Select Page

by Pin Trading Diva

2015 is a big year for Disneyland! They will be celebrating their 60th Anniversary “Diamond” style and their party is going to be dazzling! To commemorate this occasion, I’ve put together a list of 60 fun facts about Disneyland park. Some are pretty commonly known, but a few might surprise you. Take a gander and see how many you can impress your friends with next time you’re in the park!

  1. From groundbreaking to opening day, Disneyland was built in exactly 1 year- 365 days.
  2. Before Walt constructed Disneyland it was 160 acres of orange trees. When Walt started landscaping he tied green ribbons to the orange trees he wanted to keep and red ribbons the ones he wanted taken out. (green for stay and red for go). However he was unaware that the landscaper he hired was colorblind! So ALL of the 12,000 orange trees were taken down and Walt was forced to create foliage in other ways.
  3. The first ticket for Disneyland was sold to Walt’s brother, Roy, for $1.00. Tickets now a day’s run upwards of $100, just a slight increase.
  4. The official address of Disneyland is 1313 Harbor Boulevard.  Because there were no buildings in the neighborhood when the park was under construction, Walt was able to choose a number.  Some people believe that 13 stands for M, the 13th letter of the alphabet, therefore making the address “M.M.” for Mickey Mouse.014
  5. On Opening Day in 1955 Disneyland housed 18 attractions including the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad (as it was known at the time), Dumbo, and the infamous Carousel. Today there are over 60 attractions and experiences offered in the park.
  6. Also on Opening Day, Walt told employees to make up signs with long and superfluous horticultural names of the ordinary plants that surrounded the park to make them seem more interesting, having little exotic plants to show off.
  1.  A large team of Horticulturists maintain the plant life in the parks on a constant basis. Even the Mickey portrait of flowers in the entrance of the park are replanted over 6 times a year.
  1. Tomorrowland houses only edible plants. That’s right, rosemary surrounds the Astro Orbitor and red and green lettuce line the Disneyland train station for example.
  1.  Since opening day in 1955, the Disneyland Resort has welcomed more than 700 million guests to The Happiest Place on Earth. That number includes guests from approximately 200 nations and nearly every country in the world today, including hundreds of famous individuals through the years, such as U.S. presidents (dating to Harry S. Truman), heads of state and countless athletes, artists, authors and celebrities.
  2. Disney only sent out 6,000 invitations to the Grand Opening of Disneyland. By mid-afternoon over 28,000 ticket holders were storming the park. Unfortunately many tickets were counterfeit. Just shows how popular the park was starting Opening Day. Now there are more than 1 Million Annual Passholders that go to the Disneyland Resort alone!
  1. Walt Disney, the creator of Disneyland, never actually owned the park. He was the creative genius behind the park  and had stock in the company , but he never owned a controlling share.
  1. Disney Imagineer Blaine Gibson is the creator of the original Partners statue at the hub of the park, unveiled in 1993. He also created the Storytellers statue in Disneyland California Adventure, coming out of retirement to complete the job, debuting in the park in 2012. 028
  1. Doritos were invented in 1964 at Casa de Frito, a restaurant at Disneyland, as a creative way to get rid of excess tortillas. By 1966 Frito – Lay had made them available nationwide and today they are the number 1 selling tortilla chip in America!
  1. Famous Cast Member and Chef, Oscar of the Carnation Cafe (working there since 1956), has a signature dish in the restaurant: Oscar’s Choice includes scrambled eggs with melted cheese, potatoes, bacon or sausage, a croissant and fresh fruit.If you would like to meet the man behind the plate, Oscar comes out to greet guests several times a week telling his timeless stories of the park and even Walt Disney. Just ask a Cast Member or server at the restaurant to see if he is available.
  1. Disney employs 54 full time Electricians. Among many of their duties, they are in charge of replacing the over 200,00 light bulbs throughout the park – costing over $100,000. They are required to replace the bulbs when they’ve reached 80% of its design life, keeping it from going out completely.
  1. Disneyland is one of the safest places to be. There are over 300 plain clothed and uniformed security agents there to protect you, looming over the 285 Anaheim Police Detail.
  1. The trains of the Disneyland Railroad have accrued enough mileage during the past 60 years to travel to the moon and back more than 250 times.076
  1. When you hear that wonderful voice of the conductor on any Disneyland Railroad train, listen carefully. The booming voice is that of the late Thurl Ravenscroft, who is the original voice of Tony the Tiger (of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes fame). In addition to the conductor, Ravenscroft also voices Fritz the parrot and a Polynesian god totem in the Enchanted Tiki Room, and several of the pirates in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ attraction. Oh, and did I mention he sings lead on the Haunted Mansion song “Grim Grinning Ghosts?” Yep, he’s everywhere.
  1. Disneyland Resort recycles enough aluminum each year to make a soda can about 1,000 times taller than its Matterhorn, more glass each year than the weight of eight steam trains, and enough paper each year to create a trail from Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World Resort and back, twice!
  1. Cans and bottles recycled by Cast Members in backstage areas benefit various nonprofit organizations, like Canine Companions for Independence, which provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities. To date, more than 35 assistance dogs have been assigned homes thanks to these funds.
  1. Disney Parks use “Smellitizers”, invented at Walt Disney World by Imagineer Bob McCarthy, to ensure that various areas are equipped with the appropriate smells. They produce everything from the amazing baked goods or peppermint smell during the season on Main Street to the musky sea smell on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
  2. There is a brick wall on Main Street that has bricks on it that do not match in size or shape. These are actually the bricks Walt used to test out what size and shape he wanted the bricks to be in the park. This wall is located behind a water fountain next to the lockers.032
  3. Disneyland Bakers spend 20 hours a day, 365 days a year in the Central Bakery making fresh treats for us all to enjoy, grossing around 1,000 different kinds of treats. You can see Bakers making candy and other sweet items through a window on Main Street.
  4. The names painted in gold leaf on second-story windows along Main Street are Disneyland’s Hall of Fame. They honor important people in the park’s history, usually with an inside joke. Cast Member Ron Dominguez, the top executive from 1971 to 1994, who grew up on one of the Anaheim orange groves purchased by Disney for the park – “My house was right about where the grist mill on Tom Sawyer’s Island is now,” he said – spent his entire career at the park, starting as a ticket-taker on opening day and working his way up to the top spot. Mr. Dominguez’s window cleverly reads, “Orange Grove Property Mgt. – We Care For Your Property As If It Were Our Own.”
  5. In contrast to the Main Street, U.S.A.windows, the second-story windows in Mickey’s Toontown are a treasure trove of trivia for Disney animation fans. They reference characters such as Scrooge McDuck and Jiminy Cricket, along with relatively obscure early-era Disney characters such as Clara Cluck and Toby Tortoise.
  1. The Disneyland Band has logged more than 3,500 marching miles and done more than 90,000 performances since opening day in 1955. They have a repertoire of over 400 musical numbers.005
  1. Many Disneyland Band members have been part of the band since the very beginning years of the park and are only now being recast for a new and improved 60th anniversary band ( with a new look and sound). Originally the band was only hired to play for 2 weeks – but they’ve become a Disneyland staple.
  1. Disneyland is watching you at all times. There are security cameras covering all areas of the park, inside and outside the rides, that are monitoring situations constantly. Whether someone is stealing, starting a brawl, or running around without clothes, it will be caught on tape and reviewed by Cast Members.
  1. Rumor is that all music and sound effects in the park are NEVER turned off, because it was deemed too expensive to do so. This may be creepy, but Cast Members working the night shift have mentioned that working to music makes their job a happier one!
  1. The number of bananas consumed by Disneyland Resort guests in a year could feed Abu (Aladdin’s monkey friend) 20 bananas a day for 62 years.

31.Disneyland park announcer, Bill Rodgers and California Adventure park announcer, Camille Dixon are married. You can hear the pair greeting you in the morning and sending you home with a magical goodbye in the evening.

  1. Every Disneyland Cast Member wears a name tag, even the large draft horses that pull the streetcars up and down the tracks on Main Street USA. The horses also wear special rubber “shoes” while working said to be more comfortable for their feet, but they just so happen to make the classic “clip clop” sound that we all love to hear. Disneyland currently uses five different horse breeds to pull is streetcars – Percherons (France), Belgians (Belgium), Clydesdales (Scotland), Shires (UK) and the Spotted Draft.
  2. There are thousands of Hidden Mickey emblems all over the Disney parks. It is a FACT that there is at least one Hidden Mickey on every ride and presumably every restaurant including Disney hotels. They may be as small as a pebble or as large as a boulder, but this secret done by Imagineers as many of their “signatures” have become a staple for guests to hunt for. You can even purchase guide books with fun quests and trivia about how and where to find all of them.
  3. Disneyland’s original Tinker Bell was a 71-year-old Hungarian circus performer named Tiny Kline. The first to fly off the top of the Matterhorn on a zip line, she previously worked as a stunt aerialist, hanging from a flying airplane by her teeth.
  4. The gold decorating and inlay of both Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and the facade of It’s A Small World are not paint, they are actual 22 Kt Gold Leaf flakes. Next time you see them, take a closer look at that genuine shine!
  5. John Lasseter, co-founder of Pixar and Chief Creative Officer of all things Animation at Disney worked as a Jungle Cruise Skipper in the 1970s. He returned at the 50th Anniversary and worked a shift. Steve Martin also worked for the Mouse in the Magic Shop on Main Street in the 1960s and in the 1970s, Michelle Pfeiffer worked at Disneyland as an Alice face character.
  6. Building New Orleans Square, including Pirates of the Caribbean, cost $18 million. That is more than the United States paid for the real New Orleans in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
  7. In Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, a shortcut was taken when the train station in the Civil War / Two Brothers sequence of the presentation (showing the delivery of a coffin) actually depicts a set- dressed photo with period -costumed actors taken at the Frontierland / New Orleans Square train station right in the park – not a half-mile away!
  8. When It’s A Small World first opened at Disneyland on May 28, 1966, Walt invited kids from around the world to come help dedicate it. They each brought a container of water from rivers and seas of their native lands and added it to the flume of the ride in Anaheim so they could really travel around the world.
  9. Mary Blaire, designer of the It’s a Small World attraction and who drew her first sketch of the clock tower facade on a plane flying from LA to NY, has an inspired doll wearing her known for “poncho” on the Eiffel Tower of the It’s A Small World ride. Mostly everything in the ride has kept its’ original theme, just updated since the 60s, with additions such as Disney characters being added etc.
  1. The horses on the Disneyland Carousel are genuine antiques. All are handmade and over 100 years old. There are over 68 horses total ( no 2 alike) and they get a new coat of paint every 2 years( takes 40 hours to paint just one).
  1. 1 Carousel horse is dedicated to Mary Poppins star, Julie Andrews. It’s named Jingles and has her initials on the saddle. Also,  if you look close enough some horses have their tongues sticking out for silly pictures! You can request the names of the horses at city hall as well.016
  1. Many “dark rides”, like Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, originally did not contain the main characters. Walt intended for the guests to go through the ride as the main character, however this idea was not liked among riders and eventually characters were added to make the ride less confusing.
  1. There are more Evil Queens / Old Hags in the Scary Adventures of Snow White attraction than the Princess herself. The villain appears several times while Snow White only appears once in the beginning of the ride.
  1. All of the doors and windows of the buildings in the Story Book Canal Boats attraction actually open and close. They are cleaned regularly and are made large enough that Electricians can change out the lights in the structures.
  2. Originally the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction (debuting in 1967) used real skeletons as props in the ride. The bodies were previously employed for medical research from the UCLA  Medical Center. Now only one skull remains, hanging over a pirate- in the treasure room
  1. Tom Sawyer’s Island is the only attraction that was solely designed by Walt Disney himself. He tried to let others give their design input only to take over the project when they suggested something he didn’t like. Walt has a special connection to Missouri, having grown up there. And Tom Sawyer, a Missouri legend, seems to fit into Walt’s history as much as his childhood.
  1. It is rumored that Walt signed an agreement that annexed Tom Sawyer’s Island to part of Missouri. Careful when you step onto that island, you’re in another state!
  1. The tea cups at the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland spin in both directions – try holding onto your lunch with that info! Also, the plain lavender cup spins the fastest and if you ask the operator, they will continually tell you which cup is going the fastest during the ride – making it a contest of sorts to out spin the other cups.016
  1. The Enchanted Tiki Room attraction that opened in 1963 was originally meant to be a dinner theater show and that is why it is the only attraction with restrooms.
  1. The Tiki Room was also the first attraction to use audio animatronics to bring the birds and animals to life. However Walt displayed this new technology during the 1964 World’s Fair and later on added Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, It’s A Small World, and the Prehistoric Dinosaurs displayed on the Disneyland Railroad.
  1. . Imagineer Tony Baxter is rumored to have come up with the idea of Splash Mountain in 1983 while stuck in rush hour traffic on the 5 Freeway. It was originally to be called “Zip -A -Dee River Run” and features a 2,640 foot long track.
  1. Some of the over 105 animatronics characters in “Splash Mountain” are borrowed from the now closed attraction “America Sings”.

54. It is said that 999 happy haunts live in Disneyland’ s Haunted Mansion attraction.  Well as of 2004, there are now 1,000. At an auction for charity, Cary Sharp paid $37,400 to have her name on a gravestone in the ride. She now shares a home with the hitchhiking ghosts: Ezra, Phineas, and Gus.

  1. Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion is voiced by Eleanor Audley, the actress who voiced both Lady Tremaine and Maleficent. Also, Madame Leota’s book is open to page 1313, the same number as Disneyland’s address.
  1. The Hatbox Ghost was a ghost that lived in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in the attic, where you see the bride, Constance, today. He only lived in the Mansion for a few days. Although very popular, he did not last long. Well now there is good news for fans! Disney is bringing back our spooky friend in celebration of the 60th Anniversary so keep your eyes peeled while on the updated Haunted Mansion ride!
  2. Walt loved being in his magical park as noted by his Apartment above the Firehouse on Main Street, whose light remains on in the window in honor of the man. But Disney also mingled with guests often selling popcorn down on Main Street, being an anonymous Engineer on the Disneyland Railroad, and waiting in line simply to chat with those around him.

58.There are many special experiences you can have at Disneyland. Some include: manning the Mark Twain, riding the “tender” and the Lilly Belle on the Railroad, sitting up front in the monorail, and waking up Tiki Bird Jose in the Tiki Room.  The ones mentioned above are absolutely free and available to all guests, as long as they ask politely.

  1. Debuting for the 60th Diamond Celebration, the new parade, “Paint the Night” will sparkle with more than 1.5 million individually controlled lights. Nearly all of those are energy-efficient, LED lights. Paint the Night” features some subtle tributes to the classic, “Main Street Electrical Parade”, including hints of that parade’s musical theme, a new “drum float” to lead the parade, and at the tip of Tinker Bell’s magic wand, a light from the original “Electrical Parade.”
  2. 60. “Kiss Goodnight,” the inspiring closing song of “Disneyland Forever” Fireworks show was written by Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman. Richard also was the co-writer, with his brother Robert B. Sherman, of “It’s a Small World” and the award-winning songs for the classic Disney film “Mary Poppins.” Adding another “practically perfect” touch to “Disneyland Forever” is the singer of “Kiss Goodnight” – Ashley Brown, star of the Broadway production of Mary Poppins.

016

So there you have it – you are 60 times smarter about Disney than you were before reading this article! Now go out and share you knowledge with other Disney Divas / Devos and be sure to tell us if you learn anything new we haven’t mentioned. The Diamond celebration will sparkle all year long. Make sure to be a part of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Lover! I love to visit Disneyland, collect Disney pins, blog for Disney Divas, take pictures at Disneyland, and fit Disney idealism into my everyday life. My partner in crime is my mom and we have been a Disney Duo for over 4 years. Walt Disney has become one of my heroes and I am motivated to learn and be more like him in my life. "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." My Disney Dream is to work for the Mouse and I am moving in that direction every day.