Why does Walt Disney World seem larger than life?
Walt Disney ingeniously used an optical illusion called forced perspective to enhance the magic of Magic Kingdom. For example, when you enter the park, the street narrows into the distance, creating the impression that the shops stretch forever toward the enormous castle. When you walk back down Main Street, U.S.A. to leave, the reversed perspective of the widening street makes the Walt Disney World train station appear closer, tricking your brain into thinking the walk is short.
Likewise, the buildings lining Main Street, U.S.A. look several stories tall because the windows, awnings, signs, and fixtures higher up are significantly smaller than those on the ground level. The same goes for the castle. It stands a mere 189 feet high and yet appears almost Empire State–esque. That's because the windows, turrets, and fake bricks decrease in size as they near the rooflines. Disney also designed the top spire nearly half the size it should be to seem twice as tall. After all, as with shrimp, bigger is better.
Don't be deceived by long wait times for a ride
“The ride line waiting times are kind of like the stock market,” says a former quick-service cast member at Disney World. “When it gets high, it'll likely see a significant drop.” She frequently checks the ride wait times on the Disney app to map out which ride to head to next. For instance, a 200-minute wait for a ride often scares people away so it drops quicker than a more consistent time where everyone is constantly hopping in line. On the other hand, low wait times may work against you, especially if you're far away from a ride, because everyone else will also be rushing over to get in line. Then, by the time you arrive, the wait will be even longer than before. Remember that everyone on the Disney app sees the same information, so keep that on your radar when calculating your next move.
Nighttime is prime time for Disney visits
The lines for rides typically die down at night, especially during the fireworks display. We always take advantage of visiting the park at night because of cooler temperatures and fewer crowds.