I'm super glad to be here filling in for Brooklyn while she's busy having fun at Disneyland. Are you jealous of her or what?
I love Disneyland. As a Southern California native, it's sort of like a second home to me. Over the years, I think I've been there literally hundreds of times, and I learn something new about it almost every time I go.
Me, my mom, and my sister-in-law on our most recent Disneyland visit. Yes, we all got minnie ears. No shame.
Here are some of my favorite little nuggets of knowledge about Disneyland (and California Adventure). Some of you hardcore Disneylanders might already know some of these, but hopefully you learn a thing or two.
1. The buildings on Main Street at Disneyland were constructed using "forced perspective" to appear bigger. Each story higher in a building uses smaller bricks, smaller windows, etc, giving the illusion of a taller building when standing at ground level! It's even used in the castle, which is only 77 feet tall.
3. In the line for Indiana Jones, there are symbols all over the walls and floor. And they're not just for looks! They're actually in a special code that can be translated into messages. When the ride first opened, employees would hand out translation cards, and I think you can still get one of these cards if you ask. Read all the translated messages here.
5. Space Mountain is specially engineered to make you feel like you're going fast, even though the highest speed you'll ever reach is about 35mph. They use techniques like sudden turns and streams of air blowing at your face.
6. In the past there's been a problem with people flashing the camera for Splash Mountain photos. Yikes. It was so much of an issue that they hired someone just to filter through the photos so no one would see them! Now it's done automatically.
7. One of the skulls in the Pirates ride is from an actual human: the one on the bed in the treasure room. Not the skeleton looking at the magnifying glass — the skull and crossbones on the headboard. When the park first opened, supposedly all the skeletons were real — sourced from the UCLA medical center — because Walt just wasn't satisfied with the appearance of the fake ones. Creepy.
9. There is an elite Disney club called Club 33. It's mainly for special industry sponsors, but individuals can join — provided they're willing to wait on the 14-year waiting list, pay $27,000 to be initiated, and give an additional $11,000 per year to maintain membership. The Club 33 lounge entrance is near the Blue Bayou at Disneyland, and it has lavish dining rooms, a full bar, and special decor including props and artifacts from Disney history. The door is painted a special color referred to as "noseeum green", which is thought to be a very minimally disruptive color to the human eye, making it more discreet. This color is also common throughout the park for things like trash cans and non-decorative buildings.
For example, vanilla scent is used near the sweets shops on Main Street — who wants a fresh-baked cookie?
It's pretty crazy how much effort they put into all the little things, don't you think?
Even though I'm not a kid anymore, I still love the magic and charm of the Disneyland experience. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I like to think it's something more than that.
For all you die-hard Disney fans — how many of these did you already know? What's your favorite thing about Disneyland?
Thanks, Brooklyn, for having me on the blog today, and I hope you're having an awesome time on your magical vacation!