Disney/MGM Studios
General Secrets

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.

Orig Art
Original Art
  1. History of Disney Studios
  2. Disney-MGM Studios is close to 135 acres. It is south of Epcot Center. Construction began in 1986. By the time the new theme park opened in May 1989 (the changes in scale had delayed the scheduled October 1988 opening), total costs had accumulated to more than $500 million.
    REPORTED: Jason Dixon 22 NOV 99
  3. Many of the characters you see early in the morning (by the ticket gates/entry) leave or enter just to the left of the Kennel. I know as my cat met Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Goofy. So if you are waiting for someone to purchase theme park tickets hang near the Kennel and you will have the Characters to yourself & you family for a bit...
    REPORTED: Stan Swastek 12 JUL 98
  4. Earful Tower is not an operating water tower. It is only a landmark patterned after a real water tower at the studios in California. This is noted on the WDW Explorer CD-ROM.
    REPORTED: Mark T. Mems 01 JAN 97
    They say this on the Backlot tour. During the Christmas period the ears also have a santa cap on them.
    CONFIRMED: Craig Prall 06 JAN 98
    The hat size of the Earful Tower is 342 3/8.
    UPDATE: Mike Janosco 16 DEC 00
  5. In 1995, the Earful Tower had blue goggles in honor of Orlando Magic player Horace Grant. The Magic went on to play in the NBA championships, but they lost the series.
    REPORTED: Itwasalatenite 03 MAR 98
  6. For the 100 Years of Disney Magic, MGM has built a giant sorceror's hat in honor of Walt's 100th birthday. Now, if they were to make a Mickey to go with the hat with every detail from head to toe, they would have to make him 368ft tall just to get the hat to fit sung on his head. Making it the tallest thing at the parks as attractions (which by the way this whole area under the hat will be the process in which MGM was built). All together the hat and Mickey would make The Tower of Terror like like a childs play toy because everything would be close to five hundred feet...thats tall enough for you to see it as far as the monrail barn at Magic Kingdom.
    REPORTED: Indiana Jones 07 JUL 01
  7. While the Studios may not have tunnels underneath them like the Magic Kingdom, they do have one of the most enjoyable ways for cast members to get around: bikes. Since the park is almost round, with little guest access to the edges, CMs use communal bikes to get around the parks on the outside. (Certain personnel have their own specific bikes with their serial number etched onto them. There are also green general bikes that any CM can grab and use to get around the park.) One of my favorite experiences of working at the studios was waiting until the guests had left and riding the bikes around the New York Streets with one of my friends who worked at the Back Lot Tour.
    REPORTED: Goot 08 NOV 99
    There are indeed many, many bikes that the studios provide for back-stage castmembers. The general policy is that as SOON as someone steps off a bike, it's fair game and anyone can now use it.
    CONFIRMED: Jordan 26 SEP 00
  8. In the Studios on the other side of the Brown Derby Resturant there is a Cast Member only Cafeteria. It is called "Take Five Cafe".
    REPORTED: Kenneth Klingensmith 30 DEC 96
    "Take Five" is a backstage cafeteria for cast members. There is also a "Company D" store (where cast members can buy clothes/goods which have some kind of CAST designation on them... like a key-ring that says 'Team Disney') housed there.
    CONFIRMED: Jordan 26 SEP 00
    There is in fact a cafateria behind the Brown Derby and next to the animation tour. The name of it is Take 5.
    CONFIRMED: East 25 MAY 01
  9. There is only one ATM machine for the "guests" at the Studios. It is located just outside the gates to the right as you are approching the studio gates to enter. There is another ATM machine for "Cast Members" but is not available for studio guest.
    REPORTED: Jim Sloan 24 JUN 96
    There is only one "guests" ATM in the park (there are plans for a new one) and another sponsered by Disney's cast member credit union backstage.
    CONFIRMED: anon 01 JUN 99
    That is not true because I used one in the Toy Story Pizza Planet Restaurant. Look for it, it is right where you order your food. It looks like a rocket ship.
    UPDATE: Aren 11 AUG 00
    Confirm the Pizza Planet ATM in the lobby - next to the game room, of course!
    CONFIRMED: DUSTY 15 OCT 00 utilidor
  10. Although the main plaza Hidden Mickey is well known, he has a friend: the entrance plaza outside the ticket booths forms a big Hidden Pluto. You can see his face with eyes, nose, and mouth. This is clearly visible on the park map and on the photograph from space.
    REPORTED: Paul Asente 09 FEB 99
    CONFIRMED: Stacy 23 MAR 99
  11. The Catwalk Bar, located on top of the Brown Derby and Soundstage, is open even when the restaurant isn't serving. You can go right upstairs and get their custom "Catwalk Cooler" drink and, often, be the only patron in the entire building.
    REPORTED: Allen Huffman 12 MAY 96
    CONFIRMED: Lisa Dunham 01 OCT 96
  12. Beauty and the Beast was the most visted attraction at the Disney Studios.
    REPORTED: jim 03 JAN 96
    Believe it or not, Beauty and the Beast is no longer the most visited show at MGM. In fact it is Fantasmic! The show since Oct. 18th, 1998 has had 8500 seats (the max for the show) everynight Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at #3, TOT at number #4 Rockin Roller Coaster at #4, Beauty and the Beast is tied with The Hunchback at #5.
    UPDATE: Indiana Jones 20 MAY 01
  13. The names on the windows on New York Street are those of the Walt Disney Imagineering people who designed the park
    REPORTED: jim 03 JAN 96
  14. Studios Cast Member IDs double as time cards, thanks to a bar code on the back. Cast Members clock in at Wardrobe in the back of the park. The only other time clock is at the Take Five cafe.
    REPORTED: Rachel Nacion 30 JAN 97
    There are more than just two time clocks. There are many more hidden throughout the park. There is one in the Tower of Terror, and some in the admin buildings.
    UPDATE: anon 12 FEB 97
    As for the assumption that there are only three time clocks in the studios (One at costuming, one at Take 5, and one at the tower of Terror) there are tons of time clocks all over the park. Besides, there are already two at costuming alone.
    WISHFUL THINKING: eric moy 20 AUG 97
    There is a new cast services/costuming building in front of the comedy parking lot (which mostly serves for cast parking anymore) and it does not contain a timeclock. However, there are in fact timeclocks located near almost every single attraction and restaurant in the park.
    UPDATE: anon 01 JUN 99
    On my time-card, the bar-code is on the front. And as far as I'm aware, there are time clocks at the backstage entrances to almost all the attractions/restaurants.
    CONFIRMED: Jordan 26 SEP 00
  15. Inside the cast services building there is a fully funtional hair salon for cast members.
    REPORTED: anon 01 JUN 99
    There is a salon in the cast services building. The costuming center is also located there as well as a small break-room called "The Green Room" and lockers which cast members can store personal in during the day, and changing rooms.
    CONFIRMED: Jordan 26 SEP 00
  16. There is a cast members only cafeteria behind the Brown Derby, but it's closer to the Animation Tour building and the old Soundstage Restuarant.
    REPORTED: anon 01 JUN 99
  17. Guests are now allowed to travel on the backstage road between Oscar's and the Theater of the Stars. If you eat dinner at the Brown Derby, Hollywood and Vine or Mama Melrose, you get priority seating to Fantsmic. You take this route to get to your special seats at the Fantasmic Theater.
    It is true, It does save time though the spot they put you in is at the far side of the theater and where you are sitting you can miss some of the action. Though two hours is a long wait, you have a better chance of getting a seat where you can see everything and not miss any of the action. Seeing the show 156 times (yes, i have seen it that many times), take it from me, it would be better to wait the hour and a half to two hours to get good seats compaired to paying for a dinner and getting one of the bad areas for the show.
    UPDATE: indiana jones 12 FEB 01
    Someone stated that the seating isn't very good, well I was very pleased of where we were seated considering we got there 30 mins. before the actual show. Fantasmic is truley an amazing show! GO DISNEY!
    CONFIRMED: Jonathan Ruiz 19 JUN 01
  18. All of the Disney 3D Adventure Shows, such as Muppet Vision 4D, and Honey I Shrunk the Audience, It's Tough To Be A Bug, as well as the since past show Magic Journeys all use the same principle of presentation. Unlike normal 3D show (red/blue lenses) these film use a process of reverse polorization every other frame. The clear glasses are reversed polorized which allow your eyes to detect the difference of angle between the two frames - this method is cheap for filming, and it can be added after filming is done. It also adds a higher degree of control on the 3D effects.
    REPORTED: Kenneth Klingensmith 25 JUN 98
  19. Replica of the Colony Theater, New York, is at the Studios. The Colony Theater is where Steamboat Willie, Mickey's first starting roll, debuted
  20. Look at the lamp posts throughout the park. You'll find one with an umbrella on it, if you stand underneath, it will start to rain, no matter how sunny! Most people don't know about this, and many seemed shocked when I did it! (Hold onto the umbrella, and watch how many people try to squeeze the handle and figure out your trick!)
    REPORTED: Amanda 18 JUN 02


  1. For Walt's 100th birthday bash over at MGM, the parade will have old fasion cars (and I mean like 30s-40s with no tops) with 100 Disney characters in the parade, some from movies not even out yet. REPORTED: anon 08 JUL 01');

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