If you’re a frequent guest of Disney World, you know what people mean when they talk about that “Disney Smell”.
1. The Smell of Florida
It actually starts when you arrive at Orlando airport and walk outside for the first time. Florida smells like Florida…it has a sweetly fragrant scent due to all the blooming flowers and trees. Many returning tourists pause for a moment when they walk outside the terminal and just take a deep breath of sweet Florida air. Ahhh, breathe it in…
Even more special, there is just something about the way the all the parks, attractions and Disney resorts smell…all so good! Long ago, Disney realized that if the parks smelled good and unique, you’d remember it long after your vacation was over. And, more importantly, you’ll remember how good you felt at the time.
Did you know that Disney World pumps irresistible scents onto its parks and resort lobbies to entice park goers? There are strategically placed devices called “smellitizers” dispersed throughout Disney World resort. They emit pleasing scents throughout the day and night.
Ask any cast member to name where a particular scent is associated with and we can all pass this test with flying colors!
2. The Smell of the Water Rides
Guests say that you could line up bottles of water with scents from the fog from Pirates of the Caribbean and the other indoor water rides (It’s a Small World, Splash Mountain, Living with The Land at Epcot, the Three Caballeros ride) and they could correctly associate the water’s scent with the attraction. And, they would be right.
3. The Smell of the Disney World Resort Lobbies
This is not a hard one at all. In fact, the fragrances are so specific that you can actually buy candles and air fresheners online with the scent of each resort.
For example, the Polynesian Resort lobby smells vaguely “Hawaiian” with floral and wood notes. The Yacht and Beach Club smells of the “seashore”, but not in a bad way, more like a fresh salty sea breeze.
The Grand Floridian lobby smells of “rich money” to me, except when the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is up in the lobby during the holidays. Then, of course, it smells strongly of freshly-baked gingerbread.
4. The Spa Scent of Disney Resort Soaps and Toiletries
If you’ve stayed at any of the properties onsite, you know this scent!
I call this smell “rich spa”. It’s so wonderful a scent that guests often pause while washing their hands and just smell the fragrant bubbles.
4. The Smell of Caramel Popcorn Cooking at Karamell Kuche in Epcot Germany
My ICP friend from Germany worked in this sweet shop making the caramel popcorn with Werther’s Original Caramels all day. In fact, he was kind enough to share the secret recipe with me. (Of course, the recipe makes a huge batch!)
On one of my last days at the DCP program, I stopped in to say good-bye to him and him made a Magical Moment for me by bagging up a small bag of caramel popcorn that he had just finished making. It was delicious! So warm and chewy!
Every time I smell the caramel on my Starbucks caramel latte, I always think of him and the sweet Karamell Kuche shop at Epcot.
5. The Special Holiday Parade Scents
If you’ve ever had the chance to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the fall, you know that the ‘Boo To You’ parade smells just like candy corn when Goofy’s float passes by.
And, if you’ve been on Main Street USA during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party during the holidays, you’ve noticed the smell of sugar cookies baking and the scent of peppermint candy canes is also in the air!
6. The Scent of Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The number one smell that Caroline associates with DAK is probably not the one you’re thinking of! No, it’s not the smell of animals and animal manure!
Caroline: After working at DAK through every season now, I would have to say that the smell I most associate with my workplace is: sunscreen!
Working at the front of DAK, it seems like every guest that gets off the trams coming in from the parking lots pauses and literally hoses down themselves and their children with sunscreen. And, not just the lotion kind that comes in bottles. Over the past few years, aerosol spray sunscreen has become very popular. They spray clouds of it in the air like it’s free!
By 9am every day, a vaguely coconut smell from sunscreen fills the plaza in front of the entrance turnstiles. It’s a smell I’ll always associate with DAK! 🙂
7. The Smell of Burning Wood
That would be the smoky smell of burning embers from the Rome burning diorama while riding Spaceship Earth. Just before that scene, as you’re loading onto the ride, you smell the smoldering ashes from cave-dwelling prehistoric man discovering fire.
Spaceship Earth is closing in mid-2020 for a major refurbishment and won’t reopen until early 2022 ahead of the 40th anniversary celebration at Epcot.
8. Fresh Scents on Soarin’ Around the World
As you soar over elephants on the African Savanna, you’ll smell fresh grass as an elephant throws dirt into the air. There’s lots of good scents on this ride.
Enjoy the lovely scent of flowers during this scene!
9. Popcorn! Popcorn!! Popcorn!!!
We love the smell of popcorn and Disney makes a ton of it all day long at the Magic Kingdom.
10. Funnel Cakes and Churros!
We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/
Have a magical day!
Two Disney Sisters
What’s your favorite snack at Disney World???