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Seven Secrets About Disneyland

Gudrun Enger has a friend who works in Disneyland, and whenever she visits the park her friend comes along and acts as a tour guide, and usually shares a few secrets.  Here are some you might not know:

The drawbridge to Sleeping Beauty's Castle really works.  It's been raised only twice: once on opening day, and once in the l980s when Fantasyland reopened.

The crest above the drawbridge is the Disney family crest.

It took only 364 days to build Disneyland.

Main Street represents Walt's home town, Marceline, Missouri, in 1901, the year he was born.

The organ that was in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea now lives in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion.

In the early years of the park, the Rivers of America were stocked with catfish and visitors were allowed to fish off the docks of Tom Sawyer Island.

When Disneyland launched its original Submarine Voyage ride, it included Weeki Wachee-type mermaids swimming among the submarines.  Here's a video of them.


Photo of Tom Sawyer Island by Gudrun Enger

http://attractions.uptake.com/blog/7-disneyland-secrets-2460.html

More posts about Disney on Neatorama:

- 10 Cool Secrets About Disneyland

- Happy Birthday, Walt!: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Walt Disney

- 6 Attractions You'll Never See Again at Disneyland

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Marilyn Terrell.


there's no way in hell i would fish of tom sawyer island! have you seen the water in that place? all speckled with what my girlfriend and i called "disney magic" it looks like folgers crystals floating in a water sludge.
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That's why it was in "the early years of the park", and you already have the answer to why it's not done anymore. Well, that and the stink of filleted catfish may keep people away. I wonder if they had problems with kids accidently getting a hook stuck in themselves.
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I used to work for Disney and always got a kick out of the tidbit that they did research groups and found the longest avg. distance someone will go holding trash before tossing it on the ground is about 29 feet which is why there is a trash can about every 27.5 feet in the park. One of the reasons is always very clean.
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If you will read closely your post, it's all in the past tense. a long gone era never to be seen or experienced again. it's for those memory lane diaries best kep in old boxes, in the attic. Otherwise, it should be buried and forgotten.
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Times were very simple back in the 50's and, 60's. As a kid I wanted to marry one of those mermaids....oh well, now just memories of a era gone but not forgotten. You youngsters remember Walt had a nice idea of making a place a family could excape and have some harmless fun.
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The story starts badly with "Sleeping Beauty's" castle. Anyone who's been there knows it is Cinderella's castle. And to Bubba, stop reading Disney stories if you don't want to read about it. There are children and their parents, especially in Florida, who love the place and get very good resident rates!
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None of these things are secrets...all of them are in a variety of Disney history books, or can be learned by taking a guided tour. Insider secrets? Yeah right. It's called Google.
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Actually the first item is not quite correct. The drawbridge USED to work. The mechanics which enabled to raise and lower the drawbridge were removed sometime after the Fantasy rededication. When Disney was preparing for its 50th Anniversary the idea was entertained that the drawbridge might be put into action again, but it was abandoned thus the drawbridge remains in a permantly opened state.
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"The crest above the drawbridge is the Disney family crest."

Actually there is no such thing as a 'family crest'. A heraldic device was and is awarded to an individual, not a family.
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I am one of those that grew up 30 miles Disneyland, so during the 60's and 70's that was where we went at least once a month, now that I live on the east coast we spend 10 days in Orlando every summer (Disney World and Universal), one thing I am surprised no one mentioned is the " E " ticket - in the early days you given a book with tickets marked A - E, A tickets which is what you got the most of were the lame stuff and E tickets (which you only got a few) were for the good rides.
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If you read the article, you USED to be able to fish from Tom Sawyer's Island. That was many, many years ago. After all this time, I'm sure the fish are dead. LOL
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Secrets? Yawn. Nothing you wrote hasn't already been published DOZENS of times. Give us something new - not a rehash of a Dave Smith Disney Archives book.
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Well, I heard that 'grumpy' from the seven dwarfs was named after some bloggers with bad attitudes. Some of you guys need anti-depressants and mood enhancers. lol
Y'all are angry. Go to Disneyworld. It's the happiest place on earth. :)
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WOW! You people are seriously synical! Is all that really necessary? if you weren't interested in a little Disney history then you shouldn't have opened the link to begin with... many of us are interested in past times gone by and don't mind hearing these "secrets".
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I will never visit Disneyland again. We had a terrible time because the employees weren't friendly. I have never had an experience like that and hope to never have one again. I have complained to the Directors but apparently they don't care either because my email was never acknowledged or responded to. Disneyland has become just another amusement park. maybe next time we will have better luck with Knotts Berry Farm. Too bad the employees were rude on my daughters 16th birthday. that was her present from me.
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I was one who fished off of Tom Sawyer's island, many years ago. There was a small booth where you could rent a fishing pole for $0.25 and buy bait. I caught and released Blue Gill and catfish instead of exploring the island. My most memoriable memory at Disneyland was one Sunday when Walt walked out on Main Street and invited 15 to 20 of us kids to his office above the Fire Station for ice cream.
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yes, its true there used to be a mule ride. it was around the time of natiures wonderland and all of those old rides. Another secret that i've seen that is really cool is the eyore in the movie room of indiana jones. I have researched many secrets that you can easily find on the internet.
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Some of you are indeed cynical! Here is a secret you don't know! My birthday and birth year is the exact same as Disneyland!!! Kind a kewl, whether YOU care or not! Enjoy your next trip to the park known to the world! Incidently I hail from the country who has the OLDEST amusement park in the world and compared, both parks have their charm!!!
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The Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida is built to be 199 feet tall. Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom is 199 1/2 feet tall. They are such odd numbers because anything over 200 feet in Florida has to have a blinking light on it for planes. And Disney World thought it would kind of ruin the theme if there was a huge blinking light on top of a huge, decrepit building.
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That's it? That's the "secrets"? Come on!!! Disneyland is filled with interesting secrets. Built in 364 days is a not a secret! You gotta be kinding me. Security personnel dressed like Japanese tourist, now that's a secret!
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If you are truly interested in discovering a few "secrets" about Walt Disney World (Florida) there are some great behind-the-scenes tours available. Backstage Magic goes backstage at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, & Disney's Hollywood Studios. You get 7 hours of Disney "Insider" knowledge and see really cool stuff like the "tunnels" under the Magic Kingdom (Utilidors), the maintenance area at Tower of Terror, their manufacturing facility (Central Shops) and SO MUCH MORE!
At Disneyland (California), they also have guided tours with great insider information but they spend more time on-stage and basically none backstage.
Either way, you get some great glimpses into the magic of Disney.
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Never the less, it is fun to learn/reminisce about ole Disneyland the way it used to be, or is still today. Thank you other bloggers for the other trivia that is not always known. i.e. drug tripping guest put in the underground jail! Fishing tales and mule rides, etc.
Bubba and other critical bloggers like him... Your 'crappy' attitude sucks, you need to be a 'kid' again, go to Disneyland and get a'Tude' readjustment!
Sorry for the blogger who had a bad time. You must talk to the RIGHT people & be more specific about the problems you had. If you have not heard from them, try again, politely! The park's Quality Control is always watching it's 'Cast' and their performance; those cameras are not on just the guest! If it is an opinion you had about some minor situation..They cannot do much for you, but offer to fix it & have you come back, just like one would if one fell off a horse..get back on! Go back and try to have a great time! It truly is the Happiest place on Earth!! But it's also an 'inside' job!! So let it GO and have a good time.
Nope...I am not working for Disneyland.. Just supporting them!
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The drawbridge doesn't really work. It used to, but in 1996, when the castle was refurbished, Disney removed the parts that make the drawbridge lower and raise. They were planning to restore to working condition again when the castle was being refurbished in 2004 for the park's upcoming 50th anniversary but the money to fund the restoration was cut from the budget.
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it's also the town that he started all of his ideas, his home, his school, which is now named wal disney elementary, his barn and tree, pictures of him coming back to visit here...all still here... you want history on disney...come visit this small town of 2300 people where it all began!
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I love reading about the secret details behind the Disney parks, especially some of the more mysterious details about places like the haunted mansion.
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To florida native, this article is actually about DISNEYLAND, not world. Disneyland has Sleeping Beauty's castle. The two castles look completely different too. I don't think Disneyland truly has and "secrets", just facts people don't here about on the news or read on the map. They are facts that have to be sought out through a tour, online, etc. so don't get all huffy puffy. Thank you to the responses from those who have been around long enough to know the old Disneyland and can tell us fun little facts about the way it used to be.
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I "grew up" at Disneyland. I lived about 1/4 mile from there in Anaheim in the 1950's and 60's. Every night before going to bed I would wait for Tinker Bell to fly through the air and then the fireworks would be my last sight. My mom worked for the retail clerks union and we had free tickets any time, so I went A LOT! Disneyland opened on my 1st birthday - July 17, 1955, and I have a special attachment to it. My mom took me on opening day (not that I remember) but I have the pictures. One of my fondest memories was the flying saucer bumper ships. They floated on air pockets that opened and closed and you would fly around above the floor bumping in to other flying saucers. Too cool. The donkey ride mentioned by another contributor was actually at Knotts Berry Farm. That's a whole 'nother story! Sweet memories - thanks for taking the time to share them.
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Umm, to the person that said crest or heralds weren't issued to Families uh you're wrong. Seriously wrong, there are countless family crest.
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Wow These are No Secrets Just Go Watch "50 First Magical Years" In Disneyland And It Tells You All That And More!!! You're Kinda Dumb!!! Here Are Some Real Secrets!

Skippers on the Jungle Cruise did not originally tell jokes. It was only after Walt Disney overheard some people saying they could skip the attraction because they had seen it before already that he realized the attraction needed something that could be refreshed and new each time, hence the jokes.

The Mark Twain riverboat actually runs on a track hidden below the water of the Rivers of America!

The fire-breathing dragon in Fantasmic! is nicknamed Bucky.

The ride portion of the Haunted Mansion actually is outside the Disneyland park. You unknowingly leave the boundaries of the park after taking the elevator down (the stretching room) and walking to the Doom Buggies.

A tribute to the Country Bear Jamboree appears in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; look behind you to see it!

The toy blocks on the floor of the nursery in the first scene of Peter Pan's Flight spell out "DI5NEY" and "PPan." (Although They Do Change It Often)

There is a basketball court inside the very top of Matterhorn Mountain. The basketball court is now used as a storage facility.

The robot on Star Tours is actually PeeWee Herman's voice.

I Have Plenty More But I Think You Get The Point!!!
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i dont get what the big deal is about this story? i worked at disneyland,anaheim.all these 'secrets' can be found in any book related to disneyland.The truth is most castmembers take pride in knowing little trivia and facts not because its required,but because some guest know as much or more than some of the people that work there.There are no secrets in disneyland-everything has been talked about-repainted, refurbished, taken apart,sold,abandoned.what's new?
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I just want to say, none of this is news....any disneyphile worth their salt knows all of this by heart

its nice to see it makes mainstream news but it takes away the specialness of knowing more than most about my happiest place.
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To think one of 1st parsels of land was an orchard bloomed into being-my grand Uncle Chris sold to Walt.I've never been to California or Disneyland but had always wanted to.Sure wished to know what is on the land that once was Fick.
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For you who have nothing good to say, your childhood fantasy must have really sucked or maybe you just suck. As for Disney it is as American as football and is the greatest place in the world. People come from all over the world to see it. It's about being a kid and not letting go of your dreams and fantasies. Everybody needs to still be a kid once in a while. What kind of butthole would knock Disney, either location, for reminding kids to dream big and for adults to be able to relive some memories of easier times as a child. Kind of like Christmas and Santa and the moment when you see your child light up, seeing and experiencing things for the first time, the ultimate joy you get to watch them. So for all you penny-pinching hum-buggers out there...SHAME ON YOU!!!!
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lol Walt DISNEY didnt even create MIckey MOuse . UB IWERKS did, and also mickeys not the original character it is Oswald the Lucky rabbit. Plane crazy mickeys first cartoon. Steam boat willie first syncronized sound cartoon
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First I'd like to say I enjoyed this article. If I did or didn't know about these seven things is not relevent because it's always fun to read about Disneyland. Now let me set a couple of things straight. There was a Mule Ride from 1955 to 1973. There was even a Stagecoach Ride from 1956 to 1959. If you're really interested in the old Disneyland, go to YESTERYEAR.COM and get some real facts about days gone by..
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jesus and christianity are a form of control for the weak minded masses! get a clue, open your eyes, read some nonfiction written in the late 20th or early 21st century!

walt knew this. thats why we love him and his wonderful parks!
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Didn't Walt want the monorail to go all the way to the beach but the other cities wouldn't allow it? I was told that a long time ago. Anyone know the answer to this.
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As a former DL employee, I know lots of secrets; ones that management wants nobody to know. Like the cats that are released after the park closes, to catch and eat Mickey's cousins. There is a very active pest control program, and this is one of them. While working there, I saw one murder (in front of the Matterhorn, on Grad Nite) and one person killed on rides (People Mover). DL is really a very dangerous place to let your kids run loose.
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This is a very interesting article and detailed information--Great Job!!! Are you referring to the one in Florida or California? I found this site as a travel search engine for finding travel information, destination suggestions, and things to do at California Travel Search Engine and Travel Directory. It includes vacation ideas, travel tips, reviews, and videos.
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