Lou’s email inbox is often full to overflowing with questions from listeners. As such, he has enlisted the WDW Radio Blog writers to assist him in answering some of your questions.
Good afternoon, I am a big Disney fan, and a big fan of your podcast show. My dad and I were listening to one of the WDW Radio episodes, and he mentioned seeing the survey markers on the ground at EPCOT. However, he did not know what the purpose of them are. I was wondering if you have any information about them. Thank you and have a magical day. Katy Beth Boyers
Let me first thank you for submitting your question and for your appreciation of the WDW Radio podcast. From a Kathryn, who has occasionally been called “Katie,” who also is a fan of the happiest place on Earth, we’re starting off on the right foot, but let’s get to your question.
I became familiar with Walt Disney World survey markers several years ago during a routine hunt for hidden Mickeys. I found my first survey marker, then my second survey marker—and that quickly evolved into an obsession to find them all. With a little online research I was able to compile a spreadsheet that listed the locations of all the Walt Disney World survey markers. Several trips and many photographs later, I wrote a WDW Radio blog post about my survey marker obsession—Don’t Forget to Look Down for Hidden Mickeys.
Historically speaking, survey markers are placed on the Earth’s surface to mark a fixed point. Throughout the years and around the world, survey markers have been made of stone, clay, glass, or brass. In the United States, modern survey markers are cast metal disks that are stamped with numbers and labels and set in the ground or affixed to a column or other structure. The National Geodetic Survey maintains a database of survey markers that meet certain criteria.
In Walt Disney World and at Disneyland, the playful survey markers that can be found set in the ground designate a fixed and measured waypoint on Disney property. As the story goes, if there needed to be visible survey markers on Disney property, they were going to be created in a particular manner so they seamlessly appeared to be a piece of the magic, much like the popular hidden Mickeys.
As I mentioned in my WDW Radio post in April 2015, there are several websites that list the survey markers on Walt Disney World and Disneyland property, and there are several new websites since 2015. But I still think that the most fun way to find them is to keep your eyes open and don’t forget to look down!
Good luck, Katy—and keep listening! KS Wicks
P.S. And that reminds me—there must be some new survey markers in Pandora. Has anyone found them?
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)