Fastpass to History – The Smell of Disney

Disney World Smell

Oh the smells of Disney – we all have our favorites.   But did you know Walt Disney was the first filmmaker to ever explore the idea of including scents in his movies.   In the 1940 film Fantasia, Disney wanted to add to the senses with smell, unfortunately the cost became too high for him to pull this off.    General Electric went on to develop the Smell-O-Rama in 1953 and the first smelly movie was released in 1960 called Scent of Mystery.

The device that Disney parks use has had many names, one of them is “Smellitzer” or “Scent-Emitting System” as it’s called in the 1984 patent application.   This device blows out any smell Disney would like towards park guests in areas all around the parks.   Have you smelled the peppermint by the candy store or the fresh baked cookies by the bakery?   No, Disney is not always cooking up a fresh batch of candy or cookies, but that’s definitely what it smells like.   Take a look on the outside of these buildings, you will likely see a circle that looks similar to a speaker, yeah that’s your smell.

Today there are smells all around the Disney property.   From the moment you walk down Main Street USA and smell the popcorn.   To the rides such as the musty smell of Pirates of the Caribbean, Stitch’s chili dog belch on Stitch’s Great Escape, Rome burning on Space Ship Earth, the watermelon and animal crackers on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train and our favorite Soarin and the smells or oranges, pine forests, and the ocean.   Don’t forget the 3D/4D movies where smell was first introduced and Disney has perfected with Mickey’s Philharmagic pies and the wonderful stink bug smell at It’s Tough to Be a Bug.

Disney loves to fill all of our senses.   Whether it is piped in or natural, what is your favorite Disney smell?

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  • How neat! I knew they pumped the smells out of the bakery on Main St., but I never knew exactly where they came from. I’ll have to look for that little round thing next time. My favorite smell at Disney is the turkey leg smell. I also love the smell of the oranges on Soarin’, the pie at Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and the hot chocolate and candy in the Christmas parade. Thanks for linking up!

  • It never dawned on me until I read this that the rides have their own unique smells. The damp smell of Pirates. The musty smell of Haunted Mansion. Although those are probably natural and not piped in. 🙂 I love them all!

  • V No Privacy

    If I could bottle the scent of the (former?) Polynesian lobby I would save it forever. The Poly hallways also used to have a specific smell (kind of sweet) b/c of the cleaning supplies used but I think that has mostly gone away over the years. I can still remember it though.