7 Secrets Most People Don’t Know About Walt Disney World

Many guests love visiting Walt Disney World as much as possible to enjoy the amazing attractions, entertainment, dining, and shopping. With so many wonderful things to see and do while on a Disney vacation, many guests do stop to appreciate the details and ease of enjoying time in the parks. While many guests appreciate the surface details of Walt Disney World, many don’t realize the immense force and happenings that go on behind the scenes to make every day as smooth and magical as possible. Some of the backstage magic are things that exist out of sight of guests and some are hidden in plain sight. Either way, these secrets help to make a Disney vacation as amazing as possible. Here are seven secrets that most guests don’t know about Walt Disney World.

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7. The Magic Kingdom’s Basement 

Many guests spend a good amount of time on each Disney vacation enjoying the various lands and attractions of the Magic Kingdom. From Cinderella Castle to Pirates of the Caribbean there is something there for every guest to enjoy. While exploring the park, many guests don’t realize that they are actually on the second floor! When construction began on the Magic Kingdom, Disney built a series of tunnels to be used by Cast Members and for services out of sight of the guests. These Utilidors (named for utility and corridors) can be found throughout the park underneath the feet of guests who are walking around on regular paths that are actually located on the second floor.

6. Man Made Lagoon

Guests who head into the Magic Kingdom or enjoy any of the nearby Disney Resorts love looking out across Seven Seas Lagoon and enjoying the slight breeze and view. Many guests might automatically assume that the lagoon has been a part of nature in Central Florida for some time now, but they are wrong! Seven Seas Lagoon was actually man made by Disney when construction began on Walt Disney World and the area was simply swampland before 1971!

5. Abandoned Waves

Guests who stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort area treated to the serenity of the South Pacific while remaining close to the Magic Kingdom and monorail line. Guests who enjoy their time at the resort can look out across Seven Seas Lagoon while enjoying white sand beaches. The atmosphere along the beach is so serene that guests might actually feel as though they are at an exotic beach! What many guests don’t realize is that there used to be waves along the shores of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort thanks to a wave machine placed at the bottom of Seven Seas Lagoon. Unfortunately, the wave machine quickly caused unwanted erosion on the beach and was shut down to remain dormant in the lagoon.

4. No Pointing!

Cast Members are some of the most friendly and helpful people on the planet. They are always chipper, willing to answer questions, and happy to just have conversations with guests who are enjoying their time in Walt Disney World. Cast Members are extensively trained in how to be both helpful and respectful to guests, and those who look closely will realize that there is a simple everyday gesture that Cast Members are not allowed to do. Since it is considered disrespectful in some cultures, Cast Members are not allowed to point in a general direction or at any place with one finger. Instead they point using both their index and middle fingers to help guests find an attraction or location.

3. So Many Trees!

Walt Disney World is a beautiful place to enjoy landscaping and gardens. With flowers, topiaries, lawns, and lush tropical plant life growing throughout the property, guests who love gardening and planting are sure to greatly enjoy looking at everything that is growing in Disney. Located just north of the Magic Kingdom is a massive tree farm where many of the plants, flowers, bushes, and trees are grown until they are strong enough to be moved to another location in Walt Disney World.

2. No Pirates?

One of the most popular attractions in Walt Disney World is Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. The attraction allows guests to take to the high seas with swashbuckling pirates as they glimpse Captain Jack Sparrow and ransack a burning seaside village. Since the attraction is so popular, many guests are surprised to learn that it almost did not exist in Walt Disney World! When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, Pirates of the Caribbean was missing as Imagineers assumed that many guests would not be interested in the experience since they were already so close to the Caribbean. After having countless guests ask where the popular attraction was it was decided to build it in Adventureland where it remains a favorite today.

1. So Much More Room!

One thing that many guests are both surprised and pleased to learn is that only a small fraction of the Walt Disney World property is developed with the theme parks, Disney Resorts, and Disney Springs that guests know today. This means that there are endless possibilities for future expansions, brand new parks and resorts, and lots of amazing new ideas. With so much room for growth, guests will be sure to enjoy Walt Disney World for many years to come.

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.