Walt Disney World Secrets

This portion of the list was inspired by the following note from shubow@shubow.gsfc.nasa.gov: " Why don't you collect all of the secrets at Walt Disney World?"

You can also find other information on fun facts and secrets of Walt Disney World by consulting with your local independent bookstore or visit our online bookstore.

These are real Disney secrets. For more Disney secrets and trivia and bloopers try DISNEY Ever Notice... ?. If you are interested in rumors (some true, most not), checkout Disney Urban Legend Reference Page and Urban Legends Archive.

Disney World Property Secrets

  1. Local wildlife at Walt Disney World pict from hiddenmickeys.org
  2. The subs from 20,000 Leagues are stored in the boneyard portion of the Pluto Parking lot (castmember overflow parking) located past the Contemporary and before the Monorail barn.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 26 DEC 99
  3. We recently took one of the tours where you go backstage, and we got to catch a glimpse of the Giant Squid Animatronic from 20,000 Leagues and I happened to notice that his pupil in his eye was a rather large Mickey! Apparently no-one had ever notcied this before because it was so dark on that ride. Hope this helps....
    REPORTED: Anon 15 MAY 01
  4. For those of you who have ever taken Disney Transportation to the Magic Kingdom or stayed at the Contemporary Resort, you may have wondered where the rest of that road leads...well, here it is!! If the Disney Transport Buses were to continue going straight, they would come across the MONORAIL SERVICE STATION!! All the way back and to the right, is the location where the train, Busses, and all the monorail trains are stored. Also, if you were to continue and take a left at the station, you would pass by the entrance to the utilidors and discover a parking lot in the back behind Splash Mountain. This is where electric water pagent boats, garbage collection, float storage, and rehearsal areas are located. However, only performers in the Magic Music Days and Disney Employees are allowed back here.
    REPORTED: Matt Warfield 29 JAN 00
  5. As a precaution against any Millennium glitches, Walt Disney World has hidden portable lights and generators all over the property to insure light and essential power when the Millennium arrives. glitches, Walt Disney World has hidden portable lights and generators all over the property to insure light and essential power when the Millennium arrives. They have been placed behind potted plants so they will not be obtrusive to guests.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 26 DEC 99
    Staying at the all star resorts (I forget which one) for the millenium, we not only noticed the generators/lights all over the place, but found a new flashlight and pack of batteries in our room. We assumed that everybody got them to light our rooms incase the power was out. Did anyone else have this experiance?
    UPDATE: barney 31 OCT 00
  6. Prior to Animal Kingdom opened, WDW landscaping used 50,000 sprinkler heads and 2,000 miles of irrigation pipe to to water more than 3,500 acres of landscaped property.
    REPORTED: Safari Steve: Jungle Skipper 10 JAN 00
  7. Many years ago, I worked on the boats in front of the Magic Kingdom, and was assigned one beautiful summer day to clean the supervisor's boat. This entailed wearing a bathing suit, no shirt, and no other responsibilities other than to clean the hull of the boat of algae! And I was to get PAID for this?!? At any rate, while up to my neck in water while scrubbing the hull of the beached boat, I noticed small dime-sized organizms in the warm water. Like I said, you will not believe this, but there were live, tiny, fresh water JELLYFISH in the water!!! I obtained a clear drinking glass, captured some of these jellyfish, and showed them off to some co-workers. I could slap myself for not taking this further, such as to company aquatic biologists, etc.
    REPORTED: anon 20 OCT 00
  8. I am an old roadmap collector. In old maps of Florida, the lake that I believe is now known as "Bay Lake" (to the east of MK) was Mickey shaped. Some of the maps that show this go back to pre-WDW days. Ironically, construction of park has obliterated Mother Nature's handiwork.
    REPORTED: Frank Brusca 21 AUG 98
  9. Disney property covers 30,500 acres or about 47 square miles (about twice the size of the island of Manhattan). The Magic Kingdom is 107 acres (7 acres larger than Disneyland); EPCOT is 300 acres; and MGM is 154 acres.
  10. There is one man that lives on the Disney property who is not a member of the "Disney" family. He would not sell his property to Disney during the big buy out. His house is located by the waste treatment plant, and is behind some rather large bunkers.
    REPORTED: Andy Gentry 26 MAY 96
  11. Lake Buena Vista, along with its sister city of Bay Lake, is part of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a quasi-governmental entity created by The Walt Disney World Co. The district and the two cities were authorized by the Florida Legislature in May 1967 after the Disney company presented lawmakers with a set of requests to give it unprecedented administrative jurisdiction over zoning, road construction, utilities, building codes, drainage and environmental protection. Eager for the tourist dollars and jobs Disney World would bring, the Legislature agreed with only one dissenting vote.

    Walt Disney, the pioneer cartoonist/showman-turned-entrepreneur, personally selected the site for Disney World while flying over Central Florida in his company's Gulfstream jet in April 1964. For several years before that, Disney had wanted to build an East Coast version of his successful Disneyland attraction in Anaheim, Calif. It had to be in the South because Disney wanted it to operate year-round, and he wanted it away from the beach so it wouldn't have to compete with the ocean for tourists. Disney chose the future location of Walt Disney World from the air when he spotted a vast tract of virgin land west of the junction of Florida's Turnpike and Interstate 4, which was then under construction.

    pict from hiddenmickeys.org Disney kept his plans quiet and set up dummy corporations in order to secretly buy the land for his park so that speculators could not run up the price. He was successful. By the time plans for the park were revealed 18 months later, Disney's lawyers had purchased 27,400 acres straddling the Orange-Osceola county line at an average price of only $182 per acre.

  12. Walt Disney wanted Disney World to have its own government...I guess because he didn't like Florida's or he wanted to do things that he otherwise would not be able to do...anyway, in order to have a government you have to have people actually living there so (last I heard) there are actually six residents in Disney World. None of them live very lavishly (except one, I think), but you can see the shack that one lives in from some ride... I forget which but it may either be Big Thunder Mountain or the riverboat ride.
    REPORTED: Mandy 16 JUL 95
    Close. No one lives in the parks. Walt did want Disney to have its own government and he got it. Walt Disney World is in the city limits of Lake Buena Vista. This also eliminated Orlando from obtaining income from property taxes - a continuing local political football. A number of Disney Cast Members (employees) live in Lake Buena Vista. The mayor and the city government are all Disney Cast Members. Disney security is actually a defacto police force! Also, originally, Walt wanted to put in a nuclear power generator to provide electricity. Remember back then nuclear power was considered environmentally friendly. Green Marketplace Now they are doing some great work on environmentally safe processing of sewage for removal of heavy metals. Incidentally, Walt Disney World also has its own airstrip.
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 20 JUL 95

    CONFIRMED: Jeremy Carr 09 NOV 95
    CONFIRMED: Cary Kirby 09 DEC 96
    The property that Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studio and all of the Disney World complex is in, is known in total as The Reedy Creek Improvement District. The District is a tax based and supported district, it contains two Cities, The smallest of which by land mass is Lake Buena Vista, The other area is known as the City of Bay Lake and encompasses the bulk of the land. Both Cities have residents and full public service, e.g. Fire Protection, (Reedy Creek Emergency Services), Water, sewage, Gas and Electric (Reedy Creek Energy Services), Police protection is provided by the Orange County sheriffs office and just like every other town or special district a portion of all tax money goes to State and Local Governments where required by law. The Building, Safety and Fire Prevention Codes are all part of the original EPCOT codes and meet or in most cases exceed regulated standards. The District was created to provide a means in which to create and enforce codes that were non existant. Every Government in the Nation has internal problems and reports to a group of individuals known as "TAXPAYERS" It just happens that the major taxpayer within the Reedy Creek Improvement District is Walt Disney Co.
    CONFIRMED: anon 23 APR 97
    WDW is called the Reedy Creek Improvement District and is broken up into 2 different cities. Lake Buena Vista and the other escapes me. But you can see the name of it on the life perservers on the ferry boats to the MK. The MK is the other city. Lake Beuna Vista is everything else. Walt did this so that he could have his own government. There are two mayors and multiple people who live on the complex. The Reedy Creek Improvement District is proven by the signs on the Firehouses and at the "borg" like building near the Hilton in Lake Buena Vista across from the Sun Trust Building.
    CONFIRMED: Kirk 08 AUG 97
    Actually Disney does have it's own government but cannot arrest or lawfully detain people on property. This is handled by the Orange County or Osceola County Sheriff's Department. As for taxes here is how that works. Disney property straddles the counties of Orange and Osceola. The Disney company went to Osceola County Board of Commissioners and that Disney would build their own roads if they got a break on taxes. Osceola said road improvements were the counties responsibility and Disney had to pay their taxes. So Disney ok. Then they took their proposition to Orange County and Orange County agreed. As a result all land in Osceola County is preservation and wetlands and makes know money. If fact it receives a tax credit and federal grants. All money making ventures are in Orange County and therefore Disney skirts by wothout paying taxes.
    REPORTED: Kevin LaPointe 01 OCT 97
    This is in response to the Fun Facts about Disney World about people living on property. I just finished my term on the college program and was informed on my "Job shadowing" day about the "Residents of Reedy Creek Improvement District". There is a trailer park type are off of Reams Road (the road that will take you right past the MK cast parking). Right before you hit the road that will take you to cast parking and disney university, there is a gravel road (on the driver side if you're traveling toward the Kingdom's Cast Parking) that looks like an old abandoned road. If you drive up to the gates, there is a sign that says no tresspassing. It is in this area that cast members live. I think there are 10-15 of theses trailer houses. I also know that there is at least a year waiting peroid to live there. If I remember correctly, it cost $25,000 for the property up front, but rent is only $10/month or some outrageously low figure like that. You'll hear more from me later. Matt P.S. Great Page!
    REPORTED: anon 22 JAN 98
    It's true Walt wanted his own government, one big reason unmentioned is that by following their own building codes Disney could get away with building structures that normal architects and engineers, inspectors and the like would have deemed both impossible and unsound. It would have taken the imagineers much more time and money to convince a regular government that their plans would work. Evidence of he magnitude of this is the Disney Decade. Florida, for probably those "tax" reasons mentioned decided it wanted governing authority back over the Disney property. The Disney Decade was offered to WDW as an exemption from the new governement rules that would change. Any project that broke ground during a certain period of time, to be built within ten years of breaking ground would be exempt. I believe Disney/MGM was the first to be completed.
    REPORTED: Kevin J. Shilling 16 OCT 98
    As many know, Disney property is recognized by the state as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Disney set this up for control. It allows Disney more control over their land, eg zoning etc.
    CONFIRMED: Scott 11 APR 99
    The Reedy Creek Firefighters have been protecting the properties of Walt Disney World since 1968. The Local 2117 was established by the International Association of Fire Fighters in 1972.
    The concept for the Reedy Creek Emergency Services Headquarters building was "a child's view of a fire house." The result is a practical plan with a bold and imaginative exterior boasting a look of whimsical dalmation spots and bright red bricks. SCHENKELSHULTZ, as architect of record, was involved throughout the design process, as well as being responsible for the construction documents and construction administration. STOL
  13. Disney has an air strip called the STOL Port by the Magic Kingdom parking lot. At Epcot, there are 2 Helicopter landing pads behind the Living Seas - one at the Fla. Power Station at the Admin Area. At the Caribbean, there is a grass field used for Ultra Lights
    REPORTED: Paul 05 MAY 97
    The blip on STOL Port holds a lot of mystery and always has. STOL Port is quite a work of art if you know the secret. It was formed as not just an airstrip, but as a test ground for the property roads. It is laid out in sections that comes together at different in different lengths. As a plane lands and rolls over the connecting sections, the bumping from a single axle vehicle makes/plays Zip-a-dee-doo-da. The imagineer who thought of this was rumored to have wanted to do the roads like this, but people did not get it. It is guessed that the problem lay with 2 axle vehicles that distorted the melodies.
    CONFIRMED: anon 01 AUG 97
    On latest editions of Orlando-area street maps, the "secret" Disney airstrip can be seen. It lies just to the east of the monorail track that connects the Magic Kingdom with Epcot, roughly parallel to the track. The strip appears to be under 4,000 ft in length. It appears on maps as a private strip. Possibly, one can see the strip from the top of the Contemporary Resort.
    CONFIRMED: Bob Patterson 04 NOV 97
    The former STOL port airstrip is now used as a staging area for the Mears busses which are used to supplement the normal Walt Disney World busses during times of peak usage (to parks in the mornings, etc.). While on the "Backstage Magic" tour, another person on the tour brought up the airstrip, and the tourguide knew very little about it, but the busdriver informed us of its current use.
    UPDATE: Rob Hamilton 02 JUL 98
    It is on the Jacksonville Sectional Aeronautical Chart. It is refereed to on the map as (PVT) Lake Buena Vista
    UPDATE: anon 24 SEP 98
    I've heard that the road in question is now used as the Bus Testing Area. It may or may not play zip-a-dee anymore, but its Northern end can be seen from the terraserver landsat photograph web page at: http://terraserver.microsoft.com/GetTileByClick.asp?XId=8950&YId=2619&SrcId=1&ImgDate=02/05/1995&ImgSize=0&DSize=0&W=225&H=150&ClickAt=?198,126 There were actually two busses visible on the roadway when the photo was taken, one starting a run (look for the X) and the other at the far end (south) turning about. Several more are parked to the north and one waits on the old taxiway nearby. Also, if you scroll the map to the left, you can see a monorail caught in mid-run between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
    UPDATE: Krin 23 OCT 98
    The STOL strip has been closed and is now used as a staging area for busses.
    UPDATE: anon 24 OCT 98
    As I recall it was to one side of the main parking lot for MK. You can see such a what looks like the landing strip just to the right of the road from the parking gate to Contemporary. You pass the end of the runway when you turn to go to Fort Wilderness, just after the parking gate.
    CONFIRMED: Rich Schmaeng 23 NOV 98
    The STOL airstrip (running adjacent to the parking lot and monorail) is shown on the DeLorme computer map (Street Atlas USA 8.0) as "airstrip" and is shown as being 2,212 feet long when measured, running in a NNW direction between Vista Blvd and Timberline Drive.
    CONFIRMED: Richard Driskill 03 JUN 01
    Last week my wife and I went away to WDW for the weekend. We stayed at the Contemporary for a change and came across the old "landing strip" almost by accident.Ever since reading about it on Fun Facts I have been curious about it. You can drive right by the end of the runway and not even know its there. It looked like a long enough, flat enough strip so I took a chance and drove around the barriers. Sure enough I was on the runway itself, where the taxi area comes to a turn there were 2 Mears buses. From that point the entrance to the Magic Kingdom parking toll is no more than a 100 yards away.
    CONFIRMED: lamar venoy 26 AUG 01
    The private airstrip is true and is still there. You may drive by and not even notice it as you drive by. Just past the security/pay for parking booth to the Magic Kingdom, turn right immediately after going through it and it's right on your left. You can even take a quick drive down it as I did with no one even knowing. It is only used to train bus drivers and stage buses on very busy days. I've also heard rumor that it is used as a helicopter-landing pad for VIP employees and guests. It is no longer shown as a Private airport on the Jacksonville VFR sectional. It used to be shown as PVT, Lake Buena Vista on the sectional up until last year. Being a pilot myself I have flown over the property several times and the strip is very easy to recognize. Since it is no longer shown on the sectional that means the FAA no longer recognizes it as an airstrip, which probably means WDW, has made it inactive. To bad they don't open it up to general aviation pilots the place would always be packed.
    UPDATE: Tim 18 NOV 01
    I have been to Disney each year since 1995 and stayed at Dixie Landings / Port Orleans Riverside each time. Anyway on the buses the drivers often tell you a lot of stuff. Its mainly the older ones. If you stay at the Port Orleans Riverside, French Quarter or Old Key West you pass the end of the Magic Kingdom landing strip. He told us that it was constructed in 1970 when building the Magic Kingdom. The reason was that some of the parts were too big for road transport. It is now used as a bus park.
    CONFIRMED: Stuart Cowper 05 JUN 02
  14. The only official and legal helicopter landing pad at the WDW property is located behind The Land at EPCOT. The air strip AKA STOL Port was used when the WDW company had the dual prop company plane. It is used today for overflow and training.
    REPORTED: anon 10 MAR 06
  15. A portion of the land that Disney bought for Walt Disney World was used during WW II by the US Navy to test new bombs.
    REPORTED: Daron Myrick 01 JUN 98
  16. Fire Protection for the Walt Disney World parks is provided by the Reedy Creek Improvement District Fire Department. This Fire Department is well equipped, with 9 Advanced Life Support Ambulances, 1 Tower Ladder, 1 rear-mouth ladder truck, 2 Brush trucks, 1 Squad, 4 Pumpers, and 1 Tanker. If there was a major incident, the RCIDFD would receive mutual aid from Orange County, Orlando, and Osceola County, and near towns in those counties, such as Vineland, Williamsburg, Kissimmee, and Bay Hill.
    REPORTED: Drew 26 DEC 98
  17. One time while visting I met a firefighter from Walt Disney World and we had a discussion on about their fire department. The Disney World property is protected by a full time paid fire department, the departments name is the Reedy Creek Fire Department. They provide fire protection and emergency medical services to the park and they also respond as mutual aid to the surrounding counties. There are about 200 firefighters, who work on 3 platoons, with one platoon on duty at all times. The firefighters are on duty for 24hrs. and then they are off duty for 48hrs.. At the time there were 4 stations, 2 stations were standard type fire stations and 2 were double wide moble homes. The department responds to about 10,000 calls a year. One of the daily duties of the firefighters is to inspect each kitchen to insure that it is clean and free of defects that could cause a fire, a kitchen that is found to have a fire hazard is not allowed to open until the hazard is removed. In 25 years there has not been a major building fire loss on the property, most of the fire loss comes from automobile fires in the parking lot. One time there was a fire on a monorail that was caused by a tire, but that was not one of the protected structures. The Walt Disney World property has one of the most stringent fire codes in the state, most of the states fire codes follow their lead.
    REPORTED: gary 01 AUG 97
    Reedy Creek EMT prides itself that it can be anywhere on property in 2 minutes or less - a stunning achievement.
    UPDATE: Tom and Renée Shaw 28 DEC 97
  18. I once was looking into a position with Reedy Creek Emergency Services, and I found out that all of there firemen are Florida fire inspectors and that every resort and theme park kitchen is inspected every day before opening. That's alot of kitchens to inspect.
    REPORTED: Andy 22 MAY 97
  19. When researching a college paper, I learned that the accessory roads that lead in and out of the Magic Kingdom are situated so that visitors driving into the park and in the park themselves will never see a maintenance truck ever going by.
    REPORTED: Arthur Zards 29 NOV 95
    CONFIRMED: Brannon Boren 06 DEC 95
    The general roads are actually raised, around the Magic Kigdom. The access roads employ a series of well placed objects (ie: trees, signs, etc) to hide them, in addition to being on a seperate level a good deal of the time.
    CONFIRMED: Nicholas Pappas 23 FEB 97
  20. If you follow the road passed the Conteporary and make a right at the EMS building you can go past the main entrance into the Magic Kingdom for employees, then if you keep following that road you come out by the Grand Floridian. The best part is that security will not stop you if you go the right way, and you get to see where the monorails and Disney railroad trains are kept at night!
    REPORTED: Joshua 03 AUG 97
    See the Monorail and Train storage area from space.
  21. When I was attending college, I worked as a "pilot" on the various boats that carry guests between the TTC, the Magic Kingdom, and the various hotels. These boats and ships (contrary to popular belief) do NOT run on tracks. On occasion, (generally due to pilot error), a boat has run aground on the soft sand bottoms of the lakes. This does no real damage to the boats, but may bruise the ego of the pilot. At the time I worked there (late 70's to mid 80's), if a pilot did run aground, their co-workers unofficially named that area as a reef to "honor" the pilot unlucky enough to run aground there. As "cast members" generally have their first names on their name tags, and are referred to as such by common strangers (guests), it is customary (or was) to call each other by our last names, or nicknames as a gesture of friendship between co-workers. First names were reserved for co-workers we didn't like, or trust, but had to work with! As a result, the "reefs" have names like "Johnson's Reef" or "Smith's Reef".
    REPORTED: anon 20 OCT 00
  22. As you drive up to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, you travel under a small type of tunnel before getting to the bus-unloading stations. Well on a recent fishing trip, we realized that above that tunnel is water. It is the link between Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon.
    REPORTED: Matt 10 JUL 97
    There are three "Water Bridge" at Walt Disney World. They are built the same as a bridge for cars but used for water one is on World Drive just south of the Contemporary Resort. One is on the east side of Epcot Resorts Drive just north of the Boardwalk Resort. The other is back stage at Epcot next to the one on Epcot resorts Drive they are used in place of cart bridges so that the views of the waterways are not broken up by bridges.
    UPDATE: Ron Patterson 11 OCT 97
    See one of the Water Bridges from space.
  23. Water taxis have a single propeller that rotates 360 and have no rudders.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 28 DEC 97
  24. I locked my keys in my car and a fellow by the name of Keith from the Disney Lockshop opened it in nothing flat. Great guy! He told me that this happens about 55,000 times a year at Disney World. No charge!
    REPORTED: TFoster965 04 JAN 98
  25. Unbeknownst to the outside world... there is a sundial in the Team Disney building. The "silo" is actually the world's largest sundial. The interior is totally hollow and open the the sky. The time is read by looking at the shadows on the interior wall in relation to the time markings.
    REPORTED: anon 22 JUL 97
    In reguards to the Sun Dial in the Team Disney Building it is infact a working sun dial. I had taken a Disney by Design tour several years ago and one of the stops was the Team Disney building. There are marking on the inner wall that aligns up to the time of day. There is also a plaque with instructions on converting sun time to the correct time. The sun dial has been certified correct by the world book of records. There are quotes on time from everyone from Donald Duck to Albert Einstine written in the marble slabs used as the walkway in the sun dial. Another thing to note is that the floor is all rocks. It is in fact a Japanise rock garden. There is also a observation platform and a walkway that cuts through the sindial. All to give you a new way to look at time.
    CONFIRMED: Arthur Sanders 13 SEP 99
  26. The cruisers that service the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds and Wilderness Lodge can also serve as tugboats. When the steamboat from Frontierland needs refurbishing, a Cruiser is send back through a water channel (where the Electric Water Pageant barges are stored), through a series of locks, and the steamboat is tied to the stern of the Cruiser, The Cruiser then tows the steamboat out of the water channel, across the Seven Seas Lagoon, through the Water bridge channel, and then back to drydock. The stacks of the Steam boat are removable so the steamboat can make it under the monorail track as it makes its way through the water bridge channel.
    REPORTED: Matt Fierro 08 JAN 04
  27. None of the watercraft outside the Magic Kingdom are on tracks. All boats are fully functional watercraft under the complete control of the pilots. If you don't believe me, ride on them on a windy day, or ask the pilot to prove there are not on tracks. Many would be happy to "prove" it to you. I "proved" it once on a Launch by swinging the wheel back and forth rapdily causing the boat the sway and swerve widly. Guests believed me after that.
    REPORTED: Matt Fierro 08 JAN 04

Lake Buena Vista Area

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  2. Disney built a new housing complex on Meadow Creek Drive near the Vista Way apartment complex to house cast members on the International Programs. Vista Way will continue to house cast members on the College Program, and the new complex, called "The Commons" will house all the internationals (who have usually lived at Vista Way with the CPers).
    REPORTED: Chris 1 FEB 98
    CONFIRMED: Matt Mikulicz 12 MAR 98
    CONFIRMED: Anne Pezzano 31 AUG 98
    As a former WDW cultural rep I've lived at both Vista Way and the Commons. Disney built the second complex in 1998 because of lack of housing space. With the Animal Kingdom, the College Program and the International Program needed more participants and there was nowhere to house them. The Commons started with just 2 buildings but now has about 20. That's where all of the Cast Members of the countries around World Showcase live. The Commons are located right beside that big church at Little Lake Bryan. There are scheduled busses to get to your work location. They are very nice Condo-style, a lot better than Vista Way which desperately needs renovations; being almost 20 years old!
    CONFIRMED: Caroline 29 OCT 99
    The Commons are up and running now. They house almost every international program student (some still live at vista way). The international program is almost completely seperate from the college program, now. Although The Commons are much nicer on the outside than Vista Way, they have no pools or computer room and they are already falling apart only a year after their construction. Commons residents have all access to Vista Way, but VW residents are not allowed on the grounds of The Commons unless signed in by a resident. The Commons are located just behind Little Lake Bryan. There is talk of a completely new complex that will rejoin the college program and international program (because the segregating of cultures is being heavily bashed). It is said that the plans have been drawn up and that the complex will be massive.
    CONFIRMED: anon 31 OCT 99

Discovery Island

  1. One of Walt Disney World's oldest attractions has fallen prey to one of its youngest. Discovery Island, an 11-acre zoo whose attendance has been hurt by last year's opening of Disney's 500-acre Animal Kingdom, will be closed on April 8, exactly 25 years after it opened.
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99
  2. The closure of Discovery Island means an end to Disney's second-oldest Central Florida attraction and marks the first time the company has closed one of its ticketed attractions.
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99
  3. Discovery Island -- the last home of the now extinct dusky seaside sparrow -- has been in the works since Disney announced plans for its fourth major theme park, which opened in April 1998.
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99
  4. Discovery Island was originally called Treasure Island. The island in Disney's Bay Lake, near the River Country water park, was named Raz Island from 1900 to 1937, after a family that lived there. The island also was the home of Florida's first radio disc jockey, Radio Nick, in the late 1930s, according to "Since The World Began," a history of Walt Disney World. Disney bought the island, which was a hunting retreat at the time, in 1965. When opened as Treasure Island, it was Disney World's second attraction, following the 1971 opening of the Magic Kingdom.
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99
  5. The closure of Discovery Island means that Disney must find homes for the park's inhabitants, which include more than 130 species of animals. Most are birds but the park also has Galapagos tortoises and ring-tailed lemurs. Some of the animals will be moved to Animal Kingdom, while others will be transferred to zoos around the country.
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99
  6. Disney said no plans have been made for the 11-acre island. Insiders have said a number of ideas are being considered, including:
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99
  7. Discovery island was home to the few remaining dusky seaside sparrows. The last of the species died in 1987.
    REPORTED: The Orlando Sentinel 26 MAR 99

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