The dream of nearly every child is to spend at least one day at a Disney theme park. It’s a magical place filled with fun, thrills and excitement for men, women and children of all ages. But there are some things about Disney you probably weren’t aware of no matter how many times you’ve visited the park. Here are 10 secrets you probably didn’t know about Disneyland.
1. Cinderella’s castle took over 18 months to build, despite the process only being estimated as a 3-month job. This was because Disney insisted everyone on the construction crew be dressed like a Disney character in full costume at all times, including when they were away from the park and home with their families.
2. The bizarre children’s ride, known as “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” was inspired by a wild night where Walt Disney tried peyote with a few local immigrants. It was originally called “Spiders In My Hair! Oh God They’re Crawling Into My Skin!” but was subsequently changed because the sign was too long.
3. If you look closely at the wall to your left after the first drop on “Pirates of the Caribbean” you can see the phrase “Never forget Orlando Bloom.” This was not part of the original attraction, but was added after the release of the fourth film by Orlando Bloom himself, who camped out inside the ride and pretended to be animatronic until security caught on and banned him from the premises.
4. “Space Mountain” is one of the most iconic attractions at Disneyland and is a must for any thrill seeker visiting the Magic Kingdom. Surprisingly enough, the large section of the ride that takes place in the dark was unintentional. Employees simply forgot to turn on the lights and now everyone is too embarrassed to admit their mistake.
5. The Disneyland Railroad is a fully functional train that has been running nonstop since the park opened. The workers aboard the train have never been allowed to leave despite the desperate pleas of their loved ones. Riders are encouraged to leave snacks and notes of encouragement behind, as this is the only way the workers eat or communicate with the outside world.
6. “King Triton’s Carousel” is extremely anti-Semitic, but not in the way you’d probably expect. When you see it in person, you’ll know.
7. Towards the end of “Splash Mountain” you can see a party celebrating the rabbit’s escape to safety with various forest animals playing musical instruments. Originally, the animals weren’t supposed to be the band. Steppenwolf was booked for the job and was going to live in the ride where they’d play their hits 10-13 hours every day. Sadly, Rushton Moreve, the band’s bassist, passed away in 1981 and the idea was scrapped.
8. “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” shocks and terrifies riders with its dramatic elevator drops, but one of America’s most beloved pop stars nearly destroyed the ride when he forgot a bag of snakes underneath his seat that led to seven people being taken to the hospital with snakebites. Employees claim all the snakes were removed, but you can often hear hissing if you sit in the back left corner. By the way, that unnamed pop star: John Popper from Blues Traveler.
9. Few people realize it, but there’s actually a premium ticket called the “Curtain Peak” and only two are sold every year. With it, you get exclusive behind-the-scenes access to every ride, no waiting in any line, you can spit on pedestrians from atop the Matterhorn with no consequences and you get to pick one person in the park to be hung at the beginning of The Haunted Mansion. Legally they won’t admit to this, but Disney enthusiasts know it to be true.
10. A fun little secret that music lovers might enjoy is that “Captain EO,” the 17-minute 3D adventure film, is actually played by musician and star of “Men in Black II,” Michael Jackson.