Guess the Disney Character Based on These Little-Known Facts

credit: Disneytips

How well do you know your Disney characters?  

Let’s find out!  

Can you guess the Disney character based on these little-known facts?  If not, don’t feel bad – just head to Walt Disney World or turn on an animated Disney film for a refresher course. Good luck!

You may recognize this character’s face and smile because they were based on Tom Cruise.

Have you ever watched a Disney film and thought, “Gee”, that animated character looks awfully familiar?  

It turns out there could be a good reason for that! Disney animators get their inspiration from the most interesting places, and sometimes beloved animated characters are created using actual (famous) people as models.

When creating the character of Aladdin for the 1992 animated film by the same name, creators considered using Michael J. Fox as inspiration, but they came to the conclusion the actor was too young.

So instead, they based Aladdin on none other than Tom Cruise.  We can see the resemblance!

Can’t get enough of Aladdin?  Hop on The Magic Carpets of Aladdin in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, or watch the live-action Aladdin film from 2019.


Credit: Disney

This famous Disney character usually goes by her nickname. Her actual first name, though, is Minerva.

She’s one of the most iconic Disney characters of all time, yet very few people know her first name, which was only revealed in a comic strip in 1942, 14 years after she was created.  

It’s Minnie Mouse! Or, as we should more accurately say, Minerva Mouse!  

While it’s not exactly a common name anymore, there was a time in the late 19th century when “Minerva”, whose etymological origins can be traced back to the name of the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, was quite popular as a girl’s name.

Minnie-slash-Minerva Mouse fans can visit this classic Disney character at the World Showcase Gazebo in Disney’s EPCOT theme park – from a safe distance, of course.


Credit: Disney Tips

This beloved Disney character is a mix of various different animals: a lion, a bear, a wolf, a gorilla, a boar, and a buffalo.

This may be the easiest character on this list to guess because there really aren’t a lot of Disney characters – especially beloved ones – who fit this description!  

Of course, the answer is the Beast, from the classic animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991).  

Aside from his piercing blue eyes, which were made to look 100% human, the rest of the Beast’s physical characteristics come from either a lion, bear, wolf, gorilla, boar, or buffalo.  So the next time you’re watching the film, see if you can tell what animal the animators had in mind for which body part!

For the ultimate Beauty and the Beast encounter, book a table at the Beast’s Castle and enjoy a meal at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Disney’s Magic Kingdom.


Credit: Disney

This prince is the first prince in any Disney film to be saved by his princess.

There’s a long cinematic tradition of females being rescued by males, and Disney was no exception to this rule, as anyone who has watched a classic Disney film knows.  

Today, of course, the “damsel in distress” narrative no longer flies (did it ever, really?), and Disney princesses in this day and age are forces to be reckoned with, reflecting the awesomeness of actual females everywhere.

But well before the Elsas, Mulans, and Meridas of the Disneyverse, a famous Disney prince was the very first to be saved by the girl who would become his princess back in 1989.  

It’s Prince Eric, in Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989), who is of course saved from drowning by Ariel! Who knew there was even more to love about this feisty princess?  

You can visit Ariel and Eric and all their friends in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland by hopping on a clamshell on Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.


Credit: Inside the Magic

This character is the first main character in any animated Disney movie to never say a word.

Plenty of Disney characters have endearing and/or hilarious sidekicks who aren’t the most vocal, but still manage to get their points across just fine!  

Examples are Maximus from Tangled (2010), Abu in Aladdin (1992), Cri-Kee in Mulan (1998), and even the Crocodile in Peter Pan (1953), who not only doesn’t speak, he doesn’t even have a name!  

But this Disney character made history by becoming the first main character in any Disney that never utters a single word. It’s loveable Dumbo, the main character from Disney’s 1941 film of the same name.  

Dumbo manages to be one of the most endearing characters in Disney history even without words, and even had a live-action remake named after him in 2019.

Guests can become reacquainted with this historic character by riding the classic attraction Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland at Walt Disney World.


Credit: Disney

She is the youngest ever Disney princess.

Disney princesses have been role models for generations of young women, but when you stop and think about it, the serious life choices they’re making (including, until disturbingly recently, getting married) should raise a few eyebrows, considering they’re all teenagers.  

That’s right, not a single official Disney Princess (Snow White, Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Pocahontas, Belle, Mulan, Merida, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Tiana) would even be able to drink at her own wedding. But do you know who the youngest ever Disney princess is?

It’s Snow White, who’s only barely even a teenager at 14. Shouldn’t she be starting high school?  

Granted, that would be a very different film than the actual animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).  Thank goodness times have changed!

Guests can visit this iconic princess on the attraction Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.


Credit: Disney Tips

Bottom Line

How did you do? Are you a Disney expert?  

It’s always fun learning little-known details about your favorite Disney characters – it will make your next trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom theme parks all the more enjoyable.

About Stacy Milford

Stacy has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and travels whenever humanly possible. Passionate about music theatre, dessert, and adventure in the great wide somewhere, she visits Walt Disney World every year, usually during Halloween! Stacy currently divides her time between writing and teaching English as a second language to children in China, and is pretty sure growing up is over-rated.