Disneyland is a great place to visit with lots of fun things to do and see. But the Happiest Place on Earth tends to have some of the longest lines on Earth as well. While you wait to get on your favorite ride, sometimes the best thing to talk about is the park itself. Now you can impress your friends and family with interesting trivia about the park.
The Park Was Predicted to Fail
Opening day was a total disaster. The streets were only recently poured, and asphalt stuck to visitors' shoes. The temperature was a whopping 101 degrees. Half of the rides broke, and only two of the 48 Autopia cars weren't crashed. Newspapers predicted the park's demise within one year, but visitors loved it, and attendance grew and grew.
Alcohol Isn't Allowed ... Mostly
Disneyland does not permit the sale of alcoholic beverages anywhere in the park, except for in the legendary Club 33, hidden near the Blue Bayou restaurant. This exclusive club requires a hefty membership fee, and patience. Potential members are put on a 10-year waiting list. If you are interested in getting a drink nearby, though, Downtown Disney and California Adventure have alcoholic beverages for sale.
Tomorrow Land Is Always Evolving
If Tomorrow Land didn't keep changing it would quickly become Yesterday Land. The area changes so much that the only original ride in this frontier is Autopia, and even it has had significant revamping. Aside from being re-themed to fit the movie "Cars," the ride also has changed in one major way since its existence on opening day -- guard rails were added. Needless to say, the ride is a lot more safe for young drivers than it was at its inception.
Inside The Matterhorn
You may know there's a yeti inside the mountain, but a basketball court? It's true; the massive mountain is officially classified as a gym and was officially certified as an Olympic Stadium in 1984. Now you know what Tinkerbell is up to every night before she starts the fireworks show.
Hidden Mickeys are a favorite secret among guests in the know. There is at least one mickey figure hidden on each ride, usually far more. A fun game for waiting in line is searching for any Mickeys hidden around the park. You'll be amazed where you find them. If you give up, you can always buy one of the many books dedicated to the subject.
Ashes to Ashes
There's something spooky about Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, and it's not actually the rides themselves. These two attractions are popular places for the disposal of cremated remains. The act is surprisingly common and usually requires the use of a hazmat team to clean up. Consider that the next time you see a ride closed down temporarily.
The Station Message
If you get stuck waiting in line at the New Orleans train station, the infernal clacking of a message in Morse code may just drive you bonkers. If you ever actually wondered what that message is spelling out though, it's the opening speech given by Walt Disney at the grand opening of the park.
Like coffee? Hate it when your balloon pops? Well, you're in luck. When you buy coffee at the park, you can have free refills all day just by showing your receipt. If your child's balloon pops, you can take the scraps of the fallen toy to any balloon vendor and receive a replacement for free.
A Working Draw Bridge & A Family Crest
Few people know that the castle drawbridge is actually functional. It has only been raised and lowered twice -- once for the grand opening of the park and once for the reopening of Fantasy Land after it went through major refurbishments in the 80s. When you walk across the bridge, take a look at the castle and notice the family crest on the castle. That's Walt's family crest. If you're into this sort of thing, you can find your own too. Once you walk through the castle, just visit the Heraldry Shoppe and find your own family crest for free.
Disneyland gets all of its soda, juices and Vitamin Waters for free. Why? Because Coca-Cola feels it is better to advertise its product by having it sold at Disneyland than it is for them to risk competition at the park by Pepsi. Of course, none of these savings are passed on to the consumer.
Jill Harness has written on a variety of subjects for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "San Diego City Beat," "Mental Floss," Rue The Day! and Neatorama. Harness has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.