The brilliant minds behind all the intricate details that make up the guest experience at Disneyland, Disney World and their other parks worldwide are called Imagineers. This incredible team raise the realism so you can actually feel immersed as you walk through the parks, take a thrilling ride and even when you’re standing in long lines. Everywhere you look, there’s something to discover.
Scroll through these 14 secrets about Disneyland and Disney World that we bet you didn’t know.
1. Frontierland has raised sidewalks that exactly replicate the old West.
Sidewalks in the old frontier really were raised to protect shoes and skirts from dragging in the muck that made up the roadway.
The sound and feel of it as you walk along adds to the authenticity.
2. A hidden Mickey that’s actually an inside joke.
Hidden Mickeys are scattered all through the parks, but this one is in plain sight and almost look like someone randomly painted this rather crude, unlicensed (gasp!) Mickey on a wall in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The real joke, though is the Swahili word underneath. It means “hidden.”
3. Stand in the right place and you’ll be first to pick a Doom Buggy on the Haunted Mansion ride.
When you first enter the attraction and you are standing in the room with the spooky portraits and the stretchy walls, find the painting of the girl with the parasol.
The door to the Doom Buggys opens beneath her and then you’ll get your choice of them. Dare to sit in the first one?
4. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! at Hollywood Studios has a warning sign too tempting to ignore.
This looks like a serious warning to not pull the rope that’s hanging on the pulley.
Surely, something bad will happen. But, it’s too tantalizing not to see what.
5. The tallest mountain at Walt Disney World is Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
It stops at 199.5 feet and could be higher, except the Federal Aviation Authority would slap a blinking red light on it to alert aircraft and that would sort of ruin the effect.
6. The Enchanted Tiki Room was first imagined as a dinner show.
Imagineers planned the Enchanted Tiki Room as a dinner show with the animatronics.
The dining component never made it to fruition.
7. At Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, you can see where Han and Leia first kissed.
The intimate space where Han and Leia smooched for the first time is off the main room.
A cast member is stationed there to keep the heat down, but you can still look inside and get inspired for kissing your honey later.
8. Pandora has a couple of fake waterfalls to create the illusion of a larger space.
Pandora The World of Avatar is like stepping into a dream.
However, the tallest waterfalls are actually not freely falling water. They are slowed down by a wheel to add to the ethereal feeling that everything is bigger than it is.
9. The Enchanted Tiki Room is the reason for Disney’s delicious Dole Whips.
Since Dole is a sponsor of the Enchanted Tiki Room, we now have Dole Whips in all their frothy, flavorful, colorful glory.
10. There are porg nests to find while you wait for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
The lines for many of the attractions are long. But, even the queues have secret fun and games.
Look for Porg nests as you wait to fly to fly the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.
11. There are even secret menu items!
Search the various Disney food blogs to find how to order secret off-the-menu items like this Baby Yoda cocktail.
12. Liberty Square acknowledges the lack of public restroom facilities in colonial times.
Just like in colonial times, Liberty Square doesn’t have any bathrooms.
There is even a brown trail to replicate the raw sewage that flowed through the streets in days of yore.
13. Disneyland’s iconic Mickey balloons last a long time because of this genius solution.
A former park employee came up with a way to keep the Mickey balloons from popping in the heat.
Treb Henning, a Disney “Balloon Boy” in 1969 began enclosing the balloons in bubbles, preventing kid meltdowns ever since.
14. Try to find the door to Disneyland’s private club in New Orlean’s Square.
Club 33 requires a private ultra-exclusive membership. If you can afford the entry fee of between $25,000 and $50,000, and annual dues of $30,000, then join the waiting list.
They’ll get back to you in 10 to 15 years.
Disneyland and Disney World are chock-full of fun and secrets.
On your next visit, try to find these and the many of the other hidden treasures tucked throughout. Or, at least appreciate the minds behind all the details that add to the immersive experience only found at Disney parks!