The 'bar brag' - what are your favorite theme park trivia stories?What are your favorite bits of trivia about various theme park rides and shows?
From Robert NilesOur friend Bob Rogers calls them "bar brags," the little bits of information you can drop in the middle of a bar conversation to show you have the inside scoop on something.
Posted September 15, 2011 at 3:02 PM
What are your favorite bits of trivia about various theme park attractions? What are some stories you've heard about theme park rides and attractions that you wish you knew if they were true or not?
I'm starting a thread to share some of those trivia nuggets. And if you've got a question about the accuracy of a story, other readers in the know can confirm or refute it.
Stories about the design and development of rides and shows are especially welcomed.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Robert Niles
Posted September 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM
I'll kick this off with a relatively well-known bit of trivia: At the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, the stretch rooms are elevators that carry you down so that you can walk under the Disneyland Railroad tracks into the ride's show building. But at Walt Disney World, the show building is contained inside the railroad's perimeter. So the stretch room floors remain still - it's the ceiling that rises above you, which is why you enter WDW's Mansion from the "basement."
From Dan BabbittAt the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, while walking down Main Street USA you're actually walking uphill. Guest dont notice this because they just got there and just starting the day so they are fresh and well rested but also because of the distraction of seeing the Cinderella's Castle and the sights, sounds and smells around them!
Posted September 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM
From Tim HillmanI've always wondered if any now-famous actors or singers were Disney or Universal cast members back when they were unknown.
Posted September 15, 2011 at 3:32 PM
From Nick MarkhamBefore Sleeping Beauty Castle opened up once again in Disneyland, I loved to show my family the door the leads to secret pathways throughout the castle!
Posted September 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM
From KJ SimpsonTim- Steve Martin was a Cast Member back in the day. He's the only celeb I've heard of...
Posted September 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM
From Andrew CarrieriThe first ever movie-based Disney attraction opened during a movie's original run in theatres was Legend of the Lion King at MK-the movie premiered on June 15, 1994 while the MK show opened July 8, 1994.
Posted September 15, 2011 at 8:42 PM
Similiarly, It's Tough to be a Bug at AK came out months before the movie it was based on: "A Bug's Life." ITTBAB opened on April 22, 1998 while the Pixar film premiered in theatres on November 25, 1998.
From Anthony MurphyI control the Lights during Illumination (actually, I am such a dork, I know when the pavillions turn on and off)
Posted September 15, 2011 at 8:50 PM
Speaking of that, Morocco is not allowed to light up because it would be considered sacreligious
If you want to escape the room with no windows or no doors, try to look up the skirt of the tighrope walker ;)
From Tony DudaAll of Magic Kingdom's ground surface at Walt Disney World is actually the second floor of a vast building complex.
Posted September 15, 2011 at 9:00 PM
From Amy SmithJoey from Nsync went to Dr. Phillips high school across the street from Universal Orlando and he was the Wolfman in the Beetlejuice show.
Posted September 15, 2011 at 9:26 PM
From James KoehlThe lagoons that run through Cedar Point, where the Paddlewheel Cruise boats carried visitors through scenes from the pioneer days of the Old West, were dug a century ago to let barges carry coal to the electric generating plant that provided power to the early Cedar Point Resort.
Posted September 16, 2011 at 3:39 AM
From Valerie FMy friend who is a Universal Studios fanatic told me something really interesting:
Posted September 16, 2011 at 5:41 PM
The Zax Bypass at Islands of Adventure, Orlando is supposedly the first (or one of the first) things that was built in the park. In the Dr. Seuss story, the 2 Zax crossed paths in the middle of nowhere and were too stubborn to move out of each other's ways, so they just stood there for ages. During this time, roads & stuff were built around them. So the Zax Bypass was built first with nothing around it, and then the rest of the park was constructed, like in the story. Interesting, huh?
From TH CreativeThere's a project team time capsule stowed in the Big Bug at the climactic end of 'Men In Black: Alien Attack.'
Posted September 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM
From Carrie HoodThe Original "Hard Rock Cafe Orlando" still exists and is still standing. It's in the back of Universal Studios, behind Curious George.
Posted September 18, 2011 at 9:18 PM
Journey into Imagination With Figmet, while walking the new line your in fact walking over the original ride track which was covered up when the ride was changed.
Kennywood has the last operating "Noah's Ark" attraction left in the country. As well as the last "Old Mill" boat ride.
From Dan BabbittThe tallest attraction at Walt Disney World is Expedition Everest at 199 feet 6 inches while the second tallest attraction, Tower of Terror, is 199 feet.
Posted September 19, 2011 at 9:31 AM
Florida law requires that any building that is 200 feet or taller need to have a red beacon light for planes.
From Mike GallagherCarrie, I'm not 100% sure, but I believe Rye Playland's Old Mill..although Troll-themed..is still running.
Posted September 19, 2011 at 9:38 AM
From Thomas CrainAlso, Carrie, the old Hard Rock is destined for demolition very soon.
Posted September 19, 2011 at 1:07 PM
There's a secret entrance into Epcot's World Showcase via boat.
There's only one place in the Magic Kingdom where you won't hear any ambient music; the walkway between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Why? No way to bridge the theme.
There's a Zamp in the Lamp in the Islands of Adventure's Seuss Landing.
Crossing the bridge to and from the Lost Continent, you can hear magical sound effects transporting you in and out of the area.
If you walk behind Mythos in the Lost Continent, you'll find a gigantic statue of Atlas holding the eatery up. To see it, you'll cross a bridge under which you can hear a troll.
Camp Jurassic has an active volcano.
That's all I've got for now.
From N BWe just discovered the second entrance to Universal this summer. It is so nice to walk right through with no wait when coming from IOA.
Posted September 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM
They set it up so you could get to the Hard Rcok cafe or Blue Man show and come right back in.
The video explanation is a bit long and makes it sound confusing, just go down the first the first steet on the left when you walk in US to exit and cut through the back of the Hard Rock Cafe to get in.
From Carrie HoodThomas, True but for now it's still standing. Frankly I always liked the original cafe better, plus it used to be the place to park so you didn't have to hike from Kingdom Come before the parking garages went up!
Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:28 PM
Mike, I don't know much about Rye's Playland as I've only been there once when they where still trying to kill people daily. I can't recall now if theirs was an original ride or if it was moved at some point. Perhaps I'm mixing up my facts, Off to research because know I want to know!
From Adam DoddsTake it from a Cast Member, NOT ALL OF MK is part of the "second floor" complex over the tunnels. Only about 60% of the park area. Where I work, Space Mountain, is very far from the tunnels indeed. So was the Jungle Cruise when I worked there, and same for Splash, Thunder, Mansion, COP etc. Only buildings towards the center of the park and Main St.
Posted September 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM
Here's my ditty. Pirates was never meant to be in MK. Instead, a multi-ride complex called Thunder Mesa, with a boat ride called The Great Western River Expidition (which the bison in Living with the Land were built for) and a roller coaster like Big Thunder. Even at that, Big Thunder was designed for WDW first, but built at Disneyland first.
From Jack CurleyMine is similar to the MK attractions being on "the second floor" but I like to word it differently.
Posted September 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM
The "underground tunnels" beneath the Magic Kingdom were actually built at ground level, and then covered up with dirt dug up to create the Seven Seas Lagoon.
(which explains why you're walking uphill as you walk down Main Street USA.)
From Victoria JurkowskiMy favorite was the America Sings AAs in the queue for Star Tours in DLR, but I haven't been on 2.0, are they still there?
Posted September 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
Stories from a Theme Park Insider offers a warm and often-funny look at what it's like to work inside the world's most popular theme park. It's a great read for theme park fans!
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive