While walking through Adventureland, it’s easy to miss the details and head straight for Pirates of the Caribbean or Jungle Cruise. However, this often-overlooked land is filled with hidden details that when noticed, will make your Walt Disney World experience even more special and immersive! Here are our top ten favorite Adventureland secrets. Looking for more secrets of Disney lands? Head over to our Top 1o Main Street USA Secrets article!
1. Theme Change
As you walk past the Crystal Palace from Magic Kingdom to Adventureland, take a look at the foliage. You’ll see the theming subtly change from typical North American foliage to thick, broad leafed jungle plants! This is one of the subtle techniques imagineers use to transition between lands.
2. Swiss Flag
Take a look at the Swiss flag on the Swiss Family Treehouse sign – this is the only non-American flag in the park! This is because the characters from the movie were from Switzerland.
3. Gold Camels
Camels in front of Aladdin’s Magic Carpets were used in a parade at Hollywood Studios called Aladdin’s Royal Caravan. The parade first premiered in 1992 and ended in 1995. Two golden camels were attached to a float and would spit water at guests when they turned their heads. When the parade ended, the camels were moved to the Soundstage Restaurant (where Disney Junior used to be). They were finally relocated to their final resting place, in front of the Magic Carpets, in 2001! Sadly, in April 2019 the camels went missing, likely for rehab! Hopefully they’ll be back in the coming months!
4. Commemorating Tile
Take a look at the ground around Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, and you’ll notice small pieces of tile. This tile is actually from the building that was torn down to make room for the ride! The photo below shows what the area looked like before the Magic Carpets were built.
5. Enchanted Tiki Room Roof
Take a look at the roof of the Enchanted Tiki Room. The animals can be seen from both Frontierland and Adventureland. In Adventureland, they appear to be Asian water buffalo, but in Frontierland they look like western longhorn cows. The same animal fits in both settings without disrupting the theming!
6. Skeleton Stalemate
In the Pirates of the Caribbean queue, keep an eye out for two skeleton’s playing chess. They are actually in a stalemate, and have been playing the game so long that they turned into skeletons!
7. Jungle Cruise Plane
Keep an eye out for the crashed airplane on Jungle Cruise. The front half of the plane used to be used in the Casablanca scene in the Great Movie Ride.
8. Chipped Paint
The paint on the boats on Jungle Cruise is chipped. No, this isn’t from years of wear and tear. The boats originally had a pristine paint job, but Imagineers felt that was inauthentic and changed it to look like it had withstood the jungle environment!
9. Shrunken Heads
The Jungle Cruise is inspired by the movie “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. At the end of the ride, Trader Sam, a head hunter, proposes a deal with riders: “Two heads for one of yours.” Look closely at one of the shrunken heads, and you’ll see it looks a lot like Katharine Hepburn!
As you enter the queue of Jungle Cruise, take a look at the tarantula in a cage. Ask a cast member about it for a fun story! (We won’t spoil it).
Did we miss any Adventureland secrets? Let us know in the comments below!