Disneyland was opened in 1955 and is the first of the Disney theme parks. Each of the parks is known around the world as a fantasy land filled with rides, Disney characters, shops, activities and all manner of attractions geared toward providing both children and adults with an escape from reality. What many visitors don't know is that Disney's theme parks are also filled with secret attractions and hidden features placed there by park designers and Walt Disney himself. Disneyland in Anaheim, California has its own selection of insider attractions waiting to be discovered.
The Fire House
The Disneyland Fire House is one of the first things visitors see when they begin their stroll down Main Street toward the park and its attractions. If you look into the second story windows you will see a light that is always lit. The second level is home to Walt Disney's personal apartment and the light is meant as a tribute to the founder. When Disney was alive, the light was a sign to workers that the owner was in residence. Not only does Disney's presence live on, but the words of his opening-day speech are continuously transmitted over the telegraph system at the New Orleans Rail Station.
Disneyland is filled with hidden likenesses of the leading man, Mickey Mouse. From the flowers that grow in the park gardens to the rivets that hold together the park fences, Mickey silhouettes and pictures can be found almost everywhere. Some of the most interesting and surprising Mickeys can be found in the tire treads of the ceremonial front car used in all parades, hanging from the chandelier bottoms on the Beauty and the Beast parade float and in the nightly fireworks displays, which feature one large round firework topped by two smaller circles that together form the outline of Mickey's famous head. If you enjoy the hunt, get yourself to the Mickey & Friends parking structure, Daisy (second) level between spots 3A and 3B and inspect the floor for a cement low relief of the main mouse. While you are in the parking garage, take a look at the address that reads 1313 South Harbor Blvd. The 13th letter of the alphabet is "M," and we all know what "MM" could be meant to stand for...
An Exclusive Secret Club
Club 33 is Disneyland's most exclusive and secretive resort feature. The club is a members-only, secret restaurant located just above the Blue Bayou restaurant in the center of New Orleans Square. The restaurant was originally planned by Disney as an extension of his family's apartment, a plan which fell by the wayside when Disney died in 1966. The club has 450 members at any one time and has hosted presidents, kings, business magnates and Hollywood royalty. The main cache of the restaurant is the fact that very few can get in, and that the crowd you meet inside may consist of the world's rich and famous. The waiting list to get into the club at the time of publication was 14 years, and the rate as of 2005 was around $9,500 per person.
Cats are allowed to roam the otherwise very tight ship that is Disneyland. You may see one here or there and wonder why this is. The cats were originally released into the park by Disney himself, who thought of them as a good way to deal with, believe it or not, a mouse problem.
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