65 Magical Facts About Disneyland And The Magic Kingdom. And yes, there really is a basketball court in Disneyland ‘s Matterhorn.
1. Walt Disney was inspired to build Disneyland after taking his daughters to ride the merry-go-round at L.A.’s Griffith Park.
2. The actual Griffith Park bench where Walt sat when he came up with the idea for Disneyland is on display near the entrance of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
3. On opening day Disneyland had only 18 attractions.
4. Disneyland’s King Arthur Carousel is older than the park itself. It was built in 1922 for the Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto.
5. In the 1950s, Steve Martin worked at Disneyland, first selling guidebooks (as a kid) and later at the Magic Shop.
6. Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle reaches a height of 77 feet, while Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle is 189 feet.
7. The Disney family crest is on Sleeping Beauty Castle; it’s located above the drawbridge.
8. Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is the only Disney park castle with a real functioning drawbridge. The drawbridge has been used twice: once on opening day and the second for the opening of the remodeled Fantasyland.
9. Contrary to popular belief, the golden spike that is located on the ground just after walking through Sleeping Beauty Castle is not the exact center of the park. Rather, it was used to center the castle to Main Street, U.S.A.
10. A time capsule was buried on July 17, 1995 — which was the 40th anniversary of Disneyland — in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. It will be unearthed on July 17, 2035, which is the 80th anniversary of Disneyland.
11. The Matterhorn was the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world.
12. Yes, the urban rumors are true, there is a basketball court inside the Matterhorn.
13. In the 1970s, Michelle Pfeiffer worked at Disneyland as Alice [in Wonderland] in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
14. Snow White’s Scary Adventures features the voice of Adriana Castelotti, the original Snow White.
15. Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride that Walt Disney personally supervised the construction of.
16. There is a real human skull in the Pirates ride; it sits above the bed in the treasure room in the beginning of the ride.
17. Pirates of the Caribbean was originally envisioned as walk-through attraction.
18. The Haunted Mansion was also originally envisioned as walk-through attraction.
19. Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion is voiced by Eleanor Audley, the actress who voiced both Lady Tremaine and Maleficent.
20. The Haunted Mansion’s hitchhiking ghosts actually have names. They’re Ezra, Phineas, and Gus.
21. Paul Frees, who also voiced Professor Ludwig Von Drake and the skull that says “Dead Men Tell No Tales” on Pirates of the Caribbean, also voices the Haunted Mansion’s ghost narrator.
22. Club 33, a restaurant located in New Orleans Square, is the only location inside Disneyland where you can purchase alcohol. Unfortunately, the restaurant is not open to the public and is for members of Club 33 only.
23. The telegraph office in New Orleans Square is “sending” the first two sentences of Walt’s opening-day speech.
24. Splash Mountain was originally going to be called Zip-a-Dee River Run.
25. James Avery, who is best known as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, voiced Splash Mountain’s Brer Frog.
26. Br’er Rabbit is voiced by Jess Harnell, who also voiced Wakko onAnimaniacs.
27. There is a hidden Eeyore parking lot sign in the queue for Indiana Jones Adventure, Temple of the Forbidden Eye — it’s located in the projection room.
28. The props in Indiana Jones’ office (located in the queue) are actual props from the Indiana Jones movies.
29. The Indiana Jones ride was almost its own mini-land called Indiana Jones and the Lost Expedition. It was designed to be a giant complex that would house both the Indiana Jones Adventure ride and a mine cart roller coaster. Also, the Jungle Cruise and the Disneyland Railroad would have cut through portions of the ride.
30. The Enchanted Tiki Room was originally envisioned as a restaurant where the animatronic birds, flowers, and Tikis would perform an after-dinner show.
31. Walt originally wanted to have live animals on The Jungle Cruise. He changed his mind after a zoologist told him that most of the animals are nocturnal and would be asleep during park hours.
32. Disneyland uses more than 100,000 lightbulbs to outline the buildings on Main Street, U.S.A.
33. Walt’s private apartment is located directly above the fire station on Main Street, U.S.A.
34. The light from the lamp in the window to his apartment is meant to represent Walt’s presence in the park.
35. Disneyland’s monorail was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere.
36. There have been three babies born at Disneyland (as of 2012).
37. The term used by employees when a park guest vomits is “Code V.” It was formally “Protein Spill.”
38. Disneyland estimates that more than 2.8 million churros are sold a year.
39. Disneyland occupies 85 acres; the Magic Kingdom occupies 107 acres.
40. John Lennon officially ended the Beatles by signing termination papers while vacationing at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort in December 1974.
41. Walt Disney World Resort is about the size of San Francisco or two Manhattan islands.
42. Walt Disney paid $5 million for 27,000 acres of land for Walt Disney World in Central Florida.
43. Magic Kingdom opened to fewer than 10,000 guests. Walt expected over 100,000.
44. It took 18 months to build Cinderella’s castle.
45. It’s completely made out of fiberglass — no bricks included!
46. There are tunnels beneath Magic Kingdom that allow cast members and employees to move between different areas. It’s technically ground level; Magic Kingdom was built above it.
47. Mickey Mouse has over 290 outfits and Minnie Mouse has over 200.
48. Big Thunder Mountain took 10 years of planning and 18 months of construction to complete. It cost $17 million — the same amount it took to open Disneyland in 1955.
49. When Disney World first opened, admission for Magic Kingdom was $3.50. It’s now $99.
50. Flags at Disney World went half-staff in observance of the passing of Steve Jobs.
51. Every day an average of 210 pairs of sunglasses are turned in and, since 1971, an estimated 1.65 million pairs of glasses have found their way into the “lost” bin.
52. Since 1971, the total miles logged by Walt Disney World monorail trains would be equal to more than 30 round trips to the moon.
53. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction replaced Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, and there’s a painting of Mr. Toad handing the deed over to Mr. Owl.
54. Each winter holiday season, Walt Disney World Resort is decked with more than 15 miles of garland and draped with 300,000 yards of ribbon on more than 1,500 holiday trees.
55. Guests are never more than 30 steps away from a trash can.
56. The Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean almost wasn’t built. Imagineers thought the idea of the Caribbean and pirates wouldn’t feel exotic enough to Florida guests.
57. In place of Pirates, they hoped to build an elaborate and large cowboy-themed attraction called Western River Expedition.
58. Fourteen of the opening-day attractions at Magic Kingdom are still running.
59. At one point, the parking lots at Magic Kingdom were named after six of the seven dwarfs; they left out Doc because designers thought it would be confused for ferry docks. They’ve since been changed to popular heroes and villains.
60. There is a secret suite in Cinderella’s castle that cannot be booked; it’s by invite only or for promotional giveaways. It was originally meant to be Walt Disney’s apartment.
61. After 9/11, the Federal Aviation Administration set restrictions for aircraft flying around Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. No flights are allowed within a three-mile radius around the parks or below 3,000 feet.
62. Guests sometimes throw coins into the water near It’s a Small World, and Disney donates that money to Give Kids the World, a nonprofit that grants wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.
63. There is a Mr. Toad tombstone in the pet cemetery outside of Haunted Mansion.
64. There is a ring in line at the Haunted Mansion, which is said to belong to the bride inside the ride. It is near the section where the dead fisherman/sailor is located.
65. With Disney parks in Asia, Europe, and North America, the sun literally never sets on Disney parks.