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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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!
While you’re not really exploring a tree on a South Seas island, Disney did actually name the tree “Disneyodendron 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
…and then they eventually built an amusement park across the street.
DinoLand really is a lot more than meets the eye!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
You can find handprints from Minnie and Mickey, and some other well-known Disney stars like George Lucas!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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