Spaceship Earth character

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)

Wild ArcticThe Wild Arctic simulator ride at SeaWorld Orlando is similar in style to Star Tours: The Adventures Continueover 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)

Image: Sam Howzit
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 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 Mummyroller 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)

Image: Universal
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.


I hope Universal Orlando Resort can bring a newer version of Back to the Future the Ride like an area for the guest to create a time machine of their own and select three choices of years to go too.

The tomato, mustard, and ketchup pipes in Dinosaur are left over from when McDonalds sponsored Dinoland, U.S.A. Weird and totally unexpected!

At one time, floating in the lagoon of either JAWS or JURASSIC PARK was a mouse-ears hat. :)

Don't forget the mummy wearing the "Kong Rules!" hat in the very first scene of revenge of the mummy, just before you encounter reggie and imhotep!

On the topic of animatronic presidents with new jobs, the sheriff in the western scene of the Great Movie Ride is Thomas Jefferson.

Add new comment

About Theme Park Tourist

Theme Park Tourist is one of the web’s leading sources of essential information and entertaining articles about theme parks in Orlando and beyond.

We are one of the world’s largest theme park guide sites, hosting detailed guides to more than 80 theme parks around the globe.

Find Out More About Us...

Plan Your Trip

Our theme park guides contain reviews and ratings of rides, restaurants and hotels at more than 80 theme parks worldwide.

You can even print them.

Start Planning Now...