Take a Look at Disney World’s Secret Tunnels
Legend says that Walt Disney was once strolling around Disneyland in Anaheim when he saw a cast member in a Frontierland cowboy costume wandering through Tomorrowland. He felt it was disruptive to the “magic” people were meant to experience at the park, and decided to do something about it at his next park.
The first layer of the Magic Kingdom that was built was 392,040 square feet of “underground” tunnels, known as utilidors. While the utilidors allow cast members to move about the park without being seen, it also provides services to the employees.
All of those cast members have to eat somewhere. The Mouseketeria is where you’ll find Snow White and Elsa munching on pizza alongside Tigger and Gaston. The eatery, which includes a Subway, is located back behind the castle, near Pinocchio’s Village Haus restaurant.
Disney is notoriously strict on the hairstyles their employees are allowed to have. Luckily, cast members who find themselves getting a little too shaggy can pop down to Kingdom Kutters to get a trim before their shifts start. There’s another one at Epcot called “HairPort International.”
The “Glow Room"
Don’t get your hopes up—the Glow Room isn’t a secret place for raves. According to former cast members, there’s an area under Adventureland where all of the carts selling light-up bracelets, necklaces, swords, and Mickey ears are stocked.
Despite the massive amounts of trash generated at Disney parks every day, you won’t see garbage trucks anywhere. That’s because the AVAC (Automated Vacuum-Assisted Collection) system takes care of it instead. Giant pneumatic tubes at designated areas in the park carry garbage to a processing area behind Splash Mountain—and it’s all concealed within the utilidors.
Similarly, you’ll never see food trucks backing up to a gate to deliver produce or meat. All of those churros, turkey legs and Dole Whips you eat are stored and, in the case of prepared meals, even cooked down in the utilidors.
The Character Zoo
It takes a lot of costumes to make the Magic Kingdom go ‘round, and until 2005, all of those 1.2 million costumes lived in the Character Zoo area of the utilidors. Many of those costumes moved to a building in the cast member parking lot about a decade ago, but the wardrobes of key characters, such as the Mouse himself, are still housed in the Zoo.
The Entire Park Operating System
It’s not just Tick-Tock Croc lurking beneath Peter Pan’s Flight. Engineering Central, or what used to be known as DACS (Digital Animation Control System), is the place where parades, lights, music, and more are controlled for the entire park.