You might discover that when you go to Walt Disney World Resort, there is something strange going on. It’s hard to find mosquitoes buzzing anywhere in the park! Before we brought it up, you might not have realized it. It just goes to demonstrate whatever they’re doing is effective. Then how is it possible that no mosquitoes can be found in Florida, known worldwide for its swampland as well as humid weather? The truth will surprise and impress you at the same time. Let us find out why these unwelcome visitors are nowhere in sight!
Reaching The East
In October 1971, Disney World opened its doors to the public. We are sure that there were plenty of mosquitoes there before the resort was built on the land. It was developed sixteen years after Disneyland was opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955. In the ’50s, market research revealed that only 5% of its tourists would journey from across the Mississippi River. It was quite worrying because it implies that Walt Disney could not tap into a market made up of 75% of Americans at the time!
Buying The Property
As you can expect, Disney wanted to unlock that potential from the eastern side of the United States. The filmmaker chose a site in the city of Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando and Kissimmee. Disney was determined on this side of the country to prove his worth here. Not just that, but he also wants the place to be associated with the title of The Happiest Place on Earth.’
The Florida Project
And therefore, he began to develop the concept! The planning was done in secret throughout the ’60s. He referred to it as The Florida Project.” under a code name. The filmmaker sought to change into much more than your normal theme park. He had multiple points in mind as he started working on the concept. He did come up with the location of the resort we now know as Epcot, among other things.
An Experimental Community
If you didn’t actually know, Epcot originally stood for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” It was destined to be an urban environment that would become the background for the recent developments in urban living. Disney spearheaded the project, but it was eventually abandoned after he passed away in December 1966. After he passed away, Disney World closely resembles Disneyland more than he intended.
Still A Success
Disney, sadly, could not live to witness his plans come to fruition. The park’s first area to open did not open its doors until 1971. 11 years later, after the Magic Kingdom, Epcot arrived. Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, meanwhile, were introduced in 1989 and 1998. Although the approach has shifted, it is hard to deny that Disney World is a success. It sees more visitors per year than any other resort of its kind in the world!
Breaking Records Left And Right
On average, over 52 million visitors go to Disney World every single year. In 2014, the eight most-visited amusement parks in the world secured a spot for each of the four parks. The Magic Kingdom earned the top spot with its 19,332,000 visitors that year. How impressive is that? You might even have been one of the holidaymakers that went to the park that year!
The Cast Members
However, guests are not the only ones who go to the resort. Disney World would not be in operation if it were not for the 74,000 “cast members” who made the magic happen. With that figure, the largest single-site employer in the United States is. The company expended more than $1.2 billion to pay the cast members. It is also shelling out $474 million for extra benefits.
A Massive Undertaking
It makes perfect sense that operating the place is a massive operation, given the number of people who visit Disney World. Throughout the property, you will find 34 hotels and resorts that serve the guests as accommodation. Allow us to supply a reference for you. If you wish to stay in every single hotel room in the resort, you will need to spend 68 years doing so.
It Is A Huge Place
Disney World is massive, and that’s appropriate for the entertainment and housing of all those guests. With nearly 25,000 acres of land, this is the same size as San Francisco as well as twice the size of Manhattan. However, just half of the land is in use at the moment. He also wanted to preserve the land, even though Disney was excited to be working on the attractions. This is why a third of it has been restricted for conservation.
Its Own Transportation System
It is no joke to transport guests from one part of the resort to the other! Disney World has a complex yet efficient transportation scheme. Some would even say it’s easier to navigate the resort than some big towns in the country. The resort has 400 buses, for one thing. This is more than the Department of Transportation of Los Angeles provides.
Even The Trash Cans
The firm does not cut corners when it comes to running Disney World. It starts to feel like every single aspect imaginable has indeed been verified. For one thing, there is always a waste bin near you, no matter where you are in the park. Within 30 steps of each other, they are located! Disney did some research by observing how many steps people kept their garbage before they discarded them on the floor.
An Underground City
We have been taken aback by the level of detail which went into planning the resort. This also applies to what lies under it. The Magic Kingdom was built above a series of tunnels called Thrillist’s underground city. Even after this, they are constructed at ground level. Florida is located at sea level, which is why the engineers had to construct it that way. Since it was not possible to conceal the tunnels under the ground, they did the smart thing instead.
The tunnels they use are named “Utilidors” for the Magic Kingdom. This is where the cast members take their breaks and get their costumes. Allegedly, the brainchild of Disney himself was this complex tunnel system. He got up so that the characters would not have to go through the park before and after work.
Another fascinating thing about the park is that the magic is preserved with ‘Smellitizers.’ These are devices that release scents related to the areas where they are planted in every corner. For instance, the ones on Main Street smell like cookies and vanilla. They smell like clean sea air just next to the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions, on the other hand! And just how cool is that?
Millions Of Plants
Disney World not only looks amazing, but it looks magical as well. This has been achieved by the company placing over three million flowering shrubs throughout the park annually. There are also gardeners whose job is to look after 13,000 roses, more than 200 topiaries, and 2 million plants.
No Bubblegum Sold
As you can see, it takes a lot of effort to make the resort look pristine. We can see why, in Disney World stores, certain items are not sold. The park would not sell chewing gum to customers, Disney itself decreed. Tales are going to go. This was carried out to keep the resort as clean as it could be. As long as you buy them in advance, if you can’t go without them, you’re allowed to bring them in.
Where Are The Mosquitoes?
We have a lot of evidence that points to the fact that the company has done everything it can to ensure the job is clean and efficient. It turns out, however, that these efforts pale in comparison to one aspect of the park! How is it possible that at Disney World, there are no mosquitoes at all?
Getting Rid Of The Bloodsuckers
When you hear the justification for this, believe us, you’ll be amused. When you’re in Florida, getting rid of mosquitoes is not a bad feat! Even better, on top of swampland, the resort was built. These blood-sucking insects need to become more familiar to you than you’d like to be if you live in the South. That being said, Disney was very motivated to guarantee that visitors would not have to worry about mosquitoes.
Major General Joe Potter
With a meeting between him and Major General William “Joe” Potter, his quest to eradicate the mosquitoes at Disney World began. He was an alumnus of the Institute of Technology of Massachusetts and was known for his expertise in engineering. Before he worked with Disney on this project, he served as the Panama Canal Zone Governor. At the 1964 New York World Fair, the two of them met.
Pest Control Expert
From 1903 to 1979, the Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated American territory. The location has become a malaria hotspot. This is a disease, as we all know, these pesky critters transmit that. The officials knew that they could not risk the workers contracting it if they wanted to finish the project. During his task there, Potter was able to learn a lot about pest management!
Working On The Project
Before Disney learned about what Potter did to manage the mosquitoes in the Panama Canal Zone, the filmmaker decided to offer him a job right away. The engineer accepted the offer as well as immediately started using his vast knowledge of pest control to good use! He jumped on the “Project of Florida,” which ultimately has become the Disney World we all love and know.
Other Techniques Used
We doubt that without Potter, visitors would be able to fully enjoy their time at Disney World as much. Although it is difficult to completely get rid of them, the park staff uses different techniques to keep the mosquitoes away. And from the look of things, these tactics all work very well! What’s it that they do?
A Prevention Policy
For instance, rather than killing adult bugs, the resort attempts to make itself seem as unpleasant as possible for any insects that need to lay their eggs. Disney World can completely keep the people down and ensure that the bloodsuckers do not bother guests by following a prevention policy.
No Stagnant Water
It is not a secret that mosquitoes survive in still water. They tend to lay their eggs there, after all. Basically, Disney keeps the bloodsuckers away by guaranteeing there is no pool of stagnant water anywhere else in the park! By trying to get rid of its breeding places, Disney has successfully decreased the presence of larvae in the area. But how can it possibly prevent puddles and the like?
The Drainage System
You might think it’s a simple solution, but it’s more complicated than it sounds. For one thing, the resort was built on top of a swamp. His first task was to construct a huge drainage system that would transform the boggy estate into a building-friendly area once Potter was contracted to work at Disney World.
Following him, he constructed drainage gutters, called “Joe’s ditches.” It is neat to hear that they continue to be used to this very day. As you might already have guessed, they were installed to ensure that the water very often flows through the resort. This way, water does not really ever have to come to a standstill.
It Is Always Flowing
Christopher Lucas, a Disney expert, spoke to Reader’s Digest and clarified the whole drainage system’s reasoning. He said, “The guests usually don’t notice it, but the water is constantly flowing… Whenever you walk by a body of water, there’s usually a fountain in the middle of it, or they’re doing something to keep it flowing.”
A New Standard
The system is so successful, it turns out, that this has become a standard procedure when Disney works on a new project. The firm always buys extra land near the property that would serve as these drainage ditches’ site. Let us learn about the other ways the architects and engineers made sure that there would be no puddles or pools of water in the park!
The Design Of The Architecture
Furthermore, the building team also developed the structures so that no water could be obtained anywhere. “All of the buildings are built so that water flows right off of [them]… With all the rainstorms, if water got caught on the buildings, it would form a pool, and then mosquitoes would hatch their eggs, and you’d have thousands of mosquitoes,” Lucas informed Reader’s Digest.
Run Right Off
To guarantee that the water would always run straight from the structures was a priority for the engineers and architects. “They made every building there curved, or designed in a way so there’d be no place for the water to catch and sit there… The architecture is appealing to the eye, but it also serves a purpose: it makes it less conducive to mosquitoes,” Lucas further explained.
War Against Water
In the battle against mosquitoes, standing water must be treated as an enemy! A fantastic idea was this strategy. Apart from the drainage ditches and the architecture, the plants also play a part in this mission against the bloodsuckers. The company only plants species that, to be specific, would avoid puddles in the park.
No Water Plants
When it comes to the park’s water characteristics, the employees ensure that no water lilies are present and the like. They might be hiding mosquito eggs, after all. Lucas said to explain this tactic, “They also stock-fill those places with minnows, goldfish, and a type of fish called mosquito fish that eat the larvae.”
No Nasty Pesticides
The distances Disney has taken to avoid stagnant puddles are certainly blown away by us! Disney uses sprays as well, besides these things. That being said, Walt Disney, himself demanded that he abstain from using horrible pesticides. “[He] didn’t want to ruin the environment at all so that pesticides couldn’t be used… It would be easy just to spray the whole thing, but he wanted it to be natural,” Lucas said.
Garlic As An Alternative
If they’re not using chemicals, what are they using? It turns out that garlic spray is something Disney World employees are familiar with. The mosquitoes do not like this pungent-smelling plant, which is why the staff spread a garlicky scent all throughout the resort. Lucas decided to share, “The amount that they use is so small that humans can’t smell it, but mosquitoes are very susceptible to it.”
We know that garlic sprays sound strange, but wait till you hear how Disney uses chickens to get rid of insects. They keep the birds in co-ops in various parts of the park. Birds mainly live regular chicken lives but are often subjected to blood tests to ensure they do not have mosquito-related pathogens.
Testing The Chickens
Mosquitoes spread different diseases like West Nile and Zika. While chickens are not susceptible to these viruses, the presence of the pathogens should be shown by their blood test results. When it comes to mosquito-busting efforts, if anything appears in their blood work, the staff can then start figuring out which location of the park necessitates more focus.
The Mosquito Surveillance Program
Although Potter’s efforts live on in Disney’s quest to get rid of mosquitoes, the park is still working to further improve the Mosquito Surveillance Program. Another thing the firm does is to scientifically test mosquitoes to learn more about these insects. This way, Disney will find an even more efficient way of dealing with them in the future.
His Legacy Lives On
Joe Potter left his mark on Disney World, even after this. We are certain his legacy will not be overlooked! After he passed away in 1988, retired Walt Disney Attractions president Dick Nunis had warm-hearted words to say about him. Here is what he has said, according to the Official Disney Fan Club website, “Joe was a man [whom] Walt Disney was very fond of. Without Joe Potter, there would be no [Disney World] today.”
A Disney Legend
In 1997, Joe Potter was named a Disney Legend. In some other wonderful tribute, one of the Seven Seas Lagoon ride ferries became known as General Joe Potter! While the park keeps going to benefit from his expertise currently, most visitors have no clue that they deserve credit for their lack of mosquito bites. When you go to the park next time, try to look for chickens!
The Secrets Of Disney World
The approach used to eliminate the mosquitoes wasn’t the only secret hidden in the park. Many things are happening behind the scenes that escape the notice of the guests. Read on to take a look at the revelations from Disney World that will blow you away! Among other things, you’ll find out why you keep bumping into Chris from Orlando on the park grounds.
Hidden Mickeys No Matter Where You Look
We absolutely suggest giving a good look at the surroundings when you next find yourself at Disney World. Everywhere you look, you’ll probably spot the famous set of mouse ears! This did not occur by coincidence. The Imagineers who worked at the park intentionally left the imprints of this symbol wherever they could! A blogger named Steven Barrett tried to track every single one of them down.
Feral Cats Prevent Rodent Problems
In the ’50s, Walt Disney wanted to construct a new attraction at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. They found that there were wild cats inside after the Imagineers had looked inside! They agreed to let the animals stay there, eventually. After all, they proved to be an efficient solution for the area’s mice to control pests. This is also the reason why the park is now home to about 200 feral cats.
The Biggest Wardrobe On The Planet
The costume library at Disney World boasts around two and a half million items. On racks that go on, they are stored for eight miles! The owner of the planet’s largest wardrobe must be Disney! We are sure that you don’t have anything on the Mouse when it comes to clothes and shoes. Don’t get upset, because every single item of clothing you own can at least be enjoyed.
How It Transports Litter Across The Park
To help the staff find their way across the park, there is another use for the utilities. They are also great at transporting trash! With pressurized air, at a speed of over 60 mph, litter is transported and travels down the pipes. The trash cans might be spaced 30 steps apart, but the real ingenuity behind them lies beneath the ground.
The Truth About Chris From Orlando
Chris from Orlando should be known to anyone who has ever been to Disney World. But how could this even be possible here? The fact is this is the name tag used by staff members who forget to bring theirs! There is a chance that there is an actual Chris from Orlando out there. However, every other individual who uses the name simply personifies this guy.
Why The Water Is So Green
Did you ever wonder why the water in the park is so green? There is no need to worry because it is not dirty. Disney dyed it that color for several reasons. First of all, the murky color is an excellent way to hide the tracks down into the water. In this way, the boat ride feels even more immersive. On top of that, it’s also a good way to hide garbage and anything else that ends up in the water.
The Water Bubbles Signal The Ducks To Hide
If you have ever tried to watch the “Fantasmic” show on the Rivers of America, you will know that fire is involved. In particular, there is a giant dragon that sets one of the rivers on fire! When the show was still new, there was a possibility that the ducks on the river would sizzle. A few minutes before this happens these days, the water bubbles so that they can get out of there.
Secret Codes For Every Possible Scenario
We are not kidding when they say that the employees have a secret code for whatever you can imagine. Code 101 means that there was a disintegration of an attraction. Meanwhile, Code 102 implies that it is open again. Code V implies that a guest has vomited on the premises. The most interesting one, however, could be “white powder alert.” This is used when a guest at Space Mountain tries to scatter ashes! Can you believe that something like this happens so frequently that it needs a code of its own?
Main Street Windows Are Named After Legends
In case you were curious to know, there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to the names on the Main Street building windows. They are the names of individuals who have somehow contributed to the park’s creation. In shops, you will have names that have something to do with their work. Just so you know, only the best former staff have the chance to see their names!