Edible Plants, Human Skeletons and Basketball Courts – 12 Facts You Didn’t Know About Disneyland Theme Parks

Everyone loves Disney. Everyone adores Disneyland. It’s been apart of our lives – the films we watch on television, and the big screen; the big parades and meeting our favourite characters.

Ranking as the number one resort amusement park corporations in the world (with 134,330,000 guests attending in 2014), Disneyland is the third most visited park in the world.

So, how much do we know about Disney? Not a lot, but here are twelve facts that you may not know about Disney.

1. You Can Eat the Plants in Tomorrowland!

Yes, all the plants in Tomorrowland are edible. The island was to pin-point the theme, which was farming where by teaching visitors, they can learn that humanity cam make the most of its resources.

2. The Haunted Mansion has a Pet Cemetery Behind It

If you take a chance to visit the Haunted Mansion and walk behind it. When you’re there, you’ll come to the cemetery, where it has many pet gravestones including one for Mr. Toad.

3. When Disneyland Opened, the Park Only Had Eighteen Attractions

When Disneyland opened on 17th July 1955, it originally had eighteen attractions. Today, twelve of them are till at the park. They are:

  1. Autopia
  2. The Disneyland Band
  3. The Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station
  4. The Disneyland Railroad New Orleans Square Station
  5. The Jungle Cruise
  6. King Arthur Carousel
  7. The Mad Tea Party
  8. The Main Street Cinema
  9. The Mark Twain Riverboat
  10. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  11. Peter Pan’s Flight
  12. The Storybook Land Canal Boats

4. The Matterhorn Ride Has a Basketball Court

It’s true – there is a half-court basketball structure on top of the mountain. When they are on their breaks, employees go to the basketball court to shoot hoops. Rumour has it that the mountain is still there.

5. Celebrities Have Worked There Before They Were Famous! 

They include the likes of Steve Martin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Williams, Kevin Costner, John Lasseter, Richard Capenter and Jodie Prenger.


John Lasseter was a tour guide on the Jungle Cruise before he became the CEO of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios.

6. Want to Lend a Paw?

When visitors are not around in the park, the staff realise over two thousand feral felines in order to drive the rodents around the park. Although the park have said that the cats are nocturnal creatures, you may be lucky to see one, anywhere around the Disneyland Park.

7. Male Employees Weren’t Allowed Moustaches and Beards

Before the turn of the 21st century, workers who are male had to shave and be cleanly shaven. Can you imagine your male characters without moustaches and/or beards, if they originally had them?

8. Real Human Skeletons on a Disney Ride? That’s Totally Creepy…

When the Pirates of the Caribbean ride first opened, the staff thought about giving the ride a sense of realism by adding real. Yes, real human skeletons to the ride. However, the creepiest thing about this was that Disney had the skeletons, on loan from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Today, the skeletons have been removed and replaced with artificial skeletons. That is, apart from one which is still there.

9. Who Were the Inspirations Behind Disneyland? alt Disney’s daughters were the inspiration behind Disneyland

Walt Disney’s daughters, of course. Before Walt created Disneyland, he took his daughters, Diane Disney Miller and Sharon Mae Disney on a trip to L.A.’s Griffith Park and had a ride on the merry-go-round. And the rest (they say) is history.


Walt Disney with his daughters, Diane and Sharon.

10. Disneyland, In It’s History, Has Only Closed Three Times 

  1. The Death of John F. Kennedy
  2. The Northridge Earthquake
  3. 9/11

11. Secret Club?! What?!

Believe it or not, Disneyland has its own private club. Club 33 used to be a secret club, where Walt Disney used it to invite and host parties for important people. Located in New Orleans Square, Club 33 is only open to members and their guests. Also, it is the only place in the park where it serves alcohol and has a full bar.

12. Castle Capsule

On 17th July 1995, a time capsule was buried in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, when Disneyland celebrated it’s forth anniversary. The capsule will not be opened until 17th July 2045 – 50 years after it’s burial.


Sleeping Beauty Castle, where the time capsule is currently buried.

So that’s it, twelve things you didn’t know about Disneyland and it’s theme parks. What’s your favourite fact about Disneyland? Which facts about Disney do you think should have been on the list?

From Rags to Riches – My Review on “Cinderella”

When you think of Sir Kenneth Branagh, the first thing you say he has acted in films like Much Ado About Nothing or directed adult films. But directing a Disney live action film, is unheard of. To be honest, I didn’t know he could direct at all.


Lily James as Ella.

Today, I went back to the cinema and saw Cinderella. My cousin and I were very keen to see this one; for months and months, we wouldn’t stop talking about it. We also were excited about Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett being in the film as the Fairy Godmother and Lady Termaine. But, never, ever did I expect to be really good.  

I pretty imagine everyone knows the story and has seen the 1950 animated film. If not, I recommend watching it before seeing the modern version. The 2015 version does have some parts and lines from the 1950 film, the others are based on the orginal fairytale by Charles Perrault. It’s not a hundred percent remake but it’s nice to see bits of the original film in there. 

I liked the storyline; Ella’s story was very beautiful and emotional. So was the Prince’s. I couldn’t help but cry for and with them. Somehow, it gives me a sense that their feelings and emotions can relate to the audience. And not many films do that. I praise and give Cinderella a standing ovation for this. I was in tears at the sad moments and the end. I won’t give the plot away but I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed if you are looking for tear-jerker. 

The cast are – OMG – amazing! My favourite actors in the film were Downtown Abbey actress Lily James plays Ella (or Cinderella), Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. James’ portrayal as Ella is enchanting. I really, really like her; I couldn’t get enough and I wanted more of her. I like her smile, personality, etc. She’s the prefect actress to play a Disney princess. Blanchett’s portrayal as Lady Termaine is spectacular; I was scared of her when she tore Ella’s dress and broke her glass slipper. I have a feeling Blanchett did some research by watching the 1950 version because Termaine, in both films have a striking resemblance based on personality. Blanchett has recreated a master villain that will remembered for generations to come. Although she is only on screen for about ten minutes, Carter’s portrayal of the Fairy Godmother is sweet, warming and really funny. More funnier than the 1950’s character. Even her transformation from an elderly, penniless lady to a younger woman is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed her performance. I also give her cerdit for her beautiful narration. 

James with Cate Blanchett as Lady Termaine.

The one thing that stood up for us were the costumes. Sandy Powell, an Ocsar winning costume designer was reponsible for them. She confessed that she wanted to design 19th century clothes but I think she went further than that. The costumes my cousin and I admired the most were Ella’s blue ballgown and wedding dress. We loved the petticoats underneath the ballgown, the glass slippers and the cominbation of multi-coloured flowers around the bridal dress and vail. I also loved the Fairy Godmother’s silver dress. It stands out from the rest of the costumes, as it reminds me from the Elizabethan era. Very unique and astounding. 

Ella’s beautiful wedding dress, one of my favourite dresses in the film. I must confess, I really, really want a dress like this. 🙂

The music is pretty cool too; it’s Rachel Portman with Hans Zimmer. But it’s not them. The composer is Patrick Doyle and he does a good job. Lily James’ version of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is truly beautiful. My eyes are filled with tears everytime I hear this; she has a beautiful operatic voice. 

In conclusion, I appulade Sir Kenneth Branagh for directing Cinderella and the cast for their amazing portrayals. Is it better than the original? Absolutely. This film is definitely a must-see, especially if you have little girls. You’ll be pleased to take them, as they may want to dance to the music at the end. That certainly happened when we came out of the cinema and I can’t imagine it’ll be the same. Smile, cry and dream with this live-feature film.  

James and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.