“Boring” Parts of Walt Disney World That Are WAY Better Than You Think

With Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Fantasyland, and other exciting themed lands at Walt Disney World, you have to figure some areas of the Parks get a bad rep in comparison.

Toy Story Land Entrance

While you may think that some lands are more boring in relation to others, you might actually be mislabeling them! 

These “Boring” Parts of Disney World Are WAY Better Than You Think — Here’s Why!

Liberty Square

Magic Kingdom is home to six themed lands, but one that you may pass right through is Liberty Square. Located between Frontierland and Fantasyland, this colonial neighborhood was actually Walt Disney’s idea! The story of the land starts back in Frontierland in the wild west, and as you make your way to Liberty Square, you’ll pass through time to the early beginnings of America around 1776. Here you’ll find tons of nods to history, like a replica of the Liberty Bell.

Liberty Bell

There’s even a Liberty Tree, which was a symbol in the fight for independence and was common in colonial towns. If you look under the giant tree at the center of Liberty Square, you’ll see 13 lanterns are hanging from the tree to represent the 13 original colonies.

Liberty Tree

There are also tons of other small nods to history in the land, including a window that has two lanterns represent Paul Revere’s midnight ride where they were used to tell the soldiers how the British army was coming. The saying was  “One if by land, two if by sea”, and you can see for yourself what the signal was!

Liberty Square Lanterns

To make the land authentic to the times, you won’t find any bathrooms here. Instead, you’ll have to travel to neighboring lands. But if you look down at the pavement, you can actually find the town’s sewage represented in the different colored pavement. Those brown lines would have been where the townsfolk dumped their waste.

You won’t walk over this without thinking about sewage ever again.

Disney sprinkled a ton of history into this land and if you’re just passing it by, you’re missing out!

Swiss Family Treehouse

Another spot in Magic Kingdom that many people miss because they think it’s boring is the Swiss Family Treehouse. Located in Adventureland, this treehouse is based on the 1812 novel and Disney’s 1960 live-action film Swiss Family Robinson. The story goes that the Swiss Family Robinson’s ship crashed on the island, and they built their treehouse out of the wreckage from the crash.

Swiss Family Treehouse

The ship itself was named the Swallow, and they opted to create their home among the leaves of a giant old tree on the South Seas Island (hence the heat).

Swiss Family Treehouse is hidden in the tree!

Inside you’ll find tons of details from the story (and evidence of the family living there), including their organ in the “living room” and the skylight in the parent’s bedroom. Disney spared no detail!

Swiss Family Treehouse

While you’re not really exploring a tree on a South Seas island, Disney did actually name the treeDisneyodendron Eximus,” which means “an out of the ordinary Disney tree.” Pretty cool, huh? It’s at least worth exploring once because you can get one of the best views of Magic Kingdom from the top!

DinoLand U.S.A.

Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find a land with one of the most elaborate backstories in Disney World — DinoLand U.S.A. The story goes that there was a rustic fishing lodge along the U.S. Highway 498 in Diggs County (check out the signs around the land!) where travelers would stop. And, of course, they would need some gas for their cars, so there was a nearby gas station own by an elderly couple named Chester and Hester.

Welcome to Diggs County!

In 1947, someone discovered a dinosaur fossil near the lodge and when paleontologists found out, they bought up the surrounding land for research. Eventually, professors and grad students came to the area to study fossils, so a restaurant was added to the lodge — Restaurantosaurus. Oh, and why is it called Restaurantosaurus? Well, it was simply named Restaurant until some grad students thought it would be funny to add “-osaurus” to the end of basically every word…so, here we are.

Quite the prank!

The area grew in popularity, and, since professors and students couldn’t afford to build a tourist information center, they set up shop in their home! And, as time passed, the lodge was transformed into the Dino Institute.

The Dino Institute is markedly more serious than its carnival cousin.

In an effort to get some money, researchers (well, Dr. Marsh) developed a new technology that could take you back in time to see dinosaurs. The new attraction brought tons of new visitors and, with all the money they gained from the “time rover,” they built a brand new state-of-the-art facility.

The Dino Institute opened up its doors for tourists

With so many more tourists in the area, Chester and Hester eventually converted their gas station into “Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures” to make more money…

Chester and Hester’s Dinosaurs Treasure Shop

and then they eventually built an amusement park across the street.

Chester and Hester’s DinoRama

DinoLand really is a lot more than meets the eye!

Discovery Island

The Tree of Life is Animal Kingdom’s icon, but did you know that there is a backstory to this giant tree and the land (called Discovery Island) that makes up the center of the park? Well, according to the story, Discovery Island was a barren land where no vegetation could grow until a tiny ant planted a seed and made a wish for a tree that was large enough to provide shade to all the animals — and it did!

Tree of Life

The tree grew so big that tons of animals gathered underneath to take cover from the sun. Eventually, the shapes of all of them appeared on the tree and that’s why you can spot them all carved in!

The animals became one with the tree as they gathered for shade!

You can check out the detailed carvings if you explore the Discovery Island Trails. While you’re there you can check out some living animals like Kangaroos, Storks, Macaws, and more!

Learn MORE About the Tree of Life Backstory Here!

Chinese Theater

Another park icon has a unique backstory, too! Over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Chinese Theater stands at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, and it is actually a replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. Disney even used the original architectural blueprints from the theater to re-create the exterior of the theater!

The Chinese Theater is now the home to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

And what makes this theater worthy of landing in Disney World? Well, the theater opened in 1927 and was where many movies, including some Disney ones (like Mary Poppins), premiered!

The Chinese Theater is now home to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

One of the hallmarks of the original theater was the handprints from Hollywood stars in the pavement, and Disney brought that to Hollywood Studios too! The courtyard is filled with celebrity handprints from stars who were invited to the opening ceremony for the park. And since it was originally intended to be a working studio, Disney felt that the stars would fit right into the setting.

Those handprints are real!

You can find handprints from Minnie and Mickey, and some other well-known Disney stars like George Lucas!

George Lucas signed “May the force be with you”

Many of these pavement pieces were created during “Star Today,” which was an event when Disney first opened the park where celebrities spent a week in the parks doing interviews and parades. Before they left, they would get to make put their handprints in the park. Spend some time perusing the cement the next time you’re there, and you might be surprised which stars you can find!

Check Out ALL the Names You Can Find in the Chinese Courtyard Theater HERE!

Echo Lake

Echo Lake is another part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios that many Disney-goers pass by without a second thought. It is home to Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction where you can get some ice cream served right out of a giant dinosaur!

Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream

The giant dinosaur is actually named Gertie and has a backstory rooted in animation history. She was the star of “Gertie the Dinosaur”, one of the first popular animated characters in history.

Ever wonder why Disney chose a dino as their ice cream shop?

It was created by a well-known newspaper cartoonist, Winsor McCay, and both the animator and cartoon are said to have inspired Walt Disney back in the day.

Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction History

The tagline for the animation was “Gertie: She’s a Scream” so Disney Imagineers thought that an ice cream shop was an appropriate tribute to the character and the inspiration that it gave to Walt.

These parts of Disney World are sounding pretty cool now, right? The next time you’re visiting the parks, spend some time in these areas and check out all the nods to its backstory — you just might impress your friends and family with how much you know!

50 Details You’ve Never Noticed at Walt Disney World

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