When most guests think of Walt Disney World, they immediately call to mind images of Cinderella Castle and classic attractions and experiences in the Magic Kingdom. Guests who spend time in the park can plunge into the Briar Patch, blast off into space, travel the world, fly high over London, sail with pirates, and interact with mischievous ghosts. With so many amazing experiences to be had in the Magic Kingdom, many guests get caught up in rushing around to see it all and often overlook many great details. Many of these details contain some great hidden secrets and history, and those who stop to appreciate the small things will be sure to love uncovering some secrets! Here are seven secrets most guests don’t know about Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
7. A Special Crest
One of the most beloved attractions in all of Walt Disney World can be found in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. Pirates of the Caribbean allows guests to set sail on the high seas and encounter eerie caves, swashbuckling pirates, and a burning seaside village. Many Imagineers were involved in the creation of the attraction, and most guests don’t realize that there is a hidden tribute to one of them in the final scene. Just above the singing figure of Captain Jack Sparrow is a crest with the name Marco Davisi. While this name might seem like a random one chosen to add detail, it actually pays tribute to Imagineer Marc Davis who was instrumental in helping create Pirates of the Caribbean.
6. It’s Magnetic!
Guests who are looking to enjoy a unique viewpoint in Tomorrowland should hop about the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover for a ride on the highway in the sky. The attraction brings guests around Tomorrowland and offers them bird’s eye views of the area and special glimpses into nearby attractions like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Guests love hopping aboard the TTA and enjoying the smooth ride and cooling breeze. What many guests don’t realize is that they entire attraction is powered by magnets! Using linear induction technology, magnets embedded in the track of the TTA push and pull guests for a smooth and enjoyable ride around Tomorrowland.
5. A Familiar Voice
Guests who are brave enough to ride the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square can enter into Gracey Manor where nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts are having a swinging wake. While moving through the queue before entering into the mansion, guests pass through an interactive graveyard that includes a grand organ. Guests who look closely will notice the name Ravenscroft on the organ but might not realize that it is referencing a very familiar voice. Thurl Ravenscroft was a voice actor who can be heard as the lead singing bust in the graveyard scene of the Haunted Mansion as well as a singing pirate on Pirates of the Caribbean.
4. Half A Plane
The world famous Jungle Cruise invites guests to explore the exotic rivers of the world while being steered by amazing and corny skippers. Guests can enjoy an elephant bathing pool, exotic temple riches, and the backside of water along their journey. At one point during the attraction, guests pass by the back half of a plane that looks as though it crash landed in the jungle. Many guests don’t realize that the front half of that plane formerly resided in the Casablanca scene of The Great Movie Ride which is now closed in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We can’t help but wonder what Disney will do with this half of the plane next?
3. Madame Leota’s Two Voices
One of the most beloved characters from the Haunted Mansion is Madame Leota who summons the spirits to materialize in front of guests. Leota can be seen both as a floating head in her séance scene and as a miniature full body version at the very end of the attraction beckoning guests to hurry back. When the attraction was being constructed, Imagineer Leota Toombs was selected to model as Madame Leota and it is her face that guests see today. While her face was perfect, Disney decided that her voice was not menacing enough for the character and Eleanor Audley, who voiced Maleficent and Lady Tremaine, was brought in to lend her talents. Leota Toombs’ real voice can be heard at the end of the attraction as Little Leota telling guests to be hurry back.
2. A Great Big Beautiful Hidden Mickey
A classic attraction in Tomorrowland that originated at the 1964 New York World’s Fair brings guests on a journey through the century to show them just how great progress can be. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress follows one family through the years and shows how their lives are made easier by new technology and innovation. In the final scene of the attraction the family is celebrating Christmas and there are several Hidden Mickeys for guests to spot. On the left hand side of the scene is a mantle with several nutcrackers on display, one of which looks just like Mickey Mouse.
1. No Bricks
While Cinderella Castle might look like a genuine castle built of brick and stone, many guests might be surprised to learn that there was not one brick used to build the structure! Cinderella Castle is instead built from cement and fiberglass for a sturdy building which can withstand the high winds common in Florida hurricanes. Imagineers did such a beautiful job in creating and decorating Cinderella Castle that many guests never realize it is not constructed of stone.