By Caitlin Corsello
When many guests think of Walt Disney World, the images that immediately come to mind are usually found in the Magic Kingdom. Opening in 1971, the Magic Kingdom was the first of the four theme parks in Disney and is home to some of the most iconic and memorable attractions including Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, and the Haunted Mansion. Part of what makes the Magic Kingdom so amazing is the great attention to detail and theming in all areas of the park. Guests can visit time and time again and always discover a new detail or something they never noticed before. Here are ten stunning facts about the Magic Kingdom that guests might not have noticed before!
10. Main Street Windows –
While walking down Main Street many guests might notice that the windows on the shops that line the street all seem to feature different designs and slogans. While these windows might just look like advertisements for local townspeople and their businesses, they actually pay homage to individuals who have been important in the development of Walt Disney World and the Magic Kingdom. Each window honors a specific person and is often focused on an aspect of that particular person’s life. For example, Walt Disney has a window above the Main Street Station of the Walt Disney World Railroad that lists him as the chief engineer which is appropriate since he was a huge train enthusiast. Other notable names include Roy O. Disney, Card Walker, and Frank Wells.
9. Pirates Late Start –
When the Magic Kingdom was being constructed, Imagineers opted to not build Pirates of the Caribbean since they figured guests were already so close to the Caribbean that they wouldn’t be interested. Upon the park’s opening, so many guests asked about the popular attraction that was currently open in Disneyland that it was decided to bring the pirates to Florida. Pirates of the Caribbean opened in the Magic Kingdom in late 1973, and had been a guest favorite ever since.
8. Half A Plane –
The Jungle Cruise is home to some of the most exotic and adventurous moments in the Magic Kingdom, including corny skippers and the backside of water. Along the journey, guests pass by the back half of a plane that looks as though it crash landed in the jungle. Many guests don’t realize that the other half of the plane resides in the Casablanca scene of the Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
7. Fake Castle –
Cinderella Castle might look as though it is comprised of real stone like an authentic castle, but many guests would be surprised to learn that not one brick was used during construction! The castle is actually comprised of mostly fiberglass and concrete to withstand the high winds experienced in Central Florida during hurricanes.
6. Magnetic Highway –
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover takes guests on a ride high in the skies of Tomorrowland for a relaxing journey complete with previews into several nearby attractions. Since the attraction is smooth and relaxing, many guests automatically assume that it runs on electricity, but they are wrong! The TTA is powered entirely by magnets! This linear induction motor system uses magnets that are placed along the track to smoothly push and pull each attraction vehicle making for an enjoyable and environmentally clean experience!
5. Snow White Reincarnated –
In the previous few years, the Magic Kingdom has seen some major changes in Fantasyland and the construction of New Fantasyland. Snow White’s Scary Adventures was closed in 2012 to make way for Princess Fairytale Hall and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was constructed in New Fantasyland. While many guests were sad to see the original Snow White attraction go, a remnant from it remains as a tribute today. At the end of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train guests pass by the seven dwarfs’ cottage where they are dancing with Snow White in an iconic moment from the animated film. Several of the dancing figures were featured in the same scene on Snow White’s Scary Adventures and were used on the new attraction as a lasting tribute to its history.
4. Original Trains –
Many guests who enjoy a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad don’t realize that they are riding on authentic steam powered trains that are almost a century old! The four trains were originally constructed between 1916 and 1928 and were beautifully restored by Imagineers to be the trains that guests can enjoy today.
3. Presidential Carpet –
The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square is one of the most patriotic attractions in all of Walt Disney World and it features a beautiful moment where all of the Presidents of the United States stand together on stage. While waiting in the lobby to enter into the theater, guests might notice an area of carpet that is fenced off. That section of carpet features the presidential seal which can only been found elsewhere in the White House’s Oval Office.
2. Little Leota –
Of all the attractions in the Magic Kingdom, the Haunted Mansion is perhaps the richest in detail. One of the most beloved characters from the attraction is Madame Leota whose history is quite unique. The face of Leota is that of former Disney employee Leota Toombs, however Toombs’ voice was deemed too sweet for the sinister character. Instead, Disney brought in Eleanor Audley who was responsible for voicing iconic Disney villains Maleficent and Lady Tremaine. Toombs ultimately was able to lend her vocal talents to the Haunted Mansion by voicing Little Letoa who can be found at the end of the attraction encouraging guests to “hurry back.”
1. Carousel’s Achievement –
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress originally debuted at the 1963 New York World’s Fair and is still performing for guests each day in Tomorrowland. With so many performances each day for so many years, the attraction holds the title of longest-running stage show with the most performances in American theater!