Once and for all, Walt Disney is not frozen at Disneyland or anywhere else. He did have an interest in the technology, but he is in fact spending eternity at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, Calif.
"Kurt Russell" was the last thing ever uttered by Walt Disney.
It turns out that one of, if not the last thing Disney did before dying in 1966 was scrawl the name "Kurt Russell" (then a child star who had already signed with Disney) on a scrap of paper.
Nine guests have been killed on Disneyland attractions since the park's opening in 1955. All the deaths (save the most recent) were the result of guests who apparently ignored safety instructions and/or defeated rides' safety mechanisms. "The Rivers of America" is the deadliest with three fatalities.
Deborah Stone was the first Disneyland Employee to die in the line of duty, July 1974. She was an greeter on "America Sings". While testing the ride she was crushed between a stationary wall and a moving wall. The ride was closed for three days to clean up and install warning lights. No one was there to witness her death and she was discovered the following day when she failed to show up for work
UPDATESeptember 6, 2003
Los Angeles - One man died and 10 other riders were hurt Friday when train cars filled with passengers broke loose from a locomotive in a dark tunnel on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride.
Click Here to see proof
UPDATE July 4th, 2009. When safety features were overridden, Two monorails at Disney World collided head on and killed an operator. Seven other people were on the trains at the time but were not seriously injured.Click Here to read story.
This incident brings the Disneyland body count to ten.
[ed note: A reader pointed out that there have been more deaths at Disneyland and that we're not even paying attention to Disney World. We have made a distinction between "deaths" and "killed". Guests in poor health who die while in the park are not included.]
So, without further fanfare we proudly publish....
February 11, 2004: A costumed Walt Disney World worker, Javier Cruz, 38, of Orlando, Fla., was killed after being run over by a float during an afternoon parade.
The Body Count at Disney World stands at: 2
More information on Disney Death can be found here.
High inside the hollow Matterhorn is a basketball court. It's part of an employee break room.
The sailing ship Columbia, which is supposed to be a replica of the first U.S. ship to circumvent the globe, actually was built in large part from the plans for the HMS Bounty, of mutiny fame. Disney's shipbuilders couldn't find plans for the original Columbia, so they relied heavily on those of Capt. William Bligh's ship, which had similar dimensions.
ABC was one of the original financial backers and for years owned a share of the park. Now, of course, the Walt Disney Co. owns ABC.
As a teenager, actor and comedian Steve Martin worked in Merlin's Magic Shop in Fantasyland.
An early Tomorrowland attraction was Monsanto's House of the Future, made entirely of plastic. It had the requisite picture phone and other Jetsonsonian appliances, but the most-talked-about feature, according to “Mouse Tales", was the microwave oven.“Nobody believed you could bake a potato in three minutes," said attendant Dick Mahoney. Years later, when Disneyland tried to tear down the plastic house, the wrecking ball just bounced off.
On Star Tours, the short, squat robots you pass while waiting in line are the audio-animatronic ducks from the old “America Sings" attraction, with their feathers and skin yanked off. One still has webbed feet.
Late at night on rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World, amorous couples regularly try to make the Happiest Place on Earth even a little happier. They're apparently unaware that virtually every inch of every ride is observed by security cameras or hidden employees. Sometimes they're startled by a warning from a loudspeaker; occasionally they're greeted at the exit by applauding employees. On a high school band trip in 1975, My girlfriend and I were interrupted by a booming voice yelling, "CUT THAT OUT!!!". We did.
When it opened in 1967, Pirates of the Caribbean used real human skeletons as props. In an upcoming book, imagineer Jason Surrell writes, “Because the original imagineering team felt that the fake skeletons of the period were just too unconvincing, the grotto sequence originally featured real human remains obtained from the UCLA Medical Center. The skeletons were later returned to their countries of origin and given a proper burial.ť
Main Street is based in large part on the town of Marceline, Mo., where Walt Disney spent part of his childhood. A whistle stop on the old Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail line between Chicago and Kansas City, the town named a swimming pool and elementary school after its most famous son. The latter is the only place outside Disneyland authorized to fly the official Disneyland flag.
Ron Dominguez, the top executive from 1971 to 1994, grew up on one of the Anaheim orange groves purchased by Disney for the park. “My house was right about where the grist mill on Tom Sawyer's Island is now",he said. Mr. Dominguez spent his entire career at the park, starting as a ticket-taker on opening day and working his way up to the top spot. The names painted in gold leaf on second-story windows along Main Street are Disneyland's Hall of Fame. They honor important people in the park's history, usually with an inside joke. Mr. Dominguez's window, for example, reads,
Orange Grove Property Mgt. - We Care For Your Property As If It Were Our Own.
Wayne Allwine (the voice of Mickey Mouse) and Russi Taylor (the voice of Minnie Mouse) were married in real life.