Again...all of the tips below are from a book I recently purchased
The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Planner by Susan Vaness & Simon Vaness
I realize some of you may already be familiar with some of these tip/secrets and that’s GREAT. But, shame on you for not sharing it with me sooner :)
Main Street, USA
- Meet Mickey & Minnie at Town Square Theater. Go backstage for some one-on-one time as Mickey and Minnie prepare for their next show. You can even reserve time with Mickey by using a Fastpass. ***I've always seen some characters near the entrance to Main Street, USA but had no idea you could Fastpass for Mickey & Minnie.
- A few doors down from the firehouse you’ll find Harmony Barber Shop. For a very special memento, toddlers can get a My First Haircut certificate when Disney cuts their hair for the very first time! ***I hope to do this with Persephone if her locks are long enough to need a trim - ah hell, maybe I'll want to trim them anyway just to get the certificate :)
- Flag Retreat Ceremony – Each day at 5pm the Main Street Philharmonic band plays a medley of patriotic music. You can sign up at City Hall to be chosen as the days veteran or military special guest.
- The light fixtures on Main Street progress from gas lamps to electric lights. It’s a virtual timeline from the 1800’s into the Industrial Revolution.
- Planning on an all-day stay at Magic Kingdom? Book a late breakfast seating for Crystal Palace (character dining 10:30am) and you may be able to eat enough to last through to dinner.
- Tired of the hustle and bustle of Magic Kingdom? Take a boat to Fort Wilderness and enjoy a quiet, crowd free lunch at Trail’s End then return when you’re ready.
- La Chapeau – enter the store from the door closest to Tony’s Town Square. You’ll find a phone in a small room on the right next to the door. Pick it up and you’ll hear a “party line” from a time when many neighbors shared the same phone line. Stop and listen – you’ll hear gossipy conversation! ***I'm totally going to try this one!
- The Robinson Family (of Swiss Family Robinson) were chased off course by pirates in the book - - notice their tree house is just down the way from Pirate’s of the Caribbean. Coincidence?
- At Pirate’s of the Caribbean, check out the lava rocks to the left of the entry. The biggest one resembles a skull.
- Inside the POC gift shop, look for a key hanging on a Chinese vase, just to the left of the exit leading to the restroom. You can also find a medallion stuck to another vase, on another high shelf to the left of the entry into Pirates League. Both are original props from Pirates of the Caribbean series.
- In the courtyard between Tortuga Tavern and Pecos Bill’s, look for bullet holes in the wall going up a stairway.
- Stuck in Frontierland during a parade? Use the boardwalk along the river to avoid fighting your way through people.
- The Country Bear Jamboree was one of the last things Walt Disney saw before his death. Walt loved the idea of musical bears. ***This is a cheesy show, but I love it, even more now that I know Walt loved the idea. It's also a great way to get out of the heat!
- The Liberty Bell hanging in Liberty Square is actually cast from the same mold as the original bell in Philadelphia, PA.
- In 2011 The Haunted Mansion received a make-over, giving a “ghostly bride” storyline. When you are in the stretch room at the beginning of the attraction you’ll see a photo of a woman holding a rose sitting atop a headstone. Notice she’s not really upset about poor George? It was this detail that inspired the idea of a five-time, unremorseful bride. ***My all-time favorite-est WDW ride ever ever ever.
- Lots of children are afraid of the dark – One way to help them in darker rides/attractions is to give them a small light up toy that they can use.
- On the corner of Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe there’s a sign advertising voice lessons by Ichabod Crane – directly across the street is Sleepy Hollow Refreshments…ha!
- All the money in the bottom of It’s a Small World actually goes to charities like Give Kids the World and Kids Miracle Network.
- Prince Charming Regal Carousel – Cinderella used to “own” the carousel, but Prince Charming took possession of it in 2010. As part of his story, you’re involved in medieval competitions. The horses are all galloping instead of walking or trotting and some are wearing special gear used in jousting. The horse wearing the golden ribbon was never intended to be “Cinderella’s”, cast members started the myth and it has stuck with the story.
- The sorcerer in the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from Fantasia is named Yen Sid, which is actually DISNEY spelled backwards. ***You're not a true WDW fan if you didn't already know this!! They even tell you this secret on The Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studio's.
- Don’t use a regular pen for character autographs. A fat pen/marker is easier for them to hold. Also remember, they can sign your t-shirt or hat, but only if you’re not wearing it.
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority (The people mover) – with Walt’s recognition of “green” before it become popular; the people mover is powered by linear induction using electromagnetic energy. ***I rode this ride for the first time EVER in 2012 - - I can't believe I waited so long, I just never noticed it. I love it :)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – you don’t have to keep pulling the trigger to shoot at the targets. Just hold the trigger in and the blaster will shoot continuously.
- Have children afraid of fireworks? You can watch WISHES from the beach at Polynesian Resort. ***Hmmm....I'm thinking of using this tactic - wonder how many other people know about it? lol.
- The Resort-Only monorail out of Magic Kingdom stops at the Transportation and Ticket Center at the end of the day. Use it if the regular monorail has a long wait.
- Mickey’s Halloween & Christmas parties start at 7pm, but you can enter the park at 4pm using your special party ticket. You should be given a wristband allowing you to remain in the park when everyone else is asked to leave. ***I would LOVE to do Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, but it isn't going on during Thanksgiving - BUMMER.