|Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Tom Arthur/Wikimedia)|
THEME PARKSIn honor of Disneyland’s 63nd birthday (which opened on July 17, 1955) here is a list of 63 things you didn’t know about the theme park. Okay, so you probably know a few of these, but there are plenty more trivia bits that should keep you entertained about the “happiest place on earth.”
1. Disneyland was First a TV Show
The building of Disneyland was an expensive venture of $17 million. Sure, it could have been done for cheaper, but it wouldn’t have been big enough to hold all of Walt Disney’s ideas. In addition to borrowing from his life insurance, selling his vacation home and making a few deals with several companies, Disney made a deal with ABC to create the TV show, Disneyland, which premiered on Wednesday, October 27, 1954. In addition to showing cartoons and short stories, Disney would also share about the new theme park that he was building. It won an Emmy for Best Variety Series during its first season.
2. Opening Day was a Disaster
The official opening day for Disneyland was held on Sunday, July 17, 1955 and was broadcast live on ABC. It was also a “international press preview” meaning that only those in the media and special guests were invited. However, instead of 14,000 or so guests attending, 28,000 people showed up, many who had purchased counterfeit tickets. The live broadcast was hosted by Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings and Ronald Reagan. Things did not go as planned and was later known internally as “Black Sunday.”
- Special guests were to arrive at the park throughout the day, but all showed up at the same time.
- Guests tripped over TV camera cords while the on-air hosts tried to make the best of things with faulty equipment.
- Due to a local plumber’s strike, Disney was faced with either running toilets or drinking fountains but not both.
- It was 101 degrees and guests were forced to purchase Pepsi to stay hydrated.
- The vendors ran out of food.
- The asphalt for Main Street had just been poured that morning and was still soft. Some women’s high-heeled shoes got stuck in it.
- There was a gas leak that closed down three of the park’s “lands” for the afternoon causing more congestion in the other areas of the park.
- The initial press reviews were not good.
3. Ticket Prices Then and Now
Admission to the “Happiest Place on Earth” was initially just $1 person. However, this didn't include the cost of the attractions. As of February 16, 2016, admission was $99 but most of all the attractions were included in the cost.
As of 2017, Disneyland boasts of 54 attractions, a term Disney uses to describe rides, shows, and exhibits. On the park’s opening day, it only had 18.
|Mad Tea Party, Golden Horseshow Revue and|
It's a Small World (Ellen Levy Finch/Sam Howzit/
The following is a list of attractions that have been in operation at Disneyland since it’s opening:
- King Arthur Carousel
- Peter Pan Flight
- Mad Tea Party
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Canal Boats of the Word (Now known as Storybook Land Canal Boats)
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures
- Disneyland Railroad
- Horse-drawn Streetcars
- Main Street Cinema
- Jungle Cruise
- Mark Twain Steamboat
- Penny Arcade
6. First Attraction to Close
Not every Disney attraction was a hit. Tomorrowland Boats were sort of an Autopia on water. They opened on July 30, 1955 but the gas-powered engines were unreliable and often raiders would get stranded and needed to have an employee come rescue them. They closed for a short while coming back at Phantom Boats in 1956. (No one seems to know where the name came from.) Now, an employee had to ride with the guest which raised up the cost of running the attraction significantly. It was soon closed permanently giving the boats the distinction of the first attraction permanently closed at the park.
7. The Strangest Store Ever at the Park
Why Disney or anyone else thought that this was a good idea is beyond me. The Wizard of Bras shop was one of the first stores to open on Main Street, USA. According to a local newspaper, the shop was a creation of the Hollywood-Maxwell Brassiere Company that featured a revolving stage recreating fashions of the 1890s on one side and more modern fashions styles on the other. Guests were welcomed by the “wizard” himself with a wave of his magic wand to show them “how it was and how it is” – in bras. It closed six months later.
8. The Longest Stage Show in U.S. History
The longest stage show in US history debuted on Disneyland’s opening day in Frontierland. The Golden Horeshoe Revue (an accidental misspelling that stuck), was an old west vaudeville-type of show that ran from 1955 to 1986. Though the actors changed over the years, the show and the characters did not. The show featured saloon owner Slue Foot Sue, her dance hall girls, Pecos Bill and a traveling salesmen. The Guinness Book of World Records state that the show was presented 39,000 times over 30 years.
9. Lots of Dolls
It’s a Small World originated as a 1964 World’s Fair Attraction before it was moved into Disneyland. Up until 2008, It features over 300 dolls and other audio-animatronics representing children from all over the world. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that American children were represented.
10. Recycling at its Best
Disneyland has always found a way to reuse old material when needed. The original organ featured in the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea can be seen in The Haunted Mansion. Goats and the wild life critters that were part of the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland were re-used in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the walk-through Swiss Family Treehouse later became Tarzan’s Treehouse and many of the creatures featured in America Sings continue to do so in Splash Mountain. Many of the original attraction ticket booths are still around and used as decorations including the giant mushroom that holds the book of Alice’s adventures in front of Alice in Wonderland and the lighthouse posted in front of Storybook Land Canal Boats.
|Space Mountain, The Viewliner|
(Solar Surfer/J Fauset/Wikimedia)
Space Mountain in Disneyland has operated under different titles over the years including Hyperspace Mountain (themed with animation and music from the Star Wars movies), Rockin’ Space Mountain and the Halloween-themed Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.
12. Sign of Things to Come
The facade for The Haunted Mansion was completed in 1963, but the ride did not open its doors until 1969.
13. In the Movies
Only five films have been filmed at Disneyland. Two were filmed by Walt Disney Pictures(*), two received permission(+) and one did not(#).
- Forty Pounds of Trouble+ (1962)
- That Thing You Do+ (1996)
- Saving Mr. Banks* (2013)
- Escape from Tomorrow# (2013)
- Tomorrowland* (2015)
14. Famous People Who Worked for the Mouse
A number of celebrities got their start in showbiz while working at the “happiest place on earth. Steve Martin actually worked with John McEuen (from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) at the Magic Shop on Main Street. Apparently, it was McEuen who taught Martin how to play the banjo. Richard Carpenter of The Carpenters could have been found on Main Street as well as a street performer. Kevin Costner worked as a tour guide and met his first wife there two. She played Snow White. Terri Garr danced her way to fame in parades at the park. Both Michelle Pfeiffer and Joanna Kerns were characters in the Main Street Electrical Parade. Pfeiffer played Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) while Kerns played the Blue Fairy (from Pinocchio). Finally, both Ron Ziegler and John Lasseter served as Jungle Cruise skippers.
15. No Gum Allowed
You will find just about every treat you and imagine within the many shops and stands in Disneyland, but the one item you won’t find is gum. Mr. Disney hated the stuff and didn’t want guests spitting it on his grounds. You may have noticed some specks embedded into the pavement on Main Street thinking that it was chewing gum that got snuck in, but more than likely, they are sensors that are used to help guide the floats during the many parades.
16. The “Other” Train
From June 1957 to September 1958, the park featured The Viewliner, “the fastest miniature train in the world.” Measuring just two and half feet across, the futuristic train once traveled alongside the traditional steam-powered trains through Tomorrowland and Fantasyland in a short loop. The point was to contrast the look of the past with the look of the future. The attraction went away when on September 15, 1958 when construction began on the Matterhorn and the Submarine Voyage. It has the distinction of being the Disneyland attraction with the shortest life ever.
|The Matterhorn and The Tiki Room|
(Ana Fox and Harshlight/Wikimedia)
Things in Disneyland are not always what they seem. Thank to forced perspective, Many of the buildings and features there are actually shorter than you would think. Here are park's tallest features from shortest to tallest:
- Sleeping Beauty’s Castle: 75.5”
- Space Mountain: 76’
- Splash Mountain: 76’
- Big Thunder Mountain: 104’
- Matterhorn 147’
18. The Circus That Came and Went
Not every attraction at Disneyland has been a hit. One of the earliest flops had the best intentions. In November on 1955, just a few months after the park opened, Disney raised up a circus tent and dubbed it the Mickey Mouse Club Circus. Walt loved circuses and thought by having the show star a few of the TV Mouseketeers it would be a hit. Unfortunately, it was set outside of the park, cost an additional fee and guests showed little desire to see circus acts at Disneyland when they could see similar shows at home. The circus closed in January the next year.
19. Cats Roam Freely
Despite the success of Mickey Mouse, it is rumored that Walt Disney had a fear of mice but park has never had a problem with rodents. Why? A number feral cats have made their home in the park and roam freely at nighttime and hide during the day.
20. Ears to You
Mickey Mouse Ears is of course a very popular souvenir. During the 50th celebration over 78 million mouse ears were sold. However, guests are not allowed to use profanity, names of famous people, sports teams, personal businesses and corporations in their personalization. However, there is a story about one guest who request his hat to say “Vincent” and then he later tore off one of the ears.
21. The First Audio-Animatronics
Audio-Animatronics are common place in Disneyland and expected. But the very first character was not Abraham Lincoln or a Country Bear. The first were the birds cooped up The Enchanted Tiki Room which opened for the first time on June 23, 1963.
22. Doritos Were Invented in Disneyland
When the Disneyland restaurant, Casea de Fritos in Adventureland, discovered that they had a surplus of tortillas, the cooks cut them up, deep friend the and tossed them with a few spices. They were a hit. They were made and sold outside of Disneyland regionally for a time before flooded with requests for more.
23. Alice is That You?
Actress Kathryn Beaumont voiced the character of Alice in Wonderland. When Disneyland planned to include an Alice in Wonderland ride, Beaumont was asked to lend her voice. When the ride was closed in 1982 for a major refurbishment, Imagineers once again requested that Beumont voice the role one more time. The recording was sped up a smidge to help Beaumont sound like the Alice we all know and love.
Disney theme parks are known for their different “lands” but not every idea came to fruition. Among the “lands” that never came to Disneyland include Edison Square and Liberty Street (side streets to Main Street, U.S.A.), Lilliputian Land (where everything would have been built very tiny making the guests feel like giants) a ‘Wizard of Oz’ land, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Mickey Mouse Island, International Land (this was scrapped but EPCOT was built with the same concept), Mythia Unknown (based on Greek and Roman myths), Hollywoodland, Big City U.S.A. (New York themed area), World Holiday Land (an European-themed area built around holidays) and Discovery Bay (A Jules Verne inspired land that was later developed for Disneyland Paris).
|The knight from The Haunted Mansion and|
(Dewey Decimals/Gene Spesard/Wikimedia)
While all of the 999 ghosts in residence at the Haunted Mansion are audio-animatronic, there once was a live one played by a real flesh and blood human being. During one summer, Disneyland created a knight who would roam the halls of the mansion. They were able to jump out at guests to scare them but they were not supposed to actually touch the guests. Be that as it may, sometimes they would and at least one cast member went home from work one day with a broken nose for doing so. Although it is not exactly clear why the ride discontinued the character, rumors suggest that it generated more complaints than complements.
26. It’s Not Such a Small World After All
In 2008, It’s a Small World went under a major refurbishment from January to November which in part included a new water flume and new boats. Though Disney hasn’t admitted this, there were reports at the time that main reason for the overhaul had to do with America’s waistline. According to some, the original boats were designed with the assumption that male riders would weigh an average of 175 pounds and women around 135 which they did in 1963. However, in the 2000s more and more boats began to bottom out stalling the ride and causing the offenders to abandon ship.
27. Lights Out
Disneyland is known for its wonderful parades, most notably, the Main Street Electrical Parade, so in 1997 when the park unveiled its predecessor, people got excited. However, the new Light Magic production was a parade at all. Instead, Disney called it a “streetacular” where four large floats would move and set up along the traditional parade route in darkness. Then, suddenly lights would come on, animated images would appear on the large screens, cheerful music would play and groups of fairies would jump out to dance. A few Disney characters showed up for the fun as well but the $20 million dollar stunt was not a hit with fans. Instead of becoming the next generation of the famed Electrical Parade, Light Magic only ran for one summer only.
28. The PeopleMover Remover
In 1998, Disneyland removed the much-loved yet slow PeopleMover in favor or a new thrill ride called Rocket Rods. With vehicles that resembled hot rod race cards, the new ride would blast riders down the old PeopleMover tracks and throw in a few “wheelies” here and there. Unfortunately, the vehicles had to slow way down in order to make the curves around the various Tomorrowland buildings. The constant start and stop motion caused the vehicles much wear and tear and notoriously long wait times as the ride broke down often. After numerous restarts, the theme finally gave up on the attraction altogether and the tracks lay bare.
29. Disneyland’s First Swim Meet
In one of the park’s oddest promotions was held on October 5, 2004 when Michael Phelps, Lenny Krayzelburg, Ian Crocker and others showed up for swim meet help literally on Main Street U.S.A. The event was celebrating the men’s victories at the Athens Olympic Games. A giant pool was constructed for occasion than stretched 50 meters down the street. It held about 103,944 gallons of water was about 3.5 feet deep. By the next day, it was gone.
30. Not So Hidden Rooms in Disneyland
Walt Disney had his own apartment in Disneyland where he would stay occasionally during the park’s early years. The 600-foot apartment sits over the Main Street Fire Station where a candle stays lit in the window all year round in his honor. Disney had also planned for a special “Royal Suite” to be used by VIPS to be built above the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, but it was never built. However, in 2008, Disney unveiled the “Dream Suite” that has been used for special promotions. Each room in the suite is based on a different area of the park. The master bedroom is based on Advertureland while that bathroom is based on Fantasyland. Another bedroom is based on Frontierland and the sitting room is based on New Orleans Square. Another hidden space in the park is located within the Matterhorn where a basketball court can be found to be used by Disney employees.
31. Return Visits to Disneyland to an Extreme
It nearly impossible to see everything in Disneyland in one day and for that reason, many families plan for two or more days when visiting the park. However, on July 6, 2017, Jeff Reitz celebrated his 2,000th visit to the park. In 2012, he began visiting Disneyland with a friend each day as a pick-me-up since he was unemployed at the time. Reitz said that his first visit to Disneyland was when he was two years old and remembers riding the Matterhorn Bobsleds with his mother and it is still his favorite attraction. His current pass is good until January 2018.
|King Arthur’s Carousel, A singing bust from the|
Haunted Mansion and Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage
Julie Andrews, forever known as Mary Poppins had a horse on the King Arthur’s Carousel dedicated to her in 2005. You can spot “Jingles” since it has a picture of her boots on it and Mary Poppins silhouette. It has been reported that it was a favorite horse of Walt Disney’s and it is the very horse that Emma Thompson rides in the movie, Finding Mr. Banks.
33. Speed in Space is Apparently Slower
Space Mountain is an ingenious ride for many reasons including the fact that despite what you feel while riding, it has a top speed of only 35 MPH. Fans blowing air in your face and the darkness add to the thrill making you think that you are traveling faster than you really are.
34. A Smelly Place
Believe it or not, even the scents throughout Disneyland are larger than life. The park actually pumps out various scents at various sections of the park to heighten the experience. For instance, on Main Street U.S.A., you might smell whiffs of vanilla or peppermint depending on the time of the year, honey near Pooh’s Adventure, seawater at the Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.
35. The Haunted Mansion is G-r-e-a-t-!
You might recognize the voice of one of the singing busts in The Haunted Mansion. Thurl Ravenscroft not only sang about "Grim Grinning Ghosts," but he also sang the theme song to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and was the voice of Tony the Tiger, lover of Frosted Flakes, for many years.
36. Not Always Gone for Good
As Disneyland is never “finished,” different attractions, shops and restaurants have come and gone. These include the Flying Saucers, The Skyway, Phantom Boats, Flight to the Moon, Circarama, the Monsanto House of the Future etc. However, every once in a awhile, something truly magical happens. The popular Submarine Voyage ride closed in 1998 which left a huge, albeit beautiful, “hole” in the park for years. The lagoon was still there left intact, but it was a shame to see such a large space not used for anything. Imagineers couldn’t come up with a suitable replacement for the ride and in a way, gave up and brought in a “new” ride using much of the original. The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened in 2007 pleasing fans both young and old alike. However, over in Disney’s California Adventure, the original Disnleyland Flying Saucer attraction was given new life in Car’s Land as Luigi's Flying Tires, but it suffered from the same technological glitches that the original one did as well and it closed.
37. One Building, Many Attractions
The original rotating theatre building located in Tomorrowland once housed the Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress attraction from 1967 to 1973. It was later moved to its current location at the Magic Kingdom in Florida so that Disneyland could create the musical extravaganza, America Sings to open in time for America’s bicentennial in 1976 despite that fact that it had nothing to do with the Tomorrowland theme. That attraction closed in 1988. The top part of the building was then used for the Tron SuperSpeed Tunnel section of the PeopleMover attraction until that closed in 1995. In 1998, both floors of the theatre became the West Coast version of Epcot’s Innovations attraction. This stayed in place until 2015, when the building became the Tomorrowland Expo Center. The first floor became the Star Wars Launch Bay and the second floor became Super Hero HQ that served as a meet and greet area for Marvel superheroes including Thor, Iron-Man and Spider-Man. While the superheroes left in April 2016, the Star Wars section remains, however that could change after the new Star Wars land opens in 2019.
38. Odd Attractions
When Disneyland first opened, Tomorrowland had few attractions, so Disney filled up space with short-attractions that surprisingly stayed in place longer than expected. Among the offerings were the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit which included props from the blockbuster movie. It was the most relevant and stayed in place from 1955 to 1966. However, the Aluminum Hall of Fame (1955-1960), the Ducth Boy Color Gallery (1955-1963), the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry (1955-1966), Monsanto’s Fashions and Fabrics Through the Ages (1965-1966) and the Crane Company Bathroom of Tomorrow (1956-1960) didn’t exactly conjure up excitement.
39. Dying to Get In
Although creepy to think about, Disneyland is home to eight graveyards. Four are located in and around the Haunted Mansion (naturally), one is located in Frontierland, one is on Tom Sawyer Island, one is featured along the route of the Storybook Land Canal and one is featured in the Submarine Voyage ride.
|Pirates of the Caribbean, Club 33 and the Stage Coach|
(Harshlight/Solar Surfer/LJ Pelletier/Wikimedia)
It is estimated that more guests of the park have ridden the Pirates of the Caribbean ride than any other attraction. Despite its popularity, it is also one of the most controversial rides in the park. For one, the theme song features antics of the pirates including plundering, pillaging, rifling, looting, kidnapping, ravaging, extorting, embezzling, hijacking, kindling, charring, inflaming, igniting, burning up the city, begging and drinking. Not exactly family-friendly. But the park has also been criticized for making changes to the ride as well. In the late 1990s, the scene where the pirates were chasing women was changed to pirates chasing women with food! Recently, it was announced that Disney would alter another scene where pirates auctioned off “wenches” enticing others with a beautiful redhead while they were actually auctioned off homely women. The new scene will involve pirates auctioning off the villagers’possessions and the event will be led by the redhead herself making her a pirate too.
41. The Mickey Mouse Club for Adults
In what was initially a secret for most park guests, most are now familiar with Club 33 located in New Orleans Square. In the mid 1960s, Walt Disney began to make plans to attract new sponsors for his park by creating an executive lounge to entertain these sponsors with a luxurious setting, fine dining and a unique Disney atmosphere. The club actually opened on June 15, 1967 six months after Disney had passed away. Today, the club is exclusive and very popular. It is estimated that it has a 10+ year waiting list and new members need to pay a hefty initiation fee ($50,000) and annual dues of about $15,000.
42. Attractions You Won’t See Anywhere Else
Over the years, many of Disney attractions have become mass-produced with versions of the same attraction at different Disney theme parks. However, here is a list of attractions that you won’t see anywhere else. At least, not yet:
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Sailing Ship Columbia
- Alice in Wonderland
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk through
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Tarzan’s Treehouse
- The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
- Main Street Cinema
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
43. Alice’s Upside Down Adventure
Alice in Wonderland was originally going to be a walk-through adventure and was expected to open during the park’s opening, but it opened three years later as a dark ride. For the ride’s first 25 years, it featured a unique and popular scene dubbed “The Upside Down Room” where the ride vehicle would travel on the “ceiling” while guest looked up to the floor. When the ride went through an extensive remodel in 1983, the room was removed, but the reason for the room to begin with remains a mystery since it was not featured in the Disney movie.
44. Mr. Toad Goes to Hell
While Mr. Toad’s wild ride is not only one of Disneyland’s oldest rides, it is also amazingly popular with many riders not even aware of the original Wind in the Willows cartoon from which the ride is based upon. Those who are though scratch their heads near the end of the ride when they (along with Mr. Toad presumably) are brought into a room that resembles hell complete with demons. The room is heated extra warm and little demons jump up and down gleefully. The scene though is not featured in the original book nor is it featured in the Disney short film. It remains unclear why Disney included it in the attraction.
45. Frontierland Used to be a Wild West
Today’s Frontierland looks a lot different than it did during the early days of Disneyland. This section of the park once included the Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules (where guests would get guided tours while riding mules through the “dessert”), the Davy Crockett Museum (some props from the TV series), stage coach rides with real horses, the Rainbow Cavers Mine Train and Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, Mineral Hall exhibit and Indian Village (which featured native American dances and the Indian War Canoes). The Indian Village later became Critter Country but the canoes remain, now called Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes. The Mine Train turned into Big Thunder Mountain.
46. Can I Buy You Drink?
No. In once was the standard for a Disney theme park, now Disneyland is the only park that does not sell alcohol beverages. Well, unless you get invited to Club 33.
47. Where Did the Dinosaurs Come From?
Along the route of the Disneyland Railroad, visitors can view the great Grand Canyon Diorama with was installed in 1958. Another diorama was installed next door in 1966 which features audio-animatronic dinosaurs. The placement of the dinos may seem questionable and some may wonder why are they here? The dinos were part of the Ford Magic Skyway attraction that was created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair by Disney and once the fair was over, they needed to go somewhere…
48. Inside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
Some may be surprised that guests are actually allowed inside Sleeping Beauty Castle and have been since 1957. Walt Disney was a stickler for wasted space and when the castle was finally built, it had a corridor of “wasted space” that Disney asked his Imagineers to find some way to fill it up. Several dioramas based on the Sleeping Beauty story were created and put up for display in the corridor. They were originally designed in the style of production designer Eyvind Earle, but were redone in 1977 to resemble the window shops on Main Street, U.S.A. The walk-through was closed on October 7, 2001 but the reason why is sort of murky. It was later reopened on November 27, 2008 with the original Earle dioramas but now featured new technology. However, unlike the earlier version, guests are limited in how much of the castle they can explore.
49. The First Fireworks
In 1958, Walt Disney wanted to create a fireworks show against the backdrop of Sleeping Beauty Castle in an effort to keep guests in his park longer. Not surprisingly, the Fantasy in the Sky show became very popular and now is considered part of the Disneyland experience.
|Splash Mountain and the Monorail|
(Cd637/Ellen Levy Finch/Wikimedia)
The original title for what became known as Splash Mountain was Zip-a-Dee-River-Run, but then-CEO Michael Eisner wanted to use the attraction to promote the new Touchstone movie, Splash, which was an odd choice since the ride had absolutely nothing in common with the movie. And although a brilliant addition to the re-named Critter Country (from Bear Country), Disney was hesitatant to feature an attraction based on the characters from the 1946 movie Song of the South. The dated film’s live action sequences featured African Americans in stereotypical fashion and Disney was afraid that the new attraction might be offensive to them. To find out for sure, the company re-issued the movie in theaters for a short run to see if they would receive any backlash for doing so. Virtually no complaints came for and Brer Bear, Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit were deemed suitable for the park.
51. The Tiki (Bath) Room
In the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room, the attraction was originally meant to be a themed restaurant. In fact, the project got as far as building the main dining room with working restrooms before the plans changed. It is the only attraction within the park with public restrooms.
52. A Tribute to the Country Bears
The Country Bears Jamboree were some of the first residents in Disneyland’s Bear County and welcomed guests to come and watch them play beginning in 1972. Though the bears are doing well in Orlando, the California bears moved out in 2001. In the spot of the old Country Bear Playhouse, the newer Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was built. However, as a tribute, Max, Buff and Melvin, the three mounted animal heads from the original attraction were brought over.
53. Go Fish
The Rivers of America that flow around Tom Sawyer Island used to be stocked with real cat fish to allow guests to go fishing. Maybe that’s the real reason why the park has so many cats?
54. I Do
It is well known that many marriage proposals take place at the park, but about 300 weddings take place at the here each year.
55. Eat Up
It is said that all of the plants in Tomorrowland are edible. So, if you get stuck in a long line and your stomach starts to rumble, make a salad.
56. First of Its Kind
The Disneyland monorail system first opened in 1959 and was the first of its kind to operate daily in the Western Hemisphere.
57. McDonalds and Starbucks are Truly Everywhere
Disney would rather have their own restaurants featured in their parks rather than use outside sources, but that isn’t always the case. In 1996, Disney and McDonald’s began a ten-year partnership that included a McDonad’s presence in the Disney theme parks. Though Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in Orlando had its own McDonald’s restaurant right in the park as early as 1998, Disneyland only had two French fry stands. One was called Conestoga Fries located in Frontierland and the other, The Harbour Galley, opened in 2001. By 2007, the ten years were up the fry stands were gone. Today, Starbucks goes undercover by the name of Market House Bakery located on Main Street, U.S.A. It is a full Starbucks coffee shop that looks like it has always been there.
58. Star Wars Expansion
Scheduled to open during the spring of 2019, the new Star Wars-themed “land” will become the park’s eighth and largest “land.” This will be the first time that a section of the park will be dedicated to one film franchise, albeit a very big and popular one. The new section will feature a space-age remote trading post, guests will be able to “fly” the Millennium Falcon and witness tense relations between Stormtroopers and resistance fighters. The last land built in the park was Mickey’s Toontown which opened its gates in 1993.
|The hitchhiking ghosts and Mary Poppins|
rides the King Athur's Charosel
(Disney Grandpa/Steve /Wikimedia)
Many of the attractions in Disneyland are made to look older than they really are, but in the Case of the King Arthur Carousel, the opposite is true. It was actually built in 1922 for the Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto.
60. Open Sesame
Of all the Disney castles, only Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle has a real functioning drawbridge and it has only been used twice ever: Once during the opening day celebration and again in 1983 when the newly remodeled Fantasyland re-opened.
61. Can’t Wait Until 2035
While it seems a little late, a time capsule was buried in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle on July 17, 1995, which was the park’s 40th Anniversary. The park plans to dig it out once again in 2035 for the 80th anniversary.
62. Hitching a Ride
No small detail gets past the Disney crew. Even the three hitchhiking ghosts featured in the Haunted Mansion have names: Ezra, Phineas and Gus.
63. They Were Once a Part of Your World
While the current Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage features a group of seagulls shouting, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” among the rocks, this used to be the place were real, live mermaids used to sunbathe between 1959 and 1967. Women between the ages of 18 and 24 were fitted with mermaid fins and were expected to swim underwater and wave to guests riding the subs. Since the water was about 55 degrees, the mermaids were often seen warming up in the sun on the rocks. They would often perform for two hours and then take a 45 minute break before splashing in the water again. At the time, the mermaids were instructed to not actauly speak to any of the park guests but one day a few young men jumped into the lagoon in hopes of having a conversation. Disney security stopped them before they got to the rocks. Due to the high concentration of chlorinated water and risk of injury to the women, the mermaids were removed in 1967.