I know a trip to Disney World might seem like an unreachable goal at the moment due to COVID-19 but when you’re finally able to get there, it will be even more magical than ever.
Lee and I were due to go to Disney World, Florida in August for our honeymoon but that has been postponed to next summer now. It’s frustrating but it gives us an extra year of excitement.
So, after dreaming of Magic Kingdom and all its wonder, I have decided to list some sneaky parts of the park to keep an eye out for when you next visit. Now, I know the most avid Disney park-goers will probably roll their eyes and be like, “yeah! Tell me something I don’t know!” but when Lee and I visited Disney World two years ago, hunting down these secret features was one of the highlights of our holiday.
Some are more obscure than others and some have even disappeared over time but they are fun to know about.
During our first week, we didn’t have a clue that they existed. Then, one evening, we had a text from my brother at home saying that he’d been on IMDb to read the Mary Poppins trivia and asked if we knew about the wooden leg named Smith being in the Disney park. This triggered a memory about Easter Eggs and Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies and I decided to do a bit of research… The internet is filled with people’s blogs about these magical and secret items dotted around the Disney parks and our second week took an absolute, unexpected turn… for the better!
So, here are some of the Easter Eggs we found…
Tinker Bell causes mischief
The first time we went on the Peter Pan ride, we fast-tracked so completely missed the Darlings’ bedroom. Then, we stayed in Magic Kingdom during the Magic hours (available when you stay at one of the Disney hotels – you get an extra few hours in the park after it’s closed) and had to go through the “normal” way. In here, there’s lots of magic that goes on – there are bells that ring if you move your hand near them… but they’re not real bells! They’re shadows of bells.
Then, we decided to wait around a bit longer… with many odd looks from passers by… until we saw Tinker Bell appear. She dances across the room, knocking things over and sprinkling fairy dust. Then she gets trapped inside the drawer.
You have to search for these on the ground. Head towards the children’s flying ride, Dumbo’s Magic Feather, and you will see peanuts embedded in the concrete. It’s nothing special but very cute.
Rapunzel’s Lanterns – Photo Opp
This isn’t a secret of the park but it’s a fantastic photo opportunity. We saw a huge queue for this throughout the day/evening so were going to leave it. Then, on our way out of the park on our last night, we saw that there was no queue (about 12:30am) so popped over. I’m so glad we did as this is my most favourite picture of me and Lee.
Mr Banks’s suit on a rack
This one is found at Epcot. However, the suit doesn’t actually exist. We headed to the London area and popped into the shop – we searched high and low for the clothes rail with Mr Banks’s suit hanging up but it was nowhere to be found. Even the shop assistants were stumped… but, Disney being Disney, these wonderful shop assistants did not want to let us leave disappointed so they invited us into a hidden room at the back of the shop… inside the room was a bedroom with some cuddly toys sitting on the bed. It was Christopher Robin’s room!! We even got a special edition badge too. Wow!!
Jacques and Gus in the castle
Now, we didn’t get to see the REAL mice that we were looking for. Apparently, Gus and Jacques are hiding on one of the beams of the ceiling inside the restaurant of Cinderella’s castle but we didn’t go there for food. We only managed to find these concrete versions inside the walkway of the castle but they are still very cute.
Turn Cinderella into the princess that she is!
Outside the castle, you can find a statue of Cinderella. If you position your camera just right, it looked like the crown is sitting on her head. Cute!
The giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk can be found peeping into Sir Mickey’s shop in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom.
The haunted tale of the ring
As you queue for the ride, The Haunted Mansion, there is a ring that can be found on the ground that looks like an engagement ring. Fans of the ride have created a whole backstory for this ring and, apparently, the workers of Disney World love it so much that they have kept the ring where it is (they were going to get rid of it once!) – this can be found more easily when you queue up in the main queue. Again, we fast-tracked this the one day and completely missed it so we had to go back during the magic hours.
A nod to Tom and Huck
This isn’t a hidden secret but it’s another cute one to mention. Fans of the ’90s movie with a young Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Rachel Leigh Cooke (or fans of Mark Twain) will love this nod to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
Lady and the Tramp’s paw prints
When you enter Magic Kingdom, turn right and you will see a few shops/cafes/patisseries. One of them is Tony’s Restaurant and, just in front, are Lady and the Tramp’s paw prints printed in the concrete.
Near Rapunzel’s tower (and where you can have your photo taken with the lanterns), you can see Maximus’s hoof prints in the concrete.
The Sword in the Stone
The sword is not the hidden item… but, rumour has it, every once in a while, someone pulls the sword from the stone. I’m not entirely sure what happens but that would be so cool! Also, on the carousel behind, apparently there is Mary Poppins horse.
Celebrations! Get those badges!
Someone told us to get the ‘Happily Ever After’ badges from the desk in our hotel. My word, I’m so glad that we did. Every single character and cast member treated us so well (we were celebrating getting engaged) by giving us free champers with our meal at Chip ‘n’ Dale’s restaurant, free soft drinks at Hollywood Studios (the cast member congratulated us and said “These are from Mickey!”) and we even got a “congratulations” from one of the Toy Story soldiers when they walked past. It just made our holiday, and our engagement, that extra bit more special.
Become Merlin’s Apprentice
This is an activity for those of you who have the time to race across the whole of Magic Kingdom (and, I believe, the other parks have their own too). When you enter Magic Kingdom, turn left and head for the fire station. You will see a poster to become Merlin’s Apprentice. This is an interactive game that has you pressing buttons around the park that bring screens to life that give you clues on how to find the next one. Before finding out about this, we didn’t know that it existed. Once we did, we saw so many people taking part around the park.
As part of the game, you receive trading cards (collectibles, indeed!) and a map to help you navigate your way through the various lands. Prepare yourself for some odd looks with this one… but it’s mostly awe! Once you complete the game, don’t forget to sign the book when you get back to the fire station!
A wooden leg named Smith
This was where my interest was piqued. As I said, my brother informed me of this one but it’s no longer there. The wooden leg (named Smith) should be in the train station when you first enter Magic Kingdom but it’s not. I’ve seen pictures on Google with the leg there but this was what I saw. Hopefully, someone will put it back again…
Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious!
This one, I heard about when I phoned Disney due to a technical hitch with my ‘My Disney Experience’ app. As Disney workers are so lovely and chatty, I was telling her all about our upcoming trip to Disney World. I said that our first morning will be kickstarting with a visit to the ‘Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom. She said, “Oh, try the grey stuff it’s delicious!” I laughed and, after a quick thought, responded with… “Wait! Really?”
It turns out, this is a genuine thing. Ask one of the waiters/waitresses if you can try the grey stuff and they will bring it back on a plate for you.
And, guess what, it really is delicious!!
So, there we have some of the secret things to find in the Disney parks. Please let us know if there are any more that we can keep an eye out for…
Loula Belle xoxo