Read: Little-Known Facts About Well-Known Places: Disneyland

12 Feb

While glancing at the bargain books in Barnes and Noble last night, I came across this book about my favorite place on earth, Disneyland. What could this book possibly tell me, I wondered, that I don’t already know? Turns out — quite a lot.

I didn’t know, for example, that “When Pirates of the Caribbean opened in 1967, the fake skeletons available to the Disney designers were unconvincing and looked like tacky Halloween decorations, so real specimens, which had previously been used for research, were purchased from UCLA’s Medical Center.”

Nor did I know I know there are eight graveyards at Disneyland — “four at the Haunted Mansion, one in Frontierland, one on Tom Sawyer’s Island, one along Storybook Land Canal, and one in Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.”

Or that “Though no longer marked by signs, the two roads that intersect the east side of Main Street also have names: Center Street and Plaza Street.”

Or this helpful hint: “Studies show that during prime meal hours, when the self-serve food operations are at their busiest, the lines on the left side tend to be shorter.”

If you’re into Disneyland history and minutiae like I am, or if you just want something to read the next time you’re standing in line for Space Mountain, I recommend picking this small book up. At $6.98, it’s definitely worth the price.

[More trivia after the jump]

“Of the eighteen teacups available to ride on the Mad Tea Party, the plain lavender one spins the fastest.”

“The least crowded time to visit Disneyland is the period following Thanksgiving weekend and leading up to Christmas.”

“Even at its fastest, Space Mountain never goes more than 30.3 miles per hour.”

“Walt was afraid of mice.”

“The revolvers fired by the skippers during the Jungle Cruise are bona fide nickel-plated Smith and Wesson .38 Specials, which have been altered so that live ammo cannot be used in them.”

And, finally, this one kind of hurts:

“$10,000: price paid by the Fujishige family, in 1954 for the 56 acres of strawberry fields across from Disneyland. $99.9 million: price paid by Disneyland, in the late 1990s, to the Fujishige family for 52.5 of the 56 acres.”

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