Although Disneyland looks like an ordinary theme park, in reality, there is a hidden world behind the castles, cotton candy and balloons. Believe it or not, Disneyland is also a place where wild cats roam the park at midnight, Mickey Mouse hides in the wallpaper, and movie stars come for a drink.
A park of Disneyland’s size is not exactly easy to keep spotless and free of unwanted pests. As a result, every night at closing time, 200 feral cats are released to help keep the rodent population in check. The feline taskforce dates is rumored to date back to the 1950’s, when renovations of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle exposed a colony of more than 100 strays. During the day, the cats are stored in their well concealed ‘cat houses’.
Mickey Mouse emblems are strewn all over the park. However, thanks to clever Imagineers, hundreds of “Hidden Mickey’s” are also scattered across the park. These “Hidden Mickey’s” are hard to spot; they are camouflaged in the architecture and landscaping. These emblems are all over. No one knows exactly how many actually exist.
Cocktails behind Closed Doors
Disneyland is dry; unless you can manage to get your name on the list at Club 33. This secret cocktail lounge is hidden above the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square and has a restricted membership of just 487. It also has a waiting list of approximately 14 years. Walt Disney designed the club as a private place to entertain possible inventors. Since then, the lounge has drawn a variety of guests, from US presidents, actors, foreign dignitaries, and guests with connections.
Trick of The eye
Disneyland is designed as an optical illusion, so that structures appear larger or smaller than they actually are. The Sleeping Beauty Castle, for example, looks much taller than its 77 feet. This is a result of the “bricks” and other architectural features growing smaller as the towers rise. The Matterhorn also appears bigger than it actually is. Thanks to clever angles and scaling, when you enter Main Street, the castle seems far away; however, as you exit, the same street appears to be a shorter distance.
Always on Stage
Each member of Disneyland is a “cast member”. This includes janitors, cashiers, painters, etc. All cast members are trained and expected follow a specific code of etiquette that helps to preserve the parks magic. Cast members are told never to break character. Also, when directing guests they are told to point with an open palm or two fingers. All cast members are given a Disney “look book” that details a fresh-faced appeal, no long fingernails, beards or unnatural colored hair.
A Light Stays On
In the early 1950’s during construction, Walt did not want to miss a moment of his dream becoming reality. As a result, he installed a small private apartment for his family above the Fire Department on Main Street. The office still contains Walt’s tilted shower and a ceramic bar. The lamp in the window, which is visible from the park, was once illuminated to signal to cast members that Walt was on the property. Today, the light is still kept lit in honor of the man behind the mouse.