50 Facts About Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is a magical place, full of adventure, mystery, action and suspense. Telling stories for the young of mind and young at heart. Proving that with love and hard work anything is possible. Passion shinies through in all the details, from towering castles to the smallest creatures. Let me take you on a small adventure, one that just might make, Walt Disney World even more magical.

Fact 1: Walt Disney World was opened on the 1st of October, 1971. It Consisted of just a single park the ‘Magic Kingdom’ which was a more elaborate version of Disneyland in Anaheim.

  • The Original Disneyland cost $17 million back in 1955 and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom cost $400 million in 1970’s money.
  • The Magic Kingdom is 20 acres bigger than Disneyland. Magic Kingdom is 107 acres and Disneyland is 85 acres.

Fact 2: Cinderella’s castle in Disneyland Tokyo is 168 feet while the Florida version is 189 feet, Making her castle at the Magic Kingdom taller by just 21 feet, which is about the height of an adult giraffe.

  • Disneyland castles are smaller than they seem to be. They use ‘forced perspective’ which is an optical illusions that tricks the eye when it come to tall objects. The castle proportions actually gets smaller as it gets higher.

Fact 3: Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is actually not actually on ground level. You are on the first floor with access tunnels for cast members underneath, allowing them to quickly move around the park unseen.

  • The tunnels are part of the ‘Utilidor System’ which is made up from the words ‘utility’ and ‘corridors’ this makes up a large Proportion of Disney’s backstage area for the Magic Kingdom.
  • The Utilidor System is used in a wide range of ways. It allows for waste removal, deliveries and storage warehouses, food service, costuming, cast member services and emergency services.
  • Disney calls its staff ‘Cast Members’ and they can navigate the tunnels in small electric powered buggies or on foot. It allows cast members to move around the park without being seen.

Fact 4: Walt Disney World’s Epcot was originally designed to be a real living and breathing city, but the project was stopped when Walt Disney died.

  • E.P.C.O.T. stands for, Experimental Prototype City of the Tomorrow.
  • Epcot was Disney’s first park that did not operate on a ‘hub and spoke’ system instead guests wound loop around the park with a lake in the middle.

Fact 5: There are five castles in Walt Disney World. The Most obvious one big Cinderella’s castle in the centre of the Magic Kingdom.

  • There are two castles in the Magic Kingdom both in New Fantasyland. Beast’s Castle is above Be Our Guest Restaurant, but it’s not as big as you think it is. This is Another great example of forced perspective and how a single storey building can look like a magnificent castle. Prince Eric’s Castle serves as the show building for the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride.
  • Akershus Castle & Fortress in the Norway Pavilion and White Egret Castle in the Japan Pavilion are Epcot’s two often overlooked castles.

Fact 6: It is estimated that Disney spend more money on fireworks than any other private corporation, second to only the US military.

  • What Disney does not release exact figures, it is estimated by experts that Disney spents $50 million dollars a year on firework displays. This figure is spread out between all six of their parks.
  • There are no firework displays in the animal kingdom in the evening, due to concerns over animal welfare. The animal kingdom usually ends evening in a light show which does not distress the animals.

Fact 7: The tree of Life Is the centerpiece of the animal kingdom.  but if you look closely you’ll see that animals carved all over the tree. Disney say there are over 300 animals carved over the branches, roots and trunk.

  • It took 18 months to construct, having three imagineers and 10 artists to work on this hulk of a tree.
  • There are over 102,000 man-made leaves. The leafs are made out of a plastic called the ‘Thermoplastic’, when warm an elastoplastic to move and when cooled become hard.

Fact 8: Have you ever lost Your phone on Walt Disney World? If so you’re not alone.  Walt Disney World lost and found, finds more than 6,000 cell phones per year.

  • That’s nothing compared to the daily average of 210 pairs of sunglasses.
  • An estimated 18,000 hats also make their way to lost and found per year.

Fact 9: Disney had us a wide range of Transport options I want Disney World. This ranges from monorails, boats, trains, trams, horse drawn carriages and buses.

  • Disney’s fleet of 400 buses is larger than Los Angeles department of transportation.

Fact 10: Among the 25 Disney resorts there are over 30,000 rooms, and this number continues to grow Disney opens new resort locations.

  • With all rooms filled Disney can sleep 160,000 guests,

Fact 11: There are six Starbucks at Walt Disney World as of 2018. But getting your coffee fix can be a little bit tricky, because not all of the stores are signposted as Starbucks from the outside.

  • One in each of the theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and finally Animal Kingdom. The fifth and sixth can be found in Disney Springs.
  • Starbucks can be found in the Main Street Bakery in the Magic Kingdom. The one in Epcot is far easier to find as it is in Fountain View and is clearly signposted as a Starbucks. In Hollywood Studios can be found in the Trolley Car Cafe. Finally to the right of the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom in Creature Comforts.

Fact 12: The Walt Disney company has stopped using single use plastic straws, this will save the company a whopping 175 million straws a year.

  • Single use plastic straws never distributed Disney’s Animal Kingdom as a precaution. This was due to fears in animal safety. Disney did not want any plastic to make its way into the enclosures.
  • They join Starbucks and American Airlines as big American companies trying to make a difference by banning single use plastic straws.

Fact 13:Walt Disney World monorail system has 14.7 miles of track. The  monorail shuttles around more than 50 million guests per year.

  • There are Currently 12 vehicles in service on the monorail system each with a unique colour  stripe. The Close include: green, yellow, lime, blue, gold, orange, silver, black, teal, peach, coral, and the red stripe.
  • Since opening there has been only one death on the Walt Disney World monorail system. In 2009 the pink and purple monorails collided resulting in the death of one of the pilots. After the incident the pink and purple monorails were retired.

Fact 14:Disney’s new 270 acre solar facility, near Epcot, will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 52,000 metric tons. That’s equivalent of removing 9300 cars from the roads year.

  • On the brightest of days, the solar plant will generate enough clean renewable energy to provide up to 25 percent of the power needed at Walt Disney World Resort.
  • On average this could power two of Disney’s theme parks.

Fact 15: Shortly before Disney acquired Marvel, Marvel sold its Florida theme park rights to Universal Studios. That is why Walt Disney World doesn’t have any Marvel attractions if the character is used at Universal Studios.

  • The agreement does have some loopholes that may help Disney. The agreement states that Walt Disney World cannot use any characters from the comics, if that character family is being used at Universal. For instance Universal Studios is using the character Spider-Man,  so Disney cannot use any characters associated with his comic.
  • This means Disney has had to use more obscure characters such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, with there ride coming to Epcot.

Fact 16: When the Walt Disney World resort opened in 1971 there was just one park, the Magic Kingdom. It featured 22 attractions for a fun packed day of adventure. The resort also featured two hotels and two golf courses.

  • As of 2019 there are six golf courses to test your skill,  I just enjoy your day away from the parts themselves.

Fact 17: Walt Disney World resort held the title of the largest saltwater aquarium in the world for 19 years. The aquarium was part of the Living seas attraction which opened in 1986 at Epcot.

  • It kept the title until 2005, it is now part of The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
  • The Aquarium holds 5.7 million gallons of water.

Fact 18: Disney’s Hollywood tower of Terror (199.5 feet) and Expedition Everest (199 feet) at Animal Kingdom. They are both just short of 200 feet tall.

  • This is because any building over 200 feet is required by law to have red flashing lights on top as a warning for planes.

Fact 19: The Magic Kingdom has 27 public toilets.

  • There are no restaurants in the Magic Kingdom Liberty Square.
  • This is said to be to retain historical accuracy.

Fact 20:  When the Magic Kingdom opened the Disney corporation was still using individual tickets for a rides. Different rides would cost different amounts, guess could purchase ticket books for a discounted price. Each of the tickets inside of the books would have a letter on them. A through E, with E-Tickets being for the most  popular rides.

  • In 1973, your E options were:It’s a small world, 20k leagues under the sea, Country Bear Jamboree, Jungle Cruise, Hall of Presidents and Haunted Mansion
  • The E-ticket is still used today buy enthusiasts to denote a big exciting attraction.

Fact 21: Epcot has one of the tallest and most powerful fountains in America. Innovention Fountain allows water to reach the dizzy heights of 150 feet in the air.

  • That’s nearly as high as the giant metallic golf ball shaped, Spaceship Earth which stands at 180.4 feet.
  • It has 324 nozzles with which to shoot water.
  • If they where to all be triggered at once, it would spout 2,000 gallons of water in the air.

Fact 22:Disney hides Mickey Mouse silhouette heads throughout their parks. They are  known as ‘hidden mickeys’.

  • There are more than 1,100 Hidden Mickeys at Walt Disney World.
  • The largest hidden Mickey on any Disney property is Disney’s new solar power plant. If you take a look from an  aerial view you will see the clear shape of Mickey.

Fact 23: Epcot’s Signature building is Spaceship Earth. Standing at 180 feet tall and  weighing just under 16 million pounds.

  • Spaceship Earth is not the largest structure in Epcot, That goes to the saltwater tank at the The Seas with Nemo & Friends Formerly known as The Living Seas.
  • Spaceship Earth could actually be fully submerged into the seas with Nemo and friends.

Fact 24:Walt Disney World has its own nursery that grows food for some animals in the Animal Kingdom

  • This includes bamboo, bananas and willow plus many more tropical items
  • The animals poop is taken to a local fertilizer manufacturer

Fact 25: Between the four Disney parks there is an unbelievable 1.8 million pounds of turkey drumsticks eaten every year.

  • That’s more than double the amount at Disneyland Resort.
  • If you  combine Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World that gives you a staggering 2.5 million pounds of turkey drumsticks enjoyed every year.

Fact 26: After the success of the pirate of the caribbean films, Disney has added many of the characters from the movie into the ride itself. Characters such as Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa.

  • The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was originally designed as a walkthrough, where guests would simply  follow a path to walkthrough and reviewing the scenes of the ride.
  • All of the scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean only last one minute before they have to reset for the next boat.

Fact 27: Just under 12 percent of Walt Disney World is solely for gardens and various landscapes.

  • That 12 percent is the size of 3,000 football fields.
  • It’s just under five times as big as Central Park.

Fact 28: Upon exiting the Haunted Mansion ride, try reading some of the names inscribed out loud. Pearl E. Gates, Dustin T. Dust, I.M. Ready, Rustin Peese and Asher T. Ashes.

  • The Walt Disney World versions of the Haunted Mansion is voiced by actor Paul Frees. Paul also voiced Boris Badenov in the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
  • Walt Disney himself recorded the narration for the Haunted Mansion’s before the idea of the Host Ghost.

Fact 29: Mount Mayday at Typhoon Lagoon stands at 95 feet high. The ship stranded on top of of it is called ‘Miss Tilly’.

  • Mount Mayday erupts every half-hour shooting jets of water upto 50 feet into the air.
  • Typhoon Lagoon can produce waves of up to 4 foot in it’s 2.25 million gallon wave pool.

Fact 30: The six trains on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are named: U.R. Daring, U.R. Courageous, I.M. Brave, U.B. Bold, I.M. Fearless and I.B. Hearty.

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad takes up 25 percent more land at Walt Disney World than it does at Disneyland Resort.
  • Disneyland’s version opened a year before the version at Walt Disney World, even though Walt Disney World’s version was the first to be designed.

Fact 31:Disney’s garden staff plant roughly 3 million bedding and annual plants.

  • There is more than 4 million shrubs onsite.
  • There is a staggering 13,000 roses at Walt Disney World.

Fact 32: Walt Disney World uses an authentic 1928 steam powered train on it railroad.

  • To Complete a loop around Walt Disney World Railroad it takes about 20 minutes.
  • The Walt Disney World Railroad does not operate during fireworks shows due to its proximity to the locations where the fireworks are launched.

Fact 33: Walt Disney World Resort employees more than 70,000 cast members.

  • Cast members playing Mickey Mouse need to be between 4’8″ and 5’2″.
  • Full-body costume cast members aren’t allowed to talk, they can only emote and act with their bodies. This way it’s easier to maintain the consistency of the character.

Fact 34:Space Mountain Walt Disney world was the world’s first indoor roller coaster.

  • The 2 minutes 38 seconds ride gets up to a maximum speed of 28 miles an hour .
  • The steepest drop is at an incline of 39 degrees.

Fact 35: The castle at the centre of the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella’s. She also has another castle in Disneyland Tokyo.

  • The castle is made of fiberglass and can withstand hurricane.
  • The castle took 18 months to construction.

Fact 36: The first Walt Disney World Open Invitational, was won by Jack Nicklaus in 1971.

  • Walt Disney World golf courses were part of the PGA Tour from 1971 -2012.
  • The Magnolia Golf courses is the longest at Walt Disney World Resort with a maximum yardage of 7,516 yards.

Fact 37: Walt Disney World Resort sells more than 13 million bottles of water each year.

  • 10 Million hamburgers with 9 million pounds of French Fries.
  • A staggering 300,000 pounds of popcorn.

Fact 38: Ever wonder why Disney theme parks are so clean?  The parks are designed so that guess are never more than 30 steps away from a trash can.

  • The Magic Kingdoms trash is moved around in an underground trash system.  It is transported at speed of 60 mile an hour so sorting location, in vacuum tubes.
  • Only Walt Disney World and Roosevelt Island use this type of system in North America.

Fact 39: At 403 acres Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest theme park at Walt Disney World.

  • Animal Kingdom is located on the western side of the Walt Disney World Resort so that the animals wouldn’t be disturbed from any noise from the other parks.
  • Animal Kingdom has over 1000 animals, from more than 250 species.

Fact 40: Walt Disney World is not actually located in the City of Orlando, but in its own District set up by Disney called ‘Reedy Creek Improvement District’.

  • Reedy Creek Improvement District has two cities, the City of Lake Buena Vista And the City of Bay Lake.
  • Walt Disney had planned to build a real living city in Walt Disney World resort, but it was scrapped shortly after his death.

Fact 41: Walt Disney World Railroad steam trains can hold a Maximum of 375 passengers,  that’s 75 per car.

  • There are four trains, numbered one through four. Number 1 being called ‘Walter E. Disney’. Number 2 was named after Walt Disney’s wife ‘Lilly Belle’. Number 3, named ‘Roger E. Broggie’, who is widely considered to be the first imagineer. Number 4 goes to Walt’s brother ‘Roy O. Disney’.

Fact 42: Mickey Mouse has more than 290 different costumes ranging from the classic look to the mass extravagant of costumes.

  • Mickey Mouse has 90 more costumes then Minnie Mouse who only has 200 costumes.

Fact 43: In Animal Kingdom it can look like there are no barriers between animal exhibits.  The enclosures were designed to have hidden barriers, with most of them being natural such as a water feature or mote.

  • The Kilimanjaro Safaris ride lasts for 18 minutes as you travel across 110 acres of land.
  • You could fit the whole of the Magic Kingdom in Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Fact 44: In bringing to life the world of Pandora at Animal Kingdom. Disney used 500 real trees and over 10,000 shrubs mixed in with artificial alien plants, to bring alive  Pandora.

  • In addition to the plants there are glow in the dark paths that charge during the day so they can glow at night.
  • The 12 acres site of Pandora took six years from design to opening day.

Fact 45: The Yeti on Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom largest audio animatronic figure built by Disney standing at 25 feet. The Yeti is so large he has his own Foundation.

  • Expedition Everest is the tallest Disney ‘mountain’ standing at 199.5 feet.
  • The Yeti weighs 4 tons and on his ‘A-Mode’ uses the power of a jet engine to try and grab at the guests.

Fact 46: Hollywood Studios was almost pavilion in Epcot until Michael Eisner considered the idea for a third park.

  • In Toy Story land at Hollywood Studios  they guess they shrunk down to toys size. There they can find a large footprint made by Andy. The shoe size is equivalent to size 240.
  • The Toy Story land is themed as Andy’s backyard, where you will find more than 400 toy blocks.

Fact 47:Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios has a Moroccan look. The reason is because imagineers realised when standing in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, you can see the Tower of Terror. So they made it blend in with the rest of the Moroccan skyline.

  • The Magic Kingdom was designed so to not break the Illusions of the land you are in by designing the sightlines. That means if you’re in Adventureland you shouldn’t be able to see Fantasyland, etc.

Fact 48: The Magic Kingdom has an estimated maximum capacity of 100,000 guests, but when the park reaches 65,000 guests Disney start to add  guest restrictions in four phases.

  • The attendance at Magic Kingdom for the year 2017 was just over 20 million.
  • Walt Disney World plays host to an estimated 52 million Visitors each year. Making it the number one vacation resort in the world.

Fact 49: Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has 54 different possible sequences. Making your experience just a little bit different each time.

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios was called Disney-MGM Studios when it first opened in May 1st 1989,after Disney licensing deal with  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
  • The front of the lagoon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is only 1.5 feet deep. It can hold 1.9 million gallons of water.

Fact 50: Blizzard Beach is the largest water parks at Walt Disney World Resort Comprising of 66 acres.

  • The wave pool at Blizzard Beach is the size of a football field.
  • Blizzard Beach’s 3,000 foot lazy river takes between 20-30 minutes to complete a full loop.

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