10 Little-Known Disney Secrets

Hi folks! My name is Leah, and I blog over at The Ordinary Snowflake. On my blog, I write about life and books and food and fashion. And sometimes I just like to have a place to dump my amateur photography. Either way, it's always a good time. (Come say hi, let's be friends. You can also catch me on InstagramTwitter, and Bloglovin, if you're into any of that stuff.)

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.

There's something so magical about Disneyland — even for someone like me, who actually hasn't seen most "classic" Disney movies. Really, the magic is in the details of the park, the little gems you have to carefully look and listen for to fully appreciate.

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.

source: wikipedia

2. Disneyland has underground tunnels throughout the park to allow the employees to get around without battling through the crowds. That's how the costumed characters can get to specific places without being stopped for photos all along the way.

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.

source: disgeek.com

4. If you don't mind getting split up from your group for a ride, going "single rider" is a little-known trick that can easily save you an hour or so on a busy day. Some rides that offer this are the Matterhorn, the Cars ride, and California Screamin'. I ALWAYS advantage of this! If you can't find the single rider entrance, just ask an employee.

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.

source: disneylandreport.blogspot.com

8. In the new Star Tours ride, one rider is secretly chosen to be the "rebel spy"; their picture is taken before the ride and shown as part of the story. They almost always choose someone who has a birthday or "First Visit" pin (which you can get from any employee in the park if you're celebrating). Also, make sure to face forward and wait to put your 3D glasses on until the ride starts — otherwise, they won't be able to take the picture.

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.

source: wikipedia

10. Similar to the famous fresh orange scent used in the ride Soarin' Over California, lots of places in Disneyland use discreet vents to release smells to park-goers.

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!

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