Surprising Disney World facts from a former employee

A former Disney World employee is lifting the lid on some surprising behind-the-scenes facts she learned while working at the park.

Fayth Hendley, a 19-year-old college student from DeKalb, Illinois, participated in the Disney College Program last spring — and she learned some fascinating trivia on the job.

She’s now sharing her insider knowledge on TikTok, where her most-watched Disney facts video has been liked over half a million times.

Magic: A former Disney World employee is lifting the lid on some surprising behind-the-scenes facts she learned while working at the park

Fayth Hendley, a 19-year-old college student from DeKalb, Illinois, participated in the Disney College Program last spring

She learned some fascinating trivia on the job

The scoop: Fayth Hendley, a 19-year-old college student from DeKalb, Illinois, participated in the Disney College Program last spring — and she learned some fascinating trivia on the job

Fayth, who says on Twitter that she’s set to participate in the Disney College Program again this spring, showed off her employee badge as she listed some fast facts in her car. 

First, she noted, Disney doesn’t sell gum at any merchandise location in the Walt Disney World Parks. 

‘This is because, when people are done chewing their gum, they decided that there just gonna stick it somewhere, instead of disposing of it properly,’ she said.

And anyone who has been to a Disney park knows that they are kept impeccably clean at all times — so an influx of gum on the ground and surfaces would create a whole lot more work. 

Next, she says, is that in the queue for Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are three pipes that are red, yellow, and white. On the outside, the formulas for ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise are printed.

‘This is because McDonald’s sponsored the ride when it was first opened,’ she explained. 

Huge: She said that the Kilimanjaro Safari there is the largest attraction in all of Walt Disney World, and can fit the entire 171 acres of Magic Kingdom inside it

Huge: She said that the Kilimanjaro Safari there is the largest attraction in all of Walt Disney World, and can fit the entire 171 acres of Magic Kingdom inside it

Condiments: Outside Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, there are red, yellow, and white pipes with formulas for ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise — from when McDonald's sponsored the ride

Condiments: Outside Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, there are red, yellow, and white pipes with formulas for ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise — from when McDonald’s sponsored the ride

McDonald’s no longer sponsors the rides, so the signs have been pulled — but the chemical formulas remain. 

Fayth had lots of facts about Animal Kingdom, as that’s where she spent her time during her program. 

‘Everyone’s always talking about hidden Mickeys, but one thing I learned while working at Animal Kingdom — I worked in the African section, and in Africa, you can find a hidden Donald, a hidden Scar, and a hidden Baloo,’ she revealed. 

She said that the Kilimanjaro Safari there is the largest attraction in all of Walt Disney World, and can fit the entire 171 acres of Magic Kingdom inside it. 

‘Disney’s Animal Kingdom is actually the only park at Walt Disney World that has doors on the entrances and exits to the restroom,’ she added. ‘This is just [for], in the unfortunate situation, if an animal were to get out, that the guests can hide in there.’

Not all of her facts are Animal Kingdom-specific.  

High: The Tower of Terror ride is 199 feet tall, because 'at 200 feet, Florida ordinance laws require there to be a blinking red light on the top for low-flying planes'

High: The Tower of Terror ride is 199 feet tall, because ‘at 200 feet, Florida ordinance laws require there to be a blinking red light on the top for low-flying planes’

Snip! Visitors might not know that they can get their hair cut on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, at a place called Harmony Barber Shop

Snip! Visitors might not know that they can get their hair cut on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, at a place called Harmony Barber Shop

She said that almost all of the American flags in any park are missing a star and a stripe, because ‘otherwise they couldn’t be flown permanently.’

Meanwhile, visitors might not know that they can get their hair cut on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, at a place called Harmony Barber Shop. 

Over at Hollywood Studios, the Tower of Terror ride is 199 feet tall. The Expedition Everest ride at Animal Kingdom is the same height — and there’s a good reason they stop there.

‘At 200 feet, Florida ordinance laws require there to be a blinking red light on the top for low-flying planes,’ she said.

And, she added, ‘From personal experience, I’ve encountered guests who think, oh, the park closes at 10, you have to leave at 10. But you can still get in lines for rides at 9:59.’

'Epcot's Living with the Land attraction produces over 30 tones of fruits and vegetables each year. Any of this that is not donated is still put to good use in the food and beverage locations across Disney World,' she said

‘Epcot’s Living with the Land attraction produces over 30 tones of fruits and vegetables each year. Any of this that is not donated is still put to good use in the food and beverage locations across Disney World,’ she said

Not allowed: If a guest at Animal Kingdom shows up with a balloon from another park, they can leave it outside at a 'little balloon daycare'

Not allowed: If a guest at Animal Kingdom shows up with a balloon from another park, they can leave it outside at a ‘little balloon daycare’

Fayth also listed some of the ways that Disney cares for the environment. 

‘Epcot’s Living with the Land attraction produces over 30 tons of fruits and vegetables each year. Any of this that is not donated is still put to good use in the food and beverage locations across Disney World,’ she said.

She added that all of the food and beverage locations have a food waste system to dispose of the food that wasn’t eaten. It’s then converted into biofuel, which fuels the shuttles that go between each park and resort. 

And while balloons can be found in most Disney parks, you won’t see any in the Animal Kingdom — because they pose a threat to the wildlife there.

If a guest shows up with a balloon from another park, they can leave it outside at a ‘little balloon daycare.’

Plastic straws also aren’t allowed past the entrance, so guests can swap them for paper ones at the entrance.