Dishney: Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Disneyland (From a Former Cast Member)

Categories: Dishney
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Chris Victorio
A United Worker Union protester outside D23 Expo.
Disneyland's notorious for its ever revolving cast of employees--college kids running in and out between summers and classes, people who just move on... and then there are the Disneyland lifers, cast members who sign up and just never, ever leave.

The park's also notorious for its efforts to preserve "the magic" of Disney, going to extraordinary lengths to please guests and to keep workers in check, but, more often than not, going to extraordinary lengths just to hide the not-so-magic-like features of Disneyland Resort from them. The list of rules for cast members is incredibly long, covering everything from exactly how hot it has to be until they can drink water while working to how they have to something as minuscule as using two fingers when pointing out things for park guests.

So when a former Disneyland cast member volunteered to reveal some little known facts about the park, we, of course, were elated. Stoked even.

Before you venture forth: Some things shared, we admit, kinda ruin the Disney magic, so don't say we didn't warn you.


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Flickr user DisneyMike

Gibson Girl Fakes It!
"That smell of freshly made waffle cones wafting out from the Gibson Girl ice cream store on Main Street? Totally fake. It's a faux scent pumped out through vents. Same goes for the pine tree smell during Christmas."



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Flickr user BeatnikSide

Illuuusions!
"The windows on the second story of all the stores on Main Street are proportionally scaled down to size so as to give the illusion that the buildings are actually taller than they really are. The same goes for the castle--the bricks on the bottom are larger than those at the top."



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Flickr user Neato Coolville
"1966 Disneyland Slide Matterhorn from Skyway"

Matterhown Letdown
"We've all heard of that basketball court that's housed inside the Matterhorn. It's actually just a hoop mounted to a wall."  


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Flickr user Malingering
"Someone ran a stroller right into it. And I laughed."

Radio Codes!
"'Code V' = Vomit; 'Code P' or 'Code U' = Someone peed their pants; 'Code H' = Horse pooped on Main Street."



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Flickr user Bredgur

Big Brother!
"Whenever people make out on rides or try to do anything more, they are ALWAYS being watched... and more likely than not, they're being watched by a crowd of employees. I used to work in the camera shop where we processed film for guests. We weren't allowed to send out any 'inappropriate' photos of guests... but we had a little photo collage of those pictures on the photo lab wall."


 
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24 comments
lithichick
lithichick

There are a couple of tunnels. There is the one under tomorrowland, it begins behind innoventions and exits behind Ariels Grotto (is it still called that?) It has passageways leading to the tree inside innoventions and to the breakroom under tomorrowland terrace. There is another tunnel on the West side of mainstreet somewhere, I only went through it once, I think it led to frontierland. There are a few tunnels behind fantasyland, one leads to the employee parking lot, I was confined to it once when they cleared the area for the fireworks and not permitted to leave it until after the show. That was one of the most exhilarating experiences I had while working there. Another was watching Tinkerbell land, they have changed how she lands since,but she used to just hit a big mattress to stop her descent from the top of the Matterhorn. I heard the basement of the old costuming building, now offices, located behind space mountain and very tunnel like, is rated as a bomb shelter.

 I don't believe the bit about Donald being played by two midgets, those costumes are difficult enough to operate with one person. Also, anyone the right height working at the time would play the character, people don't play just one character and no one character is assigned to one person.  I do know that characters on stage, like the Mickey in Fantasmic, are significantly taller than the characters who walk around. 

The lead actors in the new show in Fantasyland don't sing in the show because they are non union actors, only the union actors playing sidekicks sing. 

There is a lot of juicy info about Disneyland available and its pretty easy to confirm. Most employees are disgruntled and love to talk about Disney secrets. This could be a great article if someone did some actual reporting and fact checking. A more informed former employee would be helpful.

-paulc-
-paulc-

I thought there was a tunnel for fantasmic? 

Carlashworth
Carlashworth

Worked at Coke Terrace in Tomorrowland from 1973 to 1976. Customers would return their corn dogs titled Pluto dogs with wads of gum fried into them. The boys behind the grill thought they had a sense of humor. Disney' best money making fast food restaurant was run by a grotesque, short, fat man who treated the gals at the counter like chattel and the nights were run by a mouth breather with a personality that matched the dark circles under her eyes

Jessica Ancira
Jessica Ancira

I only knew about 4 of them... Disappointed about the waffle cones though

Michelle Thomas
Michelle Thomas

There are underground tunnels I know someone with safety

acrpres1
acrpres1

Of course, I divulge a great number of never-before-published secrets and situations in my book, "In the Shadow of the Matterhorn"...everything from what has been seen on the cameras on Pirates to finding a dead body, (Yes, I said dead body) while working at the Park. Yet, while there are many thins that are examples of these, the vast majority of days working at the Park were indeed Magical.

Josh Ward
Josh Ward

Eh, nothing really surprised me, just made me want to hit up Disneyland.

Brandon Mendoza
Brandon Mendoza

These aren't really surprising if you know your Disney stuff. But good info!

David Yeh
David Yeh

Is this all you guys can get? Disappointed.

Jillian Schragen
Jillian Schragen

If my job tried yo rename me, I'd so have an issue with that

Jay440
Jay440

All of this is pretty common knowledge.
Then again, I go to Disneyland a lot. Haha.

billyjoelmartin
billyjoelmartin

All i can tell you is that managers at Disney are morons they hire from within and out and hire pricks and cunts that do not care about employees or guests.

billyjoelmartin
billyjoelmartin

All i can tell you is that managers at Disney are morons they hire from within and out and hire pricks and cunts that do not care about employees or guests.

divebarculture
divebarculture

There is a tunnel from backstage behind Innovations to the backside of Tomorrowland Terrace near the little mermaid exhibit.

As for the court in the Matterhorn, it's a half court which was once used as an employee break room, and has since been closed due to structural integrity.

rbunyan25
rbunyan25

There is a tunnel linking the Tomorrowland burger restaurant with the stage where Darth Vader pops up and gives his tap dance. . .or swing his saber around or whatever he does.  I was too busy sweeping when I worked there to pay attention!  And what do you mean 'just a hoop'?  I was pretty impressed when they took me to the top of the Matterhorn to see that!  Other than that, everything else seems accurate.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

I'd say there's a tunnel...there's a tunnel that starts behind what used to be America Sings that comes out on the far side of Tomorrowland in front of the Matterhorn.

he.masterlink
he.masterlink

false..I have personally been in the tunnels, they do exist.

ICregular
ICregular

This is why North Korea is mad at us...

swampgift1
swampgift1

What about the FACT that before a new ride is built a child must be sacrificed, mummified, and burried underneith the ride to satisfy the restless demon lords that Walt prayed to many times daily?

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