The Wonderful World of Disneyland

August 8, 2013

Disneyland facts: amazing things you probably never knew about the Happiest Place on Earth.

Disneyland Facts• The park has a large security force. It’s mostly undercover…but there are more Disney security officers than there are police officers in the adjacent city of Anaheim.

• Employee slang for being a costumed character: “duck duty.”

• In the Toy Story movies, the toys would all freeze and drop to the ground when their human owner Andy was approaching. If you yell “Andy’s coming!” when costumed Toy Story characters are out and about…they will freeze and drop to the ground.

• Disneyland’s streets and sidewalks are exceptionally clean. Part of that is because there’s a trash can every 30 feet or less, and the park’s concession stands don’t sell chewing gum. (Also, the streets are washed and steam-cleaned every night.)

• Richard Nixon loved Disneyland. When the Disney Monorail (the first regularly operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere) opened on June 14, 1959, Vice President Nixon was its first passenger. (And in November 1973, when Nixon was fighting off allegations that he was connected to the Watergate break-in, he gave his “I am not a crook speech” at Disney World.)

• If you’ve ever visited Disneyland, you’ve probably still got the repetitive “It’s a Small World” song stuck in your head. In fact, it’s such a hassle and takes too much time to turn off and turn back on the ride’s sound system each day that Disneyland never shuts it off. It literally plays all day and all night, nonstop.

• The future is green! All the plants in the futuristic Tomorrowland section of Disneyland are edible.

• Disneyland’s official address is 1313 Harbor Boulevard. Walt Disney was allowed to pick this out himself—M is the 13th letter of the alphabet, so “1313” equals “MM,” for “Mickey Mouse.”

• When the railroad ride around the park stops in New Orleans Square, listen carefully to hear a series of clicks and dashes. It’s a Morse Code rendering of the first few lines of the speech Walt Disney gave on the day the park opened in 1955.

• Disneyland first day, July 17, 1955, was a disaster. Open only to the media and a few handpicked guests, very little went right. A plumbers’ strike left drinking fountains nonfunctional and toilets clogged. The park ran out of food. The temperature was more than 100 degrees—so hot the asphalt melted. Most of these problems were cleared up by the next day, which is why in all internal Disney company materials, Disneyland’s “opening day” is listed as July 18, 1955.