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The American Adventure Fun Facts

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You can also find other information on fun facts and secrets of Walt Disney World by consulting with your local independent bookstore or visit our online bookstore. These are real Disney secrets. For more Disney secrets and trivia and bloopers try DISNEY Ever Notice... ?. If you are interested in rumors (some true, most not), checkout Disney Urban Legend Reference Page and Urban Legends Archive.

  1. I recently took a Hidden Treasures tour and found some interesting secrets. For instance, forced perspective is used on the American Adventure. It looks as if it is only two stories high but it is actually 5!!! They had to make it look like two stories because colonial buildings were not five stories. It is five stories because the Audio-animatronic figures travel under the audience chairs after they have done their piece on stage.
    REPORTED: anon 14 FEB 98
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons 25 SEP 98
    CONFIRMED: Tom & Renée Shaw 10 JAN 00
  2. The scene changer is the length of a rail road box car and twice as wide. Weighs 175 tons and slides back on tracks. I couldn't believe it but it made hardly any sound when it was operating!
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 10 JAN 00
  3. For the first time with Disney, the audio-animatronics characters in the American Adventure are equipped with individual voices and speakers. Previously, narrations were played over a theater speaker system.
    REPORTED: The Crutchley Family 28 JUN 97
    CONFIRMED: Tom & Renée Shaw 10 JAN 00
    Audio animatronics figures have had internal speakers at least as long the construction of the Magic Kingdom. Also, many of the figures at AA have external speakers hidden in adjacent props.
    UPDATE: Shawn Potts 26 JUL 01
  4. Computers control the entire production. Once the button is pushed, the audio-animatronics actors move and speak, music (by the Philadelphia Orchestra) plays, lights brighten and dim, curtains open, sets rise, and motion-picture projectors roll. The motion-picture unit requires the longest single loop of film ever employed for a Disney show. The film, some 3,330 feet long, snakes up and down through rollers in seven specially made storage cabinets.
    REPORTED: The Crutchley Family 28 JUN 97
    CONFIRMED: Tom & Renée Shaw 10 JAN 00
  5. The original plans for the show included three hosts, one from each century during which the country existed. Benjamin Franklin was chosen as a spokesperson for the 18th century and Mark Twain was selected for the 19th century. The show's designers considered having such luminaries as Will Rogers and Walter Cronkite speak for the 20th century, but finally realized that we were "too close" to this century's events to decide who should represent us. Thus, the decision was made to have only two hosts.
    REPORTED: The Crutchley Family 28 JUN 97
  6. The screen is the largest rear projection screen in the world at 155 feet wide and 28 feet tall
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 10 JAN 00
  7. When the men are talking at the gas station in the "American Adventure" one of them turns on the radio and there is a news flash about the war. But right before they say anything about the Japanese being a part in the war, the radio turns off and they go to a different scene. This happened because Disney didn't want to offend any of the Japanese that come to the parks every year.
    REPORTED: anon 06 AUG 97
  8. In the 1930s gas station scene ("Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?"), did you ever notice the two prominent signs on the gas station are for Coca-Cola and American Express? (If you didn't know, they are the two sponsors of the attraction.)
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 05 MAY 97
    CONFIRMED: The Crutchley Family 28 JUN 97
  9. From the Epcot Field Guide: Over 110,000 hand-formed bricks were used in the construction of The American Adventure. Pressed into fiberglass forms, the bricks were colored and aged to give them an authentic appearance. The roof of the building is constructed of slate. Marble and copper were used for the flooring and for the decorative artwork throughout the building.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 13 JUL 96
  10. Take a look at the clock. The number 4 is represented by "IIII" not "IV" as you might expect. According to Jan our Hidden Treasures guide, this was typical of colonial America.
    REPORTED: John & Melanie Emmons 28 AUG 96
    CONFIRMED: Candice Ossowski 27 DEC 96
    Most of the clocks I have ever scene (all but 1 actually) that use Roman Numerals, use IIII instead of IV. I have never been able to figure out why, but this is a common occurence.
    UPDATE: Jeff Carter 16 OCT 97
    There's an annoying new trend in the world of clockmaking. As some sort of nouveau statement, many of the clocks and watches manufactured these days that have Roman numerals on them have replaced the traditional, correct "IV" (the number four) with "IIII" (look around your house, you might have this and never noticed it). So it's absolutely appalling that a place as detail-oriented as Walt Disney World would allow the incorrect "IIII" to appear on the clock.
    UPDATE: anon 25 OCT 98
    Roman Numeral "IIII", is not incorrect! It was an old-fashioned representation that is not used much anymore. Just because some people have never seen it represented in this way, doesn't make it wrong. Check out old dictionaries...it's in them. Leave to Disney Imagineers to deviate from the norm.
    UPDATE: Sal Maiorino 04 JAN 99
    The roman numeral "IIII" used on the clock on Cinderella Castle is correct. It is also used on the clock in the American Pavilion in Epcot. I read somewhere that this was used by clockmakers until after the colonial period. Then it was changed to the modern "IV".
    UPDATE: Lindsay Robidas 06 FEB 99
    Regarding the use of the roman numerals "IIII" instead of the current useage of "IV". Check out the number of X's, V's and I's on a clock face with the "IIII". You'll see that they have four X's, Four V's, and 20 I's... in other words, four identical sets of XVIIII. It was probably easier for a metalworker to make sets of XVIIII, than to try and allow for the extra "V" and the loss of three "I"s. I'm thinking it would have been less time consuming and less wasteful just to crank them out with clock faces reading "IIII" instead of "IV".
    UPDATE: John Ryder 30 MAR 99
    Regarding the use of the Roman numeral "IIII" on the clock at Cinderella Castle, this is indeed a very old convention but I was given a different explanation of it: IIII provides a better visual balance with VIII and XII than does IV, breaking a clock face into even thirds.
    CONFIRMED: Ken 11 JUN 00
  11. Before entering the Hall of Flags (to take the stairs/escalator to the second floor), there is a huge mural to your immediate right. The Imagineers created this mural to show the audience exactly who is portrayed during the program and who is paid tribute to at the very end when "Golden Wings" is playing. The errors we found were names missing from the list! Some of those missing are: Lucille Ball, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, the Challenger Crew (Krista McAuliffe, etc.), and the Indian, Iron Eyes Cody, with the tear on his face from the 70's Keep America Beautiful PSA (public service announcement). We pointed this out to one of the cast members and he was completely shocked to see the names missing! He said he would report the "error" right away. I'm curious to see if he did!
    REPORTED: Mary Glenn Crutchley 23 DEC 96
    Iron Eyes Cody -- real name Oscar DeCorti, born Gueydan, Louisiana. Parents Antonio DeCorti and Francesca Salpietra, Italian immigrants to the New Orleans area. To escape his own real history, he adopted Indian ways, incuding dress, as a young boy. His father left the family and moved to Texas "incognito" to escape a Louisiana Mafia-like group referred to as the Black Hand. Mother remarried a man named Abshire. Family moved for a year to Orange, Texas, then back to Gueydan, LA, except for the boys of the DeCorti family, who located and stayed with their father, who had changed his name to Tony Corti and managed a poolhall in or near Houston. Following their father's death, the Corti boys moved to California and changed their name to Cody. There, according to his family, "Iron Eyes turned 100% Indian." Because his features closely resembled stereotypical Indians in Hollywood's eyes, he succeeded as a character actor playing Indian roles. To fatten his bio, he made up a totally false history about being a Cherokee born in Oklahoma. His son carries on the myth, as do the relatives of his real Indian wife. However, Corti's own relatives have told and published the true story and have records and photos to support their history. None of this diminishes the man, his talent, or his genuine support for Indian and American causes. In the famous commercials, the "tear" in his eye was glycerin and the braids was a wig. But the concern was as real as the nose was. Incidentally, the state recognized for the most trash on its roads (except interstates) is . . . Oklahoma, "Home of the Red Man."  I was raised there and am not the least bit Indian.
    UPDATE: Jim Couzzourt 26 MAY 02
  12. We took a backstage tour and went behind the stage at The American Adventure. Our guide told us all the figures have real human hair wigs.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 12 MAY 97
  13. We took a backstage tour and saw some of the sets from The American Adventure up close. Most of furniture and props are real antiques (although some are reproductions). In the opening scene, there is a teapot behind Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain that says "No Stamp Act" on it -- a real antique.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 12 MAY 97
    The hair on the wigs is real human hair and some of the furniture is in fact antiques.
    CONFIRMED: Sara Colwell 22 DEC 97
  14. There is a painting of some colonists crossing the Missouri river. The river is shown flowing north. Or the colonists are going back home!
    REPORTED: Bo Lancaster 06 JAN 98
  15. In the American Pavilion there are paintings along the front wall. One of the first ones opens to reveal an elevator.
    REPORTED: Chris Reichert 26 FEB 99
  16. The projection system in the American Pavilion is behind the screen (I think 70000 watts)so shadows from the characters don't show. The animatronics are mounted in cages on three separate rail tracks that go under the audience. The cages are made of 6" tubular steel space-frames. The hair on the figures are real human hair woven one hair at a time at a cost of $13000 each. The furniture pieces are real antiques. Accuracy of ride motion is within millimeters over the track that must be at least 100 feet. Nobody but the operator is allowed behind the scenes when Epcot is open. About four 6-foot racks contain the computers that run the attraction backstage.
    REPORTED: J Baker 24 OCT 99
  17. On the America Stage, it was getting to hot for the individuals in the choir to preform, so Disney installed extemely large fans and AC units in the back of the stage and the cold air is pumped over the performers heads.
    REPORTED: anon 11 NOV 99
  18. Everyone knows that Cast Members either point with two fingers or an open palm. Pointing with one finger is considered "rude" and isn't allowed anywhere in Disney property. Well if you've ever been American Adventure's washrooms you know this isn't entirely true. There are 3 or 4 signs with a hand pointing (with one finger) to the washrooms.
    REPORTED: Eric 24 FEB 02

Candlelight Processional

  1. While preforming the battery in my candle went dead, and someone under the bleachers handed me a new one.
    REPORTED: anon 11 NOV 99
  2. I was fortunate enough the go backstage of the stage that the processional is performed on, and there are security cameras all over the stage watching everyone on stage.
    REPORTED: anon 11 NOV 99
    I can also confirm that there are cameras all over the stage than can be viewed backstage. There is also a large wood floored complex complex behind Italy on which sit several trailers for the Guest Talent programs.
    CONFIRMED: William 13 DEC 99
    It was mentioned that there are trailers behind Italy for the performers. They stay there all year. I know because when I was eating at Alfredo's, and had to make use of the facilities, I found, much to my dismay that the restrooms were "being refurbished for my future enjoyment." I was then directed around the corner, and through a large door. behind it was a trailer with restrooms.
    UPDATE: Harry Walker 06 JUL 00
  3. Disney built a large wooden deck, equipped with bathrooms, changing areas, and large fans to cool the preformers off.
    REPORTED: anon 11 NOV 99
    This year will be my third year singing for the Candlelight Processional, and The America Gardens Theater has had large air conditioners installed this year and it really helps! It may be 40 degrees outside but under those show lights it gets really hot. I sang in the 5 pm show two weeks ago and even with the new AC units, three choir members were taken off the stage because they got sick. One threw up and the other was so bad the Paramedics came down the sidewalk during the show to get her.
    CONFIRMED: William 13 DEC 99
    1999 was my second year performing at Candlelight, and this year the stage did seem like it was being cooled (last year it was very hot on stage)... Also, regarding on-stage illness.. last year, one of my friend nearly fainted while performing and she was quickly taken backstage and they made her drink lots of water and stuff..
    CONFIRMED: brm 01 JAN 00
  4. The Disney employees you see helping with the Candlelight Processional are called Guest Talent Coordinators.
    REPORTED: William 13 DEC 99

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