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7 Amazing Walt Disney World Ride Secrets

Guests who visit Walt Disney World love spending time enjoying the attractions found in the four theme parks. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are home to a unique blend of classic and thrilling attractions as well as live entertainment and Broadway caliber shows. With so many amazing attractions to enjoy, most guests have favorites and might think that they know a lot about those experiences from many visits. While this might be the case, there are also plenty of hidden secrets and details which can easily go overlooked by even the most seasoned of guests. While some of these attraction secrets are hidden in plain sight and others are way more difficult to find, guests still love searching for them on Disney vacations. Here are seven of the most amazing Disney attraction secrets for guests to discover on their next Walt Disney World vacation!

7. Peter Pan’s Headlights –

One of the most beloved attractions in all of Walt Disney World can be found in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. Peter Pan’s Flight invites guests to be sprinkled with pixie dust and board pirate ships to soar high over London and Neverland with Peter and the Darling children. A favorite scene in the attraction of many guests is the flight over London at night with twinkling buildings and historical sights below. Guests who look closely enough can even spot small headlights traveling along the streets of the city. While the headlights might look real, they are actually sets of black light paint on bike chains that continually rotate to give the appearance of traffic.

6. Haunted Mansion’s Special Effect –

One of the most amazing special effects featured on a Disney attraction can be found at the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. The attraction invites guests into Gracey Manor where nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts materialize and cause some pretty eerie effects. The most iconic scene from the attraction is the ballroom where ghostly figures appear and disappear waltzing below, celebrating a birthday, and swinging from the chandelier. The effect is called Pepper’s Ghost and might seem mysterious and complicated but is pulled off quite easily with glass and lighting.

5. Spaceship Earth’s Familiar Faces –

The most recognizable attraction in Epcot is Spaceship Earth which is housed in a massive geodesic dome located just inside the gates of the park. The attraction brings guests through time to celebrate the history of communication featuring significant moments in history like the burning of Rome, man landing on the moon, and the Renaissance. The attraction features dozens of audio-animatronic figures and instead of creating all new ones, Imagineers looked to preexisting figures from the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom. Guests who enjoy a ride on Spaceship Earth should look for familiar faces like James Buchanan as Gutenberg, Teddy Roosevelt as a Roman, William Taft as an Egyptian, and John Adams as a monk.

4. Dinosaur’s Pipes –

Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom can experience an array of attractions which all delve deep into nature and help guests understand our planet and how important conservation is. A thrilling attraction in Dinoland is Dinosaur which invites guests into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs has been developed. Before boarding their Time Rovers, guests move down a staircase into the main loading area. While approaching the bottom of the stairs, guests should look above for a trio of pipes that are red, yellow, and white and feature complicated chemical formulas. The pipes are residual from the days when McDonald’s was a sponsor of the attraction and represent ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

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3. The TTA’s Magnets –

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland takes guests on a ride on the highway in the sky for beautiful views of the land and glimpses into nearby attractions like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Since the attraction runs very smoothly, guests might not realize that it is entirely powered by magnets! The TTA uses a linear induction system with magnets embedded in the track to seamlessly push and pull each attraction vehicle for an efficient and comfortable experience.

2. Pirates’ Drop –

A favorite attraction of many guests is Pirates of the Caribbean which allows them to set sail on the seven seas with a band of swashbuckling pirates. Guests move through eerie caves and then plunge down a small drop into a burning seaside village being ransacked by the pirates. While the drop might seem like a strictly thrilling element, it actually has a functional purpose as well. Pirates of the Caribbean was not originally supposed to be featured in the Magic Kingdom since Imagineers figured guests would not be interested given their proximity to the Caribbean. After many guests asked for the attraction, it was added to the park but encountered a problem since the show building had to be constructed outside of the preexisting Walt Disney World Railroad tracks. Imagineers needed a way to move guests underneath the tracks and into the show building, so the drop was added.

1. Soarin’s Origin –

One of the most popular attractions in Epcot invites guests on a thrilling hang gliding adventure over beautiful sights all around the world! When the attraction was being conceptualized, Imagineers struggled to come up with a concept that would realistically feel like hang gliding. The problem was solved when Imagineer Mark Sumner found his old erector set and created an entirely unique structure. This concept ended up being so successful that it is almost identical to the ride structure that guests can spot today while boarding Soarin’!

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.