Disneyland turns 50 tomorrow (July 17). In honor of this auspicious occasion, here are 50 facts about Disneyland that you probably weren't aware of.
1. Main Street, USA is inspired by Walt Disney's childhood memories of his hometown of Orlando, Florida.
2. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln once featured fifteen audio-animatronic bears who would sing popular country songs.
3. The trains that encircle the park were donated by Knotts Berry Farm; Walt Disney and Walter Knott were actually the same person.
4. The horses that pull the streetcars down Main Street are all named after one of Michael Eisner’s relatives.
5. The park’s central plaza was once home to Disneyland’s most spectacular “E” ticket attraction, before being torn down to make way for the “Partner’s” statue of Walt and Mickey.
6. When in development, Adventureland was planned to be known as “Indiana Jones Adventureland,” but the name was changed after the Jungle Cruise was planned and the Indiana Jones attraction was delayed by forty years.
7. The Enchanted Tiki Room is the most despised audio animatronics show in Disneyland’s history.
8. The Jungle Cruise originally contained live animals, but they were removed after one of the tigers ate a guest; the guest’s name was Roy.
9. The name of the snake in the Indiana Jones Adventure is Jeffrey Katzenburg.
10. Tarzan’s Treehouse used to be Robinson Caruso’s Treehouse, but was changed because the character Friday is now considered politically incorrect.
11. New Orleans Square, one of the original lands at Disneyland, is modeled after the charming city of St. Louis.
12. The popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride is based on the movie of the same name.
13. Club 33 is a secret society that dwells above the streets of New Orleans Square; all of its members are vampires.
14. One of the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion looks exactly like Walt Disney.
15. In the past, Critter Country has been known as Bear Country, Indian Country, Canoe Country, Jamboree Country, Dirt Country, and originally Orange Country.
16. All of the audio animatronics in Splash Mountain are originally from the Hall of Presidents.
17. Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes is the only attraction at Disneyland intentionally designed to torture guests aside from It’s a Small World in Fantasyland and Playhouse Disney at California Adventure.
18. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is the most popular attraction in all of Disneyland.
19. For a brief time in the 1970s, Frontierland was known as Final Frontierland and featured “meet and greets” with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.
20. Tom Sawyer Island is based on the Disney film “Tom and Huck” from the 1990s.
21. Fantasmic was inspired by American Idol winner Fantasia.
22. The Golden Horseshoe Saloon used to be the Silver Horseshoe Saloon before being repainted for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary.
23. The Sailing Ship Columbia was modeled after a pirate ship from Walt Disney’s “Treasure Island.”
24. The real name of the Mark Twain Riverboat is the Samuel Clemons.
25. Big Thunder Mountain is an actual mountain which Disneyland just happened to be built around.
26. Walt originally wanted Fantasyland to be called “Castleland,” but, thankfully, his wife was able to talk him out of it.
27. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland is the largest structure at any Disney theme park, but looks small due to forced perspective.
28. Snow White’s Scary Adventures was originally known as Snow White’s Moderately Frightening Adventures, but was changed because parents felt that this name didn’t properly prepare their children for the attraction.
29. King Arthur Carousel is called a carousel and not a merry-go-round because “merry-go-round” sounds stupid.
30. A weather vain on top of Pinocchio’s Daring journey is shaped like little known Walt Disney creation Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
31. One of the elephants on the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction is gold instead of gray because it has a horrible disease.
32. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is in fact fairly mild.
33. Mad Tea Party is considered extremely offensive to British guests.
34. The snow on top the Matterhorn is real.
35. It’s a Small World was originally inspired by an acid trip at Walt Disney Imagineering.
36. In two years, Disney is planning on opening a nighttime version of It’s a Small World in which the dolls attack the guests.
37. Videopolis became the Fantasyland Theater because nearby DVDopolis had rendered Videopolis obsolete.
38. All of Mickey’s Toontown is actually a drawing and does not exist in reality.
39. “Mickey’s House” in Toontown is not where Mickey actually lives; after many years as a corporate symbol, he can afford a much nicer place.
40. The futuristic area of the park was named Tomorrowland so that Imagineers would only have to predict one day into the future, which isn’t overly difficult.
41. Rocket Rods was Michael Eisner’s favorite attraction.
42. The popular Star Tours attraction is based on the film “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
43. Space Mountain has been completely redesigned for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary and has all new features: a loop, a corkscrew, a LIM launch sequence, a new soundtrack which just happens to be the same as the soundtrack to It’s a Small World, and now when guests enter the “Vacuum of Space,” the money is sucked right out of their wallets.
44. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, a popular 3D film in Tomorrowland, features an audio-animatronic figure of Michael Jackson.
45. While disliked by many Disney fans, Innoventions is undeniably better than the empty building it replaced.
46. The Disneyland Monorail is so-named because many guests have caught mononucleosis while riding it throughout the years.
47. The design of the Astro Orbiter is inspired by the best-selling book “The Divinci Code.”
48. The Main Street Electrical Parade was taken out of Disneyland due to California’s energy crisis.
49. Walt Disney was suspected of being a pedophile.
50. The prices of admission, parking, food, drinks, and souvenirs at Disneyland are considered to be very reasonable.