Life

36 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Disney

Disney World is known to house many secrets to keep the park alive and magical. Here are 36 of my favorite things about the park:

1. Cats Clean The Grounds

disneyworld cats photo
Photo by HarshLight

When Disney first opened, feral cats would sneak onto the grounds and catch the mice that inhabited the parks. Instead of fighting the problem, Disney embraced it.  During the day, up to 200 cats are lounge around on their own special feeding stations.  At nights, the cats are let out to keep the grounds free of mice.

And the cats are well cared for too – males and females are spayed and neutered and any kittens that join the family are put up for adoption.

2. The Manhole Covers In ToonTown Play Music

toontown manhole cover photo
Photo by HarshLight

Jump on one and see what music it plays! Hint: the sounds correspond with the instruments on the fountain these covers surround.

3. You Won’t See A Character Point Their Finger

mickey mouse disney world photo
Photo by HarshLight

At least not with a single finger, as it’s considered rude in some cultures. Most often, they gesture with two fingers or a sweeping hand.

4. There Are Thousands Of Mickey Mouse Heads Hidden In The Park

hidden mickey disney world photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

Next time you’re there, see how many you can find!

5. There Is An Entire Network Of Underground Tunnels Beneath The Park

This not only helps keep characters from being in the wrong “land” (i.e. a Cowboy in Tomorrowland) but prevents guests from seeing two of the same characters (i.e. two Cinderellas) at once during a shift change.

6. The Hitching Posts On Main Street Are Painted Every Night

disneyland hitching posts photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

Another small piece of evidence the attention to detail in the parks. Each night, the highly touched hitching posts are stripped and repainted so they look fresh the next morning for the next round of guests.

In fact, the starting time these posts are painted is based on the humidity and temperature, to ensure they’re dry in the morning and no one gets sticky fingers.

7. The Teacups Spin At Different Speeds

disneyland teacups photo
Photo by gruntzooki

Designed to give a fun experience for all, pick an orange teacup with diamonds if you want to spin fast and pink one with hearts if you want to go slower.

8. The Animal Kingdom Has Scientists

They study the animals and their behaviors. One one trip to Africa, they discovered a special call elephants make in relation to alerting each other about bees.

9. The Castles Aren’t As Big As They Look

disney castle photo
Photo by RichardStep.com

The stones near the bottom of the castles are larger than the stones at the top. This optical illusion gives observers the appearance that the castle is actually taller. This effect is also used on the Haunted Mansion and buildings on Main Street.

10. The Haunted Mansion Has A Pet Cemetery

disney haunted mansion photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

If you’re lucky and ask the right person, you may just get a private tour.

11. Over 800 Species Of Plants Are Used To Create Authenticity

disney wilderness lodge photo
Photo by Sam Howzit

For example, at the Polynesian Hotel, Polynesian plants are used to create a true and authentic feel of being on the Polynesian Islands. At the Wilderness Lodge, moose tracks and large, native vegetation are used to create a cooler environment, like you’re out west.

12. All The Costumes Are Hand Made

disney cinderella photo
Photo by PrincessAshley

Hand stitching and fabrics relevant to a specific period in time is used to create authenticity. To add, gold thread is used on relevant costumes to create a special sparkle. This not only gives each character extra pride in what they’re wearing, but rings true that attention to detail is everything.

13. You Can Drive The Mark Twain

mark twain steamboat disney photo
Photo by minnemom

If you’re polite and ask nicely, you may be able to drive the Mark Twain Steamboat. While it’s technically on rails, it’d still be fun to spin the wheel and ring the bell!

14. The Plants In Tomorrowland Are Edible

tomorrowland plants photo
Photo by Myrna Litt

Walt believed the future would be self-sustaining, so each plant is edible

15. Cast Members Are Encouraged To Help

disney world cinderella girl photo
Photo by Remote Sky

Whether a guest is lost, needs a family photo, or a child drops an ice cream cone, cast members are encouraged to help whenever and however possible to each guest has a wonderful and magical time at the park.

16. There Is Always A Trash Can Within 30 Steps

disneyland trash can photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

It’s been said that Disney was disgusted over how dirty theme parks and festivals were. He made a point to watch how far people carried trash before dropping it. The magical number? 30 steps.

17. The Ground Is Painted To Enhance Photos

disney world main street photo
Photo by @cdharrison

Kodak did a study with Disney and painted the ground to make each photo appear more vivid.

18. Walt Disney Created Fictitious Companies To Purchase The Property For Disney World

Why? to help disguise the intent of his grandiose plans. Today, you can find the names of these fictitious companies, like Tomahawk Properties, Compass East Corporation, and Bay Lake Properties, throughout the park – cleverly disguised as store and shop names.

19. There’s A Secret Police

disney security photo
Photo by Daquella manera

Dressed in common civilian clothes, these sneaky officers monitor the safety and well-being of park-goers without disturbing the magic.

20. The Tree Of Life Is Actually An Oil Rig

tree of life disney photo
Photo by meshmar2

Designers and engineers determined an oil rig was one of the strongest structures, and thus used it for this attraction.

21. Staff Can Play Basketball In The Matterhorn

disney matterhorn photo
Photo by Keltron – Thanks for 5 Million Views!

 

Yes, there’s a secret basketball court on the third level- how cool is that?

22. People Have Tried To Spread Deceased Family Members’ Ashes In The Park

For the record, this has and never will be allowed at Disney. Yet, it still hasn’t stopped people from trying.

23. In The “Hall Of Presidents” Bill Clinton Is Wearing His Favorite Iron Man Watch

disney hall of presidents photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

If you look closely, the time is correct too.

24. Fourteen Of The Original Attractions Are Still In Use Today

Country Bear Jamboree photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones
  1. It’s a Small World
  2. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  3. Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
  4. The Hall of Presidents
  5. Mad Tea Party
  6. Peter Pan’s Flight
  7. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  8. Swiss Family Treehouse
  9. Jungle Cruise
  10. Country Bear Jamboree
  11. Walt Disney World Railroad
  12. The Haunted Mansion
  13. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  14. Tomorrowland Speedway

25. Cinderella’s Castle Has A Secret Suite, And It Cannot Be Booked

312 235

Originally intended to be an apartment for Walt Disney, it’s now only used for special promotions and giveaways, so don’t expect to be able to book it for a night while staying at the resort.

26. None Of The Disney Shops Sell Gum

candy cauldron photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

This is another way to help keep the park clean and free of gum being stuck to its masterful pieces, streets, and rides.

27. Smellitizers Are Scattered Throughout The Resort

disney main street photo
Photo by mrkathika

Next time you’re at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, you’ll notice a faint, yet obvious smell of salty air. On Main Street you may smell baking cookies or vanilla.

28. The Brown Concrete Path In Reflects Sewage Running Through The Streets During That Time Period

Liberty Square before rain photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

Hmmm tasty, right? Thankfully, I don’t believe they use smellitizers here…

29. Main Street Has Over 100,000 Light Bulbs

disney main street night photo
Photo by Richo.Fan

Talk about a huge electric bill – for one street alone!

30. The Cast Cannot Grow Facial Hair

disney cast photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

Unless a mustache or beard is fully grown before being hired or grown while away on vacation, men cannot have stubble or facial hair.

31. There’s A Secret Speakeasy

disney club 33 photo
Photo by pinguino
disney club 33 photo
Photo by Sam Howzit

There’s only two places an adult can get a cocktail: one is the Little Mermaid-themed restaurant, and the other is a super secret speakeasy, Club 33. But don’t expect to bop in there for a quick drink – there’s a ten year waiting list.  Open since 1967, the club costs $10,000 a year and has a $25,000 initiation fee per person.

32. The Characters’ Moods Change Throughout The Day

disney world character photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

They’re more perky and peppy in the morning and more mellow in the evening, to match the moods of their guests.

33. Steve Martin Worked At DisneyLand

steve martin photo
Photo by pamhule

As a child, he sold guidebooks then later advanced to working at the Magic Shop.

34. Real Skeletons Were Used In The Pirates Of The Caribbean Attraction

Pirates of the Caribbean disney photo
Photo by Castles, Capes & Clones

 

When first opened to the public, fake skeletons look well, rather fake. Replacements were ordered, all issues from a medical institute that had been used for study. According to Buzzfeed, there’s still a real scull there today.

35. Disney Has A Huge Staff

disney parade photo
Photo by www.traveljunction.com

There are approximately 28,000 cast members that work at Disneyland.

36. There’s A Disney Podcast

Fans can stay up to date with the current news, events, and activities via By The Numb3rs

Photo by SnapAdik