4. Attention to history and architecture
On a similar note to our previous point, we now turn our attention to Disney’s architectural design marvels and accuracy regarding history at play in all the theming and design choices within Magic Kingdom Park. And for the Disney-hater, who just happens to have an interest in historical facts or knows a thing or two about building and architecture, these considerations may deliver on an unexpected added thrill. Just consider the scene on Main Street, U.S.A. and it’s turn-of-the-20th-century design with all its signature works in both architectural building and décor styles along with other nicely themed touches like the barbershop, Dapper Dans, horse-drawn carts, and so forth.
Liberty Square has plenty to take note of, from the replica Liberty Bell to its famed “Liberty Tree” Southern Live Oak, laden with 13 hanging lanterns, no less, to symbolize the 13 original colonies. Another cleaver detail includes the crooked shutters on the houses here—in direct relation to the American Revolution when England ceased the shipment of metal to the colonies, creating the need to melt down hangers and hinges for ammunition. And if you happen to notice the two-digit numbering on the different houses here you might observe the slight progression through time in style and the structural medium that was used. Just add an “18” to the two-digit number to find out which historical year is being represented by that house’s particular style.
And on that interesting note on progression, you will find that the style within Liberty Square seems to shift when you start bordering other surrounding lands as well. Where Fantasyland ends and Liberty Square begins, for instance, you start to see the transition from English to early American, while the central theme at Liberty Square seems to reflect on old Pennsylvania, with the area toward the Haunted Mansion taking on a more Hudson River Valley feel.
Then there’s Tom’ Sawyer’s Island to represent the Mississippi, the Country Bear Jamboree’s Grizzly Hall transition toward Frontierland to denote Colorado in the 1840s, and onward towards the American West Coast. Two other things to mention about Liberty Square include the interesting reference to no plumbing as depicted by the golden brown street pattern, and the fact that one of its signature attractions—the Hall of Presidents, is the only place in the nation other than the White House where you will find an authentic display of the Presidential Seal.
There are many other points for avid historians and architects to admire and appreciate all throughout Magic Kingdom Park as well, including the scaling perspectives at work when looking at some buildings. Cinderella’s Castle is an excellent example, as it is made to look taller than it is by the reduced proportion density instilled in its design progression toward its topmost point.
5. Well-balanced thrills and moderation
One particularly frustrating fact that most theme parks tend to share in common with each other is a limited style and degree designation to the thrills (or underwhelming thrills) in the attractions that that particular park houses. Whether a park is themed with all-too juvenile interests or caters to more extreme thrill-seekers in ways that limit the participation of certain members of your party, more times than not it’s usually an all or nothing deal when deciding to visit a typical amusement park. But Disney Parks are not typical in any way, shape, or form, and they truly do succeed in offering something for everyone.
Even Magic Kingdom Park, admittedly the most kid-oriented of all of Walt Disney World’s mesmerizing parks, offers the perfect balance of thrills and moderation. It doesn’t matter if you’re a toddler, elderly park-goer, or adrenaline junkie, because there’s something for everyone here, including the Disney-hating cynic who may have come harboring one of two possible assumptions (one being that Disney attractions are all “kiddie rides” or two, that Disney is just like any theme park “and I already know from experience that I hate theme parks.”). Well as we just mentioned, neither of the above assumptions are true. In fact, even those who don’t come to Disney as haters per se, but are inexperienced visitors nonetheless find the mix of attractions unexpectedly satisfying.
From the thrills of Space Mountain to the gently gliding “it’s a small world” boat ride, and all the outstanding visual effects, imagery, and animatronics featured in many attractions, Disney Parks truly are for everyone. What’s more, you can balance out thrills and moderation quite well throughout the day, even taking in more sedentary attractions that incorporate visual entertainments, like shows such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room or Mickey’s PhilharMagic, for example. As we said before, there’s something for everyone to find joy and contentment with here, even amongst the most ardent Disney-haters.
6. Cleverly hidden placements
You may never have realized it, but Walt Disney World Resort is a great place for uncovering secrets and finding hidden references. And for those need-to-know-everything Disney-haters, who get more joy out of digging up the how and why behind everything rather than just taking the magic as it comes, this can be an unexpected and nonetheless pleasant surprise. You can make an entire experience out of scavenging for all those hidden yet significant placements throughout all the parks and even within the various resorts.
Magic Kingdom Park is an excellent place to start with, laden with fun facts to find. Seeking out Hidden Mickeys is on the top of every Disney Scavenger’s list, as it is a virtually impossible undertaking that’s sure to challenge your keen levels of observation. Yet there are plenty of other exciting opportunities for seeking out secrets within the Magic Kingdom as well. These include name references on the windows of Main Street that are not there by accident. And if you want to know more, just make it a goal to research these references as you pass by.
There are also plenty of uniquely hidden sounds you may only discover on a quiet day—like the Citizens of Main Street going about with their lives. If you see a phone, don’t just assume it’s an idle prop; seize the opportunity to find out who may be on the other line. While we don’t want to give everything away, the point is that there are plenty of clever hidden references to find fascination and amusement in while out and about Magic Kingdom Park, and by extension, Walt Disney World Resort in general. Even haters tend to lose themselves in the unbeatable quests for finding so much in-park excitement.