Amazing facts about Walt Disney World Resorts

You may think you know every last detail about Disney World’s many resort hotels, but these facts are not widely known.

We absolutely love staying at the various resort hotels at Walt Disney World. From beachy and tropical-inspired to modern and chic to homey and cozy, there truly is a resort to suit every type of vacationer – and every taste! In addition to their unique design, each resort also boasts a history as diverse as each of the Disney World theme parks (or even more interesting, in some cases!). Below we share some surprising facts about the hotels you know and love throughout Walt Disney World Resort.

1. Disney’s Contemporary and Polynesian Resort rooms were built off-site

Photography by Brett Svensson

Have you ever heard the rumor that rooms at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are designed to slide in and out of the building’s structure for updates? Well, that rumor isn’t entirely untrue – the rooms are here We are Unique, it has been integrated into the building’s iconic A-frame structure.

This rumor likely originated from the story behind the contemporary construction. according to Disney Parks BlogNot only are the rooms at the Contemporary Hotel, but also at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, built off-site inside small container-like structures using a process called “modular construction.” Once the frame and rooms were ready, workers used cranes to insert the rooms (or modules) directly into the building frames.

Although there are no plans to move these room units out of place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Resort, it’s great to have each one of them self-contained and their own little unit!

2. Richard Nixon gave his famous “I’m Not a Fraud” speech at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney history and US history collide in the 1970s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You may not have learned these details in high school history class, but one of the most memorable moments of Richard Nixon’s presidency occurred at the Walt Disney World Hotel.

on November 17, 1971President Nixon was in the midst of the Watergate scandal—and he planned to give a speech in an attempt to counter public anger over his administration’s involvement in Watergate. He decided to speak at the Associated Press’ annual conference of managing editors, which happened to be being held at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

There, in the middle of a question-and-answer session after his speech, President Nixon uttered his infamous “I’m not a crook” statement, admitting some errors and saying: “…the people should know whether their president is a crook or not. “Their boss was a crook or not. Well, I’m not a crook.”

3. You can “Find” Nemo in the pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Big blue pool

Photography by Lori Sapp

Fans of the 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo You’ll want to book a stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort ASAP! Featuring a large, infinity-edge blue pool, this colorful resort features plenty of beloved Disney animated stories come to life… and the chance to swim with characters from… Finding Nemo.

Well, you won’t actually be swimming with the famous fish and sea creatures from the beloved movie. But you will feel like you are, thanks to Big Blue Pool’s unique feature. When you’re underwater in the 11,859-square-foot pool, you… Music and messages can be heard From Nemo and Dory. A series of underwater speakers bring the two characters to life as they swim, play and explore the pool.

4. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort had its own railway

You’re probably quite familiar with Disney World’s beloved railway inside Magic Kingdom Park. While it is the only railway still in operation today, in fact it was not the only one for many years. Just a few years after welcoming its first guests, Disney World has already opened a second railway line – one located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

Fort Wilderness was home to Fort Wilderness Railway, a 3.5-mile narrow-gauge heritage railway. It opened on January 1, 1974 and provided resort guests with convenient and convenient transportation to get to and from their campsites. He even took guests directly to nearby Disney’s River Country Water Park.

However, the railway track became difficult to maintain, and this presented challenges for pedestrians in the resort along with low fuel capacity restricting its speed and efficiency. As a result, the Fort Wilderness Railroad was closed in February 1980. When you visit Fort Wilderness today, you can still see signs of its presence throughout the grounds – such as the railroad ties still in place and the laundry facilities, which were once in operation. As a railway circular building.

5. The goats in the Disney Contemporary Resort mural are not a mistake

Mary Blair mural at Disney's Contemporary Resort

Photography by Cliff Wang

If you’ve ever caught a glimpse of the stunning, colorful mural inside the contemporary resort, you’ve probably noticed a funny detail: One of the goats has five legs, not four. But that’s not the most surprising piece of this masterpiece. In fact, the five-legged goat was deliberately “messed up”!

To create the mural, which consists of six 90-foot panels and more than 18,000 individual tiles, Blair drew inspiration from the traditions of Native American cultures. The five-legged goat is actually an intentional tribute to the Native American belief that nothing created by man is perfect. So, Blair intended the goats to be a poignant reference to the mistakes humans commonly make (although in this case the mistake is actually just a fascinating detail!).

6. The Beatles officially broke up at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

When the Beatles broke up in the 1960s, it was huge news, even though their breakup was technically slow over a number of years. While the end of the band began at a meeting at Apple headquarters in 1968, the members’ partnership was officially and legally dissolved in a surprising location: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

While John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison had already left the Beatles by 1970, It took another four years To effectively end the band’s breakup. By 1974, all members, except Lennon, had signed papers at the Plaza Hotel in New York. When the day came for the final documents to be signed, no one could find Lennon.

So, after some traveling and legal shenanigans, a lawyer finally tracked down Lennon and brought him the annulment contract — at Disney World, inside a room at the Polynesian Hotel, on December 29, 1974. Lennon officially signed the papers, and it was done. complete.

7. Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts were originally supposed to be one

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Have you ever wondered why the Little Mermaid section at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a little different from other themed areas? Finding Nemo, CarsAnd the king lion? Well, that’s because this resort was not originally planned to look like it does today. In fact, it was supposed to be an extension of a different resort – Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

It makes sense when you think about it, after all; Pop Century covers the decades from the 1950s to the 1990s. But what about the rest of the century, from the 1900s to the 1940s? Well, the resort was meant to be Divided into two parts, with the existing structures called the classical years and the second half called the mythical years. They will be connected to each other via a bridge called the generation gap.

The Classic Years Department was built, the bridge was completed, and work began on the Mythological Years Department in the Ollie Building. However, after the events of September 11, 2001, construction of the remaining buildings in the area of ​​​​the legendary years stopped. Everything remained the same for years, until Disney decided to scrap the second half of Pop Century and turn it into Art of Animation instead. That’s why you’ll find one of the resort’s buildings filled with standard rooms, while the other three have family suites!

8. A whole host of globally inspired hotels are planned for Disney World

Speaking of hotels that were planned but never completed at Walt Disney World, there are a whole bunch of ideas that never got implemented! When Disney World officially opened, there were plans to create a whole host of hotels around Magic Kingdom Park that were inspired by different destinations and cultures around the world — like EPCOT’s World Showcase, but with hotels featuring more in-depth themes.

For example, The Asian was a resort hotel scheduled to open in 1973, according to MousePlanet. The land has been cleared and prepared for this hotel (where Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Set today, in fact), which was supposed to be Thailand-themed. Plans were in motion, so much so that a nearby road was named “Asian Road” and the interiors of the room were approved and completed…but it never happened.

Likewise, there were plans for The Venetian, a resort located between the contemporary resort and the ticket and transportation center along the Seven Seas Lagoon; Al-Farsiyya, which will be located to the north-east of Al-Masrah on the monorail road; Grande Venezia Resort, which was supposed to fill the spot that The Venetian never occupied; and the Mediterranean Resort, which was intended to be a Greek-style resort complex on a monorail system.

9. Magic Kingdom Park had an almost real hotel on Main Street, USA

Main Street, Town Square Theater USA

Photography by Lori Sapp

If you’ve always dreamed of spending the night inside a Disney World theme park, that was almost a possibility when the Magic Kingdom first opened. In fact, you can actually check out the hotel that was intended for visitors to the Magic Kingdom today; It doesn’t look like a hotel!

While Disneyland Park in Anaheim has the Opera House, the Magic Kingdom has the Town Square Theater. However, these buildings were not originally similar. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the Town Square Theater was actually called the Main Street Hotel — and was home to the Gulf Hospitality Center. Guests can stop by and make reservations for rooms throughout the resort as well as dinner offerings and other entertainment activities. It even looked like a hotel lobby inside.

However, before opening its doors, Dorothea Redmond created an artistic concept to transform this building into a legitimate hotel, right on Main Street, USA. Some of its details even made it into the final design of the building; For example, the individual balconies in the upstairs windows and the rocking chairs on the front porch were all intended for hotel guests.

But the hotel never appeared, and the building eventually grew into its current form as the Town Square Theater in 2011.

10. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort wasn’t originally intended for theme park guests

There’s no denying that Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is unique (because who wouldn’t want to stay in a treehouse?). But few people know that it wasn’t actually built for theme park guests; It was supposed to be a neighborhood of actual homes.

You’ve heard about Walt Disney’s original dream for EPCOT, which was to turn it into a place for families to live and work. While these plans were abandoned, Saratoga Springs was actually built in the spirit of that dream. The resort buildings—including houses, apartments, and Treehouse Villas—were intended to be vacation homes and facilities for those who live and work on the property.

Later, when the Disney Institute was built near the villas at Saratoga Springs Resort, the buildings were used as accommodations for visiting guests. It was then converted into housing for the Disney International College Program.

So, it’s been quite a long journey for Saratoga Springs Resort to actually become an official Walt Disney World hotel!

Want to know more amazing facts about Disney World resorts? Read on:

Disney World hotels by the numbers

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