Top 10 Disney World Scents

Have you ever found yourself thinking about buying an air freshener with a Disney scent on it? Well I have…and it’s a little embarrassing (to everyone else of course) The effect that a smell has on your brain can never be under-estimated. As a lifelong fan of the parks, the way that the Imagineers have played into the nostalgic sensors within the limbic system is mind-blowing and completely brilliant!

There are a handful of attractions within Walt Disney World that can turn something as basic the smell of an apple pie into something that the merchandise teams can monetize;)


Pirates of the Caribbean Boats
Pirates of the Caribbean Boats – Photo by Steps to Magic

The water rides at the Magic Kingdom all belong on this list, but I picked specifically the aroma of the queue and ride track from the Pirates of the Caribbean. This is due to something that Disney just has to add to the atmosphere, as water usually just doesn’t smell as satisfying as the POTC boats!

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Haunted Mansion Stretching Room
Haunted Mansion Stretching Room – Photo by Steps to Magic

This one I can’t explain, but the stretching room is by far and away the BEST pre-show on property…and the scent adds to the ambience. As you walk into the room, your goal is to find the secondary door, because getting to the Doombuggies before everyone else is actually satisfying. Once you’ve located your spot in the room, it’s all about taking it all in….the dampness and the smell of a mansion taken over by ghosts leaves so much to the imagination!


Mickey’s Philharmagic at the Magic Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

I can’t explain this one, but when I eat apple pie in the outside world, it actually brings me back to the hundreds of times that I’ve seen Philharmagic! It’s such an amazing feeling to know that something as simple as pie can make me nostalgic and dreaming of escaping torrential rain storms and through the doors that AutoMagically open for guests:)

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Most have put the original Soarin’ over California scent into one of the best, but with Soarin over the World joining the offerings at the Land Pavilion in Future World, time will tell if the Orange Groves, Vineyards and Ocean scents will ever be forgotten!


When I go on vacation, I have one shampoo bottle that I use all week long…but it lives in my suitcase. Every morning, the MouseKeeping cast members leave a new soap and shampoo for the following day. Magically, it disappears;) When I get home, my hair smells like Disney World!


The Imagineers definitely outdid themselves when they looked at how to plus a classic Disney dark-ride with Spaceship Earth. How did they know back in the late 70’s during construction that almost 40 years later there would be a Facebook fan page for the scent of smouldering ashes of a burning Rome? Go figure! Journey into Imagination

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Main Street USA actually compiles a ton of different scents…but they all add to the full story and combined are so much better than alone.

#8 Popcorn is one of the best smells to enter your nostrils as each breath has got to be like 100 calories! (Granted, when you’re walking 20-30,000 steps a day, you need a little more energy;)) Imagine walking into a movie theatre….and multiply that by a few thousand times and then you’re on the level of WDW popcorn!
Baked goods, ice cream (#9), coffee, hot dogs (#10)…they all find their way into the scene of one of my favourite lands in all of the Magic Kingdom!

These smells, along with many others (good or bad) are all part of the story that makes Walt Disney World as magical as anywhere else on earth!

Did we miss any? Let me know via social media @StepstoMagic!

Dustin Fuhs
I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality!

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