GENERAL INFORATION—(1) Go into any Park store--the CMs have stickers behind the desk. Ask them for the "I Made Magic Today" sticker. They will give you 10 Mickey stickers and 1 "I Made Magic Today" sticker. Your job is to pass out the 10 Mickey heads to people that aren’t looking so happy and make them smile w/the sticker or people that are having a great time and telling them it’s because they are so HAPPY. At the end of the 10 stickers, you end up w/your sticker, and you know that every time you look at that sticker YOU MADE MAGIC!!! (2) Ask the bus drivers if they have any of the tradable bus cards! (3) WDW has over 2,000 acres of grass to mow! That's 18 miles around the Earth's equator! ...and Disney mows THREE times a week! (4) In some attractions, there are VIP lounges. If there are ever any celebrities visiting WDW or big-time people (politicians, etc.), they can be taken into the VIP lounge. They have drinks and snacks for them in there, sometimes there are photo albums of different celebrities and people who have hung out in the lounge, and then when they are ready, they get taken on the ride and get to go to the front of the line. (If you look at Spaceship Earth from the back, there is a building attached to it with some window looking things. That's the lounge in SE!) (5) IF YOU ASK FOR A LARGE CUP OF ICE WATER THEY WILL GIVE IT TO YOU AT NO COST, AND YOU CAN GET AS MANY AS YOU WANT AT A TIME.We would get 2 each both when we got food or just when we could tell we needed something wet and/or cold; we'd suck one down about as fast as we could and then we had the other to carry around to sip on so we stayed hydrated longer. Of course, Disney wants you to pay so they're not going to tell you this, but they won't turn down your request. (6) A tip we use when leaving MK at close is to hop on the Resort monorail and skip the massive lines heading to the TTC via the direct Monorail. The resort monorail stops at TTC but is not express. It is just so much more relaxing as we usually get a car to ourselves or close to it and can sit. Also, no standing in line on tired feet waiting and waiting, and once you get to the TTC, it is usually between arrivals of the express monorail and there is a lull in the crowds trying to get to the trams. (Additional note: Have one person in your party drive to the Park you are going to [if you are a Resort Guest] and park for free. The rest of your party can ride the bus, boat, etc. [for the fun part of it]. Then, at the end of the night, no waiting in long lines on tired feet. Just hop in your car and go back to your resort!) (7) If you have a special needs child with a disorder that falls under the autistic spectrum or is hypersensitive, you can get a note from their doctor and take it to guest services. They will give you a special assistance card. When you get to an attraction, show it to the CM working there. It doesn't mean that you don't have to wait in line, but they will try to take you into a quieter area for your wait. You can get a sample note from www.allearsnet.com. (8) A bottle strap that you buy at the parks for cokes/water bottles works great for carrying around Pal Mickey. You just put it around his neck. (9) Disney World bought about 150,000 gallons of paint -- enough to cover nearly 7,500 average sized homes in 2004. (10) If you were to stack all of the buttons used by the Costuming Plant Seam Team in one year, you would have a stack 96 times taller than the height of Cinderella's Castle. (11) Number of trees, shrubs and flowers: more than 7 million! (12) Daily water usage: 15 million gallons! (13) Largest working wardrobe in the world with more than 1.5 million operational garments in use and over 7,000 different garment types. In addition, there are over 2 million pieces of entertainment costumes. Each day, the costuming plant processes between 27,000 and 31,000 garments. (14) More than 50 million soft drinks sold annually. (15) 10 million hamburgers, 7 million hot dogs, 9 million pounds of french fries, and 300,000 pounds of popcorn sold annually. (16) Uses 194,871 miles of toilet tissue, 24,409 miles of paper towels, uses 319,353 lbs. of chocolate, 1.2 million pounds of watermelon, 741,150 pounds of sugar, 1.8 million pounds of flour, 245,000 pounds of fruit filling, 38,000 pounds of white icing glaze, 2.9 million pounds of eggs, 606,000 pounds of bananas, and 510,000 of grapes. (17) Serves more than 1.5 million soft pretzels, more than 639,000 pounds of macaroni and cheese, and more than 3.8 million ballpoint pens annually. (18) Uses more than 337,000 pencils annually, nearly 148 million sheets of recycled copier paper annually, and 730,102 gallons of bleach annually. (19) 214,000 bandages were provided to guests during the year 2004. (20) In 2004, Walt Disney World recycled 18,322,000 pounds of paper products. (21) WDW uses human waste as fertilizer! They treat the waste on-property and put it to good use. (22) In the morning (usually from around 8am-12pm) when the lines are really long to get on the monorail from TTC to MK, take the boat! The TTC boat offers wonderful views and a great breeze in about the same amount of time that the monorail would have taken to get you to MK. A great added bonus: If you get on the TTC boat at those times, Chip, Dale, and Pluto love to hang out on it! Perfect opportunity for your kids to see their first characters at DW-before they even enter the park! Not too many people on the boat either, so there are great opportunities for pictures with the characters. (23) If you are the first family of the day to request the photo that they take of you on the ride, they will give it to you free!! (24) Did you know that Disney merchandise that is exclusive to Disney World has a gold castle logo on the package somewhere? It's kind of nice to know that you're buying something that isn't sold anywhere else.
MAGIC KINGDOM--General Info—(1) Walt designed the parks so that when you pass from land to land, you don't see the others. If you are in Liberty Square, you can't see Fantasyland, trees, buildings, and distractions like the water wheel. The noise keeps you from looking to your left and seeing the other lands (even the pavement changes to match the new [mood] land). (2) Small pipes shoot the trash through the utilidors under the Magic Kingdom at 60 mph. (3) If there are 2 lines and you can't see the loading area from where you are, take the line to the left. (4) In the MK, you will rarely see a Frontierland CM walking around in Tomorrowland. Most CMs arrive to work in their own clothes and then check in at costuming to pick up their costume. When going on breaks etc., they use the tunnel system under the MK (which is really ground level) to travel between lands, as not to ruin the effect of each land. (5) Ever notice there isn't a lot of gum stuck on rides, trees, waiting areas in WDW? That's because they don't sell it, just for this reason. (6) There are more than 20,000 different colors of paint used in Walt Disney World. (7) If you were to wash and dry one load of laundry every day for the next 44 years, you'd clean about as much as the Cast Members at the Walt Disney World Laundry do in a single DAY! (8) The Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue in MK--Did everyone see what is on Walt's right ring finger? (9) The walkway in MK is red because Walt wanted to lay out the "red carpet" for all guests. (10) The characters watch the color of the cement behind the scenes. When it changes color, they know they have to be in character before they enter the parks. The same goes with leaving. As long as they are on that color, they must be in character even if it is behind the gates. That is in case the gates are not closed and a child or anyone can look and see them. So, they are not allowed to take the costume off and be out of character. They don't want anyone to see Mickey without his head. (11) On the Keys to the Kingdom Tour, they mention that in WDW no trashcan will ever be more than 30 steps away from you. It seems that Walt went to other parks when he was designing the park and counted how long a person would hold onto a piece of trash before dropping it on the ground. He came up with 30 steps. (12) 50,000 people could fit into the underground tunnels called the Utilidors. (13) OPENING-After the rope drop, get on the train and take it to the Adventureland stop. Get Big Thunder Fastpasses for the family and then jump on Splash Mtn. We do this every trip with good to awesome results. This past Dec. was awesome. We rode Splash Mountain three times without getting off. Then BTM twice. We gave away the FP we got for BTM because the time was still 10 minutes away, and we were on our way to Liberty Square. The worst the train trip will do is to get you on Splash Mtn. fast and then onto Big Thunder with a FP. (14) All the Spanish moss you see hanging off any trees in WDW are fake. They're stapled onto the trees, for obvious reasons. (15) In Florida, everything is pretty much sea level. In order to build the required access tunnels beneath the MK, they needed to pile A LOT of earth up onto the area of the Park to make it easier to lay the network of "people pipes" that run under the park. This earth was removed from an area in front of the MK site, and later became the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Celebrity Voices--Many celebrity voices—(1) Tim Curry as S.I.R. in Alien Encounter to Pee Wee Herman in Star Tours. (2) He's not widely known for much more than being the voice of Tony the Tiger, but check out the official Disney section of this Thurl Ravenscroft fan site to get in on all of the voices that you know and love on Disney attractions that Thurl provided like the drunken pirate, the singing dog, and one of the minstrels in Pirates; Fritz in the Tiki Birds; Buff the buffalo head in Country Bear Jamboree; and you can hear -- and SEE -- Thurl as the busted bust singing Grim Grinning Ghosts in The Haunted Mansion.
Parking Lot—(1) In the MK parking lot, only 6 of the 7 dwarfs have a lot named after them! There is Sleepy, Dopey, Happy, Grumpy, Bashful, and Sneezy. No Doc! Why? Because while naming the sections in the world's 3rd largest parking lot, the designers were afraid people might get the Boat Dock and the Parking Lot "Doc" confused. (2) You could fit all of Disneyland into the MK parking lot and still have room to park 500 cars!
Phones--One in Tomorrowland under the TTA and Astro Orbiter. There's also one in one of the shops on Main Street (candy store?). I believe there may be one in the Main Street Railroad Station??? Pick them up and listen to the interesting conversations. (**Update-7/8/07—Heard Main Street phone taken out!)
Adventureland--The last two trips to MK when we entered the park at opening, instead of heading to the right (Tomorrowland) or beeline straight to Fantasyland, we veer to the left, over the hub that leads to Adventureland. No one is there. We can do the entire land and not wait in a single line. That includes Pirates (walk right on), Jungle Cruise (walk right on), Swiss Family (no lines), Tiki Room (actually wait for it to open), and Magic Carpets (okay, by the time we get to this one there is a line, but not too long). The last time we did this, Genie was just standing there alone, waiting for company. We were happy to oblige.
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride—(1) The Golden Camel in front of the Aladdin ride is controlled by someone hidden nearby and shoots unwary guests as they walk by. I stood there taking video from a distance and laughed my head off. Whoever was controlling it was able to nail a few people in the back of the head! (2) Its really not a secret, but after you get off the Magic Carpets of Aladdin Ride, go to the concession stand behind it. They have the best ice cream called the Citrus Swirl that is vanilla ice cream mixed with orange juice, and it’s GOOD!
Ariel’s Grotto--There is a bathroom right behind Ariel's Grotto that no one knows about...not that interesting of a Disney secret (unless you have to go to the bathroom really bad) but worth knowing!
Astro Orbiter—Hidden Mickey--near one of the stability pillars in front of Astro Orbiter on the side facing Space Mountain. It is definitely an imprint of a classic Mickey in the cement.
Barber Shop—(1) For $5, you can get glow-in-the-dark streaks put in your hair. Great for kids who are nervous about the dark rides! Washes out easily. (2) Paint little Mickey heads on the back of the kids’ heads. (3) Sprinkle 'Mickey dust' on everyone! (4) The chalkboard in the barbershop on Main Street has all the Hurricanes listed as if they were next to get haircuts.
Big Thunder Mtn.—(1) Walk to the exit from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Behind the fence (on the left side as you exit the ride), between two metal carts and behind a cactus is a cutout in the reddish rock that resembles a side profile of Tinker Bell. (2) Hidden Mickey--Three rusty gears lying on the grass as you reenter the station. (3) In queue area for Big Thunder, look for crate that says, "Lytum & Hyde Explosives Company." (4) One of the five trains is slightly faster then the rest (though which one is a CM secret/ but I say it doesn’t hurt to ask a CM), and there is a storyline to the coaster that most people don’t know. It has to do w/the flood of Amityville, a mining town, and the color and the shape of the rocks in the mtn. are based on those found in AZ and the Grand Canyon. (5) If you ride in the afternoon, the grease on the rails are hottest so that will make the ride a little faster.
Buzz Lightyear—(1) A CM at the end of the Buzz Lightyear ride (just before the gift shop area) may choose you to find a hidden Disney Character somewhere in the area from the entrance of the shop forward. The character I found was Stitch, but I'm not going to say where...find this one ahead of time just in case you're picked because you get a free copy of your picture and a free souvenir if you can point it out in under five minutes! (2) The big points in Buzz are found leaving the first room. Turn around and shoot the back of the Orange robots arm or the back of the buzz saw. 100,000 points. The car turns automatically away form these so turn back score big! (3) In the very last Buzz Lightyear room where you are still able to shoot, look forward at the top left corner, there's a planet with Mickey on it. This same planet is also on the map of planets in the waiting area just as you enter. The planet is blue, if that helps you any. (4) If you make a silly face for the camera on the Buzz ride, your photo will come up on the monitors as "Zapped by Zurg."
Carousel of Progress—(1) There is a Picture of Walt Disney hidden in the CoP. It is in the daughter's room in the 1940s on the wall you are facing as you sit in front of the stage wall in the upper left corner. (2) You should be able to spot several HMs in the final scene: (a) Mickey appears as a nutcracker on the fireplace mantle, (b) a plush peeking out from a present, (c) a white peppermill on the kitchen counter, (d) An abstract Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's apprentice from Fantasia in a painting on the dining room wall, (e) one of the Christmas presents under the tree (near the Grandfather's chair) is wrapped in red and white paper but has a large classic Mickey head cut out of green paper glued to the side of the gift (the gift is partially hidden by another present, so you see the ears and part of the top of Mickey's head), (f) a classic Mickey appears (just for a few seconds) on the top of a spaceship in the middle of the television screen (look for it just as the game starts on the TV before Grandma starts playing) (g) On the top of a cup, the lid is a HM. (3) The voice of the grandfather in the final scene is the voice of the man who was the main character voice in the original 1964 Worlds Fair version. Mel Blanc is the voice of Cousin Orville. Mel's son, Noel, is the voice of some of the characters on the radio in the earlier scenes. The current voice of the main character you may recognize as the voice of the narrator from "A Christmas Story". "Can't get no privacy” line sounds faintly like Yosemite Sam. (4) The dog holding the keys in Pirates of the Caribbean and the dog in Carousel of Progress are both Walt Disney's dog.
Castle—(1) Sit in the outer edge of the Plaza restaurant...basically look at the castle, find the wire that goes from the castle down to the restaurant rooftop on the right, and go get a seat under it. TinkerBell will fly down that wire and right over the top of your heads! (2) Discover the little mice (Gus & Jacques) in the throne room at Cinderella’s Royal Table. (3) Behind the castle is a fountain with Cinderella. If you bend down and look at the fountain, the crown on the back wall appears to crown Cinderella. (4) When you take a walk down Main Street, take a good close look at the castle. You will notice that the "bricks" get smaller the higher up the castle goes. The Imagineers called it the "forced perspective" technique. The castle looks a little taller than it would if all the "bricks" were the same size. (5) Inside the walls of the walk-through of the castle are several mosaics. On the mosaic wall farthest from the entrance are the two stepsisters, Anastasia and Drusilla. The mosaic shows one of them with a red face and the other with a green face. Red with Rage and Green with envy!!! (6) Approximately 1,000,000 mosaics to make up the scenes. (7) If you sit on the stone ledge on the side of the castle, you will hear Stitch giggle and tell you to be quiet because he's hiding. (8) There is also Story Time with Belle at the small theater to the right of the Castle. There, Belle asks for young volunteers who she puts in costumes of Chip, Miss Potts, Garson, and others. It is another very rare picture moment. (9) I'm not sure if this was mentioned in all the pages but at Cinderella's Royal Table in the room where you get your picture taken with Cinderella there is a flag on the wall that is actually the Disney Family Crest. It is the flag with the Three Lions on it.
Characters—(1) If you see a human character, like Mary Poppins, ask them a question about their movie, and they go right into character. I had Mary doing Supercalifragilistic backwards! Kiss all the female "non-human hands" and watch their reaction. (2) During the morning session about 15 min. before Buzz and Woody are scheduled to come out, the Army men come out in their Jeep and do a preshow. They choose 8-9 kids that are there early to line up. They have them shout their names and handed them weapons. Buzz and Woody made their appearance for a group photo with all of them. (3) Cinderella comes into the downstairs lobby of "Cinderella's Royal Table" restaurant a few times a day, and you don't have to eat your meal there. (4) The characters at the Fairy Tale Favorites line at the Toontown Hall of Fame change on the hour, but the Mickey's Friends and Pooh Friends are the same all the time. Go late in the hour, come out, and jump back in line for the top the hour. Some characters might pop out from behind the Judges Tent. (5) CMs playing Snow White and Ariel are not allowed to get a tan, even when they are "off duty." Snow White can't because she must have fair skin, and Ariel can't because mermaids don't have tan lines. (6) We have gotten lucky a couple of times and come across a ton of characters at the "teardrop" area in the Magic Kingdom. It's an area by the train station in Toontown. It's kind of hidden, but if you are riding the train, you pass by it right before the train stops in Toontown. (I think it might be a smoking area?) Anyway, we think they might be doing some kind of market research or something because what appear to be CMs in business casual clothing escort the characters out and take pictures. Last time we found it, there was a CM videotaping. You can really get a ton of pictures with all kinds of characters, some of which are rare, with little to no wait (unless, of course, the train has just let out)! Some examples of characters we have gotten are: Pinocchio and Gepetto, Darkwing Duck and Launchpad, the three mice from Cinderella, Friar Tuck, Rafiki, Dopey, and several others. You can't ask about it at guest services b/c it's supposedly "unscheduled," but we came across it around 2. If you're in Toontown, doesn't hurt to stop by. (7) This isn't "official," but we bought my son Mickey hands one year, and all day long CMs and Characters came up to slap him five, and during the parade, almost every character made a point to come over to him to do the same. (8) You can get great pictures with characters by taking them when you interact with them and not just pose with them. (Example: Scratch Pluto behind the ear and snap the picture.) (9) Check out the details on the characters' costumes. Woody has a pull-string on his back just like the toy, Buzz has a (c)Disney printed on his butt just like the plastic toy ( I don't know if "Andy" is on their boots, though), and the Green Army Man has plastic molding on his boots and helmet like the toy and a unique block print autograph. (Buzz can't sign, he has a stamper--maybe his gloves aren't flexible enough?) King Louie from the Jungle Book can't give autographs-his arms are too long. (10) All the character greeters carry a phone number with them so they can call and see at what time a specific character is going to be out and where. If you have a special character you would really like to see, I would ask a friendly-looking character greeter (these are the people who accompany the characters out into the parks) if he/she knew when they would be out and where. (11) Costumed characters are instructed on subtle body movements, such as a toe tap, to communicate with their CM escorts of requests, problems, issues, etc.
Cinderella’s Carousel—(1) There is only one horse on the carousel that has a gold ribbon on its tail. This is Cinderella's horse. Prince Charming’s horse is next to it. (At least that's what the fairy godmother said.) (2) On Cinderella’s Carrousel is the only place in Fantasyland where you can see a picture of Cinderella running with her prince to their carriage after just being married. (3) Cinderella's Carousel was built in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. At the time it was constructed, it was red, white, and blue (symbolizing patriotism) and was located at Detroit Palace Garden Park. In 1928, it was brought back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was refurbished and then relocated to Olympic Park in Maplewood, New Jersey. Maplewood closed in 1967, and the carousel was due to be silenced, if not for the watchful eye of a Disney person. The Carousel was fully restored, given the Cinderella theme, and was unveiled at the opening of the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. (4) There are 90 horses on Cinderella's Golden Carousel. (5) Know what the difference is between a merry-go-round and a carousel? A carousel's horses all move up and down, while merry-go-rounds have some non-moving horses.
Country Bears--The claw marks on the floor of The Country Bear Jamboree.
Exposition Hall--(1) There's a small theater that shows old Disney cartoons (like the old Main Street Cinema but in color and with seats), a couple exhibits, some nice photo opportunities, and usually in the late morning, I've seen a variety of Disney Princesses there (Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, Mary Poppins). (2) Most characters come from the Hall to the outside for meet and greets. Every character that came through stopped to say hi or mess with us. It was air-conditioned, and no lines to stand in! (3) There is a Mr. Toad ride vehicle behind a curtain in Exposition Hall!!
Fantasyland—(1) When you go to Sir Mickey's Shop in Fantasyland, look at where the roof meets the walls. You will see Willie the Giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk peeking into the shop. (2) In Fantasyland, the pavement changes a few times. One is near Ariel's Grotto. The pavement is cement mixed with sea shells like you would find near an ocean town. Another is right in front of the carousel where Merlin the Magician picks a lucky lad to remove the Sword from the Stone. The pavement there is shaped like sword blades.