Skip to content

Finding Disney: Hidden Disney Smells

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life

by Blake Taylor

The LandYou just never know when a small sampling of Disney is going to hit you right smack in the face. You might be minding your own business, going about your day, and then—BAM! Smack! Shamwow! It finds you.

We already talked about Disney sounds, and now it’s time to delve into a different sense, one that I think we’ll have fun with: smells.

Walt Disney World is full of smells, whether manufactured by Imagineers (like the aroma of chocolate chip cookies being pumped onto Main Street) or simply natural (something smelling like it smells simply because it does, like the Test Track tires). There are times when scents are noticeable enough to stop and enjoy them, but more often than not, we go about our vacation without thinking much of the smells around us. They play a part in the overall experience for sure, but their efficiency rests on seeming so part of the atmosphere that we don’t notice them. It’s not until we get home and come across something ELSE that has the same smell that we really pause, wrack our brains to figure out where we know it from, and then realize—HEY! That’s a Disney smell!

Sometimes it’s easy. Upon entering a local gold mine tour, the smell of the cave instantly transported me to the watery caverns of Pirates of the Caribbean. Other times, it gets a bit tricky. I walked through a nearby courtyard multiple times before being able to place its smell to the rustic ruggedness of Frontierland (it was finally a live banjo player that got me the connection).

And then there are those other smells. The ones that you discover and then return to repeatedly so as to get a temporary Disney fix. I frequently go out of my way to walk through a hallway that has the distinctive scent of the It’s a Small World queue, and I do the same for my school’s solarium, which smells of the inside of The Land pavilion (…yes, be jealous!). And don’t even get me started on the orange Febreeze that channels Soarin’.

What about you? Do you ever come across a Disney smell?? What memory does it evoke for you?

If you want to revisit Lou’s discussion of Disney smells, check out WDW Radio Show #75, when Lou and Tim Foster discuss the Top 10 Smells of Walt Disney World!

Thank you to everyone who shared your stories to celebrate Animal Kingdom’s 15th birthday! The randomly selected winner of a WDW Radio Mystery Ticket is Lindsey Davis. Congrats, Lindsey! Everyone else, stay tuned for future opportunities here on the blog to win an ever-elusive Mystery Ticket.

Blake is a college student focusing on Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @blakeonline, or at BlakeOnline.com.