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.
- 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 because of 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).
- Small pipes shoot the trash through the utilidors under the Magic Kingdom at 60 mph.
- If there are 2 lines and you can't see the loading area from where you are, take the line to the left.
- 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 most of you know) to travel between lands, as not to ruin the effect of each land.
- 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 on property, just for this reason.
- There are more than 20,000 different colors of paint used in Walt Disney World.
- 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!
- On the Partners Statue in front of the castle at the Magic Kingdom - Walt is wearing an Irish Claddagh ring on his right ring finger. He and his wife, Lillian, bought them for each other on a trip to Ireland and wore them every day.
- The walkway in MK is red because Walt wanted to lay out the "red carpet" for all guests. This also helps 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 onstage area. 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, just 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 or be out of character. They don't want anyone to see Mickey without his head.
- 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.
- He's widely known for being the voice of Tony the Tiger, but 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.
- You could fit all of DisneyLand into the MK Parking Lot and still have room to park 500 cars!
One in Tomorrowland under the TTA and Astro Orbiter. There's also one in the candy shop on Main Street. Pick them up and listen to the interesting conversations.
- 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 at Pecos Bill's or a food cart, 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!!!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Three rusty gears lying on the grass as you reenter the station form a Hidden Mickey.
- In queue area for Big Thunder, look for crate that says, "Lytum & Hyde Explosives Company."
Big Thunder Mtn.
- 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!
- Some big points in Buzz can be found when you're leaving the first room. Turn around and shoot the back of the Orange robot's arm or the back of the buzz saw. The car turns automatically away from these so turn back score big!
- In the room with the large Zurg, shoot the target underneath him for 100,000 points.
- 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—
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!!
- There are approx. one million mosaics to make up the scenes.
- 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.
- The claw marks on the floor of The Country Bear Jamboree.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get a Dole Whip at Aloha Isle at MK.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?"
- 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...
- The Bride's Ring (thrown from the attic and trampled into the ground by the invisible horse) by the mansion exit.
- Hidden Mickey on dining room table, in the library, and on the right hand corner of the spirit.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The 17th-century mansion of Master Gracey 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.
- 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!
- 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.)
- 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 an area called the Stable because you can see horse whips, bridles, and horse shoes hanging down from above.
- Stand in front of the hearse at the Haunted Mansion and listen. You will hear the "ghost" horse whiney.
- In the pet cemetery at the very, very back, in the top left corner (I think), you can see Mr. Toad!
- Leota 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- The "hands" on the clock are actually FINGERS !?!?!?!?!?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- A berm behind the Family Plot conceals the gigantic building for the ride -- none of which takes place in the brick mansion!
- The Foyer is the only spot in the mansion in which you can take a flash photograph.
- 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.
- The Foyer and two Stretch Rooms form a Hidden Mickey.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Notice the yellow bats painted on the conveyor of the load area.
- Hippogriffs guarding two separate staircases.
- 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!)
- The piano player in the Music Room is invisible, but you can see his moving shadow on the floor.
- 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.
- There is a Hidden Tinker Bell in a pane of broken glass over the coffin!
- A ghostly shadow of a claw sweeps across the Ghostfather clock.
- Look for the duelists who lean out of the paintings in the Grand Ballroom and shoot at each other.
- Look for the Lon Chaney PHANTOM OF THE OPERA poster in the attic. (You can only see it when the lights are on.)
- There are stars twinkling overhead in the graveyard scene! Notice that the outside of this house looks nothing like the brick manse outside.
- 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
- 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!
- Only two of the figures represent the United States. The cowboy and the Eskimo.
- Hidden Mickey's - 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. 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. In the Australia scene, there is a kangaroo bobbing back and forth, and the shadow of it on the wall makes a hidden Mickey.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 1960s.
- 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.
- In the 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 Adventurers Club (formerly at Pleasure Island).
- 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!"
- Listen to the chanting tribesmen--one of them says "I love disco.”
- The thatched roof material around Jungle Cruise is actually made of metal, not straw (reach up and touch it).
- 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.
- The Liberty Tree is well over 100 years old (a.k.a. Southern Live Oak). The 13 lanterns hanging in the tree represent the original 13 colonies.
- 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).
- 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.
- There are no bathrooms located in Liberty Square, in keeping with the time period of that area.
- As you enter the Columbia House Restaurant from the Fantasyland 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 from 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- Going from Liberty Square into Frontierland, look down at the main walkway (which is also the parade route). Instead of just plain cement, there's also an 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.
- 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.
- 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, M., and lastly, the train stopped in Frontierland represented California.
- Hidden park in Liberty Square in the back of the Christmas Store.
- The large bell is made from the same mold as the Liberty Bell.
- 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.”
- On Main Street right by the entrance, there is a Goofy statue sitting on a bench. When you sit by him he talks (sometimes).
- Check out the old-style phone mounted on the wall in the candy shop. 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.
- 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.
- There is a cart on Main Street that will do a silhouette of a child's profile. About $8. (There are also carts in Liberty Square, Downtown Disney and the France pavilion at Epcot)
- Be at Magic Kingdom at 5:00 for the flag lower ceremony.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The fire station on Main Street is Station No. 71. The Park opened in 1971.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 have been temporary. (b) If you sit in the very last car, the one that is the little platform out the back, they may ask you to be the guest conductor. You 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.
- The chalkboard in the barbershop on Main Street has all the Hurricanes listed as if they were next to get haircuts.
- In Town Square, there are a few flag poles with Amercan Flags on them. The flag on 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. They actually serve as lightning rods.
- The carpeting when exiting Philharmagic has some Hidden Mickeys.
- 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.
- In the nursery, over by Nana, there are some building blocks spelling out "DISNEY" and "P PAN."
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Look at the ENTIRE lock at the dog/jail scene to see the hidden Mickey, not just at the keyhole.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- There is only one horse on the carrousel 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.)
- This 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.
Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel
- Ask to ride in the pilot house and receive official riverboat pilots certificates.
- One of the asteroids is actually a chocolate chip cookie!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Notice the street lights when loading for Splash Mountain. One blinks when the boats are ready to go in motion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tom Sawyer’s Island
- Be the first to find the six hidden paintbrushes!
- 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.
- Near the Speedway on the way into Tomorrowland, 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.
- The metal "palm trees" in Tomorrowland fold up at night and open during the day just like flowers! During the day, they collect solar energy.
Winnie the Pooh
- Deed being handed off in Owl's House.
- Hidden Mickey on the wall to the right (FastPass side) where the FastPass line meets the regular line.
- Look to your left as you enter Owl's house-- There is a a framed picture on the wall, just inside the doors, of Mr. Toad handing a deed to Owl. The Winnie the Pooh ride replaced Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
- back to top -
- Happy 50th anniversary to it's a small world! - it's a small world opened at the New York World's Fair on April 22, 1964.
- Blog - Review: Epcot After Hours Wind Down
- Registration opens for the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon - Registration spots for the races fill up quickly. If you know for sure you want to participate in one of the events, we recommend you register as soon as possible.
- Happy 16th anniversary to Disney's Animal Kingdom - Disney's Animal Kingdom opened on April 22, 1998 - Earth Day.
- Thinking about booking your trip with a travel agent? - Why it's important to book with a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations.
- Anna and Elsa meet and greet moves to Magic Kingdom today - These popular princesses will no longer be seen in Epcot's Norway pavilion.
- Planning to be at Disney World on Easter? - List of church services, dinners and special activities taking place at Walt Disney World on Easter.
- Blog - Ranking our 5 Senses in Disney's Theme Parks
- Spots still available at Tables in Wonderland event on April 19 - This buffet will bring Tables in Wonderland members together during the Festival for dinner and drinks, then you will head to the Flower Power Concert series to hear the sounds of The Grass Roots.
- Menu items for Epcot After Hours Wind Down - Tickets, which can be reserved in advance, include one beverage and a selection of light snacks.
- Rehabs planned for two of Disney's golf courses - Disney's Magnolia Golf Course and Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course will be closed 5/21 - 6/4/2014.
- Guests at the Swan and Dolphin can now book their FastPass+ 60 days in advance - Onsite resort guests and guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance. Annual Passholders and offsite guests can make their reservations up to 30 days in advance.
- Blog - Actors Fund Gala Tickets Honoring Disney Theatricals on Sale Now
- Changes to Earl of Sandwich menu - Prices have increased by about 50 cents per sandwich. New sandwiches have been added and others have been removed.
- Epcot After Hours Wind Down lounges to be available - Stick around after IllumiNations for an evening at one of 4 exclusive lounges featuring food and beverages from award-winning Epcot chefs and sommeliers.
- Annual passholders can save up to 35% on WDW hotels, plus get free Memory Maker photos! - Guests will save up to 35% on their room, plus get free Memory Maker digital photos. Discount is valid for travel between 6/16/14 - 8/2/14.
- Blog - VIDEO: Disney reveals first look at animatronics and scenes inside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Meet the Easter Bunny at the Magic Kingdom April 13-20 - The Easter Bunny will also have a special pre-parade appearance on 4/19 and 4/20/14. He will be joined by other springtime characters, dancers and the Azalea Trail Maids.
- Carbon-Freeze Me experience at Star Wars Weekends to offer X-Wing Pilots and more - In addition to the carbonite figure, last year's Stormtrooper will be available, as well as two new figurines - an Alderaan Princess and X-Wing Pilot.
- Blog - Third Annual Easter Egg Display at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Easter activities and special dining menus at Walt Disney World resorts - List of events planned at Walt Disney World resorts.
- Blog - Disney Infinity Teases Marvel & Confirms Version 2.0
- October 2014 Walt Disney World park hours released - List of times for parades, fireworks, and park hours.
- Blog - What To Expect When You're...Cruising with Disney and a Baby: Part 2
- Big Thunder Mountain closed for 2 days for rehab - The attraction will be closed 4/7-4/9/14.
- Surprising your family with a trip to Disney? Check out our tips! - Surprising the kids with a Disney vacation is part of the thrill for some parents. Others would love to do it, but aren’t sure how to pull it off. Here are some different approaches to creating that special surprise for your family!
- Blog - New Lawsuit Attacks Disney’s New Disability Access Service
- VIDEO: Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot - Enjoy a special fireworks viewing area and desserts from around World Showcase paired with sparkling wines.
- Tables in Wonderland event at Golden Oak's Markham's restaurant - For this special evening, guests will dine at the exclusive Markham's restaurant at Disney's Golden Oak Club, Walt Disney World's private residential community.
- Blog - Review: Epcot's new IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party
- Blog - Review: Epcot Gardens of the World Tour
- Dates announced for Sounds Like Summer Concert series - The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series features some of the greatest tribute bands rockin' to U2, The Bee Gees, the Eagles and many more during select nights from June to July.
- Night of Joy tickets now on sale - Disney's Night of Joy features contemporary Christian performers. The star-studded lineup is always outstanding and features a host of Dove Award and Grammy Award winning artists.
- Blog - DVC Owner To File Class Action Demanding More FastPass+ Experiences
- Blog - Walt Disney World is now selling MagicBands to Offsite Day Guests
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - World Showcase - The American Adventure - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at World Showcase - The American Adventure, February 12, 2014 - Afternoon.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - World Showcase - Italy - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at World Showcase - Italy, February 12, 2014 - Afternoon
- Parking prices increase at Walt Disney World - Prices have increased $2 for each category.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Echo Lake - Academy Hall of Fame - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Echo Lake - Academy Hall of Fame, February 12, 2014 - Morning
- Cirque du Soleil discount offered for Tables in Wonderland members - Discounted tickets are available for performances April 1-May 10 and May 27-June 28, 2014.
- Tables in Wonderland Flower and Garden Festival Special Dining Event - This buffet will bring Tables in Wonderland members together during the Festival for dinner and drinks, then you will head to the Flower Power Concert series to hear the sounds of The Grass Roots.
- Fittipaldi Cup racing event planned for Walt Disney World Speedway - The Exotic Driving Experience and 2014 Rolex 24 winner Christian Fittipaldi are putting on a half-day racing event at the Walt Disney World Speedway.
- Grand Floridian hosts Edible Easter Egg Display - This is the third year the resort has hosted the display of hand-painted edible Easter eggs; the eggs are 16 to 20 inches tall.
- Star Wars-themed character meals at Hollywood Studios! - For a limited time, guests will have the opportunity to dine with Star Wars characters or Disney characters dressed up in their Star Wars costumes.
- New 2015 Disney Crusie Line Destinations - Disney Cruise Line has added new destinations for 2015! For the first time, the Disney Magic will set sail for Northern Europe, visiting the Norwegian fjords, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Seven- and nine-night sailings will depart from Copenhagen, Denmark and will immerse guests in the Viking history of this mystical land, which served as the backdrop for Disney's blockbuster film Frozen. Sail past mountains, glaciers, geysers and fjords and stop in port cities reminiscent of storybook villages.
- Kouzzina by Cat Cora to close September 30 - A new restaurant will open in its place this fall.
- Blog - Saying Farewell to Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom
- Blog - The Dream of Retiring to Central Florida
- Egg-stravaganza Easter egg hunt planned for Epcot - Search for special hidden Disney character "eggs" at Epcot.
- Blog - Review: “Muppets Most Wanted” Now Touring Worldwide and in Theaters!
- Blog - Five Reasons You Should Go See 'Muppets Most Wanted' This Weekend
- Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker - will be attending Star Wars Weekends! - This will be the actor's first appearance at Star Wars Weekends.
- PEEPS-themed Easter events planned for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin - The resort will be celebrating a PEEPtastic week 4/16 - 4/20/14.
- Brunch planned to debut new Disney Collection by Vera Bradley design - "Mickey's Perfect Petals" will be showcased at the brunch and will be available for purchase.
- Blog - New Frozen Merchandise at Disney Parks
- Extended preview of Maleficent film at Disney's Hollywood Studios - The upcoming Maleficent film, starring Angelina Jolie, opens in theaters May 30. Theme park guests can see an extended preview of the film beginning April 18 and running through mid-June.
- Food Truck Park to open at Downtown Disney - The Food Truck Park is currently under construction and should open this summer between Bongos and Starbucks.
- Blog - Review: Disney's 'Saving Mr. Banks' Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital Download
- Blog - Review: "Frozen" Blu-ray Hits Shelves
- Blog - Top 10 Reasons Why March 18th Is The Best Day Ever For Disney Fans
- Today Show to film at Universal Orlando on Friday
- James Cameron pleased with Disney's Avatar Land design
- Disney one of the world's most disappointing destinations?
- Universal Orlando painters sent to hospital
- Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise money for "Dark Side of Disney" film
- Disney plans four Star Wars children's books
- SeaWorld Orlando offers summer camps for kids
- Walt Disney World offers new contract to unions
- Disneyland restaurants honored by food critics
- SeaWorld to host Viva la Musica Festival
Today's Theme Park Hours
Epcot Future World:
Epcot World Showcase:
|9:00 - 11:00
9:00 - 9:00
11:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 9:30
9:00 - 8:00
10:00 - 6:00
10:00 - 6:00
Extra Magic Hours Morning: Magic Kingdom
Extra Magic Hour Evening: Hollywood Studios