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Hidden Treasures at the Magic Kingdom

Friday, April 29, 2011

You know what the only good thing about this time of year here in Orlando is?

('Cuz it's definitely NOT the 100 degree weather. [Yes, it really did hit 100 this week. FAN ME NOW.])

It's the fact that the Magic Kingdom has been staying open 'til midnight or later.

Awwww yeeeeeaah.

About a week ago John and I headed over there at 10:30 at night, ie, the time when it starts to cool off a smidge. Sure, the humidity is still at 3,000%, and it never gets under 75 degrees, but at least the sun is down. And they sell ice cream on Main Street. Which we ate at 1:30 in the morning, before catching the last tram out to our car.

Awwww yeeeeeah.

Anyway, the other day we made dinner plans with some new friends at the Columbia Harbour House, and I brought my camera to grab a few detail shots:

Gee, I wonder why? Heh. I'm so predictable.

You guys know I'm all about the details at Disney; I just love finding and photographing the little things we usually walk right past without a second thought.

Disney restaurants usually have great theming, too, so anytime you eat at the parks try to take a minute to walk around and take it all in.

Oh, and if you ever eat at Harbour House there's only one place to sit: on the bridge upstairs with windows overlooking the walkway from Fantasyland on one side, and the rivers of America on the other. Unless the park is really busy you'll probably have the entire area to yourself, and it's a great cozy spot that most folks never discover. In fact, it almost makes up for the lousy tuna fish sandwiches! [Zing! Sorry, Disney.]

After dinner we wandered through the new queue at the Haunted Mansion (amazing - check it out online if you can't come see it in person) and then over to Splash Mountain...

...where I waited outside snapping photos while everyone else got drenched. (I'm not a big drop person. Or a roller coaster person.) I love all the lanterns in the trees at the queue, though, don't you? We have a giant tree in our backyard - bigger than these - and it's my dream to someday have it wired for hanging lanterns like this. It's so dreamy, like Lothlorien!

Next I want to show you my two favorite hidden treasures in the Winnie the Pooh ride. If you like hidden mickeys and park trivia, then you're going to LOVE these. (Assuming you don't already know about them, of course!)

The first is found at the very entrance to the queue:

Photo via DIS Unplugged - hit the link for lots more pics of the updated queue.

Dizgeeks will recall that this giant tree has been moved. It used to be in a playground across the main walkway, where - as you longtime dizgeeks will recall - once upon a time the 20,000 Leagues ride used to be.

When the tree was first built, the Imagineers decided to leave a small homage to the ride it replaced: a tiny imprint of the Nautilus, tucked away where even those who are looking for it have a hard time finding. Eventually, though, those people will locate it above the right-hand doorway and take a picture for you:

Ta-da!


And inside the ride, there's an homage to another attraction: the one Winnie the Pooh replaced.

That's a picture of Mr. Toad (of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride) handing Owl the deed to his house. To find it, you have to look to the left in the very first room of the ride. It's near the entrance, so you may have to turn around and look behind you to catch it.

(In Disneyland in California, WtP replaced the Country Bear Jamboree. So in one of the rooms on the ride, if you look up and behind you you'll see the three mounted animal heads - the ones that used to sing in the Jamboree - up on the wall. You'd never spot them if you weren't looking, though!)

And finally, that most elusive treasure of all:


Ghost Tigger! OooooOOoooo!

;)


Ok, that's all for now! I hope you guys don't mind my Disney ramblings. I even have a few more tidbits for later, if you like these. Since so many of you have been e-mailing me lately for Disney advice on upcoming vacations, I thought sharing a few of my favorite often-overlooked details would be fun. So, let me know if you want more sometime!

Posted by Jen at 1:55 PM Labels: ,

59 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for these hidden treasures! I'm going to do a 5-month internship at Disney World this Fall and I can't wait to explore the park and find and find all of the hidden gems Disney is so known for.

    Also, I'll trade your triple-digits for the rain and snow we are STILL getting here in Minnesota. It finally got up to 60 today and hallelujah, I was literally dancing in my front yard with my dog.

    Thanks for keeping it geeky real!
    - Kacie :)

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  2. oh oh oh, you just made my head explode. I love HMs. And 20K was my favourite ever ride (look, I can prove it: http://are-you-flowin.blogspot.com/2010/08/rip-20k-sob.html). And now you tell me there is a hidden Nautilus???

    I think I need to start saving up for another flight to Florida! Wish it wasn't so expensive to get there from England nowadays :(

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  3. Jen, non-locals remember 60,000 Leagues Under the Sea, too! I loved that ride as a kid. :)

    I lived in Orlando for about two years (2003-2005), and I worked at Epcot for a summer. My husband doesn't get all the fuss over Disney. Showing him all this cool stuff is helping me to convince him that WDW isn't just for kids. Keep it coming! :)

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  4. Really Jen, if you ever come to Europe, you should come visit the Efteling in the Netherlands. You WILL love it, I promise.

    Most of it is made in the style of Anton Pieck.

    Should you ever decide to come, I'd be happy to show you around the park, taking you to the stunning places most people miss, and even translate the Dutch audio. (Nearly all text is available in English, French and German too, they're very international!)

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  5. Disney! Disney! Disney! More! More! More!

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  6. I love the Disney posts! Even though we're West Coasters and just a jump away from Disneyland, we just LOVE Disney World.

    We went in February and - inspired by EPBOT - I picked up every pressed penny I could find. An Epcot pressed penny charm bracelet is SO in the works!

    Keep the Disney updates coming!

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  7. I LOVE your Disney ramblings! I went to WDW last year for the first time and the only thing in Magic Kingdom that I genuinely loved more than it's Disneyland counterpart was Haunted Mansion. I heard about the queue changes and it's been killing me that we went last summer and not this summer. I've been dying to see it. Where online is a good place to view it?

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  8. @ Adinda - my parents lived in Eindhovan for about two years shortly after I was married, and I think they went to that park! I remember them mentioning it, and my mom brought me back a little fairy box. I would love to see it in person some day! I'll be sure to look you up when/if I do. :)

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  9. @ Erica - good point! I should go change that to "longtime dizgeeks," huh? [rushing off to edit]

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  10. @ Jessica - There are lots of photos and a video walkthru here. Enjoy!

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  11. They replaced Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? Noooo!

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  12. As someone who has never been to Disney, and wants to go, I LOVE your Disney posts. I live vicariously through your Disney adventures.

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  13. I'm a HUGE dizgeek (have been for my whole life) and it's always a thrill learning new things about anything Disney. I know a lot of trivia and usually-overlooked-things and am always on the lookout for some new tidbits. :) I knew about the ones you mentioned today, but I am still FAR from knowing even close to it all! Like you said, there are so many wonderful details, hidden and not-so-hidden, that no matter how many times you go you get a new experience. ♥

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  14. If you're looking at tree lighting, give serious consideration to LED light strings. Round here they're only available around Christmas time, but they're a lot brighter for the power than incandescent bulbs, and stringing them is a whole heap less trouble.

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  15. Yay! I love Dizgeek stuff!! I am so jealous that you guys can just go for an evening since you're so close. I devour Disney trivia and am addicted to Yesterland.com, too.

    We were going to Disneyland in March, but I had to have an emergency surgery (yeah, real nice) so we had to postpone it til May. We haven't been to a Disney park in 8 years, and I've been having serious Dizgeek withdrawal. But we were busy having a couple babies. :) And now that they are 5 and 3, and mostly past the public meltdown stage, we are finally going back. Yay!!

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  16. I love hearing about stuff like this! One of the best times I had at Disneyland was when I went with a roommate who had grown up in Anaheim. She introduced me to a lot of secrets, like the fun stuff to do in the line for Indiana Jones. (Don't you just love that Disney works to make even standing in line entertaining?) She also introduced me to the deliciousness of the Monte Cristos at the Blue Bayou and mint juleps at New Orleans Square. I'm jealous of those of you who live so close! The overbearing adult part of me says it would probably lose some of its magic if I went too often, but the majority of me thinks that would take a very long time. Thanks for letting me live it through you!

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  17. My family are Hidden mickey geeks. We have a set we always have to find everytime we go...or at least I do :) I remember when Winnie the Pooh went in and my parents noticed the Mr. Toad picture. Totally awesome on Disney's part. Didn't know about the Nautilus imprint...definately hunting for it next time!!

    PS...TOTALLY EXCITED FOR THE POOH MOVIE!!!! <3

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  18. Awwww yeeeaahhh... I definitely want more. I can't get enough Disney info since I can't get down there (CA) more than every 3-4 years. I have to live vicariously through the lucky Dizgeeks who get to go whenever they want. Hmmph.
    AngieN24

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  19. Those hidden gems on Pooh are great. I'm going next month and will have to look for them. Yay for Dizgeeks!

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  20. I recently began reading "My Year with the Mouse" - it's a blog dedicated to doing everything there is to do at Disneyland. She also wrote about her visit to the "mouse-in-law." She has quirky humor, and finds out interesting tidbits and things off the beaten path. And her kid is adorbz.
    http://myyearwiththemouse.com/

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  21. I'll trade weather with you. It's still snowing in Idaho.

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  22. I love all your disney posts!! I can't wait for when I finally go to WDW.

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  23. Jen,

    I have never been to Disneyworld in Florida, but I have been to Disneyland in Anaheim.

    I don't know if this is new information, but the Telegraph machine in Tarzan's Treehouse (In Disneyland) is reciting Walt Disney's Inaugural speech from the opening of Disneyland in morse code on a loop.

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  24. We're going again (finally!) the last week in Ocotber and I am absolutely DYING of anticipation. We got to book all our dining this week. I don't remember the treehouse by the Pooh Bear ride; it must have gone in within the last 7 years. I saw the video of the new queue area for the Mansion & cannot wait for that, either. My favorite attraction.

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  25. Since I don't think I'm EVER going to afford to go to Disney, I have to live vicariously through your blog.

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  26. I LOVE The MK at night! It feels like another world. Hover I don't envy you your weather! I would rather have snow.

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  27. Happily, while were at Dland last month, my good friend and Dizgeek accompanied us on Winnie the Pooh and told me to turn around JUST in time. I had been lamenting the loss of Bear Country just a few minutes earlier, so I was so excited to see them!

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  28. Disney is the one thing I miss about living in Florida. Thanks for the geeky trivia.

    I remember the 20000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. I'm still kind of sad it is gone.

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  29. I'm coming to America from Australia in June specifically to go to Disney World, and this post has just made me even more excited! I can't wait!

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  30. Country Bear Jamboree is gone? I loved that one!

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  31. When I saw the picture of Pooh's house, I was positive you were gonna show a picture of the hidden mickey on the inside! I snapped a picture of it when I was there in February. Oh, and where is the ghost Tigger?!?! I totally missed that!

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  32. Keep the Disney posts coming! Love it, now that we have our first child, I'm just waiting for Fantasyland to get more completed (and my daughter to get a little older, like 1) before we make our next journey. Love dizgeeks!

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  33. Extended park hours are the BEST!! My hubby and I were at the Magic Kingdom till 3am on Christmas Day this year. It was freezing in FL that day (like men covering the topiary in blankets cold), which made the ginormous, oozing cinnamon roll at the Main Street Cafe at 1:30am even that more delicious!!!

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  34. We love Disney and visit every year. Please post away! Somewhere I remember reading that you were thinking of posting your experiences as a Cast Member? Yes, please!

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  35. We were just there on Good Friday! I didn't know about the new setup for Haunted Mansion or Winnie the Pooh. The kids had a blast just waiting in line (unlike the Line Ride on South Park)! The new graveyard for the Haunted Mansion was so awesome!!! I can't wait to go back (when it is winter)! It is too hot in Central Florida right now!

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  36. Loved your post, but now I'm really sad. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was the first Disney ride my family ever went on, and Dad was very annoyed about having to stand in line for something as "stupid" as that. Then he got on it, and was hooked. :) 20k was probably his favorite ride there. And now they are both gone. So sad.

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  37. Yes please! We're taking the whole family at the end of May. And here's my personal request. If you had a child with a Sunday birthday (turning 4) and not a lot of time to prepare (but were doing the day at Disney) how would the ideal day go? (Everybody, please chime in!!!)

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  38. Thanks for the shout-out, Bevin! I'm the blogger behind <a href="http://myyearwiththemouse.com>My Year With The Mouse</a>, my quest to do everything there is to do at Disneyland in a year. I absolutely love seeing similar posts about Disneyworld! I hope you do more! I'll definitely be following. :)

    Shelby

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  39. We've got our 11th(?) trip planned in June and I am even more excited than I was. Didn't think that was possible.

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  40. Love these! I'm a Southern California girl so I know all the Disneyland hidden stuff, but I live vicariously through you for Disney World, so keep em coming!

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  41. These are awesome!!! I can't WAIT for you to post more.

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  42. Definitely, more Disney posts! I have been to Disneyland and Epcot both twice, and hope to make it to WDW someday. My sister went to DL 30-some years ago when she was 16, back when the rides still had lettered tickets. She brought back an album of Country Bear Jamboree, and my sisters and I played it until we had it memorized (how I wish I had it on CD!) I was so sad when I went to DL the first time and the show had changed, and last time, when it was gone entirely.

    WV--rehab: If I'm a Disney addict, then I don't want to go to rehab (yeah, me and Amy Winehouse.)

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  43. The renovations at Haunted Mansion are indeed cool. I was there in late February & everything was still hidden away! Our timing was just off. It's neat to see what they've done though.

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  44. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all your Disney posts! In a house of all guys (husband and kid), nobody gets my Disney fascination!

    The steampunk and Disney posts are my favs! Keep 'em coming!

    In fact, Husband just informed me that due to the squeeing about the HM stuff, he's booking a trip for December! *SQUEEE*

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  45. There can never be too many Disney posts :)

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  46. I, too, love Disney trivia. : ) It has been many years since my last visit but I have a lot of good childhood memories from WDW.

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  47. That diving helmet reminds me of Nicholas Toth, from Tarpon Springs, Florida. He's one of the last in a dying breed of traditional workers who is a Master Helmet Maker. I'm sure that his work isn't cheap, especially since it is 100% functional but his work is breathtaking.

    Diving Helmets

    He also had an article in the New York Times in case you're interested.

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  48. What happened to the post about going away on a trip so you could spend more time with John? (I saw it in my RSS feed.) I thought it was sweet that you're taking the time to put your marriage first.

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  49. Had a crazy weekend so I'm late to the party, but I have to say I'm not feeling too sorry for you and your 100 degree weather. Want to know why? Because it's snowing here. Snowing. On May %$*#ing 2nd. So much as I love you Jen, you need to suck it up. I'll trade your 100 degrees for snow any day of May. Just sayin'.

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  50. @ April; Oh, yeah, heh. That was an "oops" - I was working on the post, and hit something that published it prematurely. (Many colorful words were uttered.) The post goes up later today, though, so you'll see it (finished!) again soon.

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  51. I love the details of Disney, too, though my local park is Disneyland. Thanks for the pictures, and you have a fantastic eye! :)

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  52. I'll be at WDW May 28 - June 3. I can't wait!!

    "jesterqueen1 said...
    Yes please! We're taking the whole family at the end of May. And here's my personal request. If you had a child with a Sunday birthday (turning 4) and not a lot of time to prepare (but were doing the day at Disney) how would the ideal day go? (Everybody, please chime in!!!)"

    Jersterqueen1, find out his/her favorite character and try to find a meal with that character. Also, make sure to get a birthday pin. Some of the castmembers will make sure to wish the kiddo a happy birthday. You can do Bibbity Bobbity Boutique or Pirate's League (if you think the kid would like dressing up).

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  53. Disney at night rocks. I haven't been there really late since grad night in high school but there is something about Disney at 2am- and not just everyone falling asleep on the benches- that makes you remember it fondly a decade later. (if I remember correctly that was right around when that new winnie the pooh ride opened.)

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  54. Hello! I'm a lurker/FB follower/reluctant dizgeek. My husband's family are big dizgeeks, and in spite of much protestation on my part I've been drawn in (I'm also a bit of a contrarian! You might have guessed!).

    Anyway, I've come to love the weird hidden trivia stashed around the parks. Honestly, though? The hidden Nautilus might be my fav so far.

    BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT PROMPTED ME TO COMMENT. You see, I also refuse to go on Splash Mountain. I made a few missteps the very first time I visited Disney w/ my then-BF (now-husband!), and ended up on both Space Mountain AND Expedition Everest. It's a wonder I even consented to speak to him after that. But I DREW THE LINE at Splash Mountain, and I stand firm to this day. I am so glad to know I'm not alone, that I have a dizgeek soulmate!

    Thanks! Love the blog - keep it up!

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  55. Jen- please continue posting the hidden stuff! I'm in Canada and the ONE time I was at FL Disney I was 16, I was with my parents and 3 younger siblings (6, 12, 14) and ALL 6 OF US were wearing matching white tshirts with fluorescent blue and pink streaks, and cartoon bull dogs wearing sunglasses. (hangs head in shame) I know. I know. I still got "hit on" by a bunch of mascots, but the experience tormented me to this day. So I'm living through you- post away, post away!

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  56. OMG I cannot wait to spot the mounted heads next time I'm at Disneyland!!!!!!!

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  57. I knew about the Mr. Toad picture, but not the Nautilus...that's SO COOL! I'll have to look for it next time (next year *sob*). The new playground elements in the Winnie-the-Pooh queue are super-fun, too. (We rode at midnight...I refuse to wait more than 10 minutes for this ride =)

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  58. You should come visit the Pirates League next time you're in the Magic Kingdom! I'm a pirate master there and I can show you all the amazing things we have that no one ever notices!!! Just stop by and ask for Anna Banana, I'm usually off Tuesday/Wednesday. Oh, and we're open from 9am-4pm.

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