Top 10 Things You DON'T See at Disney World

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Top 10 Things You DON'T See at Disney World

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
You know about the hidden Mickeys, but you may not know about these other Disney secrets. For this list, we're looking at all the things you may not notice at Disney parks. Our list includes an abandoned airport runway, staff members pointing with one finger, an optical illusion at Cinderella's castle and more!
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Top 10 Things You DON'T See at Disney World


You know about the hidden Mickeys, but you may not know about these other Disney secrets. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You DON'T See at Disney World.

For this list, we’re looking at all the things you may not notice at Disney parks.

#10: Bathrooms in Liberty Square

Disney World is known for being a place of fantasy, but there’s one area where they decided to opt for historical accuracy instead. Considering how many children frequent Disney parks every day, you’d better bet that they have a lot of bathrooms scattered throughout the different lands to ensure there are no unwelcome accidents. But in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, the only washrooms are in restaurants. Why? Well considering Liberty Square is supposed to bring visitors back to colonial times, a bathroom would be a major anachronism!

#9: An Abandoned Airport Runway

In the early ‘70s, Disney World added a small airport to the property so that visitors could fly straight to the park and bypass other larger airports. It was only in operation for a couple of years however, and has been in disuse ever since. One of the most whimsical features was that they created a “singing runway” using grooves in the pavement so that when you drove across at just the right speed, you would hear the tune of "When You Wish Upon a Star". Technically, guests aren’t supposed to go there, and it’s mainly used for parking and storage, but some visitors have tried!

#8: Real American Flags

There is a lot of patriotic sentiment behind Walt Disney World, especially on Main Street, which is representative of small town America. But did you know that you won’t actually see any true American flags in the parks? That’s because Disney wanted to circumvent the rules about raising and lowering flags, as well as flying them at half mast when necessary. You’re probably thinking that there are definitely flags in the park, and you’d be right, but they use visual trickery to make them look normal when in fact each one is missing either a star or a stripe.

#7: Chewing Gum

Compared to other amusement parks around the world, Disney parks are unfailingly clean and tidy. You’d be hard-pressed to find trash on the ground, because there are carefully placed garbage cans every 30 steps as well as many staff members working on keeping the parks clean. Not only that, but they also don’t sell chewing gum in Walt Disney World to prevent the mess of gum clean up. Gum isn’t technically banned so they won’t confiscate yours at the gates, but if you’re a gum fiend, you probably want to stock up before your Disney vacation.

#6: Staff Members Pointing with One Finger

Disney parks are known for their impeccable customer service. If you approach any staff member, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a helpful and friendly response to any question you may have. And behind that experience are lots of rules. If an employee doesn’t know how to help you, they aren’t allowed to say “I don’t know.” They have to find a solution, including directing you to another staff member who could help. Also, if they’re giving you directions, they’re not allowed to use one finger to point. That’s because the gesture is considered rude in some cultures. So they always use two fingers instead!

#5: The Real Height of Cinderella’s Castle

When you walk through the gates at Walt Disney World, the first thing you see is the imposing and magical structure of Cinderella’s Castle. The structure is 189 feet high, but it was intentionally built to look much taller. The imagineers used forced perspective techniques to trick the eye into thinking it was larger. One example of this is the fact that the bricks near the top are smaller than the ones at the bottom. Similarly, the newer Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland is actually tiny, but the way it was constructed makes it look life-sized.

#4: A Neighboring Land

Disney’s Magic Kingdom has six “lands” within the park: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Main Street and Tomorrowland. And the park was specifically designed so that when you’re in one area, the experience is completely immersive. That means that they’ve expertly crafted each area so that you can never see another one. While some of the lands are very close together, they use things like trees and carefully designed structures to keep the experience consistent. Each land also has its own soundscape, and you won’t hear the music from one land in another one either.

#3: Hidden Smells

We all know how much memories can be associated with smells, and that’s a fact that the people at Disney decided to exploit in the design of their parks. While the park does have popcorn popping and cookies baking, those smells are enhanced by patented “Smellitzer” technology that uses fake aromas and pumps them into the parks. While it’s true of the park in general, they also use the technique to create ambience on specific rides. For example, on Pirates of the Caribbean, you may notice that the smell of gunpowder lingers in the air.

#2: Secret Tunnels

According to Disney legend, Walt Disney himself wanted to keep the magic alive by ensuring that guests didn’t see employees moving from land to land while in costume. So to that end, he created a series of underground passageways underneath the Magic Kingdom for staff to pass through. They also function to aid with trash removal and food services. The series of tunnels is quite extensive, covering 392,040 square feet and there are similar (though smaller) systems at EPCOT as well. While visitors are strictly forbidden from entering what are referred to as the utilidors, there is a special tour called Keys To The Kingdom that lets you in behind the scenes.

#1: The Suite in Cinderella’s Castle

You may have heard a rumor that you’re able to spend the night in Cinderella’s castle, and we’re here to confirm that it’s true. There is an extra magical suite hidden inside the castle itself, which lets you feel like royalty for the night. You’re probably thinking that a stay here must cost a pretty penny, but you’d be incorrect on that one. Disney does not allow bookings for this particular suite, only offering it up on invitation and to contest winners. It’s probably for the best, because otherwise the waiting list would inevitably be about a mile long. Speaking of Cinderella, the statue of her in the park is made to look different to adults and children!
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