How Magic Kingdom is Manipulating You

Disney World has a few tricks up its sleeves when it comes to making experiences in the parks as magical as ever!

Things are slowly going back to normal in Disney World.

While you might know about a few of the ways Disney is able to draw you in, you probably don’t know about the ways that the Magic Kingdom is actually manipulating you. Intrigued? Keep reading!


Did you know that some of your favorite smells in the Magic Kingdom might not actually be real? They could actually be scents they’re pumping through Smellitzers around the park. So, the smell of candy and sweets near the Main Street Bakery and Confectionery or popcorn along Main Street are actually enhanced, making you want to buy a snack for yourself. And, Disney, we have to say the Smellitzers work because we won’t pass up an opportunity for a treat in the Magic Kingdom!

Main Street Confectionery

Forced Perspective

Everything isn’t what it seems in Disney World. And, a big way that Disney plays mind games with guests is through forced perspective! In order to make things look bigger and better than they are or force visitors’ viewpoints in on direction (so they don’t see something in another), forced perspective enables the parks to manipulate your line-of-sight.

Space Mountain

When you first enter the Magic Kingdom, the park is hidden all the way from the parking lot and Transportation and Ticket Center up until the moment you’re actually in Main Street. You may get a few sneak peeks of it on the Monorail or Ferry Boat to help build the anticipation of arrival. When you step foot in the Magic Kingdom, you still can’t see Cinderella Castle yet until you are in the middle of Main Street. That helps Disney make sure that your first real view of the castle is perfect!

Magic Kingdom Toll Plaza

Since forced perspective changes the way objects or buildings appear, they can look farther or closer, as well as larger or smaller than they actually are. Specifically, Cinderella Castle uses smaller bricks and windows at the top of the castle, as they gradually get bigger moving downward. This allows the castle to look taller and farther away than it actually is, since it’s actually only 189 feet tall.

Cinderella Castle

Main Street aids in this perspective of the castle as well, as the street is designed as an uphill climb. It’s also a safety feature since guests can’t move as fast uphill during rope drop or busier times of the day. And, when you’re leaving after a long day, it’s beneficial because it’s easier to walk downhill.

Main Street

On Main Street, all of the buildings are actually a lot smaller than you’d think, so they don’t clash with other lands in the park. The only full size building there is the Theater as it helps block Disney’s Contemporary Resort from your direct site. But, you can see it fully from Tomorrowland since it goes along with the story. Besides, each land is themed so it feels like you’re fully immersed in the atmosphere without view of the other spots around the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street Cinema

One of the most mind-blowing parts of the forced perspectives in the Magic Kingdom is that everything is technically on the second story of a building! There’s an entire other level to the park below the train tracks, which makes the castle moat and the Liberty Tree Tavern that much more of a feat. Some of the spots that do this are Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, where the attractions aren’t ACTUALLY in the mountain or fort like you’d think.

Splash Mountain

A lot of the attraction happens to be in backstage buildings that are hidden In order to get you into those buildings, the rides undergo an initial drop to send guests from the second story of the parks to the first one underneath the train tracks.

Shopping Spree, Maybe?

As you exit attractions around many of Disney World’s attractions, the Magic Kingdom included, Disney redirects guests through gift shops. And, it’s pretty obvious that this is to try and get guests to buy themed merchandise inspired by the attraction. If you think about it, this is an incredibly smart tactic, as you most likely feel happy after exiting a ride in the Magic Kingdom. And, that happiness could cause you to feel more inclined to take home a keepsake of that exact attraction that made you feel so amazing!

Fantasy Faire

Smells on Attractions

There are plenty of spots around Disney World that incorporate scents in order to fully immerse you in the attraction you’re on, whether it’s Flight of Passage or Soarin’. But, Disney is able to do so using a few tricks that places you in the center of the action or atmosphere. In the Magic Kingdom, specifically, Smellitzers spritz out the apple pie scent during the PhilharMagic‘s “Be Our Guest” sequence.


On water rides like Splash Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean, the bromine used for water sanitation gives them that chemical scent that we all know so well. And, the Pirates of the Caribbean also uses Smellitzers to pump out the scent of sea salt and old, wet wood to add to the experience.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Inflated Wait Times

Recently, one of the biggest things we’ve noticed at the parks is how the posted wait times may not be the actual wait times in the parks at the moment. Disney sets inflated wait times in order to possibly allow guests to have shorter times than expected on attractions. Plus, if the waits end up becoming a lot longer than expected, the inflated wait times actually make it seem like they’re right on track for the rides.

Peter Pan’s Flight is another ride with super long wait times!

Colors Have Meaning

Disney World incorporates various colors to hide things around the parks or directly notify guests of certain safety measures. Go Away Green is the color used on construction buildings or other areas that need to be camouflaged as the softer color doesn’t attract people’s line-of-sight. Blending Blue allows certain parts of building to match up with the color of the Florida skyline, so you practically don’t notice them at all.

TRON Construction

Red is used as a safety measure since you subconsciously pay more attention when they’re stepping on or off curbs or need to avoid going to certain areas. However, red can also represent importance in other aspects, like a red carpet for VIP guests.mAnd, the blue and red colors are actually different in California and Florida parks because the skies are don’t have the exact sam colors.

Main Street, U.S.A.

The next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom, keep an eye out for these tricks to see if you can spot any of them yourself! And, be sure to stay tuned with All Ears for a look at more Disney entertainment and news coming soon!

How to have the cheapest day at the Magic Kingdom

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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One Reply to “How Magic Kingdom is Manipulating You”

  1. They are out of practice showing wait times when there is no FastPass, which greatly inflates wait times. FP is another way they are fooling you into thinking it makes your wait time less. It doesn’t. If you wait in just one stand-by line it takes 3 FP just to break even for an overall savings of time in line. If you were to ONLY use FP and no standby then you save time. Kinda works best for AP holders and not your basic guest.