Walt Disney World

Fun Facts

Phsst: Fun Facts
Holidays


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... ?. Also, checkout Disney Useless Facts. If you are interested in rumors (some true, most not), checkout Disney Urban Legend Reference Page and Urban Legends Archive.


Disney World Secrets



General Interesting Facts about the Walt Disney World

Phsst: Fun Facts
Holidays

  1. Judson Green is the president of Walt Disney World Attractions
  2. Dianne Ledder is the public affairs manager of Walt Disney World
  3. Rick Sylvain is Disney World's manager for print publicity
  4. All Disney Stores' cash registers automatically ring up park theme park tickets as Non-taxable transactions. The sale prices of park theme park tickets are EXACTLY equal to (WDW signed price +6%), thus yielding a price equal to what you'd pay at the park gate.
    REPORTED: Jonothan Pryor 17 JUL 97
  5. Since its opening in 1971, Walt Disney World has never closed its doors until Hurricane Floyd. Floyd, a Category 4 storm, was forecast to place hurricane force winds over Walt Disney World early on 15 Sept 1999. Disney closed its doors in the afternoon of September 14 to prepare and ride out the storm and stayed closed to the public on September 15. Two notices were provided on the web. You can read a copy of the first and second ones. Luckily, the actual hurricane track stayed futher out to sea but did produce gusty winds over Walt Disney World in the early morning. Disney's park workers spent Tuesday securing benches, trash bins and boarding up windows. At Animal Kingdom, park employees used large nets to capture birds, which were moved to a warehouse to ride out the storm. Other animals' shelters are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. Additionally, Port Canaveral required all ships, including Disney Cruise Lines, to evacuate the Port. All Disney ships, the Magic and the Wonder were on the high seas during the storm. Only essential employees were asked to report to work, Disney World spokeswoman Diane Ledder said, and guests who were staying at Disney's campgrounds were given shelter at the convention center at the Contemporary Resort. "Because the storm is so big and powerful and it truly is unpredictable, we are erring on the side of safety and making sure that everybody can be in a place of safety when the weather gets worse," Ledder said. It is the first time in Disney's 28-year history that it has been forced to close its parks. Like Disney, Universal has never shut down its theme parks for a full day in the nine years it has been operating in Florida and Orlando International Airport also shut down for the first time in its history. Theme park resorts brought in everything from free food to travel consultants Tuesday to keep guests happy, with guests at Disney's on-site resorts even getting Animal Kingdom to themselves Wednesday afternoon when the treat of Floyd abated. Because of Floyd, the Disney Wonder arrived and departed Thursday at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Disney Magic returned Friday as scheduled to Port Canaveral, Fla. Disney World theme parks remained closed to the general public Wednesday but reopened on the 16th. Many restaurants, shops and other attractions at Downtown Disney reopened Wednesday afternoon. For more information about hurricanes consult the Hidden Mickeys bookstore.
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 16 SEP 99
  6. The National Geodetic Survey has a first order GPS station on the Disney property stamped as station "RATWORLD".
    REPORTED: anon 18 JUN 97
  7. The names of 2 of the approach procedures that all aircraft follow into their arrival at Orlando International Airport are named GOOFY TWO and MINEE TWO. Any pilot that flies into there can confirm this
    REPORTED: George Nichols 19 MAY 97
  8. As of the week of Thanksgiving 1996, not all Walt Disney World Cast Members could be found in Orlando. If you call the WDW reservation line, you have a 1-in-3 chance of speaking with a WDW sales agent working a hundred miles away--in Tampa, Florida. Approximately 400 Cast Members work and live in Tampa at the Disney Reservation Center. DRC Tampa takes approximately 40% of resort reservation calls and nearly all WDW Dining calls. But if you ask any agent you speak with where they are located, we'll all tell you the same thing...'right here at Walt Disney World'.
    REPORTED: Jennifer Smith 11 MAR 97
  9. Disney World employs more people on one site than any other company in the US. During peek times it ranges between 55,000-60,000 which is about half of the Disney employees worldwide
    REPORTED: Tommy Morgan 21 AUG 99
  10. Where do WDW cast members hangout and unwind after work? A little known hangout for Disney World cast members (and former cast members) is the Big Bamboo Lounge in Kissimmee. The building isn't much too look at, but inside there are thousands of cast member name tags and other donated memorabilia on the walls.
    REPORTED: anon 22 JUL 97
    Cast members still go to the Big Bamboo, but also the Lake Buena Vista Ale House and of course, Pleasure Island on Thursdays. Most of their partying goes on (at least w/ the college program) at the apartments they live in at Vista Way and The Commons.
    CONFIRMED: anon 27 JAN 01
  11. The attractions that originated in Walt Disney World and were duplicated in Disneyland is Space Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree, Mickey's House, and Innoventions (coming in new Tomorrowland in the Carrousel Theatre).
    REPORTED: Alyson Lamble 11 OCT 96
    CONFIRMED: Eric Ryan 10 DEC 96
  12. At the Walt Disney World Resort, more than 3,500 different designs make up a working wardrobe of about 2 1/2 million pieces. Yet no one wears a uniform. Every 'cast member' dons a "costume" -- and a smile -- every day.
  13. Monorails
    1. The voice on the monorail system says, in Spanish, "Por favor, mantenganse allejado de las puertas". Loosely translated it means "Please stand clear of doors", and comes immediately after the English version.
      REPORTED: JEFELIX 08 FEB 97
      On the monorail, the Spanish version of "Please stand clear of the doors" is said "Por favor mantenerse al lado de las puertas." Translated literally that means "Please keep yourself to the side of the doors."
      CONFIRMED: Dondi 02 AUG 99
    2. The monorail system could be one of the most expensive rides in Walt Disney World. The price per mile of track exceeds 5 million dollars, that's just for the track.
      REPORTED: Barry Eytcheson 13 AUG 96
      The monorail tracks cost 1 million dollars a mile (for double track). When Disney bought the monorail trains 11 or so years ago, they cost 11 million each, they have 7 of these monorails.
      UPDATE: Matt Griffin 08 MAY 00
      A conductor announced that they had to shut down the monorail to reboot a computer. All power & lights were off for about two minutes. When the monorail got going again, the automated annoucement was out of sync. rebooting in the middle of the track is one of the ways that the announcements get out of sync.
      REPORTED: Peter Shifrin 20 JAN 97
      There are at least three ways the monorails generate the narration you hear during the journey. Older monorails use 8-track looking "carts" (the same used at radio stations, I believe) and are triggered by the operator manually. One monorail has a hard disk system for playing the audio, while another has its audio on CD.
      REPORTED: Allen Huffman 12 MAY 96
      I don't think this is any big secret, but did you know that Space and Big Thunder Mountain only move at 26 mph? Pretty slow for a roller coaster. What is the fastest ride at Walt Disney World?.... The Monorail of course.
      REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
      Monorail's top speed is 40 MPH.
      CONFIRMED: Dan 12 JUN 96
      The monorail's top speed is 55 mph, however they cruise at 40 mph. There are 12 monorail trains at Walt Disney World which start circulating around at 5 am. The monorail trains also switch tracks occasionally. The track that spans from the TTC to Epcot Center is at an average altitude of 21 feet.
      CONFIRMED: Josef Faulkner 28 JUN 96
      I once had a Cast Member ask a group of guests if they could guess the fastest ride at WDW. They guessed the new slide at Blizzard Beach, Big Thunder Mountain, ect. The answer was, "You're on it right now." The Cast Member was a Disney bus driver.
      UPDATE: Amy Kubersky 25 JUL 96
      Rode in a monrail cab to EPCOT and talked to one of the operators/drivers; Don't expect any new extensions in the near future. Significant problems with the Bombadier trains, they only run them at 40-45 mph to minimize wear & tear -- yet they are still wearing out too fast! ( 7 years vs. 15 years of planned use )
      UPDATE: Timothy O'Massey/A> 04 MAR 98
      The contract with Bombadier is "broken/cancelled" - no new trains or parts are coming.
      UPDATE:
      Timothy O'Massey/A> 04 MAR 98
      The monorail is no longer the fastest ride/attraction at Walt Disney World. The new Test Track at EPCOT Center is faster than the monorails.
      UPDATE:
      Anthony H. 13 APR 98
      I have been reading the speeds posted for monorail travel. The actual speed that a monorail travels with passengers never exceeds 21mph. If it does the emergency shutdown system kicks in and the monorail stops on the track. It must then be restarted completely.
      UPDATE: Joshua 25 JAN 01
    3. There has been some construction done on expanding the monorail system between EPCOT, the Studios, Downtown Disney, and Animal Kingdom. Trees have been cleared and pylon footers have been poured for some time. When EPCOT was built, pylon footers were buried through world showcase so they could expand to the Studios. If this happens, it will cost disney over $1 billion dollars, and to go from Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom you will need to take 3 different monorails: One from Magic Kingdom to TTC, one from TTC to EPCOT, and one from EPCOT to Animal Kingdom. The 'old' monorail system and the 'new' monorail system will be totally independent each having their own trains, staff, and maintenance facilities. In other words, there will likely be two monorail yellows, two monorail greens, and so on. There's really no reason to ever bridge the systems as the existing shop is completely landlocked and cannot expand to support the extra monorails.
      UPDATE: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01
    4. The voice on the monorails is Matthew Henson, an Epcot Guest Relations Cast Member. He is also the voice of the Orlando Airport shuttle to the gates.
      REPORTED: anon 01 JUN 97
      I would like to set the record straight on the voice. Throughout the 1970's and into the 1980's the voice heard on all Disney monorails, as well as most all the voiceover work for all the parks was the legendary "Voice of Disney", Jack Wagner. I have had the privilege of working with him many times through the years. One interesting side note is that Jack's home in Southern California was one of the first uses for a direct audio link from a remote recording studio. It was put in by Disney in the 70's and connected a voiceover booth in his home to Studio D at Disneyland in Anaheim. He frequently would receive last minute calls for special events and was able to just walk over to the booth and "beam" it directly to the park. Anyhow, with the amount of work that Florida was generating after Epcot and the Studios opened, plus the fact that Jack wanted to head towards retiring sometime, other voice talent was sought out locally in Florida. There have been several people used in voiceover work since then, one of them being Kevin Miles, who is one of the original members of the Voices of Liberty at Epcot, and can still be heard there daily. Kevin recorded the monorail voiceovers after the Grand Floridian was built, and his voice was still there until the 25th Anniversary rolled around, when it was updated by one of the new voiceover talents. The amount of voiceover work at the parks now is astronomical, and it is shared by a couple of people who have "the voice", including Kevin. Interestingly enough, though, Jack's voice can still be heard welcoming everyone to Orlando on the monorails at the airport terminals.
      UPDATE: Tom 25 JUL 97
      Since we have determined that it is the same person that does the monorail announcements at WDW and Orlando International Airport....this is OIA response to my question on who this person is:

      Dear Mr. Drozdowski:

      Thank you for your interest in the Orlando International Airport.

      No questions are weird!!  The Aviation Authority contracted with Mr. Jack Wagner (internationally renown to be the official "voice of Disney") to provide the greetings aboard our people-mover systems.  We chose Mr. Wagner because of his reputation in being a voice of hospitality and friendliness. The recordings for the original side of the airport (gates 1-59) were done prior to opening the new terminal in 1981.  The expansion greetings (gates 60-99) were recorded in 1988.  We can not provide you a direct copy of these tapes.

      Unfortunately, Mr. Wagner passed on in 1994, but I believe his son has taken up in his father's work.  You may try to contact him at the last telephone number I have on record, which is (number removed).

      In my own personal web surfing I have found similar recordings by Mr. Wagner at a "Sounds of Disneyland" site, but I can not recall the direct URL address for that particular site.  A search engine with an appropriate query should be able to lead you there.  I found his monorail, train and other announcements from the California park at the site.

      Dave Wegman Communications / Events Coordinator
      Office of Public Affairs
      UPDATE: Keith Drozdowski 17 AUG 98
      The voice on the monorails (with the exception of the PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE DOORS, which is still Jack) is another gentleman, but to my knowledge Kevin never did the spiels. Kevin is from my home town and I've talked to him several times. Jack Wagner unfortunately died several years ago.
      UPDATE: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01

    5. the monorail system at WDW reaches maximum speed at 45mph, during operations. however the monorail its-self can reach speeds upward of 100 mph. what people dont relize were these were originally designed to act as trains, not rides. the reason they only go 45 in the parks is because they do not need to go any faster. ask to ride in the front with the driver next time your there and theyll let you. then you can ask him anything you want :)
      REPORTED: Mike Mazzeo 06 MAR 98
      CONFIRMED: David Faber 28 SEP 99
      The monorail can get up to 45MPH coming out of the Contemporary resort, if the driver knows what he's doing. The monorails are actually governed to 40, but with some trickery to the VOBC (Vehicle on-board controller...aka the COMPUTER) you can make it think that you are actually slowing down when you are really speeding up. The monorail always follows the speeds postwalking the beamway, more than likely the driver would be terminated for giving such an instruction...unless he cannot communicate with Monorail Central to inform them of a fire.
      UPDATE: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01
    6. I was at Disney World in June 1998. It was my 8th trip there, (I'm 16). It is a tradition that everytime we go there we ride in the front of the monorail. There was only room for two more people in there because a couple of people were already in there. So my little sister and I got in and our parents rode in the other car. There were two drivers in there evaluating the breaks. They stopped the monorail after the Grand Floridian entrance, because they were checking the friction to make sure it would stop because something about the breaks were messed up. Although they told the people on the monorail that they were waiting for the traffic to clear to pull into the TTC center. I wonder if any of the passengers realized that there were no other monorails on the tracks?
      REPORTED: Jennifer Stephens 12 JUN 98
    7. I have been to Walt Disney World four times since 1994, and on our first visit, in March 1994, and our most recent visit, in October 2000, my family and I have gotten to sit in the front of the monorail. The first visit, we went with my aunt and uncle (who go to WDW 2 times every year) and they asked if we could sit in the front since it was our first time. On the latest visit, my best friend came with us (her first visit), and she wanted to sit up front, too, so we asked again and got to sit up front. The secret is to get to the monorail line early, so you can get to the cast members first and ask to sit in the front.
      REPORTED: Sarah 03 FEB 01
    8. In the event of a fire in mid-track on a monorail, the driver is supposed to get out of his cab, through the side door, climb onto the roof of the train, and go to each car to help people out. He then takes a rope, which goes over the nose of the monorail, and people climb down, then walk along the track to safety.
      REPORTED: Jeff Schultz 01 MAY 97
      The safety (fire) exit for the monorails is actually located on the ceiling. You can see the panel with two handles, which pulls down so that the occupants can climb on top of the monorail, walk or crawl down to the front of the monorail, and walk off of the monorail onto the track if necessary.
      UPDATE: Josef Faulkner 14 APR 97
      It takes approximately 35-40 minutes to empty a full (365-body) train, which is why you wouldn't necessarily do it. When I left the company, they were taking volunteers to test a new train-to-train evacuation, by pulling one train beside another and having the people cross the area between. There is no provision for people with babies or wheelchairs. We do have a system for an emergency, and in that case Reedy Creek would help those cars first with a cherry-picker.
      UPDATE: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01
    9. Actually I was at WDW, and thile I was riding in the front of the monorail a maintenance guy was up there, I asked him what the fastest a monorail can do. He told me the story about how when they first got them, they removed all the fail-safes and got it to 69 m.p.h. on the straightaway at Epcot.
      REPORTED: Jeff Schultz 23 JUN 97 pict from hiddenmickeys.org pict from hiddenmickeys.org
    10. The monorail operator isn't required to let you sit in the front, but if you ask nicely and you are the first person(s) to get there, he will usually oblige you. The operator's cabin can seat 5 people comfortably, or 7 uncomfortably. Most of the seating is in the form of a U-shaped couch that faces backwards. If you do manage to get seated in the cabin it's a real treat. The operator has very little to do and most of them like to talk.
      REPORTED: Anthony Spataro 27 MAY 97
      I'm sure it's not that big of a secret, but you would be surprised at how many people don't know that you can ride in the front of the monorail with the driver if you simply ask.
      CONFIRMED: Chris Chappa 29 MAY 97
      When the driver comes into the station with his arms folded in a "X" against his chest. The passengers in the front car will not be getting off so no one else can sit up front. A monorail operator told me this secret.
      CONFIRMED: David Kalina 15 JUL 97
      Sometimes if you ride in the front of the monorail, you receive a special conductors card from the conductor of the monorail.
      UPDATE: Anne Pezzano 31 AUG 98
      CONFIRMED: mickeyden 29 JUL 99
      CONFIRMED: Mark 06 MAR 01
      The pilot is required to allow guests to sit in the cab if there is space, unless there is some sort of a problem. However, if you are rude to the cast and he/she feels that it poses a threat to the other guests aboard, you will not be allowed. The front cab holds just 4: four heads, four bodies, four souls. A hand-held infant counts as a body. The monorail pilot will actually hold up a fist to tell the platforms that the front cab guests will not be getting off. This can only happen on the resort beam, because on Express and EPCOT the guests MUST get out.
      UPDATE: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01
    11. Walt Disney World's Monorail line was upgraded from Mark 4 to Mark 6 Monorails in 1991.
      REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 DEC 98
    12. Walt Disney World's Monorail line is 13 miles long and has 12 monorails each carrying 300 people per train.
      REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 DEC 98
    13. Walt Disney World's Mark 6 Monorails travel on two tires per car at each end. The tires are the same that are used on large cement mixing trucks.
      REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 27 DEC 98
    14. >The reason why it is bumpier in the front and back cabs is that there are steering tires that guide the monorail on the beam. Because the other cars have already started to bend to follow the beamway in the other cars, you don't feel the tires going side-to-side as you do in the front or back cabs. Another thing to remember is that when you are in the front (or back, at Disneyland) you can see the beam, so you know that you are going side to side, whereas in the cars you aren't real sure, and are sitting in a different way than in the coaches. Just a side-note: guests are permitted in the back cab ONLY at Disneyland. Never attempt to get into the back cab of a monorail at Disney World as you could be escourted off property for doing so if you are caught. And believe me, once you get into the back cab, you won't find the latch to get back out...so you'll be stuck in there until a Cast Member escourts you out (which can be a bit rude, sometimes...like when we kill power on the beam to kick you out.) So again, NEVER help yourself to the back cab -- it's very dangerous.
      REPORTED: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01 Precast
    15. Walt Disney World's original Monorail tracks were cast offsite but the Epcot extension was cast on property.
      REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 27 DEC 98 Precast
    16. While waiting for the monorail at TTC, I asked a Cast Member what would happen if the electricity went down for some odd reason, making the monorail unusable. He said that backup generators would kick on allowing the cars to travel. I pressed him further to say what would happen if the generators broke down. Apparently, there are three or four gasoline-powered tractors that can travel on the rails that can push the cars into their stations. It worried me that the emergency pop-out windows did not have any kind of ledge. I was wondering what would happen if they stopped mid-transport. Some of those rails are pretty darn high!
      REPORTED: Todd W. Lamkin 27 AUG 96
      If a monorail breaks down at Walt Disney World, there is a special tractor stored in the Monorail Barn to pull the broken monorail back for maintenance.
      UPDATE: Tom & Renée Shaw 27 DEC 98
      These tractors can pull a fully-loaded train (364 bodies) up the hill to the Contemporary at 40 Miles per hour. (PS: The train weighs 64 ton empty) It is also possible, however it's NEVER BEEN TESTED, to do a train-to-train tow. This is something we would only do in an emergency, or if there was something wrong with the switchbeams and we couldn't move the work tractor out.
      UPDATE: Brent Andrew Hendricks 31 MAY 01
  14. Busses
    1. Disney has 187 busses
      REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
    2. The oldest bus is 19 years old, squeeks, and has over 1,000,000 miles on it.
      REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
    3. Some of the busses have travelled over 1 million miles!
      REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
  15. Rehearsals for the shows are done when the park is closed usually from midnite till 6 or 7am. This is when the park looks its best because all the lights stay on
    REPORTED: Sorcermic 22 SEP 96
  16. Pilots can land at Walt Disney World, but only Walt Disney World VIP pilots can take off! You have to dissassemble your airplane and truck it out! (Seems a little extreme for a private field, but that is really what has happened to pilots foolish enough to make a non-emergency landing there.)
    REPORTED: Dr. Chuck Kowalewski 25 NOV 96
  17. I worked for a week at the little-known Harry Gray Conference Center inside the Living Seas at Epcot. There I learned there is a whole other "park within a park" at WDW. The "park within a park" is comprised of a collection of conference rooms, corporate-sponsored lounges as well as having instant entry to most attractions. This "park within a park" is also accessible to those who are issued VIP passes for WDW. In 1995 I had the pleasure of touring Epcot and the Magic Kingdom using VIP passes, which gave me the perks I just mentioned.
    REPORTED: Bill 25 SEP 96
  18. All corporations that sponsor attractions in the Parks and Resorts have VIP lounges in each attraction at Epcot. The old Sperry Univac is now the home to Guest Relations for Walt Disney World. I think it is still located in Innoventions.
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
    When GE sponsored Horizons my family and I were able to get VIP treatment because my dad sold GE products. All he had to do was walk to the ride exit, show them a card, and we went into a room with refreshments. There, we could watch TV, snack, or even spy on people using a camera that was mounted on the Horizons building. We could look throughout the whole park! We were able to be first in line for the ride. It was great!
    CONFIRMED: Rob Warden 14 JUL 96
  19. Ever wonder where the stars of Disney attractions go when the final curtain falls? Here are some answers.
    1. Mr. Ham and Mr. Eggz, stars of the late, great "Kitchen Kaberet", now reside in the giant Easter basket used in the easter parade. They are brightly painted and face down and inwards so the parade-going masses might miss them as their faces are not visible, but they are surely there. I saw the float at rest and you can still see their faces, complete with Mr. Eggz humongous, stupid grin.
    2. Mr. Ham and Mr. Eggz aren't the only former EPCOT stars currently residing in the Magic Kingdom. The Giant Bananas from Kitchen Kabaret are stored in the basement of the Haunted Mansion.
      REPORTED: Safari Steve: Jungle Skipper 02 NOV 99
    3. The lifelike chickens, who for years covered the road in the famous car crash scene of the mourned "World of Motion," have found a new home at Mickey's Toontown Fair.

    REPORTED: Andrew Hamsher 19 AUG 96
  20. The Chinese Theatre is the center of the MGM studios, Cinderella Castle is the center of Magic Kingdom. The center of the Animal Kingdom is going to be a gigantic tree. The reason they are where they are is to serve as visual magnets to draw guests down Main Street USA and deeper into the Magic Kingdom, or the Studios. Spaceship Earth, while in the middle of Future World offsets the American Pavilion in the World Showcase.
    REPORTED: anon 14 JUN 96
    CONFIRMED: Paul Williams 30 JUN 96
  21. This is real. On the Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studios, Hollywood, there is a boat that the dinos have already attacked, and floating next to it is a pair of Mickey Mouse ears!
    REPORTED:
    Jerm Good 13 JUN 96
    CONFIRMED: Tom Kinzer 19 JUL 96
    CONFIRMED: Kevin Murphy 12 NOV 96
    CONFIRMED: Andrew Schweiger 18 NOV 96
    It did not originate there, however. It was originally, and is still used at Universal Studios Florida on the JAWS ride. When you come across "Gordon in Amity Six's" half-eaten boat, you can see a Mickey Mouse hat constantly floating by the sinking vessel. Apparently, Universal Studios Hollywood decided to use the same thing because it worked so well here in Florida.
    UPDATE: Christian Cetnarowski 15 APR 97
    There are indeed Mickey ears floating in a half-eaten boat in the Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios.
    CONFIRMED: Lisa Fenwick 20 MAY 97
    CONFIRMED: Leo Alvarez 09 DEC 97
    Yes it is true that on the Jurassic Park attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood as well as the Jaws attraction at Universal Studios Florida there are Mickey ears to be found amongst the carnage. I work for Universal Studios and can testify that there is an unbelievably fierce rivalry between Universal and Disney. Some of my co-workers are even afraid to decorate their offices with disney memorabilia they collected while working on projects at Disney, for fear of retribution.
    CONFIRMED: Jason 06 JAN 98
    In regards to the Mickey ears sighting at the Jurassic Park ride in Universal Studios Hollywood, I am surprised to see that no one caught the NAME on said hat. It reads "Michael". My girlfriend and I believe that the raptors first meal happened to be none other that good ol' Michael Eisner himself.
    UPDATE: Randy Nelson 26 JUN 98
    CONFIRMED: future imagineer99 30 MAR 99
    The floating (half eaten) MICKEY ears at Universal Studios Jaws ride were put there because of a rivalry between WDW & US concerning their studio tours attraction. I guess Disney's looked almost identical to the Universal one and they opened it before Universal. This fact was found in the book Keys to the Kingdom.
    UPDATE: anon 24 AUG 00
  22. Walt Disney World uses a set of public frequencies for their transmissions, and if you know them you can listen in with a normal scanner and hear great things. For instance, each park has a location near the front with wait times for various attractions (it's to the left of the Partners statue at The Magic Kingdom, it's the large red light sign in front of Splashtacular at Epcot, and it's right near the entrance of Sunset Blvd at Disney). They get this information from their radios. By having a scanner and earplug on you, you can know instantly what ride times are and thus head to the short ones. This trick came in real handy for us, though I'm not sure Disney actually allows scanners in the park. (They also use a code system which, once you understand it, lets you know what attractions are breaking and being worked on - Disney is amazing at keeping things going.)
    REPORTED: Allen Huffman 12 MAY 96
  23. Walt Disney World also has its own telephone company, Vista-United Telecommunications. It is a regulated utility in the State of Florida. VU is responsible for all of the telephone and satellite telecommunications at Walt Disney World, and they link communications with the other Disney properties in California, New York, and Europe.
    REPORTED: MR RICHARD A OLKO 25 APR 96
    Vista-United payphones have a Mickey on them. There is also a Mickey on the Vista-United phone books.
    UPDATE: Tom and Renée Shaw 17 JAN 00
    As part of the consolidation in the industry, Vista United Telecommunications was sold to Smart City Telecom in October of 2000. Smart City provides Internet and networking services for hotels and convention facilities in Las Vegas and locally in Florida at the Orange County Convention Center.
    REPORTED: Richard Olko 20 NOV 01
  24. The new ticket systems installed at Walt Disney World are identical to those at Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris uses plastic ticket shells, and Walt Disney World uses both paper and plastic. I helped train the Disneyland Paris cast in tickets. No matter what direction you put the tickets in, it can read it: upside down, backwards, right-side up, whatever! Interestingly, this was the same type of ticket system removed from the Eiffel tower years ago. An Italian company makes it. At Disneyland Paris and at Walt Disney World) when a person checks into a resort and receives their hotel ID that is not only be their room key, but also their park admission, transportation pass, and charge card. They are working on the conversion now at Walt Disney World.
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
    I worked for Disney on the College Program as a Park Greeter. While I was there, a new system for Seasonal and Annual Passholders was put into use which was called BioMetrics. Before the system was installed, the passholders with ATS tickets were required to show identification. The new system was placed on top of the blue ticket box. It was a silver metal box which passholders with Adult tickets were required to place their index and middle fingers of their right hand in. Inside the box was a series of cameras which took pictures of the fingers noting bone structure. Though some complex, yet quick process, a number was compiled from the pictures and assigned to the magnetic strip on the back of the ATS ticket. Every time the ticket was used, the number would have to match for entry. The system was thoroughly tested and found no two fingers are exactly alike. Passholders I encountered believed the new system took fingerprints or x-rays. They also became upset when the process took more than fifteen seconds. Passholders who knew how to do the simple process correctly loved it.
    CONFIRMED: Dianna N. Williams 24 JUN 96
    The biometric palm readers have been working for the past couple months, though sometimes they are quite sensitive.
    CONFIRMED: Josef Faulkner 27 JUN 96
    My plastic resort card was used for my room, meals, park admission, and charging.
    CONFIRMED: Scott Ambro 05 JAN 98
    I stayed at Grand Floridian in and got one card, which was my admission ticket, room key, transportation pass and concierge pass all in one.
    CONFIRMED: japheth 21 MAR 98
  25. Ever wondered how the pass system works?
    Main Gate pass: Blue - admit 3 guests or 3 dependents for 1 day (12 times a year - 3 times a quarter) -- limited admissions, limited days. Most full time hourly cast have these.
    Silver pass: admit 3 guests or 3 dependents for 1 day -- unlimited days, limited admissions. All salary cast gets these as well as upper level management, supervision, etc. Also, persons with 15 years of service get these.
    Gold pass (I only saw one of these once when working the pass gate) unlimited admissions, unlimited days. Eisner has one and all Park presidents and Disney company execs. have them. They rarely use them because they are such big wigs that they get people in anyway for free.
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
    The Main Gate Pass had been modified when I was last at the Magic Kingdom (2 weeks ago). Cast Members can still only use it 12 times but it's not quarterly anymore so they can be used whenever.
    UPDATE: Suzanne M. 22 JAN 96
    Employees with a Silver Main Gate Pass can no longer admit guests for free during Easter week or the week between Christmas and New Years. July is also restricted, to allow for ABC employees to admit guests.
    UPDATE: Andrew Jackson 03 MAR 97
  26. If you have a Gold Walt Disney World football shaped parking sticker on your car you can enter into any backstage parking area with whomever you want in your car. You can even park at the mouth of the tunnels!
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
    I recently walked through the Contemporary Resort parking lot when I got to see one of these parking stickers. It was rectangle shape with small red Mickeys going across in rows, and down to the end of the sticker. It had 97 on it and a serial number.
    CONFIRMED: Austin Smith 29 MAR 97
    CONFIRMED: Eve Gizelbach 02 JUN 97
  27. How to spot a Disney Cast Member? Each Cast Member has a parking sticker on the "Inspection Sticker" corner of his/her windshield. Usually Yellow, Blue, Red or Silver. with a prominent "Walt Disney World" at the top.
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
  28. Next time you're at Walt Disney World for more than a day, hide a penny anywhere, under a trash can, on top of a partition in a bathroom, etc., chances are, it will be gone the next day! Supervisors use this trick every once in a while to see if the cleaning crew is doing their job.
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
  29. Boat Rides.
    1. Inside the Pirates ride, each boat can be diverted into a canal-like section where the water can be drained, and maintenance can be performed (better than lifting those suckers out of the water). I suppose this is also true on the other "boat" rides.
      REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
      Yes, there are "turn-offs" for the boats in the rides that have them. I can't say for sure for "It's A Small World", as I didn't notice it, but it's probably there. As for Splash Mountain, the turn off is just before the load/unload area. Many a time when the logs have been backed up, you can see it to the left. As for Pirates, I remember seeing it, but I can't quite remember where. I think it was just after the scene where they're auctioning off the women, but don't take my word for it. Either way, you can't miss it, as it's a poorly-concealed black curtain in an archway to the left side of the boat.
      CONFIRMED: Robert Patrick Steere 19 NOV 95
      The entrance is on the left side, opposite the drunk offering a drink to the kitty, and after the auction scene. Boat storage runs parallel to the ride through the burning city. The boat storage exit is after the burning city as guests enter the jail scene. (I remember one Pirates evacuation that resulted after the flume switchgate at BS Exit broke, blocking the ride's main flumeway.)
      UPDATE: Robert Niles 23 JAN 96
      CONFIRMED: Julie Crutchley & Mary Glenn Crutchley 11 JUN 96
    2. Working at Walt Disney World this summer I had to be in North Service Area, behind Magic Kingdom. The steam boat from Liberty Square was out of the water. I also saw the ferries that run between the Magic Kingdom and the Ticket and Transportation Center out of the water.
      REPORTED: anon 03 DEC 95
    3. In an incredibly ill-advised move, attractions management once sent male Pirates hosts into the water at a point after load to push passing boats in an effort to increase the ride's hourly capacity. (This was back in 1989-90 - and yes, I was one of those hosts...) Pushing the boats didn't do nearly as much good in increg guest counts as having good, fast-talking Cast Members at the load positions, and safety reps finally put an end to the practice.
      REPORTED: Robert Niles 23 JAN 96
    4. There is a cypress tree located on the watercraft launch/motor cruiser route that is somewhat famous with the watercraft department. When I worked the college program in '89 I left my "mark": blue deck shoes that are part of the costuming for watercraft. When a person leaves the department, they used to get the opportunity to tie their shoes together and hang them on the cypress tree near River Country. When I worked there full time in '91 and '92, my old shoes were still there! Obviously, they must clean the tree every now and then.
      REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
    5. If you fall into the water, you are automatically required to get a tetanus shot.
      REPORTED: Glenn Nickerson 12 JAN 96
      It is not true that you must have a tetanus shot if you fall in the Rivers of America. While I worked there, a Tom Sawyer's Island cast member I knew was hot dogging on a utility boat and ended up flipping it. Though the guy was laughed at for weeks, no tetanus shot was required, but his supervisor did give him a service award for making him laugh so hard.
      REPORTED: Craft 13 DEC 01
  30. Cast Members have the opportunity to purchase all the lost and found goods not collected after a waiting period. I had a friend who purchased a Rolex, a new camera, and stroller for less than $150. Yes, the Rolex was real. This area is called Property Control, it is in the big blue tents north of the Disney University. I have lots of goodies around my house in Georgia that have Kingdom origins.
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
    "Property Control" is a real and very nice place! It is where all the damaged products go, as well as any lost and found not claimed. Cast Members recieve a 75% discount there and can find some _great_ stuff if you look hard! I got a Gonzo for $5 because it "had a scratch on its eye"...I have yet to find that scratch!
    CONFIRMED: Nicholas Pappas 23 FEB 97
  31. Disney has its own system of indicating really important people: the PX system. When Sandi Patti, a Christian/Gospel singer, ate in the Castle she was a PX. When Mr. Eisner ate there he was PXXXXX. P stood for Priority... and the x's indicated importance.
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
  32. The original Tomorrowland music by Mannheim Steamroller was replaced in '91 by the same area music used at Tokyo Disneyland. The music for Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris is also used around Spaceship Earth and Future World.
    REPORTED: W. Todd Stephenson 11 JAN 96
  33. Besides the fact that Donald Duck is almost never at any of the character breakfasts at Walt Disney World, he is not even listed as one of the members of the toontown Hall of Fame. Disney Cast members say he is there sometimes but they also agree that there is a list of about 200 characters in the Hall of Fame(including Daisy Duck)but Donald is not there. If there is anybody out there who is dying to see Donald but can't find him, there are a few places to look. First there is the Cape May Café at the Beach Club (the only character breakfast I have ever seen Donald at). Second, there is Mickey's Toontown fair in the Hall of Fame. Third, you can go to Donald's boat in Mickey's Toontown Fair where he is sometimes. And Fourthly, you can watch one of the parades at the Magic Kindom and usually see him there.
    REPORTED: Dr. Lloyd Makarowitz 15 AUG 97
  34. I was told by two cast members that WDW will not make ANY personal announcements over the loudspeakers for any reason. Not to notify guests of injuries, lost children, missing persons, anything. They don't wish to disturb or distract the other guests. The only thing that they will make an announcement for is if someone dies or is sent to the hospital for something major. So if you hear an announcement for a visitor - its always for something terrible.
    REPORTED: Eric Crist 21 AUG 97
    I can confirm that Disney does not make any announcements over the loudspeaker (for a missing child, lost friend...). They only make an announcement for a death or extreme emergency. I worked in guest relations and this was the policy.
    CONFIRMED: Amy Keating 28 SEP 97
    CONFIRMED: Diana 29 JUL 99


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