Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures: A Magic Review - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles
'Dream It! Do it! My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms' by Marty Sklar
2013 Expedition Everest Challenge
A Birds' Eye View
A Magical Wedding Day
A Pirates League For Us
A Trio of Backstage Disney Tours
Adventuring Forth
Amazing Autograph Books
Amazingly E-Racing the Guilt
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Around the World on a Segway
Backstage Magic Tour
Backstage Tour
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni
Behind The Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Boys
Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney
Busch Gardens Tour
Cast Member Confidential
Cast Members Save the Day
Chaperoning at Walt Disney World
Christmas Day At Disney
Christmas Day Delights
Christmas In November
Cinderella Royal Family 5k
Cirque du Soleil
Dashing Through The ... Snow?
Dealing With the Post-Vacation Disney Blues
Decade of Dreams
Discovering the Magic
Disney Every Day
Disney Fan Gathering
Disney Podcasts
Disney Tech Primer - Part 2
Disney Vacation Countdown
Disney Vacations
Disney World and Down Syndrome - A Winning Combination
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Hollywood Studios Then and Now
Disney's PhotoPass and PhotoPass Plus
Disney's Sinister Soiree - A Delightfully Evil Treat
Fireworks Photo Ops!
Gardens of The World Tour
Getting Your Disney Fix
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
Grad Nites @ Disney
Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World
Holidays At The World
Holidays At The World
Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness
How I Helped My Scaredy-Cat Kid
How Young Is Too Young?
IllumiNations Reflections of Earth
Keeping the Magic Alive
Keys To The Kingdom
Last Day Disney Blues
Learning To Like Disney
Making the Wait Magical
Meeting Marty Sklar
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Munching With Mickey
My Disney Wins
My Hidden Mickey Surprise
My Three Sons
Our Decade of Disney
Our Happily Ever After
Pack Your Pixie Dust
Pin Trading at Disney
Pirates & Princess Party
Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
Pirates at Disney Parks Worldwide
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere!
Pleasure Island
Preserving Memories with PassPorter
Rediscovering Walt Disney World
Renting Surrey Bikes at Disney's Boardwalk
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Romance at Walt Disney World
Rumor Round-Up
runDisney Races - Better with Friends
Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Scrapbooking Disney
Senses: A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian
Soarin' Over South Africa
Specialty Cruises
Spreading a Bit of Pixie Dust
Spreading A Little Pixie Dust
Star Wars Weekends
Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles
Summer at Disney vs. Winter in Michigan
Survey Marks
Taking It Easy at Walt Disney World
Teeing Off at Disney
The 2009 Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The American Idol Experience
The Behinds the Seeds Tour at Epcot
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic of Disney
The Monorails of Disney's Wonderful World of Theme Parks
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights
The Rest of the "World" For Kids
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience
The School that Walt Built
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Sunrise Safari
The Unwitting Scrapper
The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis
The Year Without Disney
There is More to Disney Than Rides
Three Generations of Disney Lovers
Tips & Tricks
Top 10 Disney Questions
Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Travels with
Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures
Unusual Photo Opportunities
Using YouTube for Disney Magic
Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World At The Holidays
Walt Disney World Hidden History - Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes by Kevin Yee
Walt Disney World With the Grandkids
What A Wonderful World (of Disney)
What I Miss About a Disney Christmas
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?
When Bad Trips Happen to Good People
When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 4
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 5
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
Ye Olde Magic Kingdom
Yuletide Magic

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures: A Magic Review

by Kath Davis, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 4/26/2007

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

My husband Randy and I have only been home for one week from our first trip to Walt Disney World. We still haven't had a chance to organize the 900+ pictures that we took into a (much) smaller slide show to present to family and friends. But we are still talking about some of the unknown treasures that we discovered in Walt Disney World.

Don't get me wrong. We bought our first PassPorter about a year before our trip, and then bought the new edition when it was available. (Having two PassPorters made those long planning evenings much easier.) But even with our careful study of the PassPorter books and message boards, we "discovered" a few things that either were not uncovered in our research, or that we thought were undervalued. Read on to learn about some of the things we think you should be sure to seek out at Walt Disney World.

Future World's "Inventor's Circle" Why isn't this on any map? As you pass from Epcot's fountain plaza to Future World West and approach The Land, look down. Set into the pavement are concentric circles. Within these circles are round plaques celebrating great inventions, from the wheel all the way through the microcomputer. There is a central hub with four fascinating quotes from scientists, and the inventions radiate from there, like planets in a solar system. We spent quite a while wandering back and forth, with our gaze downward, exclaiming over dates we didn't know, or even disputing a few allegations. I am sure we looked crazy to the people who had to maneuver around us, but we were amazed that no one stopped to see what it was that had captured our attention so keenly. If you are at all interested in science, you need to go find this!

The posters in the queue for Mickey's PhilharMagic at the Magic Kingdom We had to let people in the queue pass us, because we were more interested in getting photos of these posters than in getting to the main event, and later we went back to get a few more! Mickey's PhilharMagic ended up being one of our favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, and these posters really "plussed" the package. Imagine old-style theater posters, with familiar Disney characters spotlighted for musical performances: "Genie Sings the Blues," "I Pagliacci" performed by Willy the Whale, and "Ariel's Coral Group." Classic Disney art with tongue placed firmly in cheek, and not to be missed.

Canadians really are the friendliest people in the world ... or in the World. OK, we could be prejudiced on this one; Randy is from Canada. But one of the reasons I fell in love with him is that he is so darn nice! We found that the students who work at the Canadian pavilion and its Le Cellier restaurant were the friendliest group in any of the parks, and particularly in World Showcase. We actually had one negative encounter with a cast member in the World Showcase (I won't tell which country), but even in the upscale Le Cellier, where you might expect some reserve, I saw the wait staff interact in ways that went above and beyond the call of duty with all the tables around us. Our server directed us to excellent wine pairings, discussed his upcoming plans for a road trip to California, and cheerfully took our picture. Who cares if the Canada film is outdated when the people are so wonderful?

Those fabulous cameos in the ride pre-shows We were not surprised to find more of Hollywood signing on to add "plus" to the ride pre-shows (and sometimes into the rides themselves). Being Disneyland "natives," we already had enjoyed actor Patrick Warburton as the chief steward in Soarin' Over California, and we were pleased to see that he worked Epcot also. I can remember the days when Disney used mostly unknown voice-over actors for their feature animation; now, half the fun of the movie is figuring out who does that voice. With the ride pre-shows, at least you sometimes get to see the actors, but even then, it took us a few minutes to place them out of context. There's Ileanna Douglas as Aerosmith's manager at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and John Michael Higgins as the head test engineer in Test Track. But the most inspired cameo has to be Gary Sinise in Mission:Space. Who better to add credibility to your space mission, than the very man who talked Ron Howard's Apollo 13 astronauts through their dangerous re-entry procedure?

Port Orleans horse-drawn carriages Here is one delight that is mentioned in PassPorter, as well as in the resort literature that you receive upon checking in. But mere words can not describe the sound of the carriage wheels and the horse's hoofs clopping on the pavement within the buildings of the resort. We did not have the time to take a ride ourselves, but we were fortunate enough to be in our room, changing for dinner, when we heard the horse go right by our door! Our room in the French Quarter was at the corner of two small streets, streets just wide enough for the horse and carriage. I had imagined that the carriage ride would be along the riverbank, between the resorts, but it actually wends through the resort buildings, and in the French Quarter at least, it was unspeakably romantic. A carriage ride will go to the top of my list for our next trip!

Mosaics inside Cinderella Castle Although Cinderella Castle dominated our experience of the Magic Kingdom, we did not take the time to walk through it until we were leaving the park, technically after the park had closed. We were delighted and amazed at the gorgeous mosaics that tell Cinderella's story. Five large mosaics composed of small glass tiles, set in arches in the wall of the walkway, tell the story of Cinderella. The colors are breathtaking and the level of detail is astonishing. Many shades of blue are used to give the texture of running water to a stream; the ball gowns have intricate patterns "woven" into the fabric; the floor of the ballroom is multi-colored parquet. Some of the tiles are as small as a centimeter, and many fuse real gold and sterling silver with the glass to give Cinderella the "royal" treatment. Again, we spent many minutes here, drinking in the colors and artistry. We had to take pictures of the the whole mosaics and close-ups of the details. I look forward to seeing them by daylight next time.

One quality that keeps us constantly delighted at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is the detail that the company puts into the experience. When I was on Sunset Boulevard in Disney-MGM Studios, I knew that Hollywood in the 1930s looked just like this ... at least, I hope it did! Many of the treasures mentioned here aren't what we'd call attractions; we think of them as things that enhance the experience, which Walt always strove for. I think he would have enjoyed reading my list, and knowing how much we appreciate that extra effort.

You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Kath Davis is the executive director for a non-profit youth orchestra in Orange County California. Randy telecommutes as a global test analyst for a company based in New York, and spends a lot of time in Tokyo. They haven't wrangled at trip to Tokyo Disneyland yet, but there is still hope!

Related Links:

Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08

Reader Comments:

View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 4/26/2007 - Article #283 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.

Post-Trip Disney Gift Card Magic For Us
by Her Dotness
13 Dec 2014 at 5:30pm
Was sorting through our gift card collection from the trip, all of which had been used, I thought. Stuck in a wad of receipts was one with a...
(click title above to view replies)

Discounts on Disney Vera Bradley!
by HollyH
25 Nov 2014 at 7:34am
Disneystore.com is having a sale on Disney Veras now until Wednesday. 10%-20% off (have to buy 3 Vera items to get 20%). Code VERALOVE There was...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 4888

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.