Walt Disney World is the happiest place on earth, so you don't have to try too hard to impress your kids while vacationing there.
Still, there are plenty of fun features and extras that you'll miss out on if you're not careful. Plus, it's even more fun to point out all the wonders in the parks and throughout the property.
- Good to know
- Disney facts and figures
- while you are in the parks
- magic kingdom
- animal kingdom
- hidden mickeys
- Disney oddities
Good to know
Some things are not only curiosities but also useful information to prepare you for your trip.
1. Chewing gum cannot be purchased anywhere in Walt Disney World. Not at Disney-owned parks, hotels or other locations. They banned their sale many years ago to make the parks cleaner. However, you can chew your own.
2. Disney doesn't normally close its doors, which is why the Covid shutdowns have been so dramatic for Disney fans. Before the pandemic, Walt Disney World was only closed three times: once in 1999 due to Hurricane Floyd, once on September 11, 2001, and most recently during a major power outage.
3. In response to growing concerns about corporate environmental impacts, the Disney Company purchased approximately 12,000 acres of wetlands 15 miles south of its property and converted it to a conservation area to offset some of the parks' adverse impacts.
4. Did you know that you can camp on Walt Disney property? Disney's Fort Wilderness Campgrounds has hundreds of campgrounds on its 750-foot property. Camping enthusiasts rave about the wildlife and natural beauty, as well as the abundance of things to do in Fort Wilderness.
5. Disney has a lot of control over Walt Disney World. The company created the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special tax district in two different counties of Florida. After dealing with the over-involvement of local government at Disneyland in Anaheim, Walt did so on purpose.
6. When Walt envisioned his project in Florida, he wanted what he didn't haveCalifornia: Room to expand. Today, Disney still owns acres of undeveloped land to continue growing.
7. Going to Walt Disney World is a celebration in itself, but if you're celebrating a special occasion (birthday, graduation, or whatever), stop by Guest Relations and grab a button for everyone to see. You will receive congratulations and best wishes wherever you go!
8. Don't pay for water! Every fast food restaurant will give you a delicious cup of ice water for free. Be sure to stay well hydrated during your visit to make the most of your time.
Disney facts and figures
9. Walt Disney World has over 30,000 hotel rooms on its property. It would take over 80 years to spend a night in each. Disney is constantly building on thatHotels, is probably an impossible task!
10. WDW is 50 square miles, twice the size of Manhattan Island.
11. There are no buildings at Walt Disney World taller than 200 feet. Disney did this on purpose because buildings 200 feet tall or taller must be adorned with flashing lights for flight safety reasons.
12. Look left and then right. You will most likely see a trash can as you are never more than 30 feet from one at Disney theme parks.
13. Disney has seen some serious price hikes in its 50 years. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, admission was only $3.50. That's the price of a bottle of water these days.
14. Today there are also many more people who are willing to pay these prices. While the Magic Kingdom averaged about 10,000 visitors per day, today an average of 50,000 visitors come to the parks per day.
15. With all the fun at the parks, it seems to be expected that guests will forget their personal belongings. More than 200 pairs of sunglasses turn up at lost and found parks every day.
16. They're not just shadows either. The stranger items include a glass eye and a prosthetic leg, both of which have not been claimed!
17. Let's save these fun facts about lost and found! To date, Disney has recalled more than a million pairs of sunglasses. Add that to 6,000 cell phones and 18,000 hats a year.
18. Disney guests love to eat the special treats they find at the parks. One of these is the Legendary Turkey Thigh sold in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom, America PavilionEpkot, and various other locations in the parks. Diners consume more than 2 million pounds of turkey drumsticks annually.
19. Walt Disney and company bought the land in Florida where the parks are now located for around $5 million.
20. Park-goers love sodas. The parks sell more than 75 million Coca-Cola products a year, compared to 13 million bottles of water.
21. If you are lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World during the holiday season, you are sure to be impressed by the beautiful decorations. As it turns out, Disney decorates over 1,500 Christmas trees throughout Walt Disney World every year. There are also thousands of crowns and millions of other decorations.
22. If you stay at the Yacht Club or the Beach Club, a real treat awaits you. These resorts are home to the largest sand bottom pool in the world. It holds a whopping 750,000 gallons.
23. You will notice when you walk through the parks how beautiful and green they are. About 12% of Walt Disney World is dedicated to gardens or green spaces. It's about 4,000 acres, or the equivalent of 3,000 football fields.
24. Disney guests eat a lot to fuel their fun fantasies. That includes (annually) 1 million pounds of watermelon, half a million pounds of macaroni and cheese, 7 million hamburgers and a whopping 2 million tons of ketchup.
25. All food doesn't cook itself. Walt Disney World employs about 350 cooks at its various restaurants and cafeterias.
26. Although Disney has gone to great lengths to encourage guests to reuse their sheets and towels during their stay, they still do an incredible amount of laundry a day - £285,000 to be exact. If you washed a standard load of laundry a day, it would take you 52 years to finish washing that amount.
27. About 20 million people visit Magic Kingdom annually, making it the most visited theme park in the world. That's even more than Disneyland, the original Disney park in Anaheim, California.
28. Lastly for this section, do you know how many people visit Walt Disney World each year? The answer is around 150 million, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
29. Disney gardeners plant more than 3 million flowers and tend to nearly 2 million shrubs, 200 topiaries and 13,000 roses throughout the property.
30. Want to know more about all the cast members' uniforms? Walt Disney World's costume department manages approximately 1.2 million garments. The average is about three costumes per performer.
31. Since the parks opened in 1971, the monorail, one of the resort's most popular forms of transportation, has made enough trips to the moon and back 30 times.
32. More than 60,000 cast members work at Walt Disney World, making it one of the largest employers in the world.
while you are in the parks
33. There are no toilets on Praça da Liberdade. Disney deliberately omitted them to preserve the 18th-century theme.
34. Speaking of Praça da Liberdade, there is a beautiful oak tree in the middle. Acorns from this oak were used to grow more than 500 additional trees.
35. The Magic Kingdom was built two stories higher. On the ground floor there is a maze of underground tunnels for performers called Utilidores.
36. Cinderella's castle isn't as big as it seems from the outside, but it's fit for a princess. Inside you'll find the Dream Suite, which is as opulent as it gets. Accommodation in the Dream Suite is practically unbookable.
37. Cinderella's Castle is also more difficult than the average king. It's made of fiberglass and is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds of up to 125 miles per hour.
38. There is a coat store on Main Street called The Mad Hatter. Inside you will find a public phone; take and listen you can get something juicy.
39. The Disney World Railroad train is a vintage train originally built in 1910.
40. Disney strives to create an engaging and exciting environment for guests. When you're at the train station, take a look at some of the items lying around. Some of your favorite characters may have missed something.
41. It might not just be the Haunted Mansion that has ghosts. Unfortunately, an Imaginator named George was killed during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean, and some cast members believe his spirit still lingers on the journey. Some of them even wish you good night before closing the attraction each night.
42. We all love watching Tinkerbell fly at night during the Magic Kingdom fireworks, but it's more complicated than it sounds. For one, you need to have a significant amount of momentum to cross that line. It also needs a particularly pixie-like performer; Since the costume and the battery she uses weigh about 35 pounds, she can't weigh more than 95 pounds herself.
43. Do you remember riding in Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? An old fan favorite that has been removed and replaced with the Winne the Pooh ride, but keep an eye out for a tombstone for J. Thaddeus Toad in the haunted house graveyard.
44. Space Mountain is one of the park's most popular attractions, and when it opened in 1975, it was visited by real NASA astronauts. They were Scott Carpenter from Mercury 7, Gordon Cooper from Gemini 5 and Mercury 9, and Jim Irwin from Apollo 15.
45. It is a small-world attraction set in fantasy land, debuted at the 1964 World's Fair. The original attraction is at Disneyland; the one at Walt Disney World is a copy. They were the first audio animatronics ever used.
46. EPCOT should consist of two different parks, one presenting the world exhibition of other countries and cultures, and the other focusing on science, technology, nature and exploration. But Disney brought them together to form EPCOT.
47. In Walt's vision, EPCOT should not be a theme park. He wanted it to be a real city where people live and work. He hoped it would become a model for other cities, but that dream died with him in 1966.
48. There's a reason visitors under Spaceship Earth stay dry during the rain. The giant sphere is intentionally designed that way, and rain pours down to fill the park's fountains.
49. No trip to EPCOT is complete without seeing Living Seas. This aquarium is the second largest in the country, the first being the Georgia Aquarium. It contains 5.7 million gallons of water.
50. Don't miss Living with the Land for a taste of Disney's greenhouses. Disney produces more than 30 tons of products for its restaurants every year.
51. As you visit the different countries in World Showcase, pay attention to the hometowns of the performers. Disney is outfitting countries with their nationals to create a more immersive experience.
52. Although the flags that fly in the parks are usually fake, one of them is not. An American flag that was removed from the debris of the Twin Towers after the September 11, 2001 attacks is on display in the Americas Pavilion.
53. Mission Space is one of the most exciting attractions in the world. It takes more computing power than NASA's actual space shuttle to operate.
54. Test Track is another thrilling ride at EPCOT and is the fastest ride at Walt Disney World, with top speeds of 65 miles per hour.
55. This park wasn't always called Hollywood Studios. It used to be called Disney-MGM Studios.
56. It used to be a theme park,Hollywood-StudiosIt was a real, working television and film studio.
57. One of the TV shows filmed at these studios was the 1990's Mickey Mouse Club reboot starring Christina Aguillera, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to name a few.
58. As you approach the Tower of Terror attraction, you will hear the amazing sounds of other guests screaming. Do not be fooled; While passengers scream all day on this trip, the screams you hear could be pre-recorded.
59. The Rock 'N Roller coaster passes the Tower of Terror and features Aerosmith music. However, they weren't the first option; that honor belongs to none other than U2, with whom Disney's negotiations failed.
60. The lake used for Fantasmic may look cavernous, but it's actually only a foot deep.
61. Rock 'N Roller Coaster is Walt Disney World's first inverted roller coaster and the company's first roller coaster to be dubbed to a soundtrack.
62. Looking for a place to cool off in the park? Find the Singin' in the Rain lamppost and umbrella. Stand on the pad on the ground and a downpour will surprise you.
63. When Disney built the animal sanctuaries for Animal Kingdom, they incorporated natural barriers wherever possible to eliminate the need for fencing. What you see as a source of water or a ditch, an animal sees as an insurmountable obstacle.
64. The tree of life, the centerpiece of the park, was built on an inverted oil rig.
65. Animal Kingdom doesn't have plastic straws or plastic lids for drinks. Disney bans these items to protect park animals, so for a good cause.
66. The highest peak of Expedition Everest is 199 feet high. As mentioned above, no building at Walt Disney World extends 200 feet to prevent the use of those non-magical red lights warning planes.
67. If you really want to impress your family members, plan an overnight safari adventure. Not only will you see the exciting nocturnal animals of the Harambe Wildlife Preserve, you'll also enjoy a specially prepared chef's meal, complete with adult beverages for mom and dad.
68. When traveling on Expedition Everest, be sure to keep an eye out for the Yeti towards the end of the trip. It still is today, but it used to come to life and overtake drivers in a terrifying rush. Its audio-animatronic functions no longer work and would require a full game shutdown for a significant amount of time to fix the problem. Therefore we have to do without it for the time being. The hydraulic cylinders that used to power it are more powerful than those of a 747 jet engine.
69. No visit to the animal kingdom is complete without seeing Pandora, which is ornate. Look for natural plants throughout the country. There are 10,000 real bushes and more than 500 real trees in the magic area.
70. There's a T-Rex skeleton waiting in line for the dinosaur ride, but it's not real. Aside from that, it's an exact replica of the most gigantic T-Rex skeleton ever discovered. Her name is "Dino Sue".
71. One of the funnest things to do while you're at the parks is look for "hidden Mickey." A Hidden Mickey is an outline of Mickey's head (two smaller circles for the ears on a larger circle for the head) that the designers have subtly integrated into the surrounding decor. As a result, they are not immediately noticeable.
72. What do you think happens to all the waste generated by guests at Disney parks and facilities? As it turns out, Disney has a large underground garbage processing facility that sorts garbage and sends it to recycling centers and landfills.
73. You can get married at Disney World! In fact, about 1,600 couples take vows each year.
74. When Walt Disney decided to build a theme park in Florida, he was concerned that prices would skyrocket once it was announced he was buying land. So he and his partners formed several companies with nondescript names to elude the local real estate moguls.
75. When all those American flags in the parks are starting to make you feel patriotic, take a closer look; They are not real flags. Each is missing an asterisk and a hyphen. Disney did this on purpose to avoid the required rituals involving the traditional raising and lowering of the flag. They didn't want to disrespect the real American flag by not following these customs.
76. It's entirely possible to visit the parks and never see Mickey or Minnie in the same outfit. Mickey has over 200 costumes including a wet suit and a tuxedo. Minnie has about 200 so they can go out together in style.
77. Kids, don't try this on vacation: Many people try to scatter their loved ones' ashes at Disney parks every year. While Disney doesn't release exact numbers, suffice it to say it's a problem big enough that they have dedicated cleaning and vacuuming procedures in place when it happens.
78. Although Walt Disney personally selected the site for the Florida parks and visited the area several times, he never set foot in any of the completed parks. He died of lung cancer in 1966, five years before the Magic Kingdom opened.
79. The first hotels to be built at Walt Disney World were the Polynesian Village Resort andthe contemporary spa. In fact, they were built externally and the rooms were assembled using a crane.
80. Mickey Mouse was the first animated character to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. Minnie Mouse has one too, and there are replicas at Hollywood Studios.
What are fun facts about Disney World for kids? ›
- No gum is sold in Disney parks. ...
- It's NOT a Small World After All - Disney World encompasses over 50 square miles.
- Hidden Mickey's can be found everywhere. ...
- Disney World has only closed three times since it first opened in 1971.
Disney World with teens can be a great vacation for your family. It offers awesome entertainment, rides, and attractions making it a great family vacation spot no matter what age your kids are.What is Disney's biggest secret? ›
1. There are secret tunnels under Magic Kingdom. The existence of the utilidors — a system of tunnels underneath Magic Kingdom — is perhaps the best-known Disney World secret. The tunnels are key to keeping this park running — and the magic alive.Will a 6 year old remember Disney World? ›
Travel with a Younger Elementary Schooler (ages 6-9)
They'll likely remember much of the trip. They'll have stamina for a full day. Most rides are accessible to them. They're unlikely to be jaded about the Disney experience.
We personally think that the best age to take your kids to Disney are between the ages of 6 – 12. Kids at this age are just about tall enough to ride everything in the parks but are still dazzled by Disney theming and magic.