When a theme park has been around for 60 years, it hides a lot of secrets. Disneyland expert Gavin Doyle has swept aside the pixie dust and uncovered little-known stories about the happiest place on earth that will make you a master of the magic.
Doyle develops each of his dozens of secrets into a brief story that illuminates a forgotten moment in Disney history, or sheds light on a neglected area of the park, or reveals something new about an iconic attraction, such as:
Shhh! It's a Disneyland secret. Until you read this book...
Main Street, U.S.A. Secrets
New Orleans Square Secrets
Critter Country Secrets
About the Author
Do you remember the first time you walked under the train tracks and into Disneyland? The first time you saw the castle? Found your first hidden Mickey Mouse? Or heard the Disneyland band for the first time? All of these memories illuminate my childhood like the Disneyland fireworks in the night sky.
My life was changed forever after my first trip to the park as a four year old. Nothing was more magical than the special trips we made to the parks each year. As I grow older, I become even more deeply engrossed in the intricacies of the park and the incredible people that work to create the happiest place on earth.
When I was 13, I started DisneyDose.com and since then I have had the privilege of interviewing some of the most gracious, creative, and fascinating people who work for the Walt Disney Company. I have spent countless hours with Imagineers and Cast Members alike recalling their favorite details and little-known stories and sharing them on our Disney Dose podcast.
Now, after years of reading Disneyland history books, talking with the people who create the park, and searching for details throughout the resort, I am thrilled to present, Disneyland Secrets.
Each of the secrets has been verified either through interviews or book sources, which can be found in the bibliography in the back of the book. In seeking to validate each secret that crossed my desk, I eliminated many that lacked historical evidence. Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives Dave Smith warned me that absolute verification would be a challenge. Most importantly, he asked that we remember that over time Disneyland Cast Members will make up stories to entertain guests, and as more and more websites report these stories as fact, telling the difference between legend and truth becomes extremely difficult.
All of these details, secrets, and stories come together to help create Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom and the magic that we all enjoy today. Let’s look to the quote by science fiction writer and close friend of Walt Disney, Ray Bradbury. In a letter to Walt Disney (shared by Imagineer Tony Baxter) that Bradbury wrote after first riding the Peter Pan attraction, he sums up the magic of Disneyland saying:
I shall be eternally grateful that you made it possible for me to fly out of a child’s bedroom window in a pirate galleon, setting sail over moonlit London, past the stars and then on to Never-Land.
With this quote fresh in your mind, I invite you to join me on a daring journey through the hidden details and secrets of Disneyland.
Gavin Doyle has been a Disneyland enthusiast since his first visit at age four. His first memory is of a rainy day where the park was joyously empty. The bliss of walking onto any ride with no line fed his initial love for Disneyland. He continues to hope for the same luck on New Year’s Eve, as he returns annually on the most crowded day of the year to celebrate his birthday.
Gavin is the editor of DisneyDose.com, a website that focuses on educating Disney fans through exclusive interviews, breaking news updates, and photos from Disneyland. The site has received numerous features in outlets including Forbes, the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, the Los Angeles Times, and many others.
He is also the host of the Disney Dose podcast, where new interviews with Disney Imagineers and others who helped create the magic are shared frequently.
In 2014, Gavin founded MickeyVisit.com, the ultimate online planning resource for Disneyland.
Do you have a secret or story from Disneyland to share? Write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewish and feeling left out by the pervasive Christmas decorations at Disneyland? You're not forgotten:
Menorah on Main Street
While almost every name stenciled on the windows lining Main Street is real, there is at least one fictitious name.
The window above New Century Jewelry that reads “Dr. Benjamin Silverstein M.D.—General Practitioner—Have a Fever? Have the Flu? —Come on in and We’ll Cure You!” was added to provide a fitting place for Hanukkah decorations. A mezuzah can be found outside the door all year long, and a menorah is placed in the upper window during the holiday season. The mezuzah is traditionally attached to Jewish doorways to fulfill the Biblical commandment to inscribe the words of Shema on the “doorpost” of your home.
Much More in "Disneyland Secrets"!
Jungle Cruise Skippers: better laugh at those puns; these guys are packing heat.
Watch Out for That Hippo
The guns carried by the skippers on the Jungle Cruise can fire two types of ammo.
The “show ammo” is the quieter sound that they fire in the hippo scene. The second ammo is the “breakdown ammo” which is fired in case of emergency. Three shots indicate some mechanical problem, and four shots are sent off in cases of medical or security dangers. In this case, all of the boats will speed back to the dock to be evacuated, leaving a clear path for the boat that sent out the distress call to return to the dock.
Much More in "Disneyland Secrets"!