Once again it seems that the vote was split between two stories: Story One and Story Three. To tell the truth, the correct story was number three. According to the Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom, Walt wanted the storefront windows along Main Street, USA to be placed closer to the ground than would be period-correct so that children would be able to see inside. Twenty of you answered this question correctly! Disney Geek Jenn/Jenn remains in the lead with accurate responses all four weeks!
It’s the last week in January so this will be our last “To Tell the Truth” in this series. In honor of the WDW Radio 6th Anniversary Show in Epcot in a few short weeks, we will hop over to that park for our last question. Walk with me through Future World past Spaceship Earth. Shhh! Do you hear it? No, it’s not kids screaming! If you listen closely, you will hear the distant sound of a bird. This week’s topic is the distant call of the bird. What is significant about this birdsong?
Walt Disney was raised in Marceline, Missouri. The Imagineers in Epcot wanted to pay tribute to their inspiration’s roots. The bird you hear is the call of the Eastern Bluebird, which is Missouri’s state bird. It is a like a piece of Walt is in the park at all times, watching over the guests and employees.
When Epcot was being constructed, birds nested all over structures and other areas around the park. Disney thought that it would add the feel of nature to the park since it lacked trees if you compare it to the other parks. Unfortunately, the birds would eat the guest’s food and scared many of them if they were to land on their shoulder. Disney then decided that they needed to get rid of them. Once all of the birds were gone, the Cast Members and locals felt like the park was empty without them so they added the sound of the birds to make it seem like they are still there.
Imagine that you saw a shark fin a few feet away from you. Would you stay in that same spot or run away? Most people would run away. The bird you hear is the call of a hawk, which hunts many different types of birds. The Florida birds are fooled into thinking that there is a hawk nearby, which in my earlier analogy would be the shark fin. In reality, it is a sound played over and over that tricks the birds. The shark fin could be taped on a dolphin’s back. Hey, you never know!
If you paid close attention to the location of the bird calls, you might have realized that they are located near restaurants and perfect places for birds to nest. The birdsong is placed at these specific areas to keep the birds away from people, structures and food. The Disney Company was afraid that the birds would disrupt park guests, interfere with their picture-perfect vacation, ruin the Disney experience and leave unneeded bird poop all over the park. Disney did not want this to happen, so they play the sound of a bird in distress to warn other birds that there may be danger in the area. If you have been to any of these areas where you can hear the bird, you know that it works well and no birds are in sight.
Okay, Disney fans, which one of these stories explains the significance of the distant sound of the bird that can be heard beyond Spaceship Earth in Epcot? Let me know which you think is correct (or if you prefer, which ones are not) below. Remember, I’m still keeping score!
Thank you for playing along for the last month. Stay tuned to “sneak peaks” in the Week In Review or keep reading my blog for my next “To Tell the Truth” installment.
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the week: “This is my family. I found it, all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.” –Stitch, Lilo and Stitch
Makena is a 14 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.