Walt Disney World Best Kept Secrets
|The following list was gathered from the "Your BEST WDW theme park secret!" thread at DISboards.com.
A special thanks to Deb (AKA Dcanoli) for compiling and providing this list.
- If you are at Hollywood Studios in the morning when the park opens, don't go to the Tower of Terror or the RNR, go on the Great Movie Ride first thing with no wait and then go to Star Tours. You can ride Star Tours for almost an hour with no wait because almost all of the guests are over at the two big rides.
- The façade at Mickeys of Hollywood is modeled after Frederick’s of Hollywood.
- (At many of the rides, if one of the kids wants to ride again but the parents are weary, ask the attendant if he or she can "go around." At Test Track, they send you up a set of stairs and tell you to follow the yellow arrows. You can see the ride operator's booth and have a great view of the queing area. Then you go back downstairs, and it lets out right at the boarding area, and they put the kid straight back on (no wait) and you go outside to wait for him.
- The opening date for Hollywood Studios is on the gas pump (if you get up close and look at the numbers) right when you first enter the park.
- All the pics in the Brown Derby that are in BLACK frames are copies of the originals. All The pics in the GOLD frames are the originals from the original Brown Derby...which no longer exists.
- The lagoon where the Fantasmic show takes place is only 1.5 feet deep!
- The island stage is surrounded by a 1.9 million gallon moat--enough water to fill every bathtub in the more than 24,000 rooms on Walt Disney World Resort property--twice.
- Animated sequences are projected on three water screens stretching 50-feet high and 100-feet wide providing an excellent view no matter where you sit. In comparison, the water screens are more than twice the size of an average 20-foot-by-40-foot movie screen.
- To create a surface on which animation can be projected, water screens pump 2,400 gallons of water into the air every minute, and if called upon, can fill the 500,000-gallon Disney-Hollywood Studios landmark Earffel Tower in less than three hours.
- During his battle against evil, Mickey encounters the villainous Jafar in the form of a 100-foot long and 16-foot high cobra that could fit more than 8,000 average size King Cobras in its coils.
- The mechanical Maleficent dragon in the climactic good vs. evil scene weighs an astonishing 32,000 lbs. To move the dragon’s enormous body and wings takes more than 2,000 PSI of hydraulic pressure.
- If stretched out, the river of fire during the Maleficent dragon scene would circle the entire one-mile tri-oval racetrack at Walt Disney World Speedway.
Great Movie Ride (“GMR”)
- When Disney built the GMR, they purchased a real Lockheed plane for that scene. It was cut in half, and the back of the plane can now been seen in the jungles of the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland.
- When you’re sitting in your car waiting for everyone to load in, ask to see the hidden Minnie (it's a shadow figure hard to spot). Also, when you’re in the underworld scene, look on the billboard. If you look at the far left hand corner, you'll see a Mickey foot and part of his tail. When Mugsy takes over the car, look up at the windows you drive by until you stop. Mickey's head is there (in the windows above the scene on the left-hand side). The last one I know of is Snow White's body imprinted on the poster next to the stairs where Mugsy stands.
- Pharaoh Mickey and Slave Donald are on the BACK wall on the opposite side from Indy and Salla, just as you're about to leave that room. It is about 1/3 of the way "up.”
- Also in the GMR...In the Egyptian-styled section, check out some of the wall tiles as fast as you can while the ride moves through. Most of them are normal hieroglyphs, but several have pictures of funny Hollywood Studios and Disney stuff. For example, one of the tiles has R2-D2 and another has C-3PO from Star Wars. There are a couple hidden Mickeys in there too.
- What is the significance behind the license plate number "021-429" on the car depicted in the gangster shoot-out sequence of "The Great Movie Ride?” It is the date of the Valentine's Day Massacre---Feb. 14, 1929.
- When you go into the Indiana Jones room, don't look at Indy. Keep looking at the wall to your left. Right before you leave the room, you'll see the Hidden Mickey and a Hidden Donald. They're in the last row of blocks before you exit that room, about halfway up the wall.
- Those talking/sound effects boxes are at Hollywood Studios. When you get off the tram back stage tour ride, walk through the building with all the costumes in it and go straight through the area where you can have photos taken with the phony backdrops. They are on the left hand side near the steam roller from Roger Rabbit.
- Two different scenarios in the ride: either have a gangster or a robber kick out the CM and take over your car. You never know which one you will get.
- Going into the Great Movie Ride, the lions at the front are not really lions. They are dogs! Supposedly, if you can tell the CM which one is the female, they will walk you through the back door, bypassing the line.
- On Hollywood Blvd at Hollywood Studios, read the names stenciled on the second floor windows. I recall seeing one that said 'Valiant Detective Agency' from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (it's above Hollywood and Vine Resttaurant on Echo Lake).
- Do you know where the Hollywood Hideaway is? This private VIP Lounge is tucked quietly away at the Disney-Hollywood Studios for use during private and special events, but it's really not that hard to find. When Guests need to know how to get to their special event, simply direct them to Drew Carey's Sounds Dangerous attraction. Radio Disney is right next to it, and behind Radio Disney...is the Hollywood Hideaway!!
- When you’re in line for Indiana Jones, you go past a well, I think to the right of the entrance. If you pull on the rope, you'll hear someone down in the well.
- If you exit the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular theater from the far right-side stairway (as you face the stage) pay attention as you go onto the landings, look for the hand of a CM rising above the railing holding the golden idol from the show's Mayan (or South American in the movie version) temple. The idea is to pat the head of the idol as you go past.
Lights! Motors! Action!
- There is a clothesline at the top of one of the buildings (during the stunt show, there is a stunt jump from there). One of the items of clothing on the line has Mickeys!!
The Magic of Disney Animation Secret
- You can enter from the exit and stand in line for the drawing/rendering opt. w/out going through the animation tour. Just ask a CM for directions. Every 15-20 min. (space is limited). There's a room where they have pencil and paper and a row of stools and artist type tables, and you get to draw a character while getting instructions from a Disney artist. It's fun and a great Disney souvenir for the kids! (If you don't have time right after the tour, you can leave and come back at a slower time.)
- Look for the key under the doormat at Muppets 3D. Just after you go through the turnstile, go to your right and you’ll find a welcome mat. Take a peek underneath it.
- In the preshow for Muppet*Vision, in the front, there is a display that says “2D Fruities” and has a bunch of flat models of fruit.
- In the preshow Muppet 3D room at Hollywood there is a net full of green Jell-O hanging from the ceiling. It signifies Annette Funicello.
- If you go across the street from the Muppetvision show at Hollywood (away from Indy Jones and sort of toward the Shrunk playground), there is a fire hydrant that sprays water at unpredictable intervals.
- Read the graffiti on the walls!
New York Street
- On the street in the New York neighborhood, you can hear gangsters talking and gun shots inside the buildings.
- Check out the "Singing in the Rain" umbrella that is attached to one of the streetlights near the old Hunchback theater. Grab the umbrella and step on the black square embedded in the cement underneath it for a nice surprise!
One Man’s Dream
- In Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, if you look closely at Walt Disney's grade-school desk, you can see the initials "W.D." carved into it.
- The time that a certain clock is stopped at in Walt Disney: One Man's Dream is the same time that Walt Disney was pronounced to be dead.
Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (“RNR”)
- In the inside queue for Rock n Roller Coaster....where it loops around a few times (right before you enter the ramp area to the preshow)--On the wall (if you are looking straight back into the room it's the wall on your right-hand side), there is a framed poster on the wall that was the cover of a record album. On the poster is a large American flag. The flag was added to the poster after people complained that the large pot leaf on the poster at the time was not appropriate on a Disney ride. If you look closely at the American flag sticker, you can see the dark shape of the pot leaf still underneath it.
- Where in WDW can you find the "Highland Apts.?”--The alley behind the Aerosmith's studio by the launch area of RNR.
- While waiting to tour Studio C, listen at the doors to Studio A and B, you will hear sounds from real recording sessions some of which came from Aerosmith's rerecording for the coaster.
- While waiting to tour Studio C, you will hear PA calls for various people. These individuals being called are the Imagineers of the attraction.
- Take a look at safety signs in the form of a guitar in the parking structure. It is a tribute to Elvis.
- One of the PA announcements in the G-force records lobby is something to the effect of "phone call for Jude on line one...Hey, Jude, pick up line one!"
- In the attraction, take a look at the AC power boxes and other electrical boxes. On these, you will see the initials and birthdays of the Imagineers.
- The music posters in the rotunda will change out (as will the background music in the plaza) since G Force is a record company, and things are always changing in the music biz.
- Next time you are in the Rock 'n Roller Coaster ride notice the License plates: (a) 1QKLIMO, (b) UGOGIRL, (c) BUHBYE, (d) 2FAST4U, (e) H8TRFFC.
- There is a hidden Mickey on the Rock 'n Roller Coaster in the recording studio. If you look to your right on the floor, the sound cables are coiled in the shape of Mickey.
- Did you know that in Rock 'n Roller Coaster, each limo plays a different Aerosmith track? I forgot how many tracks there were though. Some include F.I.N.E, Dude (looks like a lady), Nine Lives, Sweet Emotion, Walk This Way, Love in an Elevator, and I can't remember what else. Did you also know that when the ride ends, if you were in the limo that played Love in an Elevator, the lyrics change to Love in a Roller Coaster?
- On the exit side, come out of store, make a left, and look up at the building. "M" draped flags are there (posts protruding from the building with material draped over them, creating "M".
- DH found a Hidden Kermit on line for Star Tours! There are several droids on your right side just around the corner from the loading zone. One of the droids looks like an animatronic Kermit the Frog without the green skin.
- As you're leaving the droid room entering the staging area, look up and you'll see 2 mechanical birds--a neat homage to the 2 crows (ravens?) on Splash Mt. just before the big drop.
- A little Star Tours tip. Listen to the announcements. I'm not sure if they still do it, but they used to page an Egroeg Sacul. George Lucas backwards. Also listen for the reference to THX1138, seen in all of Lucas' films!
Tower of Terror (“TOT”)
- As you are walking through the lobby, you see a pair of glasses with lenses broken. This honors the Twilight Zone's episode with Burgess Meredith: the last man on earth after an atomic blast who LOVES to read. He finds the remnants of a library and is all set to finally read to his heart's content, when he accidentally breaks his glasses!! (Glasses also make a HM.)
- Images of Mickey Mouse have been hidden throughout the attraction by mischievous Imagineers. During the entire show, for example, the little girl is holding a Mickey Mouse doll (one of the first Mickey Mouse dolls ever made, and it is the only Hidden Mickey that the design team has confirmed). Also, look for the famous silhouette of three circles along the balcony railing just before you enter the building and as a water stain on the wall in the boiler room. Although probably not intentional, the bell for the elevator above Rod Sterling’s head in the Library film also bears a resemblance to those famous mouse ears. A reference to Mickey can also be seen in the sheet music in the Library which is a copy of actual music written in the 1930s.
- The luggage in the lobby is a complete set made from genuine alligator skin. While looking through a 1930s furniture catalog, Imagineers decided to call the company to see if they were still in business. They were, and Walt Disney Imagineering had them reproduce two settees for the lobby.
- Imagineers had mahjongg players set up the game in the lobby so guests who know how to play the game can see that it is authentic.
- The top speed for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is said to be about 39mph.
- When you board the elevator, on the left side, outside of the elevator itself, is an inspection certificate that's dated Oct. 31, 1939 and signed by "Cadwallader." Cadwallader was a character in the sixth Twilight Zone episode, "Escape Clause" who actually turned out to be the Devil himself. The inspection certificate number is 10259, which is cool because The Twilight Zone's first episode ("Where Is Everybody") premiered on Oct. 2, 1959.
- In the Fifth Dimension scene on the Foxtrot side, the swirling stars form a Hidden Mickey just before they disappear.
- This is an unofficial hidden Mickey, but when the elevator doors open the first time in the long hallway, if you look up at the hallway, where there is a slight kind of doorway overhead there is a hidden Mickey right in the dead center. It's pretty easy to see. Just look straight ahead in the middle upwards.
- Has anyone seen the dummy from a Twilight Zone episode? When you are on TOT and your elevator gets to the bottom and you turn toward your door, he is sitting in a chair off to the side.
- The bldg. is 199’ tall. It was supposed to be 200’, but for a structure 200’ tall, you need lights at the top for airplanes to see. So it is 199 feet tall to keep the spooky feeling!
- In Tower of Terror, when you first go into the library to watch the movie, go all the way to the right by a bookshelf and there will be a book open of a song and the title is "What, no Mickey Mouse?"
- As soon as you enter the lobby, on the right is the concierge desk with glasses on it. On the wall behind and above it is a large, dark plaque that says AAA13 Diamond Award hotel.
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See AllDIS UPDATES
- Changes coming to Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party? - An update is rumored for this parade later this year, possibly around October. Possible changes are new music; Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald moving to the top of the floats; and Stitch joining the fun. Sebastian, Lumiere, and The Mad Hatter will leave the parade.
- During pool rehab, Polynesian guests will have free admission to Blizzard Beach - Originally, the resort guests were just going to be given one-day tickets to the water park, but that has been changed. They will now have complimentary unlimited admission to Blizzard Beach during their stay at the Polynesian.
- List of restaurants participating in the 2015 Disney Dining Plan - This list will be updated as more restaurants are added. Epcot and Downtown Disney restaurants don't normally finalize their participation until later in the year.
- 2015 Magic Your Way Disney World packages released! - A Walt Disney World package is a resort room and theme park admission. The Disney Dining Plan may also be added.
- Happy 15th Birthday to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! - The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.
- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
- Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings for August - List of authors and artists coming to the theme parks for signings and merchandise releases.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
- Blog - Five Reasons Why We're Not Seeing "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in Theaters
- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
See AllDISNEY NEWS STORIES
- Walt Disney World 2015 packages now available to book
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions
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Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
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Extra Magic Hours Morning: Animal Kingdom