These 15 Disneyland Secrets Have Been Kept Quiet For Years

Disneyland in California is the only theme park that Walt Disney ever set foot in. The park’s nearly 70-year history is filled with incredible secrets and stories. Each of these stories are from my book “Disneyland Secrets: A Grand Tour of Disneyland’s Hidden Details.” Here are some stories that you may not know!

No-Fly Zones Located Above Disney Parks

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

Disneyland and Walt Disney World are some of the only permanent no-fly zones in the U.S. that do not relate to national security.

The no-fly-zones were established after 9-11 as part of a 2003 budget bill that included Homeland Security measures. No flights may fly within a three-mile radius or below 3,000 feet above Disneyland, though some daring pilots have pushed the limits during the COVID-19 park closure.

Those smells making you hungry are there on purpose!

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

Below the Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen windows on Main Street there are small vents pumping out the incredible smells of the candy being made inside. These vents are called the “smellitzers” after the “howitzer” World War 2 shell launcher. Rather than launching deadly shells, the vents blow delicious aromas.

Walt Disney had a private box reserved for him at the Golden Horseshoe

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

The box is on the side at stage level. You can still see it today. Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, also frequented the show, but he chose to sit in a front-row seat. The Golden Horseshoe Revue set a Guinness World Record for having the greatest number of theatrical performances at the time of their last show. They performed the show 42,921 times.

Unshelled Peanuts and Gum Aren’t Sold at Disneyland

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

There are no unshelled peanuts or gum sold in Disneyland. The rule dates back to the opening when Walt Disney and then Anaheim Mayor Charles Pearson set out ground rules to keep Disneyland pristine. This was all part of Walt Disney’s plan to be very different than other theme park.

Fire! Inside Pirates of the Caribbean

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

When the Pirates of the Caribbean first opened, the flames inside the attraction appeared to be so real that the Anaheim Fire Department was concerned that if there was a real fire they would not be able to distinguish between the faux and the real flames. They put a system in place that turns off the burning town effect if there are any real signs of fire.

Disneyland Splash Mountain Named After a SURPRISING Film

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

Disney named Splash Mountain after the successful Tom Hanks film Splash. When Disney CEO Michael Eisner saw the movie Splash, he wanted to integrate the movie into the new water ride they were putting into Disneyland. The ride was based on the Song of the South and didn’t quite fit with the Manhattan setting of the movie. One Imagineer joked that they could call it “Splash Mountain” and the name stuck. Originally they were going to call the attraction the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah River Run.

Real Prop from Indiana Jones Movies Is at Disneyland

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

The truck parked next to the exit of the Indiana Jones Adventure is the real vehicle used in the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The bars sticking out from the front bumper have golf balls (now painted to match the truck) mounted on the ends to give the stunt performers better grip while shooting. You can also find a mine car from the second Indiana Jones movie elsewhere in the queue.

Real Alligators Escaped into the Jungle Cruise!

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

When Disney first opened the Jungle Cruise river ride in Adventureland, there were live alligators kept in pens near the line. Many guests thought the gators were fake like the rest of the animatronics in the ride and taunted them by throwing popcorn into the cages. Sometimes the alligators would escape their cages into the waterways of the attraction. When gators escaped, trainers from the Buena Park Gator Farm had to be called in to cage them again. The alligators did not last long in Disneyland.

Traditional Practice Continued at Disneyland

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

When building the Columbia Sailing Ship, the construction crews put a silver dollar under each mast. This tradition was based on the Roman custom of putting coins into the mouths of fallen warriors to serve as payment for passage across the River Styx into the underworld. The coins were placed in the mast hulls because sea travel was so dangerous in the times of the Columbia that ships sinking was common. When Disney built their exact replica of the Columbia, they included the silver coins. The Disneyland coins went missing in the 1990s when they replaced the wooden masts with steel ones.

Disneyland Announcers are married in real life

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog.

“Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls!” You’ll hear these words kicking off most announcements over the loudspeakers throughout Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Bill Rogers, the announcer for Disneyland Park, and Camille Dixon, the announcer for Disney California Adventure, are married in real life.

Walt Disney’s Fleet of Disneyland Submarines

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

Walt Disney was proud of his “fleet” of eight submarines in Tomorrowland that made up the Submarine Voyage Attraction. The number made Walt Disney the commander of the eighth largest submarine fleet in the world.

Amazing Disneyland Holiday Stats!

Photo Credit: Disneyland.

Disney uses more than one mile of garland to decorate Main Street during the Disneyland Christmas season. The decorations go up in mid-November and stay up until the beginning of January. From 1955-2008, Disney used a real tree from the Mount Shasta glacier, but in 2008 they began using a large artificial tree instead. The new tree has over 70,000 lights and 2,000 custom made ornaments.

Disneyland Toontown. Mickey’s Trips Around the World!

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog.

Inside Mickey Mouse’s house in Toontown in a glass case, you can find his passport. The passport is stamped with the locations of Disney Parks around the world including Anaheim, Orlando, Hong Kong, Paris, and Tokyo. Each is dated with their opening day.

Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland was recently completely refurbished and a new attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (details), was added.

Disneyland’s Seasonal Tribute to Famous Writer

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

Ray Bradbury, the influential writer, was a close friend to Walt Disney, had a big hand in helping to develop Epcot in Walt Disney World, and was an early supporter of the value of Disneyland’s optimism. Each Halloween at Disneyland the Disney Company transforms a tree outside of the Golden Horseshoe into the “Halloween Tree” to honor Bradbury and his short story with the same title. I included a beautiful quote from Bradbury describing the power of Disneyland in the introduction to my book as it beautifully captures the magic of Disneyland.

Disneyland and Walt Disney World tickets never lose their value

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

A guest who purchased one of the lettered ticket books back in 1955 could apply the value of those tickets to purchasing a Disneyland ticket or Walt Disney World ticket today, though the tickets are probably best kept as souvenirs because the most valuable of these tickets only fetches 95 cents.

These Celebrities Might Love Disney as Much as You Do

these celebrities love going to disney

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog.

Even celebrities love Disney! These celebrities all love visiting Disney Parks almost as much as you do. Click here for the list of celebrities and their comments about their favorite rides, how they visit, and what inspired their passion for the parks.

Disneyland Secrets Best-Selling Book!

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

These secrets are all from my best-selling book “Disneyland Secrets: A Grand Tour of Disneyland’s Hidden Details”. See all details on the book here.

MISTAKES! You Need to Avoid On Your Disneyland and Walt Disney World Trips

Photo Credit: Mickey Visit.

Do not make these rookie mistakes when you are visiting Disneyland and Walt Disney World! Read our top guides to avoid causing problems on your family vacation.

10 ROOKIE Mistakes to Avoid on Your Disneyland Vacations

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Wow! Disney Dining Reservations Can Be Difficult to Get

Disney World AP Discounts

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We have tips for getting the most difficult Disneyland and Walt Disney World dining reservations. These are the hacks that will help you get your seat at the table.

Get the Most Difficult Disneyland Dining Reservation – Top Five Tips

Walt Disney World Dining Reservation Dining Tips for Last-Minute Reservations

CROWDS! CROWDS! CROWDS! These Are the Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World

when to visit disney world to avoid crowds

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These are the worst times to visit Walt Disney World. See all the specific dates and times you should be avoiding when planning your trip. You can also see our Disneyland crowd calendar and Walt Disney World crowd calendar.

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Gavin Doyle

Gavin Doyle is a best-selling author and founder of Mickey Visit. He is an expert on helping families save money and experience more at Disney, Universal, and beyond. He has been featured in Forbes, ABC7, Travel+Leisure, the OC Register, Orange County Register, LA Times, Yahoo! News, and more.

Read more about Gavin.

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