Weird Disney Park Facts You Didn't Know Were True

It should come as no surprise that Disney Parks have a lot of secrets besides hidden Mickeys. While some aren't so secret or surprising anymore, like the underground utilidor tunnels, some fun facts will still knock the ears off of even the most frequent Disney Park attendees. Since there are six resorts worldwide, with twelve total parks, we've decided to round up some fun facts from all of them.

One of the reasons people love to visit all of the different resorts around the world is because it's fun to compare each park against the other. Disney Park aficionados will form opinions like Disneyland Paris is the prettiest, Tokyo Disneyland is the cutest, or Hong Kong Disneyland has the best food.

Whether you've been to Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or the original Disneyland, we hope you find these facts magical and entertaining. 

Spaceship Earth recycles rainwater

Given Disney World's position in Florida, guests know it rains regularly in the most magical place on Earth. So it only makes sense that the park makes good use of that frequent rain by way of one of the resort's biggest icons. At EPCOT, you may have noticed that rain doesn't drip down Spaceship Earth's massive geodesic sphere. That's because the ball has a funneling system that feeds rainwater into the World Showcase Lagoon.

This should be no surprise for EPCOT fans since the park is so eco-focused — Living with the Land fans can attest to this. If you look closely at Spaceship Earth, affectionally known as The EPCOT Ball, you may notice a series of Alucobond panels. These panels covering the massive structure have inch-wide gaps between them and funnel the water into the ball instead of onto guests seeking shelter beneath it. Then, the water is collected and recycled throughout the park.

The American flags aren't real

Although Walt Disney World and Disneyland are large employers, they didn't want to have to prioritize the ceremony required for taking down all the American flags in their parks. So, the American flags you see across the U.S. Disney parks are, in fact, pennants. They aren't official United States flags, so they can be removed and returned daily without fanfare. Brilliant, isn't it? Take a closer look the next time you're in any U.S. Disney park, and you'll see they're missing a few tiny details that are otherwise not noticeable.

Each doesn't have the correct number of stars and stripes to be considered an official United States flag. As such, they don't need to be removed during bad weather or illuminated at night as the United States Flag Code dictates. This makes managing the faux flags more effortless for Disney World and Disneyland cast members.

Look where you step in Liberty Square

You may notice random pavement patterns in the Liberty Square section of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. These innocuous, wavy brown patterns in the walkway are no accident. They're supposed to represent the Colonial poop rivers. Essentially, these patterns symbolize how residents used to dump their latrines into the streets in the bygone days. What you see on the sidewalk would be how the gutters in Colonial America would have looked. Since Disney parks are all about immersion, it's unsurprising that even the crappier details of historic America wouldn't be overlooked.

Similarly, have you ever noticed that Liberty Square doesn't have bathrooms? Well, one way to solidify the idea that you've walked back in time is by not having bathrooms in this part of the park. So you can think about that the next time you're walking near the metaphorical poop river, which is our favorite weird Disney park fact.

Space Mountain was the first computer-controlled amusement ride

At Disney World, Space Mountain is the state's oldest roller coaster. But in addition to that, it also was the world's first fully computer-controlled ride. While it was a first in 1975, most thrill rides and roller coasters use similar programs that originated on Space Mountain — albeit in more complex forms.

Walt Disney himself thought up the general idea for this ride in the 1960s before Disney World opened. He wanted to capture what it was like for astronauts to travel through space, and, through sheer luck, the coaster came to be when "Star Wars" was about to be the talk of the town less than two years later.

Space Mountain became such a hit that almost every Disney resort around the world has it. The one exception is Shanghai Disneyland, but since they had the first "TRON" ride, we'll allow the oversight. Designed by Disney Imagineering legend John Hench, Space Mountain joins some of Hench's other Disney projects like Cinderella Castle and Tomorrowland.

Pirates of the Caribbean is the world's most popular attraction

It may be a small world, but the pirates reign supreme at Disneyland. Since Pirates of the Caribbean opened at Disneyland in 1967, over 333 million passengers have set sail with the treasure-seeking lot. Not only does this make Pirates the most popular ride at the park, it's the most popular attraction on the planet.

Long before it was a film wherein Captain Jack Sparrow asks where all the rum's gone, Pirates of the Caribbean only existed as a ride. This journey through the land of pirates has changed through the years — adding or changing parts of the story or characters — but generally, Pirates the Ride has remained true to itself.

This ride has such a prolific history that its main tune, "Yo Ho" or "A Pirate's Life for Me," is relatively ubiquitous. It's fitting that Pirates is the most beloved ride of the Disney Parks, or all theme parks worldwide, because it was the final attraction overseen by Walt Disney prior to his death in 1966.

Tomorrowland's plants are mostly edible

Like with EPCOT at Walt Disney World, Tomorrowland at Disneyland served as a means to show parkgoers how life could be in the future. That's why over 80% of the plant life in Tomorrowland is edible because we should make the most of our most valuable resources. There was a point when all the plants in the land were edible, though that is no longer the case.

At Tomorrowland, you may notice an amalgamation of edible plants like artichokes and lemons, which blend in with the colorful futuristic environment. Depending on the season, you may even find (or smell) fresh lavender over by the Tomorrowland Terrace stage. While most of the plants in the area are, in fact, consumable, that doesn't mean you should eat them. These plants are grown and harvested by cast members and shouldn't be eaten as you meander through Disneyland's "Jetsons"-esque future.

Disneyland used to have a lingerie store

For a brief period in the 1950s, Disneyland was home to, of all things, a tobacco and lingerie shop. The tobacco shop lasted until 1991, but the lingerie shop only made it six months before closing in 1956. While it's hard to imagine this family park resembling a make-a-family park, the lingerie shop was part of Main Street's identity.

Disneyland's brassiere shop was called Intimate Apparel, a fitting name. It was also nicknamed the Wizard of Bras. There was a porch outside the shop where men could wait while the ladies browsed for new underclothes, so the lingerie store kept things PG. This was not a modern Victoria's Secret by any stretch of the imagination, though it's hard to imagine any undergarment shop residing in the Happiest Place on Earth.

Although closed, you can still see where Intimate Apparel resided on Main Street. It is the only storefront with a true porch area. So, if you feel up to it, you could reenact the bored men waiting for the ladies to make their purchases so they could ride Jungle Cruise again.

The Hong Kong Disneyland castle is very different

All Disney parks around the world have their own castle. Each has a unique aesthetic, often complementing the overall appearance of the park in which it resides. However, the castle at Hong Kong Disneyland, refurbished in 2019, is more unique than the rest. That's because it features a handful of beloved Disney characters in statue form.

Hong Kong Disneyland's castle, now the Castle of Magical Dreams, was an experiment of sorts. It was the first time any of the Disney Parks reimagined their castle. So, the transformation from Sleeping Beauty Castle to this was a big one. Double the size it used to be, the Castle of Magical Dreams showcases a range of characters, including Mushu, Tiana, Moana, and Merida. Each of the castle's thirteen spires represents a different Disney princess story. So, rather than belonging to only one, the castle belongs to all of them.

Shanghai Disneyland serves Pepsi

For non-Disney Parks aficionados, this fact might seem ridiculous. Yet, frequent parkgoers would find it shocking. That's because every other Disney park serves Coca-Cola instead of Pepsi. Casey's at Disney World wouldn't be the same without its iconic red and white stained glass entry–alluding to its connection to Coca-Cola. So when Pepsi became the exclusive soda brand for Disneyland Shanghai, it was practically a coup d'état.

Fans could only speculate that Pepsi won the beverage bidding to earn the Shanghai Disneyland contract. It's also probably not a coincidence that Pepsi released five new flavors in China when they collaborated with the park that same year. It's truly not a big deal that Disneyland Shanghai serves Pepsi, though it is the only park to do so. There's something nostalgically iconic about the Coca-Cola color scheme and things like Disney corn dogs. To be fair, though, Coca-Cola has only been the Disney Parks mainstay for a few decades.

The castle at Disneyland Shanghai features several princesses

While other Disney Park castles are named after one princess, the Disneyland Shanghai castle features many of them. It is also the largest of all the castles across Disney Parks worldwide. Although the Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland also features elements representing many Disney princesses, Shanghai Disneyland did it first.

Known as Enchanted Storybook Castle, Shanghai Disneyland's massive castle houses many things. You can grab a bite at Royal Banquet Hall, hop aboard the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto ride, or shop at the boutique. There are even, fittingly, princess meet and greets at the castle to enjoy. 

Enchanted Storybook Castle opened in 2016 and features princesses that existed in the Disney universe until that point. These include Anna and Elsa, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Tiana. Plus, if you go inside the castle, you'll notice four mosaics representing the seasons of the year through four distinct Disney stories. For example, spring is depicted by "Princess and the Frog."

Tokyo Disneyland serves potato churros

Mickey-shaped food, popcorn, Dole Whip, and churros are some of the staples at Disney Parks. But Tokyo Disneyland takes it to another level by making incredibly unique and delicious churros out of potatoes instead of dough. You'll specifically find this interesting fan favorite at the Tokyo DisneySea park inside the Tokyo Disneyland resort.

These potato-y churros still look like the sweet ones you know. Rather than taking a bite into a cinnamon sugar rush, however, you'll be tasting a far more savory flavor. Tokyo Disneyland is known for its incredible food options and creative treats, so it's no surprise they made the churros their own. Some other foods Tokyo Disneyland has become known for include their little green alien mochi, Mickey Glove chicken pao, and melon bread. If you aren't headed to Tokyo Disneyland for the incredible shopping, you should go for the snack smorgasbord.

Get a haircut at Dapper Dans, Disneyland Paris

Disney Park fans will know the Dapper Dans for their acapella prowess. These vibrantly dressed singers often croon to audiences along Main Street, USA. However, at Disneyland Paris, they carry scissors instead of harmonies. That's right, Dapper Dans is the park's barbershop — perfect for the barbershop quartet.

Just like the other Main Street barbershops at Disney Parks, Dapper Dans is also a vintage throwback to the early 20th century. The old-timey aesthetic will transport you back to that time while keeping you or your kiddos looking fresh for the day. Don't worry, there is still a variation of the Dappers at Disneyland Paris. Here, however, they're called the Main Street Quartet.

If you need a shave, some cologne, or a haircut, you can make a reservation for Dapper Dans at The Emporium along Main Street. You may get lucky with a walk-up appointment, but scheduling ahead is always a good idea, particularly if you hope to get your kiddo's first haircut there.