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Secrets of WDW Discuss Your best WDW Secret!! in the Trivia and Games Forums forums; Originally Posted by Figment-aholic This may be commone knowledge (and forgive me if it has been mentioned), but there is an airport on WDW grounds, where executives and VIP's can ...
  1. #541
    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figment-aholic View Post
    This may be commone knowledge (and forgive me if it has been mentioned), but there is an airport on WDW grounds, where executives and VIP's can land, but they have to approach a certain way because there are not supposed to be any aircraft or helecopters over the property where the guests can see or hear them to break the magic. (though I have seen and heard both planes and helecopters fly over the parks before).
    Actually, the "airport" you speak of is often referred to as the "STOL"-port (Short Take Off and Landing). While it was originally intended for use by execs and such as you described, the STOL port, little more than a short grass landing strip, is now used for storage and parking of trailers and busses. You can see them all parked there yourself if you look opposite the TTC parking lot when riding the monorail between the TTC and EPCOT. It just looks like a field with a lot of stuff parked there. The STOL port is not marked on any current aeronautical charts, and hasn't been for at least as long as I've been flying (4 1/2 years). I don't now whether or not it ever was in the past, but I would assume it would have had to have been, just in case a plane in distress needed a place to set down in an emergency. It most likely would simply have been marked as private or restricted on the chart or something like that.

    As for the special approach procedures you mentioned, I haven't heard of those before. However, there is in fact a TFR (temporary flight restriction) that has been in place over WDW for some time now, but it's not as restrictive as some might think. The actual restriction (TFR 3/2122, as it is officially named) was put in place March 18th, 2003 at 3pm local time, and is stated to remain in effect until further notice (it's probably going to become permanent, if you ask me). It restricts air traffic below 3,000 AGL (above ground level) and within a 3 nautical mile radius of the "Disney World theme park." This is kind of funny, I think, because as just about all of us here know, WDW is not just a single theme park. Therefore, one could argue the exact location of the center of this TFR, but I'm fairly certain it is actually co-located with the geographic center of WDW (located in EPCOT, in case you were wondering), as this would cover the greatest amount of WDW property.

    Also, the TFR has exceptions, such as: (A) aircraft authorized by ATC (Air Traffic Control) and using standard air traffic procedures (such as arrivals and departures into nearby airports, or for emergency deviations, etc.), (B) Law Enforcement, Department of Defense, or Aeromedical (air ambulance/medivac) operations in contact with ATC. Also, you can apply for a waiver which permits you to fly within the TFR if the purpose of your flying there is for either (A) operational purposes of the venue (Disney), including transportation of equipment or officials of the governing body (the moving of Disney folks and stuff), or (B) the safety and security purposes of the venue.

    So yes, there is a restriction below 3,000 feet within a 3 mile radius of the "Disney World theme park," but 3 miles in all directions from the center of WDW, as I mentioned earlier, doesn't quite cover all of WDW. In fact, I just did a test of this using Google Earth and found that if I measure exactly 3.00 nautical miles from the geographical center of WDW in all directions, MOST of WDW is covered. However, what is almost funny about this is that the Magic Kingdom, probably the area they would be most concerned about restricting flight over, does not fall under that 3 nautical mile umbrella! 3.00 nautical miles from that point reaches exactly up to the entrance courtyard between the Magic Kingdom admission turnstiles and Main Street Station, but no further than that. And being outside the TFR there, I can legally fly as low as "1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a 2,000 foot horizontal radius of the aircraft," as stated by the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR part 91.119). Knowing that the highest obstacle in the vicinity of the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella Castle itself at 189 feet, I can legally fly as low as 1,189 feet right over the top of the Magic Kingdom!

    But assuming you fly over another part of WDW that is covered by this TFR, you can still fly over at exactly 3,000 feet AGL and be legal, or of course, if you happen to fall under any one of those exceptions I mentioned previously. I have actually done this myself about a year ago, when I flew over Downtown Disney late one night on a flight from Venice, Florida (just South of Sarasota) East to Kissimmee Gateway Airport in Orlando (just South of WDW actually), and then Northwest to Daytona Beach. While departing the Kissimmee area, ATC gave me a heading and altitude to fly, which routed me directly over the top of Downtown Disney, and then North along the eastern boundary of the property. It was neat to see the spotlights from Pleasure Island keep catching my airplane and lighting it up. It felt like something out of a WWII movie with the searchlights lighting up the sky over Berlin, seeking out Allied bombers.

    In that case I was legal for several reasons. I was at 5,000 feet and well above the TFR, I had filed and was following an IFR flight plan, and I was in contact with and following instructions from ATC.

    Hey, now that I've just discovered that the TFR doesn't actually extend all the way to cover the Magic Kingdom, I suddenly have this crazy desire to go rent an airplane and go check out the crowds in the park. Anyone wanna come with?
    -Don-
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  2. #542
    2timesayear is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I tried really hard to read all 37 pages, but had to stop in the 20"s. One little secret I know from my trips to Disney as a child ( which I turn back into every time I am there) that I did not find posted is this:

    When you are in line for space mountain and have made it into the main waiting area ( where the most people are ) look up at the ceiling and notice the asteroids flying by. Most people dont even know they are there. What is even better is what those asteroids really are. They are actually pictures of chocolate chip cookies projected on the ceiling.

    I was told this by Clarence Nash. I was lucky enough to meet him on top of the world and he really liked me and my brothers.

    Just wanted to share that. I leave for WDW in 4 days, cant wait. First time I will be taking my wife with no children.

  3. #543
    2timesayear is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I have no proof that this is real, but I believe Mr. Nash.

  4. #544
    mightymouse is offline A-Ticket holder
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    cookies

    Quote Originally Posted by 2timesayear View Post
    I tried really hard to read all 37 pages, but had to stop in the 20"s. One little secret I know from my trips to Disney as a child ( which I turn back into every time I am there) that I did not find posted is this:

    When you are in line for space mountain and have made it into the main waiting area ( where the most people are ) look up at the ceiling and notice the asteroids flying by. Most people dont even know they are there. What is even better is what those asteroids really are. They are actually pictures of chocolate chip cookies projected on the ceiling.

    I was told this by Clarence Nash. I was lucky enough to meet him on top of the world and he really liked me and my brothers.

    Just wanted to share that. I leave for WDW in 4 days, cant wait. First time I will be taking my wife with no children.
    It's always been a joke in our family thathte asteriods look like chocolate chip cookies.

  5. #545
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    A couple not so secret secrets

    Ask to ride in the front of the monorail. This is such a magical way to start or end your day. I went a little while back with a group of girlfriends (2/3 of whom - myself included- were 7+ months pregnant) We rode up front with the most delightful driver (who first made us promise we wouldn't go in to labor). He actually stopped the monorail prior to reaching the epcot station so we could get a picture of our bellies with SE in the background! At the end of the ride we all got monorail pilot liscences (I still keep mine in my walet - actually helped me to get out of a speeding ticket last week - but thats another story for another day)

    If you want to do a character breakfast book it for first thing in the morning before the park opens - that way when you finish you have full range of the park before many guest arrive

    final fun secret..
    If you ask nicely you can experience the stretching room at HM alone - very very spooky!
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  6. #546
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneydarling View Post
    I still keep mine in my walet - actually helped me to get out of a speeding ticket last week - but thats another story for another day
    Oh, pray tell.
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
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  7. #547
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    Monorail Pilot

    Ok - I work on a university campus where the speed limit is 20mph (which in my opinion is impossibly slow). I got clocked doing 40 (in my defense it was a holiday and campus was empty and free of pedestrians etc). When I reached into my wallet for my liscence I accidenlty gave the officer my Monorail liscence as well (without realizing it - must have been stuck to the back) - he acted like nothing was amiss, went back to his cruiser and returned to my truck with a grin on his face. He told me that Mickey Mouse put in a good word for me and let me off with a warning!
    Gotta love it!
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  8. #548
    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    Fantastic! I love it! I don't have a monorail pilot's license, but I do have one of those gold stickers that they give the kids with the monorail pilot wings on it. I stuck it to the inside of my wallet. it's kind of funny because I'm a real pilot and everything, so when someone catches sight of the gold wings sticker in my wallet they ask to see them thinking them to be something official having to do with my being a pilot, but when they look closer it just reads "Walt Disney World Monorails". It's kind of funny actually, but nothing that's going to get me out of a ticket!
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

  9. #549
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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronautxearth View Post
    During Muppetvison 3-D's final scene with Sam the Eagle, "It's a Small World" plays very briefly during the mix. It's pretty quick and quiet so you have to listen closely!
    I know!! I love that part! If you notice it's actually being sung by some of the dolls from IASW!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away!
    Prince Charming, will you marry me?
    I saw on TV that listening to Mozart makes you smart. So if you listen to Elvis, you'll become a GENIUS!

  10. #550
    enemyswim is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I'm going to WDW at the end of January with my girlfriend and parents. I'm a big Epcot fan and would love to know of any secrets specific to that park. Can anyone give me any 'hard to find' object/places/things to look for? Sort of an impromtu scavenger hunt I guess......
    Last edited by enemyswim; 12-09-2006 at 02:30 PM.

  11. #551
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    HEY EVERYONE!
    I just got back from THE WORLD!! Sad, hate coming home....anyway... OK, My husband and I got to MGM way early when noone was on the New York street set and we searched that street up and down for the Singin in the Rain pole and we couldnt find it, where is it? Is it still there?
    Also, I heard something new, at Rafikis Planet Watch at AK, when you first get off the train there is a statue of 2 small elephants in the train station, they were the original water spouts to wash your hands in at the Affection Section with the goats but there wasnt enough room for all the people to wash there hands so they removed them and put them there! I thought it was a cool piece of info!
    I also went into the Tinkerbell store in fantasyland lookin for tink in the dresser, I think i looked like a moron lookin in all the key holes in the store, but I never found her, is it a hoax just to make people look stupid looking inside furniture in a store....LOL

    Would love some input, Lou maybe?

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  12. #552
    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvnTheMagic View Post
    HEY EVERYONE!
    I just got back from THE WORLD!! Sad, hate coming home....anyway... OK, My husband and I got to MGM way early when noone was on the New York street set and we searched that street up and down for the Singin in the Rain pole and we couldnt find it, where is it? Is it still there?
    Also, I heard something new, at Rafikis Planet Watch at AK, when you first get off the train there is a statue of 2 small elephants in the train station, they were the original water spouts to wash your hands in at the Affection Section with the goats but there wasnt enough room for all the people to wash there hands so they removed them and put them there! I thought it was a cool piece of info!
    I also went into the Tinkerbell store in fantasyland lookin for tink in the dresser, I think i looked like a moron lookin in all the key holes in the store, but I never found her, is it a hoax just to make people look stupid looking inside furniture in a store....LOL

    Would love some input, Lou maybe?

    THANKS!
    Umbrella - It was there in September for sure (I have the photos to prove it), but I too noticed it missing this past weekend, after my gf pointed out its absence. Maybe it had something to do with the Osbourne lights? I'm not sure why that would be, but you're right... it was gone. It's normally located at the very end of the street, adjacent to Herbie and facing the turnaround for the backlot tour and the Lights Motors Action! entrance.

    Elephants - neat tip! I didn't know that one! Thanks.

    Tink - Supposedly you can see Tink in the dresser in the back of the store by the door closest to Phiharmagic. I have looked inside it in the past (more than a year ago, however) and seen tink in there, tipped over in a jewelry box. You can try to follow the twinkling lights and the tinkling sound of her bell as "she" scurries along the walls and the ceiling and then falls with a sudden jingle into the dresser. A small light would flash through the keyhole, and if you looked in at just the right time you could see Tink in there. However, I have looked in there more recently and not been able to see her. I don't now if it's because they blocked out the view, removed the tink, or just something as simple as the lightbulb inside the dresser was not working. I haven't looked in some number of months however, so I cannot attest to whether or not she would have been visible this weekend.

    Along those lines, although I am not quite "kid" enough to be chosen by the cast members to help wake up Tink first thing in the morning (if they knew me better, they might reconsider that one ), but I have been there to see another little Princess get chosen for the honors. If you're unfamiliar with this tradition, the CMs will chose one of the first few children into the shop in the morning to help wake up Tinkerbell. They sit them up on the counter behind the registers (there's a big fake window back there, with a jewelry box or something like that on the shelf next to it). The kid is given a magic wand, and instructed to tap the box lightly and command "Wake up Tinkerbell!" At this command the first twinkling sounds and lights can be seen and heard as the little pixie suddenly springs to life and flutters about the room on her way to go crash into the dresser by the back doors.

    I actually have a picture of this little ceremony from the day I was fortunate enough to see it, but I don't really know if I can post it seeing as it's of someone else's child. I asked the parent's permission to take the photo of their little princess waking up Tink, but not if I could post it here. I guess I better not, just to be safe.
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

  13. #553
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    THANKS SO MUCH!

    I thought maybe they had moved the pole for the lights, I just wasnt sure. I thought maybe I was totally missing it! LOL

    That is really neat about the little ceremony at Tinks, wish I could have seen it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainStreet, USA View Post
    Actually, the "airport" you speak of is often referred to as the "STOL"-port (Short Take Off and Landing). While it was originally intended for use by execs and such as you described, the STOL port, little more than a short grass landing strip, is now used for storage and parking of trailers and busses.........

    I don't now whether or not it ever was in the past, but I would assume it would have had to have been, just in case a plane in distress needed a place to set down in an emergency. It most likely would simply have been marked as private or restricted on the chart or something like that.
    I have heard that if a plane lands anywhere on Disney property, even in an emergency, they remove you from the property. They will not even allow you to take off to leave. They dismantle the plane and remove it from the property piece by piece on flatbed trucks. The reason behind it is to discourage pilots from making "emergency" landings on the property.

    Last edited by MickeyBabe; 12-14-2006 at 11:49 AM.
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  15. #555
    MainStreet, USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyBabe View Post
    I have heard that if a plane lands anywhere on Disney property, even in an emergency, they remove you from the property. They will not even allow you to take off to leave. They dismantle the plane and remove it from the property piece by piece on flatbed trucks. The reason behind it is to discourage pilots from making "emergency" landings on the property.

    I hadn't heard that, but in a way it kind of makes sense. Not necessarily just to discourage so-called "emergencies", but even more from the standpoint of safety. Just recently there was a small plane that made an emergency landing on I-4. They landed safely, but backed up traffic for quite some time. The plane was pushed off the side of the road, and then trucked away. Obviously they weren't going to try to fix it there, move it back out to the highway, and take it off from there.

    I would assume the same thing would apply to WDW propety. It's not an airport (not even the STOL-port is officially used anymore), so why would they allow an airplane to take off from there? Personally, looking at some satelite views of WDW, with all those trailers and stuff parked on the STOL-port now, I don't even know if there's enough unimpeded space to make a landing there. I think that if I ever had to put it down in that general area, that one of those rarely used parking lots in the back of the TTC would give me almost as much room, and allow for me to land in any direction, making best use of the wind. I'd just have to remember to watch out fot the ocassional light pole! *CLANG!* But then again, I suppose that would very much depend on what I was flying and how much space I needed to land it.
    -Don-
    Your heart can just take wing,
    You can live out all your dreams...
    ...it's time to Remember the Magic!
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...

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