Walt Disney World is a magical place to vacation with four theme parks, two water parks, Disney Springs, and over twenty Disney Resorts. Guests can have endless fun experiencing attractions, live entertainment, dining, shopping, recreation, and relaxing. All of the amazing experiences to be had in Walt Disney World leave guests wanting to return time and time again which leaves them very familiar with the parks and Disney Resorts. While many guests might think that they know all there is to know about Disney attractions, history, and parks, they might be surprised at how many secrets there are scattered throughout the property. Here are eight of the best kept secrets at Walt Disney World!
While many guests spend the majority of their time in Walt Disney World exploring the Magic Kingdom, they might never realize that they are on the second floor! When Imagineers were constructing the park, they built a series of tunnels which could be used for behind the scenes operations like garbage collection, costuming, and break rooms for Cast Members. These Utilidors (utility plus corridors) run below the majority of the Magic Kingdom and allow the day to day operations of the park to continue seamlessly without guests ever knowing! Those who want to have a glimpse of the famous Utilidors can take the Keys to the Kingdom Tour to spend a few minutes down there.
7. Pirate’s Drop
One of the most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom is Pirates of the Caribbean which invites guests to take to the seas and sail with a band of swashbuckling pirates. Before moving through a burning seaside village, guests exit a series of eerie caves by plummeting down a drop into a battle below. While the drop might seem like just a thrilling element of the attraction, it was added as a necessity! Pirates of the Caribbean was originally not supposed to exist in the Magic Kingdom since Imagineers thought that guests would not be interested given their proximity to the Caribbean. After many requests, it was decided to add the attraction to the park, but there was a slight dilemma. The Walt Disney World Railroad was already completed with a loop around the park, making it impossible for guests to board Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland and move to the show building without crossing the train tracks. Imagineers decided to add the attraction’s drop to move guests underneath the railroad tracks and into the show building.
6. It’s Magnetic!
Guests who visit Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom love to take a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. The attraction is a highway in the sky and offers beautiful views of the land below and glimpses into attractions like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. While the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover might seem like any normal attraction, guests might be surprised to find out that it is entirely powered by magnets! The attraction uses a linear induction system which features magnets embedded in the track which seamlessly push and pull the attraction vehicles.
5. Familiar Faces
Guests who visit Epcot simply must experience Spaceship Earth to travel through time and celebrate the history of communication. Throughout the attraction, guests pass by dozens of audio animatronics depicting important moments in history like the Renaissance, man landing on the moon, and the burning of Rome. Since so many audio animatronic figures were needed for Spaceship Earth, Imagineers decided to reuse existing molds from the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom. Guests who enjoy Spaceship Earth today can look for William Taft as an Egyptian, James Buchanan as Gutenberg, Franklin Pierce as a scholar, John Adams as a monk, and Teddy Roosevelt as a Roman.
4. The Tree Of Life’s Support
Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates the beauty of the environment and the importance of preserving it through conservation efforts. Every guest who enjoys the park falls in love with the beautiful Tree of Life which feature thousands of leaves and a trunk carved with hundreds of beautiful and intricate animals. While the tree might look completely real, it is actually fake and supported by an interesting structure. During conceptualization, Imagineers were debating how to support the Tree of Life while leaving room in the roots for the theater which houses It’s Tough To Be A Bug. The answer came in a reused oil rig which perfectly formed the trunk of the tree while leaving room for the roots and branches above.
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3. Castle Secrets
Perhaps the most recognizable building in all of Walt Disney World is Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom which is situated at the end of Main Street and beckons guests in to enjoy the park. While the Castle might seem to be constructed perfectly with stones, guests might never realize that there are no bricks at all in the structure! Instead, Cinderella Castle was constructed with concrete, steel, and fiberglass to be strong enough to withstand the massive winds which accompany hurricanes common in Central Florida.
2. Moving Traffic
An attraction which many guests consider a classic is Peter Pan’s Flight in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. The attraction sprinkles guests with pixie dust and allows them to take to the skies soaring high over London and Neverland with Peter and the Darling children. The scene over the London skyline is a favorite of many guests and features historic buildings and bustling traffic below. The traffic looks realistic as tiny pairs of headlights travel down roads below, but they are actually comprised of dots of black light paint on rotating bike chains.
1. An Old Friend
Journey Into Imagination with Figment in Epcot invites guests into the Imagination Institute for a tour of their sensory labs. While Dr. Nigel Channing leads the tour, Figment soon interrupts and helps guests to see that imagination is best when set free. The original version of the attraction featured Figment alongside DreamFinder as they traveled the world collecting imagination. While DreamFinder is no longer in the attraction today, guests can still look for a door on the attraction with the name Dean Finder acting as a subtle tribute to an old friend.