The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World – Book Review

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With Disney Social Media Moms 2013 just around the corner, I’ve been searching online for hidden gems at Disney World. I love finding things to see and do that might not be out in the open. I love Disney’s attention to detail, so when I came across The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom I had to buy it.  I was thrilled to find all of these hidden gems in one place.

Hidden Magic of DisneyI came across this book in the bookstore and thought I would just flip through it, mentally make a couple of notes, and then return it to the shelf. Instead, I found myself flipping from one page to the next, amazed at the amount of history, tips, and fascinating facts inside.

When I got home I settled in and read 1/2 the book in one evening! I know I’ll spend the next few weeks saying to Dave and everyone else in our party, “Did you know…?” and “Look at this!”

Here’s a peek at just a sampling of some of the hidden magic found in the book:

  • Only one flag on the Main Street Town Square is real.
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table used to be called King Stefan’s Banquet Hall but there were eyebrows raised at why Sleeping Beauty’s dad would have a room in Cinderella’s Castle
  • When strolling around Liberty Square you’ll see the houses have addresses with only 2 numbers on them, add an “18” to each number and you’ll have the year of that style of house would have been popular
  • The central rose had to be added to the fence built around Cinderella Castle had to be added after the fact because children kept sticking their heads through and getting stuck!

Just a word of note, this book was published in 2009. So while it is an older book, it’s important to realize that some of the things mentioned may no longer be there. It’s good to do a quick search online before marking anything down as a must-see.

Even though it’s 3 years old now, I think The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World a wonderful book full of the history and detail of the parks. I enjoyed the Magic Kingdom Timeline and learned so much from it alone, that it made purchasing the book worth it.

Product was not provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own.

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  1. Julie Wood says:

    I find this book to be fascinating and I would love to tread it. I like all things Disney and did not know about the interesting facts that this book has.

  2. Robin Wilson says:

    I’ve never been to Disney, but it’s on my bucket list of things to do! You didn’t say if this book had any pictures, but I have always been fascinated about how Disney is run. Especially info about the “underground” city!

  3. Sonya Morris says:

    We are hoping to go to Disney this year, this would be a great read before we go!

  4. Olivia Rubin says:

    Trying to think of some other hidden gems I learned of while working in the Magic Kingdom…I guess I know more about ride construction and presentation/illusion from doing walk throughs of rides at the end of the night. ….Peter Pans know the cars that are driving around England that appear when you are flying over head, well it is a black band with fluorescent dashes no bigger than a half of inch in length, just dashes that appear to be cars. Wendy is reading “children of god” to micheal, and they are rubber chocolate chip cookies. In Its a Small World, you have to get a tectnis shot if you work that ride.And if you shout “Andy’s coming” all the army men and toys will freeze!

  5. Sarah L says:

    I’ll have to look for this book before our trip in October. Thanks for the info.

  6. Great idea to buy the book before going. I wish I would have before we went. I felt like we only experienced half of what we could have.

  7. Sandy VanHoey says:

    How cool….I want this book too. My daughter will be taking my grandson at the end of the month…she would love reading this before she goes.

  8. This would be such a cool gift for a Disney lover.

  9. Olivia Rubin says:

    I hope you have taken the underground tour. With all the enthusiasm you have for Disney, you are surely one to appreciate all that is behind the scenes. As a former Magic Kingdom employee/hostess, I can tell that you that the rumors of a zoo are true. Yes, there is a zoo underneath the magic kingdom with entrances throughout the park. There is also a bank, a vending machine that dispense $10 socks and a seperate zip code for it all.

  10. saminder gumer says:

    this is so cool. i never knew some of the secrets and i bet some of them are pretty amazing.

  11. Awesome idea. I have to get this for my husband he is taking my daughter in June

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  12. Jennifer Marie says:

    That is a good reminder to to check to make sure things are still there before you go. Even though 3 years isn’t that long, things do get updated.

  13. Sounds great! Thanks for the review!

  14. This sounds like such a cool book! Thanks for the review.

  15. This sounds so cool! I will have to look for it.

  16. Austin Baroudi says:

    My mom has this book! I love it!

  17. Jennifer Marie says:

    sounds like a good book-I will have to tell my friend about this-she thinks she knows everything about magic kingdom :)

  18. This sounds great. We’ve been talking about a family trip to Walt Disney and this would be perfect for the older kids. I know they’d love to know all the “hidden” secrets.

  19. Elisabeth says:

    ohh this would be a great gift for a Disney lover!

  20. Tiffany Winner says:

    it’s fun knowing all the behind-the-scenes stuff

  21. courtney b says:

    i love disney world- one day i plan on taking all the kids!

  22. I would have loved to have this book when we took the kids when they were little but now …I have grand kids to look forward to bringing. I will definitely check out this book before my next trip!

  23. Thanks for the great review! Am going to pass this on to my daughter!

  24. Jean Fisher says:

    I must check this out before our trip to Walt Disney World later this year. I think I’ll feel like we’re getting so much more out of what we’re seeing!

  25. chelesa sims says:

    this looks like a fasanating book and i will have to pick it up

  26. Krista Grandstaff says:

    I had an older book similar to this when we traveled to Disney a few years ago…and it was fantastic…yeah, some things were outdated as to when to queue up for certain features, but the little historical touches were great, and the kids remembered them as we walked along… it added to the anticipation of the trip, and even after we got home, they were still talking about things they had “checked off” from the book :)

  27. love disney

  28. Now you’ll be full of fun facts when you go.

  29. interested in reading a book

  30. Some neat facts, Disney is definitely on my family’s short list of vacations

  31. MD Kennedy says:

    I LOVE this book – I am a big DisneyWorld fan,planning my next trip for February or June, and will definitely read this before I go…

  32. Thomas Gibson says:

    I used to work at WDW and there would be some people spend there entire time searching for hidden Mickeys. They mainly were locals who had a season pass.

  33. Can’t wait to take my family there! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Maria Malaveci says:

    I would absolutely love to have this book. Maybe I will ask for it for my birthday. I am a Disney girl at heart. I hope that we can plan a family vacation there with the kids soon!

  35. I like anything Disney!

  36. I love reading these books, I have so many old Disney Travel guides I read just to see how “the World” has changed. Also helps me reminisce on my old days when I worked at Magic Kingdom.

  37. I love books about Disney. I learned about Hidden Mickeys when I was a kid and still search for them all over.

  38. I’m a sucker for all the little quirky bits of information about places, so I think I’d like this book. Wonder if there will be an updated one?

  39. I miss going to Disney World Every Winter, but since our grand mom died back in 02 we stopped going, they have so many attractions there & kids just love it. This book looks really interesting by the way.

  40. Alisson H. says:

    My 4 yr old has never been, but she loves watching the behind the scenes specials, I bet she would love this book!

  41. Tammy Shelton says:

    We just visited The New Fantasy Land at The Magic Kingdom this past weekend. I am constantly in awe of the attention to detail. No one does it like Disney. This looks like a great Book for someone like me who thinks she knows “everything” about DW. Thanks for a great Post, I enjoyed it and will go buy this cool book.

  42. What a fun book! We’re fairly close to Disneyland, but are so wanting to make the trek out to Disney World sometime! I’ll definitely have to check this out before we go!

  43. I haven’t been in a while, but it would be interesting to look for hidden stuff when you’re not stuck in a line.

  44. Christina Kelbel says:

    That would be a cool book to read before my first trip there………..if it ever happens.

  45. I’d love to take my daughter to Disney World. I love books like this that give you inside tips.

  46. Juan Sanchez says:

    Looks like a great book! Thanks for sharing!

  47. Betty Baez says:

    it sounds great! I have a friend who is a disney world fanatic they go every year since she was wee little she would enjoy this book

  48. Amanda E. Buccieri says:

    Saving this for when we finally get to Disney! Thanks!

  49. What a neat book! It sounds like a must read before visiting Disney again!

  50. What a neat book to read before vacation.

  51. That does sound like a fascinating read! I will have to get a copy before we take a trip. Do they have anything similar to that for Disney Land?

  52. OK, this is just my kind of book. I am a fanatic for random trivia. For some reason I have always loved it, absorbed it and kept it right at my fingertips. I MUST check this out

  53. This looks like a fun book to read. The tidbit about King Stefan’s Hall made me laugh….good point. Thanks for sharing.

  54. Rich Hicks says:

    WOuld love to read this book of facts and secrets on Disney. Disney is such an American icon

  55. I always love finding out interesting facts like that. I’m sure it was fun to find out all the fun facts.

  56. My kids would have loved this book when we went to Disney last year. Maybe I will get it for them to look forward to our next trip.

  57. Joni Mason says:

    How neat! I love books which offer info such as this. Even though I won’t be going to Disnet World until my 2 year old grandson is old enough to remember it, I would love to be “in the know”. Thanks for sharing!!!

  58. Only one flag is real? What a fun fact!

  59. This sounds fantastic! We can’t get enough of all things Disney in our family, so I’m sure we would enjoy this book. Thanks for the review (and for not revealing too many secrets yet)!!

  60. What a really neat book! I’ll have to read this before we take my grandsons for the first time!

  61. This will be great for everyone, a free guided tour provided by YOU. They will difinitely owe you some compensation, maybe dinner!

  62. Ashley Morrissey says:

    Sounds like a great read I might just have to check out!

  63. Sounds like a good book. We love Disney!

  64. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    So Many Fun Facts That Not Alot Of People Knew , I Love Books Like This

  65. Disney World is on my kids list of places to go. This sounds like an interesting book. I would love to know all the history before visiting.

  66. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I Love Books Like This, That Reveal The Thoughts Behind A Brand/Design !:)

  67. thanks for this post we went to disney a few years ago this is the must have book to read before you go!

  68. Oh, what an interesting read! Now I really want to go!

  69. Harmony B says:

    I love that disney has so many different things that can go unnoticed. Its part of the magic

  70. Cynthia says:

    Seems like a really interesting book! Ive never been to Disney but now I really want to go!

  71. Ellen B says:

    I haven’t been there in about 30 or more years

  72. Cynthia C says:

    I love visiting Disney World and enjoy the trivia about it. I would love reading this book!

  73. this makes me want to take a trip there

  74. Tammy S says:

    Thanks for the post. My daughter really want to go to Disney world this summer. This might be a great book to pick up if we decide to go.

  75. I just went to Disney World this weekend. I was able to see some of Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, but I definitely need to go back to see more.

    This book sounds like something I would like to have before I plan a trip back.

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