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11 Interesting Facts About Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World is a truly amazing vacation destination for all guests. With thrilling and classic attractions, countless dining options, live entertainment, unique shopping, water parks, and beautiful Disney Resorts there are so many things to see and enjoy on a Disney vacation. Guests who have enjoyed time in Walt Disney World might feel as though they know a lot about the parks, water parks, Disney Springs, and Disney Resorts simply from spending time there and exploring. Many guests might be surprised to learn that there are many hidden details, secrets, bits of history, and Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout Walt Disney World. With so many amazing details and things to enjoy, guests are sure to spot something new on each Disney vacation. Here are eleven interesting facts about Walt Disney World that some guests might not have known.

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11. The Utilidors

While walking around the Magic Kingdom guests certainly enjoy attractions, meeting characters, munching on snacks, and watching parades and fireworks, but they might never notice that they are on the second floor of the park! When the Magic Kingdom was being constructed, a system of tunnels were built so that operations like costuming, garbage collection, recycling, and Cast Member services could be hidden from guests but still easily accessible. The Utilidors (combining utility with corridor) were installed as the first floor of the Magic Kingdom and the areas that guests enjoy are actually right above on the second floor of the park!

10. Main Street Windows

While walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, guests can enjoy looking at windows on each of the buildings which feature names and businesses. While the windows might seem to be referencing local townsfolk and businesses, they actually pay homage to individuals who were instrumental in the creation of the park. Each window pays tribute to a particular individual who contributed to the park in some way and references something that has to do with their personality. For example, Walt Disney’s window declares him the Chief Engineer of the Walt Disney World Railroad since he was a huge train enthusiast in real life. Other notable windows which guests can spot include Yale Gracey, Frank Wells, Roy O. Disney, and Card Walker.

9. Familiar Faces

Guests who enjoy experiencing Spaceship Earth in Epcot are taken from the beginning of time to modern day to celebrate the history and development of communication. With many scenes depicting monumental moments in history like man landing on the moon and the Renaissance, there are dozens of audio-animatronics found throughout the attraction. Imagineers who were creating Spaceship Earth decided that it made more sense to use preexisting molds for audio-animatronics from the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom instead of creating all new ones. Thus, guests who enjoy Spaceship Earth today should look for some familiar faces like Teddy Roosevelt as a Roman, William Taft as an Egyptian, John Adams as a monk, and James Buchanan as Gutenberg.

8. Real Wildlife

The Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland and Liberty Square are nestled along the banks of the Rivers of America which offers scenic views of the Liberty Belle Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island. Guests who are enjoying views of the Rivers of America might be surprised to spot some wildlife lurking nearby.

7. A Towering Distance

Guests who are walking through Epcot’s World Showcase ear the Odyssey can look across World Showcase Lagoon and enjoy a wonderful view of the skyline of the Morocco Pavilion. Once building in particular might seem like it is much farther away than the rest but many guests might not realize how far. The building looming in the distance is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror which is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Imagineers who were building the attraction realized that it was so tall that it could be seen from nearby Epcot, so they intentionally designed it to blend into the skyline of the Morocco pavilion.

6. Oil Supports

The Tree of Life the focal symbol for Disney’s Animal Kingdom which celebrates the beauty and wonder of nature and the importance of protecting and preserving it. The tree is a massive structure with a trunk carved with hundreds of animals and a theater nestled in the roots that is home to the 3D show It’s Tough To Be A Bug. Imagineers initially struggled with a concept that would be strong enough to support the massive tree and ultimately came up with the idea of an old oil rig! Many guests who are enjoying the view of the Tree of Life might never realize that there is an oil rig hidden in there for support!

5. Authentic Art

Each pavilion in World Showcase is rich in detail, culture, history, and architecture unique to the country that it pays tribute to. Guests can wander the streets of Paris in the France Pavilion, tour Victoria Gardens in the Canada Pavilion, and enjoy amazing details and artwork in the Morocco Pavilion. The Morocco Pavilion truly transports guests around the world thanks in part to the king of the country sending his own personal artisans and masons to help construct the pavilion!

4. Pandora’s Impressive Numbers 

If you’ve had a chance to visit Animal Kingdom’s newest land, Pandora – The World of Avatar, chances are you were impressed with its sheer beauty! You were likely rushing to one of the two attractions held in this land known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. If you have a moment to stop and explore Pandora’s setting (the Valley of Mo’ara), you might want to look up at the unbelievable floating mountains. Get this – there are 22 floating mountains in total! Plus, look around at the lush landscape and be in awe of the 250 varieties of living plants that are integrated with Pandoran plants. Just amazing!

3. Forced Perspective

Throughout all of Walt Disney World, a technique is used to make buildings seem either larger or smaller to guests. Forced perspective gently warps buildings to help stretch or shrink them from a guest’s point of view. For example, the buildings on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom feature second stories that are smaller than the first stories. This helps to make them appear taller and more impressive than they actually are without guests ever noticing!

2. Recycled Materials

Disney’s Animal Kingdom strives to teach guests all about conservation, preservation, and recycling through different attractions, shows, and experiences. Guests who enjoy snacks or meals in the park might notice that nothing is served with plastic utensils, straws, or receptacles. This is because Disney’s Animal Kingdom only uses recycled material for straws, napkins, and utensils ensuring that all guests do their part in protecting the environment.

1. Kilimanjaro’s Size

One of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom invites guests onto the Harambe Reserve to enjoy a safari filled with up close experiences with animals like lions, giraffes, elephants, and hippos. Kilimanjaro Safaris is an absolutely massive attraction and guests might not realize that it is so big that the entire Magic Kingdom could fit inside of it!

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.