A Walt Disney World vacation is tons of fun from the first moments spent in the parks to the final attraction. Guests love spending time exploring the four theme parks and riding attractions, relaxing at Disney Resorts, and shopping and dining in Disney Springs. With so many amazing things to do in Walt Disney World, guests also love spending time interacting with and meeting the Disney characters. From being able to meet characters like Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear to getting to see them on attractions like Peter Pan and Nemo and friends, guests love the characters of Walt Disney World. While they see these characters a lot, guests might be surprised to learn some totally true facts about them that are both interesting and educational. Each Disney character has a unique history and personality making learning about them lots of fun! Here are eight totally true facts about Walt Disney World characters.
8. Mickey’s Original Name
Every guest recognizes Mickey Mouse, but they might be surprised to learn that he originally had a different name! When Walt Disney originally conceptualized Mickey Mouse, he named him Mortimer and made several sketches developing his mannerisms and characteristics. While Disney loved the look of his creation, his wife Lillian prompted him to switch the name to Mickey after not liking the name Mortimer.
7. Mickey’s Original Voice
After creating Mickey, it was time to take him to the big screen in cartoons for the whole world to enjoy. Walt Disney created a series of cartoons starring the loveable mouse, including the first to feature sound in 1928 titled Steamboat Willie. While many guests recognize the iconic character in these old cartoons, they might not realize that Walt Disney himself provided Mickey’s voice until 1947. By lending his own vocal talents, Disney made sure that the character sounded and acted exactly as he wanted him to.
6. Snow White’s Age
The Disney Princesses are some of the most beloved characters that guests can meet and interact with in Walt Disney World. The original Disney Princess was Snow White whose film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937. While Snow White leads a hard life being hunted down by the Evil Queen and biting into a poisonous apple, she ultimately gets her happy ending with a marriage to her prince. While most guests know the story of Snow White, they might be surprised to learn that she is the youngest Disney Princess at age fourteen!
5. Elsa’s Age
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Elsa from the wildly popular Disney animated film Frozen. Elsa is the older of two sisters whose parents are lost at sea and she ultimately becomes the reigning queen of her kingdom. Like any Disney Princess, she has struggles to overcome in the form of her ice powers which at times can be hard to control. Elsa is a confident and strong Disney Princess and also the oldest at twenty one which makes sense since it is the age of official coronation.
4. A Hidden Ariel
Guests who visit Walt Disney World love spending time in the Magic Kingdom enjoying classic attractions including Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland. The attraction sprinkles guests with pixie dust and allows them to take to the skies to fly high over London and Neverland with Peter Pan and the Darling children. While flying over Neverland, guests pass by locations like Hook’s ship and the mermaid lagoon. Sharp eyed guests can spot Ariel hanging out in the mermaid lagoon and can spy her quickly by looking for her red hair and iconic purple top and green tail.
3. Simba’s Voice
One of the most beloved Disney animated films is The Lion King which was released in 1994. The movie follows the story of Simba, a young lion whose father is murdered by his uncle Scar in exchange for the throne. Simba lives in exile for a number of years before returning to rightfully rule over Pride Rock. While many guests know the story and the characters well, they might be surprised to learn that Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick!
2. A Familiar Voice
Guests who are familiar with the classic Magic Kingdom attractions the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean might recognize a familiar voice featured in both attractions. The Haunted Mansion’s disembodied Ghost Host narrates guests’ experience on the attraction and the Auctioneer on Pirates of the Caribbean can be seen selling off brides for the highest price. Guests are definitely familiar with these prominent characters, but may never have realized that they are voiced by the same person! Paul Frees was a voice actor who provided his talents for a number of Disney characters including the Ghost Host, Auctioneer, and the original narrator at the Hall of Presidents.
1. Master Gracey’s Inspiration
Another totally true fact about a Walt Disney World character also is centered on the Haunted Mansion. Immediately after entering into the foyer, guests are greeted by an aging portrait of Master Gracey whose home they are currently standing in. While the character might seem randomly named, he was provided with that moniker as a tribute to Imagineer Yale Gracey who created many of the special effects which can be enjoyed on the attraction today.