Disney is known for its Easter eggs, as its films, video games and theme parks have hidden little surprises in them, causing even more allure and magic.
From abandoned attractions and concealed characters to random references and terrific throwbacks, there are lots of secrets hidden within Disney’s theme parks.
Of course, most people go for the fun, the thrills and the rides, but while walking around, waiting in line, grabbing some food and/or exploring further, guests should try and see things like the following 10 that are listed out here. These hidden details make these parks even cooler destinations!
From 1974 to 1999, Discovery Island was opened. This part of Walt Disney World allowed guests to observe animals and birds. Back in the day, a family lived there, then a couple and their pet crane, and then it became a hunting retreat until Disney purchased the island in 1965.
After it closed, the creatures were moved to Animal Kingdom, but everything else still remains on this land - though it is decaying, due to hurricanes and other natural effects. Rumors circulated that the island would be turned into an attraction based on the Myst video game, but for now, people can see this closed-down park from water crafts and from the Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary Resort and Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
As true fans know, Walt Disney thought up Disneyland while sitting on a bench. This bench was by the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, and he was watching his kids ride when he thought of something bigger and better than this, that many people could enjoy.
This bench can be seen in the foyer of the Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln attraction! This attraction is a stage show with an audio-animatronic version of Abraham Lincoln, which has been in Disneyland since 1965. And the spot that gave the world this attraction and so many others can really be viewed here.
When Disneyland turned 40 in 1995, a time capsule was buried in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Its plaque refers to it as a “Time Castle” that is “dedicated to the children of the 21st century, who may unlock its contents on the 80th Anniversary of Disneyland: July 17, 2035”. Inside, there are photos, an Indiana Jones decoder card and more.
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At California Adventure, concept art, cast member name tags and other pieces of memorabilia were buried in 2012, and this capsule is set to be opened in 2037.
A popular ride is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and there are several references to the old TV show here. There is a stopwatch (like from “A Kind of a Stopwatch” during Season 5), a trumpet (referencing Season 1’s “A Passage for Trumpet”), a spaceman (that looks like the little men from “The Invaders” of Season 2), a toy phone (which is a nod to “Long Distance Call” of Season 2), a Willoughby travel sign (a reference to Season 1’s “A Stop At Willoughby”), an elevator inspection certificate with the number 10259 and the name Cadwallader on it (The Twilight Zone premiered on October 2, 1959, and Cadwallader was a devil in Season 1’s “Escape Clause”)...The list goes on.
Animal Kingdom is full of real and real-looking animals, plants and other awe-inspiring things from nature. If anyone happens to see a shrub moving, though, don’t be alarmed. This is just DeVine! DeVine is a character dressed in vines and plants, so she blends in with her surroundings. She walks on stilts and has been known to hang out between Asia and Africa and in the Oasis area. While walking from ride to ride, it can be fun to try and look for her, and feel free to ask a Cast Member if they have seen her, for a hint.
People can see American flags at Magic Kingdom, but a closer look will show that something is off about the ones on the top of the buildings on Main Street; all of them are missing some stars! There are certain rules that national flag must follow, such as being flown at half-mast on certain days. To avoid having to follow any of these rules, these flags at Magic Kingdom are instead just decorative ones - not official ones.
The look of the buildings, the smells that are pumped into the air, the costumes worn by those who work there and other details help make the place feel really real, despite this little hidden secret.
Animal Kingdom is a fan favorite park, and it was originally going to have a land called Beastly Kingdom. This section would have focused on fictional animals; the “good” side of the land was going to have a ride called Quest of the Unicorn, a maze leading to where a unicorn lived, and one called Fantasia Gardens, based on the film Fantasia. The “evil” side was going to feature the Dragon's Tower, with its fire-breathing dragon.
Due to budget cuts, though, none of this happened. Instead, this area became Camp Minnie-Mickey and then Pandora: The World of Avatar. But a dragon can be seen on Animal Kingdom’s logo!
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride uses the same few pirates over and over - adding in different hair, clothes and so on. The father and daughter from the Carousel of Progress are seen on Spaceship Earth. Animatronics from the Hall of Presidents can also be seen on Spaceship Earth. The animals at the end of Splash Mountain used to be on America Sings. These are just a few examples - from The Daily Meal - so keep those eyes peeled for animatronics, areas, vehicles and infrastructures that get reused and refurbished in Disney parks!
Besides seeing old characters used in new ways, visitors can also see characters from certain films making cameos in certain rides. At Disney California Adventure alone, there are a few. On the Monsters Inc. ride, a painting of Marlin from Finding Nemo is behind the sushi chef. In the Cozy Cone Motel, people can see Buzz Lightyear, Hamm and Rex. In Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Mr. Limpet from The Incredible Mr. Limpet can be discovered in some seaweed. Also on this ride, there is a nod to Hans Christian Anderson, who wrote The Little Mermaid, on a cabinet.
By now, everyone surely knows that there are hidden Mickeys all over Disney’s theme parks, right? Apparently, Epcot was going to be aimed at adults, which would mean selling adult beverages. That being said, it was thought that classic characters like Mickey Mouse should not be seen in this park. This became a sort of challenge, to start trying to hide images of Mickey around Epcot while designing it!
From the fireplace in The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the dining room plates in The Haunted Mansion to plants at Living with the Land and cables on the ground on the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, those iconic ears can be spotted anywhere and everywhere.