Among theme parks, Disneyland stands alone.
Easily the most famous theme park of all time, Disneyland stands as a monument to Walt Disney’s ingenuity. Plus, it’s incredibly profitable. In 2016, the park helped to draw a record 23 million tourists to Anaheim, California.
Thanks to the efforts of more than 23,000 Disney employees, you’re struck with a sense of childlike wonder when you walk through the park. However, even if you walk every inch of Disneyland, you’re bound to miss a few things. For instance…
1. All of the plants in Tomorrowland are edible.
Disney doesn’t recommend chowing down on the vegetation, but if you wanted to, you technically could.
The Tomorrowland site reads, “The visionary landscaping doubles as a potential farm, projecting an ecologically astute future, where humanity makes the most of its resources.”
Apparently, “world of the future” means “you can pretty much eat anything.”
2. The Evil Queen in Snow White’s Scary Adventures holds a holographic apple.
The Evil Queen, of course, offers a poisoned apple to anyone foolish enough to take it. Unfortunately, many Disney guests qualified as “foolish.”
Visitors frequently stole the original prop apple, so Disney’s crew came up with a novel solution: a holographic effect.
3. Doritos originated at Disneyland.
Frito-Lay founder Elmer Doolin opened a Mexican restaurant at Disneyland in 1955. One day, a worker saw some discarded tortillas and decided to fry them. They quickly became a hit with guests, so the restaurant put them on the menu.
Eventually, Frito-Lay decided to market the chips, giving them the name Doritos, which means “little golden things.” The company released the snack nationally in 1966.
4. Ronald Reagan hosted a live telecast of Disneyland’s opening in 1955.
At the time, Reagan was an out-of-work actor, according to Mental Floss. However, he wasn’t the only celebrity to work at the park. Michelle Pfeiffer was a Disney cast member in the mid-70s, playing Alice in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Comedian Steve Martin started his career playing a magician at the Main Street Magic Shop. While working at Disneyland, he practiced his banjo-playing and juggling skills. Years later, he appeared in one of the park’s
5. Guests pay much more today than they did in 1955.
Perhaps this isn’t so shocking, given inflation, but the numbers are pretty surprising. Back when Disneyland opened, the average guest spent $1 for admission, $0.25 for parking, and about $1.12 on rides and souvenirs.
Today, the average visitor spends about $196. Tickets cost about $99, although guests can cut the cost of admission by booking a multi-day trip.
6. Cast members weren’t allowed to have beards until 2000.
That changed when the Magic Kingdom updated its policy, but it still bans employees from having beards longer than a quarter inch, soul patches, nose rings, and sideburns below the ears, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“The discussions with our Guests showed, not surprisingly, that they feel strongly about the importance of our Disney look and view our Cast Members as role models for their children,” wrote Disney Attractions President Paul Pressler in a press release. “And it was clear they also felt neatly trimmed mustaches are consistent with what they have come to expect of us.”
The takeaway is clear: Disney cares about the guest experience, and they’re willing to take their concern to a bit of an extreme. Perhaps that’s what makes Disneyland the most magical place on Earth.