June 12, 2013

Walt Disney World Resort: Did you know?

We’re indulging our inner children and loving all things Disney at the moment. So, in the spirit of all things magical and fun, here are 10 random facts and trivia you perhaps didn’t know about Walt Disney World in Florida.

1: Although only 55m tall, Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom benefits from a technique known as forced perspective. The second stories of all the buildings along Main Street are shorter than the first stories, and the third stories are even shorter than the second, and the top windows of the castle are much smaller than they appear. The resulting visual effect is that the buildings, especially the Castle, appear to be larger and taller than they really are.

2: A network of tunnels, storage rooms, hallways, and offices runs underneath the attractions at Walt Disney World. The area that guests walk through is actually the park’s second and third stories. The tunnels, known as “Utilidors,” allow cast members, deliveries and even rubbish to be unknowingly transported below guests’ feet as they walk above. You can tour the “Utilidors” and other hidden, behind-the-scenes facilities yourself on a “Keys to the Kingdom” Tour. 

3: The EPCOT theme park was dreamed up by Walt Disney to become an experimental prototype - a real working futuristic city. Sadly Walt Disney died several years before Disney World opened and EPCOT was eventually just incorporated as another theme park.

4: Disney World employs 62,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer in the USA. 

5: Every single day, more than 200 pairs of sunglasses are turned in to the Lost and Found department at Disney World. You have been warned – don’t lose your sunglasses or rifling through Lost and Found is going to be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.

6: There's a hotel suite tucked away in Cinderella's Castle that can sleep up to six and has flat-screen TVs disguised as magic mirrors. Unfortunately, you can't just make a reservation –the suite is so exclusive that it cannot be booked (Although it is reported that a handful of celebrities, including Tom Cruise and his daughter Suri, spent a night there). Overnight guests are winners that are chosen at random by the park.

7: King Hassan II of Morocco sent 19 artists to Florida to help create the mosaics in the Morocco Pavilion at EPCOT, a job that used nine tons of handmade, hand-cut tiles.

8: As you exit the Haunted Mansion attraction, note the names on the crypts such as Asher T. Ashes, Dustin T. Dust, Manny Festation, Pearl E. Gates, Rustin Peese and I.M. Ready, among others

9: Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the fourth most popular U.S. theme park (behind Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and EPCOT), drawing approximately 9.8 million visitors annually.

10: . After the Department of Defence, Walt Disney World is the largest purchaser of explosives in the USA (used for the nightly fireworks and other pyrotechnic shows around the park).

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