The mouse explorer character Tara featured in the Desert Ruins is a direct parody of Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series, down to the two characters sharing an English accent.
Some pieces of music can only be heard on an NTSC copy of the game. Some of the music can still be found on the PAL disc, but do not play for unknown reasons.
At one stage, it was possible to re-visit the Sorceress' Lair. Due to a glitch, it is sometimes possible to view this option when using a pirated or emulated copy of the game.
In Midday Gardens, there is a permanently closed door inside the room you land in. However, utilizing the "swim in the air" glitch, it's possible to see evidence of a room behind the wall.
Entering the code: Up, Up, Left, Left, Right, Right, Down, Down, Square, Circle, Square from the pause menu will cause Spyro's Skateboard to turn into a Squid. According to developer Brian Hastings, there was originally going to be a mini-game in Lost Fleet which involved riding a Squid. However, as the Squid didn't fit very well with the rest of the game, it was transformed into a Skateboard. It was kept in as a cheat for sentimental reasons.
When Sgt Byrd is caged up, he uses a different model. He wears a gray helmet instead of a green one and his belt is missing.
In an early version of the game, Ruby was known as Lockford.
In Crystal Islands, Moneybags threatens to turn Spyro into a blue hedgehog if he refuses to pay. This is a reference to Sonic the Hedgehog.
The rabbits in Dino Mines - Sheriff Wyatt, Deputy Holiday and Deputy Roy - are named after famous western gunslingers Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and actor Roy Rogers.
The Greatest Hits version of the game has many different changes to the music in the game, with many new tracks being added to areas that previously reused tracks meant for another portion of the game. In some cases, the correct track was already present, but went unused until the Greatest Hits release.
In the level "Cloud Spires" is a secret purple Gem inside one of the clouds. It's not normally possible for the player to reach this location.
There is a dialogue test that can be accessed in-game. When used in Evening Lake, two unused strings of dialogue can be heard from the Professor.
The cutscene "Spike is Born" was not included in the original NTSC release. This was fixed in all subsequent releases.
If a user plays the game on a modified PS1 or owns a pirated copy, Zoe will mention that you are playing on a hacked copy of the game and to expect problems that would not arise on an authentic copy of the game.
In Midnight Mountain is a platform with some extra lives on it in the distance, inaccessible unless either a cheat device or well timed proxy jump is used. The area was originally planned to be the Super Bonus World portal, with a huge whirlwind that would guide you across.
There's an area in 'Dino Mines' that can only be accessed using hacks/glitches, which is an empty arena with a platform in the middle. It was likely going to be used for a boss battle to obtain an egg, much like in Spooky Swamp.
There is an unused cave near the start of level "Fireworks Factory" that can only be accessed by hacking/glitching the level. The cave contains a life butterfly and acts as though it was supposed to have a wall that could be busted when rammed into, but doesn't.
Spyro: Year of the Dragon was released in all regions (except Japan) during the year 2000, which was indeed the year of the dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac.