17 Magic Kingdom Details You’ve Never Noticed

While exploring the themed lands of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, you’ll probably notice how immersed you feel in the story.

iPhone Cinderella Castle
Magic Kingdom

As you move from land to land, everything around you changes — from the music to the landscaping to the architecture. But what you may not notice are the incredible details hidden in each land!

The Imagineers put obscure details and hidden touches in the land to fully immerse you into your surroundings in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways.

Here are 17 of those little things to look for the next time you’re in Magic Kingdom.

1. Bella Notte

Have you seen Lady and the Tramp? If so, you may recall that on Lady and the Tramp’s “Bella Notte” they add their paw prints to a heart drawn in wet cement.

And right outside Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, you can see a heart with their paws drawn into the cement! Fitting considering Tony’s is the restaurant where the pups share spaghetti. Cue the “awwwws.”

2. The Circus is here!

Next time you’re dashing off to soar with Dumbo, look down!

You’ll spot elephant footprints and peanuts — you are at the circus after all!

3. One Restaurant – Two Lands

Have you visited the Crystal Palace before to dine with friends from the Hundred Acre Wood? Or rather, have you ever stopped to look at the outside?

Crystal Palace serves as a transition between Main Street U.S.A and Adventureland, and you can see this in the front design. The left side, which is the Main Street Side, has ornate railings and a veranda that reflects the turn of the century style. But the right side, the Adventureland side, has green awnings to protect you from the harsh jungle sun.

4. One if by Land

Remember the expression about Paul Revere? “One if by land, two if by sea.” That was the way we’d know how the British were arriving.

Liberty Square Lanterns

If you look up near the Liberty Square Market, you’ll get the answer.

5. Davy Crockett

You can find a nod to “the King of the Wild Frontier” in Magic Kingdom. No — not in Frontierland…

…in Gaston’s Tavern. Looks like he uses more than antlers in all of his decorating.

6. Grandma’s Alive!

In order to make their lives easier (and save a little money of course), Imagineers often reuse molds for animatronics on different attractions. One of the most iconic examples of this is in two favorite attractions! Remember the Grandma in the Swinging Wake scene of Haunted Mansion? Think about her…

Now look at the Grandma from the Carousel of Progress! It’s the same lady — She lives!

7. Maximus was here

It’s time to look down again — this time near the super-awesome Tangled restrooms. You’ll see lots of horseshoes, but some belong to an infamous horse…

Maximus! I hope he’s getting some apples.

8. Go Florida State!

It’s no surprise lots of folks visiting Walt Disney World are Florida State University fans. But there is one little fan who may shock you…

This little gopher from Splash Mountain! He pops out from the ceiling and quickly says “Go FSU!” Turns out the Imagineer who made him was a Seminole fan and wanted to leave his mark.

9. Sister, Sister

Color is often used to represent emotions throughout Disney movies and parks. And a great example of this is in the stunning mosaic in Cinderella Castle.

You’ll notice Cinderella’s Stepsisters are green and red in the face. Drizella is “green with envy” and Anastasia is “red with rage” over Cinderella getting invited to the ball.

10. Howdy Folks

If you’ve strolled through Frontierland,  you may have noticed part of the sidewalk near the shops and restaurants is raised wooden platforms.

This is of historical significance! In the Western days, ladies wouldn’t want their skirts to drag through the mud and dirt, so towns had raised sidewalks. Also keep an eye out for hitchin’ posts in case you need to tie up your horse.

11. Tale as Old as Time

Have you dined in Be Our Guest Restaurant? If so, you may have noticed the large Belle and Beast music box in the Rose Gallery.


Next time you go to Enchanted Tales with Belle, you can find out where they got such a gorgeous gift! Look at Maurice’s desk in his workshop — you’ll see the plans for the music box!

12. Yo-ho, yo-ho, a Pirate’s Life for… Smee!

Captain Jack Sparrow isn’t the only famous pirate on Pirates of the Caribbean. In fact, he’s not even the OG famous pirate…

If you take a look at the Pirate drowning Mayor Carlos and his buddy playing the flute, they may remind you of a few iconic pirates. Notice one has a hook hand and the other a striped shirt? These guys are a nod to Captain Hook and Mr. Smee!

13. Passing the Deed

A lot of folks were bummed when Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride closed up shop to make room for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. But as it turns out, Mr. Toad was okay with the deal.

Hanging in Owl’s house in the attraction, you can see a portrait of Mr. Toad handing the deed to Owl and shaking his hand…er, wing.

14. Singing Lessons

Have you ever walked down Center Street, the offshoot of Main Street? If so you may have heard some singing!

In one of the second story windows you can see that it’s home to vocal lessons, and if you listen closely, you can hear them in progress.

15. A New Source of Energy

The Tomorrowland Power Company is all about new sources of power. Including harvesting palm trees!

Well, power Palm Trees! These metal trees collect solar energy and store it in the coconuts. One of them is all done collecting, as the the leaves are curled up. Sadly, these don’t actually work but they are cool!!

16. Under the Sea

Another nod to a former attraction is located in the queue of Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. 

Located in the rock work, you can spot the Nautilus. This is the submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a former Fantasyland resident.

17. Vocal Lessons that will make you lose your head

Head to Liberty Square and you may pop into the Christmas Shoppe. Hanging off the entrance, you can spot a sign letting you know who lives there, and their occupation.

No surprise that Sleepy Hollow Refreshments is right across the way, now is it!?

Have you noticed these details in Magic Kingdom before? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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6 Replies to “17 Magic Kingdom Details You’ve Never Noticed”

  1. I was familiar with #4, 12, 13, 14, and 16. The one that stands out the most in my memories though is the upstairs singing just off of Main St, in the little side street. It was several years ago and my son needed to take a break (too many people and things going on on Main St) and no one was over there so it was the perfect place for him to “regroup”. He and my husband just sat and listened to the singing (…while I shopped! LOL!…). It was just what he needed at the time. It was perfect! Now, many years later, we usually walk past that little street but he’s never forgotten that magical moment!!

  2. Molly, I thoroughly enjoy your articles and love, love, love your videos. You are hilarious! It appears that you are alone when you park storm. I am hesitant to travel to WDW without company (especially since I would be travelling from Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Do you enjoy being a single rider when you are in the parks? Do you feel any awkwardness, or am I overthinking a solo trip?

    Lynn

    P.S. If I ever see you filming in the parks, I am totally photobombing your video.

    1. I’ve done Solo days and they hold some of my best WDW memories. I was also self conscious at first, but the reality is that I doubt anyone noticed. My least favorite part of solo travel is dining. I really enjoyed the Bier Garden in EPCOT / Germany because of the communal seating. My advice, try it at least once – the freedom to do what you want when you want is liberating.

    2. Hi Lynn! Thank you so much for your kind comment!! And you’re right — I am often alone when filming in the parks. I don’t feel any awkwardness – unless you count eating on camera. 🙂 If you want to take a solo trip I say DO IT! You’ll have a blast being able to choose wherever you want to go, do, ride, and eat. Plus, are you really alone if Mickey Mouse is nearby? Have so much fun!

    3. Hi Lynn, I’ve done a few solo trips this year and I love it! It can be intimidating at first but the freedom is awesome. Perhaps try just a short trip for your first time to see if you like it.

      1. Thanks everyone for your support. My son is my favourite travelling companion, but he doesn’t love Disney like I do. Trying to gather my courage for a solo trip. I agree with John that dining alone would be the hardest thing (for me). However, 2020 may be my first solo trip!