World Secrets

All posts in the World Secrets category

World Secrets – Zebra Domes! Are They Made of Zebras?

Published July 20, 2013 by

Maybe you’ve heard of the iconic Dole Whip or maybe even the lesser known

School Bread?

The Disney parks aren’t the only place you can find iconic food items. Inside the fabulous Animal Kingdom Lodge you can find Zebra Domes – a culinary hidden gem – and possibly one of the best kept World Secrets at Disney! Some guests love Zebra Domes, and some don’t. I am one who adores these little striped treasures –  so get ready for a completely biased Zebra Dome blog post!

Despite what the name suggests, they do NOT contain bits of real zebra.

They get their name due to their striped appearance.

Zebra Dome

The main ingredients are actually espresso, heavy cream, and Kahlua. I am not usually a fan of strong coffee flavors and I don’t drink coffee at all. Zebra Domes, however, contain just a hint – and it is not over powering. They require refrigeration because they are so soft and smooth. They are not made of ice cream –  but beware –  they will melt in the heat. I tried to bring some home for my husband and they did not survive the 40 minute drive.

Zebra Dome

See the little thin layer of cake on the bottom? Mmmm….

Zebra Domes are always on the buffet menu over at Boma. No time to make a dining reservation? No problem! Just head on over to The Mara – where they are packaged in little clear boxes as a grab and go item! Bite sized pieces of heaven in a little box of 5 for $3.69 or a snack credit?! Yes please. I would like a herd of them…but once I am done they will surely be extinct. 

Can we head over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge right now? 

photo (56)

So what team are you on? Do you love Zebra Domes or maybe not so much? If you haven’t given them a try yet, now you know the secret!

I hope you will find inspiration to trot over and grab some for yourself…and please let me know what you think!

World Secrets: Has a Pirate Been Here?

Published June 28, 2013 by



Sometimes you need only to look down to see some Disney World Secrets

When you exit many attractions throughout the Magic Kingdom, you  step upon a moving walkway. Normally that there are footprints painted on the walkway to indicate which direction you should go.  Next time you depart from your boat, look at the “footprints” Disney Imagineers placed on the moving walkway as you exit the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.  The single boot print followed by a small circle are the markings belonging to a peg-legged pirate!

Oh, by the way, have you seen the Mermaids?

How to get a Princess Makeover when the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is fully booked!

Published June 13, 2013 by

Here is an awesome World Secret I learned from Ramon at Theme Park Concierges! Have you ever tried to get your little Princess an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – only to find out that they are completely booked? It’s happened to many guests I am sure – but there IS an alternative that can be just as magical and fun – with a location that can’t be beat if you are enjoying a Princess Tea or maybe dinner with Cinderella at 1900 Park Fare! By the way, did you know 1900 Park Fare dinner is the only character meal at Walt Disney World where you can meet Prince Charming? It’s true, and now, even if the Boutique is booked…you have another option to get your little Princess all dressed up to meet him.

***Update – January 2015!! The salon is now offering Perfectly Prepared Princess packages that include crowns!***

Prices start at $50 for princess hairdo, glitter and a tiara; add a little princess glow make-up for $25 more. Option three includes hair, and a  light nail polishing for $90. Kids ages 4-12 can get The Perfectly Prepared Princess Package! This is available at Ivy Trellis, Coronado Springs Casa de Belleza Beauty Salon and at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort Ship Shape Salon. Don’t forget that a 20% gratuity is added to every service. Call Ivy Trellis at 407-824-1679 for more information.

Here is the secret place!

Ivy Trellis Beauty and Barber Shop – located inside the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World! It is truly a hidden gem! As a bonus, it is even possible that your Princess will enjoy more special attention and a quieter atmosphere than she would at the Boutique. Be sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post to see examples of the finished product.

You will find Ivy Trellis on the 2nd floor – in the main building, near the the Monorail. They have been known to take walk-ins but appointments are strongly encouraged. The hours of operation are normally 9:00AM-6:00PM.

Ivy Trellis

I stopped in and spoke to Robin McKenna – Master Cosmetologist at the salon for these tips on how you can make this appointment extra magical for your Princess.


First give them a call at the salon at 407-824-1679 or 407-824-3000 (for the Grand Floridian) and ask for the Flower Girl Bundle plus makeup – and explain you are scheduling a Princess makeover for you little one. This will cost about $50 and they will add a 20% gratuity. Payment will be due after the service is provided.

Second, go to your local beauty supply store or website and order a hair extension if you would like. The salon will not have these available – you must bring your own if you want one to be used. Click HERE to see an example of styles and pricing on the hair pieces to give you an idea. The salon has makeup but you will need to bring your own glitter if you want your Princess to really sparkle.  If you don’t have time to plan ahead, you may be able to find hair extensions, ties and hair clips at Downtown Disney Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. They also have the means to do over-all pixie dusting at the Downtown Disney boutique (for free) after the makeover is complete. The Harmony Barbershop on Main Street inside the Magic Kingdom also may have pixie dust available to sprinkle.


Last is taking care of attire, shoes and accessories. You can get wonderful home-made gowns from, or even make your own if you plan ahead. Upon arrival at Walt Disney World, you can try Hollywood Studios Character Warehouse, Downtown Disney’s World of Disney Store, Mouse Gear in Epcot, or the gift shop in the Contemporary resort. Animal Kingdom’s Island Mercantile has been know to carry some Princess attire as well – including Pocahontas!

The most simple solution however is M. Mouse Mercantile. This is the gift shop located right there across from Ivy Trellis Salon inside the Grand Floridian!

I found the cast members inside the gift shop to be VERY helpful!


The selection may vary but here is what I found inside M. Mouse Mercantile on the day I visited:

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Take a look at these little beauties! They had their hair styled at Ivy Trellis and all to the attire was purchased at M. Mouse Mercantile!


Ivy Trellis also has services for any adults that might accompany Princesses if you are interested.

Services may include things such as:

  • Lady’s Hair Cut
  • Gentleman’s Hair Cut
  • Child’s Hair Cut
  • Bang Trim
  • Color Touch Up
  • Full Color
  • Partial Foil
  • Full Foil
  • Scalp Massage with Conditioning Treatment
  • Shampoo & Blow Dry
  • Shampoo & Set
  • Up-Do’s
  • Make-up

Just call 407-824-1679 for the salon or 407-824-3000 for the Grand Floridian to book your appointment! So what are your thoughts? Do you think you might use Ivy Trellis as a preferred stop for your little Princess’s makeover, or have you already?

If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out more royal world secrets: SNOW WHITE’S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER AND HOW TO STAY DINE AND PLAY LIKE A PRINCESS AT DISNEY WORLD!

World Secrets: What is in the Tunnels?

Published June 10, 2013 by

Did you know that when you walk around the Magic Kingdom you are lifted one story off the ground…literally and figuratively? According to modern legend, Walt Disney was bothered by the sight of a cowboy walking through California Disneyland’s Tomorrowland en route to his post in Frontierland. He felt that such a sight was jarring, and detracted from the guest experience. When the new “Florida Project” was being planned, imagineers designed utilidors (or underground tunnels) to keep park operations out of guests’ sight. Pretty brilliant if you ask me!


Smaller utilidor systems are built under the central section of Epcot’s Future World, primarily beneath Spaceship Earth and Innoventions, and at Pleasure Island.
Parts of Fantasyland, including the Cinderella Castle, are at third-story-level (this is why the Castle seems to loom so large as you approach it via Main Street, USA). The ground’s incline is so gradual that guests do not realize they are ascending to the second and third stories. Here’s another bit of trivia: the Magic Kingdom is built upon soil which was removed from what is now the Seven Seas Lagoon.

I was taken through the tunnels as part of my training at Disney University. I think this is pretty normal as part of orientation for all new Cast Members. So why are pictures and video so hard to find on the internet? Check out this post from Kate at YoHo YoHo A Blogger’s Life for Me to get your answer to that and more! Kate shares with you pretty candidly about her personal take on the tunnels, and what’s in them, as she worked as a Walt Disney World Cast Member!

You can read it all on her blog right here! Thank you so much Kate for sharing!

You can find a link to all of our Disneyways World Secrets here.

World Secrets: A “Backstage” Interview With a Tokyo Disney Performer

Published June 8, 2013 by


Recently I was very lucky to be introduced to an amazing Tokyo Disney Cast Member. Of course, I could not resist interviewing them for you here on the blog! I am so touched that this person took time out of their busy schedule to share with us. The Cast Member asked to remain “anonyMouse” due to the fact that they play several different Disney characters in the shows. I very much respect, and hold in high regard, that they are truly “keeping the Disney magic alive” by hiding their identity. I hope you will agree with me that the secrecy does not decrease the value from the interview in any way. This is exclusive information you just won’t find any where else!

Tokyo Disney

1. What do you think gives Disney and it’s characters such global appeal? 

Disney offers a sense of belonging and happiness, expressed through its characters. Each Disney story has a happy ending, but also shows the struggles and sacrifices each character has to make in order to find their happiness. It teaches lessons to its viewers and gives them something to smile and be happy about. The parks themselves, bring the Disney magic alive, through shows, greetings and parades, presenting Disney in the way it should be presented, through spectacular displays. No matter how down or depleted you feel, Disney will always put a smile on your face.

disney smile


2.What do you wish Disney lovers in the US knew about being a dancer at Tokyo Disney? 

I don’t think people realize the effect Disney has over the world – and I can definitely tell you that Disney lovers in the US are not alone. The Japanese go above and beyond to express their adoration for Disney and we definitely get appreciated for working here. There’s not anything new to reveal to Disney lovers in the US about being a dancer in Tokyo Disney, other than the overwhelming support we receive from our fans who watch us daily. They send us constant gifts, photos, letters, and it definitely brightens our day.


Photo Source Joyce Huang

3. What has been your favorite magical moment so far in your career?

I think it would have to be the kids. Every day in the audience, there are children dressed up as either Minnie mouse or a Disney princess. Japanese children are literally the cutest things I have ever seen, and when their parents dress them in Disney attire, it makes me melt every time.

4. What do you like best about your job?

The constant support and appreciation we receive from the Japanese audiences is surreal. Among many new faces I see watch us every day, we have our avid fans of the shows, who watch religiously everyday and take amazing photos, which I will forever be grateful for. Being able to have these moments captured, is definitely something that makes me smile. I’ve never met a culture who loves Disney as much as the Japanese do and performing to these people every day is definitely a joyous thing.

Tokyo Disney

5. What advice would you give to someone who would like to become a dancer at Tokyo Disney?

Definitely do it! Its a once in a lifetime experience, that I’m never going to forget. Not only do I love working for Disney and bringing magic to peoples lives everyday, but the Japanese culture is amazing also. They are so considerate and loyal to everyone, it makes me wish the whole world were the same way.

World Secrets: The Top 7 (Scandalous?) Things You May Not Know About The Lion King

Published May 30, 2013 by

  A scandalous Simba? Could it really be true? Read these top 7 things you may not know about the Lion King – and judge for yourself.

7. When Simba collapses on the cliff, it appears that the pollen that flies off the cliff forms the word “sex,” but it was actually “SFX,” the abbreviation for the special-effects team that worked on the film.

Lion King1

6. In early script drafts, Scar was not related to Mufasa. However, the writers thought making the two related would be more interesting.

scar Lion King

5. Initially, the reason an adult Nala wandered so far from Pride Rock was supposed to be because Scar had banished her for ignoring his romantic advances.

Lion King Nala

4. James Earl Jones (Mufasa) and Madge Sinclair (Sarabi) were also the king and queen in Coming to America.

Lion King Jones

3. Reportedly, the “Be Prepared” scene was inspired by footage of Nazis marching by Adolf Hitler on a podium.

Lion King 2

2. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” was originally written as a song for Mufasa titled “To Be King.” It was reworked after they discovered the song didn’t work with James Earl Jones’ singing voice.

1. Pumbaa is the first Disney character to ever fart.


Info and Photo credit –

Click here to read the top 5 things you may not know about Divine!

Why do we think the animators felt that the Blue Fairy was sexy?

Check out – Cinderella . She has some secrets too!

World Secrets: What’s with the Big Green Dino at Hollywood Studios?

Published May 18, 2013 by

She’s a lean, not so mean, ice cream serving machine!


Perhaps you’ve noticed her on the shore of Echo Lake at Hollywood Studios – keeping her girlish figure by perpetually chewing on some grass.  Is this dinosaur some old Disney character forgotten by everyone?  Nope, she was a creation of someone else actually. Get ready to impress your friends and family with all that you know about Gertie.

Gertie the Dinosaur was the star of an animated film of the same name. Created by Winsor McCay, and released in 1914, Gertie was was credited as being one of the first animated characters with lifelike movements. She was pretty cutting edge for her time – and it took no less than 10,000 hand drawn cells bring her to life. (Winsor must have had strong hands!)

Gertie the Disnosaur’s movie was promoted as the “Greatest Animal Act in the World”, and included tag-lines like “Gertie: she’s a scream.”

gertie paper

In 1989, Walt Disney Imagineers honored Gertie and the role she has played in the history of animated film by constructing her in an over-sized tribute. Of course you will find her at  Hollywood Studios –  a theme park that serves as the ultimate tribute to movie history.

Disney picked up on the tag line of Gertie being a “scream” and because of that, her entire form and belly was re-created to be the perfect place to serve up ice cream to guests. I scream, you scream, we all scream for (Gertie’s) ice cream…you get the picture.

Gertie in the form of an  ice cream shop also pays tribute to the architectural style known as “California Crazy”, which was popular in the 1930’s and was designed to attract the attention of potential customers in a uniquely “BIG” way.

Here’s another secret: the lake and fountain location for Gertie is rumored to be deliberate as well, because one of her tricks in the animated films was to drink an entire lake and then spit it all out! If you have an extra 6 minutes – check out Gertie in her film debut below!

Every single day, on the shore of Echo Lake inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can see Gertie in all her 1930’s “California Crazy” architectural goodness. I think you will find her to be very photogenic. Unfortunately, she is only open seasonally for the business of selling ice cream and treats. Catching her on one of these days can be tricky. Occasionally we get access to inside information about her hours of operation. Contact me if you need to know about specific dates, and I will do my best to get you the info!


Have a magical day!

To read more Disneyways World Secrets, click. HERE

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