We spend a LOT of time in Disney World and with all of our reporting and tips, you’d be hard-pressed to find something we’ve NEVER seen in the parks.
And yet, Disney World is so detailed that even the EXPERTS can miss some secrets. Every once in a while, someone on the DFB team notices something TOTALLY new or shares a detail that SHOCKS the rest of us. So, we wanted to share those with you! Here are 11 Disney World details even the experts don’t notice!
1. Walt actually has THREE windows on Main Street, U.S.A.
Sure, most experts know about all of the very interesting windows on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom, but did you know that Walt Disney actually has three windows on Main Street? The very first of his windows is on top of the Train Station before you enter the park. It says, “Railroad Office, Keeping Dreams on Track, Walter E. Disney, Chief Engineer,” because without Walt there would be no Disney World.
He also has the very last window on Main Street that says, “Walter E. Disney, Graduate School of Design and Master Planning.” You can see that one right above the Plaza Restaurant. But where is that third window? Look above Main Street Cinema to spot Walt’s name as the Founder & Director Emeritus!
2. There are some famous droid tracks in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Disney experts know that Disney Imagineers put a lot of thought into the pavement of different areas, and you’ve probably noticed that rings true in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This area has a lot of droid tracks running through the area, but did you know that some of the tracks around Black Spire Outpost were actually created by using a rubbing of the feet from the original R2-D2 unit from Star Wars: A New Hope?
Imagineers took the rubbing, then created a dolly with wheels that had that imprint on them to easily roll out the pattern in the cement at Galaxy’s Edge. Bonus! You can also spot an Easter Egg for the old Lights! Motors! Action! Show that used to be where Galaxy’s Edge is in the marketplace. There’s a stack of small speeders and one has the initials “LMA” written on it in the Star Wars language Aurebesh.
3. You can see nods to the Avatar bad guys in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Pandora.
Speaking of alien planets, you might not have noticed a certain secret in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora. Sure, lots of experts know about the handprints at the end of Flight of Passage — but did you know that there are actually a lot of nods to the bad guys from the Avatar film too?
RDA is the corporation that serves as the antagonist in Avatar and there are still signs of their occupation of the planet. Around the land, you might notice rusted old machinery branded with the RDA logo.
One specific example is in the caves at the beginning of the indoor queue for Flight of Passage. You’ll come across an old RDA area with rusty walls. Another detail in this room? The wall says “JC Shoring 08.016.54.” The “JC” stands for James Cameron and the numbers represent his birthday on August 16, 1954.
4. Sometimes you can hear “noises from the kitchen” in Disney restaurants.
When you’re eating in Disney World restaurants you might not notice some of the noises around you, with so many guests talking and plates clanking. But sometimes if you listen closely you can hear “noises from the kitchen” in Disney restaurants.
The outside dining area Tusker House has a speaker so that guests can hear inside the kitchen. This is a recording but you can hear dishes clanging together and the sweeping of broken glass, as well as many other things going wrong in the kitchen. You’ll also hear this sort of thing when you dine at Skipper Canteen in Magic Kingdom (you can hear activity in the “rooms” above the main mess hall area!).
5. The Liberty Square addresses have a hidden meaning.
Next time you’re walking through Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom, take a look at the addresses on the houses of this land. Each address is just two digits, but if you were to add an “18” to the front of each number they would become a year in the 1800s.
Interestingly enough, those buildings are all made with the architectural style that represents the year of their respective addresses.
6. There are some special Lost & Found locations!
Anyone who’s been to Disney their fair share of times has probably had to call Disney’s Lost and Found, but did you know there are some extra-special Lost and Found locations as well? The Walt Disney World Railroad may still be close as construction continues on TRON Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom, but you can still check out the Main Street Train Station to find this detail.
On the lower level of the station, you’ll see a Lost and Found area that’s filled with forgotten items from Disney characters — not Disney guests. See if you can spot Aladdin’s lamp, Winnie the Pooh’s honey pot, and a few other “lost” items!
7. Carousel of Progress has a LOT of Easter Eggs.
Just nearby, over in Tomorrowland, Carousel of Progress has a lot of Easter Eggs. Sure most experts have probably noticed some of these, but have you seen them all? There are tons of Hidden Mickeys and a very famous bird to spot.
In the last scene alone you’ll spot at least four Hidden Mickeys (like those salt and pepper shakers on the kitchen counter). Also, look out the window for a robin sitting on a branch in the first scene. That bird was in Mary Poppins. Yep, the actual animatronic that was used in Mary Poppins is sitting in the Carousel of Progress attraction!
8. There’s a hidden sword in EPCOT’s Norway!
Disney experts might have a hard time knowing about the next one because you can’t see it all the time. In fact the only time you can see it is when the waterfall and pond are turned off in the rocks at the back of the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT. There’s a Viking sword hidden directly behind that waterfall stuck in the rock! Pretty cool huh?
If this pavilion is ever under construction, see if you can spot it! You can also make out the “rock” filling the hole that used to be open back in the Maelstrom days (remember how cool that was when your boat felt like it was going to fall back out the hole?!).
9. You’ve probably missed this Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Hidden Mickey!
Hidden Mickeys are everywhere in Disney World and we have certainly seen our fair share of them. In fact, it’s kind of hard NOT to spot hidden Mickeys even when you’re not looking for them. But, there’s one Hidden Mickey that we actually just spotted for the first time and it’s actually what prompted the idea for this post!
Have you seen this Hidden Mickey on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? See if you can spot the full Mickey carving in the wall. He’s even holding a little pickaxe! You wanna spot this one, you’ll have to look REALLY fast as you whiz outside on your right! How cute is that!?
10. There’s a Star Wars character in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.
And, we actually have another hidden detail that has to do with R2-D2. There is actually a reference to the iconic Star Wars character in Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs, despite the fact that this bar is inspired by Indiana Jones. Maybe it’s the Harrison Ford connection? We’re not sure. You can spot hidden droid names in this lounge!
Look below the Bessie Coleman sign hanging from the ceiling above the booth seating. There you’ll spot a wall that has “RTO D-2” and “RXE 2-4” printed on it. Read those quickly and what do they reference? R2-D2 and REX the droid. (There’s actually a LOT LOT more hidden references in this bar to Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and way more!)
11. There are fake waterfalls in Pandora.
And finally, you’ve probably noticed your fair share of beautiful waterfalls in Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But did you know that some of these waterfalls are…fake?! Because of Disney’s use of forced perspective to make the mountains look larger, running real water up that high would not accomplish the same realistic look of a waterfall.
So instead, some of the highest waterfalls at the very top of the Pandora floating mountains are actually fabricated wheels meant to look like waterfalls. The wheels are covered in a painted mesh that, when rotated slowly at a distance, look like real flowing water! Watch the video below to see if you can spot the effect!
And there you have it! Those facts CERTAINLY surprised us when we learned them and hopefully, they surprised you too! As always, stay tuned to DFB for all the latest Disney World updates, secrets, and more!
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