Written by David "Indy" Graham
If you ask almost any person, especially a Disney fan, they can probably tell you where you can find at least one hidden Mickey at Disney. They might even know about the one you can only see once a year at noon on November 18th (Mickey Mouse's birthday) located in the queue for Under The Sea: The Voyage of the Little Mermaid when the sun aligns just right to reveal the Mickey. But what about other less common ones to the thousands that pass through the gates each day at the parks. Below is a list of just a few the next time time you visit the Magic Kingdom to keep your eyes open for.
1) when looking at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, the building at Disney is called Castillo de Morro. It’s construction design was based on a real Spanish fort.
2) Inside the right-hand side queue for Pirates of the Caribbean keep your eyes peeled for two skeletons playing chess however look closer and you will see the game is check mate.
3) Hungry and miss the Adventures Club? The Skipper’s Canteen restaurant features a room dedicated to S.E.A. the Society of Explorers and Adventurers a fan favorite from Pleasure Island which closed in 2008.
4) Bow for the princess. As you enter Fantasyland through the Castle archway, look for the Cinderella fountain on the left. You’ll see a painting behind her with a crown well above her head. When you take a drink from the fountain, which at the same time you are ‘bowing’ to the Princess Cinderella look up as you are drinking — she’s now wearing her crown.
5) At the Tangled theme rest area, look hard to see if you can spot Pascal hiding around anywhere. Additionally, look at the ground to see if you can spot hoof prints from Maximus.
6) When at the Winnie-the-Pooh attraction be sure to look for references to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the attraction that previously occupied this space. As you enter owl’s house look to your left for a portrait of Owl receiving the deed to the attraction from Mr.Toad.
And speaking of Mr. Toad, which was a park original favorite - after it closed a tombstone was placed in the pet cemetery of the Haunted Mansion for J.Thaddeus Toad.
7) Tink is that you? The next time you exit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad look in the rock work to the left to spot a hidden Tinkerbell.
8) Watch where you step when walking through Liberty Square. The street is colored to represent the waste and excrement that Americans dumped in the street during Revolutionary times as they did not have sewer systems yet. In keeping with the historical accuracy of the colonial time period, the restaurants such as Liberty Tree Tavern and Columbia Harbor House do indeed have bathrooms however they get away with it as technically their bathrooms are in other lands.
9) Everyone loves to read the tombstones when in line for the Haunted Mansion however the next time you are in the line see if you can spot the engagement ring in the pavement.
10) Puppy Love? The next time you are at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, look for Lady and Tramp’s paw prints in front of the stairs that lead up to the restaurant.
11) When walking down Main Street USA most people are fixed on the castle or getting to their favorite ride but have you ever taken time to look at the windows? The windows of the upper stories of the shops are labeled with the names of famous Disney Legends and Imagineers. Having a Main Street USA window is one of the highest honors bestowed by Disney.
There is even a door on the left heading to the castle to pay tribute to all the Disney Cast members labeled "Magic Kingdom Casting Agency".
12) The American flag is required to be raised, lowered and flown at half-mast due to regulations. As a result, each flag on Main Street U.S.A. is missing a star and a stripe so they can be flown permanently other than the main flag in town square on Main Street, U.S.A. where you can watch the American flag retire for the night in this stirring patriotic ceremony.
13) The Castle as well as the different attraction mountains (and Tower of Terror) are all under 200 feet (199-feet to be exact). This is due to the fact that any building over 200-feet would require red flashing aviation lights. And Speaking of Cinderella's Castle, it's not really made of stone. The entire building is built out of fiberglass, concrete, steel, cement, and plaster, with no bricks or stones used at all.
14) Do you own a pair of Mickey ears? Some UDN members own a few of them, right Tanya? Did you know if connected end to end, Mickey Mouse ear hats would span over 175 miles and that number just keeps growing.
15) Wonder how they keep the Magic Kingdom so clean? Guests at Walt Disney World are never more than 30 steps away from a trash can.
16) Ever wonder why you can see the Magic Kingdom so good when you are at the Ticket and Transportation Center looking across the Seven Seas Lagoon? That is because Disney dug out the Seven Seas Lagoon to make the Magic Kingdom two stories as Florida is only 3 feet above sea level. The first floor is is for employees underneath in underground tunnels called "utilidors" that house the massive costume departments, cast member break rooms, garbage chutes and more.
17) Thousands walk right by that large tree within Liberty Square, which is known as the Liberty Tree and has thirteen lanterns hanging from its branches. Each lantern represents one of the original thirteen colonies during the Revolutionary period of America’s history. Disney has also grown over 500 oak trees from acorns produced from the Liberty Tree. That's a lot of trees!!
18) Thirsty? Did you know you never have to pay for water in Disney World. Just go to any quick service restaurant in the park and ask for a cup.
19) The monorail is as much of the Magic Kingdom's history as the Castle. But did you know since 1971, the Walt Disney World monorail trains have logged enough miles to make 30 round trips to the moon.
20) Future so bright you better look for your shades. An average of 210 pairs of sunglasses are turned in to Disney's lost and found every day. That means that since 1971, an estimated 1.65 million pairs of glasses have found their way into the “lost” bin. Not only sunglasses but Lost and Found cast members collect more than 6,000 cell phones, 3,500 digital cameras, 18,000 hats, and 7,500 autograph books annually.
21) And my personal favorite. Next time you walk under the train station take time to look at the rare pictures from Walt's personal life and love of trains. There are a lot of photos of the live steam layout he had in his backyard called Carolwood Pacific Railroad. The Carolwood Pacific Railroad inspired Disney to include railroad attractions in the design of Disney parks.
There you have it UDN fans, just a few less common Disney gems to look for the next time you are at the Magic Kingdom. Did I miss one you know about at the Magic Kingdom that you think others need to know about and look for? Let us know.