From its exhilarating rides to its charming restaurants, Walt Disney World defines fun for millions of visitors in Orlando every year. For ardent fans, though, a popular side activity is seeking out the hundreds of magical secrets cleverly tucked away throughout each of the parks. It’s impossible to find them all in one visit, so here are a few favorites from each of Disney’s four major theme parks to get you started.
Magic Kingdom Secrets
Try the Grey Stuff
If you decide to dine at the “Be Our Guest” restaurant, ask you waiter for “the grey stuff”—it’s a secret “Beauty and the Beast” desert that’s not on the menu. According the song in the movie, “the grey stuff is delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.”
The Hall of Presidents
There are only three Presidential Seals in the whole world—one is in the Oval Office, another is with the Liberty Bell, and the third is in the Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom. Congress actually had to pass an act to get the Presidential Seal in the Hall of Presidents.
It’s easy to get distracted by all the amazing things in the World Showcase at Epcot, but if you’re near the Germany pavilion, check out the clock tower. On the hour, figurines of a boy and girl in traditional Bavarian attire emerge and twirl around while the clock chimes its melody.
If Mother Nature decides to rain on your parade, stand under Spaceship Earth and you won’t get wet! Why’s that? Because there is a special drainage system behind the triangular-shaped tiles that collects and funnels the rainwater into submerged gutters and eventually into the park’s lagoon.
Hollywood Studios Secrets
Look for the key under the doormat at Muppets 3D at Hollywood Studios. After you go through the turnstile, go to your right and you’ll find a welcome mat. Take a peek underneath it.
New York Street
Check out the “Singing in the Rain” umbrella that is attached to one of the streetlights near the old Hunchback Theater. Grab the umbrella and step on the black square embedded in the cement underneath it for a nice surprise!
The Great Movie Ride takes visitors into the star-studded world of classic films. And sometimes, stars make cameo appearances in unrelated pictures. Look closely at the hieroglyphics on the walls of the Raiders of the Last Ark section and you might find Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as well as R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars, blending in to the scenery.
Animal Kingdom Secrets
A Hiding Mouse
It’s impossible to miss the park’s massive Tree of Life centerpiece, which was actually built around an old oil rig that was on the site when Disney purchased it. It features over 300 hand carvings of lions, bears, birds and more. As you walk along the Discovery Island Trails circling the tree, take a closer look and you’ll find a famous mouse hiding in its branches.
If you’re at the Animal Kingdom and there’s a long line to get in, try going through the Rainforest Cafe. There’s a park entrance at the rear of the gift shop.
There are plenty of more Disney secrets where these came from. Be sure to check back for The Many Secret Wonders Of Disney Parks: Part 2 to learn even more about your favorite parks!
If you’re looking for the perfect vacation, check out this Orlando Stay & Play package for the whole family.