33 Weird (but true) Best Kept Secrets of Disneyland You MUST Know

Are you ready to look out for the best kept secrets of Disneyland for your next vacation?

If you are here, you are probably trying to be challenged to see if you, as a disney adult, can learn something new about Disneyland.

I have reached out to a few locals for their favorite secrets and facts and will combine them with some of my own personal experience and research to put this challenge to the test.

Let’s dive into 33 of the fun hidden Disneyland secrets and facts to find on your Disney adventure!

Tomorrowland Entrance in Disneyland Resort California. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

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1. A Bank on Main Street at Disneyland

From July 17, 1955, to July 28, 1993, there was once a Bank of America branch located on Main Street U.S.A.

Disneyland Mary Poppins and Bert in Parade. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

It was amongst the longest participants at the park and was one of the only banks at the time to have regular weekend hours.

The Disneyana Shop is currently in its place and aspects of the bank are still there today for you to see, including the bank vault!

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2. Say Cheese!

According to TravelBird, Disneyland is the number one most Instagrammed place in the world with 14.6 million tags on the app.

Disneyland Mark Twain Riverboat overlooking Frontierland. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

This is above some national parks, 8 Wonders of the World and more! Even Walt Disney World is only at number 3!

3. Check Your Pulse

A Disney fan on Twitter, @Electrospooks, stated,

“One of my favorite details in the Disneyland Haunted Mansion is the disembodied heartbeat in the hallway between the ballroom and the attic. It’s a small nod to the heartbeat bride that came before Constance Hatchaway.”

Be sure to keep an eye out for that next time you ride!

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4. Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch?

The concept of Doritos, now owned by FritoLay, began in a restaurant in Disneyland. Now named Rancho Del Zocalo, but formerly known as Casa de Fritos is where it got its start.

Totopo, the company who came up with the idea struck a deal with the VP of Frito Lay at the time in 1964 and the snack was born!

Did you know that they were made dry and were only flavored with basic seasoning?

5. Woof Woof!

The adorably cheeky dog in Pirates of the Caribbean was modeled after Walt’s own pup. It was a Chow Chow named Sunny who would also be the inspiration for Lady’s arrival in “Lady and the Tramp.”

Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

Be sure not to miss one of the best kept secrets of Disneyland on your next trip!

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6. The Little Man of Disneyland

There is a tree with a tiny house built into the trunk in Adventureland. Turns out, it is home to a leprechaun named Patrick Begorra, who’s tale was told in a 1955 Disney Little Golden Book.

Next time, make sure you stop by and say hello! It is nearby Indiana Jones.

7. The 20th Century Dance Hall

Back in the day, Carnation Plaza Gardens in between Sleeping Beauty Castle and a frontier stockade was a dance pavilion with a red and white canopy roof. It was designed to look like a 20th century era area.

Here you could dine and dance! It was closed in 2012 and where it stands is where Fantasy Faire is today.

According to @Tarihc78 on Twitter,

“High Above Fantasy Faire you can spot a round golden emblem with a carnation & the letters CPG on it. This is a nod to the former Carnation Plaza Gardens area where Fantasy Faire currently sits. The original CPG dance floor still remains under the canopy.”

Be sure not to miss one of the best kept secrets of Disneyland on your next trip!

8. Step Into a Fantasy

Unlike its sister castle, Cinderella Castle, in Walt Disney World, there is an attraction within Sleeping Beauty Castle’s walls where you can walkthrough and relieve Aurora’s story.

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

It does require you to go up and down stairs but for those who need help with accessibility, you can experience the attraction walkthrough in a virtual high-definition version in a magically themed room nearby!

Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide

9. Signing the Book

The Storybook Canals is a beloved opening day attraction with a fun, whimsical tradition!

Disneyland Storybook Ride Entrance. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

There is a special ceremony that takes place every morning for the first group of riders where you have the chance to sign your name in the captain’s logbook.

Disneyland Storybook Ride with Boat Going Into Whale Mouth. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

It holds the names of every first rider. It’s a fun way to immortalize yourself in Disneyland’s iconic history!

10. Make a Wish!

To the right of Sleeping Beauty Castle is Snow White’s Wishing Well. If you stay long enough, you can hear her echo singing from the well.

The statues near the well were crafted in Italy and there was actually an error in their creation. The seven dwarfs and Snow White are all the same height.

Imagineering fixed this issue via forced perspective. The original voice actress for Snow, Adriana Caselotti, was brought back in 1987 to re-record the voice but due to age, she did not sound like she originally did.

She was almost replaced but after asking for guidance from Walt up above, she nailed it in the last take.

Be sure not to miss one of the best kept secrets of Disneyland on your next trip!

If you’re thinking about making a trip out to any of the parks at the Disneyland Resort in California, then be sure to get your tickets here!

11. Digging up them holes…

Going through the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, there are loads to admire about the theme.

Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Something to note is that a good chunk of the mining equipment you see in the attraction is authentic!

Imagineers hunted high and low through swap meets, ghost towns and even abandoned mines in Wyoming, Minnesota, Colorado and Nevada to find them.

12. Sending a Message

If you’re in New Orleans Square, stop by the train station and go next to the telegraph office. You will be able to catch Walt Disney’s Dedication Speech for Disneyland being typed out in Morse Code.

New Orleans Square at Disneyland with carriage cart

13. Suite of Dreams

Similar to the Cinderella Castle Suite, there is a suite at Disneyland. Located above Pirates of the Caribbean is the Disneyland Dream Suite.

It was originally built as a private apartment for Walt as a place to entertain special guests.

Unfortunately, he passed before he could use it, or it could be completed. Disneyland Dream Suite was revamped for the “Year of a Million Dreams” promotion.

The suite includes two bedrooms, one themed to Adventureland and the other to Frontierland. It is said that it has the absolute best view of Fantasmic!

14. She’s a Brick….House!

Disney fan and TikTok user @Kassidykelton924 stated,

“The test brick wall on Main Street! They tested different bricks to see which would look better, but it’s still there.”

And she is correct. The wall was used by Walt’s brick masons to test various patterns and textures for other areas of the park.

Disneyland Red Brick Wall Test. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!
Photo Courtesy of Instagram: @dadam_74

You can see it for yourself on Center Street, past Market House as if you were heading towards the back to the lockers.

15. Get your fresh hot popcorn here!

The popcorn stands at Disneyland are very unique and special. At the stands, there is a different character attached to the turners.

They range from classic to seasonal. You can see the Rocketeer, Oogie Boogie and even the Matterhorn Yeti!

16. Disneyland’s Secret Hotel

There is a hotel inside Disneyland! Well, sort of! Around the corner from the Main Street Cinema is Hotel Marceline.

This actually used to be where the security station was located but this is just a facade that is a nod to Walt’s hometown. But if you stick around, you can hear the hotel guests inside and their activities.

17. Size Doesn’t Matter

While Walt Disney World is bigger compared to Disneyland, Disneyland actually has more attractions than its Florida sister.

Disneyland castle vs Disney World cinderella castle. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

18. Haunted Facades

The Haunted Mansion at face value is not what it seems. When you stroll through the portrait hallway, you are walking underneath the Disneyland railroad tracks.

Haunted Mansion Secrets Disneyland. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!
Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

In fact, when you are in the stretching room, you are actually in an elevator that takes you underground. The hallway leads you to the building the ride is housed.

19. Mr. Toad in Wonderland

A good chunk of the Alice in Wonderland attraction is sitting on top of the Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride attraction.

Disneyland Alice in Wonderland Ride. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

The rear of Mr. Toad’s is against the lower levels of the Alice in Wonderland.

20. Pest Control

Disneyland lucked out and managed to have free pest control on their property. Over 200 feral cats are allowed to roam as a way to keep out unwanted visitors.

Disneyland Matterhorn Ride. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

The first batch was found by Walt inside Sleeping Beauty Castle in which he promptly adopted them out to various Cast Members.

Be sure not to miss one of the best kept secrets of Disneyland on your next trip!

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21. King Arthur’s Carousel

The famous carousel in Fantasyland is older than the park itself. The property that Disneyland stands on was purchased in 1953, while the carousel was made in 1922.

Disneyland Carousel Ride in Fantasyland. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

Each horse is hand carved and date back over 90 years. Julie Andrews had a horse dedicated to her for her work as an ambassador for the park.

Look out for jingles, the only horse painted white and the most ornately decorated!

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22. Oldest Building in Disneyland

The Main Street Opera House started its roots as the park’s lumber mill. In 1961, it was converted to the opera house which has remained as such to this day.

Disneyland Horse and Trolley on Main Street USA. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

23. Happy Birthday!

To this day, four babies have been born at Disneyland. The very first was Teresa Salcedo, who was born on July 4, 1979.

Disney Cast Member holding Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse balloons. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

Mickey Mouse presented her with a certificate that read “Disneyland Birth Certificate No. 1” Contrary to popular belief, you won’t get a lifetime pass if you are born there.

24. Tilly

In the ticket booth at the Main Street Cinema is a mannequin named “Tilly.”

Always looking her best, if you peek at her nametag, it says “Marceline, Missouri”, which is a nod to Walt’s hometown and the inspiration for Main Street U.S.A.

25. Walt’s Apartment

Imagineers built a 500 square foot apartment for Walt above the firehouse on Main Street. He would stay over occasionally or entertain friends and guests.

The apartment had a kitchen, bathroom and living area where one could also sleep.

There was a private patio connected for his wife, Lillian, who could use it for entertaining or to enjoy afternoon tea.

26. Eeyore has a home…

Where Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye currently was once the Eeyore parking lot.

Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!
Photo Courtesy of Disney Co.

To pay homage to it, imagineers placed one of the parking lot signs in the queue. Check right next to the film projector in the projection room to see it!

Be sure not to miss one of the best kept secrets of Disneyland on your next trip!

27. Specials Trees at Disneyland

In Adventureland, there is a palm tree that is older than the park itself, dating back to 1896, making it 126 years old today!

Skipper on the Jungle Cruise. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

The farmland where Disneyland is today, belonged to the Dominguez family. The owner asked Walt to spare one tree as the tree was planted in 1896 as a gift to the owner’s grandparents.

The Jungle Cruise boathouse was built around its trunk. The owner actually ended up working at Disneyland as a ticket tacker and ended as an Executive Vice President.

He retired in 1994 and was commemorated with a Main Street window above market house.

28. Choo Choo! Last Stop!

Twitter user @Djtyrant stated

“The Final train of the night (the sweeper) train is an excellent way to end your night! It also goes a little faster since it’s just picking everyone up and dropping them off at Main Street. You’ll want to pick it up at Main Street around 10-15 minutes before closing.”

Be sure not to miss one of the best kept secrets of Disneyland on your next trip!

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29. Magic Mirrors & Magic Mail

Twitter user @MediaAndra mentioned

“There is a magic mirror in the mad hatter shop in Fantasyland and all the mailboxes randomly placed throughout Disneyland are actually working and you can use them. Sent Christmas postcards through them one year!”

30. The Goat Trick

Next time you’re riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, try to get a seat in the very back. A little way after the second hill, you will see a goat with a stick of dynamite in its mouth.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Goat. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!
Photo Courtesy of Flickr: Loren Javier

Keep your eyes on it and turn your head to keep looking at it as long as you can for a super cool effect!

31. Gossip Folks inside Starbucks

Inside the Starbucks on Main Street USA are two turn of the century phones as you enter.

Starbucks with creamy cream soda and frothy whip cream topping

When you pick up the handset, you can overhear conversations from several different households, a party line and even get some juicy gossip!

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32. Disneyland will remain unfinished…

Walt purposely requested that one of the spires for Sleeping Beauty castle remain unpainted.

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle. Keep reading for the hidden best kept secrets of Disneyland!

If you look for it, it’s the tower to the left of the tall turret. This was done to signify that Disneyland would never be finished.

33. Stay Hydrated

Twitter user, @ughhNikki, shared a very helpful Disneyland secret,

“If you type in “water fountain” on the Disneyland app, you will get all the refill stations throughout the parks.”

Most visitors can’t deal with California heat so it’s very important to stay hydrated!

Final Thoughts on the Best Kept Secrets of Disneyland

As you can see, Disneyland has so many hidden gems ready for you to discover if you know where to look. On your next Disneyland trip, make it a fun game to discover each little secret.

33 Hidden Best Kept Disneyland Secrets
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Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

About the Author

Victoria Wade Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster

Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.

She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.

She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.

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