Post submitted by Victoria
In honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary, we present 50 cool, obscure and simply odd things you probably didn’t know about the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth. Many were culled from Mouse Tales by David Koenig (Bonaventure, $19.95). Some were provided by Disney archivist Dave Smith, and others came from 101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland by former park employee Kevin Yee and lifelong fan Jason Schultz (Zauberreich, $14.95).
1. Disneyland’s original Tinker Bell was a 71-year-old Hungarian circus performer named Tiny Kline. The first to fly off the top of the Matterhorn on a zip line, she previously worked as a stunt aerialist, hanging from a flying airplane by her teeth.
2. High inside the hollow Matterhorn is a basketball court. It’s part of an employee break room. Los Angeles Lakers’ center Vlade Divac has been up there to shoot hoops.
3. Many of the faces of the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean are modeled on those of the “Imagineers” (Disneyspeak for the park’s artists and engineers) who created the ride. There’s evidence one face was modeled on Walt Disney’s.
4. Ron Ziegler, Richard Nixon’s press secretary during the Watergate scandal, once worked as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise ride. Continue Reading