Disney is huge. Disney parks are huge. With so many things going on at a Disney park at any given time, there are plenty of secrets that Disney cast members (Disneyspeak for “employees”) can’t or won’t tell you. Some secrets are a little more well known than others, since they’ve snuck out over the years. Others may be brand new info to you.
How many of these do you know about?
Heads up that although I like the video that this group made, they seem to have their Walt Disney World (in Florida) and Disneyland (in California) mixed up from time to time. Take that with a grain of salt 😉
Also, ignore the pic that they’re using below, with Mickey “going down.” I don’t know why they chose that picture; it wasn’t even taken at a Disney park 😉 (actually, I do know why – it was undoubtedly to get you more apt to click on it. But really, like the title wasn’t good enough? Heck, even I used it! LOL!)
Some comments on the above video:
1. You can only meet Beast in the Be Our Guest restaurant: This is true (and heads up that Beast is only available during dinnertime), but its a relatively new thing. Before Be Our Guest opened, you could always meet Beast (and Belle) in the France pavilion at Epcot.
2. True guest, treasured guest: I’m not sure about this one, because I never worked at a Disney park. However, I did work at The Disney Store for 2 years in the mid-1990s. I don’t remember using the terms they used in the video, but I do recall being taught that a “customer” was a code word for “shoplifter” (remember that at Disney, what most places call “customers,” Disney calls “guests.”)
3. Yes, “protein spill” is a real term; we were taught to use it at The Disney Store, too. I understand that other companies (read: retail) use it, as well. Click here for a few more “code” words and phrases they use at Disney parks.
4. Scattered ashes: true story! I used to have a friend whose dying wish was for his ashes to be scattered inside the Haunted Mansion (he was a huge fan). His friend did manage to do it, and I don’t believe a “white powder alert” was called.
5. How the “two finger” point came to be: I’m not so sure about this one. You’re taught in Traditions (Disney training) that the “two finger (or 4 finger) point” was indeed because it’s more polite than a 1-finger point. They were also using it as far back as when Disneyland opened in 1955, and that was long before Walt had died and even longer before Photoshop. I call bullspit and am sticking with team “it’s more polite.”
6. Characters always stay in character: Absolutely true! Want to know the best ways to interact with Disney characters? Click here and go down to the 2nd “tip.”
7. Height for Princesses: Yup, every Disney character has to be within a specific height range. However what they didn’t mention was that the heights have changed over the years. For example, the minimum height for shorter characters used to be smaller than they are nowadays (when I went to WDW in the late 70s, I saw a Donald Duck that was shorter than me and I was probably about 4’5″ at the time). I heard they were made taller because of safety aspects. Want to learn some more insider/backstage information about what it’s like to be a Disney Princess? Click here!
8. Characters spend more time with you in the morning meet & greets: That would involve waking up early enough to do that. I got nuthin’. 😉
9. Wait times are overestimated: This is a very well known “secret.” Whatever a wait time is, you can usually knock off 20-30%, give or take, for the “true” wait time. The times are made longer than reality so you’ll be happier when you get to the end of the queue and discover it was shorter than you anticipated.
11. Club 33: I’ve never been & I don’t know anyone who could get me in. I got nuthin’. 😉
12. Basketball court in the Matterhorn: Yup, true story! Click here for more info.
13. Smells in the different lands: They made it sound like it’s a little more than it actually is. Yes, there are some areas where they pump certain smells into the air. Outside a bakery. “Rome burning” in Spaceship Earth. Horizons had the smell of orange groves. But the reason the water rides like Pirates of the Caribbean have a certain odor is totally different. Click here to learn more about it.
14. The “tunnels” under WDW’s Magic Kingdom: It’s a rare opportunity for guests to see the tunnels (they’re officially called the Utilidors), unless you take a tour. And even then, you’re not allowed to take any pictures. However, this TV crew was allowed to take an extensive video of the Utilidors in the 1980s. It’s FASCINATING!
15. Forced perspective: the smaller windows are just one example of forced perspective. On Main Street alone, the trees are also smaller on the castle side, and the buildings are larger on the main entrance side. This makes your eyes and brain think that the distance is shorter on your way out, when you’re really tired. We learned a lot about that kind of stuff on the first behind-the-scenes tour WDW every did – click here to learn more about it and to see all the video we took of the tour!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary