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There are so many Walt Disney World secrets that Dad could never even begin to write about them all – secrets about park operations and history, secrets about attractions and shows, even secrets about “pixie dust” (those special little moments that guest might experience with cast members). Dad knows lots of these secrets, and is about to share some of them with you to help you make extra magical memories on your Perfect Vacation.
Walt Disney World is called “the most magical place on earth” and with good reason! All that magic comes from somewhere, and it starts with a long history of secrets. Some of these secrets are closely guarded, but many of them are hinted at or even shared by Disney as a special treat for Walt Disney World fans who are paying close attention.
Welcome to Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom is full of special Walt Disney World secrets. You can even take a tour and find out lots about the workings of the park – did you know that the Magic Kingdom is actually built on the second floor of a structure that holds not only the park but most of the “backstage” areas? Or that underneath the Magic Kingdom is a system of tunnels called the Utilidors? If that’s not enough, keep reading for Dad’s 3 favorite Walt Disney World Secrets in the Magic Kingdom.
Some common tips and tricks to increase your points on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin are to shoot moving targets instead of still ones, and to aim for further away targets instead of those that are close-up. But some of the biggest points in the ride can be scored as you leave the first “room” – use the joystick to turn your ride vehicle around and shoot the back of the orange robots or of the saw – you can earn up to 100,000 points per hit!
The Opening Pitch
Everyday, just before Casey’s Corner opens up to serve delicious hot dogs for lunch to hundreds of park guests, one little guest has the chance to make the memory of a lifetime! As a crowd gathers outside the closed doors of Casey’s Corner, once child is selected to throw the “opening pitch” with a cast member, who then leads the crowd in a chorus of “Take me out to the ball game” before throwing Cracker Jack packages into the crowd!
Wake up Tink
If you’re an earlybird with a child who loves pixies, this secret’s for you! If you head straight back through Cinderella Castle at park opening and go directly to Tinkerbell’s Treasures (the shop to your left as you enter Fantasyland) you can ask a cast member if you can wake up Tink. If you’re the first one there, your child can participate in a special little ceremony that ends with lights, sounds, and a glimpse of Tinkerbell herself! (This is one of the coolest of the Walt Disney World secrets.)
Epcot holds all sorts of secrets, from the mysteries of the global cultures featured in World Showcase to the fun facts of science you can learn about in Future World. Here are Dad’s top 3 Walt Disney World secrets in Epcot.
Secrets of Soarin’
Although these secrets are in plain sight of anyone who rides the Soarin’ attraction, with so much to look at so quickly you might miss these fun little touches: Captain Hook’s pirate ship in the San Francisco Bay, the golfer who hits the ball (with a hidden Mickey no less) is Michael Eisner himself, and the whole ride vehicle system was inspired by an Erector Set!
Submerging Spaceship Earth
Epcot’s icon, Spaceship Earth, is big – I mean REALLY big! It’s got to be the biggest building at Epcot – right? Think again – and the secret answer might surprise you. The aquarium in The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion is bigger than Spaceship Earth! In fact, it’s the largest salt water tank in the world, holding 5.7 million gallons of water, and Spaceship Earth could be fully submerged within it, with lots of room to spare.
In The Land pavilion, the Living with the Land attraction takes guests through a production greenhouse showcasing fruits and vegetables being grown on-site as Disney researches sustainable growing practices. But did you ever wonder what happens to the ripe produce? It’s served to guests throughout restaurants in Epcot!
Disney Hollywood Studios
Disney Hollywood Studios is all about the making of movie magic, and you’re bound to find secrets of the film industry everywhere you turn. Here are Dad’s 3 favorite Walt Disney World secrets about the park itself.
Terrifying Tower of Terror
In the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror pre-show video, guests are told a legend about a group of guests who disappeared after lighting struck the hotel, supposedly sent to the 5th dimension. But while the attraction was being built, the tower actually was stuck by lightning (don’t worry, no one was sent to the Twilight Zone).
Rock ‘n Roll
It’s no secret that Dad’s favorite Walt Disney World attraction is Rock ‘n Rollercoaster starring Aerosmith– it’s a great thrill ride with 2 loops, a corkscrew turn, and a 0-60 launch in under 3 seconds. That’s a recipe for some serious G-forces. As guests enter the first inversion, they feel a 4-5 G-force – more than astronauts experience (typically 3 G’s).
Secrets from the Lagoon
Fantasmic is one if Walt Disney World’s signature nighttime spectacular performances. It’s got magic, Mickey, fire, water, dragons, prinesses, villains, fireworks, boats, and simply amazing images projected on enormous water screens. In fact, over a million gallons of water are pumped into the air for every show. But the front of the lagoon that makes up most of the Fantasmic stage is only 1.5 feet deep!
Animal behavior is still a huge mystery to humans, and creating an amazing, interactive, incredibly details theme park – zoo hybrid representing animal habitats from around the world in the middle of Florida can’t have been easy. But all that hard work has made for some fascinating Animal Kingdom secrets, like these 3 Walt Disney World secrets from Dad.
Animal Kingdom’s centerpiece and icon, the Tree of Life, is not only built on top of an oil rig, but it is covered in hundreds of hand carved animals. And to top it all off (literally), each of the 103,000 artificial leaves on the tree were attached by hand.
The lions on the Kilimanjaro Safari have come a long way to be with guests at Walt Disney World– no, they’re not from Africa, but they are originally from Oregon! The change of climate and the intense Florida heat made the adjustment to their new home so difficult that Imagineers decided to air condition a portion of their safari habitat!
Red, White, and Yellow
As guests enter the loading area for DINOSAUR, you’ll notice a series of red, white, and yellow utility pipes running along the walls, with chemical compound formulas written on them to indicate their contents. This is a secret for the scientists out there, because those formulas are actually for ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard!
WDW Resort Hotels
The magic of Walt Disney World doesn’t stop in the parks – it’s all around you, and hotels have their share of secrets too. Here are Dad’s top 3 picks of Walt Disney World secrets at the hotels.
Light the Fire
Each evening at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, you can see a one of the fire-dances from the Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Luau perform a torch lighting ceremony at the Great Ceremonial House – it’s quite an entertaining little show! But one of the best kept secrets at Walt Disney World is one of Dad’s favorites – watching Wishes from the beach at the Polynesian – it’s a perfect view and they even pipe in the music!
Movies Under Stars
Each night at most Walt Disney Resort Hotels, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a Disney movie under the stars! For animated features to live action classics to new Disney Channel movies, there’s always something to watch! This free program is usually offered near the resorts’ main pool and is a great way to spend a night “in” if the parks have you all tuckered out. The cast member who checks you in can also provide you with a schedule at check in.
Songs and S’mores
Each night at Disney’s Fort Wilderness (weather permitting), guests can gather ‘round a big campfire for a sing-a-long led by everyone’s favorite chipmunks, Chip ‘n Dale! The sing-a-long is open to all guests for free, and you can even bring your own fixin’s to make s’mores (or buy a kit at the resort) if you’d like an authentic campfire treat. (This may be one of the most fun Walt Disney World secrets.)
Lots more secrets
Walt Disney World secrets (some are not so secret) are fun to track down and share. For more facts and secrets check out Dad’s other secrets page about the restaurants, water parks and more.
Find them for yourself
The best way to find out about Walt Disney World secrets is to check them out for yourself. That’s right, do it in person. It’s easy, all you have to do is close your eyes and dream (oh, if it were that easy). OK, so maybe that didn’t work. Check with our friends at Destinations to Travel and before you know it…