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14 Disney Park Secrets: Little-Known Facts, Details, and Stories

Disney Cinderella Castle - Elsa Frozen

The magic of Disney is in every little detail. When you visit Disney World and Disneyland – there is so much going on all around you, it’s easy to miss magical details and secrets to the Disney parks. In a follow up to Tourist Meets Traveler’s ‘10 Disney Park Secrets,’ we are covering even more little-know secrets. Next time you visit, try hunting for these 14 Disney Park Secrets: Little-Known Facts, Details, and Stories to make your trip even more interesting.

Jack Sparrow Special Appearances

Johnny Depp is a fan of Disney despite the fact the studio nearly fired him from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ because they didn’t understand his style for Jack Sparrow. (Depp used Keith Richards as his muse for the character and Disney was baffled by his eccentric style. He was saved by the fact they would have to pay Johnny for his salary and rehire, reshoot, and revamp the film. It worked out well. The character and the films were well received.) When he isn’t indulging in the very VIP and hidden Club 33, Johnny will occasionally don his full Jack Sparrow costume and portray the character during parades. It’s a rarity, but does happen. Rumor has it, he occasionally slips in the ride, too. There are 3 Jack Sparrow characters lurking through the ride. Tourist Meets Traveler couldn’t validate the claim, but ff you see 4 Jacks, chances are you’ve just caught sight of Johnny Depp.

Doritos Were Invented in Disneyland

A clever manager has a stroke of delicious brilliance after he received extra tortillas during a delivery mixup at the Mexican eatery on New Orleans Street, Casa de Fritos. According to the story, the kitchen fried up the tortillas, seasoned them, and sold them as Mexican chips. The popularity grew to regional distribution and the demand eventually moved production to a plant distributing around the world.

Fireworks Tinkerbell is Sometimes Portrayed By a Man and Mickey Mouse is Often a Woman

For the fully costumed characters like Mickey and Minnie, the person portraying the beloved mouse is often a woman. To get the feel of a small mouse, Disney goes by height – not gender. The Tinkerbells for meet and greets and parades are always female, but the Tink flying across the sky during the fireworks is sometimes a man and not a “face character”. The flying Tinkerbell wears a large – kinda scary – mask.

The Beatles Officially Disband on Disney Vacation

It may be the happiest place on earth, but on December 29, 1974, the Beatles officially disbanded. While George and Paul sat in the Plaza Hotel in New York, and Ringo (who had previously signed the documents) called in, the trio waited to sign the official papers, John Lennon was on a Disney vacation. He felt the “stars” weren’t “right” and didn’t show up to the meeting. Instead, the other band members signed the contract and then it was delivered to John at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Hotel. It was there, the Beatles officially broke up.

Nixon’s I’m not a crook! Speech

Another historical moment took place in Disney World. Former President Richard Nixon gave his infamous ‘I’m not a crook’ speech at the Contemporary Hotel in Disney World.

“Treasured Guest” Alert

You think it would be some sort of VIP status, but the term “treasured guest” is actually an alert or warning letting other cast members know the guest is rude or a problem.

The Wizard of Oz Ride

A section of Disneyland was due to feature an attraction focused on The Wizard of Oz. Geared to breathe life into the Storybook Land Canal Boats, the project never happened due to Walt Dsiney’s attention being drawn to ‘Babes in Toyland’ followed by his passing.

Disneyland Closed

The Three Days Disneyland Closed

You might have heard the rumor that Disneyland has only been closed three times since it opened on July 17, 1955. It’s only partly true. The park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during off season during its first few years of operation. It was also closed to the public for a few special events and a handful of weather-related issues. The truth of the claim should technically be, Disneyland has only closed – unscheduled or unexpectedly – three times. The park was shut down for The National Day of Mourning after JFK was assassinated, the Northridge Earthquake to inspect the entire park and ensure safety, and September 11, 2001.

No Sad Kids Rule

This rule applies to Disney park employees worldwide. Cast members can pull out a lot of stops to make a kid happy. They are allowed to replaced dropped food, hand out a free souvenir, or replace soiled clothing.

Disneyland Drawbridge

The drawbridge on the castle in Disneyland actually works, but it has only been used twice – once upon opening and once in 1983.

Disney Jail

This actually exists. Bars and all, the jail for rule breaking guests is underground.

Futureland’s Not-So-Distant Future

When it was created, Futureland was designed to represent the year 1986.

Liberty Square Sewage

The Liberty Square area is set to encompass colonial American. That brownish hued concrete running through the red brick streets is meant to signify the common sewage problems during the time period.

Making a Point

Disney employees are not allowed to point with just one finger even when giving direction. They must use their entire hand or two fingers.