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8 Things You May Not Know About Walt Disney World Attractions

Walt Disney World is home to countless attractions that combine state of the art technology, memorable characters, in depth storylines, and catchy music. Each attraction in the four parks is special in its own right, but there are a few that stand out as guests’ favorites due to their incredible level of detail. Some of these details add depth to the attractions and others are hidden in plain sight to further enhance what guests are seeing. These details show not only the creativity of the Imagineers, but the amazing level of planning and theming that goes into every attraction. Here are eight things you may not know about Disney attractions that will surprise you!

8. Splash Mountain’s Gopher

Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland takes guests into the world of Br’er Rabbit as he decides to leave his home in search of more adventure. Throughout the attraction, there are dozens of characters helping to tell the story of Br’er Rabbit, however there is one in particular that has an interesting back story. In the Laughing Place scene, there are a series of gophers who drop down from the ceiling above each log and yell out as if celebrating. The final gopher in the lineup appears to be wearing a shirt and hat and yells “FSU!” The gopher is actually referencing nearby Florida State University and wearing the school’s colors as a tribute placed there by Imagineers who were affiliated with the school.

7. Leading Ladies

One of the most beloved attractions in Walt Disney World is the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. While the entire attraction is full of memorable characters, effects, and scenes, there is one in particular that is a guest favorite. The ballroom scene is where guests finally get a glimpse of the mansion’s ghosts and all along the floor there are eerie couples waltzing to the music. Sharp eyed guests will notice that each dancing couple is led by the ladies instead of the gentlemen. This is due to the mechanics behind the illusion which incorporate a reflection, meaning the ladies get a chance to lead!

6. Two Halves Of A Plane

While exploring the exotic rivers of the world on the Jungle Cruise, guests encounter a number of corny jokes and playful animals while accompanied by a quirky skipper. At one point, the boat passes by the rear end of a plane, the front of which is actually in use in another Disney theme park. The front half of the plane used to be located in Casablanca scene in The Great Movie Ride which closed in August 13, 2017. We are curious where this half of the plane is now or where it may end up!

5. Dinosaur’s Condiments

Dinosaur in Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes guests back in time for a thrilling adventure with the dinosaurs. Before guests experience a close encounter with an asteroid, they pass underneath an interesting set of pipes in the load area of the attraction. While walking down the stairs and working towards the loading area, guests can look up to spot a trio of pipes with lengthy chemical formulas on them. These are details left over from the attraction’s previous sponsor McDonald’s and are red, yellow, and white representing ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise! The chemical formulas are even the exact makeups of each condiment!

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4. Peter Pan’s Tiny Cars

Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland and offers guests the chance to soar over London and into Neverland with Peter and the Darling children. While soaring over London, guests can look down into the city’s streets and notice amazing details including what appear to be the headlights of cars bustling along. While the lights might look just like actual headlights, they are actually small dots of black light paint moving steadily along on bike chains!

3. Toy Story Mania’s Hidden Targets

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania is the attraction which accumulates the longest wait times due to its fun and interactive nature. Guests love putting on 3D glasses and moving through different midway games hosted by Woody, Buzz, and friends. What some guests might not know is that there are different “Easter Eggs” which can be unlocked in each scene by shooting at certain targets in specific orders. When guests hit the right combinations, certain surprises and new sets of targets emerge allowing them to earn even more points!

2. Toad’s Tribute

While The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a family favorite attraction, it replaced an attraction which many guests were sad to see go. Previously inhabited by Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the attraction used to take guests on a whirlwind drive through Mr. Toad’s world. The current attraction pays homage to Mr. Toad with several portraits found scattered throughout Owl’s House. Sharp eyed guests can spot a picture of Mr. Toad handing the deed for the space to Owl as well as a portrait of Moley.

1. Space Mountain’s Speed

While there are several mountains to conquer in the Magic Kingdom, Space Mountain in Tomorrowland is hands down one of the most thrilling. Blasting guests off into space and whipping them around in near darkness, the attraction can make guests feel as though they are really rocketing through space. Many guests think that they are going as fast as a rocket, but would be surprised to know that Space Mountain’s top speed is only around 30 miles per hour!

About Caitlin Corsello

Caitlin Corsello first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.