Disneyland is filled with many Imagineer secrets (Imagineers are the people who design and build the attractions for Disney theme parks). Some of these secrets are hiding out in plain sight, while others require you to look away from the main show and in an opposite direction. These rich details are part of what separates Disney theme parks from its competitors. Las Vegas doesn’t do it, Six Flags doesn’t do it and even Universal Studios doesn’t do it to the extent that Disney does. Let’s explore some of Disneyland’s treasures.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Look on the front of the castle, facing Main Street, look over the doorway. There is crest with three lions on it. This is the Disney Family Crest. Once you recognize the crest, you may notice it at Walt Disney World’s Cinderella castle too.
Tribute on the Matterhorn
As you ride the Matterhorn, you may notice a pick axe and crate in one of the caves. These items are well lit and seen in a snowy area. The crate says, “Wells Expedition” and is a tribute to the late Frank Wells. Frank Wells joined the Walt Disney Company in 1984 with Michael Eisner as the President. Immediately before joining the company he climbed the tallest summit on each of the seven continents. His book Seven Summits about his adventures is a very interesting book. Frank died in a helicopter accident in 1994 and the tribute on the Matterhorn was places there soon after.
Small World Tribute
For those people who think that the “it’s a small world” attractions is the closest thing to world peace, then why not pay tribute to the lady who helped Walt Disney make the concept come to life. Mary Blair designed the attraction and helped build it for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. Fellow Imagineer Rolly Crump created a special doll that looks like Mary and had it placed in the attraction. As you travel through the European room, look at the Eiffel Tower and notice the doll holding the balloons part way up the tower. The Mary Blair doll is dressed in a jumper with boots. The doll was put there before Mary’s passing she died in 1978.
Hidden Walt Disney
At the end of Main Street in the Baby Center there is a baby photo of Walt Disney. Walt is about 10 months old, but not a lot of people know that it’s there.