There are a lot of stories floating around about secrets at Walt Disney World. Here are five Magic Kingdom myths debunked as Disney rumors.
There is plenty of mystery surrounding the development and building of the original Disney theme parks. With a destination so magical, we feel that there have got to be more hidden stories and undiscovered clues that no one knows about. Whatever the reason for our curiosity, rumors abound. Some of them reach mythological proportions. And a lot of Disney rumors out there have been shared for years, but are far from reality. Here are five Magic Kingdom myths that are simply not true.
A legendary rumor persists among Magic Kingdom myths that Walt Disney remains frozen somewhere under Cinderella Castle, or the Pirates of the Caribbean.
The rumor spreads like it is truth. Even though nobody who spreads the rumor has anything close to documented evidence.
Walt Disney had an obsession with creating a better tomorrow today. It was his driving passion after the success of Disneyland. He pursued an interest in science and technology that would push civilization forward. His primary focus however, was on urban planning.
Nothing suggests he had any personal interest in cryonics. According to his family, his wish was to be cremated and that is the official record.
This Magic Kingdom myth is less weird and more of a case of mistaken identity.
Many people believe Walt Disney had a suite in Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Unfortunately, Magic Kingdom wasn’t built until five years after Walt Disney passed away. This Magic Kingdom myth is perhaps the result of confusing Florida’s Magic Kingdom with California’s Disneyland.
Walt Disney did have an apartment in Disneyland above the Town Square Fire Station. There are tours that allow guests to see the spot. He also had planned a larger place over New Orleans Square in Disneyland. The Walt Disney Company brought those plans to life only recently to create what is known as the “Dream Suite.”
Walt Disney never lived in either castle in either Disney theme park.
There are lots of references to underground cities underneath Disney theme parks. The story changes from Disneyland to Magic Kingdom depending on who you talk to.
When people talk about underground cities under Disney theme parks, they are probably talking about Magic Kingdom Utilidors.
Magic Kingdom Utilidors
The Magic Kingdom’s Utilidors are “underground” corridors cast members use to get from point to point undetected by guests.
Both Carrie and I have spent a lot of time in the Magic Kingdom Utilidors as cast members. Let me tell you, they are only magical if you don’t have to use them to get to and from work. Because the smell and the liquids dripping every now and then from the ceiling pipes don’t feel too magical.
FYI: When you take specialty tours that bring you to the Magic Kingdom Utilidors, you’re not seeing the whole thing. You’re seeing the pretty version. Just keeping it real.
The Utilidors are great for keeping unsightly garbage and delivery trucks out of view during daily operations. It’s how cast members in certain themed costumes can get back and forth across the park without ruining the “theme” of each land. It’s also where a lot of the nitty gritty details of work take place at the Magic Kingdom, since there isn’t a whole lot of backstage land area behind the theme park. Recent expansions have been eating up the ground-level backstage areas, along with the always pressing need for more parking for cast members, contractors and Imagineers going to the theme park to do work.
It is important to note these Utilidors do not exist at Disneyland, though there are a couple of underground locations one can get to backstage.
The Magic Kindom’s Utilidors are NOT an underground city, though. This is a Magic Kingdom myth that is kind of rooted in fact. Anyone who claims that there is an entire city underneath the Magic Kingdom hasn’t ever worked as a cast member in the theme park, or has a misunderstood meaning of what a city actually is.
Yes, there is a cast member cafeteria underneath the Magic Kingdom. There is cast member wardrobe services. And there are time clocks and manager’s offices and a place for money and accounting. There are a variety of cast member-specific needs in the Utilidors. But to call it a city is a bit overrated.
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Taking Down the Castle in a Hurricane
This is one of the more practical sounding Magic Kingdom myths.
The pervasive rumor is that Cinderella Castle was made to be dismantled in the event of a hurricane. However, there have been many hurricanes to affect Orlando and Cinderella Castle has never been taken apart.
Read our report of staying at a Disney World hotel during a hurricane, and the safety precautions taken there.
Again, this rumor stems from some fact and a certain amount of speculation mixed with pure fantasy. It probably has something to do with the large crane that is often spotted near the castle. That crane is there to put up and take down Christmas lights (read more fascinating Disney Christmas facts and figures).
The construction of Cinderella Castle is non traditional. Sure, it looks like it was made with old-fashioned bricks. But rather than the brick and mortar construction that one would naturally assume, the Castle is actually built from steel beams and a combination of concrete, plaster, and fiberglass.
Which means it can’t be taken down and then easily put back together like a puzzle. It would take days, weeks or months to dismantle Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, and then put it back together again. And we don’t see Walt Disney World doing that any time soon!
And to finally put this Disney rumor to rest, we’ve spoken with a former Disney Imagineer. He said in no uncertain terms that the Magic Kingdom Castle is not designed to be taken down and stored in the tunnel in the event of a weather disaster.
This Magic Kingdom myth is convincing if you believe in or are at least open to the idea of hauntings.
Surprisingly, this Disney rumor does not involve the Haunted Mansion (which would be to obvious).
There is a pervasive myth, even among cast members, that a spirit haunts the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The alleged ghost is a builder who died in an accident while constructing the attraction. They say he haunts the ride to this day. Besides the usual haunting descriptions, he sometimes shuts down the ride, according to Cast Member accounts.
In truth, this is just superstition. According to Disney officials, nobody actually died while making Pirates of the Caribbean.
Have any other Disney rumors that you’ve heard of? Share them below and we’ll try to debunk them or prove that they are true!