The Backstage Magic tour offered through Disney Institute takes guests behind the scenes to discover onstage and backstage areas of Walt Disney World Resort. Accompanied by an expert guide, guests explore attractions and backstage operations in each of the four theme parks.
Here are some interesting aspects of Walt Disney World Resort that guests will discover during the Backstage Magic tour offered by Disney Institute:
- Walt Disney World has the largest working wardrobe in the world with more than 2.5 million individual costume pieces and almost 8 miles of costume racks. Disney Creative Costuming has an inventory of more than 3,700 costume designs and uses more than 650,000 yards of fabric each year.
- Magic Kingdom is actually built on the “second floor.” The first floor is made up of approximately 9 acres of storage area and offices as well as a “utilidor” (utility corridor) for cast members. This Utilidor System is a tunnel more than a mile long.
- Many Audio-Animatronics figures, such as those featured in Hall of Presidents, wear human-hair wigs. Live performers wear synthetic hair wigs.
- Thirty-five Audio-Animatronics figures are featured in The American Adventure show, and the rear projection screen at the show is 28 feet high by 155 feet wide.
- Cinderella’s Golden Carousel was built in 1917 as the Liberty Carousel and ran for many decades in New Jersey before being acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 1967. The original horses are still used today.
- Central Shops is capable of building everything from trash cans to monorails. At 298,000 square feet, you could fit nine football fields inside the Central Shops building.
- The Hollywood Tower Hotel structure is 199 feet tall – making The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror one of the tallest attractions on site. Some 1,500 tons of steel and 145,800 cubic feet of concrete were used in the construction of the attraction.
- There are approximately 100 acres of browse plants grown for animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Walt Disney World horticulture team plants more than 2 million annuals each year.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. At the center of the park is the Tree of Life, which is more than 140 feet tall and 170 feet wide at the base.
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge was inspired by National Park Lodges, such as Old Faithful Inn (Yellowstone) and Ahwahnee Lodge (Yosemite). Massive pine logs for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge were harvested from standing dead wood at an elevation of 7,000 feet in Oregon and Montana.
When do tours take place?
Monday through Friday, beginning at 9 a.m.
How long is the tour?
How many people can participate?
Are there age restrictions?
Guests must 16 and older
What’s included in the tour price?
Magic Kingdom “tunnel” system
Entertainment Production Center (show rehearsal hall, parade staging area)
Central Shops (creation and refurbishment of “the show”)
The American Adventure stage system (Epcot)
Creative costuming, the world’s largest working wardrobe
Can I take pictures?
No photography or videotaping is permitted
What does it cost?
$224 per person includes lunch
How do guests register?
Call 407/WDW-TOUR (939-8687) (Backstage Magic is very popular; guests are encouraged to book in advance)
Wrapping it Up
Although I have not taken the Backstage Magic tour, there were similar programs offered as part of a castmembers training when I worked at Disney. Even though I had ample access to most of the resort due to my responsibilities of my job, I found these types of tours very informative and entertaining. Allowing you to see the inner workings of the greatest destination in the world.