Eight facts you didn't know about Disneyland

It's marketed as the happiest place on Earth, but Disneyland could also be one of the most mysterious.

The world-famous attraction is known for Mickey, Cinderella and more recently, Star Wars. But, what about the hidden things you won't see in the travel brochures?

Here are eight things you didn't know about Disneyland:

It's a cat and mouse situation at Disneyland.
It's a cat and mouse situation at Disneyland. Photo credit: Getty Images

1. Disneyland is overrun with feral cats

It's home to the most famous mouse in the world, but believe it or not cats are the real residents of Disneyland.

In fact, cat sightings have become so common there are now websites featuring profiles and background history of the more well-known cats and an Instagram account has been set up to share photos of the cats taken by park visitors.

There are as many as 200 feral cats living in Disneyland and their presence is encouraged by park management to help control the park's rodent population.

Poor Mickey.

Every night finishes with a fireworks display - weather permitting.
Every night finishes with a fireworks display - weather permitting. Photo credit: Getty Images

2. Disneyland is second only to the US government in the amount it spends on explosives

Yes, that's right. Disneyland spends millions of dollars on explosives. Every night the theme park blows up around NZ$78,000 worth of fireworks for its closing display. That's about NZ$29 million a year. 

Disney crowds in the 1960s compared to 2019.
Disney crowds in the 1960s compared to 2019. Photo credit: Getty Images

3. Crowds

Every day around 45,000 people go through the gates of Disneyland in Los Angeles. That's the equivalent of the entire population of Invercargill visiting the park every day. In attendance alone, the park brings in around $10 million a day in ticket revenue, and that's just one park, they have many others.

4. Disneyland has only closed three times in history

Disneyland has only closed three times in its entire history. The first was for the national day of mourning following the death of John F Kennedy. In 1994, it closed as a result of the 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake which was centred 68 kilometres north of the park. The last time it closed was on September 11, 2001.

Disney has a no-fly zone.
Disney has a no-fly zone. Photo credit: Newshub.

5. Flyers beware

Disneyland has its own no-fly zone. Nothing and no-one is allowed to fly within 5 kilometres of the park. It has the same level of protection as the White House and the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The ban is officially temporary, but has been in place since September 11, 2001. 

6. Disneyland invented Doritos

Doritos were first created at Disneyland as a way of selling broken and stale tortilla chips. They were covered in flavouring, fried and then sold at a Mexican themed restaurant in the park. Within years the concept was purchased by a chip manufacturer and Doritos launched in 1966.

7. Disneyland is home to one of the most exclusive clubs in the world

Despite being an alcohol-free, family-friendly theme park, behind many closed doors is the exclusive Club 33.

A single membership to the club costs more than NZ$62,000 a year and is only available to a limited number of people. Membership can not be shared or used at any other Disney park. Once you're inside, there's five-star food and fancy cocktails. You'll likely bump into a celebrity or VIP while you are in there as well.

Eight facts you didn't know about Disneyland
Photo credit: Newshub.

8. The travellers' tip:

Disneyland is a long way from Hollywood and central Los Angeles, it's in an area of Orange County called Anaheim.

There is really not much to do in Anaheim other than visit the theme park itself, so keep this in mind when booking your trip, especially accommodation. Stay local on the days you're at Disneyland, but maybe transfer to somewhere more central or closer to the other tourist attractions around Hollywood and Burbank once you've finished with the park.

Anaheim is about an hour drive from Hollywood in good traffic, and Los Angeles traffic is rarely described as good.

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