When visiting amusement parks, designers and employees enjoy hiding references and jokes through their facilities. Disney is well known for its “Hidden Mickeys,” but it now goes beyond that. We will explore jokes and references throughout the world in this article.
First, we have the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s first theme park in Florida.
Space Mountain saw the addition of a space map when it underwent its 2009 refurbishment. Active Earth Stations refer to every Space Mountain attraction in the world, with a name referencing its opening year or location. Tomorrowland Station MK-1 refers to the one guests are standing in at the time, as it was the first to open. TL Space Station 77 refers to Space Mountain at Disneyland, which opened in 1977. Discovery Landing Station-Paris pays homage to Space Mountain: De la Terre a la Lune at Disneyland Paris. The original name was to be Discovery Mountain, changed shortly before opening to Space Mountain: De la Terre a la Lune. Now, the ride is called Hyperspace Mountain.
What about Ashita Base-Tokyo? Ashita means Tomorrow in Japanese, and that’s the one at Tokyo Disneyland, which will close in 2024. Last, HK Spaceport E-TKT calls back to the fact that when Hong Kong Disneyland opened its doors in 2005, Space Mountain was one of only “E-Ticket” premium attractions at the park.
Elsewhere at the Magic Kingdom, you will see a unique portrait if you turn around at a certain point in the Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. That portrait is of Mr. Toad, the featured character of Mr. Toad Adventure, handing over the deed to his manor to Winnie. This is clever as Winnie The Pooh replaced Mr. Toad Wild Ride in 1999.
When the Skipper Canteen opened in 2015 in the restaurant space formerly occupied by the Adventureland Terrace, it tied in with the extensive SEA storyline. SEA (Society of Explorers and Adventurers) was created when Tokyo DisneySea opened in 2001 and is now a worldwide collection of references to other attractions themed around adventure, mystery, and action. The Skipper Canteen is an extension of the “World Famous” Jungle Cruise. It is full of easter eggs and references to other parks, IPs, and other things.
Tokyo DisneySea features many gags and jokes throughout the park. One can only be seen by those unfortunate to ride the prisoner transport vehicle. Gerald Springham reminds those in the box that they always have a friend on the outside, along with a helpful portrait of his not-so-friendly face. Gerald Springham is a bad punny name on the level of the lawyer offices of Dewey, Cheatham, Howe.
When standing next to Raging Spirits entrance, you can find crates addressed to Hotel Hightower, New York. That hotel houses the Tower of Terror at the same park in the New York area of Tokyo DisneySea.
Tokyo Disneyland opened The Happy Ride with Baymax in 2020. Across the way from the attraction, you can spot Mochi the Calico Cat snoring away happily above the vending machines.
At Shanghai Disneyland, while exploring Adventurer’s Isle, look at the message board in Camp Discovery. You will find newspaper articles from the Weekly Journal Published in the Interest of Exploration and Understanding. Those inform readers that an accident occurred at a Hollywood Hotel (Tower of Terror at the Disney Hollywood Studios and Walt Disney Studios), and the League of Adventures discovered a lost Temple in Rio Perdito. This refers to Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull, located in Lost River Delta, Tokyo Disney Sea. The village of the Lost River Delta is called “El Rio Perdito”, which translates literally to The Lost River. You also see the logo of Expedition Everest and a dark photo of the Yeti as well.
Leaving the Disney parks, Le Pal in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Besbre, France, opened in 2023 Champi’ Folies, an interactive dark ride. Created by the genius mind of Benoit Cornet and the team at Boldmove Nation, Triotech helped bring to life this unique attraction. Full of clever references to other French amusement parks in its on-screen content and physical scenery, it is a wonderful experience for the eyes. In the last screen guests shoot ice cubes at the panicked mushies, you can see a poster with Niglo, the mascot of Nigloland. Nigloland is another large French amusement park.
Nigloland is also present on the side of the camper trailer, as many stickers for French amusement parks were glued on. Walibi, Parc Asterix, and others.
Parc Asterix loves verbal puns and sight gags and here are some.
Last, we have Chessington Worlds of Adventure. Rameses Revenge was a beloved Top Spin attraction at the park that was removed in 2019. When the park redressed an area with a nautical theme, an old boat was given the “Rama-Sea’s Revenge” which sounds the same when pronounced. An Egyptian statue next to it completes the homage to the old attraction.