20 Disneyland Secrets You Need To Know About
Disneyland has its fair share of secrets waiting to be explored.
Want to know more about Disneyland? Disneyland has its fair share of secrets waiting to be explored. Feel free to use these helpful tidbits to make yourself seem like a downright Disney aficionado.
1. Disneyland is the birthplace of Doritos
Doritos, the lovable, powder-dusted tortilla chips, originated from Disneyland. According to taco historian Gustavo Arellano, Frito-Lay founder Elmer Doolin convinced Walt Disney to let him open a Mexican restaurant, Casa de Fritos, in Frontierland. At the time, Alex Foods in Anaheim sourced tortillas for the restaurant.
One day in the early ‘60s, a salesman from Alex Foods saw discarded tortillas and told the cook to make them into tortilla chips. The chips became a hit with guests and were added to the menu without the knowledge of Frito-Lay. When the marketing vice president for Frito-Lay at the time found out about the chips, he asked Alex Foods to mass produce the chips, which became known as Doritos. The rest is history.
2. There’s a hidden Mickey Mouse…in space!
Next time you’re in Tomorrowland, check out the props at Star Wars Launch Bay. If you take a look into the cockpit of Tantive IV, Princess Leia’s ship replica, there’s a miniscule poster of Mickey Mouse wielding a lightsaber. Lean in and take a look next time…just don’t fog up the glass.
3. You can use “It’s a Small World After All” and not get sued
Did you know that the music on “It’s a Small World” isn’t copyrighted, and is free to use? In conjunction with its World’s Fair introduction, Walt determined that the theme song from the popular Disneyland attraction should be made free to the public, for everyone to enjoy.
4. Walt Disney’s apartment has a lamp that never goes dark
When you’re strolling through Main Street, take a look at the apartment directly above the fire station. You’ll see a brightly lit lamp, just behind the window sill. What you’re actually seeing is Walt Disney’s very own private apartment, where he would sometimes stay overnight at the park.
When Walt was alive and the light was on at his apartment, you knew he was at the park. However, when Walt passed away, the decision was made to keep the light on forever. Walt’s spirit is always present at Disneyland.
5. You may see kittens running around Disneyland
Catch a glimpse of a feline in the bushes? Don’t worry, he works there. No, seriously. There are hundreds of cats that live within the bushes and landscapes of Disneyland. Their purpose? Pest control. Hey, if someone offered you living space in Disneyland in exchange for hunting mice, you’d probably consider it too.
6. Echo circles are still around at Star Wars Launch Bay
If you were familiar with the echo circles at Disneyland’s Innoventions, you might be under the impression that those circles are long gone. But take another look. They’re still there, just within the entrance archway to Star Wars Launch Bay. If you aren’t familiar with these circles, don’t worry. Simply step on one of the circles and talk. Because of the acoustics of the building at the walkway, you’ll hear some crazy echoes and seem to come at you from all angles.
7. There are veggies growing throughout Tomorrowland
If you’ve never noticed them before, next time you walk into Tomorrowland, be sure check out the various plants and shrubbery along the way. Notice a trend? That’s right, every plant in Tomorrowland is edible. Walt’s vision for the future was one where sustainable agriculture and crops were a focal point of society. You’ll find oranges, grapefruit, peppers, cabbage, herbs, and a myriad of other tasty crops in Tomorrowland. It would probably be best to avoid picking or eating those snacks though. Disneyland doesn’t get those beautiful plants without a fair amount of pesticides.
8. The most-photographed spot in Disneyland? Past the front gate.
Ever wondered what the most photographed spot in Disneyland is? Well, you don’t have to search very far. Just past the front gates, you’ll see arguably the most famous Disneyland landmark: Mickey Mouse, made of flowers. It’s the first thing that people see when they enter the park, and thus, the most commonly photographed location.
9. The Abominable Snowman in Matterhorn is named Harold
Who’s Harold, you may be asking?
Well, he’s the Abominable Snowman who calls Matterhorn his home, of course! The scary beast that tries to swipe at you on Matterhorn is actually named, Harold, and he has been scaring guests for years.
10. Plenty of celebrities have worked at the theme park
Yes, even celebrities have to start off somewhere. Why not Disneyland? Several famous faces got their start at Disneyland throughout the years. Most notably, Steve Martin and Michelle Pfeiffer.
11. There’s a time capsule at Disneyland
During Disneyland’s 40th anniversary in 1995, a time capsule was placed inside of the castle. That time capsule is still there and won’t be opened until the park’s 80th anniversary in 2035. What’s inside the capsule? We’ll have to wait and see.
12. There are real movie props around the park
Many wonder if the props on Disneyland’s rides are real or just replicas? The answer: both. There are plenty of fake replica props located throughout Disneyland, but you can find real props if you look closely. For example, the props inside Indiana Jones’ office are all actual movie props. If you venture inside Superhero HQ and visit the mighty Thor, you’ll also notice several props from the popular Marvel movies.
13. The murky water has a purpose
Sure, you’ve probably noticed the dark and murky waters of the Rivers of America, or even the Jungle Cruise. But did you realize that those waters are intentionally murky? Sorry to ruin a bit of the magic, but all of Disney’s ships run on tracks, hidden deep within the murky depths. Even the submarines use bubbles to block your view of the tracks below. But let’s face it, if the waters were crystal clear, you’d be able to see the entire track beneath. That wouldn’t be very fun now, would it?
14. Neil Patrick Harris’ voice is used on California Screamin’
In case you haven’t been on California Adventure’s most famous roller coaster recently, listen to the announcer voice next time you go. Sound familiar? That’s actually TV star Neil Patrick Harris, a longtime Disney fan.
15. There really is a basketball hoop inside of Matterhorn
This is a popular rumor and the truth is yes…there is a basketball hoop inside of the Matterhorn. However, anyone who tells you that there is a basketball COURT inside is mistaken. Rumors of the basketball hoop are so popular that Disney imagineers actually put a hoop in one of the wreckage scenes in the ride, for riders with keen eyesight to notice.
16. Breaking the Sound Barrier
Next time you walk through the Condor Flats area of California Adventure, look for the number 47. It’s located in several places throughout the land, and with a very special purpose. 1947 is the year the sound barrier was broken. If you take a look at the Fly N’ Buy shop, the clock is set to the exact date Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.
17. You can grab a free newspaper on your way In to California Adventure
Next time you head into California Adventure, look for a newspaper stand. In it, you might find a copy of the Buena Vista Bugle, Disney’s fictional newspaper. Take one as a keepsake, they’re free!
18. Go for a high score
On Toy Story Mania, there are several “cheats” you can use to maximize your scoring potential. Each level has a secret goal and when you achieve the goal, it unlocks a series of bonus targets of higher values. If you have a friend who likes to brag about getting high scores on Toy Story Maria, do some studying up and they’ll be astounded when you beat them.
19. Anyone know Morse Code?
If you take the steam train around the park and head into New Orleans Square, odds are you’ll hear the faint sound of morse code on a telegraph being broadcast in the offices behind you. If you do the deciphering, you’ll find that the message is actually the very same message Walt Disney gave when he opened the park in 1955: “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
20. There’s real gold in front of “It’s A Small World”
Ever notice the gold trim outside of “It’s a Small World”? Well, it’s made of real, 24 karat gold. The ride was originally going to be painted gold, but the workers and artists realized that the gold paint would fade rather quickly in the California sun. So, they decided to cover it in the real thing.
Disneyland holds hundreds of secrets and stories, just waiting to be explored. Ask a local or an employee of the park, and they’ll have their share of tales.
What are some of your favorite Disney secrets?
Originally posted 2016-04-12 21:55:13.