Walt Disney World Resort is a land of magic, memories, excitement…and secrets! In fact, they’re all around you when you visit the parks. Here are just a few of my favorite secrets in the Magic Kingdom, which many guests walk past, over and through without ever noticing.
A MESSAGE FROM WALT DISNEY
Enter the Magic Kingdom and climb the stairs to the Main Street Railroad Station. Do you hear the old-fashioned telegraph sending a message? It’s not just any random message, but instead the Morse Code rendition of Walt Disney’s opening day speech at Disneyland on July 17, 1955.
WATCH WHERE YOU STEP
Now make your way to Liberty Square…but be careful where you step. The brown “river” flowing down the middle of the streets throughout Liberty Square represents the household “waste” which used to flow down the streets of colonial America before the arrival of plumbing. That may be one Disney attention to detail you didn’t want to know about!
A HISTORICAL SECRET
For this next “historical” secret, find the second-story window in the nearby Hall of Presidents façade with the two lit lanterns in each corner. Pause for a moment and consider where you’re standing…in Liberty Square. These lanterns were placed by Paul Revere to announce “One if by land, two if by sea.”
A UNIQUE MAGIC KINGDOM EXPERIENCE
Want a truly unique Magic Kingdom experience, as well as a rare souvenir? Board the Liberty Square Riverboat and ask if you may join the Captain in the Wheelhouse for the voyage. With his permission, you’ll open a closed door and enter the Captain’s Quarters, an area rarely seen by guests, and make your way up a narrow set of stairs to the Wheelhouse. Here, you’ll take the wheel to pilot the mighty vessel, as well as pull the cord to blow the Liberty Belle’s loud steam whistle. Your reward for a successful voyage? An official Riverboat Co-Pilot’s license to take home as a souvenir!
A FASTPASS REWARD
This next secret rewards guests with a special prize. At the beginning of each day, Cast Members hide a few paintbrushes throughout Tom Sawyer Island. Each is covered in whitewash and reads, “Tom Sawyer Paintbrush – In order to complete his chores, Tom needs to whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence. Unfortunately, in his play time, he managed to lose the brushes all over the island. If you happen to pick up this brush, please return it to the raft driver.” Lucky guests who find a paintbrush may return it to the raft driver for a FastPass to Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which is valid all day long.
CINDERELLA’S FAVORITE HORSE
There are 90 horses on the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, the largest carrousel in North America, but only one is known as Cinderella’s favorite. How do you find it? Look for the horse with a gold ribbon on its tail and you will have found Major, the horse Cinderella’s father gave her when she was a little girl.
SIR MICKEY’S SHOP
Did you know there is a towering giant hiding in the Magic Kingdom? While huge, guests don’t always see him, even when they’re standing right in front of him. Step into Sir Mickey’s gift shop in Fantasyland and look up at the ceiling. There you will find Willie the Giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk peeking out at you from under the roof!
DYING FOR SOME WATER
Pause for a moment in the exterior queue line of The Haunted Mansion and see if you can notice anything different about the lawn out front. Of course…it’s dead! Disney Imagineers go to great lengths to ensure the landscaping all throughout Walt Disney World Resort is impeccable. Topiaries are shaped into whimsical Disney characters, flowers are blooming at every turn and all the plants you see are green, lush and well watered…except at The Haunted Mansion. Here, like the 999 ghosts inside, the lawn has died and is nevermore.
STEP UP, ME ‘EARTIES, YO HO
You may have noticed as you exit many attractions throughout the Magic Kingdom and step upon a moving walkway that there are footprints painted on the walkway to indicate which direction you should proceed. Take note of the “footprints” Disney Imagineers placed on the moving walkway as you exit the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The single boot print followed by a small circle are the markings belonging to a peg-legged pirate!
I’LL HAVE THE FIREWORKS, WELL DONE
At the end of the day, many guests choose to watch “Wishes”, the fireworks spectacular, from Main Street, U.S.A. This is a great spot to see one of the best shows in the park, as the fireworks appear directly over Cinderella Castle. However, unknown to many, you can also see “Wishes” from The California Grill, found at the top of the Contemporary Resort just outside the Magic Kingdom. At the time of the show, the restaurant dims the lights and plays the same music heard in the park. It’s a unique perspective on this magical attraction.
There are many more secrets to be found in the Magic Kingdom, as well as all of the Disney parks. Enjoy discovering each one!
About the Author: Mike West is recognized as an expert on the secrets of Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and is the publisher of the best-selling Walt Disney World Secrets Gold! and Disneyland Secrets Gold! apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android powered devices, as well as the Disney World Mobile Guide, a complete trip-planning and in-park resource for Walt Disney World. Each app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon AppStore. Learn more at www.WaltDisneyWorldSecrets.com TimeStream Software is available at www.TimeStream-Software.com, on Twitter at @TimeStream1 and facebook at www.facebook.com/Notescast