Weddings, Deaths and Legends: 5 Secrets about Disneyland You Might Not Know

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 - 1 Comment
Disneyland - Small World
It’s a Small World

(Hey everyone, my friend Adrienne is up to her tricks again. This time she wanted to let you in on some interesting secrets about Disneyland. And who am I to argue. I love Disneyland.)

Enter Adrienne

When you grow up in Los Angeles, visiting D-land at least once a year, there’s an extraordinary amount of Disneyland lore that passes from kid to kid.  Secrets we hoped were true, but even if they weren’t, it was fun to think so!  Thanks to the amazing advances in “fact checking,” I can now disseminate this information to you with far more accuracy.

1. Can you get married at Disneyland?

Yes, it’s true.  If you ever fantasized about a story book wedding in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, your dream can now become a big, sparkly, over the top reality.  Not only can you tie the knot there, but you can even make your entrance in the Crystal Coach.  Disneyland also offers several other wedding venues at the resort.  You can check out all the fairytale options here.

2. Is there a secret basketball court at the top of the Matterhorn?

Well, technically, it’s more like a half-court.  But yes, it’s THERE.  Rumor had it that Disney installed the “sports” court in order to get around a Buena Park height ordinance that only made allowances for sporting venues.  Great story, but totally false.  The Matterhorn was built way before the height ordinances were ever created.  Maybe old Walt just like to play a pick up game after riding the bobsleds.  You can judge for  yourself.

3. Does Disneyland have a secret club?

Yes!  It’s called Club 33, located in New Orleans Square and it’s the only place in the park where they serve alcohol.  They also serve amazing food and all the waiters dress in fancy clothes with silky vests and clean white gloves.  (Seriously).  As a teenager, I was lucky enough to “know someone who knew someone” and had the opportunity to dine there once.  It was definitely a culture shock to wander just a few feet away from the sea of Bermuda shorts and Mickey ears into such refined elegance!  The veranda also happens to be a fabulous place to watch fireworks.  If only the general public were allowed.  (Sigh).  It seems you’ve got to know the right people if you want that kind of service at a theme park.  Too bad I don’t anymore!

Start of Small World Ride (Disneyland)
Beginning of Small World Ride

4. Did Steve Martin ever work at Disneyland?

Yes!  He started out selling guide books and eventually worked his way up to Merlin’s Magic shop where he learned magic tricks and joke telling, (two obviously worthless talents that had no influence on his career whatsoever.)

5.  Has anyone ever been killed on a Disneyland ride?

Yes, indeed.  At least nine people have died on Disneyland attractions since it opened in 1955.  Two of the most notable deaths were on the Matterhorn (FYI -keep your seat-belts on, people, and don’t try and stand up during the ride.).  But perhaps one of the most shocking and gruesome deaths was in 1974 on the “America Sings” ride.  It was a giant rotating theater where an outer ring rotated the audience to view different animatronic performances.  An 18-year-old hostess for the ride, Deborah Gail Stone, came too close to the section between the rotating wall and the stationary wall during a performance and was crushed between them.  Apparently the audience on the other side of the theater could hear her screams and notified workers.  Yikes.

Super Special Bonus Secret:

Is it true that Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen head is being stored somewhere inside the Haunted Mansion ride?

Uh, no.  That’s totally ridiculous.  Who would just freeze their head?  Everybody knows his whole body is frozen and stored directly under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride until science can catch up and bring him back to life. Okay, I may have made that last one up, but all the other ones are true!

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  1. Thanks for that post guys!! I love the story & pictures of the basketball court in the Matterhorn – never heard that one before!!! I wonder if Tinkerbell shoots hoops before she slides down the rope : )

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Hi, I’m Algis


I have an insatiable wanderlust which takes me to some crazy places where I try strange foods, pretend I'm a local and talk with elephants. Keep reading...

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