• Disney World secrets: Insider tips from the pros

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk


    Disney World is a dream come true for many visitors. There is so much to see and do that it can be overwhelming. If you want to gain an insider's perspective of the park, read up on the best Disney World secrets.

    A bit of historyWalt Disney died in 1966 of lung cancer - several years before he could see Disney World open in 1971. His brother, Roy, carried on the plans to finish the park.You could see part of Walt Disney's personal plane on the Hollywood Studios backlot tour before the attraction closed in 2014.

    For Aerosmith fans: The Rock 'n Roller Coaster limos each play a different Aerosmith track. If you get lucky enough to ride in the "Love in an Elevator" limo, the lyrics change to "Love in a Roller Coaster" at the end.

    Historical accuracy: Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square is much more authentic than you may have realized. The brown path is meant to symbolize the original "sewage system" of the era - AKA there wasn't one. In traditional Revolutionary times, no indoor plumbing existed, so many people would take their waste and dump it from their windows into the streets outside. This is also the reason why there are no public restrooms in the area (restrooms are located in nearby lands). Also, notice the shutters are all hung at an angle. They did this because there was virtually no metal shipped to America from England during the Revolutionary War to keep America from using it for bullets. The colonials would use the metal off of the shutters for ammunition and then hang the shutters with leather. After a period of time, the leather straps would stretch and the shutters would hang at an angle.

    Flag tip: The only official flag in the park is in Town Square and has a lowering ceremony every day at 5 p.m. The other "official" flags are each missing a star or a stripe in order to be avoid being raised, lowered or flown at half-mast. The flagpoles also serve as actual lightning rods in disguise to protect guests from inclement weather.

    Ordering food: Disney World patrons can order food via the park's mobile app.

    Payphone tip: This tip is one of the silliest Disney World secrets: If you find a payphone in Tomorrowland or in the Main Street hat shop, pick it up and listen to conversations between Disney characters.

    Get a map: If you ask the Jungle Cruise skipper for a map of the cruise, they'll give you one.

    Rope sign: There's a rope outside the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular with a sign that says "do not pull the rope." Go ahead and pull it.

    Recycling at work: The Jungle Cruise features a ton of recycled props from across the property. The spiders inside the temple are leftovers from Haunted Mansion and the monkeys foraging for gold are actually repurposed from Living With The Land at Epcot.

    Where's the gum? Disney World doesn't sell gum anywhere on the property. It cuts down on gum stuck on rides, trees, and waiting areas.

    While on Main Street: When you take a walk down Main Street, look closely at the castle. The "bricks" get smaller the higher up the castle goes. The Imagineers called it the "forced perspective" technique.

    The castle looks a little taller than it would if all the "bricks" were the same size - making it one of the most creative Disney World secrets.

    Taking photos: PhotoPass Cast Members will take free photos of you, friends or family with your camera or phone, just adjust the settings. They are great at capturing the perfect photo and won't run off with your very expensive smartphone.

    Surf's up! They offer surfing lessons at Typhoon Lagoon.

    Shark alert: Until the attraction closed in 2016, you could swim with sharks at Shark Reef in Typhoon Lagoon.

    For Imagineer wannabees: If you're an aspiring Imagineer (Disney's high-level creative thinkers) you can have lunch with one.

    Trash tip: You are never more than 30 steps from a trashcan in the parks. That's because Walt Disney estimated that's how long an average person would spend looking for a trashcan before throwing the garbage on the ground.

    Does the park ever close? Disney World has only been closed five times since opening in 1971: in 1999 for Hurricane Floyd, 2004 for Hurricane Frances, 2004 for Hurricane Jeanne, 2016 for Matthew and for 2017's Hurricane Irma.

    Up high: Magic Kingdom is actually above ground level. The first floor of Magic Kingdom is a series of corridors used by cast members and other Magic Kingdom employees.

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