The majority of guests at Orlando's theme parks are too busy racing from ride to ride to notice the incredible, expensive little details that pack the attractions and the themed areas that they are enjoying. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld are home to some of the world's best rides and shows, and it's often difficult to slow down and look past these. But keeping an eye out for the hundreds of hidden details at the parks can really add to the experience. Here are 10 examples to get you started - and you'll find a link to many more at the end of this article.
10. The ice wall (SeaWorld Orlando)
The Wild Arctic
simulator ride at SeaWorld Orlando is similar in style to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
over at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and carries guests to the frigid polar exhibits of SeaBase: Wild Arctic. Once they arrive at the base, most guests rush straight to the beluga whale exhibit. Slow down, and take a look at the shimmering wall on your right as you exit the ride. You may assume that it's fake, but it's actually very real - at about 4-feet-high by 20-feet-long, this is one enormous slab of ice and one of the best places to cool down on a hot Florida day.
9. The former presidents with unusual new jobs (Epcot)
Audio-animatronic figures are very expensive. So, from time-to-time, Disney will reuse the designs. In the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom, for example, an old lady sits in a rocking chair. Does she look familiar? Yes - it's the grandmother from the Carousel of Progress! Of course, many of Disney's existing animatronic figures are presidents, as seen in the Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom. And many of them found unusual new roles
in Epcot's Spaceship Earth. Teddy Roosevelt, for example, is a Roman senator, with Zachary Taylor as a centurion. John Adams is a monk, while Dwight D. Eisenhower is humble mandolin player.
8. A tribute to a giant former resident (Universal Studios Florida)
Kongfrontation was one of Universal Studios Florida's original rides, and boasted two enormous animatronic figures of King Kong that stood at some 39-feet-tall. Kong's reign over Universal Studios Florida came to an end in September 2002, when Universal closed the ride to make room for the Revenge of the Mummy
roller coaster. Many fans were up-in-arms about the closure, and some still are. There's a a tribute to Kongfrontation in its replacement. Among the gold statues in the Treasure Room is one depicting Kong himself.
7. Split in half (Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Magic Kingdom)
Image: Sam Howzit, Flickr (license)
The front half of an airplane can be seen in the Casablanca
sequence of the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Contrary to rumors, this is not the same plane used in the movie itself - but it is a real Lockheed plane that Disney cut in half. The back half can be found in the Jungle Cruise over at the Magic Kingdom.
6. Splat! (Islands of Adventure)
Look on the ground at the entrance to Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
. You'll see the outlines of the Doctor’s unfortunate previous victims! And they aren’t just any victims – those are the imprints of the Fantastic Four.