Disneyland and Walt Disney World are a couple of seriously magical places. They bring out the kid in all of us and I’m happy to admit that I have two trips currently fully planned and my wife and I will get started on our next one as soon as we get home from WDW Marathon Weekend in January. We go for the magic, for the looks on our kids’ faces when they see their favorite characters or ride their favorite attractions, and for the unforgettable memories we make on each and every trip. Disney is our escape from the doldrums of everyday life. Of course, behind all of that magic are the people making it happen. As a former cast member, I know just how much work goes into making the magic for Disney’s guests. There is a TON of work being done behind the scenes in the Disney Parks. Here are 5 Facts About Disney’s Parks That You Won’t Believe Are True.
Tons of Turkey – Did you know that more than 1.6 million turkey legs are consumed each year in the six Disneyland & Walt Disney World theme parks combined. That number absolutely astounds me. If you don’t think that sounds like a lot, imagine 800,000 turkeys showing up outside your front door right now, and you’ll have an idea of just how many gobblers are sold in the Disney Parks every year. By the way, that is over 2.5 million pounds of turkey consumed by park guests (not even Willie The Giant could eat that much!) I never had the chance to see it, but there was a rumor that Disney stored all of the soon-to-be-eaten turkey legs in a HUGE warehouse somewhere on property (I don’t know why, but I always picture the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark when I think about that place).
Cat Scratch Fever – Imagine you’re sailing through the canals of the world on the Storybookland Canal Boats attraction in Disneyland, and all of a sudden you see a GIANT cat walking all over the neat streets of Pinocchio’s Italian village. That has actually happened to some Disneyland guests, and this picture proves it! The fact is, Disneyland is host to a LOT of feral cats that mainly walk around the park at night but are sometimes spotted in the daytime hours. These cats are fed backstage by cast members and they are kind of unofficial cast members themselves since they work to keep the rodent population in check in the world-famous theme parks. The only mice these fellas aren’t allowed to go catch are Mickey and Minnie!
Water, Water, Everywhere – Yes, the Finding Nemo-inspired The Seas With Nemo and Friends attraction is a fun little dark ride in Epcot’s Future World. It’s something that my wife and I do with our young children every time we’re in WDW and it’s also a nice little air conditioning break from the hot Florida sun. But, did you also know that the tanks inside the pavilion hold 5.7 million gallons of salt water? That’s an insane number to me! As a matter of fact, the main tank is so large that Epcot’s Spaceship Earth attraction could be placed inside of it with room to spare! That’s not exactly the type of fish tank you’d be able to put in a basement somewhere!
Doom Buggy Apple – Virtually everyone who has been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World at one time or another has taken the slow, somewhat creepy but really fun ride through The Haunted Mansion. The attraction vehicles that you ride in, called Doom Buggies, are some of the most famous attraction vehicles ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering. They roll along an omnimover track and shift and turn so that the guest sees only what the attraction designers wanted you to see. It’s a brilliant way to tell a story, really, and has been re-created time and time again in the Disney parks (think the Clam Mobiles from Finding Nemo at Epcot or the similar vehicles from Under The Sea in the Magic Kingdom). Here’s the cool part of the story: Disney Legend and Imagineer Bob Gurr found the inspiration for the Doom Buggy vehicle from a candy apple that he had sitting on his desk one day! He saw that with most of the apple eaten he could manipulate it around by using the stick and imagined it as a ride vehicle where you’d sit inside the “bite” and not be able to see anything behind or above you. So the next time you’re riding along in The Haunted Mansion, remember that Bob Gurr’s sweet tooth helped inspire one of the most iconic Disney attractions ever built!
Doritos & Disneyland – Did you know that Doritos were invented in Disneyland? Sounds a little bit out there, but this is a true story! Where the popular restaurant Rancho Del Zocalo now sits in Disneyland’s Frontierland once stood a Frito-Lay run restaurant called Casa De Fritos. Legend has it that one day stale tortillas were delivered and the cast members threw them into the deep fryer, seasoned them, and sold them as chips. Boom! The first Doritos ever were born! Disneyland sold them exclusively only for a short time and once the Frito-Lay company took notice of their popularity, the chips were sold regionally in California. The company couldn’t keep up with the local demand, and the production of Doritos was taken over by Frito-Lay’s larger plants. So the next time you are munching down on a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, remember that if those stale tortillas hadn’t been sitting around that day in Disneyland, Doritos may never have been invented (now all I can think of is the bag of Doritos disappearing in front of my eyes, Back To The Future-style!)
Thank you, as always, for reading and if you know of a CRAZY fact about the Disney Parks that I didn’t mention, I’d love to hear about it! Please comment here on this page, send me a message or write on my Facebook wall HERE, Tweet me HERE or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to hearing all of your crazy facts!
If you’re thinking about taking a Disney vacation soon, whether it’s Walt Disney World, Disneyland, the Disney Cruise Line, Aulani in Hawaii or Adventures By Disney, I can help! I offer concierge level service and will take care of any and all planning for you, and I will do that 100% FREE OF CHARGE!