Have you ever wondered what undiscovered mysteries lie inside the walls of Disneyland? I have been to Disneyland several times during my lifetime, but during a recent trip, I wanted to really explore and discover. Before I left, I did some research and made a list of several things I wanted to check out during my visit.
My two main sources of information were this Disney blog: www.disneylanddaily.com and this book: “Disneyland Secrets”. There is a lot of fascinating Disney facts and history that I enjoyed learning. I also read about the Little Man of Disneyland, so I purchased the book and read the story.
Here is the list I made before I left:
- Tour the Pet Cemetery at the Haunted Mansion
- Get a Map of the Jungle Cruise
- Walking Tour “Walking in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” ♥♥♥
- Find the Little Man of Disneyland’s house ♥♥
- Discover the Secret Path ♥
- Ride the Lilly Belle (was not able to do)
- Pilot the Mark Twain boat ♥♥♥
- Get a message from Millie or Molly (Bike Messengers) at California Adventure ♥
- Ask the train conductor at the Main Street Station to ride the tender car (I did not do this)
- Get a Death Certificate at the Haunted Mansion (not a real thing)
- Experience the best food in Disneyland:
- Monte Cristo Sandwich @ Café Orleans ♥♥
- Pommes Frites @ Café Orleans ♥♥♥
- Chocolate Chip Cookie @ Pooh Corner ♥
- Tigger Marshmallow Wand @ Pooh Corner (did not try this)
- Lobster Nachos @ Cove Bar (CA Adventure) – restaurant was closed
- Drink: Fun Wheel (off the secret menu) @ Cove Bar (CA Adventure) – restaurant was closed
- Brioche French Toast @ Flo’s V8 Café (CA Adventure) ♥
- Ocean Beach Sea Sault Carmel Sundae @ Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain (CA Adventure) – opted for a different sundae combination instead ♥♥
- Pineapple Dole Whip @ Tiki Juice Bar ♥
- Matterhorn Macaroon @ Jolly Holly Bakery Café ♥♥♥
- Pumpkin Twist @ Maurice’s Treats (did not find this)
- Pot Roast or Fried Chicken @ Plaza Inn (did not try)
- Smoothies @ Schmoozies (CA Adventure) (did not try)
- Citrus Fire-grilled Chicken @ Rancho del Zocalo (did not try)
- Churro @ California Churro Co (Downtown Disney) ♥
Considering my extensive list, I accomplished a large number of these items!
One of the first things I wanted to experience was some great food! Highly recommended was the Monte Cristo and Pommes Frites at the Café Orleans. However, we had to make reservations for the next night because they were not taking walk-ins. Totally worth it! The Frites were possibly my favorite food of the trip! We shared an order of each, which was more than enough food (I had a small salad as well).
We had a lot of great food while we were there, I was only disappointed in one meal (in Downtown Disney), and it was ok, the atmosphere was not great. We were reminded that most of the eating locations were primarily outdoors, both at the parks, and in Downtown Disney. This time of year it gets cool at night. So, a couple of meals were on the cool side. Reminder to bundle up!
I had my list of things to investigate. A scavenger hunt of sorts! The one thing I found to be untrue (I think I read this one randomly on the internet), they do NOT hand out Death Certificates at the Haunted Mansion. They never have, according to the cast member I spoke with. You can, apparently find a PDF on the internet and print up your own.
When I inquired about the Pet Cemetery at the Haunted Mansion, l learned that really was a thing. But because of the construction they no longer take people back to see it. He showed me the vicinity it was located, on the right side of the mansion, behind the wall. It sounded like there wasn’t as much to it now days. However, they did create a new Pet Cemetery, it is on the left side of the mansion, and you can view it when you go through the line. Because we had already gone on the ride, I did not go back through the line to see the newer Pet Cemetery.
One of my favorite discoveries was home of The Little Man of Disneyland! It was right where I read it to be, and very cute! By the way, his home is between The Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones, behind the garbage cans. Read the story first, which explains why he has this little home on the property.
We were able to get a map of the Jungle Cruise once we completed the ride. We were directed to a cast member at a counter on the way out. The only requirement to receive the map, was that I had to make an animal noise first!
Another discovery was a “secret path” that went around the Harbor Galley Restaurant. It was very cute. My husband has been to Disneyland more times than I have been, and he never knew this little path was there.
Something I discovered on my own, was above Sleeping Beauty Castle. I had no idea you could walk up into the castle and read the Sleeping Beauty story. The entrance is found on the back side of the castle, on the right.
One of my favorite surprises was when we were asked to pilot the S.S. Mark Twain! I had read you could make a request. I almost did, but decided against it. As my husband and I walked to the front of the mid-level viewing area, the “captain” walked up and asked if we would like to pilot the boat. Of course, we said yes! She was wonderful, allowing pictures, answering questions, and even giving us a Pilot’s Certificate! We really did not steer the boat, but it was a very fun experience! And by the way, I told her I read we could ask to pilot the boat. She said they no longer take requests, but, they randomly ask people from time to time. That made the experience even more magical!
One of my other favorite activities was the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps walking tour. If you decide to go, make sure to make reservations ahead of time. We were, however, able to get tickets for the next day, which worked out fine since we were there for four days. It was well done, with interesting information, a delicious lunch, and a tour of Walt’s apartment above the fire house. We also got a couple of small parting gifts. We both really enjoyed this tour.
I did ask a train cast member about the Lilly Belle. This is the car train named after Walt’s wife used for VIPs and dignitaries. He said yes, they used to sometimes allow people to ride in that car in the past. But now there is a tour that includes the Lilly Belle. I asked about that tour when we had our walking tour. Currently there is a tour that talks about Walt’s love for trains, and it includes a ride on the Lilly Belle. If that tour exists on my next visit, it will be on my list!
One other cute thing I was able to do, was get a message from the bike messenger over at California Adventure. I kind of forgot about this when I walked by the messenger. I stopped and asked her if she had a message for me. She saw my birthday button, and low and behold, she had a birthday wish from Mickey! This was very cute.
This was one of my most fun Disney visits! I also want to highly recommend the Max Pass. This includes unlimited Photo Pass pictures, and I believe unlimited Fast Passes. We never used more than three or four in one day, but I think you can. We had one morning where the Fast Pass wasn’t working. Guest Services gave us two passes on our app for any ride. We also had the Matterhorn go down for a bit, and we got a pass added to our app automatically. We just don’t do the long lines, so we look for short wait times (using the app), and snag the Fast Pass. But Disneyland is so much more than just the rides for me. And if you like the Photo Pass pictures, this is a great deal. We got many great pictures, and the app says they are available until near the end of March (about 6 1/2 weeks). You can add stickers and borders from the app. I downloaded a couple of them in the park and messaged to family. Very fast and efficient.
I want to include a few additional food pics because we had several fantastic meals! We did visit Flo’s V8 Café for our first breakfast. Food and view were great!
Here are a few additional delicious Disney foods!
I had a wonderful time at Disneyland. Even with my new adventures, I know there are many discoveries still to be made. I will look forward to them on my next trip!