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10 Mind-Blowing Fun Facts About Disneyland You Didn’t Know

10 Mind-Blowing Fun Facts About Disneyland You Didn’t Know

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Disneyland is one of the coolest vacation spots. But, there are so many unbelievable fun facts about Disneyland you have no idea about. Check them out below!
This list of fun facts about Disneyland was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

I’m a huge Disneyland Park fan. My family usually visits Disneyland multiple times a year.

We love the corny jokes on the Jungle Cruise, spotting Pixar characters at Disney California Adventure Park, wandering through Mickey’s House, and transporting ourselves to Route 66 in Cars Land.

I love the magic of being in a whole new world, separated from everything else.

When Disneyland opened, it was a monumental achievement in urban development.

With so many design details and such a colorful history, there are many fun facts about Disneyland that just might blow your mind.

Here are a few of my favorite fun facts about Disneyland as told to me by a former Disneyland cast member.

Don’t have time to read a bunch of Disneyland blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Disneyland with kids.

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10 Amazing Fun Facts about Disneyland That Will Blow Your Mind

Dark Water System

The dark water in Disneyland is a term for the water which has been dyed by imagineering to achieve a specific look.

Storybook Land Canal Boats is a popular Disneyland ride for babies and toddlers.
Storybook Land Canal Boats. Photo credit: Adam & Claudia Photography

Rivers of America, The Jungle Cruise, The Castle Moat, and the Storybook Land Canal Boats all use dark water.

Even more impressive, is that these systems are all connected.

Not only does Disneyland use an efficient water system for filling various spaces in the park, but they also have its own water filtration recycling facility.

Main Street Expansion

From the very beginning, Walt Disney proposed an expansion to Main Street USA.

It was not meant to be just a road leading to the castle.

Fun Facts About Disneyland You Didn't Know featured by top US Disney blog, Marcie and the Mouse: Main Street was originally planned to be expanded.
Main Street Cinema at Disneyland. Photo credit: Adam & Claudia Photography

Rather, the side streets were going to lead to future expansions dedicated to ideas that later blossomed into Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom, and World Showcase in Epcot.

Liberty Street and Edison Square were two of the planned expansions planned to run alongside Main Street, just beyond Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

At one time he also proposed an International Street.

The original concept for the Enchanted Tiki Room was a Chinese restaurant with performing birds in the dining area.

Richard Nixon Was Kidnapped on the Monorail

In 1959, Vice President Nixon accepted an invitation to dedicate the monorail at Disneyland.

Fun Facts About Disneyland You Didn't Know featured by top US Disney blog, Marcie and the Mouse: One of the craziest Disneyland facts is that President Nixon got stuck on the Disneyland Monorail.
The Disneyland Monorail. Photo credit: @junglejes via Twenty20

He wound up boarding with his daughters for the inaugural round trip.

The monorail had broken down daily, and only successfully made one full trip the night before.

The press was only meant to get a shot of the monorail leaving the station.

However, Walt directed co-designer and engineer Bob Burr to take them out for a ride, leaving the Secret Service behind.

Mr. Burr was relieved to get the monorail back to the station without bursting into flames… Only Nixon’s daughters asked for another ride and Walt instructed him to go again!

The monorail went right through without stopping as the Secret Service ran after it.

Patrick Begorra’s Story is “Rooted” in Reality

You may have seen the tiny home at the base of the Adventureland tree, or you may have read the 1955 Golden Book “The Little Man of Disneyland.”

If you haven’t, it’s a story about a leprechaun whose home is chopped down by Mickey and pals as they pave the way for Disneyland.

In the story, Mickey wins Patrick over with his vision for the magic of Disneyland and Patrick agrees to let them complete their work as long as he can find a new home for himself inside the park.

The tiny house is a nod to this story, but even more amazing is the nearby Dominguez Palm.

This date palm belonged to the family that inhabited the land. It was a wedding gift dating back to 1896.

One of the stipulations in Disney’s purchase of the land was that he keep the palm, which he relocated to Adventureland where it still stands.

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Wide Open Spaces

Here is a glimpse at Masterful design. You will never see Adventureland and Frontierland the same way again.

Most gateways lead down a broad path that leads down some sort of vista toward a beckoning “weenie”, or visual magnet to draw guests deeper into the park.

This is certainly the case with Frontierland, although it’s a little bit different.

Whereas the other lands are decidedly boxed in, Frontierland has a much broader and wide-open appearance.

It spreads wide and leads to a riverbank and seemingly never ends, with wilderness lining the horizon.

Image of the Adventureland entrance at Disneyland
Adventureland is much more compact than Frontierland. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Contrary to the “frontier effect” Adventureland does the opposite.

The gateway leads you into a wall. This causes you to have to turn a corner to go deeper into the land and is more exploratory in nature.

The giant treehouse obstructing the view on the other side compounds the mystery of the land, further shrouding this area in a jungle atmosphere.

Walt Disney Was Afraid of Mice

Yes, it is true that Walt Disney was afraid of mice. It is believed that this fear is what inspired him to create the character of Mickey Mouse, as a way to face and overcome his fear.

Disney’s fear of mice may have stemmed from his childhood. He grew up in a small town in Missouri, where mice were common.

Image of the Partners Statue at Disneyland
Partners Statue at Disneyland. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

One story has it that when Disney was a child, he was awakened in the middle of the night by a mouse running across his face. This experience may have left him with a lasting fear of mice.

In fact, in a 1956 interview, Walt Disney himself stated that “I’m scared to death of mice. That’s why I made a mouse my hero.”

So while he may have been afraid of real-life mice, Walt Disney’s creation of Mickey Mouse has become one of the most beloved and iconic characters in pop culture.

Underground Tunnels

The Utilidor system at Disneyland is an underground tunnel system that was built beneath the park’s Main Street, USA.

The name “Utilidor” is short for “Utility Corridor” and the tunnels were originally constructed to allow cast members to move around the park without being seen by guests.

The Utilidor system serves as a backstage area for the park, where cast members can take breaks, store supplies, and move between different areas of the park without disrupting the guest experience.

It is also used for trash removal and other maintenance tasks.

The Utilidor system was built before Disneyland’s opening in 1955, and was designed to accommodate the park’s unique layout, which features a raised train station and a lower level for the park’s attractions.

It is one of Disneyland’s best-kept secrets and is not open to the public.

The Utilidor system has since been replicated at other Disney theme parks around the world, such as Walt Disney World in Florida and Tokyo Disneyland in Japan.

There is a Pet Cemetery Near the Haunted Mansion

There is a pet cemetery at Disneyland, although it is not open to the public. The pet cemetery is located on the grounds of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and is a resting place for the beloved animal companions of Disneyland employees.

Image of the pet cemetery at Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
There are real pets buried at the pet cemetery at Haunted Mansion. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The cemetery is home to a variety of pet graves, including those of dogs, cats, birds, and even a snake. Each grave is decorated with a unique headstone, and many of the graves have heartwarming epitaphs.

Matterhorn Bobsleds Hides a Secret Basketball Court

Yes, it is true that there is a secret basketball court inside the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction at Disneyland. The court is located on the upper level of the mountain, above the ride’s tracks, and is accessible only to Disneyland employees.

Matterhorn at Disneyland
You’d never think there’s a basketball court INSIDE the Matterhorn! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The court was originally built in the 1960s as a way to make use of the space inside the mountain, which was not being utilized for anything else. It is said to be a small half-court, with a single hoop and a basic playing surface.

The court has become a bit of a legend among Disneyland fans and cast members, and is one of the park’s best-kept secrets.

While it is not open to the public, some lucky guests have been able to catch a glimpse of the court while riding the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

There’s a Time Capsule Buried at Disneyland Park

The Disneyland time capsule was buried in 1995, on the park’s 40th anniversary. It’s scheduled to be opened in 2035.

Image of the Disneyland time capsule plaque.
Look on the ground between the Partners statue at the Castle to see this. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The time capsule contains a variety of items that represent the park’s history and culture. These items include a map of Disneyland, a copy of the Disneyland Times newspaper, and a video of Walt Disney speaking about his vision for the park.

The time capsule is located in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and is marked with a plaque that reads:

“A Time Castle containing Disneyland memories, messages, and milestones, lies beneath this spot. The Disneyland Time Castle is dedicated to the children of the 21st century, who may unlock its contents on the 80th Anniversary of Disneyland: July 17, 2035.”

Disneyland Resort FAQs

How old is the oldest Disneyland?

The oldest Disneyland Resort is the one located in Anaheim, California. The park opened on July 17, 1955, and is the only Disney park that Walt Disney himself ever saw completed. More than 800 million people have visited Disneyland since it opened in 1955.

Why is Disneyland called the “happiest place on earth”?

The phrase “happiest place on earth” was actually coined by Walt Disney himself. He wanted to create a place where families could spend time together and create happy memories. He believed that the park’s immersive atmosphere, attention to detail, and emphasis on customer service would make it a truly special destination.

What’s the most popular Disneyland attraction?

In 2023, the most popular Disneyland attraction is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The attraction is a fully-immersive experience that puts guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The attraction is so popular that it often has long wait times.

Where is Walt Disney’s private apartment?

Walt Disney’s private apartment is located above the firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. The apartment was designed by Disney Imagineer Emil Kuri. It was Walt’s personal retreat when he was working at the park. The apartment is small, but it is fully furnished and has a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a living room. Walt used the apartment to relax and unwind, and he also entertained guests there. The apartment is not open to the public, but it is sometimes used for special events.

Is the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park really haunted?

Possibly! There are a number of stories and rumors about the Haunted Mansion being haunted. Some people claim to have seen ghosts or heard strange noises while riding the attraction. Others claim to have had personal experiences that they believe are evidence of the mansion’s haunted nature.

How tall is Sleeping Beauty castle?

Sleeping Beauty Castle is 77 feet tall. It was designed by Roland E. Hill to appear taller through a process known as forced perspective. The design elements are larger at the foundation and smaller at the turrets.

Have any famous people worked at Disneyland Park?

Yes, many famous people have worked at Disneyland Park throughout its history. Before he became a famous comedian and actor, Steve Martin worked at Disneyland in the magic shop on Main Street. Actress Michelle Pfeiffer worked at Disneyland as a ticket taker when she was just 18 years old. Actor Kevin Costner worked at Disneyland as a Jungle Cruise skipper before becoming a Hollywood star.

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Disneyland Resort Facts Wrap-Up

Disneyland Resort is more than just a theme park. It’s a place where Walt Disney’s vision of creating a world of wonder and imagination comes to life.

From its inception in 1955 to its evolution over the years, Disneyland has remained a beloved destination for park guests of all ages.

As we’ve explored some of the fun facts about Disneyland, we can see how each aspect of the park has been carefully crafted to create an immersive and unforgettable experience.

From hidden secrets and basketball courts to famous attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, Disneyland has something for everyone.

Whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re a seasoned Disneyland veteran, there is always something new and exciting to discover.

As we continue to celebrate Walt Disney’s legacy and his dream of creating a place where people can come together and make memories that will last a lifetime, we can see how Disneyland remains one of the world’s favorite attractions.

Looking for more Disneyland content? Check out things to do at Disneyland during Christmas, how to book a Disneyland photo shoot, a guide to Disneyland Toontown, and Disneyland vs. LEGOLAND!

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