From the magic of Main Street to the smiling characters that roam the park and the adrenaline-pumping rides, it’s hardly surprising that Disney World is described as the happiest place on earth.
But did you know the parks are actually full of mystery? That’s right – Disney World is hiding a whole world of secrets, all waiting for your discovery.
So if you consider yourself a hard-core Disney fan, here’s 17 park secrets that you can look out for on your next visit.
1. Distinct Disney smells
If you haven’t noticed, you rarely smell a bad scent in Disney World. In fact, the park uses distinct fragrances to evoke nostalgic memories – from freshly baked cookies to the sickly-sweet smell of candy – only enhancing your Disney World experience. This is achieved through hidden devices dotted across the park, which are known as smellitizers.
Main Street in particular is known for its pleasing aromas, and its ice cream parlour has one of the most recognised – many park-goers have described it as a vanilla-like scent.
2. No gum
You can find most things in the Disney Park shops, but one thing you won’t come across is gum. This minty sweet isn’t sold in any of the shops here in a bid to keep the place clean.
So, if you really want to chew gum during your time in the park, you’ll have to bring your own, just make sure you place it in a bin and not on the floor.
3. The ever-lasting Tree of Life
With its 300 carvings and towering branches, The Tree of Life has become one of the most iconic structures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But did you know that it was formed from an old oil rig? It wasn’t named the Tree of Life by coincidence – this tree was built to last, even in the most extreme weather conditions.
4. Remember to mention it’s your birthday
If it’s your birthday during your trip to Disney World, make sure you mention it to a cast member on your arrival. If you do, you’ll be given a birthday badge with your name on it, letting everyone know it’s your big day.
Don’t be surprised if you get a few birthday wishes from the staff as you make your way through the park either, Disney is renowned for their friendly employees. Even better, your badge often means you’ll receive a bunch of freebies – so the more people who know it’s your birthday, the better your visit will be.
5. The colour they don’t want you to see
To keep the magic alive, some of the park’s less glamorous objects such as bins and fences are painted in a particular colour, a shade which is known as ‘Go Away Green’.
This shade has been used specifically so items they don’t want you to see blend into the background. This is actually extremely effective as everything else in the park is brightly coloured.
6. Complex underground tunnels
Quem já ouviu falar dos túneis que existem abaixo do Magic Kingdom? Mito ou verdade?? VERDADE!! 🤔 São os Utilidors e servem para deslocamento de toda a logística do parque para que a magia não se perca! 🏰 Rezalenda, que Walt em uma de suas andanças pelo parque viu um cowboy perambulando por Tomorrowland e ficou P. da vida: " como assim um cowboy na terra do futuro?!" E assim, na construção do Magic Kingdom foram construídos túneis e o parque todo foi construído acima deles! . Fizemos o tour Keys to The Kingdom onde é possível visitar os túneis e todo backsatage do parque, mas fotos e qualquer outro tipo de registro é proibido! 📱📸📹 #disneysecrets #keystothekingdom #magickingdom #utilidors #disneyside #disneyparks
When Disney was built, so was its network of underground tunnels. Covering over nine acres of the park, this hidden network of passageways is where you’ll find all of Disney’s employees. But it’s not as dingy as it sounds – this underground space actually houses everything from dressing rooms to eating spots and rehearsal facilities.
If you’re wondering why everything is hidden underground, the tunnels were initially built to conceal anything that may ruin the park’s magic. After all, no one wants to catch Mickey Mouse with a phone in his hand.
7. Pick up the phone
If you head to the Market House on Main Street, you’ll find a phone on the wall. Pick it up and listen to the conversation on the other end – there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of eavesdropping.
8. Liberty Square has no toilets
Those who have visited Epcot’s Liberty Square may have noticed that there are no toilets. We can assure you this isn’t a mistake by Disney, the absence of toilet facilities are actually to fit in with the time period, considering plumbing didn’t exist during Colonial America.
9. Watch out for Aladdin’s spitting camel
Keep an eye out for the spitting camel in Adventureland, you might just get wet. Most people think the camel outside The Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride is electronic, but what they don’t know is a member of staff is paid to soak park-goers at random – who’d have thought it, eh?
10. Find the speakeasy
Tucked away in Disney’s New Orleans Square is one of the most select venues – Club 33. This exclusive lounge has attracted some famous faces over the years such as Johnny Depp and Elton John.
However, it’s strictly members only, and with a 14 year waiting list you won’t be getting in for a while. A membership isn’t cheap either – those who want to join will have to pay $100,000 upfront, and then $30,000 each year after that.
11. Mickey’s everywhere
Disney World is full of hidden Mickey’s from the artwork to the décor and in many of the rides. Make it your mission to spot as many as you can, some are more obvious than others, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t find them all.
12. A Cinderella Castle stay
CURIOSIDADES DISNEY – Você sabia que existe um lindo quarto no Castelo da Cinderela do Magic Kingdom?⠀ ⠀ O interior do castelo é todo oco, mas há mesmo uma suíte digna de realeza montada no topo da torre. Conta a história que Walt Disney planejou o quarto para sua família. Pena que este espaço é usado raríssimas vezes para hospedar alguns convidados especiais, artistas, celebridades, músicos ou ganhadores de promoções da Disney.⠀ ⠀ #disney #disneycombraun #wdw #magickingdom #disneymagic #braunturismo #disneysecrets
There’s an actual suite in Cinderella’s Castle, but before you get too excited, you can’t book a night in it. In fact, this once-in-a-lifetime stay is reserved for Disney competition winners.
13. Taste the plants in Tomorrowland
In true Willy Wonker style, if you head over to Tomorrowland the plants are edible. So when you’re feeling a little peckish and don’t want to pay the park’s prices, just take a nibble of the greenery.
Orange trees, lettuce, kale, strawberries and grapes are just some of the tasty food supplies you’ll find growing here.
14. Get there early
If you arrive slightly early, around 15 minutes, there’s a ‘Let the Magic Begin’ welcome show. This fantastic spectacle puts smiles on guests’ faces before they even try the rides. Taking place every day at the Castle Forefront Stage, the show is full of all your favourite Disney characters.
15. A secret menu at Be Our Guest
Despite being the hardest place to get a reservation in Disney World, if you do happen to bag yourself a table in the Be Our Guest restaurant, make sure you ask for the ‘grey stuff’.
Fans of Beauty and the Beast will recognise the reference from the song. But, even if you don’t, these two secret words are your key to the hidden item on the menu.
And we’ll let you in on an even bigger secret – the hidden item is a chocolate mousse-like dessert.
16. Disney World is its own city
It may be hard to believe, but Disney World is its own city. In May 1967, Florida’s Disney World was given the authority to open schools, have a criminal justice system and even open a nuclear power plant. Although the park is yet to do any of these things, Disney has the same powers as a city.
17. The hidden touches inside the Haunted Mansion
Disney’s Haunted Mansion is one of the park’s most intriguing rides, and it all comes down to its hidden touches.
If you didn’t know, the attraction is home to a wedding ring, which you’ll find buried in the pavement. And if that wasn’t interesting enough, the attraction is also said to house real human remains – pretty spooky, right?
How many of these secrets will you uncover on your next Disney World holiday?