Disneyland is the known as the Happiest Place On Earth. In fact, it’s been said that if a guest is seen with a frown on their face, they are immediately ushered to a “Happiness Re-education Camp” and forced to listen to a continuous loop of “It’s a Small World” until their hearts are full of cheer. Okay, not true. But there are a lot of interesting facts about Disneyland Theme Parks that you might not have known. In fact, we’re going to treat you to 10 of them. Enjoy and don’t forget to be happy!
1. The First Disneyland Cost $17 Million
Opened in 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim took 3,000 people to build and today contains 9 separate theme parks. For some weird reason Disney ordered tons of bathrooms to be built at the expense of drinking fountains because he thought they were more important.
2. Disney Earns $13.6 billion Just From Ticket Sales
When adding up ticket sales for all 11 parks combined, Disney makes around $13.6 billion. But that doesn’t even take into consideration the additional money they make from tickets for exclusive rides, concessions, souvenirs (every kid and their dog is going to want a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, you know). That’s around an addition $7 billion.
3. Walt Disney Had His Own Apartment in Main Street Park
One of the nice things about building your own theme park (aside from getting to name it after yourself, of course) is that you can live in it and there isn’t a damn thing that anybody else can do about that! That’s certainly what Walt Disney himself believed! As the park has being constructed, he wanted a place where he and his family could stay. So they created a private hidden apartment unit on the second floor of the Main Street firehouse. Although nobody lives there anymore and the place is closed off to the public, it remains fully furnished as a lasting tribute to the Man Behind the Mouse.
4. While there are 11 Disney Theme Parks, Only 5 Of Them Are True Disneylands
The 5 Disneylands are the ones in Anaheim (the original), Tokyo (the first one built outside America), Paris (where Mickey Mouse is a real snob about his cheese), Shanghai (the Chinese one), and Hong Kong (the other Chinese one). The other theme parks are Tokyo DisneySea, Disney Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. All Disney theme parks operate under the same conditions, and the retail cost for a ticket is the same everywhere ($95 to $135).
5. There is a Private Club That Serves Alcohol
Are you looking to get blitzed at Disneyland? Good news: the theme park in Anaheim has an exclusive club called Club 33. In order to enter, a guest must press a buzzer on an intercom concealed by a hidden panel in the doorway. Once inside, you can enjoy booze in the only area within Disneyland that serves alcohol. Ready for the bad news? Here goes: the initiation fee is $25,000 plus an additional $10,000 annually to maintain it. Oh, and there’s a 14 year waiting list.
6. It is Forbidden to Fly Over Disneyland
Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, airplanes are no longer allowed to fly over either Disney World or Disneyland in Anaheim. In fact, they are required to remain outside of a three mile radius of the parks and cannot fly any lower than 3,000 feet when approaching the area.
7. The Facade of the Building of the “It’s a Small World” ride is Covered Completely in Real Gold
According to legend, as Walt Disney was inspecting the construction of the water-based “It’s a Small World” ride, he became utterly bewildered upon seeing how cheap the building looked and yelled out, “Yo! Where all the bling-bling at? I need some gold up in here!” Okay, I’m lying again. He never said anything even remotely close to that. But it is true that when Disney creates something, they never go half-assed. The kids have dreams that need to be fulfilled, know what I’m sayin’?
8. The Parks Themselves Don’t Actually Contain Accommodations
Thinking about staying at a hotel in Disneyland? Sorry to have to make you feel super sad, but they actually don’t exist on the theme park property itself. But if you want a real Disney experience, there are plenty of Disney-themed Airbnb options nearby. The prices range from $350 to $600 per night, which really isn’t that far different from staying at a hotel.
9. Love Doritos? You Can Thank Disney.
Back in the 1960s, the folks at Disneyland needed to figure out how to recycle all their old, surplus tortilla chips, so the obvious solution was to cover them in a cheese-flavored dust so that they could get people to still eat them! Thus, the birth of the Doritos, which proved quite popular among theme park guests. When Frito-Lay realized the potential, they began distributing them around the country, and today they can now be enjoyed all over the world.
10. The Park Contains Hidden Activities
Families spend a ton of money to fly down to Orlando for a Disney vacation, for example, the Lilly Belle train only operates once a day and has 14 seats. Do the math. Or if you hate math, we’ll do it for you: 14 is far fewer than the estimated 52,000 visitors that the Magic Kingdom receives everyday. Another activity that few people realize is possible is that you can book lunch with an Imagineer at Disney World and learn about the creative process behind the making of the world’s largest theme park. Finally, there is a secret hotel suite inside Cinderella’s Castle that’s only open to contest winners and special (re: celebrity) guests.