Obviously, I like Disneyland. I may even go so far as to say that I love Disneyland (though writing about it a couple times a week sometimes makes me love it a little bit less).
Still, I'm far from being a fanatic. I couldn't tell you where every Hidden Mickey is in the park, nor do I have a vast catalog of Disneyland history stored away in my brain.
But the father/daughter team of John and Lauren Delmontare Disneyland fanatics. So much so, in fact, that they spent years putting together "The Secret Tour of Disneyland," a two-and-a-half hour travel DVD that delves into some little known details/secrets of The Happiest Place on Earth.
Learn more about the video after the jump.
Before I get into it, I'll get past the obvious. Sure, as far as travel videos go, "The Secret Tour of Disneyland" is a far cry from big-budgeted shows like "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations."
But this is a passion project between a father and a daughter, and while it may not be ready for its cable debut, it still looks pretty damn good. In fact, John Delmont worked in the video industry for twenty years before taking on this project; so while it may not be ready for Travel Channel, it still looks about a million times better than anything most people could ever produce.
To be clear: That isn't to say this is some shaky and grainy family vacation video.
Lauren serves as the video's host as she takes viewers around the park through each land, and then gives a detailed history of nearly every ride in the park. Hearing the backstory of what exists in the park today is cool, but for me hearing about what once existed in the park was way cooler.
Delmont takes us through Disneyland, from the spark of its idea in Walt's head, to the park it has become some 60 years later.
Of course, even if you're a novice Disnerd like myself, chances are you've heard some of this info before (i.e. Walt Disney had an apartment above the fire station, etc.). But as long as you're not a full-blown fanatic, odds are a lot of these "secrets" will be pleasant little surprises you never knew about the park before.
I don't want to give too much away, but here are just a few things I learned from the 145-minute video:
- Back in the day, Main Street was home to both a tobacco shop and The Wizard of Bras, a women's lingerie store. The former sat in the shop that the cigar store Indian now stands in front of (duh), and the latter was located just north of the Silhouette Studio.
- The stuffed heads of Max, Buff and Melvin from Country Bear Jamboree are hung/hidden on a wall in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as a nod to the old ride it replaced.
- In the Trophy Room in Club 33, the chandeliers that hang over the tables have microphones hidden in the center of them. The original idea was to have someone listening in on whatever conversations were taking place around the room, and then "communicate" with patrons through an audio animatronic vulture that still sits perched on a branch in the corner. Eventually, this idea was stopped because of, you know, that whole "invasion of privacy" stuff.
- When you first walk in the park, the spot where the flagpole now sits in the center of Town Square was originally the home of a bandstand. But when Walt realized it blocked the view of Sleeping Beauty Castle he had it moved to where Carnation Plaza now stands. He then moved it again to where Jungle Cruise is. When that ride expanded, Disney donated the bandstand to the City of Anaheim. The bandstand still exists today at Roger's Gardens in Corona Del Mar. Learn more about it here.
If you're a fan of Disneyland, especially if you spent a lot of your youth in the park and have been able to see it change over the years, "The Secret Tour of Disneyland" is both the perfect mix of memory book and history lesson.
Check out the trailer below, and order your copy of "The Secret Tour of Disneyland" here.