41 Little Known Facts About Disneyland

Disneyland, not to be confused with Walt Disney World in Florida, is a favorite place of many people. Die-hard Disney fans think they know everything there is to know about “the happiest place on earth”, but we’re here to enlighten you even more. Maybe you know some of these secrets or maybe some of them are exciting news.

Well-known as one of the grandest theme parks ever built, Disneyland has been an undeniable draw for tourists for decades. Built in July of 1955, this year marks the park’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration! Over the years, the park has undergone many renovations and expansions – New Orlean’s Square, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Mickey’s Toontown just to name a few – since the time Walt Disney envisioned the park.

There are still plenty of secrets that this park holds, even after 60 years, but we’ll share a few of the ones we know with you here.

1. Disneyland was supposed to be in Burbank, CA.
Originally, Walt Disney envisioned Disneyland in Burbank, CA - right across the street from Walt Disney Studios.
Walt Disney enjoying the Mad Tea Party ride in Disneyland.

Disney’s original dream was to have the park across the street from Walt Disney Studios in Burbank California. However after talking with park planners, they realized that the location would be too small for Disney’s grand plans.

2. The Edible Plants of Tomorrowland


All the plants in Tomorrowland are edible.
One of the many kinetic sculptures of Tomorrowland

Amidst the shiny finishes, metallic shine, and kinetic sculptures, Tomorrowland doubles as a potential farm. Disney envisioned an ecologically astute future where humanity made the most of its resources. That means any plant in the Tomorrowland area of the park is edible! Maybe not the most ideal snack, but in a pinch you could munch on a leaf.

3. The Haunted Mansion’s Pet Cemetery
There is a fake pet cemetery hidden behind the Haunted Mansion.
One of the scariest buildings in Disneyland is the Haunted Mansion.

One of the spookiest buildings in the park wouldn’t be complete without a pet cemetery – or two! Said to have been added in the 1980s, the original cemetery was only visible to park goers who used the wheelchair ramp along the side of the building.

When they built the new wheelchair ramp, they decided to add another pet cemetery to the front of the building, so people waiting in line for the ride could enjoy the sight. The first cemetery still remains but is mostly only viewed by Disney cast members now.

4. Disneyland Had Only 18 Attractions
Disneyland only had 18 attractions on opening day.
The original entrance to Disneyland back in the day.

When the park first opened in 1955, it only had 18 attractions for visitors to enjoy. This is peanuts compared to the 58 attractions that the park boasts today. That’s the most of any of the 5 Disney theme parks running worldwide. Even better, 14 of these original 18 rides are still running today.

5. Mickey Mouse Ear Hats Are The Best Souvenir! 
Mickey Mouse ear hats are the most popular Disneyland Resort souvenirs of all time.
The iconic Mickey Mouse ear hat – also available in Minnie!

Nearly everyone who goes to Disneyland comes home with an extra pair of ears – making ear hats the number one seller amoung visitors. You can even get them personalized so as not to confused them with the rest of the family.

6. Mad Tea Party Tips for Speed Junkies
The purple teacup and the orange one with diamond shapes on it are the fastest spinners on the Mad Tea Party ride.
In the shadow of the Matterhorn, the Mad Tea Party sits in wait.

Do you live for speed? Snag a purple or orange teacup when you head to the Mad Tea Party and you’ll spin faster than everyone else!

7. Disneyland sells nearly 2.8 million churros
Every year, 2.8 million churros are sold at Disneyland.
Look at all that cinnamon sugar!

Who doesn’t love a crispy, sugared stick of fried dough? Churros remain one of the most popular treats at Disneyland, selling almost 2.8 million every year!

8. It’s A Small World Is Made Of Real Gold
The gold trimmings on the outside of the It's a Small World ride are made of real 22 karat gold.
No wonder It’s A Small World stays so shiny!

According to rumor, the turrets and gold ornaments on the exterior of the building are real 22k gold! While the original plan was simply to use gold paint, developers quickly realized that the cost of upkeep to keep the paint from fading and oxidizing would be more expensive than just using real gold.

9. Matterhorn Hides An Secret Basketball Court
There is a basketball court at the top of the Matterhorn.
The craggy profile of the Matterhorn.

Somewhere inside the mountain, in a cast member break room, is a small basketball court for the mountain climbers to use in between climbs and during bad weather to pass the time. Not the full sized court rumor claims is inside, but a fun inclusion nonetheless!

10. Meet Harold
The abominable snowman in the Matterhorn is named Harold.
Meet Harold.

Maybe the abominable snowman that stalks the slope of the Matterhorn could be tamed with a name. Harold seems fitting. He looks like a Harold, doesn’t he?

11. Disney Wasn’t Built In A Day
Disneyland was built in one year.
The gorgeous facade of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Disneyland’s initial park was built in only a year! It has undergone numerous renovations and transformations since that time, but to build a theme park like Disneyland in only a year shows how dedicated Disney was to making his vision come to life.

12. Michelle Pfeiffer used to be Alice
Michelle Pfeiffer worked at Disneyland as Alice from Alice in Wonderland in the 1970s.
Michelle Pfeifer used to play Alice in Alice in Wonderland.

Many famous actors and actresses have their humble beginnings as cast members at Disney during some point in their lives. Back in the 70’s, Michelle Pfeifer was one of the cast members! She played the role of Alice in the Alice in Wonderland production at Disneyland.

13. The Fire Station’s Secret Apartment
There's a secret apartment hidden in Disneyland's fire station.
The light seen in the window, in tribute to Walt’s creations.

Hidden in the upper floor of the Disneyland Fire Department is a secret apartment, constructed for Walt Disney. During the construction of the park, he wanted a place to stay and watch the activity. The apartment is fully functional but much of the original furniture has been replaced. Now cast members keep a lamp in the upper windows to symbolism Walt’s presence and as a tribute to his creation.

14. Disney = Cat Paradise
About 200 feral cats live in Disneyland to keep rodents away.
This one looks friendly!

Around 200 feral cats live in and around the park to help keep the rodent population in check. The cats have been around for as long as anyone can remember and were/are allowed to stay because of the rodents. All the cats have been captured, spayed/neutered to keep their population under control, and then released back out into the park. Feeding stations are set up around the park for then when hunting isn’t enough. What a great place to be a cat!

15. First Working Monorail in the Western Hemisphere
When it opened in 1959, the Disneyland Monorail was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere.
The Disneyland monorail

Disneyland’s monorail system opened in 1959 and was the first functional monorail system in the Western Hemisphere.