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A Revered Story Element

This next secret, while in plain sight, is revealed by the Imagineers to only those who know their Disney history.

Make your way over to the Fairy Tale Treasures gift shop in Fantasy Faire and you’ll find Figaro, the cat belonging to Geppetto the woodcarver, who created Pinocchio in Disney’s 1940 animated film by the same name. Lying high on an outdoor windowsill, Figaro attempts to take a catnap, but a small bird perched in a cage next to him keeps him awake with its cheerful chirping. This Audio-Animatronic story element in itself is interesting, but the Imagineers’ secret here is that the bird and the cage design are a nod to the small mechanical bird in a cage that Walt discovered in an antique shop in New Orleans. This antique is revered in Disney history, as it inspired Walt to invent Audio-Animatronics, leading to the birds of the Enchanted Tiki Room, President Lincoln and countless other moving figures at Disney theme parks around the world. Of note is the small bird. While not looking anything like the feathered mechanical bird Walt found, the Imagineers programmed this modern day bird with the very same movements as the antique bird, with a swivel of its head, a chirp from its beak and an occasional twitch of its tail feathers. Photo courtesy of

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