Hidden Secrets of Disney World

The Walt Disney Company is known for attention to detail in everything they do, especially within the theme parks.

Cinderella Castle

The company works hard to create a one-of-a-kind experience for people every time they visit the Disney World parks. With so much time spent on the development of Disney World, it’s impossible for there not to be Easter eggs and other fun surprises to be found!

Fans of history, the creation of the parks, and most Disney lovers in general will appreciate these small details. Check out these hidden secrets and take a look at them the next time you’re in Disney World!
Disney World
  • Walking around Hollywood Studios and hear the screams coming from Tower of Terror? Those aren’t actually coming from the current riders; they’re pre-recorded!
  • Liberty Square is based off of Revolutionary War-era America, a time before modern plumbing. During this time period, people would use chamber pots and empty their, ahem, waste, into the streets. Liberty Square is well known for its appropriately brownstone walkway down the middle of the street and lack of bathrooms (but if you do need to go, just head on over to the Tangled bathrooms nearby!).
An interesting choice of paving …
  • Pirates of the Caribbean might be haunted by a mischievous ghost named George! It’s said that the Cast Members have to greet him each morning and say goodnight at the end of the day or the ride will face malfunctions. Luckily, he’s not malicious, just mischievous!
  • The cherubs in Be Our Guest have the faces of Imagineers and their children.
  • James Cameron and others left their handprints on Flight of Passage — literally! The director of the Avatar films as well as producer Jon Landau and lead Imagineer for Pandora Joe Rohde all contributed to the decor of the ride. As you’re exiting, keep an eye out for a trio of red hand prints in the corridor on the lowest level.
Flight of Passage Queue
  • Expedition Everest is one giant hidden Mickey. You just need a helicopter to see it! From the ground it just appears to be a regular mountain, but an overhead view reveals the attraction is shaped like a Mickey Mouse icon. (Bonus: it’s also a hidden Oswald! There are two loops of the track that can also be seen as rabbit ears.)
  • The “Two Brothers” in American Adventure in EPCOT are based on two Imagineers.
  • The hyenas and African dogs take turns on Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • When you step into Magic Kingdom you might notice red sidewalks and pavement. This can represent a rolled-out red carpet welcoming you to Disney World!
  • There’s a Cast Member-only barbershop and Subway under the Magic Kingdom.
  • Ever wondered what the piano player in Haunted Mansion is silently playing? “Grim Grinning Ghosts” of course!
  • The flight you take on Soarin’, Flight 5505, is a reference to the ride’s Disney World opening date!
  • Trash travels under Disney World through pipes at 60MPH!
Haunted Mansion
  • There used to be a whole Mickey FOREST near Disney World.
  • Several of the animatronics in Spaceship Earth are actually re-purposed — if you look closely, you might recognize some former Presidents!
  • Disney uses forced perspective to create the appearance of larger structures, like in the American Adventure and Galaxy’s Edge.
  • If you play the DuckTales scavenger hunt in EPCOT you may be able to catch a special glimpse of a Sword in the Waterfall!
  • Also in EPCOT, if you head over to the Germany Pavilion, check out the mural next to the Biergarten. If you give the wall a knock it sounds hollow! Allegedly this was supposed to be home to a boat ride attraction but was eventually boarded up and covered with a mural.
Germany mural
  • Walt Disney’s childhood bedroom is featured in Living With the Land and can also be spotted in Garden Grill.
  • Disney added details all the way down to the pavement! Be sure to take a break and look down every once in a while because you just might see fun surprises like R2-D2 tracks in Galaxy’s Edge or peanuts and animal footprints near Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
  • In the Pirates of the Caribbean queue, you will see two skeletons playing chess. Imagineer Marc Davis set up the chess pieces so that any move would create a checkmate, thus resulting in an eternal stalemate.
So famous, they got their own pin!
  • Over the years we’ve had to say goodbye to a variety of attractions. They are gone, but not forgotten! Disney pays homage to these closed attractions with subtle nods across the parks.
    • There’s an homage to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea in both Pooh’s house and Ariel’s Grotto, which is where the original attraction was.
    • Mr. Toad is included in the pet cemetery at the Haunted Mansion, and you can find his deed in the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh!
    • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway took over the location of the beloved Great Movie Ride. As a subtle nod, you can see a poster for the Great Movie Ride on Runaway Railway.
    • Another cult-favorite attraction that was replaced was Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT. This is where you will see Frozen Ever After today, but they kept a small portion of Maelstrom! At the end of the ride you might be able to spot the same adorable little puffins from the original ride.
Frozen Ever After in EPCOT
  • Hop on Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom and you just might be able to see Mary Poppins’ robin in one of the scenes!
  • The Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is home to the Carolwood Pacific Railroad Room. According to Disney lore, this building pre-dates the lodge itself, as a team of railroad workers discovered the property and decided it was the perfect place to set up camp while they built the Transcontinental Railway. When it was time to move on they left everything as it was. It was rediscovered years later by the Disney Vacation Club!
  • There are actually secret phone chargers across the parks! In Magic Kingdom you can find them in the Rapunzel rest area, while in EPCOT the tables in Connections Cafe have chargers in them, too.
Tangled bathroom

There is so much to see in the parks besides the attractions and characters. Next time you’re in Disney World, take a moment to observe your surroundings, and you just might notice a hidden detail!

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