43 Cool Facts About Walt Disney World

Ever since Walt Disney World, in Florida, greeted its first visitants in 1971, it’s rooted itself in the American cognizance in ways few other organizations ever have. But Disney’s triumph was no fluke. The park struck influential because of its unrelenting importance on its visitors and their experiences—and perhaps just a small bit of pixie dust.

Still, when your resort greets millions of guests each year, there is a whole lot of experience to handle. And generally, there’s a ton of things going on behind the scenes. From its clandestine underground tunnels that only a picked few will ever see to its 30,000 guest rooms that would demand 68 years of your life to stay in, the Disney World has a lot going on that most visitors never see—or know about.

Read on for 43 amazing facts about America’s beloved theme park. Oh, and if you’re concerned: We assure, no matter how much you know, it won’t destroy the spell.Image: Flickr

1. Highest Number of Employees

If you summed up the number of employees at every other Disney park globally—Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, and Shanghai Disney Resort—you’d still fall about 5,000 people deficient of the 70,000 folks who work at Walt Disney World in Florida. What’s more, each of the park’s workers—from its costumed princesses to its front-desk clerks—are lovingly referred to as “cast members.” And with several people putting on the show each day, Walt Disney World is the biggest single-site employer in the United States.
Source: medium.com, Image: Flickr

2. Flag Ceremony

A military veteran takes part in a flag-lowering tradition every day at 5 p.m. on Main Street, U.S.A. in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

3. French Fry Engines

So how does the famous steam engine work in Disneyland? It is fueled by french fry oil. Yes, as interesting as it may sound, the oil leftover from frying the potatoes is turned into biodiesel so that the trains can run on them.

Source: disneypark.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

4. The Beatles Story

The story of the breakup of a world-famous band is associated with Disneyland! It is the Beatles. It was here at Polynesian Resort that the Beatles broke up the group. The year was 1974.

Source: medium.com, Image: Flickr

5. Behind Dumbo Ride

The mouse on the Dumbo ride was instrumental in letting them fly. Before they held a whip but it was changed to feathers after some time.
Source: medium.com, Image: Flickr

6. Identical Rides 

The trail designs for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland and the Dinosaur ride at Disney World are nearly alike.
Source: medium.com, Image: Flickr

7. Cinderella’s Castle

Cinderella’s Castle that is one of the favorites for most of us is not really what it looks like! It seems as if it is made up of stone but actually it is fiberglass. They had to get special permission from the government to use the material as it is not usually allowed. In addition to this, to make the castle appear grander, it is built on an inclined slope.

Source: snopes.com, Image: Flickr

8. Not a Crook

A Former President has addressed an audience in the ballroom of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Can you guess? Well, it was Richard Nixon who gave his nefarious “I’m not a crook” speech in 1973.
Source: orlandoweekly.com, Image: Flickr

9. Hidden Rooms

The Magic Kingdom is built on a double storied building which comprises of many rooms for the staff member to unwind and other things. There are more than 30 clandestine pathways that lead them to the park. This is the whole “secret tunnel” theory.

Source: businessinsider.com

10. Overshoot Waiting Time

The expected waiting time is not really that what is expected! Confused? Well, the expected time is overshot by 5-10 minutes so that the visitors are made to believe that they got a shorter period of waiting time than it was expected.

Source: medium.com

11. Don’t Lose Your Sunglasses

Each day, people lose about 250 sunglasses which are reported to the Lost and Found department of Disneyland. So beware, otherwise, you will be made to dig it up from a pile.

Source: popsugar.com, Image: Flickr

12. Turkey Legs

Turkey legs is one of the most popular foods in Disney parks. It was first introduced solely at Disney World in the 90s. However, due to its rising popularity, it spread out to other parks as well. A whopping 2 million turkey legs are sold at Disney parks every year. They are so popular that you can even buy turkey leg inspired merchandise from the gift shop.

Source: disneypark.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

13. Cinderella Suite

There’s a secret hotel suite in Cinderella’s castle. Well, as expected, it can house up to 6 people and the TV is disguised as the magical mirrors on the walls. However, one can not just make a reservation and call it a day. There is a lucky draw at the park every day.

Source: disneypark.disney.go.com

14. Inflammation in Tickets

When the park was first opened, the tickets would cost around 4 dollars. However, the price now has risen up to 120 dollars per person!

Source: disneypark.disney.go.com

15. The City of Tomorrow

Walt’s Disney dreamt that there will be a “city of tomorrow”. However, it came to a sad end. But on the brighter side, the park itself is a sort of city with its own fire stations and emergency services.

Source: medium.com

16. For the Protection of Animals

Have you heard of Disney Wilderness Preserve? It is located 15 miles from Disney World and is actually a project that Walt Disney bought in the 90s. The project is based on the preservation of wildlife and vegetation in exchange for the land impact that was done due to the construction of Disney World.

Source: disneypark.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

17. A Life Time Worth of Hotel Stays

The hotels here are so expansive that, by chance, if you decide to stay each day in one hotel room, it will take you about 68 years to get through all of them!

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

18. Not Really In Orlando

Disney World Resort is not really in Orlando as everyone thought it to be but actually in Bay Lake. Orlando is, in fact, just a neighbor. Bay Lake is just a Reedy Creek Improvement District, a unique taxing district that performs with the corresponding influence and obligation as a county administrator. The reason Walt Disney helped in the development of the county was for a more solid authority over his projects. There are just a few dozen residents in the county all of whom have been employed by Disney himself!

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

19. Impossible to Reserve

There is nothing more to Cinderella’s castle than its superb appearance. On the inside, it features only a cafe, Cinderella’s table, the Bibbidi Bobbiddi Boutique and a super impossible to get hotel suite. A bonus fact: This suite was originally intended to be Walt Disney’s resident.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

20. Drink Without a Straw

You will probably have to do without a straw while sipping your beverage at the Animal Kingdom. They don’t offer one as a means of precaution for the animals!

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

21. Cleanest Theme Park

Disney World is full of dustbins and you can find a trash can every few feet away! So don’t worry about the mess, they got it covered!

Source: cheatsheet.com, Image: Flickr

22. Find the Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickeys has become a sort of a game among people and children alike. They can be found anywhere right from the table to the drawer to ….anywhere! So keep your eyes open and look out for as much as possible.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

23. Bring Your Own Gum

Chewing gum is one thing that children love to do! However, it is not sold on-site because of cleanliness reasons. Bring your own in that case!

Source: touringplans.com, Image: Flickr

24. Tricks Behind the Safari

The Kilimanjaro Safari is to die for as you will come across many animals! But have you wondered how it is so easy to spot them? How are they so friendly? Well, the staff use some tricks to give you the best! They throw eatables towards the gorillas and put honey on the vehicle to attract elephants. The lion’s den is airconditioned! The only harmless and free-roaming species you will find are zebras and giraffes.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

25. The Infamous 

There are many things besides the sunglasses that are lost each day at the park! And believe me… they have found the most bizarre things which have also be claimed afterward! It includes a glass eye, prosthetic leg and potty trainer.

Source: medium.com

26. The Secret of Screams

The screams that you hear continuously at the park are not all real! Are you shocked too? Well, while most of them are real, some of them are just prerecorded screams to induce some more thrill to the rides. You must have heard them when you visit the Tower of Terror!

Source: medium.com

27. Really That American?

The American flags at Disney World have to follow regulations of being raised, lowered and raised at half-mast during the particular hours of the day. Therefore, to avoid this, each flag at Disney World is missing a star and a strip so that it could be flown permanently! 

Source: bbc.com, Image: Flickr

28. Haunting Rides

Sadly, when the Pirates of the Caribbean was being built, an Imagineer named George was killed. Legend has it that it is his ghost who haunts the ride to this day. Cast members say “Goodnight, George” at the closing of each night as a superstition to prevent ride closures the next day.
Source: bbc.com

29. All the Ghosts in the Park

People love to spread the ashes of their deceased loved one in Disney World totally following the last wish of the deceased one. There have been special cleaning protocols for this same occurrence.

Source: wsj.com

30. Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studio was actually a studio and not a theme park as it is now. ‘Mickey Mouse Club House’ was actually shot here before it got transformed into a tourist attraction.

Source: wikiwand.com

31. Christmas Tree Spree

You won’t imagine having these many Christmas trees at one place! There are more than 1,500 of them during the holiday season. And can you even begin to imagine the length of garlands that are used to adorn the whole park?

Source: explorethemagic.com, Image: Flickr

32. Number of Times Closed

As popular as it is, the Disney park has been closed only four times! The prime one was for Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The following was for the terror attacks on 9/11. And the third was concerning a power breakdown in 2002. The fourth was during Hurricane Matthew in 2006. It takes not more thna 30 minutes to evacuate people out of the park.

Source: explorethemagic.com

33. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Hollywood Studio’s primary selection for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was U2. But after they declined the offer, it was given to Aerosmith.

Source: explorethemagic.com, Image: Flickr

34. Miles and Miles of Mickey

If joined from one end to another, the popular Mickey Mouse hats would traverse across 175 miles. Can you believe it?
Source: wdwnews.com

35. That Fashion-Sense Though

Looks like Mickey is more fashionable than his friend, Minnie. He has almost 300 clothing items for his collection, while Minnie has just…200.

Source: shopdisney.com, Image: Flickr

36. The Tower of Terror

The biggest rides at Disney, The Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest are exactly 199 feet tall. If they were even one foot taller, they would have to flash aviation lights. Wouldn’t that kill a bit of the magic?

Source: eater.com

37. Automated Vacuum Collection

Collecting trash is on a whole new level. An automated vacuum cleaner is used in the Magic Kingdom that removes trash from absolutely everywhere (even the secret tunnels!) The trash is then dumped into unique processors where it is, of course, processed. It is then pushed underground at the speed of 60 miles per hour where it is treated enough to be transported to a landfill.

Source: waste360.com

38. The Disney World Railroad

The Railroad in the Disney World is great and quite photogenic. All the engines are operated by steam and carries a whopping 1.5 million people per year. The total trains are four in number and have been running perfectly since then.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

39. A Controlled Community at EPCOT

Walt Disney had huge strategies for Disney World, and it included a dream to build a regulated city at Epcot, which is short for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The ostensibly dystopian idea was to pick 20,000 people to reside in the town, which would consist of shopping malls, private homes, cinemas, eateries, plus—most questionably—a climate-controlled environment. After the death of Disney, the scheme was considered nonsensical, and it was rejected.
Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

40. The Fountain at EPCOT

The tallest fountain in the whole world is one at Busan, South Korea. However, how is it relate to disney, you may ask? Well, interestingly the fountain at Epcot in Disney is 150 feet tall which is just 30 feet smaller than the Korean one! If all the fountains at Epcot shoot water at once, it would come down to 2,000 gallons of it.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com, Image: Flickr

41. Coca-Cola Beverages

The ration of visitors buying Coca Cola is quite a bit more than those buying water. While cola is averaged at 75 million per year, water is just at 13 million.

Source: theguardian.com, Image: Flickr

42. For the Nocturnals

Visiting the Disney Animal Kingdom is possible at night too! There is a night safari available for all the visitors. In extension to a walk down the Harambe Wildlife Reserve exploring its flora and fauns, the event also involves a feast of African-inspired meals along with local alcoholic beverages like beer and wine.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

43. Economical Campsites

Disney is all about economy so that everyone could enjoy the same! Besides, there’s a more rugged experience! For about $55 you can go camping at The Campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Here the guests can fling a tent on the park’s 750 acres of woods. In case you are fortunate, you might locate some bucks, bunnies, ducks, or armadillos.

Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com