Unlocking the secrets of Disneyland: The magic is in the details

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by Kaley O'Kelley

Bio | Email | Follow: @KaleyOKelley

azfamily.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 8:52 AM

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Have you ever wondered why you get that warm and fuzzy feelings just as you walk into Disneyland? We caught up with Katie, a Disneyland VIP tour guide who says the magic is hidden in the details.

You can find them all over the park.

It starts at the Candy Palace on Main Street, USA, where vents work overtime to pump out the sweet smell of yummy goodness being baked inside the store. It's not your imagination. It really does smell like the best bakery in the world.

That's not the only place grabbing the attention of your nose.

On your next visit, pay attention to the smells of citrus, pine trees and the ocean when you're Soarin' at Disney California Adventure Park. It's a unique way to immerse you in the experience.

Pirates of the Caribbean smells like mildew for the same reason.

Designed to harness one of our most powerful senses, the scents are generated by a gadget called a Smellitzer.

Just like your nose, your ears are being captured by the magic, too.

Back to Main Street, USA, across the street from the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, watch out for a place called the Painless Dentist. It's near the Center Street lockers.  Listen closely and you'll hear the sounds of a dentist's drill and someone screaming. You'll also hear a man in the shower. It's coming from an open window -- the one with the shower head inside.

There are also the sounds of Frontierland and a shooting gallery to complement the Old West setting.

In New Orleans Square, the sound of a telegraph is fused into the area near the Disneyland Railroad station. There's some history here, it's playing part of Walt Disney's opening day dedication in Morse code.

Fact or fiction?

What about those secrets you may have read about on the Web? Our more-than-willing tour guide was happy to answer our questions.

First, there really is a pet cemetery. It's near the Haunted Mansion.

"It's something not a lot of people get to see," Katie said. "There are a few little special grave stones that you can see, though."

Speaking of remains, there are no real bones on Pirates of the Caribbean.

"I'm not sure where that myth came from either," Katie said.

What about the basketball court inside the Matterhorn? It's there. It's about the size of a half-court.

There's only one place at Disneyland that serves adult beverages, but to get one you have to be a member of the exclusive Club 33. Named for its address in New Orleans Square (next to the Blue Bayou Restaurant), the waiting list to become a member is described as "years-long."

Club 33 is a private-dining club that features a treasure trove of history, as well.

"It's where Walt wanted his VIP guests to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the park," Katie explained.

What about the tunnels we've all heard about? The ones running supposedly under the park? Nope. They don't exist at Disneyland. They're at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

And the feral cats that come out at night to help control the mouse population? Yup. They're there. Katie said because they're feral, they make themselves scares as soon as the crowds show up.

Take a look around Tomorrowland. You'll see citrus trees, cabbage and other edible delights.

Baby friendly

There is a Baby Care Center at Disneyland. It's a great place for new parents. You'll find (FREE) filtered water here for bottles, a microwave to warm them up and there's a quiet and private place to nurse.

"It's a place for families to get away from their babies that gets away from the craziness of the park," Lisa Robertson, author of Babes in Disneyland, explained. "This is kind of your family's haven [from the sensory overload]."

There's also a Baby Care Center in DCA.

Walt's apartment

Finally, there's something few people ever see -- Walt Disney's private apartment in Town Square.

Guests who take the Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps guided tour ($109) will be treated to a rare glimpse of the space where he lived while he was designing what is now one of the most famous and most-visited vacation destinations in the world.

Disneyland dedication

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."
— Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955
(Pick up where you left off reading.)

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