Walt Disney World is home to four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And within those theme parks are some fascinating, and sometimes strange secrets. Here are 10 fascinating things you didn’t know about Walt Disney World
Cinderella was a Jersey Girl?
Okay, so maybe Cinderella wasn’t from New Jersey, but her carousel was. You see, when Walt Disney was looking for a carousel for his new theme park that he was building in Florida, he found one for sale at New Jersey’s Olympic Park amusement park. He bought the carousel and it was moved to its new home in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom and become Cinderella’s Golden Carousel (now called Prince Charming Regal Carousel).
There was never a “Doc” parking lot at the Magic Kingdom
Until recently, some of the parking areas in the Magic Kingdom parking lot were named after six of the seven dwarfs. Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey all had areas of the parking lot named after them. But why was there no Doc? Because Disney was worried that visitors would confuse it with the ferry dock, which is adjacent to the parking lot.
Walt Disney World wasn’t always called Walt Disney World
When Walt Disney was buying land for, and planning his east coast version of Disneyland, he called the project Disney World. In early planning and publicity material the resort is referred to Disney World. However, Walt Disney passed away before construction was complete. On the day his brother, Roy Disney, dedicated the park, he renamed it “Walt Disney World” so all visitors would know whose idea the park and resort was.
Walt Disney had a private airport at Walt Disney World
When Walt Disney bought the land to build his new resort, one of the first things he had built on the land was an airstrip so he and Walt Disney Productions executives could fly to Walt Disney World as needed. The runway is located to the present day parking lot of the Magic Kingdom and is used on occasion for overflow parking. And the airport code the the Walt Disney World runway? RAT, of course!
Epcot is full of VIP Lounges
Need a respite from the Florida heat or afternoon rainstorms during the summer? Well you’re in luck… maybe! Most attraction in Future World have a secret VIP lounge where you can stop in for a quick (or long) rest, free food, and free drinks. And when you’re ready to ride the attraction to which the VIP lounge is attached, you’ll enter the ride through a side door and find yourself at the front of the line. The catch? You have to work for, or be a guest of the company that is sponsoring the attraction.
Dorothy, Blanche,Rose, and Sophia – the Golden Girls – lived at Disney MGM Studios
When the Disney-MGM Studios first opened, there was an area of the back lot (and part of the back lot tram tour) called Residential Street. One that street were several facades of residential houses that were used in movie and television production. One of the house was used for external shots of the home the Golden Girls shared in Miami.
Since it opened in 1971, there has never been a lost child reported at Walt Disney World
Despite having millions of visitors each year, there has not been one single report made to security of a lost child at any of Walt Disney World’s theme parks. Sure, parents home stopped security guards and reported that they can’t find their child, but Disney reports these as “lost parents” rather than lost children. And the reason is simple. It makes a child feel better about the situation if it’s it their parents who are lost and not the child.