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.
This list is current as of 6/25/07.
General Info—(1) Walt designed the parks so when you pass from land to land, you don't see the others. If you where in Liberty Square, you can't see Fantasyland, trees, buildings, and distractions like the water wheel. The noise keeps you from looking to your left and seeing the other lands (even the pavement changes to match the new [mood] land). (2) Small pipes shoot the trash through the utilidors under the Magic Kingdom at 60 mph. (3) If there are 2 lines and you can't see the loading area from where you are, take the line to the left. (4) In the MK, you will rarely see a Frontierland CM walking around in Tomorrowland. Most CMs arrive to work in their own clothes and then check in at costuming to pick up their costume. When going on breaks etc., they use the tunnel system under the MK (ground level, as you most know) to travel between lands, as not to ruin the effect of each land. (5) Ever notice there isn't a lot of gum stuck on rides, trees, waiting areas in WDW? That's because they don't sell it, just for this reason. (6) There are more than 20,000 different colors of paint used in Walt Disney World. (7) If you were to wash and dry one load of laundry every day for the next 44 years, you'd clean about as much as the Cast Members at the Walt Disney World Laundry do in a single DAY! (8) The Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue in MK, did everyone see what is on Walt's right finger ring? (9) I remember reading that the walkway in MK is red because Walt wanted to lay out the "red carpet" for all guests. (10) This goes along with the characters. They watch the color of the cement behind the scenes. When it changes color, they know that they have to be in character before they enter the parks. The same goes with leaving. As long as they are on that color, they must be in character even if it is behind the gates. That is, in case the gates are not closed and a child or anyone can look and see them. So, they are not allowed to take the costume off be out of character. They don't want anyone to see Mickey without his head. (11) On the Keys to the Kingdom tour they mention that in WDW no trash can will ever be more than 30 steps away from you. It seems that Walt went to other parks when he was designing the park and counted how long a person would hold onto a piece of trash before dropping it on the ground. He came up with 30 steps.
Celebrity Voices--Many celebrity voices—(1) Tim Curry as S.I.R. in Alien Encounter to Pee Wee Herman in Star Tours.(2) And, while he's not widely known for much more than being the voice of Tony the Tiger, check out the official Disney section of this Thurl Ravenscroft fan site to get in on all of the voices that you know and love on Disney attractions that Thurl provided like the drunken pirate, the singing dog, and one of the minstrels in Pirates; Fritz in the Tiki Birds; Buff the buffalo head in Country Bear Jamboree; and you can hear -- and SEE -- Thurl as busted bust singing Grim Grinning Ghosts in The Haunted Mansion.
Parking Lot—(1) The MK Parking Lot only 6 of the 7 dwarfs have a lot named after them! There is Sleepy, Dopey, Happy, Grumpy, Bashful, and Sneezy. No Doc! Why no Doc? Because while naming the sections in the world's 3rd largest parking lot, the designers were afraid people might get the Boat Dock and the Parking Lot "Doc" confused. (2) You could fit all of DisneyLand into the MK Parking Lot and still have room to park 500 cars!
Phones--One in Tomorrowland under the TTA and Astro Orbiter. There's also one in one of the shops on Main Street (candy store?). I believe there may be one in the Main Street Railroad Station??? Pick them up and listen to the interesting conversations.
Afternoon Parade—(1) Find a place in Frontierland to watch the afternoon parade. Choose a late lunch. Once you have a parade spot and have planted yourself there, send one person for food either at the burger place or back around by Pirates at the taco stand. (They branch out from the same center kitchen). Then eat while you are waiting. Don't spend 35 minutes eating lunch (or longer at peak time) then another 45 waiting for the parade--combine!!! (2) If you are near the beginning of the parade, once it is done, go the wrong way in traffic (it will be a challenge!!!) and head back into Pirates, Tree House, Magic carpets, Jungle Cruise. They will be deserted.
Aladdin--The Golden Camel in front of the Aladdin ride (Adventureland MK) is controlled by someone hidden nearby and shoots unwary guests as they walk by. I stood there taking video from a distance and laughed my head off. Whoever was controlling it was able to nail a few people in the back of the head!
Astro Orbiter—Hidden Mickey-- near one of the stability pillars in front of Astro Orbiter on the side facing Space Mountain. It is definitely an imprint of a classic Mickey in the cement.
Big Thunder Mtn.—(1) Walk to the exit from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Behind the fence (on the left side as you exit the ride), between two metal carts and behind a cactus is a cutout in the reddish rock that resembles a side profile of Tinker Bell. (2) Three rusty gears lying on the grass as you reenter the station. (3) In queue area for Big Thunder, look for crate that says, "Lytum & Hyde Explosives Company."
Buzz Lightyear—(1) A CM at the end of the Buzz Lightyear ride (just before the gift shop area) may choose you to find a hidden Disney Character somewhere in the area from the entrance of the shop forward. The character I found was Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch) but I'm not going to say where...find this one ahead of time, just in case you're picked, because you get a free copy of your picture and a free souvenir if you can point it out in under five minutes! (2) The big points in Buzz are found leaving the first room. Turn around and shoot the back of the Orange robots arm or the back of the buzz saw. 100,000 points. The car turns automatically away form these so turn back score big! (3) In the very last Buzz Lightyear room where you are still able to shoot, look forward at the top left corner, there's a planet with Mickey on it. This same planet is also on the map of planets in the waiting area just as you enter. The planet is blue, if that helps you any.
Carousel of Progress—(1) There is a Picture of Walt Disney hidden in the CoP. It is in the daughter's room in the 1940s on the wall you are facing as you sit in front of the stage wall in the upper left corner (2) You should be able to spot four Hidden Mickeys in the final scene. Mickey appears as a nutcracker on the fireplace mantle, a plush peeking out from a present, a white peppermill on the kitchen counter, and an abstract painting on the dining room wall. (3) The voice of the grandfather in the final scene is the voice of the man who was the main character voice in the original 1964 Worlds Fair version. Mel Blanc is the voice of Cousin Orville. Mel's son, Noel, is the voice of some of the characters on the radio in the earlier scenes. The current voice of the main character you may recognize as the voice of the narrator from "A Christmas Story". "Can't get no privacy” line sounds faintly like Yosemite Sam. (4) The dog holding the keys in Pirates of the Caribbean and the dog in Carousel of Progress are both Walt Disney's dog, or so I've heard.
Castle—(1) Sit in the outer edge of the Plaza restaurant...basically look at the castle, find the wire that goes from the castle down to the restaurant rooftop on the right, and go get a seat under it. TinkerBell will fly down that wire and right over the top of your heads! (2) I haven't seen this one posted, but it was fun for my kids to discover the little mice up in the rafters of the lobby of the castle. Gus and Jacques in the throne room at Cinderella’s Royal Table. (3) Behind the castle is a fountain with Cinderella. If you bend down and look at the fountain, the crown on the back wall appears to crown Cinderella. (4) On Cinderella’s Carrousel is the only place in Fantasyland where you can see a picture of Cinderella running with her prince to their carriage after just being married. (5) When you take a walk down Main Street, take a good close look at the castle. You will notice that the "bricks" get smaller the higher up the castle goes. The Imagineers called it the "forced perspective" technique. The castle looks a little taller than it would if all the "bricks" were the same size. (6) Stand behind Cinderella’s castle during the Cinderella surprise celebration show. Peter pan and Hook have to run from the top of the castle to the stage and they use that area by Tink's treasures. It's really funny too. They will do something silly, and peter will make a comment about the chase! (7) Inside the walls of the walk-through of the castle are several mosaics. On the mosaic wall farthest from the entrance are the two stepsisters, Anastasia and Drusilla. The mosaic shows one of them with a red face and the other with a green face. Red with Rage and Green with envy!!! (8) There are approx. one million mosaics to make up the scenes. (9) This may have already been mentioned, but if you sit on the stone ledge on the side of the castle, you will hear Stitch giggle and tell you to be quiet because he's hiding. The kids got a kick out of that when I told them to sit there for a break.
Characters—(1) If you see a human character, like Mary Poppins, ask them a question about their movie and they go right into character. I had Mary doing supercalifragilistic backwards! Kiss all the female "non-human hands" and watch their reaction. (2) During the morning session about 15 min. before Buzz and Woody are scheduled to come out, the Army men come out in their Jeep and do a preshow. They choose 8-9 kids that were there early to line up. They had them shout their names and handed them weapons. Buzz and Woody made their appearance for a group photo with all of them. (3) Cinderella comes into the downstairs lobby of "Cinderella's Royal Table" restaurant a few times a day, and you don't have to eat your meal there. (4) The characters at the Fairy Tale Favorites line at the Toontown Hall of Fame change on the hour, but the Mickey's Friends and Pooh Friends are the same all the time. Go late in the hour, come out, and jump back in line for the top the hour. Some characters might pop out from behind the Judges Tent.
Cinderella’s Carousel—(1) There is only one horse on the carousel that has a gold ribbon on its tail. This particular horse is rumored to be Cinderella's favorite. (At least that's what the fairy godmother said.)
Country Bears--The claw marks on the floor of The Country Bear Jamboree.
Fantasyland--When you go to Sir Mickey's Shop in Fantasyland, look at where the roof meets the walls. You will see Willie the Giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk peeking into the shop.
Fireworks--If you don't need to see Tinkerbell fly or see the front of the castle while watching the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, go BEHIND the castle to see the fireworks. The view is fantastic, and you don't have to fight crowds. In fact, we usually grab a seat at one of the outdoor restaurants and enjoy! Nice to sit down after a long day at the MK.
Food—(1) Get a Dole Whip at Aloha Isle at MK. (2) Eating lunch at The Pinocchio Village Haus and looking out of the window that overlooks the loading/unloading area inside of It's A Small World. Pinocchio's Village Haus is made up of seven themed rooms. They are named Blue Fairy, Cleo, Figaro, Jiminy Cricket, Monstro, Stromboli, and Geppetto's Workshop. Also, one of the chairs has a Mickey head in the craved into the back it. (3) Not sure if this counts as a theme park secret, but it is very helpful if you have small children. The sticks from the Mickey Bar Ice Cream will fit through the slit in a soda cup top. This works great at catching ice cream drips for the little ones. (4) Try having a late evening meal or snack outside on the second story balcony of Pinocchio's Village Haus as the lights are coming on at night in Fantasyland. All the trees and rides are lit up and it is a wonderful spot to sit and relax! (5) The talking trash can in the McDonalds restaurant by the AllStars. My husband was so startled by it that he actually dropped his tray into the trash!
FrontierLand--At the Frontierland RR Station, look for a wooden leg named Smith. It is a reference to a joke in Mary Poppins. "I knew a man with a wooden leg named Smith." "What's the name of his other leg?"
Haunted Mansion—(1) After riding the elevator/stretching room down, as you walk to the cars, there is a lobby with a desk and lamp. On the desk is a dictionary that is turned to the word death. This is not easy to see since it’s supposed to be behind a barrier, but go ahead and look because nobody is there to stop you....or is there...(2) The Bride's Ring (thrown from the attic and trampled into the ground by the invisible horse) by the mansion exit. (3) Hidden Mickey on dining room table, in the library, and on the right hand corner of the spirit. (4) Hidden Mickey, as you face Liberty Square and are at the iron gate. Look to the left--the thing that holds the gate at the bottom is a Hidden Mickey. (5) If you're by the Haunted Mansion at night, look up at the top story right above the front door. If you watch it for a while, you'll notice a light pass by it and some shadows. It looks like 2 people are walking by with a lantern. (6) When you go to board the doom buggies at the Haunted Mansion, notice the last bat head before you board has no features on it, it is smooth from all the hands rubbing over it through the years. (7) The 17th-century mansion of Master Gracie is supposedly on the Hudson River. The Hall of Presidents is supposed to represent Pennsylvania. I think the river for the paddle boat was supposed to be on the Mississippi, but my notes are a little confusing to even me. Also, have to check what Tom Sawyer's Island actually represented. The diamond horseshoe is at the gateway to the west, St. Louis MO. The old wooden cottage of the Country Bear Jamboree symbolically represents Colorado. (8) The top architecture is very easy to recognize as chess pieces. The architect was famous for building structures that had chess pieces as a part of the structure. When he was commissioned to build the HM, he continued his "signature" and added some chess piece architecture to the top of it. The only chess piece missing from the outside is the knight. This is because it is always (k)night INSIDE! (9) Hidden Donalds--red velvet chairs in the hallway area--Donald's face is on the whole "back" of the chair. (CM said there were 2 Donalds, 5 Mickeys, and a hidden ring.) (10) At the HM, the carriage in the courtyard is being led by an invisible horse, notice the hoof prints (go at night if you can). The invisible horse is called "Old Glue" or "Elmer" and the black hearse is the same one used in a John Wayne movie called THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER. Follow the hoof prints (and wheel tracks of the hearse) out to the area where the fast pass machines are housed. This is called the Stable because you can see horse whips, bridles, and horse shoes hanging down from above (10) Stand in front of the hearse at the Haunted Mansion and listen. You will hear the "ghost" horse whiney. (11) In the pet cemetery at the very, very back, in the top left corner (I think), you can see Mr. Toad! (12) Loeota Toombs (Thomas) was the woman on the gravestone and the small bride right before you exit urging you to "hurry back"--this is actually her voice played here. She is the head in the crystal ball, but the voice of the crystal ball Leota is actually Eleanor Audley, who did the voice for Maleficent and Lady Tremain (from Cinderella). Leota was not an Imagineer, she was part of the costuming department (wigs). Walt saw her as he was touring the department and said, "You've got a face that should be in the Haunted Mansion." What he meant was that she was quite beautiful, and he wanted her likeness as the now-famous Madame Leota. (13) At one point in the ride, you fall out of an attic window and die! I think this occurs when your doom buggy turns backwards and you make that steep descent...supposedly, if you pay close attention, the ghosts have not acknowledged you before that point, but after you "die," you enter the party scene, and that's when they acknowledge you for the first time! (14) The creepy organ music you hear in the stretching room is just "Grim Grinning Ghosts" slowed way down. You are hearing one song on the whole ride starting very slow and getting faster as the ride goes on. (15) The "hands" on the clock are actually FINGERS !?!?!?!?!? (16) The one-winged bat really has both wings--one is extended as if stretching the wing and the other is still by the side of the body !!! (Once you leave the stretching room and make your way through the queue to your doom buggy, you pass posts to which the chains are attached. Those posts have bats at the "head" or top of them. There are three "one-wing-stretched" posts. Look where you make your turns to change the direction the line moves. (17) Towards the end of the grave yard of the Haunted mansion (while inside the ride), there is a ghost in a window-type thing holding some keys well the key holder. (18) In the Haunted Mansion in the ballroom scene, there is an old lady sitting in a rocking chair. This animatronic figure is a duplicate made from the Grandmother in one of the side scenes of the Carousel of Progress. That's kind of cool. (19) The well in front of the Haunted Mansion contains an Info Red Emitter (which activates the Info Red Receptor in Pal Mickey's nose). (20) 2nd ring in the pavement is a "fairy ring" formed by paving stones just beyond the well. This marks the spot where a huge oak tree once stood. It was removed when the fast pass machines were put in. If you stand in the middle of the fairy ring on the night of a full moon and call out "Leota" three times, she will come briefly to one of the upper windows of the mansion with her candle. (21) The area from the well to the building entrance is called the Colonnade. Towards the end of the Colonnade is the Family Plot with Imagineer "credits" on the tombstones. (22) A berm behind the Family Plot conceals the gigantic building for the ride -- none of which takes place in the brick mansion! (23) The Foyer is the only spot in the mansion in which you can take a flash photograph. (24) Six separate images are in the Aging Portrait above the fireplace as the young man ages and decays. The portrait was inspired by an Oscar Wilde novel called THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. (25) The Foyer and two Stretch Rooms form a Hidden Mickey. (25) Sidestepp the ride and use the exit on the right side of the Foyer to find a little corridor leading to the exit side of the mansion (used as a VIP or wheelchair entrance). In the passage, is a row of servant bells. Though the attic is not one of the locations for which there is a bell, Madame Leota has one. (26) Be among the first to exit for the Doom Buggies by standing on the side with the painting of the lady with the parasol (a painting of Master Gracey's first wife who was lured to her death by the machinations of Madam(e) Leota). (27) Who is the woman who screams in the stretch room? Some say this is the voice of a woman who has thrown herself down from the rafters and you can hear a dull thump at the end of the scream. (28) Notice the yellow bats painted on the conveyor of the load area. (29) Hippogriffs guarding two separate staircases. (30) There is a sea captain with a harpoon pictured in the Portrait Gallery. HM lore includes a story about the owner of the house being a sea captain who murders his bride. (And the weather vane at Disneyland's HM is a sailing ship!) (31) The piano player in the Music Room is invisible, but you can see his moving shadow on the floor. (32) The flowers in the conservatory wake scene are not dried out and shriveled (like the wreath on the mansion's front door). They are all still bright and alive. (33) There is a Hidden Tinker Bell in a pane of broken glass over the coffin! (34) A ghostly shadow of a claw sweep across the Ghostfather clock. (34) Look for the duelists who lean out of the paintings in the Grand Ballroom and shoot at each other. (35) Look for the Lon Chaney PHANTOM OF THE OPERA poster in the attic. (You can only see it when the lights are on.) (36) There are stars twinkling overhead in the graveyard scene! Notice that the outside of this house looks nothing like the brick manse outside. (37) A shaggy haunt by the singing executioner (and the knight) is the very same haunt who appears as one of the Hitchhiking Ghosts at the end! These three are Phineas, Ezra, and Gus.
It’s a Small World—(1) There is only one nation or region whose name is actually written out anywhere in the attraction. Look carefully for the small hat with the name "Mexico" written on it as you venture through the South American portion of the ride! (2) Only two of the figures represent the United States. The cowboy and the Eskimo. (3) The hidden Mickey banner on the ceiling of It's a Small World. In the Jungle room of Small World, the purple vines hanging from the ceiling are all Mickey's. (4) In the African Section, right above the giraffe on the right side of the boat there are some leaves. One leaf is in the shape of Mickey's silhoutte. We thought that was pretty cool. (5) In the Australia scene, there is a kangaroo bobbing back and forth, and the shadow of it on the wall makes a hidden Mickey.
Jungle Cruise—(1) At the exit of the Jungle Cruise, there is a large black board with list of missing persons and boats. The names are like Ben Eaton for people and Run Aground Sue for boats. (2) Hidden Minnie--As you are coming to the end of the Cambodian temple, on the left side there are areas of the wall that look like it's been worn away. One of these worn away areas is Minnie in profile. This was pointed out to me by the tour guide on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. (3) As you are entering the Jungle Cruise, stop and look at the truck parked at the entrance. The spare tire has been placed on the front over the radiator and the two headlights line up as the ears. (4) Each of the scenes in the Jungle Cruise attraction is taken from the True-Life Adventure Film Series that Walt Disney produced in the early 1960's. (5) During the Jungle Cruise rehab in early 2000, the concrete was reworked outside the queuing area. A profile hidden Mickey is present as an impression in the concrete work just before entering the queue. It is off to the right before the main entrance. You can see it as a puddle after it rains. (6) In the new Jungle cruise FastPass area, there are several inside jokes. The machines are made to look like crates. One is addressed to "Trader Sam's Cranial Curios, London, England", and one is addressed to Pamela Perkins President of the AC. Several of the items in the storage cage are addressed to various characters at the Explorers' Club (at Pleasure Island). (7) While on queue at the Jungle Cruise, one hears assorted scratchy 1930s records played over the PA system with a somewhat witty DJ bantering and making corny announcements and reading "the jungle news" on Congo's KBGO. One of the songs he plays is "You're the Top", by Cole Porter, and parts of the lyrics, which are very clearly audible and discernible go like this: "You're the melody/from a symphony/by Strauss!/You're an O'Neill drama!/You're Whistler's mama!/You're Mickey Mouse!" (8) Listen to the chanting tribesmen--one of them says "we love disco.” (9) The thatched roof material around Jungle Cruise is actually made of metal not straw (reach up and touch it).
Liberty Square—(1) We found the best place to see characters was the Riverboat in Liberty Square. You can't guarantee who will be on the boat, but it usually includes either Mickey or Minnie. We went twice, and both times there were at least 7-8 characters on board. It's not well advertised, and we had a chance to see them all with little or no waiting. It was only done for part of the day. (2) The Liberty Tree well over 100 years old (a.k.a. Southern Live Oak). The 13 lanterns hanging in the tree represent the original 13 colonies. (3) Listen for the subtle music changes between lands in the MK. Also notice how the pavement changes as well, especially as you travel across the nation and through time from Liberty Square (the Colonial Eastern US) into the Frontierland (western US). (4) In Liberty Square, where they have the building fronts with just door after door stop and take a look at them. (This is the area right behind the outdoor eating area.) The addresses on the doors are all two numbers. If you put 18 in front of it, that is the style of door that they would have had for that year. As you walk along, you can see the progression of the style. From the windows to the hardware to the door and window styles themselves. (5) There are no bathrooms located in Liberty Square, in keeping with the time period of that area. (6) As you enter the Columbia House Restaurant from the Fantasy Land end nearest Peter Pan's Flight (London), it is decorated to represent England and as you walk through, the decor changes to early American. What thought was put into all of this. As we change lands Fantasyland to Liberty Square, we are virtually crossing the Atlantic when you enter the Columbia House Restaurant end nearest the Small World attraction leaving the Old World Behind to make our fortunes in the New World. (7) In Liberty Square in MK, all of the shutters are hung slightly at an angle. This is because during the revolutionary war, England stopped shipping the US almost everything made of metal because the colonials would melt them down for bullets. One thing they did continue to ship was shutters. The colonials would take the metal hinges off the shutters to melt down for bullets and would hang the shutters with leather straps. Over time, the leather would stretch out, causing the shutters to hang at an angle. (8) Liberty Square was supposed to represent the East Coast of the United States all the way across to the Train station behind Splash Mountain which was to represent the West Coast of the United States. Pennsylvania is the "Liberty Tree and the Liberty Bell.” The small bridge and creek next to the "hat" shop near the shooting gallery is referred to by CMs as the "Little Mississippi.” (9) In Liberty Square (?Frontierland), look down at the main walkway (which is also the parade route). Instead of just plain cement, there's also and area a couple feet wide that goes all the way down the walkway and looks like a brownish/yellow gravel. In frontier times, the streets had a urine trough in them for the all of the horse urine. The gravel area represents the urine trough. (10) Liberty Square Christmas shop--Look closely! It's actually three separate shops with the walls opened between them. They are supposed to be owned by three different colonial families--a German family, a woodcarver's family, and a musician's family. (11) Once again…Did you know that from Liberty Square to Frontierland actually has a geographical "map" to it? Liberty Square was supposed to represent the East Coast of the United States all the way across to the Train station behind splash Mountain which was to represent the West Coast of the United States. The 17th-century mansion of master Gracie is supposedly on the Hudson River. The Hall of Presidents is supposed to represent Pennsylvania. I think the river for the paddle boat was supposed to be on the Mississippi. The diamond horseshoe is at the gateway to the west, St. Louis MO. The old wooden cottage of the Country Bear Jamboree symbolically represents Colorado. Big Thunder Mountain and the tiny town of Tumbleweed were near Monument Valley, MT., and lastly, the train stopped in Frontierland represented California. (WHEW!) (12) Hidden park in Liberty Square in the back of the Christmas Store. (13) The large bell is made from the same mold as the Liberty Bell. (14) Look at the 2nd story windows in Liberty Square. One has a rifle and another has 2 lanterns for "1 of by land, 2 if by sea.”
Main Street—(1) Talking Goofy, if it is still there. On Main Street right by the entrance, there is a Goofy statue sitting on a bench. When you sit by him he talks. (2) Check out the old-style phone in the General Store (on the right side of the street as you're headed in). Pick up the receiver and listen in to a conversation going on. At this little shop called the Main Street Market House, there is a phone mounted on the wall. If you pick up the receiver, you can hear a conversation between a mother and her daughter, Annie. They discuss what they are going to buy at the store, the cost of certain items, and how to attract a man. Every now and then, a nosey eavesdropper, Miss Klump, listens in and is politely told to hang up by the mother. When I asked the Cashiers at the store about it, they just replied, "Of course the tenants upstairs!" or something like that. (3) Tony's Town Square Restaurant—(a) At the back of the restaurant, there is a beautiful three-paned dark blue window, through which you can see the shadowy silhouettes of Lady and the Tramp sharing their late-night meal of spaghetti. (b) A checker board outside of La Chapeau in the MK. It is right next to Tony's right by the flagpole. It was a great five minute break from the hustle and bustle of the trip. (c) The Lady and the Tramp paws in front Tony’s at MK. (4) There is a shop on Main Street that will do a silhouette of a child's profile. About $5-$7. They don't take credit cards; you could only pay cash or charge it to the room. (5) Be at Magic Kingdom at dusk for the flag lower ceremony. (6) If you turn down the first side street to your right on Main Street on a more quiet day and look up at the windows that have signs that say something like "music lessons", you'll hear a voice practicing scales and someone tap dancing. You can't always hear it; it has to be pretty quiet. (7) Not sure if it's a "secret" or not but one of my favorite lesser-known attractions is the Expo Hall of Main Street. (a) There's a small theater that shows old Disney cartoons (like the old Main Street Cinema but in color and with seats!), a couple exhibits, some nice photo opportunities, and usually in the late morning I've seen a variety of Disney Princesses there (Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, Mary Poppins). (b) Most characters come from the Hall to the outside for meet and greets. Every character that came through stopped to say hi or mess with us. It was air-conditioned and no lines to stand in! (c) There is a Mr. Toad ride vehicle behind a curtain in Exposition Hall!! (8) The entrance to the park is like a theatre. The ticket area is like a lobby. Then, you go through the tunnels lined with "coming attraction"-type posters. The train station is the curtain, and when you go through it, you're in the “show.” Now, for the credits--If you look up at the names on the windows of the buildings along Main Street, you see the names of all the people who were responsible for building the park. The very last name is Walt's. It is on the backside of the last building on the right (ice cream parlor?). It seems like he's almost hidden from view, but Roy wanted him there so that he would always have a view of the castle. Walt is the last name as you walk in (being the director, always listed last at the beginning of a movie), and he is first on the way out (being the director - always listed first at the end of the movie). Some of the names (e.g., M.T. Lott) are both references to dummy corporations used by the Disney Company and inside jokes referring to the Imagineers, etc. (9) Main Street is designed, through forced perspective, to look as if it's much longer than it is when you're heading towards the castle. In the mornings, you are all excited and have the energy to walk. When you're walking away from the castle towards the exit, it looks shorter. That's good for the way out when you're all tired. Also, since most people walk on the right side of the street, all the food shops are on the right as you enter for those wanting breakfast, while the shops are on your right on the way out! (And when you walk into the shops on your right, they have stuff for a day in the park [cameras, water bottle holders, etc]. When you are coming out, all the shops on your right have gifts and souvenirs. (10) The fire station on Main Street is Station No. 71. The Park opened in 1971. (11) Have the whole family go into the Barber Shop for a coloring job! Free of charge and painted little Mickey heads on the back of the kids heads. Barber sprinkled 'Mickey dust' on all of us. (11) Be leisurely when leaving the MK. It was so nice to walk around the lands going back from BTMR to Main Street, just looking around and enjoying the empty feeling. Also, get yourself a spot in front of the castle at about 30 minutes after the park closing. You'll be treated to the "kiss goodnight" from the castle...something really cool to see. (12) Main Street Railroad—(a) Following Hurricane Charley, a tree that was uprooted was cut up and some of the trunk pieces arranged as a Mickey head on a lawn, visible from the WDW railroad train a little ways past the Main St. station. May be temporary. (b) If you sit in the very last car, the one that is the little platform out the back, they will ask you to be the guest conductor. They get to yell, "All Aboard!" into the microphone and announce the different lands. (c) The telegraph you hear at the train station is tapping out Walt Disney's speech at Disneyland's opening in Code. (d) On one of the shelves (CMs can help you locate it), you can see Aladdin's lamp as well as other characters belongings waiting to be picked up at the train station. (e) “Go-away green." When you ride the MK Railway, there is a huge green building off on your left that you really never notice. the color of green does not draw the eye. (f) In the Train Station, you can find articles left by other "guests,” including Mary Poppins and other characters from Disney films. (g) Before the Magic Kingdom opens for the day, the WDW train is perfectly centered in front of the train station for those wishing to take pictures. It is the only time during the day that this occurs. (h) What is the motto of the Walt Disney world Railroad? Dreams are made to come true. (i) What are the names of the four genuine steam engine locomotives? Lilly Belle - Walt Disney - Roy Disney - Roger Brogg. (j) The Walt Disney World Railroad engines get a whopping 792’ per gallon of gas! (k) When you are in the waiting room of the railroad on Main Street, they have these antique Mutascopes. I thought they were just for display, but when you put a penny in, they actually work! There are 4 or 5 of them, and some of the lightbulbs were burned out so didn't work, but I know at least two of them did, and it only cost a penny to find out. The kids thought they were great. You put in a penny, start turning a crank and a short silent movie plays for you. (13) The chalkboard in the barbershop on Main Street has all the Hurricanes listed as if they were next to get haircuts. (14) In Town Square, there are a few flag poles with Amercan Flags on them. The main flag pole is always taken down during rain storms and right before sundown, but the rest of the flags are not taken down and that is because they are not real American flags. They look like American flags, but they are all missing a star or a stripe that makes them not actual American flags.
Mickey’s Philharmagic—(1) The carpeting when exiting Philharmagic has some Hidden Mickeys. (2) Look to the right of the "stage.” There are musical instruments going down the wall. Look closely at the tubing on the French Horn. You will see Mickey.
Peter Pan--In the nursery, over by Nana, there are some building blocks spelling out "DISNEY" and "P PAN."
Pirates—(1) Years ago, a maintenance guy (or Imagineer) named George was killed during the building of the Pirates ride. They say his ghost haunts the ride to this day. The workers have to say "goodnight George" before they shut down the ride each night, or there will be problems with the ride the next day. My 12-year old asked the attendant while we were boarding the boat if he said goodnight to George. He said of course! We don't want the ride to break down! The thread also said that if you yell out George 3 times during the fire scene, something "may" happen. The kids had a blast with this and yelled out even though people were looking at us! (2) The storyline of Pirates is a backward dream sequence, with the opening Bayou scene being the modern day. The portrait of the red-headed woman in the drunken skeleton room is actually a portrait of the red head being sold at the auction after she had been acclimated to the pirate lifestyle some years after her sale. (3) When in queue for Pirates of the Caribbean, the two skeletons playing chess have died playing because the chess game is at a stalemate-nobody can win. (4) On the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, on the first bridge that you go under into the next room, sitting on the bridge is a man with one of his legs hanging over and another man standing next to him. If you look at the face of the man sitting, it is the face of Sid Caesar. One of the designers really loved Sid Caesar and made the face to look this way. (5) Look at the ENTIRE lock at the dog/jail scene to see the hidden Mickey, not just at the keyhole. (6) Towards the end, when you pass under the bridge, the pirate sitting above you and his leg dangling…once upon a time, the red handkerchief sitting on the bridge beside him was between his toes dangling downward. Apparently, too many guests would stand up to try and grab the red hankie so they removed it from his toes and placed it on the bridge beside him. There is a gap between his big toe and second toe if you look. (7) The dog holding the keys in Pirates of the Caribbean and the dog in Carousel of Progress are both Walt Disney's dog, or so I've heard. (8) Just a little thing to notice...On Pirates, as you pass the auction scene, watch as the pirate on the left hand side fires his gun, the sign on the other side of the water "pings" and swings back and forth.
Riverboat—Ask to ride in the pilot house and receive official riverboat pilots certificates.
Snow White—(1) Mickey is hiding on the mural. He's by the flowers! (2) Look at the laundry hanging out to dry. One pair of shorts has Mickey polka dots.
Space Mountain—(1) One of the asteroids is actually a chocolate chip cookie! (2) Hidden Mickey in the last Red Star picture as you walk up the ramp in line. It is 3 white stars in the shape of a classic Mickey toward the middle left side of the picture.
Splash Mountain—(1) The opening of the top cave of Splash Mountain (the one you exit as you take the final plunge) is a hidden Mickey. It is noticeable from inside the cave and outside. It is profile shaped, not the traditional mouse and ears. (2) The queue for Splash Mtn is filled with great touches. In one, you can see the shadow of Brer toad sitting in a rocking chair and hear him singing. (3) Bird houses in the trees. I know when they first opened the ride you could listen and hear birds "talking" and "arguing" in the bird houses. (4) Notice the street lights when loading for Splash Mountain. One blinks when the boats are ready to go in motion. (5) There is a tiny hidden Mickey on a barrel (where the paint looks like it oozed down the side) right before your first fall into the inside of the ride. (6) The little critter, in the cave-like room just before the last drop.. He comes upside down out of the ceiling and says "Go FSU!" An imagineer that graduated from Florida State put it there. (7) There is a bridge outside the ride, right in front of the big drop. For every third log boat that hits bottom for the big drop, there is a water cannon that shoots up an extra bit of water and sprays the bridge, soaking everyone who happens to be standing there watching!
Swiss Family Treehouse--Outside the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse are crates with addresses to persons on them. I know I don't have the facts 100% accurate, but there's enough here to snag your interest. One is to Johann David Wyss (author of the book) It is being sent to McGuire Blvd (Dorothy McGuire was Mother Robinson ) and the other crate is to John Mills who was Father Robinson. And it was sent to Bora Danno. James MacArthur played son Fritz Robinson. James MacArthur later played as Jack Lord's (Det. Steve McGarrett) second-in-command Det. Danny ("Danno") Williams (1968-79), in Hawaii Five-0. The things you can learn if ya just slow down and listen.
T.T.A,--The attraction was ORIGINALLY called "The WEDway People Mover" from July 1, 1975, until the debut of the "New Tomorrowland" on June 11, 1994. Although the ride itself has remained essentially the same, the soundtrack has had several changes, some minor and some major: (a) the "WED" part of WEDway is for WED Enterprises, the original name for Walt Disney Imagineering (or WDI for short). WED is, of course, Walt's initials (Walter Elias Disney), (b) the model city the Tomorrowland Transit Authority passes is the model for Walt Disney’s personal vision of E.P.C.O.T., and (c) in the hair salon scene, look for a Hidden Mickey on the lady's belt buckle.
Tiki Room--My seven year old daughter befriended the cast member at the Tiki room before a lightly attended show. She was introduced as a "helper,” greeted everyone, and "woke up" Michael to start the show by tapping on his perch.
Tink’s Treasures-(1) If you want to wake Tink, go DIRECTLY to the store as soon as the park opens. The store is right behind the castle. My DD walked in and went up to the first CM we saw and asked, "Could I please wake up Tink this morning?" Being the first one in there, she was allowed to do so. They had her stand on a little stool, gave her a wand, and her tap the treasure box three times saying loudly, "Wake up Tink." As she did this, the lights and music started to play. They presented her with a certificate that said something along the line of "Had a Magical Moment." If you go into the store and hear the music, you know she has already been waked up. If it is quiet she is still sleeping. (2) Has anyone ever noticed that when you go into Tinker Bell's Treasure's shop that it is also divided into two sections? When you enter the door nearest the castle, you are actually in the Darling Children's nursery. The merchandise shelves are beds, dressers, chest of drawers etc. There are dolls, kites, and other toys all around the ledge at the top of the room. Then as you go to the other end, the shop is laid out as Cap't. Hook's ship.. There is even a "bridge" where one could imagine a ship's wheel. You can see the tree where the Lost Boys live. You will even get to see TinkerBell fly into one of the trunk/limb openings to warn the Lost Boys of Hooks "gift".
Tom Sawyer’s Island—Be the first to find the six hidden paintbrushes!
Tomorrow Land—(1) A talking trashcan is in Tomorrowland too! His name is Push. He comes out from Mickey's Star Traders every hour or so and roams for 20 minutes. (2) Near the Speedway on the way into Tomorrow land, there is a high streetlamp with three large round hooded lights. It was designed to cast a hidden Mickey on the ground twice a day when the sun is in the right place. (3) The metal "palm trees" in Tomorrowland fold up at night and open during the day just like flowers!
Toontown—(1) When you go to Minnie's house, make sure you turn all of the knobs in the kitchen. Hear the popcorn pop, etc. (2) Take the back walkway from Toontown to Tomorrowland and avoid the Toontown crowds. (3) Toontown is a concept that did not exist prior to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" This is Mickey's Toontown, the Florida version. Toontown opened in October 1996. Mickey, Minnie, and the gang all live in Disneyland. Their vacation homes are at Walt Disney World. Toontown had many things any town would have. A garage, a gas pump, a radio station, at least one farm, a farmers’ market, and homes (that Mickey and Minnie live in.). The first structure on your left is Pete's Garage (home to the Toontown public restrooms). On your right, you'll notice a small shack, home of W A C K-Y radio. (While you are inside Minnie's house be sure to listen to the radio in her living room. It is tuned in to W A C K-Y radio.) Next, you enter Goofy's barnstormer. As you enter the turnstiles, look up at the fans. On the wall to the left, do you see an outline of Goofy's face and hat? What is next to the "chicken exit"? As you leave the building, can you find a tribute to the Main Street Light Parade? It was coming back to Walt Disney World for an encore presentation. Just around the corner, you'll find one of Goofy's plants, POPcorn on the cob! Don't miss the scarecrow in Goofy's garden or the bell pepper "clappers" he is growing or the summer squash (some 'er not). Early in the morning you can hear all kinds of fun great sounds--farm animals, crop dusting engines etc., a countryside theme, a farm area. Where else would you expect to find the farmers’ market? This is the Florida countryside. When you go inside the farmers market, you'll see crates and bags of Florida citrus product. A nice tribute to the lands of Florida that they been built over. (4) If you go to Mickeys Toon Town entrance near the tea cups just before it opens at 10 a.m., you'll get an escort by several Disney characters to take you in.
Winnie the Pooh—(1) Deed being handed off in Owl's House. (2) Hidden Mickey on the wall to the right (FastPass side) where the FastPass line meets the regular line. (3) On the floor of the Pooh ride on the right in Owl's house there is a picture of Pooh and Moley from Mr. Toad (look to your left as you enter owl's house--a framed picture on the wall, just inside the doors). (4) 100 Acre Woods playground--go inside the tree and look above the door facing the Pooh ride, there is a hidden Mickey in the rocks.
- back to top -
- Limited Time Magic: Secret Santa Week - Visit the Town Square Christmas Tree on Main Street and see Duffy in his Christmas outfit. Other Disney characters will be located around the park. Get a special decorated keepsake card from each one as a souvenir.
- Limited Time Magic: Tour the Magic Kingdom with Phil Holmes - 25 lucky guests will get to tour the park with current Vice President Phil Holmes.
- Blog - Best Places to View EPCOT’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
- VIDEO: Holiday Storytellers - The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs - New to Holidays Around The World 2013 at Epcot in 2013 are the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs. The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs play multiple sets each day filled with Christmas songs done the Canadian way on the Mill Stage.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Jonathan Groff from FROZEN
- Guests at All Star Resorts will no longer receive Key to the World cards - As of 12/2/13, guests at All Star Sports Resort will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in. This will begin at All Star Music on 12/4/13 and at All Star Movies on 12/6/13. This system is already in place at Pop Century.
- VIDEO: it's a small world Holiday Full POV Ride-Through - The happiest cruise that ever sailed gets even merrier for the holidays. it's a small world, the 1964 World's Fair attraction that came to Disneyland in 1966, gets a full overlay for the holiday season including decorations and a new soundtrack!
- Atlanta Braves spring training tickets now on sale - The Atlanta Braves return to ESPN Wide World of Sports for their annual spring training. Tickets are first come/first served and the games take place at Champion Stadium.
- Blog - Give Kids the World Village and Giving Tuesday December 3, 2013
- VIDEO: Gran Fiesta Tour POV Ride-Through - Donald Duck disappears on his way to a Three Caballeros performance in Mexico City and his friends, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles, set out to search for him.
- Blog - Brewing Now: Joffrey’s Disney Parks Collection of Coffees
- Blog - A Brit’s Perspective – Visiting the UK in Orlando
- Specialty food and drink offered for holidays at Epcot - New this holiday season, each country will be serving a specialty food and drink.
- New bus loop at Magic Kingdom open - In addition to regular single stops, there are several double stops that will accommodate two regular buses or one of the new articulated buses.
- Limited Time Magic: Donate a Duffy the Disney Bear to Toys for Tots - Visit the Once Upon a Toy store or the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney and with every $5 purchase, Disney will donate a Duffy the Disney Bear toy to Toys for Tots.
- Limited Time Magic: Jolly Year of the Ear - Celebrate the season in style with Santa Mickey and Minnie Santa ear hats - only available for a short time at the Emporium at Magic Kingdom.
- Times and dates for Epcot holiday storytellers - Each country has its own special theme that highlights its culture. Storytellers will delight you with tales of their heritage and how the holidays are celebrated in their homeland.
- VIDEO: "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen in Celebrate the Magic - This holiday season, "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen is featured in Celebrate the Magic, the nighttime projection show on Cinderella Castle.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Happy Thanksgiving from the Magic Kingdom!
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: Turnstile-Free!
- New holiday entertainment for the Canada pavilion at Epcot - Follow the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs on a musical tour to discover the country's holiday customs.
- Blog - Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights 101
- Royal Caribbean is offering a $200 Onboard Credit and 50% Reduced Deposit! - The offer is only available for booking on December 2, 3 and 4, 2013.
- Disney Vacation Club members offered event at Splitsville Luxury Lanes - On December 2 and 9 from 5-6:45pm, the experience will include bowling, shoe rental, a shared appetizer, an entree (or kids' meal), a signature beverage and a special DVC gift.
- Several rehabs added for early 2014 - The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Festival of the Lion King, Kali River Rapids, and the Studio Backlot Tour have all been added to the rehab list.
- Aulani named Best for Families by Fodor's Travel - Aulani was recently named "Best for Families" by Fodor's Travel in their "Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts for 2013" list.
- Blog - Review: “Frozen”
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Limited Time Magic: Thanksgiving Treats Available - Special treats will be available at various locations in the theme parks.
- New Year's Eve dining info for Swan and Dolphin Hotels - The restaurants of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will be offering special New Year's Eve menus.
- Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can save up to 37% at select hotels - Discount is valid for travel between 1/4/14-3/18/14, 3/14/14-3/29/14, 1/19/14-3/13/14 and 3/30/14-4/12/14.
- Blog - Why I’m excited to take my baby on a Disney Cruise!
- Limited Time Magic: Jingle Cruise poster giveaway - Celebrate the Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park with a complimentary mini poster while supplies last.
- Several rehabs scheduled for the Magic Kingdom - Among the closings are The Plaza Restaurant, Pinocchio Village Haus, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Barnstormer, and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
- Blog - Disney’s Newest Animated Feature “Frozen” Flurries Into Theme Parks On Both Coasts
- The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special to return? - Rumors are that the popular holiday version of The Comedy Warehouse will be returning to Hollywood Studios this year.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE: Nikon becomes the Official Camera of Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- VIDEO: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2013 - What happens when you combine one 30,000 pound, 65 foot tree, one 40 foot star, 5500 twinkling lights, 430 feet of garland, 325 ornaments, 275 feet of strung popcorn, 400 flickering candles, 135 candy canes, 100 gingerbread cookies and the Disney Characters? Why, you have the perfect recipe for Christmas at the Magic Kingdom!
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Photography - Creative photos from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- Christmas dining options for Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Christmas menus.
- Thanksgiving dining options at Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Thanksgiving menus.
- New looks available for the holidays at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Now through 1/3/14, little girls can choose from a Frozen Package or a Holiday Minnie Package.
- Santa Claus comes to Downtown Disney - At the Marketplace, you'll find Santa Claus waiting to greet you at his chalet in front of the World of Disney store.
- VIDEO: Josh Gad - Voice of Olaf in "Frozen" - Interview - Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in "Frozen" and "World of Color - Winter Dreams" and Tony Award nominee for "The Book of Mormon", takes a few minutes to talk about how important it was to work on a Disney film that led to a theme park experience and the music behind it all.
- All guests at Pop Century will now use MagicBands - As of 11/14/13, guests at Pop Century will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in.
- Willie Nelson backs out of SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & BBQ event
- Disney obtains distrbution rights to future Indiana Jones films
- Family sues Disney when woman dies from complications after a fall
- Disney's PhotoPass+ changing to Memory Maker
- WestJet debuts Sorcerer Mickey plane
- Seaworld Orlando's Shamu show closes for 3 months
- Barenaked Ladies cancels SeaWorld concert due to animal rights issue
- 12-year-old girl protests SeaWorld parade float
- SeaWorld plans several events for early 2014
- Guest credit card info stolen by Universal Orlando employee
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 7:00
9:00 - 9:30
11:00 - 9:30
9:00 - 8:00
9:00 - 7:00
10:00 - 5:00
Extra Magic Hour Evening: Hollywood Studios