Floridians are at a distinct advantage when it comes to visiting the many major attractions in the Orlando area. If they are a diehard fan of a particular park they can buy a cut-rate annual pass. If they aren’t particularly diehard but still like to go a few times a year, they can wait until the off-season when most of the well-known attractions offer gigantic savings to the state’s residents on “Florida Days.”
As one would expect, Disney World is the biggest draw. Every kid in the Sunshine State knows when Florida Days are approaching and they make sure to let their higher-ups know. Disney tends to advertise during kids shows, many of which are on their own channel.
Since Floridians get to spend way more time at Disney than Michiganders, you could say they know the inside scoop. They know where to find a hot bratwurst and a cold beer. Which rides to go on. Where the bathrooms are. But there are still some things most of them know nothing about.
For visitors willing to shell out the cash, which isn’t cheap, Disney offers behind the scenes tours. In reality, they only allow outsiders to see what they want them to see. Certain areas are heavily guarded. No one is going to see a half-dressed Tinkerbell or some little old man putting on his Mini Mouse gear.
Just because Floridians get to pound Disney’s pavement more often than the rest of the free world, or have been behind the curtains, doesn’t mean they know any more than anyone else. Dollars to doughnuts they don’t know what you’re about to find out.
Some of these are just cool facts, but others will help make your adventure at Disney all the more magical.
Here we go. Pay close attention.
Near the Disney castle, find the Plaza Restaurant and grab a table as near to the outer edge as you can. Now, look towards the castle and then look up. If you look close enough you will see a wire running from the castle to the rooftop of the restaurant. Sit tight and eventually Tinker Bell is going to fly right over top of your head.
Also while you are looking at the castle, take note of how the bricks get smaller towards the top. This was done by engineers to give it the illusion of being taller than it actually is. It’s is a little trick called “forced perspective.”
Many visitors don’t notice this, but if you look up in the rafters of the castle, you’ll see mice. Not real ones, mind you. They are named Gus and Jacques.
If you go to the Country Bear Jamboree, which you should, look down at the floor. You may be surprised to notice the claw tracks most people miss.
When the afternoon parade starts, find a spot near where it begins. When it ends, if you walk against the flow of pedestrians, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tree House, Magic Carpets and the Jungle Cruise will be virtually deserted with little to no lines.
Don’t elbow your way through the throngs of people in front of the castle to watch the massive fireworks display. Instead, find a comfortable spot behind it. The view will be as equally as impressive and the crowd will be far less.
Mary Poppins and other human characters will be wandering around. When you see one, ask them about their movie and they will go straight into character. If you ask Mary Poppins to sing supercalifragilistic backward, don’t be too shocked when she actually does it.
In keeping authentic with the particular time period, there are no restrooms located in Liberty Square. When you head to this area of Disney, do your business first.
In the candy shop, there is an old-timey phone mounted on the wall. Pick up the receiver and listen. You’ll hear a mother speaking with her daughter named Annie. They’ll be talking about what they are going to buy and discussing the price of certain items. They’ll also have a chat about the best way to attract a man. Now and then a nosey telephone operator named Miss Klump will be told by the mother to quit listening in.
If you hop on board the Main Street Railway, make sure to get in the last car. It’s from this car where they choose a guest conductor who gets to yell “All Aboard” into the microphone and announce the different lands the train rolls through on its journey.
If you take the Riverboat Cruise ask to sit in the pilot’s house. By doing so you will receive an official certification as a riverboat pilot.
Right in front of the big drop on Splash Mountain is a bridge. Do not for any reason stand there unless you want to get soaked. Every third car coming down the slope triggers an extra blast of water that shoots out onto the bridge.
Here is a cool thing to know. The two skeletons playing chess by the entrance of Pirates of the Caribbean are pirates who died while playing the game because it was a stalemate and neither one would admit they didn’t win. When crossing under the first bridge, look at the pirate with one leg and the man sitting next to him. One of the designers was a big fan of Sid Caesar and the pirate who is sitting has Caesar’s face.
Though it’s impossible to not have a stellar time at Disney World, hopefully, this little heads up will make your visit even better. For most kids, except the lucky ones from Florida, going to Disney is a rare opportunity. No other destination on earth can rival the excitement that instantly courses through every kid’s veins when they find out they’re getting to go there.
You may want to read this over a few times or even print it and take it with you. If you’re going to Disney, know what the locals know before you get there!