There is definitely a reason why so many thousands of guests keep coming back to Walt Disney World year after year. It is because it is absolutely amazing. Disney goes to a level of detail that no one else does, and we love it! This is especially true for Walt Disney World, too. Here are 7 great facts and secrets about Walt Disney World:
7. Disney World is Huge!
Think about the size of all of San Francisco or doubling the size of Manhattan. That is how big the entire area of Walt Disney World makes up. This is around 27,258 acres, which makes up around 43 square miles of land! The land was bought in secret, in various parcels to help keep the prices from raising drastically when Walt was working to make Disney World a reality. Now we have 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, golf courses, 2 miniature golf courses, many different resorts of varying service levels, waterways and more! Not even remotely half of the land is developed, so there is still room for a lot more if Disney wants to expand.
6. A popular place for human remains.
Disney World has become an extremely popular place for relatives and friends to try to make the final resting place for their loved ones. Yep, you read that right…. Guests notoriously bring ashes to spread them out amongst Disney grounds and attractions. The Haunted Mansion is among the most popular to attempt to leave the ashes. I don’t recommend trying this, though. Through regular maintenance, cleaning, etc. of each and every attraction, the ashes are found. They have to bring in a special crew to completely clean and sanitize when this occurs. If you are caught, you will be facing a fine for doing so, as well. It creates a lot of work for the cast members, and your loved one’s remains end up in the Disney landfill.
5. Disney World is pretty much its own little city.
The area that makes up Disney World it an autonomous taxing district, due to the fact that the Florida counties didn’t have any funds to contribute to the support of developing Walt Disney World when it was being built. Disney World has its own police and fire services, Reedy Creek. They are responsible for a lot of the signage and road development for their property as well. It is the size of a major city, so it is no wonder that it would need the support of a typical city infrastructure in order to keep it running!
4. There are abandoned areas.
Do any of you remember River Country or Discovery Island (and no, we don’t mean in Animal Kingdom)? River Country was a water park that was located next to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. It was quite popular, but Disney decided to build Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. They closed River Country and it never re-opened. The attractions utilized water from the lake, and there were rumors that due to health and safety issues, they wanted to discontinue this practice. Discovery Island is an island that is in Bay Lake, on the same route between Wilderness Lodge and the Magic Kingdom. It has animal exhibits for guests to go and see. Both of these areas have since been completely abandoned with attractions and equipment still in place. It was rumored that the lights at Discovery Island remained on for a long period of time after it was abandoned. Both of these places are forbidden to go to, but guests have snuck into the areas to try to film and put the videos on YouTube. Don’t try to go there, as you can get expelled from Disney World forever if you do!
3. Largest same-site employer in the U.S.
If you think about it, it makes complete sense! The area is the size of a major city and almost everyone that works there are all employees of Walt Disney World. There are around 55,000+ employees in this single spot all cast members of Walt Disney World. Not only that, they employee cast members from all around the world through the internship program for Epcot’s World Showcase and cast members that speak numerous languages to ensure that guest needs are met. That is a lot of jobs and lot of opportunity!
2. No plastic straws, lids or balloons at Animal Kingdom.
Disney takes conservation very seriously. They are big supporters of conservation efforts and focus on researching and developing ways to preserve our environment and ensure that it is safe for all, including animals. The animals that are residents of Walt Disney World receive the best attention and care. So much so, that Disney doesn’t allow plastic straws or cup lids anywhere at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. All drinks are served without lids and the straws are paper straws that are biodegradable to ensure that if they were to make their way into any of the waters, that the animals wouldn’t be injured or impacted from the litter. Balloons are also not allowed at Animal Kingdom Park or resort. Should they get away and land in animal habitats, the balloon and strings could be dangerous. If you are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge and buy a balloon at a different park, then when you enter the resort, you have to check it in at the bell stand and you can retrieve it when you leave the resort!
1. There are tunnels.
If you have ever wondered about this one, it is very true. All of the Magic Kingdom is actually the 2nd level of the structure. Underneath the entirety of the Magic Kingdom are tunnels that serve to allow cast members, supplies, trash, etc. to move about without disrupting guests and taking away from the themed nature of each of the lands. It isn’t very magical to have to move supply carts through the onstage areas where guests are, so the tunnels allow them to be moved underground. It is definitely an innovative idea that has been extremely successful at keeping the magic in the Magic Kingdom. What many guests don’t know is that Epcot also has tunnels. The tunnels are in the Future World section of the park and serve the same function as a place for storage and to move supplies.