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20 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Disneyland

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Photo Credit: Disney Parks

So, you’ve walked around Disneyland experiencing exciting rides and attractions, watching great shows and eating delicious food. You know some facts about Disneyland, like it opened on July 17, 1955, with a total of 18 attractions. Disneyland has Hidden Mickey’s all over the park and has a super secret club called Club 33. However, there may be some facts you may have not known about Disneyland. Here are 22 of the most interesting facts I could find. So the next time you step foot in the “Happiest Place on Earth,” you may want to look around and see if you notice other interesting things.

Photo Credit: Matterhorn1959

1. Disneyland’s Bank of Main Street

When Disneyland first opened, it had a functioning bank on Main Street, USA where Disneyana is now. It was operated by Bank of America and included an original bank vault from 1904. There were 2 or 3 tellers and cast members were allowed to cash their paychecks at the bank, whether they had an account or not.

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2. Dorito’s Was Invented at Disneyland

In the early days of Disneyland, a Mexican restaurant named Casa De Fritos, in Frontierland, invented Doritos (Spanish for “little pieces of gold”) by repurposing stale tortillas they bought from a local vendor. The tortillas were fried and seasoning was added to give it flavor. The chips proved to be so popular they were eventually rolled out nationwide by Frito-Lay in 1966.

photo credit: Ana Lazo

3. Windows of Main Street

The names on the windows are given as credits to the people who contributed to the parks. Some are character or stories, but they are typically written as a fictional business name and/or refer to a hobby/device made by that person. For example: Walt Disney’s window is located at Main Street Cinema and it is labeled “Disneyland Casting Agency.”

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

4. The Test Brick Wall

There is brick wall on Main Street, USA that has bricks on it that do not match in size or shape. These are actually bricks that Walt used to figure out what size and shape he wanted the bricks to be in the park. This wall is located behind a water fountain right next to the lockers.

Photo Credit: Ryder Lazo

5. Feral Cats at Disneyland

At night, 200 feral cats are released to roam the park. During the day, they rest in “well-hidden” cat lockers. Some cats do stay out during the day but most of them come out in the evening and do help with rodent control. The cat pictured here is Francisco. You can find her inside the park at Disney California Adventure in the shady wooded area between Soarin' and Grizzly River Run. We just found out Francisco was a girl because the apparently, it is rare for male cats to have that pattern on their fur.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

6. The Luxury Suite atop Pirates of the Caribbean

This was a luxury apartment that was meant to entertain VIP guests during special events. Walt;’s wife, Lillian, helped decorate the apartment. From 1987 to 2007, the suite was turned into an art gallery and people could freely walk up the stairs to see the art collection displayed there. In 2007, it was turned back into the dream suite and closed to the general public.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

7. Steve Martin & Disneyland Magic Shop

Steve Martin, the actor, used to work at the Magic Shop on Main Street, USA. He started out selling guidebooks at Disneyland on the weekends. During his free time there, he used to visit the magic shop. By August of 1960, he was working at the magic shop showing off all the tricks he had learned over the years.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

8. The Disney Family Crest

The crest, which features three lions in a shield framed by plumage with another lion standing above, was added to Sleeping Beauty Castle in 1960. It is located directly above the entrance to the drawbridge of the castle. There used to be a store called Castle Heraldry Shoppe that sold swords and knives in the store. Inside the store, there used to be a book where you could look up your family’s crest. Sadly, this shop closed in 2017 and was turned into the Disneyland Christmas Shop.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

9. The Stake in the Ground Outside of Fantasyland

Right outside the gates of Fantasyland, you will notice a gold stake in the ground. Most people think that this marks the very center of Disneyland, but actually, is a survey marker. It was used to ensure that Main Street, USA was centered with the castle.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

10. Walt Disney’s Apartment

When the park was being built, Walt was so busy traveling between Burbank and Anaheim, that he thought to have an apartment built on the building site so he could keep an eye on the progress. He would always turn a light on in front of his window so that workers would know when he was in the park. You will notice that the light above the Fire Station in Walt’s window is still on today in remembrance of Walt Disney. The only time the light is turned off is when his daughters are in the park, as a sign of respect.

Photo Credit: OC Register

11. Marceline, Missouri and Main St.

Walt Disney grew up in Marceline, Missouri and Main Street USA was modeled after his hometown. He wanted to share fond memories of his hometown with his guests.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

12. The Carousel in Fantasyland - The Oldest Attraction in the Park

This lovely spinning ride is the first thing you see when you walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle into Fantasyland. While it was one of Disneyland’s original attractions, the carousel’s history goes back to the 1800s. It was built in 1875 and was located at an amusement park in Toronto. Walt bought a second carousel from Coney Island and used the horses to add to the current one currently located at the park.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

13. The Wood Carved Native Americans at Disneyland

Disneyland used to sell tobacco inside the park and these wood carved Native Americans stood in front of all the stores that sold tobacco. There’s one on Main Street USA in front of what is now the pin store next to the Magic Shop. The other is located in Frontierland in front the pin store next to the shooting gallery. They were originally carved out of wood but now are made of fiberglass. In 2018, they were under refurbishment, so they disappeared from the park for a short time. Now they’re back and newly refurbished.

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

14. The Wishing Well and Snow White’s Grotto

Walt was fond of a collection of sculptures from Italy and wanted to find a home for them at Disneyland. The fountain was inspired by a another fountain he saw in the small town of Brie, in the north of France. The wishing well was Walt’s idea, the coins could be collected and donated to charity and discourage park guests from tossing coins into the castle moat. This is another area touched by “forced perspective." If you notice, Snow White is the same height as the 7 dwarves. So, Snow White was placed at the top of the grotto make her look bigger than the dwarves below her.

Photo Credit Ana Lazo

15. The Disneyland Petrified Tree

Walt Disney bought a petrified tree stump from Pike Petrified Forest in Colorado. For one of their wedding anniversaries, Walt presented the fossilized tree to his wife Lillian. not knowing what to do with this present, Lillian immediately donated the petrified tree to Disneyland, where it has been to this day since 1956.

Photo. Credit: Ana Lazo

16. The Telegraph Cable Office

There is a telegram and cable office located at the New Orleans Square Train Station (you can’t actually set foot in it). It taps out a Morse Code translation of part of Walt’s speech on the opening day of Disneyland in 1955. You could hear the code tap from all over New Orlean’s Square station and at the French Market Restaurant/Mint Julep Bar.

["To all who come to Disneyland, welcome. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here, youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future."]

Photo Credit: Ana Lazo

17. The Tallest Palm Tree in Disneyland

There is a palm tree near the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland’s Adventureland that's labeled the "Tallest Palm Tree in Disneyland." The tree was originally planted elsewhere in 1896, but at Walt Disney's request, it was moved to where it stand now. The request was made because Walt promised the family that owned the land where the tree originally stood, that he would not get rid of the tree. That land that is now part of the Disneyland Resort.

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18. “Real” Mermaids at Disneyland

In 1959, there was a televised re-opening of Tomorrowland. Disneyland opened its submarine voyage ride, inspired by the actual sub that ventured to the North Pole in 1958. Guests were shuttled into a submarine that took them around the lagoon. If they were lucky, that summer, park guests could spot a very real, live mermaid swimming past the submarines. Passengers aboard the monorail could also see the mermaids from above, sunning themselves on a rock in the lagoon. The rock was actually the only way to warm up after swimming in the lagoon's frigid well water.

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19. Eeyore Parking Sign & Indiana Jones Ride

There is an Eeyore parking sign that is hidden among the top rafters at the Indiana Jones ride in the projection room. Once you are at the front of the projection room, close to the screen, look behind you and way in the distance above the rafters, you will see the Eeyore sign. The sign pays tribute to the old Eeyore parking lot, which gave way to the Indiana Jones attraction.

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20. The Dapper Dans

The Dapper Dans has been performing at Disneyland’s Main Street USA since 1959. Of course the singers have been different throughout the days and years, but the “quartet” has been together for a while. During halloween, the Dapper Dan’s change their name to the “Cadaver Dans.”

Edited By: Ryder Lazo

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