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Disney in the Details: 20 Park Details that Will Blow Your Mind

 

5) There’s a net full of gelatin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

In keeping with the aforementioned comedy of the Muppets, I’d like to present yet another silly—but nonetheless amazing—detail at the Muppet*Vision 3D attraction. In the pre-show waiting area, look above you, and you will notice a net suspended from part of the ceiling. The net is full of green Jell-O. A net full of Jell-O. “A-net-full-of-Jell-O.” Clearly a nod to one of the first ever Mouseketeers, Annette Funicello.

4) Imagineers are experts at hiding things in plain sight.

Disney Imagineers followed Walt’s guidance in never letting a Guest see another “land” from where they are anywhere inside the Walt Disney World Resort. The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Hollywood Studios and the Morocco pavilion at EPCOT are actually very close together. Imagineers had to be very calculative and creative in ensuring Guests couldn’t see the Hollywood Tower Hotel from EPCOT, and guests at Hollywood Studios didn’t catch a glimpse of the temple at the Morocco pavilion. So they painted the backside of HTH the exact same color with which the Moroccan structure is painted. That way, it never registers with our minds that we are actually seeing a structure in another theme park. Look for the backside of the Hollywood Tower Hotel the next time you look across the World Showcase Lagoon to the Morocco pavilion. It’s hidden—even though it’s right in front of your eyes! (Photo credit: Disney Fanatic)

 

3) The Moroccan pavilion at EPCOT boasts several details.

It would seem that the King of Morocco had a bit of the Imagineering spirit in him when the Moroccan pavilion was being built on the World Showcase at EPCOT. He wanted the pavilion to look and feel like the real thing—so much so, that he sent several of his royal craftsmen to create the intricate artwork you will see throughout the pavilion. However, you will notice that each of the handcrafted mosaic tiles in the pavilion is flawed—purposely. This is because the religious beliefs of the Moroccans hold that only their god is able to create anything perfect. Another detail in this pavilion has to do with lighting. At night, during the Illuminations nighttime spectacular at EPCOT, while every other pavilion is lit up, the Moroccan temple remains dark; to be lit up would be a violation of local religious beliefs as well.

2) You will never get wet walking under Spaceship Earth.

This is a nice guarantee, but it’s also evidence of more details in the parks. At EPCOT, you will behold a marvel in the design of Spaceship Earth. But the surface’s cladding has to be one of the most amazing details of the massive structure. The cladding was designed in such a way that no matter how much it rains, no Guest will ever get wet from walking under Spaceship Earth. Disney Imagineers designed the surface with one-inch gaps in the facets. As rainwater falls onto the surface, it is collected into a gutter system. The rainwater is then routed to run off into the World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT. Guests stay dry, and the lagoon stays full. What a mind-blowing—and functional—detail! That’s what I call a win-win scenario.

1) The Magic Kingdom is one big production.

You’ve long known that the staff at Walt Disney World are not referred to as staff or employees. Rather they are referred to as Cast Members, since they are “performing.” But have you ever stopped to take in all of your surroundings as you enter the Magic Kingdom? The ticket windows represent the ticket windows at a theater. The turnstiles represent the doors to that theater. As you walk through the tunnel underneath the train station, you see “coming attraction”-style posters on the walls, and the train station itself serves as the stage curtains. Once you get past the train station (curtains), the show begins. The show is the daily production that takes place in the form of the fun and fantasy of Magic Kingdom. That’s why it makes sense that “off-limits” areas in the park are referred to as “backstage areas.”

 

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About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.