Walt Disney World is a place full of magic, known for fully immersing guests into that magic and transporting them to another place altogether. It is a place known for storytelling and never letting even the smallest detail go unnoticed. There is so much to know and discover about this wonderful place that it seems as if no one person could ever really know everything there is to know about Disney World, but to get you started here are 20 interesting facts about Walt Disney World.
20. When Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971, Tomorrowland opened unfinished with only two attractions, the Grand Prix Raceway and the Skyway to Fantasyland. The plans for Tomorrowland weren’t finalized until 1973, and construction continued until about 1975.
19. The lands in Magic Kingdom are designed in such a way that no other land is visible from the one a guest is currently in, because of strategically placed trees, buildings and other distractions. This keeps guests fully immersed in the land they are visiting.
18. The transportation system at Disney World is amazing. Guests can travel by boat, train, bus, Monorail, or Skyliner. The bus system alone is so big at Disney that it is the third largest bus system in Florida with approximately 300 buses.
17. There are over 70,000 Cast Members employed by Walt Disney World (compared to the 5,500 employed in 1971) making Disney World the largest single-site employer in the United States.
16. Disney World has a tree farm on property so when a tree needs to be replaced they already have a fully-grown tree available to replace it.
15. The streets in the theme parks are steam cleaned every night… and it shows with the fresh, clean park we can all enjoy in the morning.
14. There are Cast Members who are assigned the very specific task of painting the carousel horses in Magic Kingdom, and they even use genuine gold leaf.
13. The Living with the Land attraction takes guests through the greenhouses at Epcot, but they actually serve a purpose other than entertainment. The greenhouses supply Disney restaurants with more than 30 tons of fruit and vegetables every year.
12. The costume department at Walt Disney World houses more than 1.2 million pieces of clothing, making it the largest wardrobe department in the world. Each cast member has at least three costumes, but Mickey has over 290 different costumes. He even has more than Minnie, who has about 200.
11. With so many guests visiting Walt Disney World every day, a few people are bound to lose an item or two, or a few thousand. Every year Disney finds an average of 6,000 cellphones and 18,000 hats, to name just a few of the lost items.
10. Although it may look like Cinderella Castle is made up of bricks, it’s actually made of fiberglass, and was the largest fiberglass structure built at the time of its completion.
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9. Sculptor Blaine Gibson created the Partners statue of Walt Disney and Mickey, in 1993, as well as the Sharing the Magic statue in 2010, of Roy Disney and Minnie. Gibson also worked on creating many characters in Disney attractions, such as pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean and ghosts in the Haunted Mansion to name just a few.
8. For 17 years, Walt Disney World Resort had only two resort hotels, the Polynesian Village and the Contemporary, and one campground, Fort Wilderness. The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and the Caribbean Beach Resort were added in 1988.
7. The Yeti of Expedition Everest is one of the largest and most complex Audio-Animatronic figures at Disney. His framework is covered with 6,000 pounds of various furs, and he is held together with over 1,000 snaps and 250 zippers. Though he doesn’t move anymore he is still impressive!
6. Spaceship Earth is actually comprised of two spheres. The outer sphere is the one guests are familiar with, and contains over 11,000 panels, creating the iconic image of Epcot. The second, and inner sphere houses the ride Spaceship Earth and sits two feet inside the outer sphere. Rainwater is collected in-between the two spheres and funneled into the World Showcase Lagoon.
5. During Christmas celebrations at Disney World, the Grand Floridian has a life-sized gingerbread house, in which they actually sell gingerbread. They have even started offering gluten-free gingerbread men!
4. Expedition Everest and Tower of Terror both stand 199 feet tall. Disney built them just one foot shy of 200 because according to Aviation rules, any structure that stands 200 feet requires a flashing red light. This of course would ruin the effect of these attractions.
3. Disney World has some impressive development numbers… close to 30 resorts, four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, golf courses and more, so it may surprise you to know that Disney World has only developed about 35 percent of its 27,000 acres.
2. Disney has grown over 500 oak trees from the acorns of The Liberty Oak Tree located in Liberty Square.
1. Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world. When Disney World first opened in 1971 it averaged 10,000 guests per day. That number has increased to approximately 50,000 per day, with an attendance of over 52 million annually.
We have only barely scratched the surface of interesting facts about Walt Disney World. What are some interesting facts you’ve come across about Disney?