On a long day at work, sometimes we’ll open up Google Earth and explore the world. One of our favorite places to go, obviously, is Walt Disney World. After zooming around the 3D view for a few minutes, we realized that you can see some fascinating backstage views or perspectives that you wouldn’t get by foot in the parks! Here are our favorites!
1. The back of Splash Mountain
Fun fact: if you go on the Keys to the Kingdom tour, you can see this area in person! It’s a striking view, the water tank and the “unfinished” backside. The building you see in the back is the “show building” where part of the ride takes place! The water tank itself holds 1 million gallons of water.
2. River Country
Before we dive into our love for River Country, be sure to check out our article when Mouselet 2 got to visit! River Country is the abandoned Disney waterpark, that sits right next to Fort Wilderness Campground. In fact, the front half of the waterpark is still open for Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. You can walk through the front ticket booth, use the bathroom with an old-fashioned hair dryer, and see what the theming used to be! The back half of the park is closed (and abandoned), and waiting for demolition for the new resort to be built.
The aerial images from Google Earth show two pools. The darker pool is actually lake water: originally, it was pumped in from the lake and filtered. There were some larger slides leading into this pool as well as some “Tom Sawyer” like attractions including a rope swing. The kidney shaped pool was originally fresh water. It was filled in in 2015 with cement. For more pictures, head over here.
3. Backstage Kali River Rapids
Kali River Rapids does an excellent job of making you feel like you really are rafting down the Chakranadi River in Asia. There could be no way to tell that just passed the scene with the burning trees is a large green lawn, roads, and backstage areas! From this view, it seems hard to believe that you can’t see this from the ride. However, you’re low enough in the water that your sightlines are blocked.
I’m sure it’s well known that the Fantasmic mountain is actually a stage. The back is used for the actors to get to their spots for the scenes, and as storage. The rafts and boat are also stored behind the mountain! The water surrounding the stage is less than 2 ft deep, and has a track that the boats follow.
The most interesting part to us is that the other side of the Tower of Terror is easily scene from this view! Generally, Disney does not complete all four sides of a building unless it can be seen “onstage” (think the backside of Everest or any of the buildings that contain a “show building”. This building can be seen from Epcot, Blizzard Beach, and all over Disney property. We’re glad they did the full exterior!
5. Canada Pavilion
The Canada Pavilion at Epcot is famous for its waterfall and mountain range. From this view, you can see that the mountain range is quite small, and only contains the front façade. The back is a large water tank to filter and reuse the water! You can also get a good idea of how close the backstage is at Epcot. Behind each pavilion there are parking spaces, storage areas, and buildings. When you’re in the park, you would have no idea that there are cars driving around just behind you!
Bonus: Everest Hidden Mickey
We couldn’t show our favorite Google Earth views without adding the hidden Mickey at Everest. The large loops at the bottom make up the ears, while the mountain itself makes up his head!
Do you have any other backstage views you want to see? Let us know in the comments and we’ll consider them for our next article!