Almost seventy years have passed since the construction of Disneyland was completed; a seventeen million dollar project that only took an astonishing one year, and a day! In the last six and a half decades, much has occurred within the grounds of the park that remains a mystery. Some rumors, some facts, and even some “Easter eggs,” can be spotted if you know where to look!
As an example, it’s not commonly known that the Monorail system in Disneyland was the first one in the entire Western hemisphere that sees daily operation. Check below for the remainder of these incredibly interesting facts about Disneyland!
Behind The Scenes
A significant portion of the park is an optical illusion! Disneyland utilizes a visual reference technique called “forced perspective,” which makes most of the buildings seem much larger than they are! The buildings you see while walking down Main Street are three stories, as they seem, but the second floor is shrunken by an eighth of scale and the third is shrunken by an eighth of the second; thereby creating the illusion of height!
This same technique was used in the design of the 77’ tall “Sleeping Beauties Castle,” only instead of using scaling, they simply used smaller bricks at the upper levels! The Castle is also known for its working drawbridge, which is the only one throughout all the Disney parks internationally!
Walking down Main Street, you may catch a whiff of something sweet cooking up! That is the result of the “Smellitzer.” It is an industrial air freshener that constantly exhales the aroma of candy into the park! It’s one of many throughout the grounds.
The enchanting sound of horse hooves clopping along the street is no accident. The groomers of the horses that pull the streetcars, coat each horse’s hoof with a polyurethane coating meant to improve traction, thereby improving the acoustics of the classic “clop-clop” noise as they trot past.
Two Fingers, No Beard!
When one of the famed costume characters is approached, they have a very specific script to improvise from. Part of this script includes the inability to point with only a single finger (It’s a sign of disrespect in some cultures.) and also the dress code states “no facial hair” unless the character is expected to have such a feature.
The ever-popular voice of Tony the Tiger is the same man who sang “Mr.Grinch” in the classic tale. The man, Thurl Ravenscroft, gifted Disneyland with recorded messages of his voice to spread throughout the park in applicable areas.
Near the Indiana Jones FastPass distribution kiosk near the Jungle Cruise ride, you can glimpse a 120-year-old Canary Island Date Palm, that was planted in 1896, and requested by the original owner to be the one thing that went undisturbed in the construction.
Disney and its construction crew kept their word!
Tomorrowland consists of a literal orchard filled with edible plant life! Lemons, lettuce, peppers, oranges, and herbs spread throughout the area in a salute to Walt Disney’s support of self-sustaining agriculture.
Wishing Well For Kids
Snow White Grotto has a great well, that’s designed to be a wishing well. All of the money “donated” to the well goes directly to supporting local children’s charities!
King Arthur Carousel
Though you may not find one single unicorn to mount on this luxurious carousel (don’t worry you can see plenty of unicorns at Finding Unicorns), you’ll choose a horse and ride, nonetheless. What you likely won’t realize until later is that every horse on the carousel has a name!
This same carousel was built in the early 1920s and belonged to Sunnyside Beach Park, in Toronto before being refurbished and relocated to the Disneyland theme park in 1954, just in time for the grand opening!
There was a time when the buildings on Main Street were rentals for outside businesses. One of which was a tobacco store, which lasted up into the nineties! Another notable non-Disney subsidiary was a naughty ladies clothing boutique called Hollywood-Maxwell Brassiere Co.
You can’t know that fact unless you pair it with the cringed reality of the companies selling point; a slideshow detailing the history of undergarments aptly named “The Wonderful Wizard Of Bras.”
You couldn’t make that up if you tried…
If you’re in line for Star Tours and hear a loudspeaker calling for a passenger, listen closely… The passenger being paged is “Mr. Egroeg Sacul,” (George Lucas spelled backward.) While not the most clever Easter egg, it’s worth noting that Lucas gifted Disneyland with the original props for R2-D2 as well as C-3PO to keep it authentic as possible.
One more small bit of history to add to this is that on Disneyland’s grand opening day, there were many children happily in awe by the park, but there was an 11-year-old boy in attendance who would later be significant to the park. George Lucas!