Updated 28 April 2017
Hey, Disneyland buffs! You think you've got the park down? After all, you've already been several times and you surely know all there is to know. What if I were to tell you that even I notice new things around Disneyland every trip I take, and I can't even count how often I've visited? Test yourself and your perception to see how many of these overlooked things you've noticed before, or simply take note for your next visit.
Main Street, USA
- LIVE ENTERTAINMENT - Main Street, USA is home to the most live entertainment in the entire Disneyland Resort! Throughout the day you can hear the Strawhatters (a jazz ensemble), the Disneyland Band, a ragtime piano player and, my favourite of all, the Dapper Dans! Not only do they have the most variety, but all these acts perform multiple times a day so from morning to sunset you can hear some great music as you walk.
- SOUNDS OF MAIN STREET - No, I'm not talking about the Omnibus driving by or the horse-drawn streetcars rolling down the road. In various places along Main Street you can hear the "citizens" talking and going about their day, like at the barber shop or the dentist. You'll hear most of them off the main road.
- SMELL OF MAIN STREET - I love the scents as you walk down the street! Every land in Disneyland has a particular scent to it, but on Main Street in particular they pump in the scent of vanilla, reminiscent of soda fountains and sweet shops. It's no wonder that the urge to buy candy is so much harder to resist on Main Street, USA! Speaking of which . . .
- CANDY MAKERS - At the Candy Palace, at certain times of day, you can watch actual candy makers working on today's fresh concoctions. Most frequently you'll see them working on caramel apples, caramel and chocolate-coated marshmallows, or other small things but sometimes you'll get to see real taffy pullers and at the holidays they make candy canes!
- ESMERALDA'S PROPHECIES - In front of the Penny Arcade you can pop a quarter in and get your fortune from the gypsy Esmeralda (no connection to Hunchback). Take a look at the lucky numbers at the bottom of the card. As of a couple years ago, those aren't just numbers but actual dates in Disney history! Simply convert them into a date and google them with the word "Disney" to find out what they mean.
- A FAMILIAR TEA SET - After you walk through Tarzan's Treehouse you may have noticed Mrs. Potts and Chip sitting at a table in the play area! They're in the movie, so why not include them at the treehouse?
- PETRIFIED TREE - This is in plain sight, but many people either walk past it or don't give it much notice while they wait in line to meet Woody. It's the real deal and was a gift from Walt to his wife, Lillian!
- BTMR TRAINS - Have you noticed the names of the trains on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? "UB Bold", "IM Fearless" . . . take a glance next time and see if its name reflects you!
- WISHING WELL - It's not really hidden, but it's on a path so few take. Between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, near the castle, is Snow White's wishing well. If you listen, you may just hear her making a wish ("I'm wishing for the one I love . . .")!
- POISONED APPLE - Touch the apple at the entrance to Snow White's Scary Adventures and the Queen will cackle with delight!
- EVIL QUEEN - Sticking with the Snow White theme, look above the entrance to Snow White's Scary Adventures. Every once in a while you'll be able to see the Evil Queen peering through over Fantasyland! Some people don't notice that one for years!
New Orleans Square
- HAUNTED MANSION HEADSTONES - Have you read any of the headstones while waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion? Whomever designed that cemetery has a great sense of humour!
- WALT AND ROY'S INITIALS - If you look on the railings up to the Disneyland Dream Suite (you know, over the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean) look at the iron work in gold. You should be able to make out the initials of Walt Disney and his brother Roy: WED and ROD.
- CANDY MAKERS - Just like on Main Street, USA, you can find candy makers inside Pooh's Corner near the exit to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Sadly, they don't usually make candy canes or taffy here.
- MR. BLUEBIRD'S HOUSE - "Mr. Bluebird's on my shoulder!" He's also at home! Just as you exit Splash Mountain you can find his house near the entrance to the gift shop.
- HUNDRED-ACRE WOOD RESIDENTS - As you wait in line for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, take a look around. You'll be able to find the homes of many of the Hundred-Acre Wood's favourite residents, like Rabbit and Owl. They tend to blend in with the surroundings a bit.
- COUNTRY BEAR LEFTOVERS - Fans of the old classic attraction "Country Bear Jamboree", which was replaced by Pooh and his friends, can still find Buff, Max and Melvin (the "heads" of the show) in their old stomping grounds. If you take a look behind you at just the right moment on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh you can still see them hanging around!
- SQUARE ANGLES - Or maybe I should say "lack thereof". Except where required by law (doorways and the like), there are intentionally no square angles anywhere in Toontown. Construction crews claim that was the most difficult part of the project since nothing could be built conventionally. This is what gives everything its cartoonish appearance.
How did you do? Have you noticed them all? If so, you're a real Disneyland pro! If not, take some time to search them out the next time you visit or point them out to your friends. It'll make you sound like an expert in no time! What are your favourite overlooked details in the park?