Ever since Disneyland first opened its doors way back in 1955, it’s been a hugely popular vacation destination – for both families and individuals. Children love seeing all their favourite characters come to life, and who doesn’t love a good ride? You can chow down on churros, model some Mickey Ears, hurtle along Splash Mountain and ride the monorail across the park. There’s a lot to do, and the park is constantly evolving, getting new rides and updating beloved classics.
There are countless theme parks in the world, but not many as famous as Disneyland, and there’s a reason for that – Disneyland has always been more than just a simple theme park. Walt Disney didn’t create the destination as a moneymaker, or from a business perspective. He applied the same sense of whimsy to the park and its rides that he did to the legendary cartoons he was creating – and that passion and sense of play definitely comes through.
So, whether you’re a veteran who has been to the California park more times than you’d care to admit, or someone who’s always been meaning to go but just hasn’t quite gotten there yet, there’s plenty you need to know about the famous theme park. Here are things you may not have known about Disneyland.
There’s A Basketball Court In The Matterhorn
The larger than life Matterhorn attraction definitely catches your eye when you’re wandering through the park, and if it’s secret hidden gems that capture your attention, you’ll want to pay even closer attention to the mountain. That’s because the Matterhorn hides a playful secret spot – a half-court basketball court. Unfortunately, not just anyone can take a break from lining up for rides to play a few rounds of ball – the secret court is for employees.
We can’t help but imagine the incredible sight of some of the mascots taking off their hot, heavy costumes, and cooling off with a few rounds of hoops. With so many little secret spots, Disneyland truly does seem like a magical place. I mean, it’s like it was taken straight out of a movie. Now, the only question is, how badly do you want to become an employee merely to try out that basketball court atop the mountain?
The Water In The Rides Is Tinted
If you’ve ever gazed down into the water while you’re on a Disney ride, you may have noticed that they’re not crystal clear – the water generally appeared a little bit murky. That’s not because Disney doesn’t keep things pristine – if the water were supposed to be clear, it undoubtedly would remain clear, no matter how much garbage people might toss into it.
The water around the rides is, in fact, tinted green or brown (slightly) in order to hide the boring parts of what make the rides go – vehicle tracks, filtration systems, etc. It also hides the fact that the water is generally quite shallow. Feeling like you’re soaring along a deep pool is part of what makes the water rides so successful, so we have to hand it to Disney on this one – it was definitely a good call. You can’t see the bottom of the pool because that’s exactly how they designed it.
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There Is A Flight Restriction Above Disneyland
You’re never going to see an airplane flying in the air above you when you’re having fun in Disneyland. And no, it’s not because Disney paid a hefty fee to ensure your experience would be airplane-free. It’s because of the government.
Apparently, government officials say the park has two huge red flags when it comes to international safety – it’s symbolic, and it sees a ton of people walking through its doors every day. So, in order to avoid any potential terrorist activity, government officials have demarcated a three-mile radius around the park within which no plane is permitted to fly. Crazy!
Given the amount of insane tragedies that have been happening around the world lately, though, you can totally understand the reasoning. They’re simply trying to best avoid having something tragic happen within the walls of the park. So, no matter how many flights come into California on a daily basis, none of them are jetting directly above the Magic Kingdom.
Cast Members Can’t Use One-Finger Gestures
If you’ve ever asked a Disney employee for directions while you were in Disneyland, you might be surprised to see that they will never point you in the right direction – not with one finger, at least. That’s because Disneyland gets visitors from all over the world, and in certain cultures, gestures with one finger are seen as rude or offensive in some way.
In order to avoid offending any guests from different cultures, employees are required to gesture either with two fingers or with an open palm, in a sweeping gesture. It makes sense – guests pay a premium to get the Disneyland experience, and it’s easier to implement a few rules that ensure everyone has a great time rather than risk ruining someone’s Disneyland experience. Seriously – if you want to challenge employees, ask for directions and try to see if any of them messes up and points with one finger.
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There’s A Secret Club Where Liquor Is Served
Disneyland is kind of a PG place. Sure, you can absolutely visit the amusement park if you don’t have kids, but things are generally kid-friendly – which means that you can’t buy liquor within the park (even though many parents with sugar-filled kids might really, really want to).
However, there is one secret loophole – Club 33. Club 33 is a private, members-only club – and saying it’s exclusive would be putting it lightly. There’s an annual fee of $10,000 (in addition to a $25,000 initiation fee). And, even if you’re willing to pay up without hesitation, there’s another issue – the waiting list. Potential members have to wait as long as 14 years before they get a chance to snag a spot in Club 33. However, if you’re a Disneyland addict with money to spend, get on that list – you could be rubbing shoulders with celebrities while you drink cocktails and enjoy privileges like valet parking.