LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Magic Kingdom is home to six themed-lands, and even though there is plenty of wonder to take in, from Cinderella Castle to all the iconic attractions, walking around the park is an attraction by itself.
Through its architecture and entertainment, all of Disney World’s theme parks are full of pristine detail, and even though there are Magic Kingdom must-sees and must-dos, not every guest stops to smell the enchanted roses.
Whether it’s your first time visiting or the 50th, here is our list of hidden gems (some more hidden than others) to take in at the Magic Kingdom.
Harmony Barber Shop
The Harmony Barber Shop is often passed by guests first entering the Magic Kingdom. Tucked away along Main Street U.S.A. in the Town Square, the old-fashioned spot hasn’t lost its charm. It offers hair and beard trims for guests of all ages, and for little ones, a first-ever haircut at Harmony makes the milestone even more memorable. The barber shop has been closed since the pandemic reopening. We look forward to it returning soon.
Disney World has been making dreams come true for nearly 50 years, so it’s no surprise that guests have been making wishes by tossing coins into fountains, wells and water rides at all the parks. Cast Members actually make a point to collect the coins and then donate the money to charities, including Give Kids the World.
Everyone knows that Disney princesses rank pretty high, and one fountain has the crown to show for it. Guests who directly face the statue of Cinderella at the Fantasyland fountain will see an interesting backdrop effect. From an adult’s view point, a crown is above Cinderella’s head, however from a child’s view, the crown is resting perfectly on Cinderella’s head. Officially titled “La Fontaine de Cendrillon,” it was sculpted by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson, who also sculpted the first 42 presidents for the Hall of Presidents.
The Chapeau phone
Main Street U.S.A. resembles American small towns during the early 20th century and hat fashion was big back then. The Chapeau has a wide selection of Disney hats and headwear, but the highlight of this shop is the “working” old-fashioned telephone. When you pick up the receiver and put it to your ear, you’ll eavesdrop on a secret conversation.
The Sword in the Stone
Disney’s 1963 animated classic is based on one of the most famous tales of King Arthur, and the monument replicating a sword encased in an anvil is a hidden Fantasyland gem. You can stumble upon the stone next to Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel. And for those who feel worthy, something might happen when you try pulling enchanted Excalibur.
Whatever happened to Rosita?
Disney Imagineers have talent for linking different attractions together. During the singing presentation of the Enchanted Tiki Room, show host José wonders where showgirl Rosita, a white cockatoo, went to. Her name gets referenced in several attractions, but one of the best Rosita gems is in the queue to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. In the Ventilation Service Room, you’ll catch glimpse of hanging bird cages, one of which has her name on it.
The Liberty Square Tree
Walt Disney was a big admirer of American history. In the center of Liberty Square stands a more than 130-year-old oak tree that was found and preserved on Walt Disney World property during its early construction. Its patriotic roots can be see hanging from the branches. Every evening, 13 lanterns light up, each one representing one of the original Thirteen Colonies.
Look alive at Haunted Mansion
To no surprise, there are far more haunts than hidden gems at the Haunted Mansion. Just before the mansion’s entrance, if you look down, you may spot what some believe is a wedding ring belonging to the ride’s famous bride embedded in the concrete. In the nearby graveyard, it’s worth your time to stop and stare at Madame Leota’s gravestone. Every so often, she’ll slightly twitch and open her eyes.
Within the pet cemetery in the exit queue, there’s a tribute to an extinct Fantasyland attraction. Mr. Toad’s tombstone can be spotted in the back of the plot.
Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
Walt Disney didn’t limit himself to one type of film genre, and his western flicks were action-packed. Guests can certainly feel like a cowboy and giddy-up to the Frontier Shootin’ Arcade. The southwestern landscape and the opportunity to shoot a replica .54-caliber Hawkins buffalo rifle will make you feel right at home on the range, even though the rifles shoot beams of light instead of bullets. Like Harmony Barbershop, the Shootin’ Arcade is not currently open to guests.
There’s a hidden gem in the Pirates of the Caribbean queue that’s a real treasure. In one of the jail cells, a game of chess has a dead man’s curse. Disney Imagineer Marc Davis can be credited for creating this scene of two skeleton pirates engaged in a game that’s stuck in a stalemate.
A different kind of hidden Mickey
Anyone can immediately recognize a Mickey Mouse symbol from its ears, and that’s usually how you find a hidden Mickey. One of the most unique hidden Mickeys is actually ear-less. Before Splash Mountain flume riders take the big plunge into the Briar Patch, they can get a great view of Frontierland but also a Mickey profile hidden in the rock wall.
What a waste river
Waste management during the Colonial era isn’t as advanced as it is now. Liberty Square’s brown path represents life before indoor toilets. It replicates a river of chamber pot waste flowing through the town.
There’s more hidden gems to find than can ever be found at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Let us know in the comments what your favorites are.