By: Alex Bracetti
Credit: Flickr/Andy Castro
Walt Disney's vision of a real-life fantasy world brought magical animation to life when it opened its gates back in 1955, and through the decades it has become a staple of American pop culture thanks to its collection of lovable characters, exciting rides, and theatrical presentation.
Disneyland may have provided us lifelong memories, but it's also kept secrets hidden in the Disney Vault right next to several of its popular video releases. In honor of its 60th anniversary this year, here are some things you didn't know about the "Happiest Place on Earth."
1. The plants in Tomorrowland are all edible
Yes, you can eat the plants in Tomorrowland, as the themed island is meant to double as a farm "where humanity makes the most of its resources."
2. A pet cemetery is located behind the Haunted Mansion
Next time you step foot into the Haunted Mansion, take a walk behind it and you'll stumble upon a pet cemetery where there's even a gravestone for Mr. Toad.
3. It originally opened with only 18 attractions
And 14 of them are still around!
4. The Matterhorn has a basketball court
A half-court basketball structure can supposedly be found above the coaster ride, where employees go to shoot hoops during breaks. Rumor is it still sits at the top of the mountain.
5. Disneyland was built in just one year
Despite early financial troubles, the $17 million theme park opened its doors within the estimated time span of 365 days.
Credit: Flickr/Jens Schott Knudsen
6. Steve Martin and Michelle Pfeiffer both worked there
The SNL legend was on staff selling guidebooks at the Main Street magic shop in the '50s, whereas Catwoman herself suited up as Alice from Alice in Wonderland during the '70s.
7. A secret apartment hides inside the theme park's fire station
Urban legend has it that this was Walt Disney's private apartment.
8. Over 200 feral cats live in the park
The felines are there to keep rodents away, though you'd be lucky to encounter one as the majority are said to be nocturnal creatures.
9. Walt Disney required all employees to be cleanly shaven
Theme park workers were allowed to grow mustaches in the 2000s.
10. Real human skeletons were used as props when Pirates of the Caribbean first opened
Adding a sense of realism to the attraction, Disneyland had real human remains on exhibit, on loan from UCLA, but only one human skull remains as of today.
Credit: Flickr/Foto Captor
11. Walt Disney waited in line with park guests out of sheer joy
His love of Disneyland was so deep that he used to accompany guests as they waited to ride their favorite attractions.
12. Park admission was only $3.50 when it first opened
Believe it or not, entering Disneyland in the '50s cost just a little over a MTA fare in 2015.
13. Walt Disney's daughters were the inspiration behind Disneyland
A trip to L.A.'s Griffith Park and one ride around the merry-go-round inspired the visionary to create the iconic theme park.
14. It's only closed three times in its history
Those times included the national day of mourning for John F. Kennedy, the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and 9/11.
15. You'll hear George Lucas cryptically paged when waiting in line for Star Tours
Pay attention next time you ride the Star Wars them park attraction--you will hear the overhead speaker call for Egroeg Sacul, which is George Lucas backwards.
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