Walt Disney World has long been known as an industry leader in theming and creating immersive environments. From swashbuckling pirates to icons from the Golden Age of film, the parks are packed with sets, props and actors designed to make you feel like you are in the middle of the action.
With so much sensory input, it is easy for first-time visitors to become overwhelmed. More frequent visitors learn to tune out the background noise, taking in the smaller details at a more relaxed pace. Yet no matter how many times you visit, there is always something new to see. Take a look at these 6 unique sights and sounds you might not have noticed.
6. Epcot Monorail after closing
The monorail to Epcot from the Transportation and Ticket Center makes a wide loop through the park’s Future World. During the day, this serves as an exciting preview of everything you are about to see. At night, however, it takes on a much more relaxed and almost elegant beauty.
To get the full experience, park at Epcot on a night that the Magic Kingdom is open at least an hour later. Take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and enjoy your day. That night, wait until Epcot has been closed for an hour or so before taking the monorail back. Most of the guests will have left and the park lights will be dimmed. Sit back and take in the quiet view of a futuristic evening. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the legendary third shift cleaning crew.
5. Crowning Cinderella
At the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Castle is a world-famous icon. Parents stay up late to book dining reservations at the castle restaurant the moment their reservation window opens, and the walkway is often packed with little girls in full princess garb. Behind the castle, however, is where the magic really happens.
Locate the Cinderella fountain at the back side of the castle, facing Fantasyland. Stand back several steps, and keep your eyes focused on Cinderella as you give her a deep bow. A crown hidden in the mural behind her will seem to drop down onto her head.
4. Magic Kingdom fireworks from TTC boat dock
The Magic Kingdom fireworks are a traditional way to close out a night of fun. Yet on busy evenings, it is easy to become distracted and overwhelmed as you stand packed shoulder to shoulder with thousands of strangers. For a unique view that keeps you well away from the crowds, try watching the fireworks from the ferry boat dock at the Transportation and Ticket Center. The music is piped in, and you will have a terrific perspective on just how big the show really is.
If you time it just right, you might be able to catch the Electrical Water Pageant from the Magic Kingdom boat dock or the Polynesian beach first. This water parade has not significantly changed since the 1970s, and is well worth seeing for the nostalgia factor.