Walt Disney World is a massive vacation destination boasting four theme parks, two water parks, over twenty Disney Resorts, Disney Springs, countless dining options, and plenty of places to shop. With so much to see and do on a Disney vacation, there is no way to experience it all on one trip alone, so many guests find themselves returning time and time again. After several visits, guests might begin to think that they know all there is to know about Walt Disney World, but they are probably mistaken as every inch of the property is full of hidden secrets, history, and Hidden Mickeys. With so many amazing facts hiding in plain sight and slightly more hidden, guests could spend an entire vacation trying to figure them out. Here are the five biggest kept Disney secrets for guests to look for on their next Walt Disney World vacation.
5. Utilidors –
Of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World, guests tend to spend the most time in the Magic Kingdom as it is full of wonderfully themed lands with both thrilling and classic attractions. While enjoying the park, guests might be familiar with how to get around but might never realize that they are on the second floor! When Imagineers were constructing the Magic Kingdom, they built a system of tunnels to house everyday operations like garbage collection, Cast Member services, and costuming. These tunnels are called the Utilidors and named as a combination of utility and corridor. Guests enjoying their time in the Magic Kingdom ae actually on the second floor walking above the famous Utilidors.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean’s Drop –
One of the most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom can be found in Adventureland. Pirates of the Caribbean invites guests to set sail with swashbuckling pirates who are ransacking a burning seaside village. After boarding their boats, guests move through an eerie cave before plummeting down a drop into a battle between a pirate ship and a fort. While the drop might seem to be solely for thrills, it is actually a necessity. When the Magic Kingdom first opened, Imagineers did not intend to build Pirates of the Caribbean since they thought guests would be disinterested due to their proximity to the Caribbean. After many requests, Imagineers decided to construct the attraction but faced a dilemma. Guests would board Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland but needed to be able to cross the preexisting tracks of the Walt Disney World Railroad to reach the show building. Imagineers decided to add the drop to the attraction’s design to add a thrill while moving guests underneath the railroad tracks.
3. Tree Support –
Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom can join in a celebration of nature and the environment and learn all about the importance of conservation. After walking through The Oasis, guests emerge to enjoy the beautiful view of the Tree of Life. The massive structure can be seen from all over the park and features thousands of leaves and a trunk covered in hundreds of intricately carved animals. When Imagineers were constructing the Tree of Life, they needed to come up with a design which could successfully support the structure as well as leave room in the roots for the theater that houses It’s Tough To Be A Bug. The solution came in the form of a used oil rig which provided plenty of support while keeping space in the bottom.
2. A Fake Castle –
One of the most recognizable buildings in all of Walt Disney World is Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Situated at the end of Main Street, Cinderella Castle invites guests to continue further into the park and enjoy all that it has to offer. While the castle might look completely realistic thanks to its beautiful details, guests might be surprised to know that not one brick was used in its construction! Instead, Cinderella Castle was constructed using concrete and fiberglass to ensure that it could safely withstand the strong winds which accompany hurricanes common in Central Florida.
1. Presidential Roles –
Guests who visit Epcot simply must enjoy a ride on Spaceship Earth. The attraction is housed in a massive geodesic sphere which is covered in futuristic silver triangles and is so large that it can be seen from throughout the park. Spaceship Earth invites guests to board Time Machines and travel from the beginning of time to modern day to celebrate the history of communication. Guests pass through many scenes full of audio animatronics depicting important moments in history like the burning of Rome, the Renaissance, and man landing on the moon. Since so many audio animatronics are used in Spaceship Earth, Imagineers decided to use preexisting forms already created for the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom instead of designing all new ones. As a result, guests who ride Spaceship Earth today can spot William Taft as an Egyptian, John Adams as a monk, Teddy Roosevelt as a Roman, and James Buchanan as Gutenberg.