Did You Know?
FUN FACTS ABOUT WDW ROCKS
Did you know… Pandora's floating mountain is the only fully formed "rock" that you can walk completely around and underneath? All other rock-formations found at Walt Disney World aren’t fully formed—why complete the backside of a rock or mountain if no one can see it? Here are some fun trivia facts about rocks at Walt Disney World… Who knew that rocks could be so fun?!
The rock formations of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are man-made but were formed to look just like the real-life beauty of Arizona’s Monument Valley. Imagineers took great pains to make it seem that the railway was formed within and around the mountain, rather than looking like the rock was formed around the rails.
Big Thunder Mountain takes up 2.5 acres of prime Magic Kingdom property in Walt Disney World, which incidentally is 25% larger than its counterpart at Disneyland. To make the rocks look realistic, workers used 6,500 tons of steel beams, rods and mesh, 4,675 tons of concrete, 90,000 gallons of water, and 4,000 gallons of desert paint.
The "rocks" of Splash Mountain were designed by sculpting them in foam. A sophisticated computer program plotted points on the scale model of the "rocks," thus entering them into the computer. From that, these points were loaded on a machine that bent the supporting rebar to the exact, organic form of the scale model. Over the rebar, welded wire mesh was attached onto which, gunite (a sprayable concrete) was adhered.
Shades of Green has it’s own artificial rock formation. Atop this rock formation stand the flags of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard—flapping in the breeze, honoring our military members!
There is a Hidden Mickey located in the rock formation called, “Fire Rock Geyser” at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Look for it in the run-off area!
Want to find a Steamboat Willie Hidden Mickey? This hidden Mickey is not only hidden, it’s also a 3D Steamboat Willie Mickey from one of Walt Disney’s earliest cartoons—located as you exit Under the Sea: Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Imagineers carved a distorted interpretation of this iconic figure into the rocks!
Forbidden Mountain houses the Yeti of Expedition Everest. Did you know this man-made mountain stands 199-feet tall, and was created using 5,000 tons of structural steel and 10,000 tons of concrete?!
As you stand on top of Mount Gushmore at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, you can see the backside of Forbidden Mountain, and there’s something a little eye-catching—you may notice that the mountain isn’t fully formed!
Mount Gushmore formerly included a rock climbing wall attraction; this has, however, been non-operational for a number of years, due to safety and staffing considerations.
Are there any real rocks at Walt Disney World? Other than gravel found near the beaches or used within landscaping, it’s tough to find any real large rocks! But Disney details their rock formations to look so real, even the lions are fooled. Did you know that the lions that you can see on Kilimanjaro Safaris originally came from Oregon and had a hard time adjusting to the Florida heat? The Imagineers decided to install air conditioning around the lions’ promontory to make it easier for them—this is why you often see them lounging on the large rocks!