Are there tunnels under Walt Disney World? And what are they for? Yes, there are tunnels, and they called Utilidors “Utility Corridors” and here’s everything you need to know about them.
History of The Utilidors
According to modern legend, Walt Disney noticed that the immersive experience was broken by watching a costumed cast member walking from one land into another and wanted to create a way to quickly move cast members, resources, and more between lands. Since the California Disneyland was small, such a tunnel system could not be feasibly implemented. When the new Florida Disney park was being planned, engineers designed utilidors to keep park operations out of guests’ sight.
What is the Purpose of the Utilidors?
The tunnels were built for one main reason: to facilitate the unseen operations of the park without creating distractions for the guests, and to allow cast members in costume only to be seen in their land.
What Do the Utilidors Look Like?
Utilidors are entirely different from the onstage areas of the parks and are designed with a strictly utilitarian in style with decoration. The difference in appearance helps to draw a line for cast members between being “in-character” and not, but it also deters from areas that readily accessible to guests, and by making those areas bland, most people don’t have any interest in exploring them.
How Do Cast Members Navigate the Utilidors?
There are navigation signs throughout the tunnels to help you find your way. Each different land has tunnels of a different color, and use a different font on the signage in each land helped those that are color-blind.
There are a large number of pipes that run along the ceiling throughout the system, some carrying water, HVAC, and most interestingly, a pneumatic garbage system.
Why Don’t the Utilidor Flood?
Given Walt Disney World’s proximity to sea level, digging below the surface would result in flooding. Instead, the tunnels were instead built on ground level, then covered by dirt scooped out of the nearby lagoon. When you stand in the park, you are technically on the second floor.
How Can I Get Inside a Utilidor?
Apart from being a cast member, the only way to get inside the Utilidors (without sneaking in and getting in some massive trouble – dude, seriously don’t do that) is to take Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour.
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