The Magic Kingdom is filled with more than the big E-Ticket attractions like the Haunted Mansion and the Jungle Cruise. Some of my best memories involve discovering a hidden gem that I’ve never seen before…and then sharing it with all of you!
THE KISS GOODNIGHT
This may be a little cheesy, but I purposely didn’t experience The Kiss Goodnight until the last night of my contract at Walt Disney World before coming home back in 2008. It’s not like it wasn’t on my list – but it now stays top of mind when thinking about experiences that will bring a tear to my eye.
What is it? Right after closing at the Magic Kingdom, make your way to Cinderella’s Castle and you’ll hear a familiar voice come over the speakers. Walt Disney’s 2-minute message of dreams, magic and family sends you home with a smile on your face and pixie dust in your heart:)
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FRONTIERLAND SHOOTIN’ ARCADE
Hidden Gems are things that you may walk right past and never really notice. This is the definition of the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade…to a ‘T’. Next time you’re wandering around the pin trading gold mine (ie the Pin Trading store and DVC Kiosk), take in the old fashioned skill-testing activity!
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WINDOWS ON MAIN STREET
The Magic Kingdom is filled with historical significance, and sometimes it just takes someone saying “look up” and you’ll discover a world that you’ve never noticed before.
As you’re walking down Main Street USA, the buildings are adorned with a Hall of Fame in a way that only Disney can do. Each window serves as credits for some of the many people who contributed to making the Walt Disney Company what we have today. From Imagineers to Designers and Park Management…they’re all there! (Even Walt Disney himself)
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CINDERELLA’S WISHING WELL
Walking around Cinderella’s Castle is a pastime for photographers and storytellers like me, so this gem is often forgotten and missed by folks who stay on the main paths. On the right-hand side of the castle is a path that leads to Fantasyland…but there’s a great photo opportunity with a Wishing Well!
Take the time to stop…you’ll thank me later:)
Remember – this is Cinderella’s Castle! Hidden gems with elements from her story are found all over the place. From Gus Gus and Jacques (the mice) adorning the columns in the breezeway to the next hidden gem…Cinderella’s Fountain.
Located behind the castle (and next to a Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom portal), this fountain is more about getting the perfect angle when the crown is placed on Cinderella’s head. Such a great detail (and awesome photo!)
The gardens that connect Fantasyland & Liberty Square provide a great hiding spot for a number of hidden pascals. In fact, we’d like to share more, but if you want to see the details that make the folks at Disney Imagineering excited to work on a project…it’s things like this that blend right into the background!
PS We’ve counted 10, but that was when we were craving a Dole Whip;)
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LIBERTY SQUARE WINDOWS
Taking a cue from an earlier gem, the concept of “looking up” when walking through the Magic Kingdom will come in handy when you’re wandering through Liberty Square.
What are you looking for? The windows! The shutters are crooked and that’s because during the period of time that the area is set in provided an understanding that the metal pieces had to be turned into ammunition for war-time activities. Folks would take the hinges of the shutters and replace them with leather, which would stretch over time…causing the slants!
LIBERTY SQUARE WALKWAYS
Another great detail in the area surrounding the Haunted Mansion is the ground. Disney is all about providing authentic storylines, so the stone and concrete gives away to a reddish stone. This is a nod to the 1700’s, when people would actually dump sewage into the streets.
Yea…that kind of detail!
PRINCE CHARMING REGAL CARROUSEL
Next time that you’re thinking about which horse to ride during your ride on the Carrousel, look for the stallion with a gold ribbon around the tail. Not only is it a cool detail…it’s also Cinderella’s Horse!
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TOM SAWYER’S ISLAND
Remember Tom Sawyer? I think it had something to do with Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement…but for those of us who want to go back to the time when the biggest movie genre was the Western, we have Tom Sawyer’s Island!
Originally designed to include an attraction, the island is now accessible only by the free-floating rafts that cross the Rivers of America. Definitely worth the adventure if you’re a photographer or want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds for a while.
THE LIBERTY BELL
Cast from the exact same mold as the original Liberty Bell in Annecy-le Vieux, France by Paccard Fonderie is a piece of history that fits perfectly into the story of Liberty Square!
The bell that Disney has on display was unveiled just in time for the 1989 Independence Day Celebration.
Hope that you’re enjoying these fun Disney tips and tricks!