Little Known Facts of Disneyland
The Matterhorn Mountain May Hide A Secret Or Two
Of course, with an attraction as broadly known as America’s premier amusement park, Little Known Facts of Disneyland are usually nothing more than legend or sometimes even just rumor.
For example, there is supposedly a basketball court at the top of the Matterhorn, built by Disney to circumvent the building height requirement laws which excluded ‘sports facilities’ from the regulations. Since the Matterhorn attraction is taller than the maximum height allowed, legend says that Disney placed a basketball court in the ‘attic’ of the Matterhorn thereby making the added height of the structure legal.
While it is true that there is a basketball hoop, backboard and floor markings, the space is smaller than a half-court and was simply used as a recreational space by park employees on rest breaks. In addition, the height restrictions enacted by the City of Anaheim were not voted into place until after the Matterhorn was built. It is hard to imagine the cramped attic-like space ever being taken as a ‘sports facility’.
Club 33 is another of Disneyland’s secrets. This is a relatively small private club located in the New Orleans quarter of Disney. Only members which number about 400 and guests are welcome there. The space was originally intended as quarters for Disney family within the park. After Walt’s death, the space became a private dining room, refreshment center—it’s the only place in Disneyland where alcohol is serves—and small museum.
Conference and meeting rooms are available. Membership includes sponsors, staff and friends of the Disney empire, as well as others who relish the idea of having a meeting address within Disneyland. Membership costs $8,000-$27,000 plus yearly fees of $4,000-$15,000. The waiting list to join is currently at about seven years.
Another legend only tidbit of information is in regards to the hearse parked outside the Haunted Mansion. Supposedly it was the one used to carry Mormon leader Brigham Young to his funeral. In fact no hearse was present at the leader’s funeral.
Literally dozens of “facts” have been published, mostly by Disney fans or former employees, plus the thousands of items found on web pages throughout the internet sites dedicated to Mickey and his friends.
One of the popular pastimes among fans is finding the existence of new “Hidden Mickeys.” What originally started as an in house joke among the animators working for the company was reportedly encouraged by former head of the organization Eisner. The idea was to place the signature large circle topped by two smaller circles, in plain sight, but not where you would expect to see them. Examples are rock formations on a wall in ‘Toontown, or the mouse ears on one of the Viking raiders.
Several problems exist with confirming the number and location of Hidden Mickeys. First, no one kept track of them as they were created. Since some attractions are modified over the years, these Hidden Mickeys have disappeared and reappeared in many instances. Strict rules have been set up by fan sites regarding what will or will not be accepted as a Hidden Mickey.