11 Disneyland secrets, revealed
Starting with: what the hell is up with this abandoned mine? Seriously, WTF? And there's a members-only bar next to "Pirates of the Caribbean"?? Also, what's this about a Disneyland lingerie shop??
Well, after reading all 503 pages of Chris Strodder's The Disneyland Encyclopedia, we've actually got answers.
1. There's a members-only bar by "Pirates of the Caribbean"
Club 33 is the only place in the entire park that serves alcohol, and you've probably walked by it a dozen times without noticing. Located behind a nondescript door next to the Blue Bayou with a simple "33" inscribed next to it, Club 33 has 500ish members, costs over $10K to join and $3.5K in annual dues, and has a cut-off wait list of more than 1,000. The door leads to an elevator that takes you upstairs to a massive club, which wraps around the heart of New Orleans Square and includes the bar, two luxurious dining rooms, Disney artifacts galore, and the park's most highly trained staff. Ball. Er.
2. There's a basketball court INSIDE the top of Matterhorn Mountain
About 100ft up inside Matterhorn, there's a super small hoops half-court with a mounted basket that used to be reserved for the trained alpine climbers who occasionally ascend the mountain.
3. You can keep whatever you return to lost & found??
According to legend, you can keep whatever you find, provided you fill out a form and it isn't claimed within two months. According to Disneyland, that's just legend though. Or is it??? (It is.)
4. Space Mountain's rockets only go 30mph according to Chris, but...
... they use imagineer tricks to make it feel like it's going 100-million-mph, including banked curves, dips, darkness, and actual air blasts from fans inside the mountain that give the illusion of a higher velocity.
5. You used to be able to ride in the same Matterhorn bobsled as Richard Nixon
That's because the 37th President of the United States took the first-ever ride on Matterhorn, along with Walt Disney and his family (probably not all in the same bobsled). "Used to", though, because they swapped all the sleds out in 2012.
6. The old Star Tours pilot was voiced by Pee-wee Herman
C-3PO has since taken over novice pilot-ing duties, but Paul Reubens was actually the OG.
7. Main Street used to have a lingerie shop
There's an elevated porch on the Eastern side of the street that originally belonged to the Intimate Apparel Shop (alternatively called the Corset Shop), which carried unmentionables like "strapless Whirlpool bras". It only lasted from 1955-56.
8. There's a secret, private apartment above the Fire Department in Town Square
This was used as an actual residence of Walt and his family when they wanted to crash at the park, complete with a changing room, a front room with fold-out couches, a bathroom, a kitchen, and an outside lounge.
9. Main Street had a cigar shop for 35 years
Squeezed between Main Street Magic Shop and the Main Street Cinema, Fine Tobacco sold cigarettes, cigars & pipes, and handed out complimentary matchbooks. And yeah, the wooden Indian you've seen on Main used to sit out front.
10. There's an abandoned mine shaft in Frontierland
And until 1977, it was actually in service as part of the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, a cargo-car train that would take you on a quarter-mile journey through the Frontierland wilderness and into an only-accessible-by-train cave with black lights, neon-colored waterfalls, and glowing pools of luminescent water.
11. Sleeping Beauty Castle's drawbridge actually works
It's been raised twice: once on Opening Day, and again for a rededication in 1983.
Grant Marek is a Thrillist Senior Editor and a former Disneyland Annual Pass holder. Invite him to be your Club 33 guest on Twitter.