Academy Travel - Authorized Disney Vacation
15 Interesting Facts About Disney Theme Parks That You Probably Didn't Know
|by Desirée O, Purple Clover|
Disneyland first started filling visitors’ days with
fairy-tale-like magic on July 17, 1955, while Walt Disney World
opened over a decade and a half later on October 1, 1971. Fuelled by
film-inspired fantasies and offering thrilling rides while also
featuring restaurants that boast all kinds of cuisine and shops full
of souvenirs, you may think that you’ve seen and experienced nearly
everything that the holiday destinations have to offer. However,
there are plenty of specifics and tiny details that still might
surprise and amaze you. Check out these 15 interesting facts about
Disney theme parks that you probably didn’t know.
Disney’s Main Street Is Scented
When you walk into a Disney park, you’ll likely find yourself strolling down Main Street, U.S.A. The stretch of road that sits inside the park’s entrance is not only a treat for the eyes, but it’s also nice on the nose. That’s because Main Street is scented. Using a patented machine called a “Smellitzer,” the scent of vanilla is pumped into the area via vents along with occasional bursts of a popcorn aroma. However, around Christmas, they switch over to a seasonably suitable peppermint scent. According to Goodhousekeeping, the pleasants smells “not only ... help visitors have a sweet experience, but it helps mask the odor of trash and sweat.”
Fast Company explains that the “Smellitzer” is also used to produce “specific sweet, savory, or mundane smells to accompany various park attractions” in order to enhance each experience.
Disney Visitors Eat A Wild Amount Of Turkey
There are seemingly endless options when it comes to the delicious delights that are served up at Disney parks, but plenty of people like to devour turkey drumsticks. In fact, it’s estimated that hungry visitors at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort eat more than 1.6 million turkey drumsticks every year. That’s 2.5 million pounds!
Disney Parks Offer 'Extra Magic Hours'
If you can’t get enough of the Disney fun during your stay at one of the parks, then you should consider taking advantage of their “Extra Magic Hours” (and even the occasional “Extra Extra Magic Hours”). Disney World’s website explains that “guests of Disney Resort and other hotels can spend extra time in one of the theme parks each day, either before it opens or after it closes — so Guests can enjoy select attractions and experiences.” With the rides sometimes starting as early as 6 a.m. and continuing to operate until 2 or 3 a.m., visitors can enjoy extended adventures with the amusements without the crowds.
It Would Likely Take Your Entire Life To Stay In Every Disney World Hotel Room
Disney is constantly updating its parks’ hotels as well as opening additional accommodations, which means that there are plenty of places to stay overnight. In fact, according to Thrillist, it would take 68 years to stay in every hotel room at Disney World. And it turns out that there were supposed to be even more hotels, including one with a Venetian theme, a South Asian theme, and a Persian theme.
Disneyland Has Its Own Cats
Disneyland may be where Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck roam around, but it’s also the home to around 100 cats. The animals aren’t part of an attraction, but are instead feral residents that are “quietly fed, vaccinated, and neutered by Disney employees,” according to Vice.
Business Insider notes that Disney workers can also adopt the cats and Mike Fox, author of The Hidden Secrets & Stories of Walt Disney World, The Hidden Secrets & Stories of Disneyland, and Disneyland In-Depth, who’s also the founder of Disney-Secrets.com told BI that not only do the mice-catchers keep the park’s rodent population down, but “guests love them, and they even have their own fan pages.”
Disney Performers Aren’t Allowed To Reveal Who They Play
Disney parks are a magical place, especially for children who still believe that the costume-covered individuals who wander around are the real deal. And one of the ways Disney ensures that they don’t break the spell is to make sure that the performers who work as beloved fictional figures like Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Toy Story’s Woody don’t tell anyone what character they portray.
“We’re proud of the role characters play in guest experience,” said Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler, according to the National Post. “This is in line with our longstanding expectation for cast members to uphold character integrity.”
Missouri Almost Had Its Own Disney Park
The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean were originally meant to be rides that you enjoyed in St. Louis, which is where Disney originally intended to create his second park. “Before building his Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Walt Disney considered opening his second theme park in a slightly less tropical clime — St. Louis. A native son of Missouri, Disney drew up blueprints for a five-story indoor theme park, dubbed Riverfront Square, that would fill two city blocks,” explains History.com. “Planned attractions included re-creations of old St. Louis and New Orleans and rides inspired by the Lewis and Clark expedition, Davy Crockett and the nearby Meramec Caverns.”
Unfortunately, the park simply wasn’t meant to be and the “project ultimately collapsed in 1965 as development costs proved too high for the city and Disney began to turn his eyes to Florida for his next project.” However, they also point out that there’s a belief that “Disney’s insistence that Riverfront Square be free of beer also did in the project in Budweiser’s hometown.”
Disney Grows Its Own Fruits And Vegetables
If you’ve ever eaten fresh fruit or tasty vegetables in one Disney’s restaurants, then you’re likely nibbling on something that was grown at Epcot's Land Pavilion which is apparently responsible for 30 tons of produce each year.
If you’re interested in the innovative methods being used to grow so much food, then be sure to check out the Behind the Seeds tour which will give you a look at the Land Pavilion’s fish farm and four greenhouses. You can also see “gigantic fruits and vegetables and unusual crops from around the world” and “discover the latest plant-growing techniques, including hydroponics.”
There Are Tunnels Under The Magic Kingdom
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