Walt Disney World is an amazing vacation destination visited by thousands of people each year. Boasting four theme parks, two water parks, over twenty Disney Resorts, and Disney Springs, there are plenty of places for guests to explore and enjoy while on vacation. Each of these places is full of amazing details and themes making guests feel transported to various places in the world as well as time. With so many adventures and experiences to be had, constructing Walt Disney World and all of its attractions, restaurants, shopping locations, and Disney Resorts was no small feat. There are plenty of amazing facts about the construction of Walt Disney World which contain secrets and history for guests to enjoy. Here are seven totally true facts about the construction of Walt Disney World.
7. A Fake Castle
One of the most recognizable buildings in all of Walt Disney World is Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom which beckons guests down Main Street to explore the wonder and experiences ahead. While Cinderella Castle might look like an authentic structure built with bricks and stone, none of those materials were used in its construction! The castle instead was built using concrete, steel, and fiberglass and is strong enough to withstand the high winds that accompany common hurricanes in Central Florida.
6. Creative Structure
Like Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, the Tree of Life stands to welcome guests into Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With thousands of vibrant green leaves and a trunk covered in hundreds of intricately carved animals, the Tree of Life is amazing to behold from any angle. What many guests might not realize is that a unique structure was used to support the tree in an effective way. Imagineers struggled to come up with a strong support concept for the interior of the Tree of Life and ultimately ended up using an old oil rig as the main support of the structure!
5. Bit By Bit
Located right next to the Magic Kingdom is Disney’s Contemporary Resort which celebrates modern architecture with a building that is angled and features the monorail running directly through it. Many guests enjoy staying at and visiting Disney’s Contemporary Resort, but many don’t realize that it was constructed in an unusual way. Each room of the Disney Resort was built separately and installed via crane which slid it into its correct spot in the building! Another fun fact is that the longhouses at Disney’s Polynesian Resort were constructed this way as well.
4. A Giant Lightning Rod
An underrated attraction in the Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room which invites guests into a tropical paradise to be serenaded by a chorus of birds, flowers, and tikis. The exterior of the attraction features a tall structure with many different tiers covered in exotic looking thatch. While the thatch might seem authentic, it is actually made entirely of metal making it a massive lightning rod!
3. Pirates’ Drop
Found near Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in the Magic Kingdom is a classic attraction which brings guests to the high seas to set sail with swashbuckling pirates. Pirates of the Caribbean takes guests through eerie caves and into a burning seaside village where the pirates are running amok. At one point during the attraction, guests find their boats plummeting down a thrilling drop and straight into a raging battle between a fort and pirate ship. While the drop might seem purely for thrills, it was a necessity during construction. Pirates of the Caribbean was not originally intended to be built in the Magic Kingdom since Imagineers felt that guests would not be interested since they were already so close to the Caribbean. After much request, the attraction was constructed, but Imagineers needed a way to move guests underneath the preexisting Walt Disney World Railroad tracks to the newly constructed show building. The end result was the drop that exists today which adds a thrilling element to the attraction while remaining totally functional.
2. Magnetic Force
Guests who visit Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the land by taking a whirl on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. The attraction is nicknamed the highway in the sky and transports guests throughout the land while offering glimpses into attractions like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Space Mountain. While the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a smooth running attraction, many guests don’t know that it is entirely powered by magnets! A linear induction system uses embedded magnets to smoothly push and pull the attraction while transporting guests throughout Tomorrowland.
1. A Unique View
Guests who visit Epcot can enjoy strolling through World Showcase and exploring eleven different pavilions which highlight different countries from around the world. While looking across World Showcase Lagoon at the Morocco Pavilion in the distance, guests might notice that one building might look much further away than the rest but never expect that it is located in an entirely different Walt Disney World theme park! Guests who look at just the right angle can notice The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in nearby Disney’s Hollywood Studios blending in with the architecture of the Morocco Pavilion. When building the attraction, Imagineers realized that it was so tall it could be seen in nearby Epcot, so they added architectural elements and a color scheme which would help it seamlessly blend in with the other buildings in the Morocco Pavilion.