Part of what makes the Walt Disney World Resort so magical is the incredible attention to detail created by the Disney Imagineers that completely immerses Guests in experiences. In order to achieve such immersion, Disney Imagineers appeal to all of the senses to make Guests truly believe that they are exploring a galaxy far, far, away, flying over the streets of London with Peter Pan, rumbling through an animal reserve in Africa, and diving into the Seas with Nemo and Friends.
One way that Guests truly feel immersed in their adventures at the Walt Disney World Resort is through smell, and every single area has its own unique scent specifically designed to bring up certain emotions and feelings. From familiar and comforting to exotic and tropical, let’s check out some of the best smells to be found throughout the Walt Disney World Resort!
It sounds strange in theory, but one of the most recognizable smells at the Walt Disney World Resort can be found at Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. Just after boarding their boat, Guests set sail into a small dark bend that leads to the iconic caves filled with skeletal remains, and Guests can get a whiff of a unique Disney scent that many describe as ‘pirate water.’ Slightly musty, humid, and just unique, the smell in this particular spot of Pirates of the Caribbean is beloved by many Guests!
Another iconic smell that Guests can come to love over the years can be found in EPCOT’s World Celebration inside of Spaceship Earth. The beloved attraction brings Guests on a journey back in time to learn about the history of communication, and one of the pivotal moments in the story is when the Library of Alexandria burned in Rome, destroying many monumental literary works. While the scene that depicts Rome burning is very brief, it features a strong scent of burning embers and wood that is comforting and distinctly known to Spaceship Earth.
Great Ceremonial House
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort creates a tropical and romantic atmosphere from the moments that Guests walk through the doors into the main lobby, which is called the Great Ceremonial House. The lobby itself features a unique and wonderful smell that is definitely tropical in nature and seems to combine the smell of the nearby beach, blooming flowers, lush vegetation, and a fruity aroma all rolled together. Guests love to experience this smell while enjoying other experiences in the Great Ceremonial House including ‘Ohana, Kona Café, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, and BouTiki.
Popcorn on Main Street, U.S.A.
Passing underneath the Walt Disney World Railroad and emerging onto Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom is a completely immersive experience where Guests can hear the sounds of trolleys and vintage cars rumbling past, see Cinderella Castle in the distance, and smell something delicious. A popcorn stand can be found on the curb just outside of Town Hall constantly popping kernels, and the buttery aroma of fresh popcorn has become synonymous with Main Street, U.S.A. for many Guests.
Living with the Land Greenhouses
Living with the Land is a serene boat ride in The Land Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Nature that showcases how the land is a truly diverse and amazing resource that we need to work hard to protect through innovative growing techniques. One portion of the attraction brings Guests through a series of greenhouses to showcase vegetation from around the world and new science and technology that is helping to grow them sustainably. The scent in the greenhouses of Living with the Land is amazing and combines a tropical and fruity aroma with a touch of humidity and water that creates something comforting and unforgettable.
Les Halles Boulangerie Pâtisserie
The France Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase evokes the charm and romance of Paris with cobblestone streets, inviting shops, and delicious eateries with the Eiffel Tower looming in the distance. One dining option in the France Pavilion is Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie which is designed to feel like a classic French bakery and serves up delicious pastries, treats, sandwiches, and beverages throughout each day. The smell in Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie is a heavenly mix of fresh baguettes, decadent pastries, and fruit.
Over in the Germany Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase is another dining location that features a mouthwatering smell. Karamell-Kuche translates to “caramel kitchen” and sells a decadent variety of caramel treats with everything from caramel corn and apples to chocolate-covered caramels and cookies. Before even entering the shop, Guests can smell the sweet and inviting scent of caramel, which is sure to have them ducking inside for a delicious treat!
Flame Tree Barbecue
Flame Tree Barbecue is a quick-service dining location on Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom that feature a menu of mouthwatering barbecue food inspired by various regions across the country. The aroma of the barbecue cooking throughout each day wafts out onto the main path through Discovery Island and is so delicious with a meaty and slightly sweet and spicy undertone hinting at the wonderful flavor of each menu item.
Journey into Imagination Skunk
Not every memorable smell from the Walt Disney World Resort is exactly pleasant, and a great example can be found on Journey into Imagination with Figment in EPCOT’s World Nature. The whimsical attraction brings Guests on an adventure through the sensory labs in the Imagination Institute, and Figment causes all sorts of fun havoc along the way. While in the scent lab, Figment begins a game of chance where Guests score three skunks and ‘win’ that scent before being blasted with a breeze of skunk odor. While definitely stinky, it sure is a memorable smell!
The Haunted Mansion has long been a beloved attraction for many Guests as it perfectly combines an eerie, yet comical, group of nine hundred and ninety-nine happy haunts who materialize in memorable scenes. The interior of the Haunted Mansion is absolutely creepy, and it also has its own unique scent that perfectly captures the spirit of an old, haunted home with musty notes mixed with decaying floral notes.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the most popular areas of the Disney Park and is home to Avatar Flight of Passage, a thrilling experience that offers Guests the chance to fly on the back of a banshee through the stunning world of the Na’vi. In the middle of the adventure, the banshee lands inside of a bioluminescent cave that beautifully lights up, and the smell in the cave is an unforgettable and otherworldly combination of floral and sweet notes.
After enjoying a ride on Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase, Guests exit through The Fjording, a gift shop that sells authentic Norwegian merchandise including Laila Perfume. The distinct smell of the perfume combines Norwegian wildflowers and lavender and completely fills the shop with an unforgettable scent that Guests have come to associate with the Norway Pavilion.