20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Walt Disney World

The American flags on the buildings on Main Street, USA are not official flags.

Flag Retreat Ceremony

Look closer, those aren’t official American flags! They may be missing a star or have too many stars — the same with the stripes. Protocol states all American flags need to be lit at night. By having flags that are not quite American flags, Disney gets around this requirement. Rest assured, though, that the flag on the flagpole in Town Square is an official flag and is taken down each evening during the Flag Retreat Ceremony, according to protocol.

Those cute cherubs in Be Our Guest restaurant are real people!

Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland

The next time you are in the Ballroom in Be Our Guest restaurant look up and you’ll see cherubs looking down at you. The faces on those cherubs are the faces of Imagineers, or their children, who worked on bringing Be Our Guest to life!

You’ve seen that snowstorm in Be Our Guest restaurant before

Yep, that snow on the back wall of the Ballroom in Be Our Guest is from animation cels used in the animated version of Beauty and the Beast.

Those creepy chairs at the Boardwalk Inn Resort have names and a purpose

If you’ve ever stayed at, or been in the Boardwalk Inn Resort lobby, you may have seen two chairs – one on either side of the fireplace that look like some creepy kids. Well, turns out they have names and a purpose. The chairs are called Nanny Chairs and they have names — just look on the back.

Boardwalk Inn Resort Nanny Chairs

They are replicas of chairs that were on carousels on boardwalks back in the day that were intended for parents or nannies to sit in while their kids rode the carousel. There are two more creepy chairs downstairs by the gym – so if you’re ever in the Boardwalk Resort keep your eyes open for these “kids” — Paul, Todd, Carrie and Alix.

There is a piece of Star Wars in the Indiana Jones themed Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Salute to R2-D2

The next time you stop in Jock Lindsey’s, when you walk in look to the left and you’ll see a hidden R2D2 (not necessarily in character form – look at the text on the wall). Why? George Lucas helmed both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, so this is a nod to his creative genius.

The Tower of Terror is part of Epcot?

When you’re in Epcot, stand between Future World and World Showcase and look at the Tower of Terror. You’ll notice it looks like it is part of the skyline of the Morocco Pavilion. Once the Imagineers realized this they added detailing to the top of the Tower of Terror to make it blend in better with the Moroccan skyline of Epcot.

Who signed the Tower of Terror’s elevator inspection certificate?!

When going through the line at the Tower of Terror be sure to check out the elevator inspection certificate. You’ll notice it is signed by Cadwallader. This is a reference to the devil character in the “Escape Clause” episode of The Twilight Zone.

Make a wish in Pinocchio’s

Stop in Pinocchio Village Haus in Magic Kingdom to make a wish and document it in the Wish Book. After you get your food, head to the left, and you’ll find the book located in the back of the room.

You can crown Cinderella

Behind the castle in Magic Kingdom there is a fountain featuring Cinderella wearing her pre-transformation clothes. Behind her on the wall is a painting featuring a crown. If you line up just right with the fountain and the painting you can make it look like Cinderella is wearing that crown. You may need to squat down a little as we hear this was done to work from a child’s perspective.

There’s a sand bottom pool in Disney World!

Storm-Along Bay at Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

Yes, we are not making this up! If you are a guest at Disney’s Yacht Club or Beach Club resorts you can enjoy exclusive access to Disney’s sand bottom pool named Storm-Along-Bay.

Don’t pull that rope Indy!

Next time you’re in Hollywood Studios be sure to stop by the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and you’ll see a well with a rope leading down into it and a sign that says “Warning! Do Not Pull” — with the word NOT crossed out. That’s right! It’s OK to go ahead and pull it.  What do you hear?

Make Lady jump out of a hat box

If you stand in front of the window with the picture of Lady and Tramp on it in Tony’s Town Square restaurant in Magic Kingdom at the correct angle you can make it look like Lady is jumping out of the hatbox of the Le Chapeau sign.

Devoted Lady and the Tramp movie fans will remember this is a duplication of the scene in the movie when Lady jumps out of a hat box when given to her mistress for the first time.

The sidewalks really do sparkle at night in Epcot

When you’re leaving the park at night in Epcot navigate to your left as you leave the park before you pass Spaceship Earth and you’ll notice this part of the sidewalk is sparkling thanks to the magic of fiber optic lights. The is great fun for kids and adults alike to walk, skip, or dance along this part of the sidewalk.

Be on the lookout for artistic custodial cast members

Keep your eye out for any of the hardworking custodial cast members who are walking along with a broom and bucket. They might just add some magic to your day by “painting” a favorite Disney character on the sidewalk with their water.

You have to keep a keen eye out for them as the water art disappears just as quickly as it appears!

Yes, you do smell popcorn on Main Street, USA

Main Street U.S.A.

Disney is known to pump some fun and interesting scents into their rides and queues, but did you know they also do that on Main Street in Magic Kingdom?

They currently pump the smell of popcorn out; they used to do the scent of chocolate chip cookies baking. We are fairly certain the smell of waffle cones by the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is authentic though!

You can get a good night kiss

If you stay in the Magic Kingdom past all of the announcements that the park is closing be sure to stay by the Castle. You’ll be treated to what Disney calls a “Good Night Kiss,” which is a little light show on the Castle and a special message from someone very, very special!

There are no restrooms in Liberty Square

Liberty Square

When in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square you may notice there are no restrooms there. That is evidence of the Imagineers’ wish to be as authentic as possible. Since there were no restrooms in the Liberty Square time period they did not put any in Liberty Square. Even the restrooms in Liberty Square restaurants are placed so far back in the buildings that they are not even in the boundaries of Liberty Square!

You can send your friends and family mail from Disney

If you use the mailboxes in the parks for your postcards being mailed to friends, family, or even yourself they will be sent from Disney World!

You might get to decorate a Christmas tree any day of the year

If you arrive in Magic Kingdom early in the morning and head to the Christmas Store you might be chosen as the family to decorate the Christmas tree for the day in the store. This includes a sign that is posted with your family name on it as the decorators of the day.

You’ve heard of Hidden Mickeys, but what about a Hidden Donald?

Find what appears to be a Hidden Donald on a straight back chair on the Haunted Mansion ride the next time you are in Magic Kingdom. This takes some imagination, so look carefully!

How many things did you already know? Which fun facts were new for you? Share your Disney World facts with us and they just might make it into a future post!

And if you like looking for the “little things” be sure to check our “Overlooked Attractions” listings:

Magic Kingdom
Epcot
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Value Resorts
Moderate Resorts
Deluxe Resorts

6 Replies to “20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Walt Disney World”

  1. We have been coming to Disney World since son was 5 and he is 47. He is special needs. He has a child’s brain. Loves Disney. We were surprised on all the facts you shared. Be back when Star Wars Hotel gets built he wants to stay there. Magic everywhere.

  2. When did mail posted from the parks have a WDW stamp? Last I understand, mail is collected and taken to the Lake Buena Vista post office, so has no distinct stamp. Happy if this is changed!

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