The Magic Kingdom is home to many different unique lands which each transport guests to another place in time and location. Adventureland takes guests on daring journeys down exotic rivers, through a coastal town being ransacked by pirates, to the skies with Aladdin, and even to the tropics with serenading birds. With so many different locales in Adventureland, there are plenty of amazing details which help to make the area seem cohesive in theme. Hidden among the lush jungle foliage are details which help to give the land a rich backstory and plenty of depth. Some of these details are hidden in plain sight for guests to enjoy and others are very hard to spot. No matter what the hidden detail is, it helps make Adventureland so amazing for guests to explore. Here are seven hidden secrets in Adventureland in Walt Disney World.
7. Marc Davis’ Tribute
Pirates of the Caribbean takes guests on an adventure on the high seas through a coastal town being ransacked and pillaged by swashbuckling pirates. Guests who enjoy the attraction experience spooky caves filled with skeletal remains and various scenes in the coastal town that combine both humor and adventure. During an update in recent years, Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie franchise inspired by the attraction was installed in several places throughout Pirates of the Caribbean. In the final scene where Captain Jack can be seen singing amongst his many treasures, guests can look above him to spot a crest with an interesting name. Marco Daviso might sound like a noble who was renowned in the town that is being pillaged, however it actually is a clever tribute to Marc Davis, an Imagineer who was instrumental in helping to come up with concepts for the attraction.
6. Half A Plane
The Jungle Cruise is a beloved Walt Disney World attraction which takes guests down several of the world’s largest and most exotic rivers. The attraction is loved by many guests due to the corny skippers who navigate each attraction boat while telling joke after joke along the way. At one point during the Jungle Cruise, guests pass by the back half of a plane where skippers generally make several jokes about crash landing into their jobs. The plane looks as though it has been rotting away in the jungle for some time, but many guests don’t realize that the other half previously resided in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Casablanca scene of the Great Movie Ride before it closed. We can’t help but wonder if Disney will come up with a new use for this half of the plane!
5. Evans’ Crate
The Jungle Cruise keeps guests entertained while on the attraction, so it is no surprise that the queue is also rich in detail with plenty of humorous props and signs to enjoy. While winding their way towards the loading dock, guests pass by a crate which is ready to be shipped to “Evans Exotic Plant Exporters.” The crate might just seem like a random prop to add detail to the queue but it actually is paying homage to Bill Evans, a master horticulturist who was brought in by Disney to create the lush jungle environments that guests enjoy on the attraction today.
4. Swiss Family Tribute
One of the most underrated attractions in Adventureland is the Swiss Family Treehouse which allows guests to climb high above to enjoy the home that the Robinson family has crafted for themselves. The views from the top can’t be beat, especially around sunset and while there is plenty of detail throughout the rooms of the treehouse, there is a tribute to the history of the Robinson’s tale at the nearby Jungle Cruise. Located near the exit of the Jungle Cruise is another shipping crate which is addressed to Kenneth Annakin who directed the Swiss Family Robinson movie. Underneath Annakin’s name is also a reference to Johann David Wyss who wrote the original novel chronicling the adventures of the Robinson family. These two references are what help to make Adventureland so fantastic!
3. A Game Of Chess
While walking through the FastPass side of the queue for Pirates of the Caribbean, guests can stumble upon an interesting scene. Guests who are curious enough to look through the bars in one of the fort’s windows can peer down onto a chess game that has been played for so long that the pirates are now skeletons. This gag was designed by Marc Davis who is honored in the first hidden secret of this post, and he made sure that the game was an actual stalemate to make the scene as authentic as possible.
2. Pirates’ Drop
As mentioned before, Pirates of the Caribbean begins with an eerie ride through dark caves where mermaids swim amongst the skeletal remains of pirates past. At the end of the caves, guests enter into a dark tunnel where they suddenly plunge down a hill into the middle of a vicious battle between a pirate ship and a coastal fort. Many guests automatically assume that the drop exists for extra thrills on the attraction, but it serves a functional purpose. Pirates of the Caribbean was built after the Magic Kingdom was already open to the public with the Walt Disney World Railroad running on a continuous loop around the exterior of the park. The massive show building for Pirates of the Caribbean was built outside of the track’s loop, so guests need to pass down that drop hill in order to go underneath the railroad tracks and be able to reach the show building.
1. A Familiar Voice
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is home to dozens of beautifully exotic birds, plants, and tikis who serenade guests seated below. The four main hosts of the show are colorful macaws from various locations from around the world, and one of them has a rather familiar voice to Disney fans. Fritz is voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft who can be heard as a singing bust on the Haunted Mansion, Buff the Bison at Country Bear Jamboree, and also as the vocalist in “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” With such a rich history providing voices to Disney theme park characters, it is no wonder that many guests recognize the voice of Fritz as Thurl Ravenscroft!