Walt Disney World Fun Facts

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This fellow from the Festival of Fantasy parade is terrifying, and awesome. Read on to hear more about the parade!
This fellow from the Festival of Fantasy parade is terrifying, and awesome. Read on to hear more about the parade!

Okay, trivia fans!  Today we’re going to look at some fun facts about the Orlando home of the main mouse! The sheer size of the entire Walt Disney World resort means that a lot went into the creation, and also that it provides tons of opportunities for number crunching and trivial knowledge. For example, did you know that the resort covers approximately 40 square miles? If you’re not able to wrap your head around what that means, the normal comparison is that it’s about the same size as San Francisco. No wonder you’re tired after walking all day!

As you likely know, the Walt Disney World resort is divided up into four theme parks, a shopping area currently being reinvented and renamed Disney Springs, and a variety of resort hotels. To make it easier to keep all the fun facts straight, the numbers will be divided up into five categories: General, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

Let’s get to it!

 

General Disney Facts:

  • Disney employs almost 70,000 thousand cast members in the Central Florida area.
  • Those cast members make Disney World the largest-single site employer in Florida.
  • Also, the economics surrounding the park bring 2.5% of Florida’s gross domestic product.
  • The characters have different costumes for various occasions, including 136 different outfits for Mickey Mouse and over 100 for Minnie Mouse.
  • Cast members launder approximately 285,000 pounds of laundry every single day.
  • Combining the rooms in the 36 resorts on property, there are over 30,000 hotel rooms.
  • Disney’s PhotoPass photographers take between 100,000 and 200,000 photos every single day.
  • 13 million bottles of water are consumed at Disney World every year, and 75 million Coca-colas are sold.
  • Lost and Found gets around 210 pairs of sunglasses a day turned in.
  • Turkey legs are really, really popular.  How popular? Across all the parks, 1.8 million pounds of turkey legs are served each year.
  • There are 63 holes combined at the four Disney golf courses.
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is quite large, covering 230 acres, with a 7,500 seat baseball stadium.
  • Disney has a fleet of around 300 buses to move guests around the property, making it the 3rd largest fleet in Florida.

 

Magic Kingdom Facts:

  • Magic Kingdom is spread over 142 acres, and divided into 6 themed lands.
  • This costume is amazing. Click to make it bigger to see all the details. © Katie McNair
    This costume is amazing. Click to make it bigger to see all the details. © Katie McNair

    Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971.

  • There are over 12,000 parking spaces at the Transportation and Ticket Center.
  • Magic Kingdom has a new parade called Festival of Fantasy (a must see!), with:
    • Over 100 cast members in every parade
    • Plus 40 additional characters that are molded or sculpted on the floats
    • Mickey’s float is the tallest at 32 feet
    • Thug #1 has a total of 28 different fabrics just for his costume
    • Some of the costumes were printed using a 3D printer
    • The Seashell Girl costume takes over 30 yards of fabric, and 12 different colors of mesh
    • The coral pieces for the Coral Girls were custom made and hand-poured, using three colors, then baked for over 16 hours
    • The Cha Cha girl (found in the final segment) wears a wig made from 148 yards of horsehair, in 4 colors
  • Cinderella Castle towers over Main Street, reaching 189 feet, making it just 11 feet short of the height that would require a warning light for aircraft.
  • And how many stones are used to make the castle? Trick question! None, as it’s a fiberglass shell.

Epcot Facts:

  • Epcot Sign
    Epcot! The best place to visit.

    Epcot sits on 305 acres, with a 1.3 mile path around the World Showcase (one of two themed lands of Epcot, with the other being Future World.

  • Epcot opened on October 1, 1982,
  • There are just over 11,000 parking spaces at Epcot.
  • Love The Land pavilion? Ever thought about what happens to the things grown in the greenhouses? Well, over 30 tons of fruits and vegetables that are grown in The Land pavilion are served in the restaurants.
  • Spaceship Earth is 183 feet tall.
  • Okay, now we know how tall Spaceship Earth is, but how much does it weigh? 16 million pounds!
  • The geodesic sphere of Spaceship Earth is made up of 11,324 aluminum and plastic tiles.
  • Eleven countries are featured in the World Showcase: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Japan, The American Adventure, Italy, Germany, China, Mexico, Morocco, Norway.
  • To make the artificial salt water for The Seas with Nemo & Friends, it took 27 truckloads of sodium chloride.
  • The fountain near the entrance of the park has water cannons that propel water into the air for a show. The water can go almost as tall as Spaceship Earth, up to 150 feet. Plus, if all cannons fire at the same time, 2,000 gallons of water will be in the air at the same time.

Hollywood Studios Facts:

  • Hollywood Studios, the place where you can give Chewbacca a high five. © Katie McNair
    Hollywood Studios, the place where you can give Chewbacca a high five. © Katie McNair

    Hollywood Studios is composed of a total of 135 acres.

  • It opened on May 1, 1989.
  • The park is broken up into seven themed lands: Hollywood Boulevard, Echo Lake, Streets of America, Pixar Place, Mickey Avenue, Animation Courtyard, and Sunset Boulevard.
  • The blades of grass in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure are 30 feet tall! Also, the mushrooms are 3 stories tall (there’s no giant oatmeal cream pie, sadly).
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the second tallest structure in Walt Disney World, at 199 feet, just 1 foot short of the light on top requirement.

Animal Kingdom Facts:

  • Animal Kingdom opened on April 22, 1998, which is Earth Day, a nod to Disney’s conservation efforts.
  • Animal Kingdom is nearly 500 acres, making it four times larger than Hollywood Studios.
  • Animal Kingdom has six lands: Africa, DinoLand U.S.A., Discovery Island, Oasis, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and Asia.
  • A planned but unbuilt fifth land in the park was to be Beastly Kingdom, which would include fantasy creatures like dragons and unicorns.
  • Giraffes have long tongues. It's disturbing.
    Giraffes have long tongues. It’s disturbing.

    Some remnants from the land remain, including the Unicorn Parking Lot, the dragon in the logo, and a dragon head topping one of the ticket booths at the entrance.

  • The animals on the safari are actually free to roam within their area, causing the safari vehicles to be delayed by animals who just want to stand perfectly still… in the middle of the road.
  • The tallest attraction at Walt Disney World is located at Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest, standing at just under 200 feet tall.
  • The Tree of Life is 50 feet wide in the trunk and 14 stories high.
  • There are approximately 1,700 animals in the park from 250 different species.
  • There’s parking for approximately 6,000 cars, covering about 100 acres.

 

(Most facts were found on Walt Disney World News)

So did you learn anything new? Find anything surprising that you can use to impress people with at parties? 

Katie McNair

Katie McNair was born and raised in Central Florida. She grew up visiting Disney World as often as she could manage. Her favorite park is Epcot, and her favorite attraction is Living with the Land. Katie currently teaches 7th grade language arts.

8 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Fun Facts

  • February 22, 2015 at 10:16 am
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    Fun Fact #0 – “Happiest Place on Earth” is a Disneyland “thing”. Pretty sure WDW has never used that title.

    • February 22, 2015 at 10:25 am
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      Correct. And even if it did, only one of them (DL or WDW) can be the happiest place on earth, so one would be lying.

      • February 22, 2015 at 10:39 am
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        Yep, and that’s why I made sure to type “Happiest” rather than “happiest”.
        Does WDW have its own appellation? I know that Tokyo, for instance, uses “The Kingdom of Dreams and Magic”, but I can’t recall a similar title for WDW.

        • February 22, 2015 at 11:35 am
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          WDW generally goes by The Most Magical place on Earth.

        • February 22, 2015 at 12:14 pm
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          WDW is “Where Magic Lives.”

    • February 23, 2015 at 11:32 am
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      Changed! Thanks!

  • February 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm
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    Are planes allowed to fly over WDW? I can’t say I’ve ever seen one fly over the parks, but then again, I’m far too distracted to even think about it, much less look for them. 🙂

    • February 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm
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      I have read that WDW and Disneyland have been designated federal no fly zones since 2003. Before 2003, apparently pilots were allowed to fly over the parks towing advertising banners. So far, efforts to change this designation have not been successful.

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