Pounding the Pavement at Walt Disney World

Pounding the Pavement

Some time ago, I wrote a blog about benches and another about lampposts found at the theme parks at Walt Disney World. My intent was to show you the lengths the Imagineers go to, to tell a “story” with details. Today I’ve picked another topic to illustrate this point. And the topic I’ve selected is just about as mundane as you can get, pavement. Most people never give a thought to the ground they walk on, but believe me, Disney has given this subject a lot of consideration. As I so often do, let’s start our story at Disneyland in California.

It’s hard to believe, but Disneyland opened just one year after construction began. The park was far from finished when the first guests rushed through the gates, but the basics were there. Main Street, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Adventureland all had something to offer, but it was obvious that work still needed to be done. One famous story tells of women’s high-heel shoes getting stuck in the soft asphalt that had been poured only the day before.

Yes folks, women wore heels to Disneyland in the 1950’s. This next picture was taken in late July, 1955, just two weeks after the park opened.

High Heeled Shoes

On opening day, the streets of Frontierland were not paved, but had dirt roads. I don’t know if this was done intentionally to help add authenticity to the land, or for a lack of money and time. But either way, this wasn’t going to work. According to the Hammond/Hazlewood song, “It Never Rains in Southern California,” but trust me, this just isn’t true. It does rain in Southern California and rain turns dirt into mud. I don’t know how long dirt streets lasted in Frontierland, but it wasn’t too long before they were paved over.

Since we’re talking about the opening of Disneyland and the uncompleted park, I’d like to take a little side trip. For years, the Disney marketing folk have quoted Walt’s famous opening day words:

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

To this day, Disney uses these words to “spin” magic into each and every new project that comes down the pike. And there’s nothing wrong with this. However, these words have a far more humble beginning than Disney would have you believe.

As you know, Walt was in debt up to his eyebrows trying to get Disneyland built. And at some point, ready or not, he was going to have to start allowing paying guests to enter the park if he was going to generate income and keep building.

Walt and his Imagineers knew that the park looked incomplete on opening day. This was obvious to everyone. They also knew the press was going to ask Walt, “When will Disneyland be finished?” In the business world, it’s always important to emphasize the positives and downplay the negatives. So this prophetic statement was crafted only to pacify the media, not to become a creed for the Disney Company to live by.

Now, back to pavement.

Most areas of Disney parks are paved with special cement that is supposedly softer than regular concrete, thus easier on the feet. I know this is hard to believe after a long day of touring, but that’s what the Disney folk say. In addition, the pavement is usually painted with non-skid paint. Disney also uses color to help tell a story. For example, the ground in the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland is painted a brownish-red to suggest the earth of the Wild West, while over in Tomorrowland, the concrete is painted gray, to hint at, well, um, concrete.

Frontierland Pavement

Tomorrowland Pavement

But not all of the pavement in Tomorrowland is boring. Throughout the main entrance concourse, the ground has been modeled to look like giant gears, wheels, sprockets, and cogs.

Tomorrowland Pavement

Tomorrowland Gears

Tomorrowland Circles

Tomorrowland Gears

At the Winnie the Pooh ride in Fantasyland we see how pavement can delineate an attraction from the main walkway. Pavement color, texture, and material are used extensively throughout all of the parks to set boundaries.

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh

Behind the castle, a beautiful compass rose is missed by most as they hurry to Dumbo and Peter Pan.

Fantasyland Compass Rose

In front of the Yankee Trader Shop in Liberty Square, the remains of a foundation of a long forgotten structure can be found. And at the nearby Haunted Mansion, the horseshoe prints of a ghost horse are seen around the hearse.

Yankee Trader Shop

Old Foundation


Horse Prings

One of the most famous bits of Disney concrete lore revolves around the Haunted Mansion. There were several versions to the story, but the tale tells of Master Gracey and his bride. Somehow, her wedding ring was lost (thrown, stomped on, flung, misplaced) and it ended up embedded in the concrete near the exit of the ride. As guests would leave the Haunted Mansion, “informed” experts would point out the ring to newbies. However, what they were pointing out was either an old gate post hole or a piece of electrical conduit. Either way, it was most certainly not a person’s ring. It was too small to fit on any finger. Eventually, Disney tired of the traffic jams this faux ring was causing and removed it. When Disney reimagined the queue for the Haunted Mansion last year, they included a real wedding/engagement ring in the cement. The ring is slightly off the beaten track so you’ll have to look for it to find it.

Wedding Ring

In Adventureland, you can find broken tiles, gems, and coins scattered around The Flying Carpets of Aladdin.

Flying Carpets of Aladdin

Broken Tile



Between Adventureland and Frontierland, another compass rose can be found with additional flourishes to enhance the design.

Adventureland and Frontierland Boarder

Compass Rose


A number of the trees that line Main Street have attractive wrought iron grates to protect them from harm. If you look closely, some even say “Main Street U.S.A.”

Main Street Tree Base

Now let’s move to Epcot.

For the most part, the pavement leading from the parking lot up to and past Spaceship Earth is pretty mundane. Delineating Spaceship Earth from Innoventions Plaza is a swath of coarse black squares. During the day, these squares command little attention, but at night, they become magical. Fiber optics have been embedded into a number of these squares and tiny lights sparkle in the dark. But even more impressive is a small area in front of Innoventions West. Here, three larger sections of pavement have been outfitted with these lights and they dance and change colors after the sun sets. Unfortunately, most people never see this light show as it is in an area few people walk.

Innovations Plaza

Black Tiles

Fiber Optics Embedded in Black Tile

Dancing Fiber Optics

Dancing Fiber Optics

Dancing Fiber Optics

Concrete can have a tendency to crack if not mixed and poured correctly. To reduce cracks from spreading, concrete is poured in sections with grooves separating one block from the next. In Innoventions Plaza, the Imagineers have taken advantage of this and created great designs and accented the sections with color. In some cases, the concrete has been roughened to add texture to the design.

Innoventions Plaza

Innoventions Plaza

Of the Future World pavilions, Mission Space has the best pavement. The area in front of the attraction has dozens of planets, asteroids, and comets imbedded into the ground. The design helps set the mood for the adventure to come.

Mission Space

Mission Space Pavement

Mission Space Pavement

On the pathway leading from Future World to World Showcase is a giant design of the old EPCOT Center logo. This is best appreciated when viewed from above.

EPCOT Center Logo

EPCOT Center Logo

EPCOT Center Logo

The promenade around World Showcase is basic with no real design other than an occasional swath to delineate one nation from the next. However, once you enter a country, the pavement takes on the design of that nation.

Delineating Swath

In the Germany Pavilion, the bricks create a repeating crescent shape. This is indicative of what you might actually find in a small German town. (I hate to break the magic, but these are not real stones. The Imagineers used a stamp to imbed the pattern into wet concrete.)

Germany Pavilion

Germany Pavilion Pavement

The patterns and designs of Saint Mark’s Square in Venice were duplicated at the Italy Pavilion.

Italy Pavilion

Italy Pavilion Pavement

At the Japan Pavilion, large pieces of flag stone were randomly imbedded in the ground.

Japan Pavilion

Japan Pavilion Pavement

In the ville nouvelle (new city) section of the Morocco Pavilion, the ground is covered with neatly ordered bricks. However, in the Medina (old city), the pavement is very coarse with many exposed rocks. The Imagineers did their best to simulate dirt without actually having to resort to this substance.

Morocco Pavilion

Morocco Pavilion New City Pavement

Morocco Pavilion Old City Pavement

Perhaps the most famous pavement at Walt Disney World can be found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In the forecourt of the Chinese Theater are the foot and handprints of a number of celebrities. This practice comes from the original Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Chinese Theater

Foot and Hand Prints in Cement

Foot and Hand Prints in Cement

There are a number of stories as to how the tradition of actors placing their footprints in the cement came about. The most famous tells that Norma Talmadge accidentally stepped in wet cement outside of the theater, giving Sid Grauman, part owner of the theater, the idea.

Humans aren’t the only creatures imbedding their footprints in the pavement at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Gertie the Dinosaur and an Imperial Walker have also left their impression on the landscape.

Gertie the Dinosaur

Gertie the Dinosaur Footprint

Imperial Walker

Imperial Walker Footprint

For the most part, Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards consist of concrete sidewalks and curbs and asphalt streets. But near the Tower of Terror, you can find that the pavement has worn away to expose the original brick streets and the Red Car tracks. These tracks pay homage to the Pacific Electric Railway which once offered the people of Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties over 1,000 miles of mass transit.

Red Car Tracks

There are a number of theater facades on Sunset Boulevard. As was typical of the 30’s and 40’s, these playhouses had elaborate entries, often created out of terrazzo. Here we see the Beverly Sunset Theater’s entrance.

Beverly Sunset Theater

Beverly Sunset Theater Entrance

On Pixar Place, Scrabble tiles have fallen from the overhead game board. Could “W” and “D” possible stand for Walt Disney? What are the odds?

Scrabble Board

Scrabble Tiles

The pavement in front of Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster is designed to showcase G-Force Records, the recording studio currently working with Aerosmith. Anchoring the grid’s corners are gold records.

Rock 'N' Roller Coaster Pavement

Gold Record

The building that houses Muppet*Vision 3D is built of red brick so it is fitting that the pavement outside the theater be of the same material. Unlike other areas where the Imagineers used a stamp to simulate stone or brick, this is the real McCoy.

Muppet*Vision 3D Theater

Muppet Courtyard

The pavement on New York Street is unremarkable and at first glance, not worth too much attention. It’s made up of concrete curbs and sidewalks and an asphalt road. But upon closer examination you’ll notice the Imagineers included potholes – a nice detail for a busy thoroughfare.

New York Street


Now let’s travel to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In the area between the tram drop-off and the ticket booths, guests can see sweeping swaths of color in the walkway. From ground level, these lines appear to be nothing more than a random pattern. But when viewed from above, the shape of an abstract tree can easily be seen.

Animal Kingdom Forecourt

Animal Kingdom Forecourt Tree

Most of the pavement in the Animal Kingdom has a natural feel about it. In many cases, the concrete has been designed to represent dirt and mud, a material that is unsatisfactory for a theme park. When preparing the walkways, all sorts of items were imbedded into the wet cement to help achieve a realistic character. Some of these include leaves, pine needles, branches, human feet, horseshoes, bicycle tracks, tire tracks, and bird tracks.



Pine Needles


Foot Prints

Horse Tracks

Bicycle Tracks

Tire Tracks

Bird Tracks

Over in Dinoland U.S.A. you’ll find a winding highway. To complete the setting, traffic signs, bumper guards, and roadside advertisements can be found along its route.

Dinoland Highway

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama was built on top of an abandoned parking lot. The “Enter” and “Exit” lettering and parking lot lines are still visible, but fading. In addition, the asphalt is cracking under the sun’s intense heat.

Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama

Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama Parking Lot

Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama Parking Lot

Also in Dinoland is a dinosaur that kids can climb on. Since children are prone to slip and fall, a special ground covering has been designed that is soft and bouncy and helps alleviate cuts and bruises. In this case, the material has been made out of wood particles. In other spots around Walt Disney World, man-made materials have been used to create a softer surface.


Soft Surface

Over in Asia, real bricks have been used for the outside seating area of Yak & Yeti Restaurant. Over the years, these bricks have been broken or stolen and the owners found it cheaper to fill in the gaps with cement rather than replace them. At a nearby temple, time has taken its toll on the tile flooring in front of an aging shrine.

Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Broken Bricks

Broken Bricks


Broken Tiles

Outside Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Africa, the foundation of a long demolished building can be seen.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments


Out front of Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch is a beautiful mosaic featuring an assortment of animals. This work of art was created in Italy then shipped to the Animal Kingdom for final assembly. Most folk just walk right over this piece without ever stopping to appreciate its beauty.

Conservation Station


Also at Conservation Station is a petting farm. This is one of the very few places at Walt Disney World where guests can actually walk on real dirt.

Petting Farm

I’m going to end this article with a challenge in an effort to get you to pay more attention to the ground you walk on. I’ve snapped a picture of an interesting piece of pavement or flooring in each of the four parks (none are in attraction queues). It’s your job to find them. Unlike my quizzes, I will NOT be posting the answers to these questions. And if you send me their whereabouts in a comment, I will NOT post that portion of the comment as I do not want to give away their locations. Good luck.

Somewhere in the Magic Kingdom a bronze plaque is embedded into the ground. It features a castle spire and the letters “M” and “K” (Magic Kingdom). It measures roughly 18 inches in diameter.

Note: Apparently this emblem is part of a new “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom” game and there are several of these located around the park. I was not aware of this at the time my blog was published.

Magic Kingdom Marker

At Epcot, tire tracks can be seen embedded into the pavement. The area in question is about 2 feet in diameter.

Epcot Marker

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can find a “contractor’s signature” marker imbedded in the concrete. It reads: Mortimer & Co. Contractor 1928. For those of you who don’t understand the significance, Mortimer was the name Walt wanted to give his new little mouse in 1928. However, his wife Lillian wasn’t too keen on the moniker and convinced him to change the name to Mickey. This marker measures about 4×6 inches.

Studio Marker

At the Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life is etched into the concrete someplace at the park. The etching is approximately 2 foot tall and 2 feet wide.

Animal Kingdom Marker

Trending Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

60 Replies to “Pounding the Pavement at Walt Disney World”

  1. Hey there, Jack. Finally have a chance to get caught up on all your blog posts. (Great job, BTW)

    The W and D along Pixar Place aren’t the only Scrabble tiles. Nearby there’s also two O’s and a Y, which when unscrambled spell “WOODY”, who appears at the Meet & Greet location there.

  2. Hi, Jack.

    I always enjoy the articles where you focus on the minute details of WDW, and this one is no exception. My boyfriend and I are passholders, so we get much enjoyment out of each detail WDW has to offer. We, too, have noticed many of these pavement impressions, including a number at resort hotels, but you have shown us many more to look for. My boyfriend is *determined* to find the ring in the Haunted Mansion queue, for one…

    I think my favorite articles you wrote of this type were the ones about lampposts and the ones about fonts on signage. Since reading your articles, those are now two things I always keep an eye out for when enjoying the parks. Thanks, Jack!! 🙂

    Take care.

  3. Jack

    Given my family comittments, work, and need for sleep, I always seem to run behind in reading your blogs. I had been seeing the title of this one for A few days and was hoping to find a few minutes to read it. I was however thinking what it might be about. The paving in the parks did cross my mind, but then I noticed the date was the end of marathon weekend, and remembered the title could be a euphemism for running. In short I started to wonder if you had participated in or blogged about the marathon events. I had mental images of you running with your camera snapping away.

    Your fascinating article just goes to show me first impressions are usually correct;) Thanks for taking the time to research and write this one, I quite enjoyed it.

  4. Jack,
    Great piece! Being in architecture, I always have the tendency to look at the ceilings and the ground wherever I am. I always to try to see the designer’s intention of the built environment that was created for us. My favorite has always been the Aladdin area. My it’s the girl in me to see all the pretty jewels! How doing some ceiling posts? You’ll be surprised in what you find!

  5. Hi Jack!

    Thanks for another great blog.
    I’ve always tried to take notice of the different designs in the pavement but it’s hard when there’s a crowd. Well, while visiting the MK recently I was transitioning from Frontierland to Liberty Square and while passing thru the area just before the “stocks” with the Liberty Bell to my right (an area usually very congested) I noticed the total lack of people…I’ve never seen this area that empty before. I looked down and saw designs that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. I just wish I would’ve thought to take some pics…. Duh!
    Thanks again for opening our eyes to some more “Undiscovered Disney.”

    ~ Johnny.

  6. I always knew that the Disney Imagineer’s payed attention to every detail, but I wasn’t aware that they went to the great legnths you refer to in this article. It’s clear the they “left no stone unturned”and certainly “paved” the way for all others to follow.

    Great article!

  7. Well done again, Jack. Have you noticed the new section of paving north of the Tea Cups in Magic Kingdom? The construction fence has been moved back, displaying a section of the new theming for Storybook Circus. Technically, that would be the first portion of the Fantasyland Expansion open to the public.

  8. Jack, I really do love reading your blogs.
    My husband and I are trying to decide to plan a trip for 3 nights this May to either WDW or a 3 night Disney Dream Cruise…had my mind made up FINALLY, Dream Cruise…AFT Verandah Stateroom, NO KIDS :O)….. BUT THEN I READ YOUR BLOG…now I can’t decide between the cruise and WDW again.
    BTW, that is a great compliment to you..I love reading your views and insights. I loved the pictures of all the “pavement”, some I have seen others I have missed. THANK YOU!!

    Now to make this decision on this getaway…LOL!!

  9. Fantastic article, Jack!

    Looking forward to Part Two – Resorts!

    The attention to detail at the resort properties is amazing. We especially love the tracks of animals seen on the pathways around Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

  10. Jack, only you could blog about concrete and keep my attention! Great eye for detail and great photography as always. I am, however, somewhat disappointed that you didn’t mention the biggest cement design of them all at WDW. I happen to stumble upon this particular design while viewing WDW using Google Earth. I was “hovering” over Hollywood Studios and just happened to notice a very familiar face in the courtyard right in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. I won’t say what it is as to not spoil it for you (that is, if you haven’t seen it already). If you pull up Hollywood Studios on Google Earth, turn the map so that the Chinese Theater is south and Echo Lake is to the northeastt. 😉

    Awsome blog as always! Keep up the great work.

    ~ Matt

    Jack’s Comment:

    I didn’t mention the hidden Mickey Mouse face in front of the Chinese Theater because it doesn’t really exist anymore — at least not like it once did. In the early years, before Sunset Boulevard and the Sorcerer’s Hat, Mickey’s entire face was clearly visible. If you have old Studio guide maps, you can see his face depicted on these. And if you can find an old aerial photograph, Mickey’s entire face is plainly seen. (Google Earth history doesn’t go back far enough.) But Sunset Blvd lopped off one of his ears and many of the planters that once made up his facial features have been rearranged to facilitate better traffic flow. However, you are correct that if you look at Google Earth, the remnants of his face are still somewhat visible.

  11. On my “Keys to the Kingdom” tour we also heard that the color difference between the red sidewalks and the black street on Main Street was for safety. She didn’t imply that they red color meant caution, but just that the drastic color change would help patrons notice the difference and be more conscious that they were about to step up/down. Maybe that clears some of that up.

    Jack’s Comment:

    Thanks for writing and thank you for sharing what you heard on your “Keys to the Kingdom” tour.

    However, I still don’t buy that the sidewalk is painted as a safety measure or for better pictures, and here’s why. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, and New York Ave have grey (unpainted) concrete sidewalks (with black asphalt streets). At Disney’s California Adventure, their Hollywood Blvd also has grey (unpainted) concrete sidewalks (with black asphalt streets). At Tokyo DisneySea, the New York section of the park has grey (unpainted) concrete sidewalks (with black asphalt streets). In all of these instances, the “unpainted” concrete offers plenty of contrast. So the question is “Why are the sidewalks painted on Main Street and not on other, similar streets?” If it really was for safety, all of these streets would be painted to add contrast, but they’re not.

    My belief….

    All of the other instances I mentioned reflect later time periods than Main Street. In the era of Main Street, red brick was often used for sidewalks. I suspect red was chosen for the Main Street sidewalks to “suggest” brick. It has nothing to do with safety or pictures.

    I cannot confirm my hypothesis, but I do know that cast member (even on official tours) give out misinformation all the time.

  12. Hi, interesting read as always. Just a quick comment about the red sidewalks at Magic Kingdom. I was told on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour that red was chosen for the sidewalks because it was for safety. They are a step up from the black pavement and this way they would be more easily recognized.

    Jack’s Comment:

    Others have written to say that when they were on the “Keys to the Kingdom” tour the color red was picked by Kodak to enhance pictures. So even the cast members/tour guides are giving out conflicting information on the same subject. I don’t buy any of it. There are too many other colors throughout all of the parks. The pavement is green in front of the Jungle Cruise, grey in Tomorrowland and yellow in Africa at the Animal Kingdom, I believe red was picked because the Imagineers thought it was a pleasing color that coordinated well with the surroundings. It also resembles “earth” tones.

  13. LOVE this article. Never payed attention to this kind of detail. I will next time I go. I am fascinated by it and they history behind it. Love everything about Disney and becomming a huge fanatic!!!

  14. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for an interesting article about something so mundane as concrete. It’s fascinating how Disney leaves no detail untouched.

    We leave in one month tomorrow so we’ll be sure to look down in an effort to notice more!


  15. Fascinating article, as always. What a talent you have for taking what seems ordinary and making it something extraordinary. Your challenge is accepted, although sadly we’re usually limited to visiting WDW during busy times, so watching the ground can be almost impossible – too busy dodging ecv’s, strollers, etc. We will try our best next month!

    And thank you again for all the time and effort you put into your blogs – a bit of Disney injected into our lives to make us smile …

  16. Thanks Jack for another fascinating article. I’ve seen many of the pavements you’ve photographed, but there are some I must have just missed and on my next trip in Oct to the World I’m gonna take much more notice.

    Also, in Liberty Square, a cast member explained to me once that the pavement has swathes of brownish concrete swirling through the square. She also explained that female cast members of Liberty Square who work inside (shops and restaurants) have skirts that touch the floor and cover their shoes, as was proper for that time period, and females working outside (on snack carts, gift carts or sweeping etc)have their skirts tailored to be above the ankle.

    The reasons for these is the pavement!! The brownish swirling concrete represents the raw sewage that would have ran in stems through town squares like Liberty Square, so outside workers of that time period would hoist up their clothing to avoid it trailing in filth!!

    Look forward to your next blog, keep ’em coming!!

  17. Jack, great blogs as always! As a (long ago) former WDW CM (Studios/”Inside the Magic”), I paid careful attention whenever an Imagineer would speak to us (as an attraction) or at one of the few CM meetings before a new attraction/shop, etc. opened. One of the things that I found most interesting is that the Imagineers were very careful about the feel of the pavement (between lands and throughout interstitial spaces) on guests’ feet. The example most often given (if faded memory serves me well) is the feel of the land between the Hub (still Main Street USA) and Adventureland. The “bridge,” though concrete has a definite wooden feel to it, changing from the feel of small town pavement, to something more, well, adventurous, no matter how ersatz. You can feel the pavement differences throughout the Kingdom, as well as other parks (and some hotels, too).

    Thanks again for your wonderful blogs.

  18. Hi Jack:I echo all of the kudos on your pavement article. FWIW, while on the Backstage Magic tour, we were shown the old ring at HM. We were told that it was in fact an old post, and the “stone” was the tip of a screwdriver that broke off when they were trying to remove the post. It was very evident that the “stone” was the tip of a screwdriver, and you could see how they were trying to pry out the post when it broke off. I had no idea there was a new ring at HM, so thanks for the tip!!

  19. The “red carpet” in the MK was a color decided on by kodak to provide the best photos. I love this blog entry and really enjoy the different ground coverings in each land-I feel like it makes for a much better experience in the parks-especially AK!

    Jack’s Comment:

    To be honest, I don’t believe this “Kodak” story. For several reasons.

    Red does seem to be the predominant color of the pavement, but it certainly isn’t exclusive. It’s green in front of the Jungle Cruise and gray in Tomorrowland. In Africa at the Animal Kingdom is has a yellow tint and in front of Star Tours at the Studio is blackish-grey. The list goes on and on. If Kodak picked a color to help photographs, then we’d see even more red than we do.

    Kodak is a sponsor at all the parks around the world. I also took a look at my pictures of the other Disney parks. Here too you see a vast array of pavement colors.

  20. Let’s not forget the giant ‘Hidden Mickey’ in Hollywood Studios in the pavement! Of course, it has been mostly obliterated by the addition of the hat in front of the Theater, new(er) landscaping, and the Disney Junior stage. None the less, you can still see some of it when you look at it in Google Maps… Echo Lake is Mickey’s right ear, and his chin is near the Theater with his left ear near The Brown Derby/Disney Junior stage.

  21. Hello, Jack. What a wonderful blog, as usual. If you don’t mind, may I suggest another correction: where you talk about the “course” pavement in the Morocco Pavilion, do you mean “coarse?” Just wondering… Also, could the footprints in the Animal Kingdom be from chimpanzees?

    Take care.


    Jack’s Answer:

    I took the picture of the footprints near Expedition Everest. Since chimpanzees are native to Africa, I believe these footprints are supposed to be that of a small child.

  22. Thanks for a fascinating article. Could you please give a hint as to where the “new” ring is at the Haunted Mansion? I was always pointing out the old ring to friends and family. Can’t wait to look for it and your other pavement pictures.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The ring is in the general area of the captain in the bathtub in the new queue.

  23. Wow – finally an article that appeals to both the civil engineer and disney nerd that I am!!!! Perhaps my dream to work at WDW can someday be realized and rather than designing green pavement for bicyle lanes I can help develop pavement designs for new attractions like the Mine Train! Cool, thanks for the interesting article, I am sure my family who I sent it to are rolling their eyes at me but after reading it wont be – nicely done!

  24. Jack great blog as always two things I have always heard rumors the color in the concrete was designed to improve the quality of the picture. Is that true? If so as a the closest person I know as a professional photograhper, do it really make your pictures better?

  25. I would kill to floor my apartment with the lit tiles from Epcot.

    My friend Elizabeth and I were there last week, and we noticed the footprints in the ground in the Animal Kingdom. Of particular note were the small human prints, likely a child’s. Elizabeth wondered, “How did they do that? Pour the cement, bring in a little kid, and say ‘okay, run!’?” I know the probably use templates of some sort, but I like her version. 🙂

    Jack’s Answer:

    I know the footprints you’re talking about. However, I don’t know how they are made. But I imagine the easiest and cheapest way would be to have a kid walk through wet cement. Probably one of the workmen’s children. But they could use a template. I just don’t know.

  26. I love your blogs Jack! As someone who deals with details at work your exhaustive photo blogs are really appreciated.

    These blogs reminded me of my wife’s “photo project” from our last Disney World trip in 2010. She filled several pages of our scrapbook with “Trashcans from Around Disney World” pictures – taking scores of photos from the different parks.

    I showed her your blogs and I’m waiting for her to decide what she wants to focus her pictures on (pun kind of intended) for our next trip in 2013.

  27. The pavement in AK is my favorite. The areas of the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail are particularly fascinating. (I have a tendency to trip, so I usually walk looking down.)

    Quick story: We shared a table in the Dawa Bar area with an older obviously well-to-do gentleman. He commented to us that he was surprised at how run down AK was and took particular note of the cracked and/or worn pavement. I told him that it was supposed to look that way. His reply, “You mean they PAID to make it look like this?” I still get a chuckle out of this. Obviously, he was missing the whole concept of AK!

  28. Jack,

    An excellent read! My girlfriend and I stayed at All-Star Movies over the NYE weekend and realized the attention that was paid in the Herbie the Lovebug area – car parts and tools were used to stamp the wet concrete on the walkways surrounding Herbie.

  29. The red of Main Street (according to MK tour guides on the Keys to the Kingdom tour at WDW) was specifically selected with help from Kodak so as to present a perfect complementary color to the blue and gray of the castle, helping along the forced perspective already at play.

    Jack’s Answer:

    First, let me say, “I don’t know.”

    Red does seem to be the predominant color of the pavement, but it certainly isn’t exclusive. It’s green in front of the Jungle Cruise and gray in Tomorrowland. In Africa at the Animal Kingdom is has a yellow tint and in front of Star Tours at the Studio is blackish-grey. I also took a look at my pictures of the other Disney parks around the world. Here too you see a vast array of pavement colors. Personally, I have trouble believing the “Kodak” story. It wouldn’t be the first time misinformation was given out on an official Disney tour.

    But I could be wrong.

    More comment:

    I just reread your note…

    Main Street is black, not red. The sidewalks are red, but this would have little to do with color balance in a picture.

  30. Jack you really have a knack of making even the mundane things seem really interesting. I’ve been glued to the computer reading this. Some of the details I already knew about, but the little quiz you’ve set I haven’t a clue!

    I am now a woman on a mission to find them! Hidden Mickeys will be taking a back seat until I have completed my quest!

    Thanks again and a Happy New Year to you! I hope the holidays were magical.

  31. This was another FUN article! Thanks for making Disney so special. In all seriousness-I wonder, has Disney ever tried to hire you (besides when you worked at Disneyland as a young adult)? I am just wondering why they haven’t snatched you up yet?!!!! You have so much knowledge and passion for this place-they’d really benefit from someone like you!! 🙂

    Jack’s Answer:

    Disney has never tried to hire me. And there are several reasons why not. First, for the most part, Disney believes in promoting from within. They want to groom their people. Second, in the Disney-geek world, I’m a dime a dozen. There are many people out there that know just as much, or more, than I do.

    However, if Disney were to come to me with the right offer, I would seriously think about it. But I have no desire to work for them at minimum wage at an entry level job. I’ve already done that at Disneyland many years ago. LOL

  32. I’m 12 years old and went to WDW a few years ago for the first time, and going again this spring. I noticed a few of the pavement changes while there like in the Morocco Pavilion and the tiny twinkling lights @ Epcot, but not so at Magic Kingdom or Betty White’s handprints @ Hollywood Studios. I’m gonna pay a lot more attention this time to note that Disney magic! Thanks for another awesome

  33. This was a fascinating article – thank you so much.

    I’m always waiting for your next piece of writing and your photos. I feel you really are contributing to my love of Disney World with your attention to details.

    Concerning the D and the W near Toy Story Mania, I’d rather think they stand for… Walt Disney.

    Again, thank you so much for the quality of your articles, and the time you spend researching them.

    Jack’s Comment:

    You know what, I think you’re right. W and D so stand for Walt Disney. Duh. What was I thinking. I’m going to change my blog accordingly.

  34. Hi Jack!

    Awesome article! You have such an eye for detail and I can’t think of a better place for it than the World!

    In your section on Epcot, you talk about “planets, asteroids, and comments” in the sidewalk.. I’m guessing you meant comets? LOL Darn spell checker!

    When I was in WDW in 2010, we got out of The Coral Reef restaurant very late one night — well after park closing. We got a good look at that wonderful color show on the ground on our way out. Can’t wait to see it again!

    Jack’s Comment:

    Thanks for spotting my error. I proof my articles several times before I have a friend proof them. It seems that some boo-boos are going to slip through no matter what. 🙂

  35. We (my daughter and I) love all your blogs. Specially the ones about the World Showcase countries.

    About the pavement in Liberty Square, you may notice a gray strip of concrete winding its way through the center of red concrete. In the days of Liberty Square there was no sewage disposal, so it was thrown out into the street. This was symbolized by the gray gutter, to carry sewage away and to warn people not to walk there. We learned this on the “Keys to the Kingdom” tour.

    Thanks again for all your blogs.

    Jack’s Comment:

    Sewage certainly was thrown out into the roads in days of old. In the back of my mind, I know this while visiting Liberty Square and observe the streets. But since this is Disney, I like to think it just represents rainwater running down the street. It keeps my fantasy more romantic. LOL

  36. Thanks for another great article! What makes me (and so many other people) love WDW so much is the attention to detail. To me this is what really makes the magic, and I love reading about all these fascinating details in your blogs! As for your challenge – I can’t remember ever seeing any of those! Now I have something to look for!

  37. Hi Jack,

    I have two pavement rumors for you that I hope you can clarify.

    I remember reading that the walkway in MK is red because Walt wanted to lay out the “red carpet” for all guests.

    I also heard that in Frontierland, when you look down at the main walkway (which is also the parade route) you can see plain cement and an area a couple feet wide that goes all the way down the walkway and looks like a brownish/yellow gravel. I heard that this “stream” of graveled cement represents street filth like horse urine and night soil. Kind of gross, right? There are some areas of Liberty Square that represent more upscale neighborhoods than others. The female CM’s in the “poorer” sections have “shorter” costume skirts. This is because the poor women would have to trudge through the urine and sewage in their streets and didn’t want to get their dresses dirty!

    Do you know if there is any truth to these rumors?

    Jack’s Answer:

    As for the “red carpet” theory, I don’t buy this at all. Although much of the Magic Kingdom in Florida does have reddish colored walkways today, Walt had very little to do with the “detailed” planning of the Magic Kingdom. A better test of Walt’s wishes would be to look at Disneyland. I can’t speak to the color of the concrete today, but I have past pictures that show a vast array of colored walkways, including green, yellow, and blue.

    I’ve looked at my pictures of Frontierland. I can find nothing that represents sewage or water areas. However, you are correct that Liberty Square does display areas where liquids could gather.

    As for the length of the woman’s dresses. The Imagineers try to recreate costumes that were accurate to the era. If the length of western women’s dresses were dictated by water in the muddy streets, then the Imagineers would have captured this detail.

  38. I remember the light up tiles in Epcot from when I was a kid. Since then my family always refer to it as sparkle concrete and whenever I see this technique used in concrete (usually some sparkly metal or other substance mixed in instead of fiber optics) outside of Disney, I always stop and think of Epcot.

    Jack’s Comment:

    After seeing the sparkle concrete at Epcot, it’s always been my dream to design a swimming pool with these lights all over the sides and bottom of the pool. I think this would be spectacular. That’s why I keep buying my lotto tickets.

  39. Wow. I think with the exception of a few of the obvious ones, I barely take such a good look at the pavement. I’ll definitely be checking it out when we go later this month. I did notice the difference when I visited our local Six Flags park last summer. The bland pavement (along with the audio noise and lack of a coherent style) really delivered an off-putting feeling. I can’t wait to check out a lot of the examples you cite when I get back to Disney. Great post!

  40. Another great blog!

    I love looking at the details. My kids love the lights in the ground at Epcot. I did notice some of the ones at AK on our last trip. Very cool.

  41. As I mentioned when you wrote the park bench and lamp blogs, this type of blog is probably my favorite because it really showcases all the time and effort the Imagineers put into the “simplest” things.

    The fiber optic pavement in Future World was my absolute FAVORITE as a child–a great little surprise “magic” to find. (On a side note we have tons of home video and pictures of my sister and me playing by the “jumping” fountains near the Imagination pavilion).

    I was actually just asked yesterday if I ever found the ring near the Haunted Mansion–I never tracked down the “original” before it was removed and this year we went through the new queue area during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party so there wasn’t much time to go looking for that new addition.

    2 of the “bonus pictures” are KILLING ME–I defintely know one and have a good idea about the other one…these are GREAT scavenger hunt pieces–looking forward to finding them the next time I visit. On a side note the Magic Kingdom one is quite pretty–a shame that its somewhere hidden!!

  42. Hi Jack!

    When I saw the topic of this weeks blog, I thought, “Oh, this will be interesting.” I was right.

    I love, love, love the details that go into the parks. Although I haven’t yet discovered all the treasures on the ground, I have enjoyed many, especially in Animal Kingdom. These are sometimes things that you don’t seem to consciously notice, but you’d notice if they weren’t there.

    I took my dad over to view the lights in the walkway in front of Innoventions West, and was glad that he could see them. (He’s visually impaired) Dad was so impressed and fascinated. It can be a nice place to relax at the end of the day, and watch first-timers discover them.

    I’ll have to keep my eye out for some of the other “treasures” that you’ve pointed out.

    Thanks Jack!

  43. hey jack
    once again another great blog. i love seeing all of these details that get overlooked and now i have to look for those hidden challenges i can’t wait. can’t wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

  44. Thanks for this Jack! We love all the little touches that Disney adds. One of my favorite pictures from our Disney trips is one of the pavement! We took my parents and my son on the first trip (for all 3 of them!) when my son was 2. The best picture of my son is in front of Innoventions playing, absolutely entranced by the lights. He bent down to touch the light – and we got a picture of him, finger to light, eyes full of wonder, with a smile that just melts my heart!

  45. I’m very proud of me…I take notice of most the pavement in the world!!!

    A great blog as always…besides the photos let me travel, is like to be there…=P

    Mmmm about the last pics…I have an idea. Anyway I’ll have to visit WDW again in order to have the answer 😉

  46. I’ve always noticed all the “fun” stuff in the pavement at AK. And around the Haunted Manision at MK. I’ll to pay close attention when we go this fall to all the others.

    You’re brain teaser pictures are going to drive me batty until I figure out where they are at in the parks.

  47. Great blog!

    I never thought I would find a story on pavement interesting, but I really enjoyed this one.

    I usually don’t pay attention to the ground, but my family and I discovered the lighted tiles at Epcot one evening when we were leaving. Now, we make sure to stop and see them.

  48. Another interesting article – thank you!

    I’m heading to WDW in a few weeks and look forward to the challenge of finding these 4 markers …awesome!

  49. Thanks Jack, i glad i’m not the only one who look at the ground we walk on, only 1 picture the ring i have not seen like jenny said and i do slow down and stop to smell the roees. Thomas Mangano

  50. Hi Jack,
    Only Jack Spence could make pavement sound so
    interesting! I have seen some of these but I’ll
    be looking more carefully on my next trip.

    Because my husband is a retired art teacher we have admired the beautiful animal mosaic at Rafiki’s Planet Watch many times and have taken several photos.

    Thanks Jack!

  51. Hi Jack!
    Wow, another great article! We discovered the lights in the ground in Epcot quite by accident and then couldn’t believe what we were seeing! Beautiful!
    I noticed some of the details on the ground in Animal Kingdom when we arrived for an EMH but missed so many surprises in the other parks. Another reason to head south to check it out! Thanks for all of your photos and information!

  52. Hi Jack! Who knew pavements could be so interesting?!?! There’s so much detail everywhere you look…Another reason to take your time in Disney and smell the roses every once in awhile instead of rushing to the attractions…

  53. As a civil engineer from New England I am constantly looking at pavement design especially in Florida where cold (and salt and sand) are not an issue. Thanks for the article and great pics!!!

  54. Fabulous as always Jack. I do love your articles. I just re-read your articles on benches and lights too – fascinating! We’ll be at WDW in just over 4 weeks – I’ll certainly be looking for those 4 teasers! Thank you so much for all your carefully researched and detailed blogs!