It’s cool enough to fly the Millennium Falcon and (attempt to) not crash it (entirely). But, how much better (and more hilarious) would it be if instead of Hondo Ohnaka guiding you on your intergalactic trip, you heard instead the voice of…Chewbacca! Actually, it’s more like the YELLS of Chewy, which makes it even better.
There’s an EXACT way you have to hack this mode with 6 team members. You can read all about it here!
54. The Keys to the Kingdom
Disney and its parks around the world follow 4 (now 5, more on that in a second) specific keys that guide all that they do in terms of customer service. These keys in their order of importance are: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. Disney keeps all of these things in mind as they create magical experiences for guests around the parks.
So, for example, things like doors may be kept open to give a small burst of cool air to guests walking past. This provides a really nice benefit to guests walking by (and might encourage them to come in and shop). With courtesy being higher on the list of importance, it may weigh out the efficiency concerns, depending on the situation.
Disney actually just recently added a 5th key — Inclusion and they’ve some details about this new initiative. Josh D’Amaro the current Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products has noted that Inclusivity will be encouraged through all the keys. Cast Members around the world are expected to know these keys and pass them on to each new generation of Cast Members. They truly serve as the guiding principles for everything Disney does.
55. Red Sidewalks
Ever notice that the sidewalks on Main Street, U.S.A. are red in color? It’s not a coincidence or simply because red looked nice. There are actually multiple reasons for this color choice! First, going along with that movie theme, the red sidewalk symbolizes the “red carpet” that’s been laid out for you. You, in many ways, are the star of your own fairytale here, so it’s very appropriate! From a safety perspective, the sidewalks are also painted different to provide a stark difference from the middle of the street to alert your brain to pay attention. That helps keep guests safe as there is a curb there. And finally, the red itself is actually a color that was hand-picked by Kodak to make your pictures look great! They picked out the right color red to contrast the sky.
Again, it just goes to show, everything — down to the colors is specifically chosen for a reason here.
56. There’s LOTS of Space
Disney World is LARGE and its parks and hotels occupy a lot of land. But, the land that belongs to Disney World in Florida has room for more. The total property is about 30,000 acres. But, there are just over 7,000 acres of land that’s been developed. Remember how we mentioned earlier Disney World is meant to feel separate from the real world, and they did that with lots of LAND?
About 7,500 acres have been set aside as a Conservation Area which will never be built on. So, there’s still lots of room to grow.
57. Put Your Toes in the Sand…in the Pool
Stormalong Bay, located at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, is essentially its own mini water park. It’s actually 3 ACRES in size and features a 230-foot-long waterslide, a lazy river, whirlpool spas, and more. But, perhaps one of its greatest and most unique features is that the pool actually has sand at the bottom! So, you get all the joys of swimming at the beach and putting your feet in the sand, without the fear that a creature will come swimming up from the sand at your feet!
It’s less real sand and more like plasticy kitty litter or gravel, but it still feels cool to stand in! Seriously though, if you’ve never stayed at a Disney hotel and you’re a BIG pool person, this pool alone might be a big reason to consider staying at the Yacht and Beach.
58. There Are HOW MANY Hotel Rooms?!
There are a lot of Disney hotels on property at Disney World. And each hotel has a decent number of rooms — some obviously containing more rooms than others. Altogether, there are MORE than 36,000 hotel rooms in Disney World!
In case you’re wondering, it would take you over 98 YEARS to stay in every single hotel room if you stayed in a different room every single day. Retirement plan anyone?
59. And the Most Visited Theme Park Is…
Disney World is popular, that seems like a simple and well-known fact. But, just how popular is it? Well, according to Travel + Leisure, in 2019, Magic Kingdom ranked as the #1 most visited amusement park in the entire WORLD with over 20,000,000 visitors.
Animal Kingdom came in as #6, EPCOT at #7, and Hollywood Studios at #9. So yeah, Disney World is popular — VERY popular.
60. Michael Jackson Appears on…Kali River Rapids?
Hidden Mickeys? Good. Hidden Minnie, Donald, and other Disney characters? Sure. Hidden Michael Jackson?! YUP, that’s true too. Apparently Kali River Rapids in Disney’s Animal Kingdom was Michael Jackson’s favorite in Disney World. He loved it so much that the Imagineers gave him a small tribute in the ride. To find it, look for this painting in the last room at the end of the queue which features Michael riding along in the raft.
This Michael Jackson may not be able to sing and dance like he did in Captain EO, but it’s still a really neat and unique tribute!
61. Paint By Numbers
In 2020, Cinderella Castle got a brand new look. And while the pink on the Castle is what stands out to most, what really stood out to us was the way that the “stones” or “bricks” on the castle were being painted.
See those numbers below? Each corresponds to a different shade a gray paint and helps Disney’s artists know what color to use for each brick. Basically, it’s an adult paint by number and we totally loved it.
Of course, the numbers have been covered up now, but it’s great to get a small peek behind the curtain at how the magic is made.
62. Mickey Mouse Solar Field
Just like the giant hidden Mickey at Hollywood Studios, there’s another Hidden Mickey you can only see from the skies. But, this hidden Mickey is extra special because it’s made out of solar panels! In fact, you may have seen these panels from the side on your drive around Disney property.
The solar facility is about 22 acres, and in 2016, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Disney estimated that the plant produces the equivalent of powering 1,000 homes.
63. How much of Disney World actually RUNS on solar energy?
Disney later opened another solar farm to the east of State Road 429, near Disney’s wetlands and open lands. According to the Orlando Sentinel, this solar farm is actually 270 acres in size — about the same size as 2 Magic Kingdoms! And the panels can actually move to follow the sun! But how much of Disney actually runs on solar?
Well, at least back in 2019, Disney officials noted that under sunny conditions, up to 25% of Walt Disney World Resort actually runs on solar power. And Disney is constantly setting new environmental goals to have more sustainable designs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and more.
64. Spaceship Earth Can Fit Inside…the Living Seas?
Spaceship Earth is LARGE. Anyone who walks past it can’t deny that. Spaceship Earth is actually 164 feet in diameter. But, you know what’s bigger? The aquarium at the Living Seas!
That’s right! On his Instagram (@drmarkatdisney), Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President of Disney’s Animals, Science & Environment shared that you could actually fit Spaceship Earth INSIDE of the Living Seas’ aquarium and still have enough room to drive a Disney bus around it!
That’s seriously impressive!
65. Most of Magic Kingdom’s Fireworks Are NOT Shot from Within Magic Kingdom
When you’re inside of Magic Kingdom and watching Happily Ever After from in front of the Castle, it can certainly look like ALL of the fireworks are being shot from right within the park. But, that’s not entirely the case.
Some fireworks, including those small flares near the castle, are shot from within the park. But, if you eat at California Grill or view the fireworks from another spot on property, you might notice that some of the fireworks aren’t being launched from where you might think.
Some of the fireworks for Magic Kingdom’s spectaculars are actually launched from a fireworks bunker located OUTSIDE of the park at 1440 Floridian Way. This location is in the back past Fantasyland.
So, the next time you watch a fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, see if you can tell which fireworks aren’t exactly being launched from within the park.
66. The Tower of Terror fits in Morocco?
Have you ever noticed that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has a color scene and a bit of feel that’s similar to…
…the Morocco pavilion at EPCOT?
You’ve probably never thought of these two together, but there’s a reason that Disney did. The next time you’re in the Norway pavilion, look over at Morocco and you’ll actually spot the Tower of Terror in the distance! Since the building is actually visible from that vantage point, the color scheme and feel of the Tower of Terror was designed to blend into the pavilion a whole park away.
67. Seven Seas Lagoon is Man-Made
Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and part of the Disney monorail line are all located along a central lagoon — the Seven Seas Lagoon. This is the lagoon that you cross as you take the ferry from the Transportation and Ticket Center to Magic Kingdom.
Florida does have a lot of lakes and bodies of water, so you might think that this is a natural body of water, but it isn’t! The lagoon is actually man-made. More than 7 million cubic yards of earth were moved to create this man-made body of water. But, what’s most interesting is where that earth that was removed ended up. The earth that was removed for the creation of the Seven Seas Lagoon is what was actually used to cover the utilidor level at Magic Kingdom park.
Ultimately, this land helped create the “second floor” that the park itself is located on.
68. Disney is serious about its trash
You buy your Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, you eat it, you throw away the wrapper, and that’s probably one of the only times you think about trash in Disney World. But, with millions of guests visiting every year, trash is a BIG deal. And there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes magic that makes sure all of that trash is taken care of!
According to AllEars.net, the AVACS system — Automated Vacuum Assisted Collection System — Disney uses was imported from Sweden. It’s essentially made up of giant tubes that hang from the ceiling in the utilidors. These tubes help move trash from 13 drop-off points around Magic Kingdom to one central location. Every 20 minutes, Disney vacuums the trash through the tubes. The trash actually flies under your feet through these tubes at around 35 MPH!
It’s actually been reported that an average of MORE than 80,000 pounds of trash actually runs through the AVACS system each day.
69. Custom Trash Cans
Speaking of trash, have you ever taken a good look at Disney’s actual trash cans? Years ago, trash cans were typically made of simple, round receptacles that were open and exposed. That meant the smell of the trash could spread and the trash itself could pile up and look rather hideous. Walt Disney wanted a beautiful, clean park, so he reportedly came up with the covered trash bin with a swinging lid. He reportedly never patented the idea because some manufacturers told him they were useless.
Lo and behold, this type of trash can is used in LOTS of places now, including all over Disney World. And while some trash cans are “normal” looking, many trash cans around Disney World are specifically themed to the area they’re in. It makes them fit better into the area overall and are fun to look it, making you more likely to use them.
And some of the themed trash cans have become so popular they’ve transformed into salt and pepper shakers or even appeared on SHIRTS!
Recently we spotted some new trash cans with a special purpose, and we’re always on the lookout for more of these themed creations.
70. Why Disney’s road signs are purple, red, and yellow
Aside from the GIANT Walt Disney World entrance signs, one of the easiest ways to tell you’re at Disney is from those purple, red, and yellow road signs! But, why are these signs made with those distinct colors? It certainly wasn’t by accident!
According to Southern Living, Meghan Jones of Reader’s Digest discovered that the colors on the signs were deliberately chosen by graphic designer Deborah Sussman. In 1989, Disney Development Co. reached out to Sussman’s company and requested a traffic sign design. Reportedly, the signage was meant to be “unique in spirit, clean, easy to follow, and capable of being expanded.”
The next time you drive around Disney, see if you notice the distinctness of these signs and whether they feel unique, clean, and easy to follow.
71. You Could Visit Disney World for LESS than $5
A trip to Disney World now can cost you a pretty penny, but back when the park first opened, general admission to the park for an adult cost just $3.50!! That’s less than a single dole whip would cost you right now!
But, back when Disney World first opened, Adventure books that provided you with access to some of the rides were an additional charge depending on what type of booklet you got.
72. Ticket Booklets
Speaking of Adventure Books, did you know that when Disney World first opened it operated on a ticket book system? So, you paid for general admission to get in the park, and then (like at a fair) you paid for ticket booklet that gave you access to some of the rides.
For example, in 1971, you could get a 7 Adventure Book for $4.50 per adult. The 7 Adventure book gave you 1 A ticket, 1 B ticket, 1 C ticket, 2 D tickets, and 2 E tickets. At the time, A ticket attractions included things like the fire engine and the Carrousel. The Swiss Family Treehouse was a B ticket ride. Peter Pan’s Flight would cost you a C ticket, the Hall of Presidents was a D ticket attraction, and things like the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, and “it’s a small world” were E ticket attractions.
It wasn’t like today where you just buy a single ticket and get access to everything. Instead, you had to buy appropriate tickets to visit each of the rides. But, by June of 1982, ticket books were phased out in favor of the Passport in Magic Kingdom.
73. Trash Cans are strategically placed
You didn’t think we were done with trash yet, did you? Okay, last trash fact (for now). Again, Walt Disney wanted a clean park which meant there had to be trash cans in the right places so people would use them. Typically, in Disney parks there is a trash can every 30 feet.
Next time you’re in the parks, do a “trash can challenge” and see how many steps it takes you to go from one trash can to another!
Ever heard of Dino-Sue? Sue is actually the world-famous Tyrannosaurus Rex that was unearthed in South Dakota. Sue’s dino skeleton is actually the largest and most complete T-Rex fossil ever found, with over 90% of the bones found and excavated. The real Sue is on display in a museum in Chicago, but you can see Dino-Sue right in Animal Kingdom! Dino-Sue is an incredible replica of the Sue T-Rex fossil.
You’ll find it, not surprisingly, right in DinoLand U.S.A.
75. Don’t forget to look DOWN
There’s lots to look at in Disney World at eye level and above you, but if you want to experience some TRUE magic, you’ve got to look down!
In Magic Kingdom, you’ll find tiles and gems in part of the pavement near The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. In the Haunted Mansion queue you’ll find the bride’s ring embedded in the pavement, and in Storybook Circus you might just fund some peanuts in the floor. And you can spot Maximus’ hoof prints near the Tangled restrooms too!
In Hollywood Studios, look for the mark of Andy’s GIANT shoe in the ground — that really shows you how you’ve shrunk down to the size of a toy. And you’ll find Gertie’s footprints around Echo Lake showing the path she took to get into the lake itself (Gertie is that giant green dino along the water). There are also droid markings in various spots throughout Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Also, be sure check out that sign in Muppet*Vision 3D right as you enter the building, to the right, which says the key is under the mat. Lift the mat for a surprise!
In Disney’s Animal Kingdom look down as you enter the queue for Na’vi River Journey. There, you’ll find some Na’vi foot prints in the ground and you can try to compare your foot size to theirs!
These are just some of the amazing details you can spot if you look down! Just, don’t forget to look up too so you don’t bump into anyone as you’re walking around and hunting for these things!
76. Enough popcorn to fill the Tower of Terror!!!
Disney guests eat a lot of popcorn, but just how much do they eat? According to AllEars.net, Disney World guests eat enough popcorn each year that it could FILL the Tower of Terror!! Or, it could fill 1.5 Olympic pools!
That’s a lot of hot and fresh buttery (well, fake buttery — Disney World popcorn is vegan!) goodness!
77. MILLIONS of pounds of turkey legs!
Love ’em or hate ’em, turkey legs are definitely a staple food of the Disney diet. You’ve probably seen quite a few guests devouring these giant treats. But, did you know that (at least according to some older numbers) Disney sells about 2 MILLION pounds of turkey with its turkey legs every year, according to AllEars.net.
With each turkey leg coming in at about 1.5 pounds, that’s over 1.3 million turkey legs each year. Gobble gobble!
78. MILLIONS of Mickey Bars
The Mickey Premium Bar is another quintessential Disney snack. Vanilla ice cream, chocolate casing, and a Mickey shape — you really can’t go wrong! Well, a lot of people agree with that considering that, according to AllEars.net, Disney typically sells MORE than 3.3 MILLION Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars each year!
You can develop all kinds of new and creative snacks, but sometimes the classics really are best.
79. Lightning Rods
Florida gets some serious storms. We’re not just talking hurricanes though — just an ordinary 3PM storm in Florida can have quite a bit of lightning. Disney is aware of this and has taken some steps you’ve probably TOTALLY missed to help keep you safe. There are actually lightning rods scattered throughout each park in Disney World and they’re often hidden in plain sight. The most prominent lightning rod is in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the replica of Crossroads that you’ll see right when you enter the park.
The right ear of the Mickey Mouse standing on top is actually made of copper and doubles as a lightning rod!
80. How much does Spaceship Earth weigh?
Spaceship Earth is big…REALLY big. And it’s heavy too! Spaceship Earth is actually estimated to weigh around 15.5 MILLION pounds and it is also considered the largest free-standing sphere in the world.
So, the next time you walk past it, you can shout out these cool facts to your friends and family and impress them all with your amazing knowledge.
81. Animal Kingdom was supposed to have dragons
Have you ever taken a GOOD look at the Animal Kingdom logo? You might have see the Tree of Life on it, but what about the animals underneath? There’s a lion and some other real animals you can see on safari or on the trails there. There’s also a dinosaur representing the Dinoland area. But what about that animal right in the middle? That’s a DRAGON!
There are no dragon rides at Animal Kingdom though, so why is it there? Well, the dragon was actually intended to represent Beastly Kingdom — a land that was meant to be built at Animal Kingdom. This land would have paid tribute to mythical creatures like dragons, unicorns, and more.
One of the attractions planned for this area was actually a roller coaster named Dragon Tower and there was another called Quest for the Unicorn.
BUT Beastly Kingdom was never built. Due to budget concerns, it was put on the back burner. Instead, Camp Minnie-Mickey was put in to “temporarily” occupy the space set aside for this mythical land and that land was then later transformed into Pandora.
But, you can find some hidden dragon statutes or dragons on signs, benches, and fixtures in the park so Beastly Kingdom lives on in a small sense. Be sure to look for those and give a good look at that Animal Kingdom logo the next time you’re in the park!
82. Star Wars Release Years
Before you head into Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo to get some intergalactic grub, take a look at the cargo ship above the building. On it, you’ll see three numbers — 77, 80, and 83. And if you’re a BIG Star Wars fan, you’ll know what they stand for. Well, put a 19 before each of them and you’ll get the three release years for the original movies in the Star Wars trilogy!
It’s a great nod to the films that started it all.
83. Power Palms
You’ve undoubtedly noticed the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom (it kinda hard to miss), but there are some other unique trees in Disney World you’ve probably TOTALLY walked past. In Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, for example, have you ever stopped to look at those metal-looking palm trees? Maybe you’ve never even noticed them, or you just thought they’re a futuristic representation of trees. But, they’re more than that!
These trees actually have their own special backstory! These plants are known as “Power Palms” and, according to their story, they’re designed to collect solar energy, which is stored in their “coconuts.” Periodically, the trees will be “harvested” for their energy. Next time you’re there, look for the one tree whose leaves are folded — that tree has already been “harvested.” Of course, these palm trees aren’t actually collecting solar energy (Disney has its solar energy fields for that), but it’s awesome that these plants have a story of their own (that you probably never knew).
84. The Disney Family Crest
Everyone seems to really enjoy taking pictures of Cinderella Castle from the front, and undoubtedly that is a beautiful view. But, don’t forget to visit the back of the Castle as well. Not only will you get some gorgeous and unique views here, but you’ll also get the chance to see something very special. See that golden crest shining just to the side of the large archway?
That’s actually the Disney Family Coat of Arms! It’s got lions on it and other details, and it’s definitely worth a visit (and a close-up shot).
85. There’s a GIANT in Magic Kingdom!
This is another detail that’s totally hidden in plain sight. As you approach Sir Mickey’s in Fantasyland, take a look at the outside of the building. In case you weren’t aware, the shop is inspired by Mickey and the Beanstalk and you can see some of that beanstalk peeking out!
But the best detail here is inside the store. While you’re shopping around, be sure to look UP! That’s where you’ll see Willie the Giant peeking inside and trying to lift off the roof, just as he lifts off one character’s roof in the final scene in Fun and Fancy Free.
Now that you’ve seen it in the photo, it seems impossible to miss, but you’d be surprised how many have totally walked past this GIANT detail.
86. Mary Poppins in the Carousel of Progress?
In the Carousel of Progress there are all kinds of hidden Mickeys and details, but one of the ones that’s most special is a little bird! In the first scene, you might just be able to see a robin sitting outside the window on the left-hand side. But, that’s no ordinary bird. That robin was actually used in Mary Poppins!
What a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious thing!
87. Real grass on the ROOF!
This next one is another that’s hidden in plain sight. The next time you walk past the Norway pavilion at EPCOT be sure to look up at the ROOF of Kringla Bakeri og Cafe. Part of the roof looks “normal” but you’ll notice that another part of it is covered in grass! You can see it to the left-hand side in the photo below.
You might think that this is fake grass, but it is not! It’s very much real and Cast Members from the horticulture team are responsible for keeping it looking nice. This grass on the roof is based on sod roofs that were once common in parts of Scandinavia. They help insulate homes from the frigid winters!
88. Star Wars Trash
While you’re in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios, take a look at the trash cans. (Yes, we’re mentioning trash again.) Each of the cans have the number 3263827 on them. Recognize that? It’s the number of the Trash Compactor that Han, Luke, and Leia get stuck in during Star Wars: A New Hope.
If you’re wondering where the trash compactor monster (AKA a Dianoga) lives, maybe consider getting a drink of water outside the restrooms in Galaxy’s Edge.
89. A special fireplace
The fireplace in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is impressive in its size and scale (standing at 82 FEET), but it’s not just a beautiful sight.
The colors and “layers” of the fireplace actually duplicate the layered rock strata of the Grand Canyon.
90. Lost your sunglasses? You’re not alone
Ever lose something while at Disney? Well, you’re not the only one. Disney has shared that about 210 pairs of sunglasses are turned in to Magic Kingdom’s Lost and Found every single day!
Hang onto them hats and glasses folks!
91. The Liberty Tree has a LOT of kids
The Liberty Tree in Liberty Square is impressive for a lot of reasons. Over 30 years ago, a 130-year-old live oak tree was found on the Disney World property and moved to Magic Kingdom. Because of its size and weight, holes actually had to be drilled through the middle of the trunk and steel pins inserted to lift it with a crane. Later, the pins were removed and replaced with hardwood, and the wood healed.
But, the Liberty Tree is ALSO amazing because the tree is said to have “fathered” OVER 500 other trees from its acorns! That’s a lot of baby trees that all reportedly are from one source!
92. No balloons
Seeing a person holding a giant bunch of balloons is sort of a quintessential Disney thing. And watching kids run around the parks with their balloons can be quite an adorable sight. But, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom you’ll notice balloons are NOT sold. This is for the safety of the animals as they may inadvertently eat it if it accidentally flies away. But, not only are balloons not sold — they’re not allowed in! So, if you’ve got a balloon and want to keep it, your best bet is to drop it off back at your hotel.
You can also check your balloons at the front of the park.
93. Presidential Seal
As you walk into The Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom, you’ll see a roped-off seal on the floor. This is actually the “Great Seal of the United States.” According to AllEars.net, the seal is made of 100% wool carpet. And, what’s really special about it is it actually took multiple acts of Congress to grant Disney the permission to even display this seal!
That’s some serious dedication to making sure this spot felt and looked very authentic.
94. Presidential looks
Staying in The Hall of Presidents for a minute, you may have noticed that the presidents each have their own unique outfits to fit their time periods. But, not only are the outfits appropriate to their times, they’ve actually been made with fabrics and sewing techniques that are appropriate to their time in office as well. That is a lot of attention to detail.
More modern-day presidents (meaning ones around since Disney World has been open) often donate an outfit of their own for their animatronic to wear on the attraction! Are the presidents wearing any underwear though? That is the BIG question here, but it’s a mystery we’ve yet to solve.
Click here to read more about this and other burning Disney World questions we know you’re thinking about!
95. The award for most expensive rollercoaster goes to…
Currently, according to the Guinness World Records, the most expensive rollercoaster is…Expedition Everest! The rollercoaster opened in 2006 and is estimated to have cost $100 MILLION.
Everest lost the title a couple of years ago to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Universal Orlando. BUT the Guardians of the Galaxy Roller coaster is said to be costing HUNDREDS of MILLIONS more than Everest ever did. Move over Yeti and Hagrid, a new pricey coaster is could be coming to town.
96. Once-a-year Hidden Mickey
For the most part, hidden Mickeys are available to find year-round. BUT if you want to find this one, you’ll have to visit Disney World on Mickey’s birthday — November 18th. Once a year, on November 18th at noon, a SUPER special hidden Mickey appears in part of the queue to Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Holes in the rock work were made so that when the sun shines through on that date and time, a Mickey-shaped light appears on a rock wall in the queue. It’ll only last a few minutes though, so you’ll need to be there right on time!
97. When did Mickey Mouse get the first ride-through attraction themed to him?
As Walt Disney has said, “it was all started by a mouse.” Mickey really is, in many ways, the heart and soul of Disney, and the face of all the parks. So, you’d think Mickey would have had a ride-through attraction themed to him WAY back in the beginning. BUT, that’s not the case!
Mickey has starred in quite a few attractions like Mickey’s PhilharMagic and the Mickey Mouse Revue. But, Mickey actually didn’t get a ride-through attraction themed to him in a Disney park until…Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which opened in Disney World in 2020.
It may have taken MANY years for this to finally take place, but Mickey is finally the true star of his own ride. That’s some big stuff for a small mouse <3
Okay, we could include SO many unique details in Disney’s bathrooms (we even have a list of all the BEST bathrooms in Disney World), but for this one we’ll focus on the restrooms in Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. All of Toy Story Land is full of incredible details, and the bathrooms are no exception. Notice what the restroom sign is made of? Scrabble pieces! And the “girls” sign — that’s made of kids’ blocks! You’ll also notice the outside walls of the bathrooms are made up of a bunch of building blocks of different shapes and sizes, and more.
But, perhaps our favorite detail is the board game that’s right next to the girls’ side. Ever hear a little kid say that girls or boys have cooties? Well, you can tell this is definitely a young kid’s playground as the box for the Cooties game sits right next to the girls’ restroom!
And, once you’re in the bathrooms — don’t forget to look down! You’ll see s floor that looks very much like a checkers board.
Truly, Toy Story Land is a treasure trove of hidden details!
99. Make a wish and grant a wish
Ever thrown a coin in the Cinderella Wishing Well in Magic Kingdom or really any body of water around the parks? Lots of kids and adults alike have tossed their fair share of coins in these waterways to wish for a dream of their own to come true. But, did you know that by making a wish of your own, you’re actually helping others too?
All of the coins tossed into the wells, water rides, and water features in Disney World are regularly collected and donated to charities in Central Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, in November of 2020 Disney World donated about $20,000(!!) in coins from its wishing wells and fountains to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.
So, toss those coins and make those wishes — you’ll actually be helping other people’s wishes come true too.
100. Walt never got to see Disney World open
Even non-Disney fans probably know that Walt Disney was the one who came up with the idea of a Disney theme park and is responsible for so many of the things we get to enjoy today. Walt got to experience the opening of Disneyland Park in California. Walt spearheaded the Florida project and did get the chance to fly there to walk the land he acquired.
But, Walt passed away before the first park in Florida was completed. Walt died on December 15th, 1966. It was after Walt’s death that his brother, Roy O. Disney, really took a major public leadership role in the Walt Disney Company and supervised the building of Walt Disney World. Roy worked diligently to make Disney World a reality.
Two months after Disney World opened, Roy passed. But, his hard work lives on in a park that millions have enjoyed. Next time you’re in Magic Kingdom, be sure to check out the statue of Roy and Minnie on Main Street.
And that’s our 100 facts for today! But, there are HUNDREDS (realistically closer to thousands) of other fantastic little details hidden all around the parks and resorts that would blow your mind. And we’re sure that there will be hundreds more created as new lands and areas open.
We’ve got tons of videos on our DFB YouTube channel going through all kinds of Disney secrets. So, you can check those out to learn even more!