Many Disney fans love to immerse themselves in the “Disney bubble.” Paying a premium to stay on property, buying a Dining Plan, and attending hard-ticket special events are just a few common ways that people surround themselves in the Disney magic. Depending on your personality type and interests, however, you might eventually become interested in how things work behind the scenes. Some people claim that this ruins the magic, while others are fascinated by the process. Wherever you stand on this debate, here are 6 great ways to “ruin the magic.”
1. Look closely
Disney attractions are created using techniques that stem from the worlds of filmmakers and illusionists. One of the guiding principles is to only build what the camera needs to see. Translated into a theme park attraction, this means pulling your attention to what Disney wants you to see, and only finishing those spots that you will see. If you want to find out how things work, try looking closely in directions other than the one in which your ride vehicle is pointed.
Two of the best examples of this occur during It’s a Small World. When passing through the Polynesian room, you’ll see a kid on a surfboard riding the waves. After you pass him, turn around and look back to see the mechanism keeping him “afloat.” In the last room before the Good-byes, with the carousel in the middle, find the lighted roller coaster track on your left. Looking over your left shoulder as you pass, you’ll see that the coaster track isn’t completed.
2. Search for Hidden Mickeys
Hidden Mickeys are the holy grail for many Disney enthusiasts. These “hidden in plain sight” depictions of Mickey Mouse and his friends are always creative and well-done, but searching for them can take you out of the magic. After all, there’s nothing particularly magical about running into walls and tripping over your own feet as your gaze zooms in on a tiny portion of the décor. Hidden Mickey hunting is a lot of fun, but it is not recommended for first-time visitors, as it does mean missing a lot of what is going on around you.
3. Take a tour
Behind the scenes tours are a great way to ruin the magic. Other than becoming a cast member, how else are you going to see the legendary Utilidors, a mysterious complex of tunnels running beneath the Magic Kingdom, or gaze upon the figures that create the Pepper’s Ghost effect in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion? Some tours don’t go quite as far behind the scenes, but all give you a unique perspective on the stagecraft, organization, or other technical aspects of the parks.