Some say you could spend everyday of a full year in Walt Disney World and finally get to see everything there is to offer. I disagree. Part of the Wonder and magic of Disney is that it is always changing, progressing, and growing. It was Walt’s vision that his magnificent project would never truly be finished. As long as there was imagination in the world, he contended, the parks would never stop changing. Even if there was a halt to the progress, however, I still don’t think a year would be enough to see and do it all, and that’s because of all the amazing little hidden details and secrets tucked throughout the rides and parks just waiting to be discovered. These are rarely shown off, never advertised, but that makes them all the more delightful. A few weeks ago we went on a scavenger hunt together, and today I’ve put together another for you so you can make your next visit to the world full of richer, more immersive detail.
- Hidden message building blocks. Pay close attention to the nursery while exploring Peter Pan’s Flight, and you’ll notice the children must have had him in mind when they were playing with their blocks earlier in the day. The classic alphabet squares spell out “P Pan”
- Secrets in the knight. Snag a much sought-after reservation for Be Our Guest, or walk up in the morning and hope for the best. Don’t pre-order your food, but choose to go through the kiosks for breakfast or lunch. This will give you the chance to wander through a section of the castle including the hallway lined with suits of armor. Pause close to one of them and you might just hear the knight whispering to his fellow armor about the visitors
- Sweet faces. Once you’ve gone through the ordering kiosks at Be Our Guest, head into the ballroom and take a peek at the ceiling. You’ll see the cherubs from the movie, but you might notice their faces look a little different. That’s because they were modeled after the faces of the Imagineers who created the restaurant..
- Historical accuracy. If you are planning a visit to Liberty Square, you may want to plan a stop by the restrooms first. That’s because there are no restrooms in this section of the park in keeping with the Colonial theme. Even if you go to dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, you won’t find a restroom within the Liberty Square area. You will need to climb a set of stairs and walk to the very back of the building — where you are technically in Fantasyland.
- Feeling saggy. While you’re in Liberty Square, take a look at the buildings. You might notice the shutters are looking a little saggy. That is on purpose. Historically, the colonists would have taken the metal hinges from their shutters and melted them down for ammunition, replacing them with leather straps that left their shutters a bit on the droopy side.
- Circus snacks. Make your way into Storybook Circus and look down. Along the way you might notice peanuts embedded in the ground — but are they remnants of snacks from circus-goers or from Dumbo and his fellow elephants?
- Mail call. Slip to the back of the Toy Soldier Shop in the U.K. Pavilion in Epcot and check the coat rack in the library area. You might notice a stack of mail with a familiar address — Mr. Banks 17 Cherry Tree Lane
- Staying warm and toasty. After finding Mr. Banks’s mail, step back and look around at the rest of the U.K. buildings. Look closely at the chimneys and you’ll see they look a bit dingy. They are supposed to. Imagineers painted them with soot to make them look like they are functional.
- A bright idea. Many of you know my ‘home’ resort is Art of Animation. We started staying there just a few months after the Little Mermaid section opened and absolutely adore it. If you get a chance to visit the resort, head into the dining area. You’ll quickly realize the area is themed after the four movies of the resort, but don’t just focus on the walls. Instead, look overhead for one of the best details. Each section has a large light fixture themed to the movie. The Little Mermaid one is our favorite, featuring the land above the surface around the edge and Ariel’s grotto on the bottom
There’s always so much more!! Use these as a jumping-off point to help you make even more of your visit!
Taryn was born and raised, and still lives in Richmond, Virginia. Neither she nor her husband ever had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World when they were children, but when their daughter Avalon came along, they decided she was not going to follow in their footsteps. They brought Avalon for the first time when she was 3 and have been hooked ever since. Now along with Taryn’s mother and equally Disney-loving older brother, they go “home” at least once a year, and by the time she is staring longingly at Cinderella Castle from the ferry on their last night, Taryn is well on her way to planning the next trip. As a group consisting of two adults with Asperger’s, including one who is also vegan, a very accommodating husband, an only child, a senior, and a service dog, they are a pretty special family, but Taryn is excited to show that the World really is The Most Magical Place on Earth and that there is a place there for everyone. When she isn’t thinking about her next Disney adventure and trying to come up with a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party costume that will beat her Oozma Kappa nerd look, she is a professional blogger and novelist, but Taryn also likes to indulge her Disney passion on her Etsy shop It’s Better in Vinyl.