The Magic Kingdom is a favorite park of many guests visiting Walt Disney World, and Fantasyland in particular allows them to feel as though they have left the stress of real life behind and entered directly into the magic. Guests can soar above London with Peter Pan, attend an Unbirthday party, enter the Hundred Acre Woods, and whirl round and round on a royal carrousel. With so many amazing experiences in Fantasyland, there are plenty of hidden secrets and details scattered throughout for guests to find and enjoy. These details help to make Fantasyland feel like a real place and add depth to its history. Here are seven hidden secrets in Fantasyland in Walt Disney World.
7. A Toad Tribute
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction is popular with guests who can board “hunny” pots and travel through the Hundred Acre Woods with Pooh and his friends on a blustery day. Before the attraction was constructed, the space used to be home to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride which took guests on a whirlwind tour of the fictional world of Mr. Toad culminating in a trip to hell. Many guests were sad to see Mr. Toad go, but there are several tributes to him that can still be found in the Magic Kingdom today. In the scene featuring Owl’s treehouse in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, guests can spot a portrait of Mr. Toad handing over the deed to the space to Owl.
6. Cinderella’s Horse
Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel is a focal point of Fantasyland and offers guests the chance to climb aboard a noble steed and ride along to calliope versions of classic Disney songs. While each horse on the carrousel is uniquely decorated with ribbons and flowers, one has a regal detail which directly links it to Cinderella herself. Guests looking for the most royal experience can search for the princesses horse who features a golden ribbon tied to its tail.
5. London’s Traffic
Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the most classic attractions in the Magic Kingdom where guests can board pirate ships and take to the skies to soar with Peter, the Darling children, and the Lost Boys over London and Neverland. Guests especially love the scene over the skyline of London where famous buildings like Big Ben can be seen and traffic rolls by on the busy streets. The traffic might look to be real with small headlights dotting the roads, but the cars are actually two small dots of black light paint continuously running on bicycle chains to appear like traffic!
4. Randy Pausch
The Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland transports guests into the Unbirthday scene from Alice in Wonderland where they can whirl round and round in massive teacups. Located just outside the attraction are several topiaries depicting characters from the animated film along with a leaf bearing an interesting quote. The leaf reads: “Be good at something, it makes you valuable…Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome.” The quote is by Randy Pausch, a former Imagineer and Carnegie Mellon professor who became famous after his book The Last Lecture. Pausch passed away in 2008 and the leaf remains a lasting tribute to his creativity and legacy.
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3. Hidden Steamboat Willie
Fantasyland now encompasses more attractions and experiences than ever with the expansion to include New Fantasyland. One of the new attractions built was Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid where guests can follow along with Ariel as she falls in love with Eric and becomes entangled with Ursula. After exiting the attraction, guests should walk down the exit ramp and turn around behind them to spot a very difficult Hidden Mickey. Looking back, guests should notice a small body of water on the right hand side with a cluster of rocks and a fence on the left. The cluster of rocks form a full body Hidden Steamboat Willie who is exceptionally hard to find.
2. A Cartographer
Located just across the pathway from Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid is a Disney Vacation Club kiosk with an interesting sign. The sign features several mechanical orbs and the name H. Goff Cartographer. Harper Goff was an early animator and Imagineer who helped to create the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and ultimately worked on early concept drawings for Disneyland. This small tribute is a great example of how tiny details can contain a lot of Walt Disney World history!
1. A Nautilus
The famous submarine featured in the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was titled the Nautilus and it was captained by the famed Captain Nemo. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, there was an attraction of the same title featured across the way from where The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is currently located. The attraction brought guests into submarines which dove beneath the surface to discover the ocean below. When the attraction was closed, a playground called Pooh’s Playful Spot was installed and it featured a large tree which children and guests could enter into on the bottom. When the New Fantasyland construction was started, Pooh’s Playful Spot was closed but the tree was moved over to the entrance of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Since the tree survived its move, a tribute to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea can still be found in it! Just inside the arch into the tree there is a small carved outline of the Nautilus from the film and previous attraction which used to exist there. Small details like this show how the park honors extinct experiences and add a rich history and backstory to each area!