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Credit: Matthew Cooper (www.thetimethespace.com)

10 Things You May Have Missed at Magic Kingdom

No visit to Walt Disney World is complete for many guests without spending time in the Magic Kingdom. The original park opened on October 1, 1971 and welcomes guests to forget reality and enjoy different themed lands filled with memorable attractions, dining, shopping, and more. With so many wonderful and popular experiences to enjoy, many guests tend to rush from one to the other and overlook some great attractions, details, and more that truly help to make the Magic Kingdom as immerse and wonderful as it is. These missed experiences are things that guests should definitely take the time to seek out on any trip as they are truly wonderful! Here are ten things that guests might have missed while enjoying time in the Magic Kingdom.

1. Progress City Model

Long before Walt Disney World began construction, Walt Disney’s dream for the new location was for a working utopia dubbed Progress City. Disney viewed it as an immersive community with workplaces, homes, places of worship, entertainment, and more. Eventually the concept shifted and went on to be developed as the root of Epcot, but not before extensive conceptual drawings and models were created. Guests who take a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover can enjoy a quick glimpse of a small fraction of the original model of Progress City on the left hand side of the vehicle.

2. Liberty Belle

An often overlooked attraction in the Magic Kingdom offers up a serene journey with views that can’t be enjoyed rom anywhere else in the park. The Liberty Belle is a massive riverboat that travels on a loop around the Rivers of America. Guests can choose from several decks that offer covered seating or sunny spots as they enjoy a scenic trip that offers up unique vantages of Frontierland, Liberty Square, and more. In addition to the views, the Liberty Belle itself is filled with beautiful details and décor that guests should definitely take the time to check out and enjoy.

Credit: Disney

3. Tom Sawyer Island

The Liberty Belle’s loop on the Rivers of America actually circles Tom Sawyer Island, another often overlooked location in the park. Guests have to board a rustic log raft and cross the river to reach Tom Sawyer Island, but once there the location is wonderful to explore. Every corner features places to explore including Fort Langhorne, mysterious caves, bobbing barrel bridges, and more. Guests can also enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area from quaint porches and rocking chairs, making Tom Sawyer Island a great spot to also just relax and take in the beauty of the park.

4. Cinderella Wishing Well

To the right of Cinderella Castle is a small winding path that features a beautiful and quiet spot that many guests miss. The Cinderella Wishing Well is an intricately detailed spot that features beautiful views and benches to relax on. Guests can take in the sights, make a wish, and enjoy wonderful details like a crest with the letter “C” on top, fluttering carved birds, and more. Those who really take the time to check out the details of the Cinderella Wishing Well can also spot Gus, Jacque, and even Lucifer all carved with beautiful detail. This quiet spot is a great example of the level of detail that goes into the Magic Kingdom that often is missed!

Credit: Matthew Cooper (www.thetimethespace.com)

5. Castle Mosaics

Found inside of Cinderella Castle is another wonderful experience that many guests don’t notice as they pass through quickly on the way to Fantasyland. While walking through the breezeway, there are beautiful tile mosaics that tell the story of Cinderella in bright and gorgeous color. Featuring thousands of small tiles, each mosaic brings to life a scene from the film including the trying on of the glass slipper and Cinderella and Prince Charming’s happily ever after. Each mosaic features intricate details that guests can enjoy, right down to the stepsisters being red with anger and green with envy!

6. Swiss Family Treehouse

Over in Adventureland, there is an attraction that is often missed by guests as they move further into the land towards other experiences such as the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean. The Swiss Family Treehouse invites guests to climb several stories up and take in amazingly themed rooms and areas that showcase how the Robinson family utilized their shipwrecked items and things from the island to create a home for themselves. Each room features unique inventions and comforts that the family enjoyed and guests can notice something new on each visit. The Swiss Family Treehouse also offers up some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom that can’t be missed.

7. Big Top Treats

Guests who explore Storybook Circus can check out attractions including Dumbo the Flying Elephant as well as Big Top Souvenirs, a great spot to find unique merchandise all located inside of a massive circus tent. While guests might be aware of the location of Big Top Souvenirs, they might have missed Big Top Treats, a special location in the center of the tent that serves up wonderful snacks. Guests who stop at the counter location can choose from a variety of goodies including candy apples, cookies, chocolates, and more. Big Top Treats is definitely worth a visit as guests can find something totally delicious to enjoy while exploring Storybook Circus.

8. Sonny Eclipse

Many guests are familiar with Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Tomorrowland as it is a popular quick service eatery that offers up several different ordering bays each with unique offerings. What guests might not know about the restaurant is that one room offers up unique entertainment in the form of Sonny Eclipse. This alien lounge singer performs doo wop style hits paired with comedic anecdotes and stories to keep guests tapping and laughing along throughout their entire meals. Guests who enjoy lunch or dinner at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café should definitely try to score a table in Sonny Eclipse’s room and enjoy the show.

9. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress Video

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a favorite attraction of many guests as it features the story of one family as they enjoy progress throughout the years. Guests often love to visit the attraction, but many miss out on a video that plays in the outdoor loading area that shares a bit of the history behind the experience. Small overhead televisions share clips of the attraction’s origin at the 1964 New York World’s Fair as well as a clip of Walt Disney himself with the Sherman Brothers as they sing a portion of the attraction’s song “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.” Guests should definitely make sure that they take the time to enjoy the brief video before boarding Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress!

10. Building Dates

A small detail that spans both Liberty Square and Frontierland tells a story of history and time that guests walk by every day and don’t notice! Beginning in Frontierland down by Splash Mountain, each building features a number somewhere on its edifice. The numbers continue with the buildings through Frontierland and down through Liberty Square leading up to the Haunted Mansion. Each of these numbers coincides with a date that represents the year that that particular architectural style was popular moving through time up to the Hudson Valley Dutch Gothic style of the Haunted Mansion. This small detail is a great example of the incredible thought that went into every aspect of the Magic Kingdom!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.