A United Worker Union protester outside D23 Expo.
A United Worker Union protester outside D23 Expo.
Chris Victorio

Dishney: Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Disneyland (From a Former Cast Member)

Disneyland's notorious for its ever revolving cast of employees--college kids running in and out between summers and classes, people who just move on... and then there are the Disneyland lifers, cast members who sign up and just never, ever leave.

The park's also notorious for its efforts to preserve "the magic" of Disney, going to extraordinary lengths to please guests and to keep workers in check, but, more often than not, going to extraordinary lengths just to hide the not-so-magic-like features of Disneyland Resort from them. The list of rules for cast members is incredibly long, covering everything from exactly how hot it has to be until they can drink water while working to how they have to something as minuscule as using two fingers when pointing out things for park guests.

So when a former Disneyland cast member volunteered to reveal some little known facts about the park, we, of course, were elated. Stoked even.

Before you venture forth: Some things shared, we admit, kinda ruin the Disney magic, so don't say we didn't warn you.

Gibson Girl Fakes It!
"That smell of freshly made waffle cones wafting out from the Gibson Girl ice cream store on Main Street? Totally fake. It's a faux scent pumped out through vents. Same goes for the pine tree smell during Christmas."

"The windows on the second story of all the stores on Main Street are proportionally scaled down to size so as to give the illusion that the buildings are actually taller than they really are. The same goes for the castle--the bricks on the bottom are larger than those at the top."

"1966 Disneyland Slide Matterhorn from Skyway"
"1966 Disneyland Slide Matterhorn from Skyway"

Matterhown Letdown
"We've all heard of that basketball court that's housed inside the Matterhorn. It's actually just a hoop mounted to a wall."  

"Someone ran a stroller right into it. And I laughed."
"Someone ran a stroller right into it. And I laughed."

Radio Codes!
"'Code V' = Vomit; 'Code P' or 'Code U' = Someone peed their pants; 'Code H' = Horse pooped on Main Street."

Big Brother!
"Whenever people make out on rides or try to do anything more, they are ALWAYS being watched... and more likely than not, they're being watched by a crowd of employees. I used to work in the camera shop where we processed film for guests. We weren't allowed to send out any 'inappropriate' photos of guests... but we had a little photo collage of those pictures on the photo lab wall."

Donald Duck Used to Be a Father/Son Midget Duo!
"Because of the height restrictions, many of the taller characters were all filled by men (for example, the Queen of Hearts used to be a tall black dude), and the shorter characters were filled by women (mainly Mickeys). Donald Duck used to be a father/son midget duo."

Space Mountain
Space Mountain

No Tunnels!?
"There aren't any 'tunnels' at Disneyland. But the closest thing we have here in Anaheim are basement-level employee break rooms/cafeterias."

Humane Horse Hours!
"The horses on Main Street have better work hours than anyone else at Disney. They only have to work four hours a day for four days a week."

Disney Saves You From Ashes!
"They have to close down Toontown during the fireworks partially because the firework debris. If you park in the cast member lot next to Toontown at night, it'll be covered with little paper ash from the fireworks."

No Sarahs Allowed!
"No two employees working in the Reservation Center have the same name so as to not confuse the guests. So if two Sarahs were working in the Reservation Center, one would actually be given a new non-Sarah name."


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