Friday, August 13, 2010

little known facts about well known places: disneyland by david hoffman

i heard about this book after my friend natalie blogged about it. and since i love disneyland and i'm going back later this year, i decided to check it out for myself.

some of my favorite facts included:

- disney management still refers to opening day as “black sunday.” temperatures were unseasonably hot (well over 100 degrees), drinking fountains were dry (thinks to a plumbers’ strike), toilets clogged, food ran out, there was a gas leak in fantasyland, and woman’s high heels sank into the asphalt on main street. to make it easier for female guests to get around, they were given free pairs of moccasins, because those were the only shoes disneyland sold for adults.

- there is a regulation-size half-court on which employees can play basketball inside the matterhorn.

- walt was afraid of mice.

- although the majority of the officers are dressed in plain clothes and go unnoticed, disneyland’s security force has more members than the city of anaheim has police.

- among the items that have turned up in the disneyland lost and found: false teeth, a prosthetic limb, a glass eye, toupees, a waterbed, and a canary..

- r2-d2 and c-3p0, seen in the waiting area at star tours, are props from the original star wars film. the overlay on c-3p0 is real gold; it was the only substance that gave off the shine that director george lucas wanted, and the only coating guaranteed not to rust during production.

- the water in the jungle cruise is tinted brown, not only to make the river look more real, but so that the bottom – which is only 3 feet deep in parts – cannot be seen.

- 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.

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