A vacation in Walt Disney World can be a magical experience from start to finish with four parks, dozens of attractions, dining locations, resorts, and entertainment. With so much to see and do, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to see it all and overlook some great small details. Some of the best details in Walt Disney World are hidden in plain sight while others can be a little harder to spot, but all add a depth to the theme and atmosphere of the parks. Here are the top seven hidden gems in Walt Disney World to discover on your next vacation!
7. Main Street Windows –
All along Main Street in the Magic Kingdom are different buildings housing everything from the Emporium to the Confectionary. While each location offers unique shopping or food options, they all have one thing in common. On the upper floors of the buildings are windows that appear to be advertising the fictional townspeople of Main Street and their various businesses. What many guests might not realize is that these windows are purposely placed to pay homage to individuals who were instrumental in the development of Walt Disney World and the Disney Company. These tributes are hidden in plain sight and can offer up a lesson in Disney history. Look for Walt Disney’s two windows- one facing the exterior of the park above the Walt Disney World Railroad Station and one facing Cinderella Castle above The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.
6. Disney’s Crest –
While Cinderella Castle is ornate with its multiple blue turrets and stained glass windows along the back, there is one detail that can be easily overlooked. Located on the back of the Castle facing Fantasyland is a crest which might look like a decoration placed there to fit in but is actually the crest of the Disney family. Kind of fitting that the man that started it all would have his family represented on the most iconic building in Walt Disney World.
5. Cinderella’s Mosaics –
Located in the breezeway of Cinderella Castle connecting the hub with Fantasyland, there are a series of beautiful and ornate murals depicting the story of Cinderella. Featuring several iconic scenes from the classic animated film, there are so many small details to be found and appreciated. Be sure to look for a scene featuring Cinderella’s evil stepsisters who are literally red with rage and green with envy!
4. Mary Blair’s Mural –
While this piece of art is larger than life, guests will miss it if they do not pay a visit to the Contemporary Resort. With a massive atrium for a lobby through which the monorail passes through, the resort is modern and architecturally impressive. There is one large scale piece of artwork featured in the lobby that brings a warm feeling to the place that was designed by Imagineer Mary Blair. Blair was an artist and is most famously known for her whimsical designs for It’s A Small World. The mural in the Contemporary Resort titled “Mosaic” celebrates unity and features a very sneakily hidden goat with five legs.
3. Mr. Toad’s Tombstone –
Many guests absolutely loved Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and were disappointed when it closed to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. While there are several tributes to Mr. Toad and his friends throughout the Winnie the Pooh attraction, there is a more sinister homage located over in Liberty Square near the Haunted Mansion. After exiting the attraction, guests walk along a pathway back towards Liberty Square and pass by a pet cemetery on the left. Located in the far back corner of the cemetery is a statue of Mr. Toad, paying tribute to the dearly departed amphibian. Since he is hidden in the back corner, some guests might not notice him making him a hidden gem.
2. Wonder of Life Pavilion –
This is an example of a Walt Disney World hidden gem located in plain sight. In Future World’s Epcot there is a pavilion that used to house attractions like Body Wars and The Making of Me but was shut down years ago. While it no longer is home to any attractions, guests can still enter it to visit the Festival Center during certain hours throughout the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in the spring and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in the fall. Guests can get a sneak peek into a pavilion that no longer holds it old charm, but still opens its doors occasionally.
1. Hidden Mickeys –
These are the ultimate hidden gems in Walt Disney World and they exist virtually everywhere. Hidden Mickeys don’t necessarily have to be Mickey, but most often are images of the mouse himself. These hidden images can be abstract, full body, or three circles forming a classic Hidden Mickey. They can be found in everything from décor to artwork and some are easy to spot while others can be really tricky! Either way, Hidden Mickeys are hidden gems that guests can spend days spotting on their vacations!