Sure, you may already know Disney World is the most magical place—ever. But there’s so much about the park I’m sure you don’t know. From little-known facts to full blown secrets, we’ve uncovered over 100 Walt Disney World facts that are sure to surprise.

Ready to go behind-the-scenes of America’s favorite amusement park? Whether you’re a Disney novice or a total Disneyphile, there’s no doubt about it—this park is fascinating.

In the late 1950’s, Walt had the idea to open up another theme park, and has his eye on Florida. In 1959 he visited Orlando with some fellow investors and looked at potential land.

He bought the land using fake names, one was M.T. Lott. Lets be honest if the land owners knew Walt Disney was interested in their land, the asking price would’ve gone way up.

Rumors started to grow that Walt was building another Disneyland in Florida.

Once he accuired the land he wanted, he was ready to anounce the Florida project. “Disney World”

After the announcement Walt spent alot of time planning Disney World, discussing the possibilities of the Magic Kingdom and his new park idea Epcot.

Walt Disney died of complications of lung cancer on Dec. 15, 1966, before the first shovel of dirt was moved on construction of Disney World.

Walt’s brother and business partner Roy O. Disney, postponed his retirement to oversee construction of the resort’s first phase.

It took 18 months to build Cinderella’s castle.

Roy O. Disney dedicated the property and declared that it would be known as “Walt Disney World” in his brother’s honor. In his own words: “Everyone has heard of Ford cars.

But have they all heard of Henry Ford, who started it all? Walt Disney World is in memory of the man who started it all, so people will know his name as long as Walt Disney World is here.”

After the dedication, Roy Disney asked Walt’s widow, Lillian, what she thought of Walt Disney World. According to biographer Bob Thomas, she responded, “I think Walt would have approved.” Roy O. Disney died on December 20, 1971, less than three months after the property opened.

10,000. That was the number of people in attendance for Disney World’s soft opening on Oct. 1, 1971. But the grand opening later that month — which included performances by Julie Andrews, Bob Hope and Glen Campbell — was televised nationally. Today, the Magic Kingdom alone averages about 47,000 visitors a day.

Fourteen of the opening day attractions in the Magic Kingdom are still running.

Cinderella Castle is the tallest structure in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park at 189 feet, followed by Space Mountain at 183 feet.

It’s completely made out of fiberglass — no bricks included!

There is a secret suite in Cinderella’s castle that cannot be booked; it’s by invite only or for promotional giveaways. It was originally meant to be Walt Disney’s apartment.

The iconic park bench occupied by co-founding father Roy O. Disney seated next to Minnie Mouse greets millions of guests each year and is one of the most prized photo locations ever. Although it was originally placed inside the fence in Town Square at Magic Kingdom Park, guests routinely climbed over it to sit next to Minnie.

Within a year, it was relocated just outside the fence. Guests may feel that the empty space to the right of Minnie was made for them, but Blaine’s intent was to show Minnie’s conscious decision to sit right next to Roy as a way to make him more “approachable,” as he was rarely in the limelight as was Walt.

The parks use a patented ‘Smellitzer’ device designed to pump certain scents around. Whether it’s a waft of sea salt in Pirates of the Caribbean, or vanilla on Main Street.

It’s not easy keeping the magic alive. Disney World employs 62,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer in the country.

If you would like to get pictures of the Magic Kingdom without any people in them book an early breakfast at the Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Royal Table. This will give you access to the Park before it is open.

Each land is roped off but you will be able to travel around the hub and the Partners statue for some great people free photos.

Built in 1917, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Fantasyland was once located at Olympic Park in Maplewood, New Jersey.

If you hang out in the library for a few minutes after the Enchanted Tales with Belle show ends, the crew will explain some of their technical tricks, like bringing the character of Lumiere to life.

When visiting the Be Our Guest Restaurant, modeled after Beauty and the Beast, ask your waiter or waitress for “the grey stuff” in order to try the secret item on the menu. I’ve tried it, and it is very delicious.

In The Voyage of the Little Mermaid ride, Disney adds helium to the bubble makers to create bubbles that float up instead of down.

At one point, the parking lots at Magic Kingdom were named after six of the seven dwarfs; they left out Doc because designers thought it would be confused for ferry docks. They’ve since been changed to popular heroes and villains.

All of Disneyland can fit into Magic Kingdom’s parking lot.

In order to rank as a “Galactic Hero” at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, you must score 900,000 to 999,999 points.

Disney keeps the buses moving all day long, transporting park visitors to and from the park. The transportation system is actually the 3rd largest bus system in all of Florida.

Since 1971, the total miles logged by Walt Disney World monorail trains would be equal to more than 30 round trips to the moon.

It’s the late voice actor Jack Wagner you hear telling you to stand clear of the doors on the Disney World monorail. You can also hear his recording aboard the tram at the Orlando International Airport.

A small reference to a closed Epcot attraction exists in the exit queue of Space Mountain. There is a travel label on a case for Mesa Verde. Mesa Verde was a desert turned into a living environment by the technology of the future in the now closed Horizons Futureworld pavilion.

The cases painted to resemble luggage were once simple shipping containers when Federal Express was the attraction sponsor from 1993- 2004.

The opening date of Disneyland can be found in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. July 17 is represented on this ammunition box located in the Jungle Cruise with the number 717 painted on it.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction replaced Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, and there’s a painting of Mr. Toad handing the deed over to Mr. Owl.

In honor of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride a tombstone was placed at The Haunted Mansion’s graveyard.

There is a ring in line at the Haunted Mansion, which is said to belong to the bride inside the ride. It is near the section where the dead fisherman/sailor is located.

The eerie piano in the Haunted Mansion that is being played by a ghost whose shadow you can see by looking at the floor in front of it.

There are also 3 sheets of music but one is on the floor and only contains staff lines implying that the composer never lived to complete his work and is doomed to haunt the mansion until it is finished.

The piano itself is an original by Schomacker Piano Co. built somewhere between 1870 and 1890.

While most of the lawns at Disney parks are meticulously tended to, the lawn at “The Haunted Mansion” is left to grow out and die, to match the mood of the ride.

Guests sometimes throw coins into the water near It’s a Small World, and Disney donates that money to Give Kids the World, a nonprofit that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

When aboard the Mark Twain River Boat ride, ask the pilot if you can visit the captain’s room. This is secret code that will grant you access to the room the ship is piloted out of.

It took an act of Congress to install the Presidential Seal in the “Hall of Presidents” attraction. There are only three seals: one in the Oval Office, one in the hall containing the Liberty Bell, and one in the “Hall of Presidents.”

More than 500 of the young trees around Disney World properties started out as acorns from the “Liberty Oak,” the focal point in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom.

The brownish winding path in Liberty Square is meant to represent raw sewage that flowed down the streets of Colonial America, since indoor plumbing wasn’t yet invented.

If you look closely at the second-story windows near the “Hall of Presidents,” you’ll see two lanterns. They are referencing the line “One if by land, and two if by sea” from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

Every day an average of 210 pairs of sunglasses are turned in and, since 1971, an estimated 1.65 million pairs of glasses have found their way into the “lost” bin.

Wondering about the weirdest things ever found? How about a glass eye, a prosthetic leg and a potty training toilet — all of which were claimed.

Mickey Mouse has over 290 outfits and Minnie Mouse has over 200.

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin features a camel that spits water at passing park-goers. Many are fooled into thinking this electronic machine just has great aim, think again.

There is actually someone paid to sit nearby the camel and operate it, when the operator thinks they can hit passing guests they command the camel to spit.

The sixty feet tall, ninety feet wide Swiss Family Treehouse has over three-hundred thousand fabricated leaves and roots that burrow forty-two feet into the earth. Since it is man-made, Imagineers could not list it as a Banyan tree, so it is of the species Disneyodendron Eximus or “Out-of-the-Ordinary Disney Tree.”

The dog featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is also featured in the Carousel of Progress.

The Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean almost wasn’t built. Imagineers thought the idea of the Caribbean and pirates wouldn’t feel exotic enough to Florida guests.

In place of Pirates, they hoped to build an elaborate and large cowboy-themed attraction called Western River Expedition.

Both the Carousel of Progress and It’s A Small World made their debut at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

There are tunnels beneath Magic Kingdom that allow cast members and employees to move between different areas. It’s technically ground level; Magic Kingdom was built above it.

If you want to chew gum at the park, make sure to bring your own because Disney World does not offer any gum for sale. This helps prevent visitors from stepping on gum around the park or on rides.

There’s a Galactic Communication Network phone in Tomorrowland that plays messages from around the galaxy.

The futuristic palm trees in Tomorrowland actually fold up at dusk, and unfold at dawn.

Walt Disney World Resort is about the size of San Francisco or two Manhattan islands.

If you were to stay in a different room every night at the Disney World resorts, to sleep in them all would take you 68 years.

Stretched end-to-end, the Mickey ears sold at Disney World would span about 175 miles.

The estimated annual attendance at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park is 17.5 million, followed by Epcot with 11 million, Disney’s Hollywood Studios with 9.9 million and Disney’s Animal Kingdom with 9.9 million.

A married couple from Boynton Beach, Fla., Alex and Donna Voutsinas, realized years later that they were coincidentally photographed together at Disney as children.

The girl in the pink under Smee’s left hand, and the boy in the stroller being pushed by the man with the black shirt in the backround.

There’s only one harpist at the Disney World Parks. You can hear him nightly, over dinner at Victoria & Albert’s, the restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Epcot is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

The 180-foot-tall Spaceship Earth at the entrance to Epcot weighs approximately 16 million pounds.

The Land ride at Epcot isn’t just for entertainment. More than 30 tons of fruit and vegetables are grown there every year for Disney restaurants.

Each year at the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, more than 33,000 bottles of wine and champagne are uncorked, 1.2 million hors d’oeuvre plates are served and 100,000 miniature desserts are dished up.

Epcot was originally designed to be a model community and home to 20,000 residents. You can still see a diorama for Walt Disney’s vision on the “PeopleMover” ride.

In The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion, Nigel, the pelican hero from Finding Nemo, is the only main character not depicted.

Using 5.7 million gallons of water, the Seas Aquarium offers the second largest aquarium in all of the US.

The World Showcase at Epcot may seem full, but there’s actually room for eight additional countries.

The 1982 book Epcot Center: A Pictorial Souvenir lists Israel, Equatorial Africa, and Spain as potential pavilions.

In the United Kingdom pavilion, the Rose and Crown got its name from the two most common words found in pub names in the United Kingdom.

Disney developed a signature scent for Norway in Epcot. It’s called Laila and smells like airy mountains. The perfume is sprayed throughout the day in the pavilion.

Sometimes in the red phone booth across from the Hotel du Canada in Epcot, the phone rings and it’s a Disney character calling that you can have a conversation with.

The massive castle structure behind the German pavilion at EPCOT was meant to house a boat ride that simulated a trip down the Rhine River.

If you visit the Swan and Dolphin resorts located in the Epcot area of resorts there is an interesting design element about each resort that most guests never notice. In the Dolphin resort 3D elements like the Dolphins in the lobby fountain are untouchable by guests where 2D objects like the Dolphins in the fountain located outside of the building are touchable.

It is the opposite in the Swan. The 3D swans in the lobby fountain are close enough to the edge that guests can touch them but also in the lobby are 2D monkey sculptures mounted on a pole out of guest’s reach.

On your way out, the walkway at Epcot lights up with hundreds of fiber optic lights that twinkle as you walk over them and also illuminate in dozens of different shapes.

The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, The Tree of Life, stands 14 stories, features more than 300 animal carvings and is 50 feet wide.

You can see a dragon on the signs for Animal Kingdom, and a dragon’s head hanging above the front gates. They were there to represent a scrapped area called Beastly Kingdom, which was going to be dedicated to mythical animals.

On the “Dinosaur” ride in Animal Kingdom, there are three pipes in the queuing area with chemical formulas printed on them. The formulas on the pipes are for ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

Disney has always been committed to conservation and this is extremely true in Animal Kingdom. This park has an entire section dedicated to the important subject and even uses paper straws for the protection of their animals.

Some benches in Animal Kingdom are made from recycled milk jugs while others are wooden, but the fun, multicolored, animal-carved benches are 100% environmentally friendly.

The Flame Tree Barbecue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a very popular place to eat at among park guests.

The restaurant is all about predator and prey. It starts with the sign out front, to the paintings on the walls around the counter, to the pavilions that cover the seating areas and even the tables and chairs. Hungry crocodiles eating fish, snakes eating mice and ant eaters eating ants.

Take a look around the next time you visit the park and see how many species eating species.

In late 2016 Animal Kingdom will open up Avatar Land. It’s designed by Walt Disney Imagineering with Avatar producers James Cameron and Jon Landau also providing creative assistance. The area will be an immersive world based upon the fictional exoplanetary moon, Pandora and will include Pandora’s floating mountains and bioluminescent plants.

Avatar Land is expected to span several acres and will feature multiple rides and attractions, entertainment, audio-animatronics, 3-D holograms as well as retail, food and beverage outlets.

Although exact details of the attractions have not yet been announced or even devised, James Cameron confirmed that a flying attraction featuring “3-D projections and creature designs that were cut from the original film” was a concept on the drawing board for the area. Avatar Land will include elements from the original Avatar film as well as its three, yet-to-be-released sequels.

The Animal Kingdom features more than 3,000 species in its 4 million trees and plants.

Even though they’re talked about in Animal Kingdom, there are no actual hyenas in the park. They’re considered too vicious to be kept safely in Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom is the only park to have doors on its bathrooms. That seems kind of weird, right? The reason is for security. In an emergency event that the animals get loose and run rampant, guests are to hide in the bathrooms with the door closed and locked.

Thankfully, those doors have ever needed use, but it’s nice to know the precaution is there.

In Disney’s efforts for realism in it’s parks, they hired 13 Zulu craftsman from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to make the thatched roofs located on the buildings throughout Africa in Animal Kingdom.

The 189-foot-tall water tower icon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is known as the “Earffel Tower.”

The largest hidden Mickey in all of the parks is surprisingly in Hollywood Studios. It’s almost impossible to see when you’re physically in the park but is easier to see overhead.

The first film made at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was “Ernest Saves Christmas.”

Television shows were filmed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, too. “The Mickey Mouse Club” featured soon-to-be stars Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling and Christina Aguilera. No shows are filmed there today.

If you are ever in the holding room for Voyage of the Little Mermaid located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios be sure to look at the items along the wall.

There are numerous jokes and oddball artifacts with small signs there to amuse the waiting guests. According to the sign this is an antique mariner porta potty. I’m assuming these were labeled by Scuttle.

The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is housed in a replica of Mann’s Chinese Theater.

If you look closely at the hieroglyphics in the Indiana Jones sections of the “The Great Movie Ride,” you’ll see Mickey and Donald, and C-3PO and R2-D2.

The Jungle Cruise ride features the back-half of a crashed plane. The front-half from this same plane is featured in the Casablanca portion of the Great Movie Ride.

After grabbing your 3D glasses on Muppet Vision 3D, look to your right where you see the “Security Office.” You’ll see a sign that reads, “Back in 5 Minutes. Key is under mat.” If you look down you’ll actually find a mat with a key underneath!

During construction the Tower of Terror was actually struct by lightning.

The lobby and queuing area for the “Tower of Terror” ride are full of hidden Twilight Zone references, such as Burgess Meredith’s broken glasses and a book with alien script that has been translated to “To Serve Man.”

The construction date plaque on the Hollywood Tower Hotel’s cornerstone reads 1917. This is a twist on the year Walt Disney World opened which was 1971.

The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was supposed to feature music by the Rolling Stones, but the band proved too expensive for Disney’s tastes. Instead, the park paid Aerosmith to use their music on the roller coaster.

John Lennon officially ended the Beatles by signing termination papers while vacationing at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort in December 1974.

Walt Disney World was the location of another infamous historical event. On November 17, 1973 President Nixon plead his case to the American people in the “I’m not a crook” speech in the ballroom of the Contemporary Resort Hotel.

Thanks for reading!

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