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10 fascinating facts about Disney

1. Walt Disney’s original surname was d’Isigny, a nod to his French roots. Ooh la la!

2. Walt Disney World® Florida opened in 1971. There’s a huge tunnel system under it so that the characters can appear in their own ‘land’; you won’t suddenly see Cinderella hot-footing past Pirates of the Caribbean on the way to her castle.

3. Simba is Swahili for lion while Bhalu (Baloo) is Hindi for bear.

4. Since it opened in 1971, 1.65 million pairs of glasses have been misplaced at Disney World. Each year 6,000 mobile phones, 3,500 digital cameras and 18,000 hats are left behind. As Tom Jones sang, you can leave your hat on! (and glasses).

5. If you did put your sunhat down it could be a problem trying to find it again, Disney World is about the same size as San Francisco.

6. It’s mouse time! Micky Mouse was the first animated character to speak. Way back in 1929 he uttered the immortal words “Hot dog” in the cartoon The Karnival Kid.

7. 78 million pairs of Mouse ears have been sold over the years. Now that’s a lot of ears.

8. Until we hit the millennium with The Little Mermaid and then again in 2012 with Brave, Disney princesses had been only children. Ariel was the seventh-born daughter and Merida had lots of brothers she inadvertently turned into bear cubs – that’s redheads for you! ?

9. The Lion King was originally called ‘King of the Jungle’. Duh! Luckily, someone realised lions don’t tend to live in jungles and they changed the name.

10. Animators do a lot of research to make sure the films are realistic. One animator wanted to get the movement of Aladdin’s baggy trousers just right, so he watched lots of M.C. Hammer videos. Now that’s dedication!