On my way home last night, I listened to some local DJs sharing weird truths about Disneyland. It sounds like they may have taken them from this list of 50 Things You Didn’t Know about Disneyland. It’s been around for a while, but it was new to me.
Some of my favorites:
- On opening day, Walt Disney had his gardeners cover bare patches of dirt by replanting weeds from the parking lot and labeling them with long, horticultural-sounding names.
- Disneyland is home to feral cats – nobody knows how many – that come out at night, after visitors leave. Years ago, more than 100 were discovered living inside Sleeping Beauty Castle.
- Walt Disney wanted to populate the Jungle Cruise with live animals, but zoologists convinced him they’d be asleep during most park hours. In the early days, though, live alligators were kept in a pen near the turnstiles; they occasionally escaped into the lagoon.
- When it opened in 1967, Pirates of the Caribbean used real human skeletons as props. In an upcoming book, imagineer Jason Surrell writes, “Because the original imagineering team felt that the faux skeletons of the period were just too unconvincing, the grotto sequence originally featured real human remains obtained from the UCLA Medical Center. The skeletons were later returned to their countries of origin and given a proper burial.”