What special effect can you find on Madame Leota’s tomb outside the Haunted Mansion? And what secret item can you find when riding the People Mover? We’ll let you in on some of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom’s secrets and hidden gems here at Capture The Magic.
Today we’re going to share 77 Magic Kingdom secrets scattered throughout this Disney World park that most people don’t notice because they are too busy heading towards rides, shows, shops and dining reservations . So let’s get started and see how many of these Magic Kingdom secrets you already know.
Money Tossed In The Magic Kingdom Fountains
The first on our list of Magic Kingdom secrets involves money and wishes. No you won’t be able to have your wish granted for more money here but have you ever noticed that in almost every water feature at Magic Kingdom – whether it be a well like the one behind Cinderella Castle or a water ride like Pirates of the Caribbean – you will find hundreds of coins just sitting there at the bottom? Do you ever wonder what Disney does with all that money?
Disney World Cast Members regularly collect those coins and they are donated to various children’s charities throughout Central Florida. So the next time your child wants to throw some loose change in Cinderella’s wishing well at Magic Kingdom, go ahead and let them! It’s going toward a good cause.
Windows On Main Street
When it comes to Magic Kingdom secrets this is a really cool one. When you’re walking down Main Street, U.S.A. do you ever look up at the buildings on either side of you and notice that there are names on most of the windows that sound somewhat familiar? Next time, slow down (but not in the middle of the street or you could get run over by a crowd of tourists) and take a look at what’s written on those windows. They are tributes to different Imagineers who helped create Magic Kingdom.
You’ll find Walt Disney and his brother, Roy O. Disney, Marty Sklar, Mary Blair, Marc Davis, X Atencio and John Hench among others listed on the second story windows. What’s really interesting is that the Imagineers are paired with fake businesses that reference the contributions they made for the Walt Disney Company. For example, above the Confectionary you will find “If We Can Dream It – We Can Do It!” – Roy O. Disney – Dreamers & Doers Development Co.
Pretty neat, huh?
Flag Retreat On Main Street
Did you know that at 5pm every day, there is a flag retreat ceremony that takes place at Main Street, U.S.A. town square? One of the best Magic Kingdom secrets is that you can gather around as the Dapper Dans sing the Star Spangled Banner as the American flag is lowered each day at Magic Kingdom.
The flag is then properly folded and given to a Veteran who is selected from the numerous guests of Magic Kingdom that day. It’s a beautiful ceremony that pays tribute to the veterans for their service and sacrifice, and should be experienced at least once when you’re at Walt Disney World.
Flags On Main Street U.S.A.
Speaking of flags, what about all the other American flags on Main Street on top of buildings and such? Well guess what? They aren’t real! They either are missing a star or a stripe, therefore, classifying them as fake flags.
If they were real flags then they would need to be taken down after each day but since they are not real American flags, they do not need to be lowered and taken down each day, unlike the one in Town Square. So next time you’re on Main Street take a look at the flags and see if you can tell what’s missing on them.
Piano at Casey’s Corner
Keep walking down Main Street and you might hear some music coming from Casey’s Corner. Chances are you are listening to the sweet sounds of ragtime pianist Jim. Jim has been playing the piano outside of Casey’s Corner in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom multiple times a day for over 30 years. So the next time you stop at Casey’s for some corn dog nuggets, stick around and catch one of his performances.
Lady & The Tramp Paw Prints
No, there is no secret Magic Kingdom breakfast menu here but if you’re walking in front of Tony’s Town Square restaurant at the front of Magic Kingdom, look down and you will notice paw prints. Those paw prints belong to none other than Lady and Tramp, the two doggies from the file of the same name.
This used to be one of the more unheard of Magic Kingdom secrets but word has gotten out about Club 33. What is it? It’s an exclusive members only club that originated in Disneyland as part of Walt’s desire to have a space where he could entertain his friends and business colleagues away from the hustle and bustle of the theme park while still being inside the park.
There is a Club 33 lounge in each of the four parks at Walt Disney World which is only accessible via a “secret” door with a RFID Magic Band reader. You’ve probably walked by these doors several times and never even noticed them. The one is Magic Kingdom is located in Adventureland right over the bridge and to your right. Want to see what’s behind that door with the “33” on the scanner?
Well the only way you can do that is by paying the $33,000.00 initial membership fee (after that it’s only $15,000.00 annually) or by being lucky enough to know someone who is a member and being their guest. Meanwhile you can always just take a selfie with your wrist by the 33 scanner and pretend.
S.E.A. Room At Skipper Canteen
Also in Adventure Land at Magic Kingdom you will find Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen restaurant. Skipper Canteen has all kinds of cool sight gags all over the restaurant because, of course, it is associated with the world famous Jungle Cruise attraction.
But are you aware of the secret dining room that once housed the gatherings of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers, or S.E.A.? In order to gain access to this room, you must walk down a hallway lined with bookcases, and behind those bookcases is the secret passageway that would have led to the secret dining room.
While you are walking pass the bookshelves, take a look at the titles of the books. Pretty much every book has some sort of joke or nod to a Disney Legend or Imagineer.
Airplane In Jungle Cruise
Now let’s head over to ride the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland. As you are enjoying your cruise you may notice the back half of a plane along the shoreline near the hippo pool. You also may be wondering where the other half of that plane is and you’d be surprised to find out that it used to be part of the now closed Great Movie Ride as the front half of the airplane in the Casablanca scene. Disney Imagineers actually took a real plane and cut it in half to use in these two attractions.
Chessboard In Pirates Of The Caribbean Queue
As you’re walking through the queue of Pirates of the Caribbean, you may have noticed there are two skeletons playing chess. Rumor has it that they are locked in a stalemate, neither one able to win the game, and have been sitting there for so long that they are now skeletons. We’ve heard that sometimes Disney Cast Members will move the chess pieces, therefore changing the game and making it possible to indeed win.
Hidden Mickey On Splash Mountain
Hidden Mickey’s are everywhere at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, but did you know there is one right before the 50 foot drop on Splash Mountain? As you’re cresting that final hill, look to your left and you will see Mickey’s profile coming out of the rocks, with his nose sticking out right above Cinderella’s Castle. And then you drop!
Liberty Square Riverboat Special Rooms
The Liberty Square Riverboat, the Liberty Belle, is a one of a kind ride in Magic Kingdom. It’s a great place to relax during the half-mile tour around Tom Sawyer Island. While most people automatically head toward the railings for a scenic view, did you know there is a room hardly anyone goes into on the second floor deck?
It has comfy booth seating and is decorated with lots of artwork featuring New Orleans and the Mississippi River. So if you’re looking for a place to sit in the shade for the 20 minute cruise, we highly suggest checking it out.
The Brown River
This might be the, well, grossest of the Magic Kingdom secrets but you might have noticed that right down the middle of Liberty Square in Frontierland there is a brownish concrete patch that looks like a river. In fact, it does represent a river – a river of waste. there weren’t any bathrooms back in the Colonial times, so people used to just toss their waste outside, which would mix with animal waste, causing a flowing brown river to run down the streets. Disney Imagineers obviously went that extra mile to be historically accurate!
Oak Tree In Liberty Square
Its kind of hard to miss the the huge Liberty Square Live Oak – it’s over 100 years old – but what you might not notice is that there are 13 lanterns hanging from it’s branches. Those lanterns represent the 13 original colonies. Speaking of lanterns, you might notice in one of the upper windows of one of the houses is a pair of lanterns.
This is to signify “one, if by land, and two, if by sea” the signal used to warn that the British were coming and it was by sea. Who says going to Walt Disney World isn’t educational?
Haunted Mansion Wedding Ring
There are several hidden secrets found at the Haunted Mansion. The first one you should look for is the wedding ring that used to belong to Constance Hatchaway, the Black Widow Bride. When you’re in the outdoor section of the queue and right before you enter the Haunted Mansion, look down. There embedded in the pavement is the wedding ring.
Madame Leota’s Gravestone
After you find the wedding ring, take a look to your left and you will see Madame Leota’s gravestone. Her eyes are closed – but wait! Did she just open her eyes and look around? Yup, she did.
Haunted Mansion Ghost In The Window
If you’re brave enough to ride Haunted Mansion at night, remember to take a look back up at the windows of the building after you exit. They say that every once in a while you might be able to spot someone, or something, walking past the upstairs window. Spooky…r family.
Mr. Toad Easter Eggs
This one is a nod to an old ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. When you are walking out of Haunted Mansion, pause to look at the pet cemetery to your right and in the very back you will see a gravestone dedicated to one Mr. J. Thaddeus Toad. As you may know, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was an original Walt Disney World attraction but was closed down in 1998 and reopened as The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Speaking of, there’s another tribute to Mr. Toad when you go through the first set of doors on Pooh: there’s a picture on the wall of Mr. Toad handing over a deed to Owl.
Looking for something to keep the kiddos busy while taking a break? Head over to the best bathrooms at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (or all of Walt Disney World for that matter), the Tangled bathrooms and look for hidden Pascal’s. There are 10 of them and since he’s a chameleon, he does a really good job blending into his surroundings.
Sword In The Stone
If you head on over to Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel in Fantasyland behind Cinderella’s Castle, you’ll see the famous sword in the stone. You’re probably going to see little kids and dads trying to remove the sword with no luck.
However, if you are found to be worthy (and 9 times out of 10 it’s a kid who is worthy) you might be able to actually remove the sword from the stone.
If you are behind Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom you will notice a fountain with a statue of Cinderella wearing her maid outfit sitting in the center and a painting behind her. Now as an adult, it just looks like a very nice statue and fountain with a pretty mural.
However, if you look at it from a child’s perspective, you see something very different. If you duck down a bit, you can see that the crown from the painting is sitting on top of Cinderella’s head. This is to signify that even though she is not wearing her ballgown and glass slippers, Cinderella is still a princess.
Wish Book in Pinocchio Village Haus
This next Magic Kingdom secret is one that not many people know about, but is super fun for kids. If you go inside Pinocchio Village Haus and go into the dining area all the way in the back and to the left, you will find the Village Haus Wish Book.
This is where kids can write down a wish in hopes that it will be granted by the Blue Fairy. It’s cute to flip through to see what other kids have wished for and I don’t think anyone would stop you if you added your own wish as an adult.
Hidden Mickeys In Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
There are several hidden Mickey’s to be found on Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. But there is one right when you exit the ride that’s actually of Steamboat Willie. Steamboat Willie is made up of multiple rocks and you have to get down on a child’s level to really see it and it’s not just a head – it’s Mickey’s head and full body.
Bonus: You can also spot a hidden Nautilus in the rocks as you are entering the outdoor queue. The Nautilus is a reference to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which is the ride that was bulldozed at Magic Kingdom when they were making room for new Fastasyland.
Music On Main Street
You know that little alley way right by the Crystal Arts shop? Well if you walk down that alley you will find a window that advertises private voice and singing lessons. If you listen real close you might hear someone playing a piano or the Citizens of Main Street harmonizing. It’s just one of those little details about the Magic Kingdom you would miss unless you happen to be looking for a quiet spot away from the crowds.
Walt’s Original EPCOT Plans
One of our favorite rides at the Magic Kingdom is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. And one of our favorite parts about riding the PeopleMover (besides getting to go inside Space Mountain) is getting to see the model of Walt Disney’s original plans for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT. It’s just really cool and something we look forward to seeing each time we ride.
Hidden Photo Of Walt Himself
When you’re at the Magic Kingdom it’s always a great big beautiful tomorrow…and you should keep an eye out for a picture of Walt Disney that’s hanging up in the daughter’s bedroom in the iconic Carousel or Progress located in Next time you are enjoying the wonderful and relaxing Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland.
Looking for hidden Mickey’s? There are at least four in the final scene (a nutcracker, a peppermill, a painting, and a plush). One of the coolest hidden gem is found right behind Sarah’s computer where there is a note on the bulletin board that says “Marty called – wants changes.”
This is a nod to Imagineer Marty Sklar who served as President and Vice Chairman of Imagineering from 1987 through 1996.
The Kiss Goodnight
Of the Magic Kingdom secrets, this is one of our favorites and goes unnoticed by most guests mainly because it happens after the rides have stopped and the crowds are heading out: The Kiss Goodnight. This isn’t something you will see at any other Walt Disney World park.
It’s a sweet little send off that plays 30 minutes after Magic Kingdom officially closes and it’s basically Magic Kingdom’s way of bidding guests a goodnight and fond farewell. Cinderella Castle is lit up and looks gorgeous as usual, and it’s a nice way to end your busy day. So take a moment and enjoy this magical moment.
This list is really just a handful of Magic Kingdom secrets that Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has to offer (there are books and websites dedicated just to finding hidden Mickeys!), but it’s a start. If you want to learn more things about the Magic Kingdom or Walt Disney World then check out some of our other articles and/or podcast episodes.