Disneyland was the brilliant and creative idea of Walt Disney. Disneyland may have provided us lifelong memories, but it’s also kept secrets hidden in the Disney Vault right next to several of its popular video releases. Despite the frantic lead-up, Disneyland’s inauguration drew nearly 30,000 guests on the first day—about three times as many people than had actually been invited for the special press preview, many holding counterfeit tickets—and Walt Disney’s life’s work began to blossom. Disneyland theme park is the ultimate fantasy land, and like any dream world, there are many facts about Disneyland that have become warped, distorted, or embellished beyond all reason. Anyway, these intricately-designed parks have a history that stretches back over 60 years. So if you believe in magic, do your best Scrooge McDuck and dive headfirst into these facts about Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Black Sunday At Disneyland
The park’s disastrous opening on July 17, 1955 was so embarrassing that it was years until Disney stopped claiming that the next day was Disneyland’s debut. The opening was televised, anchored in part by future president Ronald Reagan.
The day was so hot that the recently laid tarmac melted. A plumber’s strike forced Disney to choose between functioning toilets or water fountains. Disney chose toilets. Some suspected the lack of water was a ploy to sell more Pepsi, a major sponsor.
Those weren’t the only hiccups. Food ran out quickly and a gas leak closed part of the park in the afternoon.
Rocket to the Moon, Peter Pan, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant were all closed.
The hot temperatures turned Main Street U.S.A.’s newly poured cement into tar leading to women’s high heels getting stuck as they walked. All of this chaos led to cast member’s giving opening day the nickname of Black Sunday.
Approximately 200 free-roaming cats live in the Disneyland
The cats – former pets, strays, and other assorted felines roaming Southern California -have been in Disneyland basically since the amusement park opened in 1955. When the crowds dissipate and the park is quiet, it’s also home to hundreds of feral cats.
“Park officials love the felines because they help control the mouse population,” the CNN article explains, adding that the kitties can always find a meal at one of the park’s five feeding stations. “Disney also goes to great lengths to manage its feline population.
While guests may only spot a couple of feral cats roaming around the happiest place on Earth, there are actually about 100 of them.
Disneyland Is Home To More Than 40 Rides And Attractions
Walt Disney Had The Idea Of The Park For Many Years Before It Was Built
Walt Disney, who created Disneyland, had a unique sense of creativity and imagination. He took the genres of film, television, and amusement parks into new realms and gave dreams and positive experiences to people around the world. Walt was active in many projects, but he consistently took time to foster in young people a love of learning to actively challenge the unknown.
He dreamed of the park being built on eight acres beside Burbank Studios in California.
Disneyland Was Built In One Year
Disney and his crew had rushed to complete the park in just one year, in part because of a series of television specials ABC was airing to promote the park. Construction began on July 21, 1954.
Walt Disney hired a research team to find the best place to hold the vision he had for Disneyland. Anaheim California was the spot chosen to hold a mountain, rivers and the other various ideas Disneyland now contains.
The Top Of The Matterhorn Is Home To A Basketball Hoop
The basketball hoop, complete with backboard and net, was installed in an attic-like space about two-thirds of the way up the mountain. After construction of the Matterhorn was completed in 1959, the roller coaster occupied the bottom two-thirds of the mountain, while the top third remained empty. What to do with the extra space?
Disney employees voted to put in a basketball court.
Every Year, 3 Million Churros Are Sold At Disneyland
U.S.A. and catch the cinnamon-sugary scent of a warm, crispy taste of magic that is the churro. These sweet treats can be found at food carts all over the park.
One Land Called Holidayland Opened In 1957, But It Closed Few Years Later
From the beginning, Walt and his Imagineers knew Disneyland would grow. They envisioned a resort, rather than a single park, much like we have today. So within two years of the park’s opening, Disneyland debuted an adjacent “land” outside of the park gates: Holidayland.
Visitors to Holidayland had a variety of activities to choose from. Families played horseshoes, baseball, volleyball, and badminton, and children also had access to several play structures. In general, Holidayland was more adult-centric, even serving beer to guests visiting the land. (This service did lead to some problems with drunk guests entering the park itself, something I’m surprised we don’t see more of in California Adventure today with alcohol prevalent there.)
After a few years, it became clear that Disneyland was underutilizing the massive space. Once plans for New Orleans Square started development in the 1960s, Holidayland closed to make way for Disneyland’s growing interior.
In The 1950s, Steve Martin Work At Disneyland
Steve was born on August 14, 1945, in Waco, Texas. When he was 5, his family moved to Inglewood, California. Five years later, they moved again. “We moved into a tract house two miles from Disneyland,” Steve once said.
From the age of 10 to 18, Steve worked at the Park after school, on weekends, and during the summer.
Starting in 1955, at a newly opened Disneyland, Steve Martin sold guidebooks and twirled lassos in Frontierland and demonstrated magic tricks and balloon animal-making for the following three years at the old Merlin’s Magic Shop in Fantasyland.
Pirates Of The Caribbean Was The Last Disneyland Attraction Personally Supervised By Walt Disney
First opened in 1967, Pirates of the Caribbean was the last Disneyland attraction that Walt Disney personally supervised. He passed away a few months before its debut. Pirates is one of the most famous, if not the seminal Disney theme park attraction. Source
Guests Are Never More Than 40 Steps Away From a Trash Can
There Is a “Ring” In Line At The Haunted Mansion
A metal ring found in the ground in the queue at Disney World’s Haunted Mansion was actually just a sawed off turnstile pipe. Since it resembled an engagement ring, Disney fans created a legend that it the bride in the attic’s ring.