DAY 41: MOUSE SECRETS…

I mentioned back in my Disneyland Cats post that I love learning about Disneyland secrets, the behind-the-scenes tricks and operational rules that they would rather we didn’t know. 

Each park is its own incredible little city that is impeccably run and huge importance placed on the most tiny details, for things that would never even occur to the average visitor. Think what you want about the the Corporate-Disney, but I defy anyone to not be impressed by the way in which these places are planned and operate. 

So today I thought I’d share a few more little secrets that I’ve picked up: 

1. The Haunted Mansion Might Actually be Haunted…

…in that it’s a very common request of the deceased to have their ashes tossed into this very popular, and beloved, ghost house style ride. The parks receive tons of letters and emails every year asking for permission to distribute of loved-ones ashes, on the ride. They are always declined. However, that’s not going to stop anyone who is really determined to sneak a ziplock bag onto the ride, to toss at an appropriate moment.

2. Tunnels…

…an entire city-like network of secret tunnels and passageways exist underneath the parks. They are designed for allowing staff, whilst in their character costumes, to get from one side of the park to another without being seen by guests, and therefore, break the illusions that they work so hard to maintain. After all, kids don’t want to see Buzz Lightyear in the Western themed Frontierland, or Cinderella in futuristic Tomorrowland, and Disney will do anything to keep the magic alive.

3. Mountain Hoops…

…the Matterhorn Bobsleds is a rollercoaster that is set in, and wraps around, an incredibly impressive, giant, snowy, mountain structure. When the ride first opened cast members (in Disney you are always a ‘cast’ member, never staff…even if you work in maintenance) were deployed to the top of the mountain, dressed as climbers, to scale the side of the mountain, suspended on ropes. As the top third of the mountain wasn’t used by the ride, there was quite a lot of vacant useable space within, where cast would get into costume and hang out in downtime. They ended up creating a small basketball court, to keep themselves occupied on breaks, as it was too time consuming to come down the mountain several times a day. Sadly the mountaineers no longer hang-out on the mountain, and the basketball court sits unused.

4. Go Away Green…

…unlike most theme parks, the majority of Disney’s rides are ‘dark rides’ which means they are housed indoors, typically in huge metal warehouse like structures, the size of football pitches. By doing this it makes the park more weather-resistant, and helps with creating a fully-immersive themed atmosphere. But why do you never notice these huge, very brutal, unattractive, structures when you’re at the park? Well, partly it’s down to great landscaping and theming all around them – but its also down to their very specific and deliberate paint scheme. In the very early days, Disney designers set about finding the perfect, most mundane, invisible, fade-into-the-background, shade of paint that they could. And so Go-Away-Green was invented. This very boring shade of minty-greyish-beigeish-green is used on everything at Disney parks that they don’t want you to see – building structures, rubbish bins, power stations etc. And it works! The exact formula and shade is a closely-guarded secret, and though attempted by many, the precise chemistry behind it has never been uncovered. 

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